From an email received 2nd Dec 2012
Hi Ian and John,
I am writing to let you know about an event that I am helping to organise here in Vietnam. I believe it could be of interest to your members because the event will be run exclusively on vintage Ural motorcycles, which as you may know are Russian copies of early-model BMW sidecars.
The event is called Rally Indochina, and will be held in April 2013 to raise funds for an excellent organisation here that works with disadvantaged children. The ride will begin in Hanoi and follow the remnants of the Ho Chi Minh Trail for about 1,500km over seven days to finish on the country’s scenic central coast. The ride will be run on a fleet of classic, fully restored 650cc Russian Ural motorcycles. Because of Vietnam’s historic links with the Soviet Union, this is one of the few countries in the world where you can still find these classic motorbikes. The ride will take in many of the famous sites from the Vietnam War, including Khe Sanh, Hamburger Hill and the DMZ.
The previous two rallies attracted a total of 40 riders from around the world, and raised over US$100,000 for the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. The charity was established by a foreign volunteer living in Vietnam and has built up a very good reputation for its work with disadvantaged children in Vietnam. This money will be used to help the foundation meet its aim of ending the trafficking of children from Hue city to illegal garment sweatshops in Ho Chi Minh City. We are hoping Rally Indochina 2013 will be an even bigger success.
Rally Indochina is organised by bikers, for bikers. It is jointly organised by two foreign-owned motorcycle tour operators that have been working in Vietnam for years, so we know all of the best roads, hotels and restaurants along the way. While the route follows the Ho Chi Minh Trail, it also returns to the coast most nights, where there are excellent hotels, up to a four-star standard.
One of the organisers, Explore Indochina, worked very closely with the BBC’s Top Gear: Vietnam Special, and has plenty of behind-the-scenes stories. Explore Indochina also worked with Charley Boorman and Gordon Ramsay when they recently filmed in Vietnam.
Let me know if you are interested in finding out more about Rally Indochina, or would like to include it in your newsletter as an event or brief news piece. If possible, could you also link rallyindochina.com from your website? I am attaching the media release, and we can provide further copy and photos as required.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Phone: +84 912 105 075