While China and Japan take in the hotelbound tourists, Vietnam has been a destination for more adventurous globetrotters. The country has more than a thousand miles of coastline -much of which is still occupied by iconic rice paddies- along with enough thick jungle and mist-capped mountains to satisfy even the most machete-happy ecotourist. Add in a few Indy-worthy temples and it should be more than enough to keep a jungle-minded voyager busy.
If you're looking for a way to take it all in without getting bogged down, allow us to suggest a historic approach: the recently-cleared Ho Chi Minh trail. The infamous path was originally used as a supply line for North Vietnamese troops and closed off by jungle growth as the war ended, but the past few years have seen the trail reopen as an artery through the country's most beautiful scenery and most interesting places, including the demilitarized zone, Khe Sanh battleground, and the ancient trading village Hoian. Active Travel Vietnam's current package gives you seven days of motorbiking through the 400+ miles between Hanoi and Da Nang, with time for overnight stops among tribal villages and a guide to keep you from getting in too much trouble.
Of course, all those years as jungle have taken their toll on the roads, so you'll want a vehicle that's agile enough to handle a few detours. Active Travel Vietnam will set you up with a Minsk 125cc, a two-stroke Belorussian bike that's fast enough for a speed rush and rugged enough to get you through a little impromptu off-roading. And, given the state of the trail, you'll probably see more than just a little.
In all, it's a pretty good way to get to know a country. And not a bad way to get to know a motorbike.
Active Travel Vietnam
#303, Building 30 Nguyen Du Street