Our Hanoi ---> Haiphong ---> Cat Ba ---> Haiphong --->Siagon

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Motorcycle Trip Report Forums' started by vette, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I will add to our trip when I sort out some good photos.

    Our trip lasted a month.
    We rode from Hanoi to Hiaphong to the ferry to Cat Ba
    Back to Haiphong on the same ferry, a few days later.
    Then all along the coastal highway, south.
    Thanh Hoa
    Dong Hoi
    Dong Ha
    Over Hai Van pass
    Hoi An
    Qui Nhon
    Nha trang
    Phan Thap
    Mui Nie
    Phan Thiet
    With many other smaller places in between,
    Both bikes on the train back to Hanoi.
    A few days later we also got the train back to Hanoi.

    We live in China, so we traveled by train, to South China, place called Nanning.
    We each took a rucksack, a helmet, and a locking bike chain.
    From Nanning we took a bus to China/Vietnam border.
    We both had our visas already.
    Through border formalities, and onto another bus, for a drive to Hanoi.
    We booked into a small hotel, in the same road as our pre-arranged Honda 100cc semi-automatic motorbikes.
    Next morning we walked the short 100 meters from our hotel to the motorbike hire shop.
    We had arranged to have the 2 bikes for a month, at just $35 for the month each.
    After leaving a deposit, we were off and on the road to Haiphong.
    Living in China, we were both reasonably accustomed to the motorbike traffic, and the volume of bikes on the road.
    But it still takes a little getting used to.
    Our plan for day 1, was to get to the area where the ferry leaves Haiphong, for Cat Ba Island.
    This we did without too much effort, although she did take the wrong turning on a roundabout, on our way out of Hanoi proper, which worried me a bit, as I lost her for about 30 minutes.


    More later

  2. The following day we made the short trip to the Haiphong Ferry terminal.
    Actually passing a train, not because we were riding fast, more so that the train was traveling so slow.
    It was only supposed to take us about 30 minutes, but not long after we started off, we found serious road works.
    The road had been "removed"
    In it's place was some thing out of "Camel Trophy Challenge"
    Any way, this "non-road" lasted about 5km, and was very, very muddy, and slow going.
    Arriving at the ferry.

    Times and prices as of December 2011

    We waited just a short time, for the ferry to arrive, then headed down the very slippy wooden gangway onto the ferry.


  3. Vette - I'm enjoying the ride greatly. You have certainly set yourselves a great itinerary & the commentary & photos are excellent.
    Bring it on!
  4. Finding the outgoing ferry terminal was not quite strait forward. We were in this vast empty derelict place, and had been riding for about 30 minutes, convinced we were going the wrong way.
    We passed a few factories, that were belching out smoke, steam, and other not so pleasant fumes from their many tall chimneys.
    This is where the ferry terminal is.
    And this is the route the ferry took to Cat Ba.
    Arriving at Cat Ba
    When we arrived on Cat Ba, it was light drizzle, so out with the rain covers.
    It was about a 45 minute ride to the hotel area, we hadn't booked a hotel, we always just go asking.
    We got a hotel in Cat Ba town, directly in front of the bay. The Ben Tao pier, was about 100 meters to our hotel left.
    We didn't do much for the rest of that day, and just took a stroll in the evening to look at the various "tours & trips" available.
    We had planned a few days on Cat Ba, so no rush.
    There is another day tomorrow, and the next day,,,

  5. Good scenery, despite the rain & grey colours. I bet it still making a few guys "homesick" for another ride in Vietnam
  6. Yes David, it was grey until we reached Nha trang.

    We still enjoyed it, and ofton consider another trip there.

  7. Cat Ba is well worth a visit but sadly often overlooked in most people's rush to see Halong Bay. There's a great ride to be had over the centre of the island, some nice beaches & I particularly enjoyed witnessing life of those living on the floating houses that surround the island.

    Look forward to more of your report & photos.

    You look to be a tallish man - gutsy stuff to be on the "typical Vietnamese motorbike" transport!

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