Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 9

Nha Trang to Dalat

  • 137 kms
  • 6 hours riding time

We had all been looking forward to todays ride. Lonely Planet described the winding road between Nha Trang and Dalat as full of amazing mountain views and a dream road for motorbike riders. From what we found I can only assume the author had never actually ridden the road or the review was from some time in the distant past where the road was in far better condition. What we found could barely be classed as a road. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 9

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Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 8

Nha Trang rest day

The morning of day 8 of the ride started a little slow. Still a bit rusty from the night before, we crawled up for breakfast at about 9:30 on the top floor of the hotel. We returned to the room to relax for a little while after breakfast but a power failure killed the air conditioning and the room soon turned into something that resembled a sauna. Because of this it was decided to make the most of the massage parlour across the road that was linked to the hotel in the hope of a cool and relaxing hour. Unfortunately the whole street was without power so the massage parlour was just as hot as the hotel room. This was also our first experience with the, well lets call them “additional services” that some of these places are renowned for. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 8

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 7

Kon Tum to Nha Trang

  • 350km
  • 10 hours riding time.

The morning started with a quick breakfast at the hotel and then we went in search of a mechanic that stocked some headlight globes. Jarrod’s and my bike had both blown globes over the previous two days. These would turn out to be the only spare parts we would use on the bikes the whole trip which reinforced the decision to pay a little more for the bikes. It’s also not surprising that we did blow a couple of globes as we had all ridden the whole trip with the headlights on. The locals found this incredibly odd and between the flashing headlights on the Hwy or the pointing at the headlights every time we stopped, they couldn’t get their heads around it. For us it was peace of mind that others could see us coming and we could always see each other in the rear vision mirror even in traffic. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 7

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 6

Hoi An to Kon Tum

  • 277km
  • 7.5 hours riding time.

The morning started with a trip into Old Town to pick up some shoes we’d all had custom-made the night before for about $20 a pair. We also had to duck down to the markets to find a waterproof bag large enough to fit the three suits that we now had to strap to the back of our bikes for the next 1000+ kilometres. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 6

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 5

Hoi An – Rest Day

After clicking over just short of 1000km of riding so far, we were all well and truely looking forward to a day without having to get back on the bikes. The morning started nice and late with breakfast at 9:30am and then Jarrod and I decided to make the most of hotel facilities and get a massage. With four days of solid riding under our belts things were starting to get a bit sore so an hour-long massage was a brilliant way to start our rest day. After that we moved to hotel pool to chill out for a while. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 5

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 4

Hue to Hoi An

  • 137km
  • 3.5 hours riding time

Finally the first decent nights sleep for the trip so far. With comfortable beds, no roosters and thick curtains we managed to sleep in until a respectable 8am. Knowing today was only a short 140km to Hoi An we were in no real rush to get moving. We made our way up to the roof top for a beautiful breakfast of bread, jams, eggs and fresh fruits. I’d also finally started to get used to drinking coffee with condensed milk rather than normal milk and this morning’s didn’t have too much in there so it tasted closer to coffee than warm sugar like some previous attempts had. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 4

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 3

Day 3: Pho Chau to Hue

  • 420km
  • 11 hours riding time

I should start by making a mention about navigating around the towns. The one brilliant thing (that we certainly weren’t expecting) is the incredible 3G mobile coverage throughout Vietnam. Every little town you hit seemed to have a 3G tower no matter how remote it was. This got us out of trouble on more than one occasion as although we had quite detailed maps of the main roads, the little roads within the towns were not covered. Having bought a 3G local Mobifone SIM for the iPhone I was able to whip out google maps on more than one occasion to get us back on track. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 3

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 2

Day 2

Mai Chau to Pho Chau

  • 336km
  • 10 hours riding time

The day began early with the crowing of a couple of roosters outside on the street. Thinking the sun must be about to rise I thought it would be a good time to get up and capture some photos of the sunrise over the rise paddies. As I sat up fumbling for my gear I thought i’d grab my phone just to check exactly what time it was. 2:30am! Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 2

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 1

The Trip

Hanoi to Mai Chau

  • 134kms
  • 5 hours riding time

Well the first morning of the riding started with a quick trip to a book shop the other side of Hanoi. We’d dropped in to see Hung at Flamingo Travel late on Tuesday night just to check everything was set for the morning and he’d again suggested the use of a guide (US$50/day ++) and that we might struggle without one. This got us a little nervous and we went back to the hostel debating our options. We got speaking to one of the guys on the tour desk about it and he said it was a waste of money and gave us a description of a map book that we should find that would get us to HCMC without issue. This would turn out to be the second best tip we would receive that night. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure – Day 1

Vietnam Motorbike Adventure 2011

Background

First and foremost i’d like to thank Top Gear for the inspiration to get a trip like this organised. We, like many others, saw the Top Gear Vietnam Special and couldn’t resist the opportunity to replicate it. The episode was first aired back in December 2008 as part of season 12 of the series. Since viewing, it had inspired countless “what if” conversations over a few beers but it wasn’t until some incredibly cheap flights to Vietnam (under $500 return from Melbourne) popped up in January 2011 that the idea became a reality. A quick ring around separated the “talkers” from the “doers” and we were locked in for an October adventure. Continue reading Vietnam Motorbike Adventure 2011