Night Ride—Escaping Hanoi

Distance today: 71km
View the stats on Strava

The heebies melted and the jeebies faded. The Grand Plan delivered! We woke up at 3am and gulped at the prospect of cycling out of Hanoi, both admitting we’ve never been so flippin nervous about a ride. But the streets were gloriously quiet under the cover of sleepy darkness and with each successful intersection-traverse our white knuckles relaxed. After a few hours the rising sun revealed fields of watery rice paddies and lush greenery. We found ourselves on fantastic obscure roads that made us ask ourselves, “How on earth did the mapping software even know this road was there?” 

We turned onto a bumpy little village access road to snack on our strawberry Oreos. A farmer herded his cows right past us, both he and his clip-cloppity underlings eyeing us with curiosity. Two foreigners on touring bikes—whatcha doin in these parts? We are far from Hanoi now!

It drizzled today, all grey and misty but who the heck cares—we loved every moment! As we squeezed through a narrow market street in a little unknown town somewhere, the faces of the ladies selling produce lit up with excitement at the sight of us. There’s a distinctly different vibe as we head further from Hanoi. Young people everywhere giggle with happiness and say “Hello! Hello!” when they spot us.

We find unique discoveries when we jump ship from the main road. We stopped at a little spot today and noticed a tree house—literally. This tiny house was either built around a big tree or the big tree grew through the house. It appears very old, and was the cutest little home ever!

Prices are considerably cheaper as we distance ourselves from Hanoi. We spent $2 on lunch, and $33 on a gorgeous hotel room for tonight that includes breakfast. We have a 10th floor room in an hotel across the river from some opulent, gorgeous homes in the city of Phủ Lý.

We are in our happy place—taking the deep dive onto roads less-travelled, eating where locals eat, getting our Xin chào on (Hello in Vietnamese), and endlessly captivated and charmed by whatever reveals itself around the next turn in the road.


Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. You definitely look as though you’ve left Canada far behind. Such different sights and culture. Thanks for sharing.

    • Canada feels like it’s in another universe now. There is so much to love both here and at home.

  2. Great writing and pics. You’re really making my heart yearn for an Asian trip. Stay safe and have fun!

  3. Amazing ..So nice of you both to share this with us in Cobourg..actually florida right now..Stay safe an enjoy..Harry

  4. First thing I do in the morning is to read your Blog Anita. It literally lifts my spirits…a great way to start my day so thank you! I am so envious!!

  5. Have been reading your blog faithfully, a great way to start the day! Don’t always have a comment, do really admire your writing style Anita. Happy travels!

  6. So very much enjoying reading your posts and the wonderful pictures. Sammy and I will soon be practically your neighbours as we are off to Thailand in a few days . Will of course continue to follow your adventure and am of course looking very much forward to ours !!

  7. Your words and pictures have me sitting in my comfort, smiling and wishing with envy that I could do what you are doing .

  8. Just caught up on all your blog entries so far! Another fabulous trip underway! 👍 Such an exciting way to travel! Continue to enjoy! Lee 😊

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