Father and son Vietnam Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bobnos, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. bobnos

    bobnos Adventurer

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    My son put together a great video of our FANTASTIC trip to Vietnam. We spent 10 days going north from Hanoi to the Chinese border and back . About 60/40 trail riding / dirt or paved road. Unbelievably friendly people, and beautiful landscapes. I can't recommend it enough ! I tried loading video unsuccessfully, but you can see it here:
    #1
  2. thadf

    thadf Adventurer

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    Wonderful video. I’d love to do that someday.
    Was Hai your guide? How did you go about planning this?

    Thanks for posting!!
    #2
  3. dairocket

    dairocket n00b

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    Hi there, a very nice trip, the same question as thadf, what time of year did you go?
    #3
  4. taranaki

    taranaki ponderous

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    Excellent retelling through the video. I visited Vietnam last year - loved loved loved the place mostly for the Vietnamese people. Next time I'm gonna ride it and the video is a big inspiration.

    .
    #4
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  5. Nils K

    Nils K Adventurer

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    I'm doing a Roadtrip through the US right now.
    I can imagine you guys had the best time of your lives :).

    Really keen on doing a tour in Vietnam. Great post!
    #5
  6. bobnos

    bobnos Adventurer

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    Sorry for the delay in responding. We went in Feb. We were looking at Java, but middle of rainy season there. Northern Vietnam weather perfect in Feb. My son stayed, bought a bike and did the south for a month, he said temps were getting uncomfortably hot by the end. I found the tour service on line ( there is a million of them) . I didn't want to join a group tour, and there were only a few that could schedule a private tour at the time we needed ( I waited late to book). Every corner in Hanoi has a tour company that will set up anything from a bus tour to a walking tour of the country. Mr Minh - Vietnam motorbike tour was who I used. They set up everything, from picking us up at our hotel until they dropped us off. Before the trip they sent proposed itinerary, but we could change it as we wanted. You need to tell them what you want, trails vs gravel vs roads, and they can meet your needs. We did a lot more trails than shows on the video, but since it was all filmed holding an Iphone, we didn't film the rougher parts! High was our guide, and did a great job. Unfortunately, I could only understand half of what he said (old ears) , but my son could get it all ,so High would translate from Vietnamese to Tyler, and Tyler would translate from High to me ! Everything was included, bikes ,lodging (a mix of hotels and home stays) food , gas, and tolls or passes to parks, and every meal was a full one with more than we could finish. We never even ordered, just sat down and dishes would begin appearing. I never took my money out from the time we started except for drinks or snacks at night as we wandered on our own. By the way, felt perfectly safe everywhere, even at night in the one big city we stayed in. The value is exceptional. I paid $1100 US a piece for 10 full days. I paid an additional $300 to upgrade from 150cc hondas to 250's. Not sure that was necessary as we were some of the biggest bikes around, getting every ones attention in the villages we passed through. Also, the nationwide speed limit is 60km highway, 40 rural , and on most of the trails we never reached that. The service was exceptional also. The food was great, the accommodations perfect, and most importantly, when Tyler's bike stopped running late one day and they couldn't get it fixed, someone rode a replacement 6 hrs up from Hanoi, arriving at four in the morning so we could be on our way that day !! I recommend anyone who can ,go ! I'm planning to go back next year with my wife, and tour on honda dreams on paved roads where she'll be comfortable. There are miles of concrete roads, slightly wider than sidewalks connecting many of the villages, and you could ride just them for weeks. Any other questions, please ask. Bob
    #6
  7. Nils K

    Nils K Adventurer

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    Damn sounds awesome!
    Next year @Zakko ?
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  8. Zakko

    Zakko Adventurer

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    Mmmh, I guess I have to think about it. Thanks @bobnos for the detailed report. Very, very exciting!
    #8
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  9. thadf

    thadf Adventurer

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    Thanks so much for getting back to us with the info.

