A 62-year-old Saigon woman has gone on a trans-Vietnam tour by motorbike together with her son, covering 5,795 kilometers in 28 days.
Chau Chi Dat, a senior medical student, said he had intended to go alone but his parents demurred, and it took a few days to convince them. But then his mother, Truong Nho, thought it would be a fun experience and asked to tag along.
Then his father began to worry about their safety.
But with the help of his older brother, who had previously taken Dat on a backpacking adventure across Vietnam before, they managed to assuage his fears.
It took them four months to plan and prepare for the trip, which began on July 17 in Saigon and ended on August 14 in Hanoi.
Despite going on a similar trip in the past Dat had butterflies in his stomach before leaving. The day before departure he had kept checking the weather forecast and felt nervous as if he was about to take a really important exam.
He took lots of medicines since he was traveling with his mother.
He thought it would be important to always stay on high alert and away from risky situations.
When they were at Van Roi pass in Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands, locals told him about a shortcut, but there was a landslide on that route. Not wanting to take any chances, he decided to head back to Gia Lai Province and spent the night there.
His caution had not been misplaced: there were reports of five landslides that night.
Dat said his mother was a very strong person and a true adventure seeker who had loved the thrilling feelings when passing passages in the central region. Her age did nothing to stop her from having fun. She did not once complain about her wonky back despite occasionally having to sit and give it a long rest.
Their luggage made things a bit hard on their motorbike. So at one pit stop in Quang Ngai, she sent three kilograms of items like hangers, extra clothes and others home by post.
“She even sent back a book I was reading.”
Their favorite passage was the Truong Son Dong Trail since they could see the beautiful horizon sky line. For him, it is the loveliest spot in Vietnam and must-visit destination for any backpacker.
He also gushed about the beautiful landscapes near Krong H’nang hydroelectric power plant in Song Hinh District in the south-central province of Phu Yen, saying it would be impossible for visitors not to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Halfway through their adventure, she suddenly felt uneasy and wanted to return home, and he had to persuade her to continue.
When they reached Hanoi, Dat did not want to visit the northwest, and she encouraged him to keep going. “How can we call it a successful trip if we do not visit Sa Pa town and Mount Fansipan?” she had asked him.
The trip also made them realize the importance of spending time with family, relatives and friends.
Dat would definitely do such a trip again if the opportunity arises.