Hitting the Ho Chi Minh Trail

It’s fair to say that Vietnam has had a bit of a chequered past. Much like Rwanda, Honduras, South Africa and many other countries i’ve visited, Vietnam has suffered from civil war, political upheaval and unwanted international attention. But just like these other countries, it also continues to wow travellers with its unique landscapes, unbelievably cheap food and a population of warm, open people. And the best bit? If you get a motorbike and a sense of adventure, you can see it all. Just remember to hold on!

A kiwi kind of adventure

I left the UK on Boxing day 2016. It wasn’t raining, which was nice. The debacle surrounding Southern Trains was set to continue (if you’re not familiar with this, google #southernfail), the Brexit debate rumbled on, and we were at the end of what many people would agree was a rather naff year. There was only one thing for it, one way to wash away the 2016 blues and see in 2017 with a bang. Yep, I needed another adventure.

New Zealand tops the list of my favourite countries in the world. OK it doesn’t come anywhere close to the incredible wildlife found in many African nations, or the food and drink journeys you can go on in South American or European ones, but damn does it make up for that with one thing – being an adventure paradise!

Helicopter rides to stunning rock pinnacles in Paihia, swimming with dolphins, white water rafting the highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world in Rotorua, skydiving in Ashburton, bungees and wickedly fun jet boats in Queenstown; all backed up by kick ass scenery, empty roads and (sometimes) ace weather. January was a bit good, February hasn’t been too bad either. This post comes from a quiet title cafe in a town on the East coast of Vietnam. Just a shame there’s no skydiving here.