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motorbike trip vietnam

  • dwcurran5

    Joined Travelfish
    25th June, 2010
    Posts: 3

    I am looking to travel with a mate on motorbikes in vietnam from siagon to hanoi along the coastal road and then back to siagon thro the trial and mountains using minsk bikes, does anyone have any guide/info on the best way to buy the bikes routes roads, and anything we should watch out for. we will be starting in october so if anyone has any bikes let me know cheers

    #1 Posted: 22/7/2010 - 02:49

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  • flederfauz

    Joined Travelfish
    31st July, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    hi!
    Have you ever been to Viet Nam? If so I am sure you won't get this idea. So some people are stupid enought to do it i absolutely can not recommend it. The road along the coast is highway 1 the busiest road in viet nam. A lot of trucks and busses. They speed and overtake without taking care about oncoming traffic or anything smaller then them. The road is dirty and dusty like hell and incredible dangerous. No Vietnamese would ever get the idea to go highway 1 form sgn to ha noi.
    Riding a motorbike in viet nam is really one of the greatest experiences. But not on a crowded highway. if you want to go by motorbike take the small roads. E.g. through the central highlands (e.g. the old ho chi minh trail) anyhow the landscape ther is much nicer.
    If you drive far distances you see accidents all the time. If you don t believe. Have a look at all the white outlines of motorbikes on the road. The polices draws these lines around the parts after an accident.
    If you go please take the small and not so busy roads. On far distances you can send your bike by train or bus.
    Hope that helps
    Best regars

    #2 Posted: 31/7/2010 - 12:56

  • dorjeb

    Joined Travelfish
    11th July, 2010
    Posts: 4

    Hey Hey!

    My friend and i just finsihed a 2 month trip, From Saigon To Hanoi on Motorbikes. Absolutely amazing journey, would highly recomend it. I agree with "flederfauz". Try to avoid highway 1 as much as possible. It is probably the most full on road in the world, crazier than any road in India even, theres not much to really see on it except dust and trucks. If i were you i would stick to the Ho Chi Minh Highway until you get to say Hoi an, then follow highway 1 until you get up to Hue, then get back on the Ho Chi Minh Highway again (the HCM highway was the newest road in the whole of Vietnam, not much traffic at all, and incredible scenery). You really dont need minsks in Vietnam unless you are travelling into the NorthWest, i would recommend just buying/renting something like a Honda Wave, everyone knows how to fix them plus there about 30 million of them in Vietnam.
    Have fun Riding!

    #3 Posted: 31/7/2010 - 15:21

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    And don't forget October is top month for typhoons, heavy rain, landslips..... enjoy.

    #4 Posted: 31/7/2010 - 16:23

  • dwcurran5

    Joined Travelfish
    25th June, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Thanks Guys for your info, we have decided not to take the coastal road but to do the mountains and trial instead but your info has been very helpful

    #5 Posted: 31/7/2010 - 18:00

  • mckayb

    Joined Travelfish
    4th February, 2010
    Location Canada
    Posts: 23

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I left Hanoi 2 days ago, and am now in Vinh . The first day I did Hanoi to Thanh Hoa on Highway 1 which was really good. You get used to 2 buses bearing down on you in both lanes. Simply lean over to te shoulder!

    Today I did Thanh Hoa and got to Vinh 2 hours ago. I did most of it on Ho Chi Ming Trail which was amazing, then cut over to Vinh. Tomorrow I want to make it to Dong Hoi on Highway 1. Should be OK!

    I wouldn't say don't make the trip. 2 days in and it has been extremely rewarding and the best way, in my opinion to see Vietnam. I haven't seen another foreigner since I left Hanoi. This being said, you do need some confidence, and on high alert at all times. Do whatever feels the safest and most comfortable. I opted for the Semi-automatic Honda Dream whhich is real easy to ride. I value my life above all else.

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 2/8/2010 - 18:27

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    mckayb
    you do need some confidence, and on high alert at all times.


