Ok, so I am a bit overwhelmed with all the places to go and things to see, so I have decided to plan it out in advance. At this time I have no real plans and I will be reading and taking suggestions and fine tuning it as I go.
31yr old male traveling solo from about Sept 30 to Oct 19th
Been living in Thailand for 5+ of the last 8 years and even though I make a decent salary here, I am traveling cheap to accommodate 2 other trips this year.
Reasons for going to Vietnam: Scenery, temples, architecture, food, boyish dream to recreate the Top Gear ride.
I do have an ASEAN Drivers license, both car and motorbike, 4+ years of experience riding in Thailand, though tame compared to Vietnam, I ride a 650cc here, so a 125cc Honda win will not be trouble.
I want to ride around Vietnam and see a bunch of great views and eat some great food.
Hostels and homestays are the idea. A night or two of partying is fine, but skulling 2 buckets a night for 3 weeks is not why I am traveling...
So, should I land in HCM and ride up to Hanoi (500km a day is fine for me) Or should I just tour the North?
Sapa and Ha Long are something I am interested in. Mai Chau looks great and in October those fields will be a vibrant green.
I am just wondering how to focus my 3 weeks, when i know I need 3 months to see and experience everything.
Sorry, this post is really unfocused, if you made it this far, you have my thanks!
#1 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36
Well, you've mentioned Sapa , Halong Bay, and wanting to recreate the Top Gear ride (which largely covered Saigon upon to Hue , at which point I believe they jumped on a train). Also, consensus seems to be that the route from Hoi An to Hue is one of the best (and most famous) rides in the country.
If you were travelling at another time of year, I'd suggest that you start in the north and work your way south (do Halong and Sapa and some of the points in between, the head down the country and end up in Hue and Hoi An).
However October is monsoon season in Hue/Hoi An and the rest of the coast around there, so probably not prime weather for riding!
So, I'd suggest you spend 3 glorious weeks in the north.
Have a wonderful time, whatever you decide.
My other option is to swap my Malaysia tour (Chiang Mai to Singapore by motorcycle) from december to October, but then I would have about 5 days less...
It's looking like 3 weeks in the North is becoming my plan.
#3 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36
We did a 3 week motorbike tour in May this year. We rode from HCM to Hue along the coast and put the bike on a train from Hue to Hanoi. Its not possible in Vietnam to do 500 km in one day. The maximum is rather 250 km or so.
I agree with the weather issue at this time of the year.
You should come to the South, because food in the South is very variety: Quáº£ng noodles, Hue traditional food such as Banh Bot Loc..., BÃ² kho, bÃºn thá»‹t nÆ°á»›ng. Saigonamthuc.vn is one of the best website about reviewing food in my country, it just has Vietnamese version but if you try to find out, you will see the address of famous store it reviews: http://saigonamthuc.vn.
#5 Night_exile has been a member since 29/7/2013. Posts: 9
So my girlfriend may or may not come with me, she's fine on the back of a bike, but it can get boring for her when she's on it for 5-8hrs. Also, while I don't mind riding in pouring rain, she would.
So we'll see how this works out.
Anyways, thanks for the info, the new tenative plan is:
Fly in to HCM, buy a bike and ride to Nha Trang, spend a bit of time, then up to Hoi An, do some day trips from here and then get on a train to Hanoi, do som riding up north and fly out of Hanoi.
So it's about 5 days in HCM and Nha Trang, 5 or so in Hoi an and 5 or so in Hanoi, leaving those extra 4-6 days for buffer.
#6 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36
Ok, a further update and some questions.
My girlfriend WILL be joining me, but only part way through as she can only get a week off work.
(Day 1-2 29-30/9) I land in Saigon and take in the sites and buy and bike. (I still have to confirm that I am legal to ride with my Thai DL, but I am 80% sure I am due to ASEAN laws)
(Day 3 1/10) I ride towards Nha Trang . I see this is ~450km, and as per advice here, I should be planning 250km a day. So my first question is, where to stay for the night halfway in between?
(Day 4 2/10) I head out to Nha Trang.
(Day 5 3/10) See the sites (I know people are about to tell me to stay longer, but....)
(Day 6-7 4-5/10) Ride to Hoi An and stop where for the night? Then arrive in Hoi An Sat night
(Day 8-11 6-9/10) Sunday the 6th meet my girlfrend in Hoi An, Day trips and get out on the 9th of October
(Day 12-15 10-13) Day trips, Ha Long Bay etc. My GF flys back To Bangkok on the 13th.
(Day 16-21 14-18/10) I have no planned out yeat, I will fly back to Bangkok on the 18th as I need to be back in Chiang mai on the 20th)
So I need a place to stay between Saigon and Nha Trang, and Nha Trang and Hoi An
And recommendations on things to for the last 5 days.
#7 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36
Is this too ambitious for 7 days?
Hanoi to Ninh Binh (100km), Arrive the 29th of Sept, ride out the 30th (1 day)
Ninh Binh to Cat Ba island(200km), Arrive the 30th, stay on 1st, leave the 3rd (3 days)
Cat Ba Island to Hanoi(166km) Arrive the 3rd, stay the 4th, leave the afternoon of the 5th, (~2-3days)
Hanoi - girlfriend flies out on the 6th. (night and morning in Hanoi)
#8 Blackartemis has been a member since 16/7/2011. Posts: 36