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January 25, 2004

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Hanoi could be renamed "Motorbike City." It's a city of 3 1/2 million and a million motorbikes traverse the streets (an average of 3 people per bike at one time). Renting a bike is easy, no license or driving skills necessary. Just approach a person with an idle bike, offer a few dollars, and drive away on their motorbike, fuel included, for a day. No paperwork. Simply agree on a time and place to drop off the bike. As a piece of advice, rent a bike with automatic transmission and a full tank.
Besides carrying up to 4 people, a motorbike can also carry TV's or even refrigerators. People even sit on heavy cargo on the back of a bike!
In the kingdom of bikes, kids learn how to sleep on bike seats.
Vietnam's version of Harley Davidson: the Minsk motorbike. It's a pre-WWII, Russian made 125 cc bike that's rugged, easy to repair, and portable across rivers and rocky terrain.