Hanoi to hcm city following the hcm trail route - PART 1

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Road Trip Reports' started by Tom Forde, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    This trip came about by accident, two of my old mates from Australia arrive for a bit of R & R in Thailand. Both are Vietnam Vets and now over 60 years old, after a couple of beers the conversation turned to riding bikes in Vietnam.
    They wanted to go straight away as it was a so called "tick off their bucket list."
    Being the start of the wet season didn't deter them, they wanted to go now!
    Of course they wanted me to organise it, a vague description of the ride was formalised and it got longer and longer as the beers kept coming.
    They decided they wanted to ride from Hanoi to HCM City then go out to see were their old base used to be.
    An email to Flamingo Travel the next morning was dispatched and Mr Hung immediately came back with a proposed itinerary of 10 days all inclusive with guide, XR250 Hondas, fuel, accommodation and 3 meals a day, all for under $2000US.
    We were in! 10 days later, we were on the plane to Hanoi.
    Our Trip:
    Day 1 : Pick up bikes at Flamingo Garage then ride to Mai Chau (150km)
    Day 2 : Mai Chau - Yen Cat (170km)
    Day 3 : Yen Cat - Pho Chau (170km)
    Day 4 : Pho Chau - Phong Nha National Park (200km)
    Day 5 : Phong Nha - Paradise Cave, boat trip)
    Day 6 : Phong Nha - Vinh Moc Tunnels - Hue (160km)
    Day 7 : Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An via Hai Van Pass (150km)
    Day 8 : Hoi An - Kontum (280km)
    Day 9 : Kontum - Buon Ma Thuot (240km)
    Day 10 : Buon Ma Thuot - Nha Trang (200km)
    Finish in HCM City by overnight train.
    Unfortunately one of the aging XR250's decide to die in Da Nang, as my mates wanted to get to HCM City and have a look what was left of their old base etc. I offered to stay in Da Nang and catch a plane back to Bangkok, catching up with them later.

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  3. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Have been looking forward to this since we all met up for Beers at Mulligans the other week.

    Looking great mate.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  4. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Tom,

    This is looking like a great outing & I am certainly looking forward to your detailed report & photos.

    Its a funny thing but one of your YBR's looks in terms of the registration number like one of two I bought from Hung & sold back to him as part of the deal when my wife & I were riding in Vietnam.

    Good to see you using Flamingo. I was surprised you had a problem with one of the bikes when you reached Da Nang - GREAT place to be laid up! dDid you consider getting a replacement bike down by rail - there's a very good regular service & not at all complicated?

    Da Nang - an easy place to lay back surrounded by great rides - Hai Van Pass - & top attractions - Hoi An & Hue - its easy to sit out the train. A good spot too for your American (VN) War mates as, of course Da Nang is where the Americans landed on 08/03/1965 to start the hostilities. One thing I'm sure you all noticed is the way the Vietnamese have put behind them the war; they just want to move forward, no animosity.

    Bring it on as Dfl says!
     

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