    Sounds wonderful.
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  10. bobnos

    bobnos Adventurer

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    Any more questions, feel free to ask.
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  11. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    How's the knee healing up? That looked pretty nasty and kudos to you for soldiering on. I watched the entire movie with a big smile on my face and a recommitment to do this.
    #11
  12. bobnos

    bobnos Adventurer

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    Still a little stiff, but almost back to normal. Spent a few days in the hospital at home making sure there was no infection. A little tip: show up at the airport on crutches, they immediately throw you in a wheel chair and wisk you past any lines, and through security and right to your gate !!
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  13. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Bob great stuff

    Vietnam is on bucket list

    I will go there and ride

    I want rope my friend in as his wife is Vietnamese.

    Take my son who rides & my buddy finally got his boy (albeit late in life - 53 and having a kid - lmao)

    So maybe we wait until his boy is 12ish....

    Thanks for sharing
    #13
  14. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Geezer Coalition Supporter

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    Spectacular video. Thanks for posting. It had to be a good trip 'cause you don't smile that much unless the trip is really good.
    #14
  15. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Adventurer Supporter

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    What a great video - I watched it beginning to end!!!

    I have been to Vietnam several times and will most definitely return in 2020. I have a short Vietnam Ride Report in here somewhere...
    #15
  16. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Bravo!!!

    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
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  17. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

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    Very nice! I loved the video from beginning to end.

    I was impressed with your accommodations and service.
    Thank you for posting.
    Dave
    #17
  18. JMB_ADV

    JMB_ADV Adventurer

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    Thanks for editing and sharing!!
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  19. motofshr

    motofshr Adventurer

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    Great video Bob, thanks for posting, it has really stirred the juices (already bubbling) for my return and completion of a loop I started in Oct of 2018 (solo/diy), same... the northern area, the terrain and scenery are magical but it was the people and culture I am enamoured with. Will have to look at Feb for that good weather, have a friend who wants to go and we hope to do 3 or 4 weeks, first half with a guide then diy for the remainder. I used Flamingo travel for the rental of a CRF250, may go with a 150 this time, as you say the 250 was more than I needed, got a kick out of the villagers grinning & wrapping their hands around those big fork tubes...

    Curious, about how Tyler came out on the bike purchase for the month?

    Good luck with your plans to take your wife, and hope your knee loosens up...
    Anyone reading who has it on their bucket list..recommend you move it to the top..
    Thanks again for sharing, Motofshr
    #19
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  20. bobnos

    bobnos Adventurer

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    My son's reply:
    There are plenty of ways to get a hold of a bike while you're over in Vietnam. You're best bet is to get one in Hanoi or in HCMC since there's obviously the biggest market there. I bought mine in Hanoi, and then five weeks later, I sold it in HCMC for about $20 less than what I bought it for. Make sure that when you buy one, it includes a blue card. Also, there are certain places that are known for catching people without international driving permits (Vietnam specific). You can look up where those places are (like north of Mui Ne) and avoid them, so you don't get a ticket.


    Dirtbikes, as you know, are not common at all, so those might be tough to get your hands on. The locals use Honda Waves (semi-auto) which are very dependable, but they are more like scooters rather than motorcycles. Honda Wins are the motorcycles that a lot of travelers use when traveling the length of the country. Detech is the Chinese version of the Honda, and they're not nearly as reliable.


    I bought a Honda Win for $257 dollars. Before I bought it, I requested an oil change, an new luggage rack, a good cleaning, and a helmet; all of which was included in the price. Before buying anything, definitely test ride it. Some of these bikes have made the long journey several times, so they might be a bit weak after all the miles. Try to get one that's fairly new.


    The Win was 120cc, and it was far from being a speed demon. It topped out at about 42 mph, but that was fine for me on the small scenic back roads of the country. I wasn't in any rush.


    If you need service, you can get things done anywhere in the country for EXTREMELY cheap. I needed some repairs done, and after 4 hours of work, I was charged just shy of $8 US.


    As for the selling the bike after the trip, I used a Facebook page called Vietnam Backpacker Sales. There are lots of users constantly looking to buy and sell bikes, so it took me only about 2 hours from the time I posted it until the time that someone else had paid me for the bike and started their journey.


    Of course when paying $257 for a motorcycle, I knew it wasn't going to be amazing or perfect or top of the line, but it made for an incredible adventure. Sure, she had her flaws and little problems here and there, but that made things exciting!


    I hope this helps!


    Tyler
    #20