Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City - hard and easy way

Sep 10, 2005
I picked up a bike at Cuong's Motorbike Adventure in Hanoi and rode to HCMC, using some of the new road, called the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and after getting tired of the rain, cold, dropped down to the coast and Hwy 1. Hwy 1 was ugly... trucks, buses and lot's of town life. The HCMT was much better, with plenty of gas (if you tanked up every 150 k's or so), hotels and almost no traffic.
Dan and Digby were invaluable in helping plan the route (www.exploreindochina.com). I think if you're a first timer to this part of the world you'd do well booking with them for at least a few days to get your feet wet.
Dan asked me to say Highway 4 in Hanoi "was the best place in the world...good place for drink, food and information." "The plecentae was good too." Yes, it's true. Drop in and say Hi to Marko too. Good guys all, and intereting Minsk guys at Highway 4 Cafe.
After 2,500 kilometers and no problems with the bike, other than a pin holding the center stand working loose (hammered back in place with a rock). Cuong's bikes may not be new or the best looking, but the two times I have used them they worked as well as some German stuff I have in my stable, better in the mud, trails and carving through traffic in the cities.
In HCMC I made a call, someone came by the hotel, collected the bike and sent it back to Hanoi on the train. $50.00 USD took care of that and I did not have to ride back up some of the same stuff I had ridden down. Probably saved $50.00 in gas, and definately in room and food.
I was there about 3-4 weeks, blew off some days being a tourist and found Internet just about everywhere (so you do not need to haul your laptop around).
Dr. G

Globe Rider Greg