::: Vietnam - ACE MTSG - Weekend to Dalat

VietHorse

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Jan 9, 2011
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Some small trips in the past, but really want to share with you all. Hope you all enjoy and somehow knowing more about our Country....

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Close to X'mas, ACE MTSG (a big bike rider group in Hochiminh City) set up a short trip during weekend. We tried to avoid riding there during X'mas day as there would be very crowded and the services may not be good as expected.

We divided in two group, first one departed from Friday PM, the second one, just me and a friend departed Saturday early AM as we still had to work on Friday.

This thread reports from my departure.

Trip destination is Dalat (Đà Lạt) - a beautiful highland City in southern part of Vietnam.

And here is the tracklog for the trip:
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VietHorse

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Jan 9, 2011
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Departed from home about 4 o'clock plus, the City seemed still asleep, yeah, no wonder, that 's Saturday AM.
Heading to Dalat with thinking of all the twisty passes ahead, Bao loc and Prenn passes.
Weather is too nice for a morning ride. It's quite cool, abt 18 degree C.

Stopped beside a artificial lake - it was a valley, then a dam has been built and the valley become a lake, utilized for a hydro-power plant.

The Sun was rising, but still yet to appear on the sky:
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My bike:
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My friend's:
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Took a last shot before getting back on my ride - The Sun still yet to come:
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This time, we did not see any fog along the way, different from the last time, even though it's colder.

Stopped by beside La Ngà bridge:
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So peaceful river:
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People make the cages and tents on the water to raise fish
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Rode on for about 60km more, we stopped for breakfast.

My friend's Hornet 919 - I had own two of Hornet 919 previously. That bike damn strong with high torque and stable performance.
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Crazy heavy VFR made me do a reversed parking to avoid rolling the bike after a full breakfast:
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(... to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Reached Bao Loc pass, the second pass on National road 20.

Photos again:
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Then keep riding toward the cool highland:
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Here's how I can have the riding photos:

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Green along the road:
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Do you know what 's on the ground?
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The things in brown on the canvas - anyone knows?
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(to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Stopped for fuel:
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Just a little chicken strips as I have passed the Bao Loc pass with about 10km twisty road.

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Took a clearer photos for the thing I asked:
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Most of the houses beside the road having such thing spreaded for drying:
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That's coffee, guys. Vietnam is famous with Coffee, just Vietnamese coffee style - stronger than any coffee from Starbuck, Highland, etc...
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(Coffee with hot water in filter)

Here 's how we make a cup of Vietnam coffee every morning:

Kept riding:
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Kept shooting:
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My friend might say chees:
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Clear road:
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Unclear road:
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Gotta stop for a while as they are prioritized:
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(to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Almost 10:30AM, we reached Dalat, called our friends who have been there for the meeting place.
They all were ready and awaiting for us before going to a friend's house.
Met and waited infornt of a Tourist place, called Golden Valley:
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This place is very nice, peace full and very cheap for any kind of services, from accommodation, food, etc...
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Here is where the Forestry station:
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What 's hell this guy doing?
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And here, this guy must be taking care of trees:
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We took aout 15mins at this place to get all of our lunch to be arranged. We would be heading to my friend's house, it 's about 15km deep inside the forest with very limited of service if not saying no services.

Got on bike, we took abt 10km twisty roads, then about 5km offroad - damn really offroad. Will have a video for this later on. After this, found that VFR can do offroad also! Dude!

All team stopped beside the stream. This season, there is not much water. But during raining season, this gonna be a flooding source. There were at least 02 offroad cars has been drifted with the stream.
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Our bikes were not advised to pass the wooden bridge:
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My bike with the stream:
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I passed the bridge, then looked back:
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(to be continued...)
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Beautiful trip & photos. Keep 'em coming.
It's good & a little surprising to see you guys riding big bikes there, but I guess we are still a bit uninformed / behind the times.
How many big bikes do you think you've got in your group?
 

