The long road 2015 Hanoi - Saigon

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Road Trip Reports' started by Wald0, May 8, 2015.

  1. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    We decided to have little roadtrip in the end of April as then Vietnam had one long holiday, Originally I had a Plan to ride HCMC with my friend but he went to laos week before and after that did not get permission from the wife to go.. There was also meant to be Moto event by Moto Da Nang but as this holiday was so long and lot of people travelled there was no room for 1000+ bikers in the City of Da Nang, so it also got postponed few months, but we still decided to move one with our plan but added Nha Trang also on the list.

    We were supposed to leave on the morning of 26th, but I got call day before that we will start rolling on 27th instead as one girl could not leave Hanoi before Monday.

    Day 1 Hanoi - Quang Binh (Phong Nha)
    Woke up 6am and lucky I did pack the bike late last night! weather was nice and cool, and no rain.
    met others 2 riders near BigC, a guy with Yamaha R1 and a girl with pink Ducati monster, while to get third guy we had to drive his house and help him pack few things, he rode Ducati Diavel, from there it was to get something to eat. After that we headed to Thang Long Highway and from there to the HCM Highway.

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    First stop we attracted the crowd..

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    Next we lost rider on Diavel.. To be found out that he had been stop by the police for riding through red lights.. but no ticket was given as he had connections and made one phone call..

    Our plan was to ride to Hue on first day but delays on the road and late leaving from Hanoi made us to stop in Quang Binh.

    Day 2 Quang Binh - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An.

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    After finding the hotel late in the evening we started in the “early” morning 7am as two other riders arrived to join our group.

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    Again breakfast time, after this time to head more south.

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    Stopping on some cemetery for praying, what made me nervous as there was lot of traffic police, there is something that makes me feel uncomfortable in the presence of this many police.

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    It seems backpacks will not take hot exhaust fumes from R1 very good.. lost few tools and bits.

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    Stopping over one of our riders family home for lunch, its starting to get hot now!

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    From Hue to Hai Van pass roads are not very good, but it’s not too bad ride!

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    Top of the Hai Van pass, we met some fellow riders from Hue.

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    Next stop Da Nang, meeting people and waiting riders to continue to Hoi An and to hunt hotel as almost all places were fully booked.

    Day 3&4 Da Nang

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    Lemongrass homestay in Hoi An! very clean and nice place little off the main road.

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    Before heading to Da Nang we spend day in Hoi An.

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    Main culprit who could not decide if we go to Nha Trang or not in the blue shirt.. MC lipstick angels. :lol-sign:

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    Hotel outside.
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    Not too bad looking room, but not that cheap. 1,7 million per night. 80usd..

    These day's were spend on Da Nang, in two different hotel, well first was not even hotel as it was local "motel" what wanted for me extra 200.000VND to go register my staying to the police! Needless to say we moved out there next day to more upscale hotel next to the beach!
    Hotel manager had this big custom bike also, he even let us wash the bikes in front of the hotel on the morning of our departure towards Nha Trang

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    We did try to watch local fireworks show but it started to rain so we went local coffee place to sit and wait the rain.

    Day 5 Finally decision had been made to push to Nha Trang.

    we were originally to take this trip via HCM highway, but unfortunately navigation error sent us to QL1A.....
    WARNING! stay away from this road!! unless you ride something in line of motard or enduro bike! with sport bike/naked it is a bitch! when there is asphalt its in horrible condition... there are more road works going on that road that I can remember!! and yes.. new asphalt is great! too bad that there is too little of it! in the end it took us nearly 11h, as again we did set of from Da Nang too late, and had to ride at night time also.
    my front end did take a beating on that section of the road!

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    Heading towards Nha Trang

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    Side of the road having some drinks.. not too bad at this point.

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    About 150km to go! people started to be tired! and sure enough one of the Ducati refused to start.. lucky only blown fuse what we could replace.

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    It got so hard that even my GoPro suction cup nut got lost, and as you can see road was pretty dusty too!
     
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  3. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    Day 6&7 Nha Trang

    As we arrived Nha Trang so late we decided to stay there one extra day. While there was a plan to end trip there and ship bikes back to Hanoi this plan was soon scrapped as it was too costly because of the flights.

    we decided to stay in Nha Trang Saturday and Sunday and continue our last push towards Sai Gon on monday morning.

