Our very own Vietnam Vespa Adventure!
I’ve been wanting to ride a Vespa in another country.
Maybe in Rome or in Tuscany where Vespa Tours are readily available. I’d also like to ride in Pontedera, Italy to visit The Piaggio Museum and see the birthplace of the very first Vespa. But traveling to Europe isn’t in the immediate plans.
But in January 2009, I got to see Top Gear – Vietnam Special where Jeremy Clarkson rode a vintage Vespa from Saigon to Halong Bay. I said to myself, “I could do that too!”
By June 2009, a Vespa buddy (Aries Guinto) posted an FB link to Vietnam Vespa Adventures (VVA), and my wife & I got interested immediately. I also learned from Aries that there’s an existing Vietnam Vespa Tour thread in Vespinoy where interested riders could sign up. So I did. But my wife Benz & I agreed that if the Vespinoy initiative doesn’t push through within the year, she’d join me on the pillion just so I’d have company. She already sent our queries and got the rates. Until she got pregnant with our second daughter. All our travel plans for that year and the next (2010) went on hold. :(
But my dream to ride in Vietnam lingered. This picture/ad of riders scooting by the Red Dunes of Mui Ne made me want to go there all the more!
Fast forward to 2011.
I brought the idea of doing the Vietnam Ride as an official ride of Vespa Club of the Philippines. Good thing our current president (Uriel) was also one who’s eager to ride abroad. Initially, a good number of our members were also interested to join. But taking a week-long leave from work isn’t that easy to sort out. Plus the tour rates aren’t exactly peanuts. But Uriel & I agreed that we’ll still push through with the ride even if it’s just the two of us representing the club.
So we set the date: November 07-14, 2011. The very first International Ride for Vespa Club Pilipinas. We booked the tour and our flights. I even designed legshield banners to put around our rented Vespas in Saigon.
VVA even posted a countdown in it’s blog of our club’s arrival. Another club member (Tim) had also booked and was suppose to join us, but had to cancel a month into our flight due to changes in his work schedule as a airline pilot.
But Uriel & I still got to Saigon alright. Aside for the paid tour with VVA, we also got to rent a couple of vintage Vespas for a self-guided city tour of HCMC. (Special thanks to Hil — a Filipino expat in Saigon who’s also into Vespa –who hooked us up with the right people.)
Thru Hil, we also got to meet-up with local Vespa riders in Saigon to join them for a night ride of fun & food!
There are tons of pictures documenting our seven-day, fun & exciting Vietnam riding adventure, but only 200 images can be posted in an album in Facebook. I posted them chronologically with captions so you could virtually take this adventure with us. :)