The three scooters parked in front of us looked rough. If we sat on them, I imagined we’d collapse into a clanging pile of rusted engine parts and bald, eroded rubber tyres. But Jeff and Wessel were wearing the biggest grins i’d ever seen. We had poorly-fitting helmets, no riding experience and brake pads as effective as kitchen … More Scooter crashes, police roadblocks and flea bites – a crazy riding day on Zanzibar
The streets of Hanoi rumbled into life in the morning like a great machine coughing into life, intoxicatingly fragrant with noodle soup, vibrating with motorbike engines, horns, shouting, conical straw hats, fruit and Buddhist shrines, pulsing and pumping like a heartbeat.
The slow boat collided softly with the tyres bound to the ferry port at Luang Prabang, and the tourist horde disembarked, stretching and yawning. Caramel waves chased each other down the Mekong like energetic children playing tag. It was nice to have finally arrived.
Jeff and I sat at the long, wooden table, set with chopsticks, chilli sauces and pieces of raw meat and bamboo shoots. I smiled at the H’mong tribeswoman sitting next to me, and she smiled back.