It is nearly more than four months since i left Italy again to leave for  Asia, a continent completely unknown to me so far and achieved only by the imagination. I had already been a month in Indonesia last year, but only in Bali. That was just a taste. I am in Japan when my cousin Marco gives me confirmation: appointment 11 September in Hanoi for a motorcycle trip around Vietnam. I’m excited and a bit ‘scared because I’ve never driven a motorcycle, only a couple of times in Indonesia. They told me that driving in Vietnam is absurd, there are no road rules, bus and lorry drivers drive like crazy, people driving in the wrong direction on the highway and
the traffic in the city is unbearable. It’s all true. If you get distracted for a moment, there is a high percentage of making an accident.

I arrived the 10 September in Hanoi airport and i immediately had problems with the visa: i forgot pri
nt it in time. Fortunately, after two hours of reproaches, i was able to fix everything. It’s seven o’clock in the evening, pay a taxi and head for the “Guest Hostelworld 2” where the next day, about the same time, I would have reached my cousin. As soon as we met we eat, drink couple of beers and we tell each other what happened in the last period without saying too much about the details. We have not seen for four months, so we have many things to tell, but we also have much time to spend together to narrate ours experiences.

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We bought two “Honda Win 110” for two hundred and fifty USD each, this should be the most common motorbike among backpackers and we decide to exit immediately from Hanoi, here there is not much to do. The streets are too crowded, dusty, dirty, and although people are pretty quiet, there is no serenity that we need. Then we head towards the famous Ha Long Bay, of course my bike after just two hours of journey starts to have problems, but I stop to talk about this because I only get nervous. The thought of being so naive bothers me, calms me down just the fact that do not understand engine (if you buy a motorcycle, remember to try it at least half day).

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Ha long Bay is perhaps one of the most popular and visited places of Vietnam and even if I do not like to visit “tourist places”, this is definitely one of the places to visit at least once in your life, especially if it is 200 km distance from where you are. Luckily it’s September, so we are out of season, in fact there are very few tourists and backpackers. Most tourists are from south Vietnamese.

We choose back roads and get lost in the mountains, discovering immediately the beauty of this country. I took a few days to fall in love with the pristine nature of Vietnam.

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Took us two days to do 200 km (this because we didn’t choose the main road) and when we finally arrive at our destination, we stop in the Guide House Hostel , an hostel located in the city center, a few meters from the ocean. The owner is very hospitable and friendly, speak good English and gives us general advice on where to go and what to visit. 4$ a night each, these are the average prices of the hostels here in Vietnam.

We are tired because we drove all day. We took shower, we booked the boat that would take us around the bay “where the dragon descends into the sea” and we rush to bed.

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