On Monday we left Hanoi for the village of Mai Chau, our first riding day. Impressions of Hanoi as we left — Mix of old and new. Skyscrapers. Women carrying vegetables in baskets suspended on a bamboo pole. Friendly. Fabulous food. Fluid traffic. Sidewalk cooking. Flowers. Fresh fruit. Pop up vegetable gardens. Lakes. Music. And, of course, motorbikes. 3.5 million motorbikes. Motorbikes parked on sidewalks. Women in heels on motorbikes. Dogs on motorbikes. Toddler sleeping on a motorbike. Family of 4 on a motorbike. Motorbikes everywhere.

More on our ride and our night in Mai Chau later.