Red Corner: The Ho Chi Minh Trail on Motorbike

I’m not too big on motorcycles but was rather enthralled with an article I ran across on in which columnist Mark Gilbert jumped on a bike and toured the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam.

Gilbert writes about a friendly motorcycle gang in the town of Da Lat called the Easy Riders who have become the hottest way to travel through Vietnam. For $50-60 a day they drop you on the back of a Honda motorcycle and roar off to locations you’d never reach on your own or with a tour group. I spent time in Vietnam 10 years ago and longed for such an opportunity, but the tourist infrastructure didn’t exist at the time and I had to settle for public transport instead.

Vietnam is still a very backward country and Gilbert convinces us that the best way to navigate its poor roads and eek the very best out of a Vietnam vacation is on the back of a motorbike. His journey took him past remote hill tribes, silkworm farmers and fishermen hauling in the day’s electrocuted catch with the aid of a car battery strapped on their backs. Vietnam remains a very strange place indeed.