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Top Gear heads to Vietnam

Published: 24 December 2008

Top Gear’s Christmas special sees all three presenters heading to Vietnam and ending up riding motorcycles in epic rainstorms for eight days during the wet season.

Top Gear ends the current series in style as Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May travel to Vietnam. Their aim is to travel the entire length of the country in just eight days in cars.

However, first they must each buy some suitable transport for the trip and, despite having several million Dong in their pockets, this proves to be of rather less value than they originally thought, especially in one of the most expensive car markets in the world.

Nonetheless, the presenters are resourceful and, with their wheels finally sorted, they set off on one of the most spectacular and incredible Top Gear road trips ever attempted.

It also becomes clear why Clarkson was spotted on a Vespa near his Cotswold home recently - he was getting some practice on two wheels before the trip set-off.

Hammond told MCN: “It was a great fun trip. It was, however, a bit of a shock to find out just how little the money we were given was worth. There was no way we were going to be able to afford to buy a car each – so we ended up with a Honda C50 for May, a Vespa for Clarkson and a Russian Minsk 125 which was a military-type thing and all mine. I have to say it was fantastically bad, but good fun all the same.

“The whole trip wasn’t heroic at all. It was very much Not The Long Way Round. The rain was unbelievable and it was certainly not a good time for riding bikes. The rain was so heavy that it was hurting.

“There were various challenges for us to complete on the trip but we are keeping those a bit of a secret at the moment.”

The trip was more than 1000 miles and all three bikes made it with little assistance barring some small mechanical work.

There have also been some pictures of The Stig’s cousin on a motocross bike performing jumps – but sadly these parts didn’t make the final cut.

Top Gear Producer Pat Doyle told MCN: “There was so much to edit that the Stig’s cousin wasn’t able to make the final cut. It’s a shame but it was a big adventure in Vietnam.”

The programme will be broadcast on December 28 at 8pm on BBC2.