    So true, One reason on long journeys I like to be pillion, let the driver do the steering so I can concentrate most of the time on the countryside. There are lots of born idiots on Vietnam roads. The worse ones being those that just launch themselves off the pavements straight onto the road without even looking to see what is coming.

    Just be aware that in and around HCMC for sure that the Police are very active nowadays. My partner managed to get my motorbike confiscated for a month (straight onto the waiting lorry), two weeks ago now. Going too fast (yes, they do have radar guns here) and riding in the wrong lane (that was 30km north, out of HCMC). She said they were doing a roaring trade!

    Ride safe and have a great trip.

    #7 Posted: 7/8/2010 - 09:18

  • mckayb

    Joined Travelfish
    4th February, 2010
    Location Canada
    Posts: 23

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Thanx for the tip about the police around HCMC!

    I was on Ho CHi Minh Trail yesterday about 20KM outside of Dak Glei and my bike broke down. I thought I was walking 20 KM back to Dak Glei pushing my bike. It was the worst. Then an SUV stopped and the guy fixed my bike..I offered him 200,000 Dong for his service and he refused to take it. I have found the Vietnamese ppl to be extremely nice off the tourist trail. This is just one example of their generosity and kindness. Last night I was getting into Kom Tum real late and the lights on my bike dont work. It was pitch black (I know, dumbest thing I have ever done to be honest), and a guy on his bike rode right besdie me for the remaining 20 km into kom tum to light the rode up for me. A lot of ppl have told me they were real rude, but I have found the opposite.

    Watch out for dogs randomly running out onto the road as well ;) I also saw a snake slither across the highway today as well!

    #8 Posted: 7/8/2010 - 20:34

  • dwcurran5

    Joined Travelfish
    25th June, 2010
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for amyones comments

    #9 Posted: 8/8/2010 - 01:39

  • mckayb

    Joined Travelfish
    4th February, 2010
    Location Canada
    Posts: 23

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I wouldn't say that Highway 1 has no good scenery. There are stretches of it (particularly coming into Danang from the north and the stretch between Tuy Hoa and Nha Trang), that are beautiful and great riding. Yes there are tons of trucks and buses, but I really dont mind them. As for the dust, just make sure you have glasses and even a bandana. Your face WILL be dirty at the end of the day, but then again I wouldn't recommend doing this trip if your a princess. I think the journey is truly badass on a bike. Best feeling leaning into your turns along Highway 1 between Tuy Hoa and Nha Trang.

    Cheers and ride safe :)

    #10 Posted: 8/8/2010 - 11:19

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  • Podge123

    Joined Travelfish
    8th August, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Have look at the Top Gear special in Vietnam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMHVD-gWPDk

    its an 8 parter on youtube

    #11 Posted: 8/8/2010 - 17:52

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Saw it when it was first broadcast. :-) Even Clarkson came a cropper, falling off his bike. No sign of the backup crews though! The show had to go on!

    mckayb: Have you had good luck with the weather or been caught in any heavy downpours? If so, how did you come through? Yes, ridng in the dark isn't exactly recommended, not just for the broken covers, potholes etc. though. If it gets very late at night, you might end up being knocked off your bike and robbed.

    #12 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 09:33

  • mckayb

    Joined Travelfish
    4th February, 2010
    Location Canada
    Posts: 23

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I've been lucky with the weather..it started raining one day..i just pulled over and smoked cigs with a few locals to wait it out. Other than that it hasn't really rained. Maybe a sprinkle here and there, but for the most part the weather has been good.

    Are there stories of that happening to ppl??

    #13 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 11:32

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    All I know is that my Vietnamese partner always suggests getting home before 10pm. Not just her though. Even my other friends like to be home before the streets get too quiet. As one friend said...it gets dangerous. I've even been warned to keep to the more populated areas rather than go down back streets if coming home late. I haven't come across any real problems but I do know when I got a puncture quite late, near HCMC airport, I was well aware of various, er.. undesirables hanging around while it was fixed. It was even suggested that sometimes they throw nails down to make sure you'll get a puncture and have to stop. Whether true or not. I no longer go down quiet back streets! Certainly things like throw over bags are an easy target for ride-by thieves.

