Lonely Planet Vietnam is a comprehensive travel guide that provides all the basic information a traveler would need for traveling in Vietnam. Be it information on the history, lodgings, transport, food or places of interest, you can find it in the book. Of course, other Vietnam travel guides are just as good. It is just a personal preference that I stick to Lonely Planet.
For information on motorcycling in Vietnam and the Russian Minsk motorcycle, you can refer to the very excellent website MinskClub Vietnam. You can even find a soft copy of the Minsk manual on their site.
I left Dien Bien Phu early at 615am. I was enjoying the scenery and did not notice some fallen debris on the roads. I was unable to stop in time and fell. A girl on bicycle witnessed my misfortune and helped me up. I was embarrassed. Other than some superficial scratches, I was alright. However, the same cannot be said of the motorcycle. The gear pedal was stuck. I rode at first gear to a nearby village and found a helpful villager. Together, we managed to knock the pedal back into position. I thanked him, posed a photo together, took down his address and left with a promise to mail him the photo.
After the accident, I rode carefully, determined to reach Sapa in one piece. The roads to Sapa were beautiful, offering sweeping panoramas of green mountains enveloped by white clouds. I reached Sapa just before 4pm and stayed at Cat Cat Hotel. With its rice terraces, hill-tribe people, cool weather and hiking opportunities, Sapa definitely deserves a stay of a few days. Unfortunately, I was alone and did not really wish to join day tours with other travellers. However, if opportunity permits, I would like to invite some friends and revisit Sapa in the future.