Vietnam-Laos. Planning and preparation…

When Ramadhan ends, my Vietnam/Laos adventure will roll off – on the eve of Aidilfitri, to be exact.

My trusty old Giant is ready. My spanking new Ortlieb panniers arrived from US some weeks ago, complete with handlebar-bag. My legs are ready (I hope), although I could do with a bit more training. I’d also just recently bought a new Casio Protrek on eBay to replace my leaky, 5-yr old Suunto Vector. Ah, the joys of retail therapy.

Hanoi is the first on the itinerary. I will spend 3 days soaking in everything Vietnamese. I will be fascinated for sure. I will be ripped off for sure, too. These Viets are as enterprising as they come. Apparently, everyone has an ulterior motive when they come into contact with you – usually to make a fast Dong. I shall be sparing even with my smiles – who knows, the person behind a reciprocating smile might just charge me for it.

The itinerary:

Hanoi to Sapa – by train (after which the biking proper starts)

Sapa to Dien Bien Phu on the Vietnam/Laos border

Cross the border into Laos, head to Luang Prabang

Vang Vieng , then Vientiane, then home.

1,000 km. 21 days. But in all honesty, I have only just roughly mapped out my route. I have not made a single booking for accomodation of any sort. After all, that’s part of the fun in travelling alone – check out a place; don’t like it?… hey, I’m on wheels, remember? — no heavy backpack on my back. I can roll hither and thither as I please.