Today I didn’t have time for any real sightseeing, instead I hit the road and headed for Son Trach, a small village that works as a kind of hub for people visiting Phong Nha national park. By the main highway it’s fairly short and quick but I decided to take the scenic route i.e the Ho Chi Minh highway.
Getting there took a bit of trouble because the road was crossed in several places by the remains of mud slides and rock falls.
The way up
One of the rock falls blocking the road. I did actually manage to pass it.
I thought I was getting to know this country fairly well so I figured there would be plenty of restaurants and gas stations along the way, just like there have been along all other roads I’ve driven so far. This assumption was a great mistake because by the time I reached the Ho Chi Minh highway I was getting kind of hungry and the bike was running low on petrol (by my estimation, there is no petrol gauge). After a short while I found a road side eatery in a tiny little village and just before I reached the theoretical maximum for this kind of motorbike, I happened upon a portable, old style gas pump by the side of the road.I stopped and sure enough an old guy came out and hand cranked my tank full.
Location of the petrol pump
Both problems taken care of, I rode on happily, enjoying every moment. The Ho Chi Minh highway is one of the roads connecting Hanoi with Saigon, the particular part I rode has a smooth enough surface, the perfect amount of curviness and spectacular views all along the way, a dream for motorbikers. I would even say that it is better than the mountain roads in Taiwan, except maybe the one in Taroko Gorge.
Various landscape shots on the way to Son Trach
Apparently you can drive a scooter on this little suspension bridge
More various shots along the way.
By the time I reached Son Trach, it was already too late for sightseeing. Just as well, because I was pretty exhausted after the long ride, so I simply called it a night.
A day on the road