Southern Vietnam on an underbone - 2018

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by EMGuero, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    Posting some photos of a trip I took last year on a little Yamaha Nouvo through Southern Vietnam. Started and ended the trip in HCMC (Saigon). Cost of the bike was $10 US per day. 7 day trip total covering right about 1000km, spent 9 days total in the country.

    Saigon is a hectic place to ride a bike, because pretty much everyone else in Saigon is on a bike. At first I was kind of white-knuckled on the grips but you start to go with the flow and it somehow works.
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    After a day in Saigon I headed up into the hills towards Dong Xoai. Not much happening there but it was a convenient stop along my intended route. Frequent stops along the way for coffee in the hills. Great scenery.

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    From Dong Xoai I went up to Da Lat in the mountain highlands. Cool temperature and good food. Some nice sights to see.

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    From there headed down towards the coast to Phan Rang. From Phan Rang I intended to go to Phan Thiet but was warned about a police trap where they stop all foreign motorists and then attempt to extract a hefty bribe when you fail to produce a Vietnamese driver's license, so I skipped around it and drove to La Gi, then the following day to Vung Tau (both coastal cities).
    Heading back to Saigon on day 7.

    Here are a few more photos. Great trip, highly recommend Vietnam to everyone.

    (Note: Most of the country has a dedicate motorbike lane on the right hand side. Very convenient to avoiding the cars and trucks on the road. Straying out of it can get you a fine)

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    #1
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  2. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    Forgot to add the route map. (Some additional side day-trips were taken from the various stops)

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  3. mattsteg

    mattsteg n00b

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    Awesome - I'm just in the airport on my way back from Vietnam. Had a work meeting and was qble to extend another week. I've not really ridden too much in recent years (and back home my bike is an old gs850...so quite limited off road! I've been off and on wanting to transition to a more exploration friendly setup but keep getting busy), but got out around Saigon, Da Lat, and Hoi An for day rides (2 guided as tours to Cu Chi tunnels and My Son - places i wanted to see with a guide anyway, and a couple of days riding independently). About 400km over 3 days, plus a bit more around town riding in dalat.

    Man this is really lighting a fire to get out more.

    Number 1 tip from my guide to Cu Chi (worth the price of the tour by itself):

    "Use google maps, but choose walking instead of car. It gives some cool routes".

    It's *amazing* the number of minor tracks and paths (and kind of creepy too) that google knows about and could route down.

    If you're cool with it i can add some pics here, or start another thread.

    Either way Vietnam was a great and energizing destination to explore on 2 wheels and has me dreaming hard about a longer trip.
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  4. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a very cool trip. Feel free to add your photos!

    Agree with it being a great place to ride. Already looking at heading back in the near future and maybe doing a northern loop this time, possibly crossing over into Laos, but haven't gotten around to planning it just yet.
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  5. eddie98

    eddie98 Been here awhile

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    where did you rent in Saigon? How are the hotels in small towns?
    My wife and I will be in Malasya for MotoGP and want to do some riding in Vietnam on a side trip after the races.
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  6. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    I rented from Flamingo Rentals in Saigon. They were great and flexible with bike options and provided a helmet and straps and so on for the bike.

    The hotels in the small towns were surprisingly nice, considering the price. I was paying somewhere between $15-$25 per night, and most were spacious rooms with a full bathtub. Otherwise they're simple rooms, TV and air conditioning, not much else, but gets the job done.

    I bought a data-enabled sim card at the airport for about $1 per day ($10 for the duration) and had 4G or LTE data everywhere, so was able to search for hotels when arriving in towns, look up restaurants, etc.
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  7. Tarmac Kid

    Tarmac Kid Doesn't Like Stuff

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    We were in Vietnam this time last year and took a guided Vespa tour around Saigon. That only scratched my itch so when we made it to Hoi An I rented a scooter and set off towards the beach. In my haste I forgot to download an offline map into my Galileo app. No big deal, right? Wrong. At some point I went into the funnel part of a Y instersection and promptly got a rear flat. Oh well I can swap this out. I hadn’t gone far. Well when I went back through the Y intersection I went the wrong way and was really lost.

    So I rented another scooter and tried to navigate by memory back to the hotel. I made it and had the original scooter rental owner ride back to retrieve their flat wheel scooter. That went fine.

    So we set off to the beach again and the scooter promptly ran out of gas. No worries. I found some gas in 1L bottles on the corner outside a Phö place.

    The most disastrous, fun and memorable day on two wheels I have ever experienced. Thanks for posting and letting me recall my little adventure.

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  8. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    @Tarmac Kid that's the same way they sell the gas here in the more remote provinces of the Philippines, 1L Cocacola bottles. I always get a kick out of buying it that way.
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  9. Tarmac Kid

    Tarmac Kid Doesn't Like Stuff

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    This nice girl stopped to help when the bike ran dry (FWIW I check the gas and it was full on the bike that got a flat but I didn't check shit on the second bike) and pointed down the road to a gas station. We got to the corner and all we found was Pho. She must have spotted our confusion from across the street because she came over to say, "Across the street, see!" Low and behold, there were my precious 1L gas bottles.
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  10. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    Thanks for the ride report Kuya... one day I hope to be on that side for a ride...
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  11. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    Happy to share! Let me know if you're ever on your way to this side of the world and need any pointers.
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  12. eddie98

    eddie98 Been here awhile

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    I may hit you up for some info later. We are not sure exactly where we will be riding when we are over there. During MotoGP all the rental places reserve the bikes for tours only. We don't' do tours, like to do our thing.
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  13. EMGuero

    EMGuero Been here awhile

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    Sure shoot me a message if you have any questions. I also prefer to avoid tours
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