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Riding a motorbike across VN and best routes in VN thread.

 
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:22 am    Post subject: Riding a motorbike across VN and best routes in VN thread. Reply with quote

I hangout at the backpacker hostel sometimes and there are always guys with Win motorcycles doing HCMC to Hanoi or the other direction. Is this the thing to do now? Is it all because of Top Gear or did it go on before that? These guys are almost all mid-to-late-twenties. What do you think about this ride? Dangerous? I have seen some foreigners (thinking of two women) who were very unconfident riders. I am used to how VN people drive. I would probably get a Win because it's cheap. But a Honda Fortune looks nice and big. Maybe I would get ear plugs and a full helmet.

I would do it to except maybe I'd like to do it bigger. Following hwy 1 from the southern tip until the border with China. Then maybe I would make a semi circle from Hai Phong and follow the northern cities until Dien Bien Phu. Then go back south through the highlands. I think it would take a couple months. I guess north of Ha Giang you need a permit.

For nice rides, I recommend the route from Da Lat to Nha Trang. It passes by some waterfalls. Coffeee farms. The forests are pine near Da Lat. Also the coast road going out of Nha Trang is really nice. There is an abandoned hotel project of the huts by the sea near Amiana resort. I think that someday (maybe unfortunately) this part will be the Riviera of Vietnam. It's waiting for mansions and resorts. It meets back up with hwy 1 and after 15km there is the Ba Ho waterfalls that you can swim in.

Any nice rides or stories of long rides? The S to N or vice versa? Has there been a thread like this? Is it too general? Let's make it a questions, tips, funny stories, and best routes thread.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One box I need to tick before leaving Vietnam to whatever my next country may be is to take my Daelim up or down the Ho Chi Minh Highway. From what I hear, substantial parts of it are in excellent condition, have very little traffic, and are surrounded by stunning countryside. A friend of mine has done it and he says that, despite living here for years, the trip opened his eyes to a completely new side of Vietnam that you won't see on the normal tourist trail Cool.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 342

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The road between A.Luoi and Thanh My is the best I've been on in Vietnam. Epic scenery, not very busy and a great road surface. The road from Hue to A.Luoi, however, is constantly being built so a lot of it is mud. Which is fun in itself.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case anyone is not aware of this, it is quite inexpensive to get a motorbike hauled to a remote location in VN, though not saying it can be done everywhere. Maybe remove and carry your mirrors yourself, they do tend to lose the nuts to those or crack them up or something. I have had one of mine shipped to the north and back to the south a couple of times when I needed to go up there for a while. I do not want to take the time and effort to drive all the way up there, and the expense would be more as well, with hotels, food, gas and wear and tear. It sure is nice having your motorbike in your new location. About 50 to 70 bucks to get it all the way up there. Those of you who are making the drive, I can only wish you the best of luck, you are braver than I.

Any enforcement of this law on not renting to people without a VN driver's license? Looks to me like backpackers are getting rentals without a problem, though this was supposed to be a new rule about 2 or 3 months ago.
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SeldomSeen



Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
In case anyone is not aware of this, it is quite inexpensive to get a motorbike hauled to a remote location in VN, though not saying it can be done everywhere.


Could you provide more information about this. For example, where to find these services and how they advertise themselves. Also, do they put the motorbikes on the back of a truck or what?

The reason I ask (going a little off topic) is that I wouldn't mind taking a bicycle tour in the forthcoming holidays. Now I could do a loop in the limited time available, but I'd see more if I did a one way tour. Putting my bike on a bus/train/plane is an option but is often difficult. Getting some people to move it for me could be preferable. If they haul motorbikes then I'm sure they'd take a bicycle.

Many thanks.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 746

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not have a huge amount of expertise on this, but I have had it done several times. I know that the best thing is to use a VN helper. Down at PNL, you will see them getting bikes ready all the time, they put cardboard on them. I am pretty sure those get laid down inside a bus. That big Hoang Long bus system (or however you spell it) does it, again, it is best to have a helper. They will charge the foreigner more if you do not know their rules, which is 100 cc or less is a bit lower price, but they will charge you the higher price without your helper. Their deal is on QL 13 in Thu Duc on the other side of the river heading out of town. Supposed to be about 40 bucks to ship to HN, takes about 3 days.

The train system may be more honest, they also do it. I have even been on small buses and seen people stab one on in mid journey just to avoid the nasty dusty road where we sometimes travel. So it is not a rare thing at all, but you really need your helper to manage it for you. The way I see this, if your time is worth money, it is a bargain. Plus it is a lot safer than driving. But, we do want to have the bike when we get there. I have pics of my beautiful xe in many locations, but would not dream of driving it all the way up there. I think you can get one sent for the price of an additional bus ticket on some of these journeys, Da Lat for instance. Most of the time they will drain the gas, the oil also if they put it sideways, about half the time I get it shipped upright. Getting further off the topic, you can move yourself from south to north at quite a low price. It is so cheap, people send all kinds of stuff you would normally not send that far.
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Dekadan



Joined: 09 Dec 2011
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a trip that was off the beaten path a couple of years ago. Couldn't tell you the exact details because a lot of times we just chose random roads to head down. Quite the adventure! Ultimately we ended up in Nha Trang, took the train back and put our bikes on the train. It was extremely easy and cheap; I didn't even need to speak Vietnamese to negotiate it. They do take off your mirrors, which was a pain for me to get them back on and in the right position as I had an older bike. I'd do as MIS suggests and take care of them yourself.

Anyone who decides to go for a long haul trip, watch out for the trucks. While I'm sure there are some decent drivers out there, the majority I came across were aggressive and dangerous to be around. Buses too! Also, if you're dealing with mountains, depending on your size get at least 100ccs. My 70cc broke down on me at a very unfortunate time... but that's another story! Smile
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 493
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just returned from a motorbike trip with a friend and, if you've got five or so days up your sleeve, it's well worth doing. From Saigon I headed to Vung Tao for one night then, next day, took the coast road up to Mui Ne, which is a beautiful drive. Spent the night at Mui Ne then we rode up to Dalat and stayed a night. The drive between Mui Ne and Dalat is lovely. From Dalat we returned to Mui Ne for a night and then back to Saigon.
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ajc19810



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi 1st Sgt Welsh, I agree that is one of the more popular and enjoyable rides as it offers a good cross section of the country.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. There are some guys riding out of Nha Trang during Tet. I might join. I think it they will go to Buon Me Thuot for a few days. If anybody or your friend wants a motorcycle tour on the back of a bike, ask here then pm. I know some guys who give easy rider tours in the central highlands or any place out of NT. I know two seperate people who are nice guys. One foreigner, one Vietnamese.
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chrisms86



Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done this up north. From Hanoi out to Mai Chau then to Dien Bien Phu then to Sapa then back with stops at some villages along the way. It was in October, only one or two patches of mud along the way and very beautiful. I believe one major area along this route has been dammed since I left, at least that is what I heard they were doing.

At the time it cost around $12/day for the Minsk bikes and the whole trip cost maybe $500 over a couple of weeks. Possibly the greatest trip of my life to be honest.
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