A mountain road at Bac Me, Ha Giang
A mountain road at Bac Me, Ha Giang

Travel Ha Giang by Motorcycle: Trip of Dreams

It is getting late in the afternoon and I have got the whole day riding my motorcycle from Ba Be National Park via Tuyen Quang, and now it is Bac Me District in Ha Giang Province. The road was worse than I had expected with certain section under construction, lots of potholes and some part wiped out by floods...

 I remember having been nearly stranded in the middle of nowhere on the top of a high mountain pass that I could only move my motorbike inch by inch for a couple of hours. The engine kept on roaring at the lowest gear, and my hands were reddened gripping tightly on the handle bar. The road was strewn with sharp rocks of different sizes that could have made my tires flat easily. In the case that the engine had got broken down, I would not have known how to bring the motorcycle down myself as the inclines were too steep, going forward or backward would seem impossible! And there was nobody in sight. Besides, I was scared that the motorbike consumed petrol much faster than usual; had it been that bad road for another hour, I probably would not have made it!

Sublime view of Na Hang from aboveSublime view of Na Hang from above

Having got some troubles on my numerous adventures, I just kept calm and stopped some time to sip my hot coffee and enjoyed the beautiful landscape all around... You do expect the unexpected on adventure trips like this and keep thinking positively always! And it seems that the more adventures you have the luckier you are when traveling. And, I made it! I am feeling so relaxed resting on the bridge leading to Yen Phu Town, Bac Me District. Looking down the Gam River, a fisherman is squatting at the bow of his rowing boat. He must be having some relaxing time on the serene water after a busy day, I guess...

The Gam River, Bac Me, Ha GiangFishing boat on the Gam River at Bac Me

It is getting dark so quickly and it is time to get moving on. I ride along the Gam River further to another Yen Phu Town! On the other side of the river, two fishermen are still at work and the sun has gone down behind the mountains already. They must live somewhere nearby. The town is the capital of Bac Me District and it has very good road. The town is quiet and there are only a couple of simple hotels. I do not see many restaurants.

The Gam River at Bac MeThe Gam River at Bac Me

Having had a plan earlier, I turn into a small road leaving the town and going up the mountain. Tonight I want to stay at a Tay village. It is good that villagers start taking part in community-based tourism in Vietnam. Ban Lan, the village I am coming to, is among them. The village is surrounded by trees and the nature around is just beautiful. The villagers seem to have a decent life that I could tell from their houses and the gardens.

It is quite dark now, still most villagers are not home yet. I have visited a few houses but found nobody at home. Luckily a young guy comes up and shows me the way to the chief of the village whose family also provides homestay. The man is just back from work shaking my hand warmly and eagerly inviting me to stay at his home. The host assists me and the luggage into the house and arrange a corner which is my bed for the night. Then, over the hot tea we know more about each other. Tuyen, the name of my host, is at my age. He is living with his father, his wife and his two sons.

Lan Village at Bac MeLan Village at Bac Me

My arrival is unexpected and it takes a while to prepare dinner, Tuyen asks me to a party with his friends first. I do not want to ruin their good time, but Tuyen assures that his friends should feel good having me join them. Then a great time I happen to have! The young boys and girls in the village have a party every month. They are all nicely dressed and very polite; all of them are good drinkers. After shyness at first, our conversation quickly turns to be cozy; and after some ten toasts, I feel that I have to go back to the house immediately! I'm sure to be sober enough to bid farewell to the giggling boys and girls and tell them that I will try to come back on another trip. It is a full moon night and it is so lovely walking on a quiet trail by the forest back to the house...

Lan Village at Bac MeDinner with young girls and boys at Lan Village

I'm so glad that I make it to my bed when the wine at the party starts having some effect on me. The family still has a big meal waiting for me, but I have enough at the party already. I apologize to the family for not having the meal and for going to bed early. It has been a long day and I am a tad tired. During the night, I wake up a few times and my sleep is quite light...