The bicycle trip from Hanoi to Ca Mau left Plum scars on her forehead and tanned skin, but she was able to
Kim Lien and Hoang Nhut are stopping in Quang Ngai to celebrate the New Year with their parents, after 23 days of cycling from Ho Chi Minh City with more than 60 kg of luggage.
On January 28 (Tet 26), the 8x couple cleaned and cooked the year-end party in a small house in the countryside of Quang Ngai. Celebrating Tet with their parents is part of Kim Lien and Hoang Nhut’s 3-month cycling tour across Vietnam. On the journey of more than 800 km, they cycled and walked through many passes and steep rocky roads, but also met many good people and watched many beautiful scenes along the way.
The couple boarded 2 Trek 520 bikes from January 5, bringing with them more than 30 kg of luggage each, including clothes, stove and cooking utensils, camping tents, tables and chairs, fishing rods and 4 car tattoos on the road. They cycled straight through Binh Duong, Dong Xoai City (Binh Phuoc), Tanh Linh District (Binh Thuan), Bao Loc City and Da Lat City (Lam Dong), to Krong Bong (Dak Lak). From here, Lien’s brother picks them up by car to return to Quang Ngai to celebrate Tet.
The couple shared, the first purpose of cycling through Vietnam is a pilgrimage. According to Catholicism, they want to visit 7 sacred places, including Our Lady of Thac Mo (Binh Phuoc), Our Lady of Ta Pao (Binh Thuan), Our Lady of Trinh Phong (Ngoan Muc Pass), Our Lady of Giang Son (Dak Lak). , Our Lady of Phoenix (Gia Lai), Our Lady of Tra Kieu (Quang Nam) and Our Lady of La Vang (Quang Tri).
Previously, Ms. Lien used to travel alone for 9 months by bicycle in many Asian and European countries and stopped in South America. The unfinished journey left her with many regrets, she cherished a new journey by bicycle in Asia and Europe. Cycling through Vietnam will be a stepping stone for this journey. The trip from South to North by bicycle also helps her and her husband discover the beauty, people of the country, places they have never been before and challenge their limits.
“Looking at me so sick, I’ve never ridden a long-distance bike, so many people don’t believe that going through Vietnam, even on many difficult roads, I think I have to give up, I don’t believe I have overcome it,” Ms. Lien smiled and said. Because of cycling, the couple chose to take a small road instead of the national highway to avoid the hot sun and cars. 800 km of road, only from Ho Chi Minh City to Binh Duong is a flat road, the rest are all pass roads, steep climbs, in many places rocky roads, forest roads.
In, the most difficult and impressive place is Tan Thanh Pass (Lam Dong), towards Our Lady of Trinh Phong on Ngoan Muc Pass. The 6 km long road is full of 8-10 degrees incline, causing them to walk in a zigzag pattern and slow like a crawling snake. While pedaling and pushing the car on the road, the two constantly stood breathlessly, stopping by the woods beside the road to rest. Compensating for the surrounding scenery when it is a murmuring stream when it is a jade-green lake. The whole road seemed to have no traffic, only the laughter and encouragement of the couple.
Once, when cycling from Cu Lan village to Dung Kno (Lam Dong), at the end of the slope, they met a sharp rocky road that blew their tires. There was a time when he couldn’t find a restaurant for lunch, his limbs were weak and he still had to continue cycling. But for brothers and sisters, every difficulty brings worthy results, when they can watch together with the soaring pine forests, cool the whole way or the cherry blossoms bloom on the way to Cau Dat (Lam Dong). .
Not cycling just to get there, the couple takes the time to explore, so the schedule is always “natural”. The place they stop can be anywhere, a lake, a dam, a house on stilts… the important thing is that it has beautiful scenery, friendly people and suitable terrain for camping. As in the first time when they came to Binh Duong, they camped right at Phuoc Hoa dam at the suggestion of the people. Or in Binh Thuan, they were also pointed to Da Mi Lake, a place they had never heard of before. Camping here, they enjoyed fishing, cooking, and early in the morning outside the tent, mist covered the pristine lake, making them both exclaim that “this is a dream”.
On the road, even though there are only two people, they never feel lonely because they are always helped and accompanied. Like the time when they were pushing the cart uphill, hungry because they had not had time to have lunch on the road of Monkey Ho Co Gay (Lac Duong, Lam Dong), an ethnic couple passed by and gave them bread and 2 dragon fruits. On other occasions, they were given food by a traveling person and advised on the way. As for Da Lat, a person who has never met is ready to invite them to camp in their private land. Because it’s spring, around the campsite are hundreds of flowers blooming like cherry apricots, yellow mimosa… and a calm lake.
Lien shared that although she had traveled to different continents alone before, this trip brought a very different feeling when she had a husband as a companion, someone for her to rely on when needed. In addition, the support of family and people who meet on the way is the motivation for them to be determined to accomplish their goals. They also want to be an encouragement to others. Before departing from Ho Chi Minh City, they had a small amount of money deposited by many people to give back to the poor people they met along the way. They celebrated the age of the 82-year-old woman, cycling her old bike for tens of kilometers every day to collect bottle mites.
On January 27, after going to 4 out of 7 holy places, the couple followed their brother’s car back to their hometown in Mo Duc district, Quang Ngai to celebrate Tet. They share, wherever they go and whatever they do, they must definitely return to their parents, father, and family on New Year’s Day. In 2021, the couple took care of his mother Nhut before she died of illness, so this year the couple will celebrate Tet in Lien’s hometown. Cleaning the house, buying ornamental plants, together they make Banh Chung, Banh Tet, and eat New Year’s Eve dinner. It is expected that until February 8, the couple will continue to cycle to Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Tri and move to the North. The journey is expected to last 3 months and cost about 40 million VND.