The Motocycle Chronicles - Pha Chau to Thanh Hoa

Trip Start Oct 27, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Truc Lam, 12/2 Trinh Thi Ngoc, Tel 0372470408

Flag of Vietnam  , Thanh Hóa,
Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Unfortunately the rest of the convoy did not arrive at the hotel last night, meaning that I must continue on my own. This does however have the positive effect that I can leave early in the morning, and arrive in the next big city of 'Thanh Ha' in the early afternoon. The route is simple, if slightly long, following the 'Rt15' for 180km north before taking the 'Rt45' east just after the town of 'Yn Ct'; from there it is only a further 50km to 'Thanh Ha.

    I find accommodation at 'Trc Lm'  hotel locate near the central market. As I look at the room prices, I notice that they charge by the hour, as well as by night. I suddenly get a sinking feeling in my gut that I may have inadvertently walked into a brothel-hotel, and start to think of ways out as the receptionist takes me up to my room, but thankfully no Vietnamese woman was waiting for me in my room.

    One thing that I have noticed in Asia is that similar shops, such as tailors, or hardware stores, always seem to group together, meaning you can have entire streets only containing shops only selling the same products. This defies my thinking of marketing, as it would surely be more lucrative to be the only shop on a street selling any type of item; but when has Asia ever been logical to the western mind. This does however make it easier to shop for a certain item, and in this instance I head to the Motorcycle spare parts district to try and attempt to locate a Speedometer, which was obliterated after my bike was knocked off its side stand in 'Hue'. The only problem came with the language barrier, but after much pointing and looks of confusion I was eventually presented with the required black box.

    Despite the protest of the receptionist I set to work dismantling the front of my bike in the reception of the hotels lobby. The only problem with these cheap bikes is that generally any work that is carried out on them is normal amateur and bodged together, meaning that the electrics are a complete mess, with wires randomly stuck together with insulation tap. So I take my time drawing up my own wiring diagram as I disassemble the spaghetti mess in front of me, before putting it back together in a better state than it started. And amazingly it worked first time, although the staff did not appreciate me starting the bike up indoors.
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