This section from Lao Cai to Hanoi and Hue is the twelfth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Since all weather reports for northern Vietnam had report nothing even remotely satisfactory, I resort to cheating my way to Hanoi. That way, I’d skip a piece of dreadful mountain riding in bad weather, I’d go right to see my girlfriend and her family and I’d be able to rest my injured legs a few days. The soft-seat ticket went for a little over 200.000 dong (about 8 EUR) and the additional bike fee 40.000 (just over 1 EUR). Unlike China, where bikes have to be loaded on a separate train or packed in a luggage-size box, Vietnamese trains have special freight wagons large enough for my bicycle, some French tourists’ motorbikes, loads of fruit and foodstuff belonging to other passengers and goods hidden from view by green tarpaulin packaging.

Boarding the train to Hanoi
Boarding the train to Hanoi

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