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Vietnam - Motorcycle Itinerary - Feedback (Pleeease!!!)


Nov 13th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 9
Vietnam - Motorcycle Itinerary - Feedback (Pleeease!!!)

My buddy and I are both experienced motorcycle riders, and want to take a motorcycle trip in Vietnam in March. This is the (extremely tentative) itinerary we've worked out. Anybody experienced with traveling in Vietnam -- and especially traveling by motorcycle -- I'd love to get feedback if possible:

2/28 -- arrive Hanoi 10PM
-- Sleep: Hanoi

3/1 -- Wake Up: Hanoi
--- pick up motorcycles (prearranged), see some of Hanoi
-- Sleep: Hanoi

3/2 -- Wake Up: Hanoi
-- start motorcycle trip into Northern Mountains
-- Sleep: In mountains, near Bac Ha/Sapa

3/3 -- Wake Up: In mountains, near Bac Ha/Sapa
-- more motorcycle touring in mountains
-- Sleep: In mountains, near Bac Ha/Sapa

3/4 -- Wake Up: In mountains, near Bac Ha/Sapa
-- more motorcycle touring, make way to Ha Long
-- Sleep: Ha Long

3/5 -- Wake Up: Ha Long
-- tour Ha Long Bay
-- Sleep: Ha Long

3/6 -- Wake Up: Ha Long
-- ride south towards Hue
-- Sleep: enroute (Vinh?)

3/7 - Wake UP: enroute to Hue
-- finish ride to Hue, arrive evening
-- Sleep: Hue

3/8 -- Wake Up: Hue
-- sightsee Hue
-- Sleep: Hue

3/9 -- Wake Up: Hue
-- sightsee Hue
-- Sleep: Hue

3/10 -- Wake Up: Hue
-- drive to Hoi An; relax HoiAn
-- Sleep: Hoi An

3/11 -- Wake Up: Hoi An
-- ride to Saigon
-- Sleep: enroute to Saigon (Pleiku? Buon Ma Thuot?)

3/12 Wake Up: enroute to Saigon (Pleiku? Buon Ma Thuot?)
--ride to Saigon, arrive evening
-- Sleep: Saigon

3/13 Wake UP: Saigon
--sightsee Saigon
Sleep: Saigon

3/14 Wake Up: Saigon
--sightsee Saigon
Sleep: Saigon

3/15 Wake Up: Saigon
--sightsee Saigon
Sleep: Saigon

3/16 Wake Up: Saigon
-- get on express sleeper train for Hanoi
Sleep: express sleeper train

3/17 Wake Up: express sleeper train for Hanoi
---arrive Hanoi afternoon; return bikes
Sleep: Hanoi

3/18 Wake UP: Hanoi
--sightsee Hanoi
DEP: Hanoi ->NAR at 11:50 PM
rcs2prsctr is offline  
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Nov 13th, 2013, 11:44 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,554
Like you I am an experienced motorcyclist but have only ridden a bike in Vietnam a couple of times so am not an expert. The first time was 20 plus years ago when it was a pleasant experience with nothing much but other motorbikes, push bikes and livestock on the road. The last time was in 2008 when these had been largely replaces by cars and lunatics driving big trucks with little regard to anyone else on the road!

Your route is a fairly typical tour of Vietnam covering most of the major sights. Purely from a biking perspective, if it were me, I would alter the first part of the trip to leave out Ha long and instead include a loop from Ha noi to Sapa to Dien Bien Phu, Son La and the Mai Chau valley before returning to Hanoi and heading south.

Hue is nice with loads to see and a motorbike is a great way to see the tombs around the city. The hai van pass to Da nang would also be a great ride if the weather is kind.

We stayed in both Pleiku and Buon Ma Thot. It was a while ago but I think we much preferred BMT ( I can't be sure but that was the place we rode some elephants across a lake and visited a number of minority peoples villages)

A link to some of our photos of these places

crellston is online now  
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Nov 15th, 2013, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 28
Please try to make more time in North of Vietnam to visit Ha Giang, you are so close since you are gonna be in Bac Ha. And Ha Giang by far the most beautiful mountain area with stunning views and roads.
From Bac Ha, drive through Xin Man, Hoang Su Phi and then onto Ha Giang. The distances are not far but there are road construction here and there so it may slow down your speed.

Your itinerary seems a bit rush to me and you are missing a lot of the North and the central (quang binh - the Ho Chi minh trails is such a lovely ride).
catladyva is offline  
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Nov 16th, 2013, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10
A pretty ambitious itinerary considering the speed limit is 60-80 KPH on most highways. I lived in Vietnam for 6 years and rode a Yamaha motorbike the whole time. 25,000+ kilometers on the odometer when I last looked. I have ridden everywhere and I can tell you that it will take much longer to get to your destinations than you have allotted. As crellston stated, you will have to dodge the insane trucks and car drivers that do not have any rules for their driving behavior. You will also have to deal with the police who may confiscate your bike if they want to for not having a Vietnamese drivers license or any infraction real or imaginary. My friend got into an accident that was not his fault. His passport was confiscated and he only got out of it by paying 1800$ US. Not to discourage you but these are things that you must consider. Good luck!
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