Slow-travel Log: Vietnam, adventurous

We had no idea Vietnam was going to be this adventurous.

Yesterday, while driving to the beach, we saw a guy in the middle of the road holding a huge brick in his hand. He was about to throw it at a car passing by. However, spotting us changed his mind and suddenly he was in front of Kája’s bike smashing it. Kája was yelling at him but he didn’t care. We were saved by a local guy who somehow managed to take the brick away and knocked him down to the ground. Thank goodness, the only damage was done to the bike. But that was nothing compared to what we were about to experience today!

Chudák motorka po útoku cihlou.
Our poor bike after being attacked with a brick.

We decided to explore local temples. While driving to the second one, Google maps suggested a shortcut. We decided to give it a try to avoid a busy street, but after approximately 2km the road turned from asphalt to dusty. After another 5km on an unpaved road, we felt kind of lost. The map was showing a nice road on the right side but all we could see were train tracks. We decided to cross them with our bikes and were pleased to find a nice paved road.
We were a bit surprised by the guardhouses and watchtowers along the empty street. Our heart rate went up when we realized each of them had an armed soldier inside. After 15 minutes or so, we came to a gate with two armed and unpleasantly shocked soldiers. At this point we realized that we somehow ended up inside of an military air base. They didn’t speak English but we understood that they were not gonna let us go through. They gesticulated we should turn around and drive the other way.

Zkratka. Sice byla delší, ale zase podstatně nepohodlnější a zavedla nás do letecké základny.
A shortcut. It was longer and uncomfortable, but it took us inside a military base.

After another 30 minutes of riding we arrived at yet another gate. The soldier was also surprised and gesticulated that he cannot let us out. Completely desperate (we were riding around in this unbearable heat for almost an hour and we ran out of water – oh yeah, and we were starving :-D), we parked our bikes and decided to try Google translate – it didn’t help. He was totally confused and had no idea what to do with us. While attempting to establish communication, we saw at least 10 people entering the base. All of them were extremely surprised to see us there – kind of like spotting a polar bear on Times Square. One of them spoke a little English so we explained our situation and he called the headquarters. Then he told us to wait and left. In the meantime, the guard received a phone call and we thought he might let us out. Nope, instead, he started checking his gun and at this point, I was sure we would all be shot at the wall. 😀 After 10 minutes or so three more soldiers came and they handed us a cell phone. We talked to a lady who spoke great English and again explained what happened. She then talked to the soldiers and they wanted to see pictures in our cameras. I guess they needed to make sure we were not capitalist spies or something like that. After that, we were finally free to go. What an adventure!

Snažíme se uniknout.
Trying to escape.

More pictures are available on our Facebook page.

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2 Comment

  1. What an adventure! I’m just cracking up at the thought of you guys being accused of espionage! LOL I can’t wait to read more! 🙂

    1. Karel Tatransky says: Reply

      We were looking for things to do here in Da Lat and discovered another military base 😀 But since dealing with armed soldiers is now piece of pie for us, we’ll look for something more extreme! 😀 L.

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