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    View of the Daisy hotel 4th floor room shower.. and yes… everybody could see in..

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    Saturday boat ride to the islands.

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    Saturday evening was not fun! started to feel really tired and had some fever that night! so decided to pop in local hospital to get some liquids as I needed to be able to ride last few hundred kilometres next day. well, private room and motoGP .

    Day 8 Nha Trang - Da Lat - Sai Gon

    First idea was continue on QL1A but after having discussed we changed the plan to go via Da Lat, while QL1A would have been faster it was also more boring ride.

    and we were exited to go and ride Deo Omega! and I must say! a lot of fun on the road from Nha Trang to Da Lat!

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    Deo Omega!

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    Fun until the cops saw us.. well or should I say their laser saw us.. 120/115/95 on 40km/h road.. still I swear I did not go 120! lucky for me that while I was the fastest they gave my license and papers back, but they kept papers and licenses of those two Vietnamese, and refused to take any money..

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    500m after where police pulled us over.

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    As we had stay in Da Lat and settle this paper problem it caused us more delays.. and it started to rain.. not fun when you left rain gear in Hanoi.

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    lucky it did not last all the way to Sai Gon!

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    It seems my leather gloves from 320SP gives some color when they get wet!!

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    80km from Sai Gon! last push!!

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    Finally in Sai Gon, Ben Thanh market!! well 2 bikes out of 6 is not too bad??
    We decided that I would lead the group here but few members where too eager and went front.. missing the exit.. I tried to get their attention by twisting the throttle.. no luck.. but the police in the Intersection was more than happy to show us attention! it seems they did not like that noise so much.. he signal us to stop but we just continued without stopping.

    after 30min wait rest of the group arrived minus one ducati who’s fuse was blown again.. but he got some help and manage to join us finally.

    Day 9 Shipping bikes.

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    Railway station.

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    Removing the fuel and preparing to leave the bikes.

    Two people returned this evening home and rest of us staid one more night in HCMC

    Day 10 the Flight

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    Waiting the flight.

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    Back Hanoi! so tired!
     
  4. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Thanks Wald0 - invaluable information re the A1.
    You are game to ride the distances you are in the traffic & road conditions that Vietnam can present.
    The return journey?
     
  5. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    roads what we usually choose have very little traffic. Cars and trucks prefer straight roads while we prefer twist and turns ;)

    We had to send the bikes back with train as nobody had more time to ride, we actually were suppose to be back on Sunday, but ended back only late Wednesday. It cost about 100usd to ship the bike back Hanoi and about half of that to fly back. Bikes will arrive Hanoi today, so will go pick them up later.

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  6. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Nice report... Looks like the cops over there are a bit of a pain..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  7. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    The cost of sending bikes by train seems to have jumped considerably.

    I cant (quickly) find the post where I included the relevant information but I sent 2 bikes from Da Nang to Hanoi in mid 2013 & the rates from memory bear no resemblance to those you have paid in HCMC despite the greater distance. I trust it wasn't just a case of the locals 'having a lend of the foreigners'!

    That said returning bikes by train is an excellent option that anyone riding in VN should consider so as to avoid having to retrace their steps.
     
  8. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    It seems price has something to do with size.. same way than motorcycle taxis try to get me pay more as im over 190 and 100kg ;)

    Ducati Diavel did cost 2.5 million while my was only 2.1 (cbr1000rr) there was some damages, Diavel had its side pop snap loose.. R1 got it screen mount snapped.. and by looking how they shipped the bikes I don't wonder.. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It was great trip and now it's finally over.. :( But this just felt so short trip!! maybe next time Laos and Thailand! if only can get those pesky permits to exit the country..
     
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    A motor way in the making.

    North–South Expressway (Vietnam) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Early in the year we went on the first part of the toll road out of HCMC (Saigon)
    The friends I was with said before the tollway was opened you had to leave early in the morning to get back by evening
    or you would have to over night.. Now they can leave late afternoon and back in the evening.

    We left around 4 am and arrived at Mui Ni pretty early after stopping for breakfast.
    The driving and roads soon go back to chaos after you leave the tollway.

    I did not see one bike on the toll road so looks like this will be only open to cars and trucks :-(

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Awesome report. Not sure how I missed this one.

    How long have you been living - working in Vietnam?
     
  11. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    Coming now almost 4 years... Living and working in Hanoi, HCM would be better.. but as family is here so can't move.
     

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