    As for potholes and the like, you have to look out for the tree branch with the leaves attached. Honest!!! It's sometimes the only warning you'll get that there is even a hole. Unlit barriers are another hazard. I saw a motorbike rider in HCMC (down by the docks) ride straight into one. He was lucky, more shaken than bruised, shame about the bike.

    #14 Posted: 10/8/2010 - 21:57

  • jungleanimal

    Joined Travelfish
    16th August, 2010
    Posts: 3

    I just come back from an exalting motorbike tour in Vietnam and I can tell you that, yes, it is quite dangerous, but if are a careful and skinful rider u wont have any big problem. The south-north route is the best one after Dalat until Hue, after its little boring but still amazingé The most beautiful place was thew mountaneous area around Sapa . Far safer than the crazy trffic that has invaded pretty much all the country. This place is still quiet. However if you want to add the adjectives "wild" or "untouched" to your trip, you should only go to Sapa an then look around. If you like real free riding in remote beautiful roads, you have to get out Sapa region then get to the Chinese border, maybe explore Ha Giang province if you have enough time. ha Giang province has the higest CHAIN of mountains in Vientam. (not the higest MOUNTAIN, which is fagsipan). Riding throught Ha Giang or the remotes areas that you can reach FROM Sapa is really smooth and realxing. But the only problem is that you will need a guide since people can rarely speak more that 3 words in English, maps are imprecise, etc. I had a guide that was kinda the step brother of the owner at my hostel in Sapa. He wasnt bad but we could comunicate very clearly and I felt at some points, when I was dealing with a street sealer for a blanket, that he kinda took the side of the street seller, convincing me that I should bargin lower, Once at my hotel two local people told me that that I had paid almost 10 times to expensive for my blanket (which was handmade and very nice). An other time, far away in the mountains, we arrived exhausted IN THE NIGHT at a tiny guest house. There was only 2 rooms available (for us, i felt) and the price was incredibly high : i could have a 4 star hotel in Hanoi for the same price: 600 VND per person !. Again, the guide didn't feel like he had to help us bargining but instead insisted that it was an ok price because there was no other places around. But why did HE drove us there ?? Anyway, just after I departed, i heard that there is a western motorbike-tour guide in Hanoi. I dont know who can introduce u to him, but I guess you can check out with your hostel. Four Swedish guys that I met when I was going to take my bus to Laos (after I sold my bike to that same place I bought it) told me they just came back from a 4-day tour in Sapa surounding and he was very nice and professional.
    Anyway, as I said before, you dont neeed guides to cross vietnam by motorbike except if you want to discover the minorities in the North and do really wild riding, or maybe in Na Trang, too, coz there are some frenzy trails there as well. Except that Vietnam is very safe on bike : just follow Ho Ci Minh trail or take Highway 1 directly Hanoi-Saigon or vice versa.

    good luck buddies

    #15 Posted: 16/8/2010 - 07:19

  • 69bertie

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 90

    #16 Posted: 21/8/2010 - 20:42

  • gdansk

    Joined Travelfish
    8th July, 2010
    Posts: 19

    Hi all

    Any fresh info? Please share your expirience.

    I'm going to do my trip in November.

    Marek

    #17 Posted: 1/10/2010 - 01:49

  • latrishames

    Joined Travelfish
    1st October, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Motorbikes in Vn are exciting but also adventure if ur not familiar with the Vietnamese riding style.
    As ppl in the North are more careless but skillful when riding motorbikes, u should be more careful if you ride somewhere within or near Hanoi. The weather is also a concern as it will be cold in the next few months (in the North) with wind (sometimes its quite strong). If you plan for a journey in the South, weather is no problem as its warm all the time.

    Hope you have a great trip!

