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A Russian engineer gets 'addicted' to Vietnam after journeying across the country

16:02 | 20/05/2020

Andrey Shelihov, 32, falls in love with Vietnam after his 45-day-journey riding across the country all by himself and intends to return Vietnam once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

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a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country

Andrey Shelihov (Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)

The 45-day-long journey

Andrey used to be a Hanoi-based software engineer. He had, however, quit his job to pursue his traveling passion and started his journey at the end of 2019.

His 45-day journey started in Hanoi, passing through many cities and provinces along the country and ended at Ho Chi Minh city.

“I have traveled from the North all the way to the South of Vietnam before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, you know, only me, my motorbike and a bag fully-packed with daily necessities”, Andrey told Thanh Nien.

“I spent almost 18 days of the 45-day journey riding on my motorbike. In the rest of the journey, I stopped at each city looking for interesting places to tour around, mingle with local people, and take a rest”, he smiled, adding that Vietnamese people were all approachable and had helped him a lot during his whole journey.

a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country

The motorbike that accompanied Andrey throughout his journey

(Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)

Talking about what prompted him to embark on the motorbike journey, the Russian man said he wanted to “learn more about Vietnamese culture, make more local friends and try to live like the locals do”. He recalled on those first days he had to take longer resting time but later grew familiar with the routine.

a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
(Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)
a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
He took a large number of photos in every place he went to (Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)
a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
(Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)
a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
(Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)

“I deeply fall in love with Vietnam”

This journey was not his first time traveling in the S-shaped country. He has earlier ridden on his motorbike, all alone, to many provinces in the North to enjoy the area' unique cold.

“I has conquered Sapa, Ha Giang, and many other northern mountainous areas that I could not list all out right now. I had the chance to see gorgeous terraced fields, incredibly high mountains, right in front of my eyes. It’s like I was riding on the sea of clouds, you know”, he recalled.

“I get addicted to this northern land, while the sheer beauty in the south makes me fall even deeper in love and want to stay longer in Vietnam", Andrey was quoted by Thanh Nien as saying.

a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
He has sampled a lot of local specialty along the journey (Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)
a russian engineer gets addicted to vietnam after journeying across the country
(Photo courtesy of Andrey Shelihov/ via Thanh Nien)

Even the most familiar things like drinking coffee became a new experience in Vietnam for Andrey as “Vietnamese coffee is tasteful in its own way and you’ve to drink it in different way”. “We cannot grow coffee in Russia and have to import coffee from Vietnam. Therefore, I asked for Vietnamese coffee in every place I travelled to and brought it back to Russia”, he told Thanh Nien.

Milk coffee, Pho Bo (Vietnamese noodle with beef) are his two most favorite choices among many foods and drinks he tried in Vietnam.

“I had certain difficulties during the journey, of course, but I was so lucky to get helped from local people who didn’t even know me before but still willing to lend me a hand. I really appreciated that”, he added.

Andrey flew back to Russia to reunite with his family immediately after the motorbike journey, affirming that he is going to return Vietnam and start to work in Ho Chi Minh city when the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

“By this way, I have much time to discover new things about the Mekong Delta and southern Vietnam as well”, he smiled.

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