Vietnam motorcycle rental with wife

Discussion in 'Asia' started by kkpsyop, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    I just completed a 2 week rental of 2 Honda XR150L motorcycles with Offroad Vietnam motorcycle rentals.

    We opted for the XR150L bikes because my wife likes short bikes. The bikes were $25 a day, which is about 1/4h what we paid when we rented in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. We could have gotten older bikes for $15 a day.

    The bikes had 200 and 600 km on them and already had some cosmetic damage. The owner, Anh, said he doesn't care about cosmetic damage. We brought back one of the bikes with more cosmetic damage and he did not care.

    The deposit for the bikes was 100% of the rental price which was odd, but still just around $500.

    We flew into Hanoi the day before and had some beers and got a hotel room. At 8am we met Anh at his shop. [​IMG]

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  2. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Vietnam vehicle traffic is 95+% scooters. Very chaotic thick traffic in the cities. You get used to it quickly, not a big deal.

    The 150s we rented put us in the top 1% of motorcycle horsepower in Vietnam. Almost everyone was on smally scooters. I saw less than 10 motorcycles 250cc or larger in the two weeks. All tourists.



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  3. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    We made no reservations during our 2 weeks. When we left OffRoad Vietnam's shop I had plugged a random city in northern Vietnam in as a destination. I greatly overestimated how far we would get on our first day. We ended up staying the night in Thuyen Quang, which was absolutely fine. Not a tourist town, but it has hotels and restaurants.

    Around Hanoi there are interstate type roads that don't allow motorcycles. Kind of annoying at first until I got my GPS software to avoid those roads.

    In Vietnam there are motorcycle only roads. Lots of them. 5-6' wide. I had to put my GPS software into pedestrian mode to get it to route me on them.

    I used OSMand, maps.me, and Google Offline Maps for my GPS. running on a Samsung S7 Active. Worked fine.

    We took smally military style backpacks and used Rok straps to attach them to the bikes.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  4. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Went through Off road Vietnam in 2010 Vu Ahn runs a great company.:D
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  5. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    The hotel we stayed at in Thuyen Quang was huge and nice. About $50 for the night.

    Restaurants in Vietnam often have street "seating". Tiny tables and tiny chairs.

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  6. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 2 we headed pretty much straight east to Lang Son. It was some of the best riding I have ever done. Twisty smooth paved roads and a bit of dirt road. We even crossed a floating bridge. Day 2.jpg 20180218_121550_resized.jpg 20180218_121552_resized.jpg 20180218_095914.jpg
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  7. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 4 was a good day of riding but a lot of straightish pavement to get to Ha Long Bay.

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  8. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    We took a day off and took a boat cruise in ha Long Bay. I highly recommend it. Beautiful huge rocks, nice tiny beach, pearl farm you can tour, 20180220_070744_resized.jpg 20180220_154219_resized.jpg and a pretty amazing cave to go through. Breakfasts on the trip varied from amazing to "what the heck am I eating?". This hotel had an amazing breakfast buffet with eggs to order.
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  9. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 5 was a lot of nice paved roads and 4 ferry rides to get to Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh is nothing special, but they had hotels and beer. The ferry rides is where I first started to catch on that we were being charged more than the locals. First ferry is privately owned (maybe they all were) and the locals were paying 2,000 dong for the ferry. We were charged 7,500 dong each. This may seem horrible numerically - but 15,000 dong is about 70 cents US. We apparently got ripped off on our $1 meals. Locals apparently pay far less for a bowl of beef noodle soup.

    I put my GPS in pedestrian mode and we found ourselves on the leetle moped only roads that are 8' wide. And across the tops of rice paddies - which were sometimes paved and sometimes dirt tracks. Lynn lost her balance on a dodgy rutted sharp turn and fell face first into a very brackish stinky pond like thing. Took a lot of rinsing and soap to get the stink out her riding gear. She is a trooper.

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  10. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 6 was a fun day of riding to Vinh. It was drizzly and cool most of the morning. Heated grips and bringing rain gear would have been nice. They had a nice park with a "We kicked America's Ass" theme to it. A car hit a truck and spun out - ended up deep in a ditch.

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  11. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 7 was another excellent day. Vihn to Dong Hoi. Highway 1 runs along the coast and sucks. Big trucks/buses and straight road. Very flat. So we stayed off it as much as we could be heading inland to the smaller roads. Hostels were $4 a night. We got a nice hotel room for $14. Day 7.jpg

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  12. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 8 was Dong Hoi to Da Nang. We did not plan to go that far, but we got on a roll and powered through. Da Nang was amazing. The tourist area includes a flame shooting dragon bridge. Lots of lights. Very pretty. I took a lot of video in DaNang.
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  13. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 9 was more awesome riding. The odd fog rolling over the mountain looking photos is odd fog rolling over the mountain.

    I got in a minor wreck. Hit by a kid on a rental bike. Aussie or Brit - not sure. He was very upset. I wear a lot of armor, so I was not hurt in any serious way. The kid was renting a bike. There is no insurance in Vietnam. The kid's chinese copy of a honda had a bent foot peg and the speedometer and tachometer housings were all over the road. I ended up paying the mechanic 600,000 Dong - ~$30 for the damage.

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  14. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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  15. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    Day 11 was a very good ride. We ended up In Tan Ky - which didn't seem to exist much - internet wise. We got there and they had a hotel. While looking for the hotel we passed "Germany Pizza" restaurant. We had to eat there!

    We walked the 1/2 mile from the hotel to the restaurant and sat down. Immediately 2 15 year old girls sat down at our table and asked if they could join us. Since they already had, we said yes. They were local students that followed us from our hotel. They wanted to practice their English. Their younger brothers (about 8 years old) say with us as well - which worked out great because they could fetch me beer. Had a very enjoyable evening with the girls. Day 11.jpg 20180227_180648_resized.jpg 20180227_170342_resized.jpg
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  16. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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  17. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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  18. kkpsyop

    kkpsyop Adventurer

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    All in all, an excellent trip. I lost 5 pounds - probably due to healthier food and occasionally missing meals. I highly recommend Vietnam!
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  19. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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    Looks like a excellent time. Thanks for the report. Inspiring!
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  20. MauriceDz

    MauriceDz Adventurer

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    That's the Vietnam I know! Looks like you had a great trip. Covered a lot of miles, too.

    "We brought back one of the bikes with more cosmetic damage and he did not care." :rofl Such is life in Vietnam. Nice to hear you had a good experience with hiring the bikes.
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