"There is nothing quite like long-distance motorcycle touring and there is no place quite like the jungles of Vietnam to do it through." So starts Wink Dulles's classic guide to Vietnam à la motorcycle. Even if ripping along the rutted routes of Southeast Asia has never been your ambition, the more you read, the more mightily it starts to appeal. There's the freedom-of-transportation aspect, the automatic-ice-breaker draw, and the one-with-the-elements appeal. So what if the elements aren't always such that you want to be one with them? You're there to experience Vietnam, right? And not through some air-conditioned buffer.
Dulles has spent a lot of time in Vietnam, and his first-hand knowledge is priceless. He explains why South Vietnam is easier than the North for motorcycle travel, what to pack, and how best to handle a police roadblock. He discusses the nitty-gritty of which motorcycle to choose for Vietnam, whether to buy or rent, and where to turn for repairs. He tells you where to go for maps, the pros and cons of hiring a guide, and whether to cycle at night (the answer is no!), before launching into an in-depth guide to Highways 1, 9, 12, and 20--with suggestions on accommodations, observations on his experiences, plus insights on attractions and pitfalls along the way. Dulles's unswerving honesty is refreshing. He doesn't pretend that the terrain is easy (far from it, what with Saigon's traffic, monsoon-season mud, and rock-strewn roads), so Dulles's enthusiasm is all the more believable when he lauds Vietnam for its beauty (from lush mountainsides, bone-white beaches, and rocky coastal deserts to the verdant Mekong delta), the adventure, and the unmatched hospitality of its people.