Ha Giang Province, Vietnam
In 2016 I paid a 6 week visit to Vietnam. The highlight of that trip was by far this place. My friend Stephanie and I chose to opt out from the popular nearby tourist destinations of Sapa and Ha Long Bay and went to this place instead by recommendation of a friend of mine who lived in Hanoi. We had to take an overnight "sleeper bus" to get there which was blasting awful K-pop music videos in my face for pretty much the entirety of the ride. We then arrived in the city of Ha Giang around 4:30am and stayed in some random guy's homestay that we met at the bus station when we got off the bus. When we woke up later in the morning we had breakfast with this guy's wife and daughter and then he rented us some motorbikes for a few days so we could go roam the roads. I had to teach Steph how to ride a motorbike and shift gears but that only took a couple minutes. Before we knew it we were winding through some of the most scenic roads I've ever ridden on in my life. There were a few points where those roads basically turned into rough and rocky hiking trails which was a little sketchy for an unexperienced rider but we ended up fine. The whole time we were up there passing through little villages that didn't even exist on the GPS and we didn't see any foreigners whatsoever. Anyone that's ever been to Vietnam probably knows that cities there are noisy as all hell, so it was funny our first night in a small town thinking we'd get a good night sleep only to be woken up to locals slaughtering a pig right outside our window at 5am. I'm planning to head back to Southeast Asia in a couple weeks and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.