Platypus Mountain Run – North Vietnam 2014

Our second fundraising motorcycle ride around North Vietnam ended in Hanoi on 3 December. Most of our riders were members of the Bunbury Indian Harley Davidson Club who spent 12 days clocking up 2000 km of exhilarating riding. From Hanoi we travelled south-west to Dien Bien Phu before hugging the China border northwards through mountain territory – Sapa, Ha Giang and Meo Vac before returning to Hanoi via Ba Be Lake.

bunbury-lads

The Lads from the Bunbury Indian Harley Davidson Club of Western Australia.

We dropped in on a school near Yen Bai where Platypus supports a number of students and everyone found the visit a touching experience – the financial offerings from our supporters are well spent on a good cause.

The weather gods smiled on us, scenery was spectacular and we spent a fair bit of time on roads less travelled. That ensured time spent on every road surface imaginable with the exception of ice and snow although sometimes we wondered about that; as invariably happens in the mountains we came across landslides, roads under repair and roads in need of repair but these conditions were factored into the schedule and at no stage was anyone pushed into hurrying: average speed was around 45km/hr. There is far too much to be seen and enjoyed to be rushed.

Lake view

Lake view

We ran 150-200cc machines, ideal for the riding conditions, and they were ruthlessly serviced daily by the indefatigable Ngoc who, as always, ensured that each day saw good bikes hitting the road.
Special mention must again be made of the quality service provided by Koony and Ngoc of Asian Lotus Travel, with whom we rode in 2013 also. They are dedicated to putting on a great experience: accommodation was of a high standard, food was excellent and commentary was always informed. They act also as sort of Earth Mothers, mother hens and really good mates.

 

ngoc-and-co

Koony and Ngoc – Fantastic support crew

 

We will ride with them in late 2015 and again in April 2016 when we have a Vietnam/Laos/Vietnam trip. They do 4WD adventure trips and all manner of other things and we cannot recommend them too highly – call them if you want responsibly managed adventure fun.

From a Platypus viewpoint, and a personal one, I found it a great pleasure riding with the group. There was heaps of humour, generosity of spirit and wallet and a terrific bonding with both the country and the people we came across and I was proud to introduce everyone to what has become in some ways my second country.
Thanks for coming, and I expect to see some of you again: same country, different places, maybe an add-on country or two, probably different time. Ride safe, bring joy – Bob Greer.

Please enjoy the pictorial below;

Mountain-clouds

Mountain clouds on route

ravine

Mountain pass ravine

rest stop

A typical rest stop location

bamboo-bridge

Bamboo bridge crossing

Police check

A local police check of the motorbikes gets the all clear.

3 Responses to “Platypus Mountain Run – North Vietnam 2014”

  1. John Coleman says:

    WHAT A FABULOUS RIDE THIS IS AND DAMN GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY TO BOOT.
    If you have a motorcycle licence, are looking for a bit of adventure and would like to contribute to the very worthy Platypus Charity,
    ” do yourself a favour ” and sign up for this event (apologies to Molly Meldrum).
    Tour guide Kooney and back up driver/mechanic Gnoc apart from both speaking very good English and being great company, are a minefield of information on the history and customs of the Vietnamese people.They are very passionate about their country and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we all did . Nothing was too much trouble for them and they often went above & beyond our expectations.
    If I had to rate this event I would give it 11 out of a maximum of 10 .
    John Coleman (participant in the Nov 2014 ride).

  2. Scott Gillespie from Hervey Bay, Qld says:

    I heard about the ride from the secretary of my local Ulysses club. From the moment I spoke to Bob Greer I was in. I have to admit that value for money was probably the main reason I chose this adventure. I was kept in the loop and all the arrangements went extremely easy. I was traveling on my own and had never meet any of the group of riders before. I was welcomed into the group and made some great friends.

    The riding was always interesting and at time a little challenging always rewarding. The landscapes that we road on just kept getting better day after day. My favorite element of the trip was the exposure to Vietnam by our tour guides. Money can’t buy a lot of the experiences that we had. The reason the tour is so great is that the money raised goes to the right places in Vietnam. So our proud Vietnamese guides make it as good as they can and these guides are the best Vietnam has. With access to places tourist have trouble getting to. I have done a lot of guided tours in south east Asia this one was the best.

    Missing all the guys and gals from the trip.

  3. Peter and Anne Robinson of Perth says:

    2014 ride was our first ride in Vietnam and we were a little apprehensive about it all, but took the plunge, based on some great stories from the 2013 ride. We were not disappointed. Anne went pillion with me and was amazingly game and sporting about it all especially as the seat was not up to the Harley standard she had previously enjoyed and she is a very nervous, somewhat reluctant passenger back in Perth. Unlucky for us we had two punctures on the ride, the second one being a blowout on the very last day around 100km to go, which caused me to drop the bike on the lhs and whilst I walked away without a scratch, Anne broke her leg and ankle rather nastily. There’s another big story that goes with all that of course, but despite our misfortune, the rides were great, the roads and scenery amazing if challenging at times, hotels were good, the organisation terrific, the weather wonderful and the company brilliant. Recommend it to anyone.

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