I am about to start my motorbike adventure in Ho Chi Minh City right after sunrise. A free breakfast at the hostel causes a changes of plans though. I end up in the middle of the morning rush hour. Constantly, I need to stop to check the map. One thing is for sure, Ho Chi Minh City is huge and definitely not the right place to learn how to drive a motorbike! Finally, I leave Ho Chi Minh City and am hitting the highway to Bà Rịa. The locals are really interested in my trip and keep approaching me while driving for a small chat. Several times, I am stopping because those conversations get too intense to keep driving. One local Vietnamese is even so kind and invites me for lunch.
After Luang Prabang, I am moving on to Vang Viang on the Nam Song river with mixed feelings. Apart from the beautiful karst hill landscape, Vang Viang was known as a party town for tubing until about 30 tourists died, drowning or diving head first into rocks (The Guardian). To put an end to this, the government decided to shut down all bars along the river selling cheap alcohol and offering rope swings and zip lines in mid 2012. However, the surrounding area is beautiful and I decided to take a motorbike off the beaten tracks. At nighttime, bars give out free rice schnapps, sell laughing gas and offer beer pong contests. Korean tourist are everywhere in town due to a Korean reality show taking place at the Blue Lagoon. I like the place though.