16,000km by bicycle from France to Vietnam for education
“Nón lá” project has started on a crazy idea: to cycle from Europe to Asia. From Thibault’s continent to Khánh Nguyên’s continent!
They want to raise funds for the NGO : “Poussieres de Vie” (in English, “dust of life”) which enables young kids from poor families to go to school, to train them and to find them a job when they will become adults.
Khanh Nguyen and Thibault both met in Vietnam in 2015 and just get married. For their honeymoon they decided to do something a bit special: to cycle together from France to Vietnam during almost on year!
WhAT means “Nón lá“?
Good question! “NÓN LÁ” is the Vietnamese conical hat. It is traditionally worn by Vietnamese farmers.
It symbolizes for them the end of their incredible journey : Vietnam.
It also carries with it the values of Vietnamese farmers which will be their guides during our trip: courage, endurance and solidarity with others.
The two of them will wear one “Nón lá” hat during our trip!
the ngo they support: “Poussières de vie“
“Poussières de Vie” (“dust of life” in English) is a non-profit organization helping Vietnam’s most disadvantaged people through funding and managing a variety of projects in Vietnam.
They promote lasting change in the lives of Vietnamese disadvantaged children by bringing them back to school, teaching them a trade and helping with their personal development,
“NÓN LÁ Project” will be the opportunity to organize a fundraising campaign for which they plan to raise 1 USD for each kilometer we will cycle. A 16,000km ride would then represent potentially 16,000 USD for which 100% will go directly to Poussières de Vie !
If you want to find out more, here is the NÓN LÁ’s website. Each supporter will find the name in the credits of a final “NÓN LÁ Project” movie in 2020.
J o u r n e y D i a r y
Our bicycles are ready to go from France to Vietnam.
Our paniers as well.
Our minds and souls also.
But we are not so sure about our bodies!
Our big departure is in two weeks now!
Our big departure is tomorrow!! During one year we will cycle from France to Vietnam….
Thanks to the great assistance of the bicycle shop we had some training on how to fix the bikes.
We learnt how to repair basic feature of the bike and as well to maintain a wheel.
We hope that we won’t need make too many repairs during our long journey – especially in the middle of the mountains or the desert…- but we are ready to face it now
There we go!! 🚴♀️🚴♀️🌏
It is difficult to realize but we have started the biggest challenge of our lives. To cycle from France to Vietnam. 🇫🇷 🇻🇳
It is incredible to see a dream finally starting to becoming true. This adventure asked for us so much motivation, preparation, so many doubts, so many hopes, so many hours spent on blogs, websites to find the right bicycles and the right gear…
But now we only have to enjoy, we only have to pedal. The road is wide open in front of us. Vietnam: there we go !
Total distance: 350/16,000km
These first 4 days have been challenging for us. With bikes fully loaded we have often hard times when climbing up! 🚵♀️🚵♂️
We had to do an average of more than 85km per day as we wanted to be at Thibault’s grandparent’s hometown to celebrate Easter. 🍫🍫
We had great days on the road: weather was cool and sunny, we love our bikes, the roads we took were with very few traffic and going through a lot of forests. Spring is all around with blooming trees and flowers. 🌳🌳🌿🌹
We feel also very lucky for all the kind people we have met during these first days. We had great hosts through warmshowers.com during 3 nights (Etienne, Binh and Steven). They cooked for us incredible meals and we had a great time with all of them. 😃😃😃
Another example of kindness: as it was very warm, we stopped at a random house to ask for water. A woman opened the door and immediately smiled at Thibault. She immediately propose to offer some water and… to put some ice in it ! We just felt like in heaven!
We will rest during 2 days at Thibault’s home to celebrate Easter with his grandparents and all his cousins. It will be a good time for our bodies to rest and to be ready for the second part of the trip in France.🇫🇷
We more than ever need your support for donation for the NGO we support. You can donate directly here:
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Total distance🚵♀️: 510km/16,000km
Our second week on the road has lead us to the central part of France (Auvergne) and its western part (Rhone-Alpes). Auvergne was very green and hilly with very quiet roads but (too) often high percentage for climbing several hills.
We were absolutely stunned by the beautiful mountains of Massif Central and the Puy de Domes volcano.⛰⛰
After beautiful days on the road rain is coming 🌧🌧 ! As you can see on the pictures the clouds are getting darker… One hard lesson we have learned : our raincoats and our shoes are not strong enough to withstand heavy rain. After one hour we can get completely wet inside our clothes which is not comfortable at all. We maybe need to consider to invest in better material…
We are now in the city of Roanne (Rhones-Alpes) visiting some Vietnamese young adults currently training in France thanks to the great support of Poussieres de Vie. We will very soon publish an article about our great moments with all of them and the awesome French families who are hosting them here.
We will soon heading towards Switzerland🇨🇭 and we really hope the beautiful, warm and dry days will come back soon! We will have to face a lot of mountains to go to Switzerland. Will we be able to do make it?
Ultimately, we would like to thank all of you for your growing support. We feel so motivated by all the supportive messages we receive on a daily basis. In the difficult moments they push us to continue and to pursue our goal: to reach one day Vietnam with our bicycles !
Snow in May in Switzerland 🇨🇭❄️❄️❄️😮😮😮!!!
Close to Lausanne (Switzerland) we wake up surrounded by snow ! It was a big surprise for us and we didn’t expect to see snow so early in our adventure.
It was the first time for Khanh Nguyen to see snow ! Her sensation was amazing. For Thibault, it was his first time to ride a bike under snow.
Everything was white and we just felt like riding in a fairy tale landscape.
We felt very cold, especially our hands but hopefully we rode our bikes down the mountains and the temperature get warmer…
1,000km already for Nón Lá project !!!!
We can’t believe it…
It is as going from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue in Vietnam 🇻🇳
We have climbed the “Col de Pierre-Pertuis” mountain pass in Switzerland to celebrate our first 1,000km!
The road is still very long but all your support and love that you have given us during the past weeks make us everyday stronger and super motivated ! 💪💪
We are cycling for education: we want to collect $16,000 USD for kids to have access to education in Vietnam.