Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Motorbiking south to north

Posted by lodge on 26/2/2009 at 19:52

Me and my friends are buying motorbikes in Saigon and spending three and a half weeks journeying through Vietnam to Hanoi and then into Laos.
Anyone got any general advice about which places are best to stop off at, or where is nice to drive through?
Also if anyone has done a similar trip to this, shared experience would be most welcome.

#1 lodge has been a member since 17/2/2009. Posts: 17

Posted by dezztroyer on 29/7/2009 at 17:09

Have you seen the Top Gear episode where they ride from HCMC to Ha Long?

#2 dezztroyer has been a member since 29/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 22


Posted by BruceMoon on 29/7/2009 at 19:03

lodge

try travelling on highways 14 & 15.

A contributor here on Travelfish described sections of highway 14 here.

Also, look here.

Cheers

#3 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by dezztroyer on 29/7/2009 at 20:15

When are you going Lodge??
I'll be there on a bike with 2 mates going from HCMC to Hue via the coast and back to HCMC via HCM highway in first 2 weeks of November....

#4 dezztroyer has been a member since 29/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 22

Posted by fivesilver on 30/7/2009 at 17:22

Posted from within Vietnam.

We're going the other way, currently in Kontum, having got the bike in Sapa.

A few small tips:

* Take your coffee breaks at small cafes in the middle of nowhere. Generally better prices and, more importantly, fun people (I'd be happy to pay more to meet some of the folks we've spent time with).

* If possible, detour to Phong Nha after Hue. Apart from the caves themselves, the ride from there on to Vinh is beautiful.

* Stay on your game - the driving can be reckless, but we've had nothing approaching a near miss yet. You learn very quickly to judge the kind of places a water buffalo/piglet/dog/child/cycling granny will meander out in front of you. Tip: the edges of towns and villages can be a bit like Super Mario Land.

* Park in the shade - your seat will become like a stove-top within seconds. Some people might like that warm feeling, but I find it like medieval torture.

* Take care - even 50km/h and patience will get you most places you need to get in a day. Stay safe and enjoy the hell out of yourself - we are.

#5 fivesilver has been a member since 3/8/2008. Posts: 39

Posted by tom_yorkie3 on 31/7/2009 at 22:54

Hi Lodge and Dezztroyer, i am also planning on doing this trip at the beggining November, I am hoping to buy a Minsk in HCMC and ride north to Hanoi and then down into Laos over a 2 month period. i have been told to avoid highway 1 and go for the new HCM highway. how r u planning on getting to HCMC?
Tom.

#6 tom_yorkie3 has been a member since 31/7/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by dezztroyer on 2/8/2009 at 05:25

Hi Tom.
Arriving in HCMC by plane on 30 Oct. Planning on spending the next day just acclimatizing ourselves and practicing crossing the road. Also sorting out bike hire etc.We're only there for 2 weeks but we wanna do the Hi Van Pass so we may even jump on a domestic or hi speed ferry to Da Nang and hire bikes from there to tour around Da Nang-Hue-Hoi An. The other 2 guys I'm with wanna go Minsk too, but I'm more of a Vespa man myself....

#7 dezztroyer has been a member since 29/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 22

Posted by tingers on 3/8/2009 at 09:14

Posted from within Vietnam.

Get yourself a copy of "Giao thông đường bộ Việt Nam". You can get it at any one of the book stores on Trang Tien in Hanoi , or Dong Khoi in Saigon.

It is A4 in size, and has a blue cover with a picture of a big white bridge on it.

It will be invaluable. Distances between towns, types of roads, passes, bridges, petrol stations etc.

http://my.opera.com/thanhcong67/albums/show.dml?id=236717

Have a good Explore through the Hue - Hanoi part, definitely my favourite part of that trip (done it on a bicycle and moto).

Don't bother with the Minsk, the Honda Dream will get you there!

#8 tingers has been a member since 9/4/2009. Posts: 36

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/8/2009 at 09:23 admin

Agree with tingers re "Giao thông đường bộ Việt Nam" -- it is excellent.

#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,507
 Where has somtam2000 been?   Website   Twitter   Facebook    Flickr    Google+   Instagram   Pinterest 

Posted by lodge on 15/8/2009 at 17:43

cheers guys.

we did the trip; managed to rent vespas from saigon scooter centre for two weeks and sent them back on the train afterwards. we meandered inland to the coast then inland, coast etc. the inland routes were stunning but the road quality was generally appalling on the mountains.
one problem was the fact they were vintage vespas, they cost a lot to repair. i had a bad crash outside of nha trang on a road that was nothing but potholes, and although i spent £50 in nha trang fixing it up, i still had to pay about £250 at the end in damages.

#10 lodge has been a member since 17/2/2009. Posts: 17

Posted by dezztroyer on 15/8/2009 at 20:21

WOW!! The latest plan by the lads is planing from HCMC to Na Trang and hiring from there as it's more central and closer to where we wanna go. Anyone hired any good motos from Na Trang???

#11 dezztroyer has been a member since 29/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 22

Posted by dezztroyer on 17/8/2009 at 21:01

Da Nang I meant.

#12 dezztroyer has been a member since 29/7/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 22


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.