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R5K members 'live the dream' riding Vietnam on Honda scooters

Published: 30 March 2019

Updated: 28 March 2019

We all like to daydream and plan trips to far flung places but rarely do these dreams become reality.

But #ride5000miles members, Colin Bloomer and Clive Gillow, decided to bite the bullet, fly from their homes in Co. Armagh and spend a month riding the twisty mountain passes of Vietnam.

They left their Suzuki GSX-R1000 and KTM 950SM tucked up safe at home, invested £200 each for Honda Wave 110cc scooters and undertook a trip of a lifetime.

"We had a few days exploring Hanoi before we headed south to Da Nang and bought Honda Wave 110s," Colin says. "We set ourselves the challenge of zig-zagging our way to Ho Chi Minh City, without breaking down.

"We toured Da Nang, riding round the breath-taking sights of the Ba Na Hills and spent time on the Hai Van Pass in north Da Nang. Words can’t describe that road on a bike; it’s 100 per cent fun! Corners, hairpins, the scenery and, of course, the odd reminder of the danger, which is all part of the thrill."

The scenery in Vietnam is stunning

But the journey wasn’t without its ups and downs. With running repairs needing to be made on the move and riding up to 200 miles a day it was tough going at times.

"The bikes were holding up well, considering the distance we were doing each day," continued Colin. "Clive sprung an oil leak at one point and both bikes had broken exhausts travelling from Nha Trang. We found a guy who spent a couple of hours fixing them for £1.50.

"We stayed in brilliant hotels, some with swimming pools, that cost less than £10 a night. We met loads of people from all over the world and enjoyed drinking beers and having the some top banter! The locals were unbelievable. They’d see you riding down the road and want to ride beside you, giving high fives until they went on their own way.

"The early starts and long days were hard work and we were in bed most nights at 9pm. For us it was North to South Vietnam... or die trying! As we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City we sold the bikes to a local. If I could, I’d have brought that bike home to hang on the garage wall. I would recommend Vietnam to anyone, it’s a stunning place."

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