Who knew that there could be such an exciting ride right outside Ho Chi Minh Cities back door. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of riding down to the coast and then across to the Mangrove Biosphere of Can Gio with tour expert Trung Trinh Tien. The man is a living, breathing atlas and a true expert in his field. The roads we travelled on I reckon I’m one of the few non Vietnamese to ever lay two wheels on them. He has to be one of the premier motorbike guides in Saigon, if not all of Vietnam. His knowledge of the local area is extensive and his ability to interact with the local people is uncanny. I don’t understand the Vietnamese language, but you just get a sense that people enjoy chatting with this guy.
We’ve done rides in the past and he has a knack for finding those far flung corners of Vietnam. This one trip in particular was definitely a stand out in my opinion. From a photographic standpoint the opportunities were plentiful. Once leaving our lunch stop by the beach we made or way up a coast road that had barely a motorbike to be seen.
The feeling of being alone on the open road is surprisingly therapeutic. Taking in the views and being alone with your thoughts. Pure gold! Winding our way through the countryside we hit one of my favourite places, the ferry crossing. Don’t know what it is about the experience that enthrals me so much, but I’m always stoked to get on a boat. Trung built it up for me when he told me it was an old wooden boat with no cars. The rustic charm of these boats and seeing the locals going about their daily business is a quintessential Vietnam experience that everyone should experience.
Crossing the open water Trung worked his charm and chatted with fisherman as I snapped away at the passengers. I cannot stress the friendliness of the Vietnamese people and their willingness to give you a smile or strike a pose. It’s moments like this that photographers live for.
Once arriving on the Can Gio side of the crossing it was nothing but dirt roads, mangroves and shrimps farms for as far as the eye could see. How he knew these roads is beyond me, but I ‘d have to say it was much more enjoyable that main highway that cuts south through the Biosphere reserve and you get to witness the urban way of life. The end of the trip was on yet another ferry back to town. Much faster than the highway and beautiful sunset the whole way back. Simply awesome.
If you are looking for a motorbike adventure and you want to get out of the city, I highly recommend this trip. Trung will give you a captivating excursion that will satisfy your need for adventure and the open road.