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Monday, 30 April 2007

South East Asia on a Scooter - Page 4

Written by Rhys Stacker
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When it comes to cheap thrills in developing countries, it’s hard to do better than a motor scooter.  During a recent three-month trip through south east Asia, I found no greater pleasure than blasting past villages and farms, taking in the menagerie of smells and seeing the countryside as many locals see it - from the saddle of a step-through motorbike.

ridingIn four months of riding scooters, we only had three breakdowns. Two were flat tires from over-exuberant exploring of rough tracks in Cambodia. The third was in Vietnam when the bike simply refused to start. With the sun setting and us a good hour walk from our guesthouse along a lonely road, we began to weigh up our options.

Luckily, the proprietor of a nearby cafe summoned us over into the shade and offered us a seat. As we sat around deciding what to do, the local mechanic arrived on his own scooter with a collection of tools in the front basket. He began disassembling both bikes, cannibalizing his Honda to repair the magneto on our rented Halley.

Ten minutes and US$10 later we were back on the road. As we cruised between the paddy fields, the setting sun, which a minute before had been an ominous sign, was now a beautiful show complimenting the sound track of our repaired 100cc scooter engine. It didn't miss a beat.

©Rhys Stacker

(Page 4 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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