    Cheers

    #18 Posted: 1/10/2010 - 11:48

  • williamducl-
    es

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd October, 2010
    Posts: 19

    I will avoid motorbikes if i follow latrishames instructions.

    #19 Posted: 23/11/2010 - 17:08

  • humphreyd

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    got 4 bikes for sale in hanoi,
    Suzuki GN , 125cc cruiser,
    Lifan dirkbike, 125cc
    minsk - 125cc 2 stroke
    win 110cc,

    call 01633717497 or 00841633717497 from outside vietnam,

    or email humphreydesmond@gmail.com

    #20 Posted: 22/12/2010 - 17:03

  • MiaBritton

    Joined Travelfish
    25th November, 2009
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 17

    Hi,

    My parents actually run motorcycle tours all over Asia, including in Vietnam. They have always used the help and bikes of a local company (Hanoi based). Here's the website- http://www.exploreindochina.com/index.cfm. It's run by an Australian and British guy, along with a few Vietnamese guides/support crews who speak English. Flick them an email they're a wealth of knowledge! :)

    #21 Posted: 23/12/2010 - 04:47

  • Thomas08

    Joined Travelfish
    29th December, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    My friend and I just biked from HCM to Hue (train to Hanoi ) and it was amazing.

    We avoided highway 1 except where necessary which is not much fun, excluding the mountain road from Hoi An to Hue.

    Highlights were Da Lat to Nha Trang (amazing new mountain pass road) and the Ho Chi Minh trail from Kon Tum to Hoi An (highway 14).

    I had no experience riding beforehand, and had no close calls or major problems. If you plan you routes and listen to all the advice it's the best way to experience Vietnam.

    We now have to Honda Win to sell in Hanoi and plenty of advice to pass on.

    Email. thomasastevenson@gmail.com
    Phone [url=tel:+85]+85 1205367530[/url]

    #22 Posted: 30/12/2010 - 05:38

  • tomasp19

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2011
    Posts: 1

    I'm looking into doing a motorcycle trip of this sort (from HCMC to Hanoi) with a couple of friends. As I am a student though the only time I can do it is during the summer, probably during the month of july or august.

    Do you guys think it's a good idea to do it during this time? Would it be raining too much?

    #23 Posted: 27/1/2011 - 23:25

  • gabrielgodin

    Joined Travelfish
    17th February, 2011
    Posts: 17

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I have 4 Honda Wins for sale in Hanoi. I have bought them from tourists who rode them from Saigon to Hanoi. I had them serviced in a garage, if you see or try them, you will quickly realize that they are in pretty good condition, ready for the trip. They have a great kit that come together : maps, bungee cords, maintenance guides and spare parts lists (both in Vietnamese and English), basic spare parts, and tools.
    If you want to enjoy your time rather than wait on the side of the road for a mechanic, these bikes will do the job.
    Each is 400$.
    You can call or email me.
    0128 5963 559
    Cheers!
    Gabriel

    #24 Posted: 23/5/2011 - 21:55

  • scoleman88

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd October, 2012
    Posts: 1

    Hi,

    I did this trip with a friend a couple months ago and it was amazingly awesome :)

    Bikes were no problem to buy and sell. Went from saigon to ha noi, with Russian Minsk. The best trip of my life, simply.

    Anyways, after the trip I wanted to watch some videos of other peoples trip and I found a really cool vlog. In the vlog the guys took great quality videos of their motorbike trip in Vietnam. They travelled from Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay, then back to Ha Noi and then went south to Ho CHi Mihn (saigon). They stopped at many cities along the way, and took videos of everything from buying the bike to repairing the bikes and everything basically. The videos are awesome. And all updated info about Vietnam, they did their trip in August 2012. You can see hospitals in vietnam because one guy had a small injury, its crazy to see the villages and so on.

    If you want to see the videos check out the website. www.these2guyz.com I really enjoyed the videos and reading about the trip. informative.

    Anyways cheers and good luck

    skole

    #25 Posted: 22/10/2012 - 04:19

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