Rod McLaughlin

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The Vinh Moc tunnels and a US Navy recruiting slogan       05 nov 15
I've discovered that, by heading south, I've ridden back into the rainy season. I got soaked yesterday on the Ho Chi Minh road, which has little shelter, from Phong Nha to Ben Quan, where I turned left to get onto QL1A, then right into Ho... read more

Phong Nha       30 oct 15
It turns out you don't go over the Ngang pass any more, like I'd read at You go through a tunnel. I kept expecting to go uphill, but it was flat as a pancake south after Ky Lien. A motorcyclist stopped and told me where... read more

Thanh Hoa to Ky Lien via Vinh and Ha Tinh       26 oct 15
You either know who Kim Phuc is, or you don't. Kim being napalmed at the age of nine is one of the pictures which... read more

Quan Hoa to Thanh Hoa       23 oct 15
I nearly stopped several times on this 140 Km stretch, but something made me go on each time, and I ended up entering the seaside city of Thanh Hoa in the dark. I have a headlamp and a flashing red headlamp at the back, but it's scary.... read more

Mai Chau to Quan Hoa       21 oct 15
I realized my hand-drawn map was all over the map. I was in Moc Chau, not Mai Chau. It was another 60 Km downhill to Mai Chau. However, that was enough for a day, as I wasn't over the cold I'd somehow gotten between Son La and Moc Chau. ... read more

A holocaust survivor and some cute kids in Son La       18 oct 15
The guy's eighty-two. The kids are too cute. I think that's the first time I've ever said or written those words in my life. South-east out of Tuan Giao was a pass that seemed to involve a 1000m climb, which took hours. Then it was... read more

Potential rock-climbing near Tuan Giao       16 oct 15
You can usually rely on The Lonely Planet - it's nearly always wrong. I picked up bits of a Lonely Planet Vietnam guide, and it dismissed Tuan Giao. Maybe it's changed since they last visited, but it's not a "remote mountain town" and it's... read more

You can't make it up LXXXI -'s Freeman Dyson scoop       14 oct 15
British geek site has always been skeptical, indeed sarcastic, about the global warming movement. Now they've boosted their credentials with an interview with physicist Freeman Dyson, who has done everything except win a... read more

Dien Bien Phu       13 oct 15
It is 200 Km from Lai Chau to Dien Bien Phu. I did it in three days. It was pleasant to find Lai Chau to Muong Lay was almost all downhill. When I arrived, I found a nice family selling sausages, grilled meat and beer. They directed me to... read more

Stuck inside of Lai Chau with the Dien Bien Phu Blues again       09 oct 15
The next stop after Sa Pa was Lai Ch Having checked the weather forecast, I've decided to stay for another day or two 'til it gets better, then ride to Mường Lay. I really need the exercise - I've only had one full day of cycling... read more

A ride halfway to Sa Pa       03 oct 15
Country roads between Yen Bai and Lao Cai       02 oct 15
Yen Bai and a typical taxi driver       01 oct 15
One of those days when everything goes wrong...       30 sep 15
Vinh Phuc       29 sep 15
The road from Ha Long to Viet Tri       29 sep 15
Climbing with Asia Outdoors       26 sep 15
Re-reading the history of post-WWII Vietnam       21 sep 15
You can't make it up LXXX - the latest attempt by the global warming movement to jail dissidents       19 sep 15
Deep water soloing       19 sep 15
Hanoi to Haiphong       14 sep 15


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