Ride Captain’s Account – Arrival in Vietnam

After a brief panic at Gatwick airport traffic on the M25, my riders were all checked in on the flight and the responsibility of being the leader of the group had begun.

As I have been to Vietnam before, I knew what to expect and watched the other riders as the sounds, sights, smells and wave of humidity left them in state of terror. Just getting out of the airport and into out the bus with bikes packed on the truck was a challenge in 38 degree heat with a high humidity. Once underway, the next wave of fear began to build: watching the road in Vietnam when being driven anywhere is something I always try to avoid. It has a tendency to scare the life out of you, a treat for those who had not been to this country or any part of south east Asia before.

Check in at the Soffitel Metropole hotel brought opulence and a certain calm before the storm. In recognition of the efforts of our riders for newborn care in Vietnam, the hotel gave us breakfast and the use of their bedrooms for the day to unwind from the long flight (one of the best breakfasts I have had, I should add). From this wonderful calm, we explored the City and were ‘bussed’ to dinner in a small, traditional Vietnamese restaurant in the city, before heading to the station to catch the night train up to Lao Cai to begin our riding.

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