Vietnam is a beautiful country with wonderful people. If a Vietnamese smiles at you, you know, the smile comes directly from their heart. They sometimes laugh at you - because they don't understand the way you are and behave. For them, life is very simple. But they will help you whenever they can (at least in the less touristy places) - although they often don't speak a word of English apart from "hello - goodbye, see you again".
To get to know the "real Vietnam", easy riding is the best way to explore beautiful spots, get in contact with the minorities and see locals work on their rice fields or in brick factories. While Easy Riding, you will see the coast as well as the highand of my sweet country - whatever you wanna see!
As you know, Vietnam was in wars for many years - after the Chinese came the French - the country was splitted in North and South Vietnam. Then the involvement of the US and afterwards our fight against the Red Khmer of Cambodia. There is a lot of history in Vietnam as well as it is consisting of many different parts, where you can see and feel the differences of the various climates, people and landscapes.
As I lived in the central part of Vietnam all my life, I start talking about it first. Next to the wonderful beach in Danang, where you will find nearly no tourists, there is also wonderful bridges crossing the river that splits the sea-side of Danang from it's centre. I am sure you will meet a lot of friendly people and students who want to practise their English and talk to tourists from all over the world at the riverfront.
Just north of Danag is the beautiful Haivan Pass with it's beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. North again is the historical town of Hue and the DMZ (demilitarised Zone), that was the boarder of North- and South Vietnam, where there have been many fights during the big war as well as tunnels you can still explore today.
To the south of Danang is the infamous small town of Hoi An, where you will find a very tranquil Vietnam - a holiday place, where you can walk the narrow streets with it's tailors all over the place who want to sell you some custom-made clothes.
My favourite part of Vietnam lies to the west of Danang: the Vietnamese Highland. Here you find the Ho Chi Minh Road/ Trail, that was used for transportation in the war. Here you will find different kinds of minority people still living in their hand-made houses of wood and other natural products. People live of farming here and you will see any kind of fields - from rice, pineapple, tobacco, coffee to banana, dragon fruit and cashew nuts. Not to forget the beautiful landscape of the different passes from where you have spectacular views over dense forest, hills or the ocean. The temperature is much better up here: cooler when it is very hot at the coast and warmer when it is rainy and cold on the coast.
In the middle of the Highland you find the small town of Dalat, where you will be able to breeze the fresh air of this relaxing and romantic mountain town surrounded by different waterfalls and farms of flowers and vegetables not found anywhere else in Vietnam.
Very near Dalat you can find two famous beach towns. You can relax your body in the sun on the beach of Nha Trang or surf with any kind of watersport-tool in the winds of Mui Ne.
In the South of Vietnam you find buzzing Ho Chi Minh City (still often called Saigon by Vietnamese) with it's perfect climate for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. The Mekong Delta offers you a sight into the Vietnamese life with water all around them. Houses on wooden posts, markets on the rivers and Phu Quoc in the south, where you can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday on this red-sanded island.
In the northern parts of Vietnam you will find the famous rice terraces of Sapa with the hill tripe people of this places - still wearing their colourful clothes of times gone by. In the also famous Halong Bay you will be able to see the limestone rocks situated in the peaceful ocean, while cruising on a tour-boat. If you get off the usual tourist track in the north, you will find Vietnamese who do not speak a word of English. In busy streets of the old town of Hanoi you will meet a lot of cars, motorbikes and people doing business on the street as well as enjoying a famous cup of Vietnamese coffee in one of the small coffee shops.
I am sure, Vietnam offers something for everybody. I hope you enjoy your time - especially cruising around with me on my motorbike ;-)