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Publisher's Summary

For the first time in my life I felt that death was a possibility; a stupid, pointless, lonely death on the aptly named Mondulkiri Death Highway.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail is one of the greatest feats of military engineering in history. But since the end of the Vietnam War much of this vast transport network has been reclaimed by jungle, while remaining sections are littered with a deadly legacy of unexploded bombs. For Antonia, the chance to explore the Trail before it was lost forever was a personal challenge she couldn’t ignore - yet at times it would be a terrifying journey.

Setting out from Hanoi on an ageing Honda Cub, she spent two months riding 2000 miles through the mountains and jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Battling inhospitable terrain and multiple breakdowns, she met former American fighter pilots, tribal chiefs, illegal loggers, and bomb disposal experts.

A thrilling, poignant tale of war, bravery and learning to face your fears.

©2014 Summersdale Publishers LTD (P)2020 Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Critic Reviews

"I enormously enjoyed every page." (Dervla Murphy)

What listeners say about A Short Ride in the Jungle: The Ho Chi Minh Trail by Motorcycle

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Fantastic

I love anything by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent. I would read her pieces for the inspiring adventures alone, but her writing is excellent too. Great narration, I’m very pleased I chose to listen to this one.

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What a great gem

What a great gem of a book. I love travel and adventure and if you also do. You will enjoy this one.

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Brilliant

Absolutely loved it and could not switch off. Narrator was great and what a wonderful adventure. Very inspiring.

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Entertaining adventure and honest history

What an amazing book! It is brilliantly written, engagingly narrared (by the author herself) and endlessly insightful. Ants manages to combine honest and raw adventure, modern day experience, history, and a look into the future all in one. MUST READ! or listen ;)

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19 Chapts a very long time to hold your breath!!

This book left me with two strong conflicting emotions..
First, relief. Relief that you made it!!
Second was pain. Pain for the millions of innocent victims who experience once again man's inhumanity to man.
THANK YOU so much for their story.
How different the world would be if mankind would live by the second greatest commandment,
Love your neighbor as yourself!
Your love for your "neighbor" most definitely shone through, not only in attempting this incredible ride but bringing to our attention, after a huge amount of research, the saddest story of a largely forgotten holocaust on our very doorstop here in Australia.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-2021

NOT about riding motorcycles at ALL

This book has nothing to do with riding motorcycles through the jungle. It's about how Americ is evil and Communism in N Vietnam awesome.... its crap.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-2021

Inspiring Ride Through History

As a traveler and photographer, Southeast Asia holds a special place in my heart. This made the book a particular pleasure to read (hear) but I believe it would be engaging to anyone who loves travel writing and contemporary adventuring. Ms. Bolingbroke-Kent’s goal of riding a small motorcycle the length of the notoriously difficult trail is a good excuse for direct contact with the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Fortunately, along with the necessary pluck to reach the end of the journey, given all the challenges you might expect in a jungle - oppressive heat, torrential rain, insects, mud, river crossings by whatever means available, she is a sensitive, empathetic presence. I learned some history, caught up with contemporary politics of the region and laughed often, as the author used wit to navigate the peculiarities of her undertaking. A fun, informative “ride.”

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  • steve
  • 22-03-2021

Motorcycle travel and history excellent book!

The author's research of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was a good lesson for me. l enjoyed learning about the history of the trail while being brought through the land on a small motorcycle. Great travel adventure book! Steve from New Mexico (cfr250L)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-2021

Amazing journey

This wasn’t my usual listen but I got completely absorbed in Antonia’s journey and realised how little I knew about this area of the world and this particular time in history. It was really well read by the author and I was really taken to the jungle mentally dragging Panther out of the mud with her along the way! A really good listen/read and I’ve now ordered another book about the Vietnam war to find out more about it

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  • Allison
  • 30-03-2021

very factual

a very interesting read, i learnt a lot of info, i would never of known

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  • C. Murphy
  • 30-03-2021

Some insights shocked me

There were chapters which didn’t do much for me but there were some notable moments which will stay with me.
1) Finding out that the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was part funded from a UK govt
2) The terrifying extent of illegal logging in Laos
3) The Lumphat Episode chapter.
4) The legacy of the Vietnam war even in the 21st century

I had an opportunity to speak with Antonia recently and she is incredibly moved by the things she has seen and in particular the deforestation and the continued destruction. of the unexploded mines

Highly recommend this

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  • Debbie Mann
  • 30-03-2021

History of Vietnam war and travel in one

If you are keen on travel and history of a not too distant conflict this is the right book for you. Read by our book club we found the writer provided vivid imagery in words of the countryside and people she met on her over her solo 6 week journey on a small motorbike. I've learned so much about three countries and admire Antonias capacity to travel alone, over long distances by embracing fear and trust of strangers as she travels. Just say 'Yes'.

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  • Paula neill
  • 29-03-2021

Our March 2021 bookclub book!!

An extraordinary journey made by the author on her own with just a pink moped and a few essentials to navigate the Ho Chi Minh Trail before it is lost forever to the jungle and the ravages of deforestation and damming.
Antonia vividly brings to life her travels mostly alone, through the remotest of places. She narrates the book beautifully and we travel along the ups and downs of her six week adventure. Daring to go so I don't have to!!
From dingy brothels and indecent propositions, to breathtaking beauty and back through the tragic deforestation currently going on in Laos, we learn the real history of what went on during the Vietnam War , lives lost and the terrible price Vietnam Laos and Cambodia paid and are still paying.
Time restrictions and also language barriers prevented us from really getting under the skin of the people living in these countries but this book has definitely left me wanting to know more! A great read and would definitely recommend!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-03-2021

Amazing from cover to cover

The ultimate empowering adventure. I was hooked from chapter one. descriptions were outstanding. just the right amount of history, a sprinkle of danger and healthy dose of humour. fully recommend

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-03-2021

Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh.

It was a great exsperience to listen to.
Last man standing is the slogan that stroke my mind..
very well read . in fact excellent..

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  • MR J M LONG
  • 07-01-2021

Marvellous read

A lovely tale of adventure in Southeast Asia. The author paints a vivid picture of her journey interspersed with enough history of the second Indochina war to put it into context.

Read if you like adventure, motorbikes or Southeast Asia.

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  • NumptyDoo
  • 07-12-2020

An epic journey by a great writer

I really enjoyed listening to this journey, full of colour, emotion and grit! Antonia B-K may be small and slight but she is very tough and determined - just like her pink Honda. More than anything I loved her empathy for the countries she visited and the people she met - with one or two extremely reasonable exceptions! She brought Vietnam and Laos, particularly, to life and describes the unmitigated horror foisted on them by the war with America. Britain's part - or more explicitly, Maggie Thatcher's - is hideous and the whole book should be read or listened to to understand why I say that. (perhaps that comment is more relevant to British people than others - or anyone that admires her).

I will now look for more books by Antonia B-K

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  • Paul
  • 06-12-2020

Great

A truly engaging story. Informative and thought provoking. In fact it's so good I've both read it and listened to it.

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