I'm planning to buy and ride a motorcycle from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and looking to find anyone with similar plans willing to buddy up.
I'll be arriving in Hi Chi Min on the 24th January 2013 and will be looking to set off before the end of the month. The rough plan is to follow the old Ho Chi Min trail and take about two weeks to get to Hanoi. I'm happy to flex my dates within reason.
I'm a 26 year old male from Bristol, England and hold a motorcycle licence. I'm pretty easy gong, open minded and looking for like minded people.
Please get it touch if you have similar plans or just want to offer any advice.
#1 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
i'm planning a trip such as your, but not during the time your going,
but just wondering how your preparing for this, are you using any types of maps or anything like that, did you purchase any road maps online? as i'm interested in getting some maps to prepare for the journey.
do you also plan to get a motor-cycle license down there too? or just ride it out?
#2 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83
Sorry for the slow reply, been off the radar for a while. I'm planning to pick up a road atlas before I get there. I've seen a few around in Thailand and hopefully will be able to pick one up in phnom phen.
Regarding the licence, I have an international driving permit and a uk bike licence. I believe your meant to obtain a tempory Vietnamese one, http://www.vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/Driving_in_Vietnam.html. I'm thinking I may not bother but I'll decide this when I reach Ho Chi Min.
#3 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
Hey Martin--I'm planning on doing a similar trip around a similar date. My thoughts right now are to start in Hanoi & work south to Vietnam before crossing into Cambodia, but just an idea, and just now beginning to actually research. I'll be coming from Hong Kong, and so I guess wherever I can get to cheaper from there will make sense for a starting point. How's your planning going? Still on track for this? Definitely interested into meeting up if we can as I think this trip will be done much better with other riders. I'm 26, from the states, have been in SE Asia for about 4 months now.
Keep me updated & let's see what we can sort!
#4 crobb has been a member since 18/7/2012. Posts: 9
Still keen and on track, just need to get some maps and figure out the best route.
I'm currently in Cambodia, so starting in the south would make sense for me. However, flights between Ho Chi Min and Hanoi are fairly cheap, from $30 to SGN and $50 to HAN ~.
My thoughts were the same about travelling with other riders. What date are you planning on arriving in Vietnam?
#5 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
Hey Martin--Sorry for the delay, was out of communication for a while. I just arrived in Hanoi late last night & am sorting through loads of classified adds, trying to get an idea of how to not get ripped off haha. Obviously being north, I'm going to start here & work my way down south. My visa is valid until 17/2, so I hope to be able to pace it correctly & be to HCMC a few days before that time.
Have you had any progress? Thoughts on a route? Any details regarding buying a bike? Assuming with you starting south we won't be able to do the whole thing together, but possibly we can meet up when we cross paths.
Keep me updated!
#6 crobb has been a member since 18/7/2012. Posts: 9
Barry: Hi, I'm in Ho Chi Minh now, currently looking for a bike and some gear with a friend I met in Cambodia. Hopefully will pick one up tomorrow then look to set off the day after. What are your plans?
Crobb: How's your trip going? Have your brought a bike yet? I'm looking to buy a Honda Win. I'm still not 100% on the route but will probably do some planning once I pick up the bike and a map. Think it may be a case of plan as I go.
#8 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
Hey Martin--Hit the road 5 days ago and have had an absolutely unbelievable experience so far. I bought a Win from a shop in Hanoi. I paid $350, which was a bit too much, but I really trusted the shop, they seemed to really get the bikes running well, and the owner gives out his personal cell # and requests whenever you go to a mechanic to call him and let him speak Vietnamese to them to make sure tthe work gets done right & for a fair price...so I paid a bit extra for all that.
I met a group of 3 other guys and we headed North. Drove to Ha Giang in two days and have been driving through the north along the Chinese border for the past few days. The scenery is the most stunning I've ever seen in my entire life. Definitely 100% save time to ride in the north, it has to be one of the best rides in the world. Heading South tomorrow with Halong Bay in our sites, from there absolutely no idea. HCMC is the destination, definitely thinking going to have to extend my 30-day visa because goings are quite slow, and while it could be done much quicker, I want to really enjoy it and take my time. I highly suggest going to a bookshop and buying the Vietnam Road atlas. It has a blue cover, it's all in Vietnamese, but has the most detailed maps, and we've put it to use a ton in just the first week.
Keep me updated on your route. We'll be passing each other at some point and can meet up for some happy water!
#10 crobb has been a member since 18/7/2012. Posts: 9
good to see you guys are on your way now, i'm totally jealous and totally stoked for if/when i do my journey next year...
crobb- great to hear, things are going great , just wondering, did you bother with getting some sort of license there? also am curious to see what this vietnam road atlas looks like... and how many cc's is your honda win?
by chance are you doing a blog of some sort or posting pictures of your journey on facebook? would be great to follow with you as well
#11 ryder80 has been a member since 19/12/2010. Posts: 83
I set off about a week or so ago. I'm currently in Pham Duc not far from Hoi An . I currently riding with two fellow bikers. One I met in Phnom Penh and one in HCM. There seemed to be a fair few people in HCM making the same journey so you should be able to find some if you ask around a bit.
How's your trip going and where have you got to? I'm going to be in Hoi An for a few days if your near by?
I brought a Sufat (Honda) Win 100 and have been riding about 9 days. Been following a combination of the coastal roads and the AH14. Some great roads from Darat to Nha Trang and Plei Ku to Pham Duc.
Bikes have been running great and seem to be averaging a comfortable 180Km per day.
Have you managed to extend your Visa? I looked into it but they it would take 7 days to process.
Let me know if your able to meet up.
Take it easy,
#14 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6
I am now selling my bike in Hanoi. It's been an awesome adventure and the bike is in great condition. You can see details of the bike here:
Contact me on 0126 5283402 if you are interested.
#15 martinob has been a member since 3/1/2013. Posts: 6