Readers, allow me to introduce to you….
Luke from London
Luke began the adventure of a lifetime by purchasing a motorbike in Hanoi for the purpose of traveling all the way down to HCMC.
He is currently 3 and half weeks into Vietnam but a total of 3 months into his backpacking trip.
The adventure of a lifetime is about to take an unbelievable turn of events while riding from Hoi An to Nha Trang on the 31st of January. He was originally with 7 people all driving bikes, however him and a girl lost all the others. Midway through his journey to Nha Trang his bike broke down. After a failed attempt at fixing his bike, Luke found a mechanic who he paid a handsome fee for “fixing” his bike. After about 5 minutes however, his bike once again broke down. With it now being dark outside, Luke decided to ditch the idea of biking it down and just hitch-hike in the dark road strolling his bike along. Luckily, Luke managed to grab the attention of a sleeping bus that had no passengers on it as it was “out of service”. With the intention of bringing his bike to Nha Trang still to get fixed, he got the bus driver to throw his bike into the storage compartment. It’s illegal to store a motorbike in Vietnam with fuel in it, but Luke didn’t know this and to be honest, thought nothing of it.
Five to ten minutes into the bus ride, Luke and his friend noticed some steam coming up the bus. Not a big deal right? This IS Vietnam after all and the busses aren’t always in the best condition. Seconds later, the bus driver jumped off the bus first (every man for themselves mentality) then yells “GET OFF GET OFF”. Unaware of what the heck is happening, he runs behind the bus driver frantically. Then BOOM. The bus literally is engulfed in flames.
Shortly after, Luke recalls that about 200 Vietnamese locals ran up from the noise. All strangers, he says “they all just started taking their own shirts off and throwing anything and everything they can on to the fire”. The bus driver then takes the bike out with his hands wrapped in his t-shirt, but not without burning his hands.
Fortunately for Luke, his passport, phone, cameras, and other more valuable items were with him when they ran off. Luke had his larger backpack in the bus, so he asked to try and salvage anything he can. The outcome wasn’t good. His 70L bag that once stood as tall as his torso was now the size of a watermelon. He had his iPad in this bag, tons of clothes, and other random gear. The only clothes left was the ones he wore. But get this, Luke then went to check his iPad. He flips open what remains of the cover, and presses the home button……..it works! Wow.
Afterwards, Luke is taken to the police station and is interrogated, questioned about potential act of terrorism. What makes this more stressful for both parties is that this part of Vietnam is not known to be around foreigners and thus the communication between police and Luke (and his friend) proved difficult. But as Luke says “when you’re with a beautiful blonde the police were quite friendly”. After spending two days in police custody, and a thorough investigation….it was determined that no fault of this lies on Luke nor his friend. Why? Because as Vietnam law states, you can not transport of motorcycle with fuel in it. And because the bus driver should have known this and didn’t take the fuel out, the fault lies on the man who literally saved these two lives. A man who picked up two hitch hikers in the middle of the night and loaded their bikes is now being declared responsible for the incident. I guess karma doesn’t always come around.
Luke and his friend escaped this incident with their passport, phone, camera, and more importantly their lives with absolutely no fine or responsibility.
The bus driver was offered two options: go to jail, or pay the fines. Easy choice right? But here’s the kicker – he also had to pay for Lukes bike!
You can imagine the guilt Luke feels. He isn’t a cold hearted twat who wanted to accept this mans money. However, the man forces the bike money on him for some reason. Luke has grabbed his full information such as address, telephone number, etc for the purpose to repaying him for some of the total fines he ended up paying.
What a way to roll into the new year!