From Hanoi to Sapa – How We Got Lost in Vietnam – Part 3

Hanoi to Sapa Vietnam - Honeymoon Backpackers

Monique and Dylan are the Honeymoon Backpackers. They got married a year ago, barefoot, on White Beach Boracay in the Philippines. Instead of going on a typical post-wedding vacation, they decided to do things differently and embarked upon an endless backpacking honeymoon. They’ve been traveling ever since. In this four part blog series Monique and Dylan attempt to get from Hanoi to Sapa in Vietnam. However, as you’ll see, things didn’t go quite according to plan…


Part 3 of 4


Day 3. Rule Breaking in Vietnam

On the third day, we woke up and looked each other straight in the eyes, before bursting into laughter. How the hell did we end up here in some remote village in Vietnam? All we could do was laugh. There was no point getting angry or frustrated about it, it would only lead to negative vibes, but then that’s easier said than done. Personally, by this point, I was over it. I didn’t care about the incredible scenery anymore. My bum was sore and we were now backtracking for the SECOND day in a row…

You know what they say though, ‘Third time’s a charm’. Well that’s what we kept telling ourselves as we rode back towards civilisation. Poor ‘Betty’ our motorbike was struggling hard! One of the hills was so steep that the bike just stopped and turned itself off as if refusing to go any further. Luckily, a nice local lady who happened to be travelling alongside us and going in the same direction, pulled up and told me to hop on to reduce weight on our bike. She seriously saved us! I really don’t think our bike would have made it, what with Dylan and me on board, plus our two bags. Along the way we stopped to give Betty a rest and take some incredible photos.


Riding through the villages, on this beast, with this babe!


Being Celebrities for a Day

Every time we rode past a little village everyone yelled out at us, waved, and even ran trying to keep up with us on the bike. The older people were hilarious! They just stared blankly at us and then burst out laughing or they were smiling at us, pointing and speaking in their native tongue.

The kids just stared at us the whole time, it was as if they were all thinking the same thing “Who are these strange looking humans and what are you doing in my village?” It kinda felt like we were celebrities to be honest, until one little shit started throwing rocks at us. That brought us back down to reality!

It kinda felt like we were celebrities to be honest, until one little shit started throwing rocks at us. That brought us back down to reality!Click To Tweet


Back to Civilisation

FINALLY we reached a town. We headed to a cafe, charged our phone and agreed our plan of attack. In the cafe we saw other foreigners who were also riding to Sapa. This was the first time throughout our journey that we’d seen any other foreigners around!


Surrounded by nature, wherever you look!


It’s a funny thing when you’re traveling; you just automatically strike up conversation if you’re in the same place, catching the same bus, or riding the same way. These two German boys had had a little better luck than us. They’d made it to the same place as us, but it had only taken them one day…. We thought that these guys must be onto something so we wanted to do the same route to Sapa as them. Apparently ‘Route 621’ was the way to go…

By this stage, our bums were so sore and numb, we were both well and truly over it. We just wanted to get to Sapa! Was that really too much to ask? Tensions were starting to ride high and we were both a bit snappy. Spending 3 days lost in the deepest part of rural Vietnam was certainly one way to test the strength of our marriage!

Spending 3 days lost in the deepest part of rural Vietnam was certainly one way to test the strength of our marriage!Click To Tweet


Route 621 and Beyond!

We started out along the paved road of Route 621, but soon, sure enough, it turned to gravel, then to mud and before we knew it, we’re crossing bloody rivers! The region had so much rain that the dirt roads transformed into slippery mud pits. We actually had a couple of falls but nothing too major, and luckily mud is soft.

We had to cross rivers that were only just below knee deep. We were walking across with our bags before then driving through and just hoping that we didn’t flood the engine. We finally we made it to the next town and, yet again, our map kept telling us to get onto the freeway… but the sign still said ‘No Motorbikes’. It was time for a bloody beer!


How many people can say they’ve ridden on roads like this for 3 days solid? Ouch!

When in Vietnam…

We made friends at Bia Hoi place, who told us to use the highway to get to Sapa. When we replied “but it always says no motorbikes allowed” they all cracked up laughing. Yeah, I guess we naively thought we had to follow the rules. We forgot that road signs are more of a guide then a requirement here in Vietnam. Rookie error! So, we followed our new mates past the toll booths and out onto the freeway, with no drama at all.
So…. we were FINALLY on the stupid freeway to Sapa! The route that we should have taken TWO days ago… We were back on track and the road was literally, empty. Every ten minutes or so a truck or a bus drove past, but other than that it was seriously a ghost road.
However, just then, we saw a big old Police truck coming towards us….


Read the fourth and final part of the Honeymoon Backpacker’s story tomorrow.

From Hanoi to Sapa - How We Got Lost in Vietnam by the Honeymoon Backpackers

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Honeymoon Backpackers
Honeymoon Backpackers Monique & Dylan, have been travelling the world for over a year! It all began in May 2016, in the Philippines, where they got married barefoot on White Beach Boracay. Instead of having one elaborate honeymoon trip, they chose to embark on an endless backpacking honeymoon! In total they've explored 17 countries together so far. Their aim is to reach all 7 continents around the world on their endless backpacking honeymoon. We think they are our most romantic Wanderlusters yet!
The Honeymoon Backpackers have been traveling ever since they got married over a year ago! Read their story here!

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