Rogdog

Member
Jun 10, 2012
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Hey... I'll take the chance to add some info on behalf of VietHorse. I arrived in Vietnam four years ago, and at the time, anything over 175 cc was a truly rare sight. I managed to get my hands on a 400 cc Motard and it was one of the biggest around. However, in the last year or so I've seen more and more. My understanding is that they have been legal to import for 5 to 8 years, but at an incredibly high duty rate.
My feeling is that with the vast improvment in the economy over the past 10 years, and a rabid motorcycle culture, it only took a while for Vientam to embrace the big bike, but now that it has caught on there are a lot (relatively) coming in recently.
That being said, I went by the Ducati dealer the other day looking at the Multistrada... and was told the price would be north of $40,000 USD! So it isn't a cheap hobby here.
For myself, with the help of a well connected Vietnamese friend, I was able to import a G650GS out of the States, even with duty it didn't cost me much more than I would have paid in Europe.
 

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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www.thegtrider.com
Rogdog;279855 wrote:
That being said, I went by the Ducati dealer the other day looking at the Multistrada... and was told the price would be north of $40,000 USD! So it isn't a cheap hobby here.
If you want to get some pix of the dealership & bikes & prices it would be great info to share.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Well, nowaday, a lot of big bikes have been imported into Vietnam, even the very latest models. For example, the Diavel was imported into Vietnam just around some months after it launching in Shanghai.
The biggest motorcycle in VN now is Bosshoss 8,200cc.
There are several big bike club/team in Hochiminh City and other major Cities. My group (ACE MTSG) is one of them. We normally have around 40s bikers.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Okay, now we done all the difficult parking, moving into my friend's house area - need to pass 02 streams thru wooden bridges:
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Where we take a rest:
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This area very peaceful, silent, cool and so beautiful. To have this, the owner has spent a lot of money, time, his head and mind. To get here, he did build a temporary road/trail abt 4.5km long. The main road is @ Elev:+1500m and the house area is @ Elev: +1350m. It takes him almost 7 years to get the thing like now:
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A building in progress:
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Our stuff:
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Chit chat:
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This is firs house of the owner here. Now he is modifying the basement to make an entertainment room:
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We visit the hydropower machine:
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It's s hydropower generator - take water from the hill, this could provide almost of the living power users here:
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Passed the noon time, looked at this, feel hungry and wanted a bite of BBQ:
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Waited to long for the food to come, we gotta satisfy with the instant noodle... hic hic...:
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A handy job:
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Yamy...
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(to be continued...)
 

brian_bkk

Ol'Timer
Mar 30, 2010
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Great report.. Makes me want to visit Vietnam again!!

Here is a Ducati Dealership I stumbled across when in HCMC 18 months ago for work..





Cheers
Brian
 

Rod Page

Ol'Timer
Jan 7, 2010
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VietHorse - I want to visit it again too & I haven't even left yet!
I keep flicking through your report waiting for you to land in Da Lat. We were there last year for much of July/August & its a fabulous place to be at this time of the year when so much of VN is HOT. Best produce market ever bar none!
Understand you may be coming to Chiang Mai - you'll love it.
Cheers mate.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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I don't have the latest price list for Ducati VN, just the below for some months of 2011 for your info:



Rod Page;279958 wrote: VietHorse - I want to visit it again too & I haven't even left yet!
I keep flicking through your report waiting for you to land in Da Lat. We were there last year for much of July/August & its a fabulous place to be at this time of the year when so much of VN is HOT. Best produce market ever bar none!
Understand you may be coming to Chiang Mai - you'll love it.
Cheers mate.
Dalat is really good place to ride to and stay for holiday. For my idea, working or living there will be a bit boring.

I haven't decided to be at Chiang Mai yet, but I 'd really love to.
I will have some days in BKK first, then may arranging for the Chiang Mai trip.
I don't know how to get a bike and gears for me and my wife, and how much I gotta pay. I do have with me all the gears, but it seems not really good for me to bring with very big luggage.
Also how should I travel Chiang Mai - I meant how is the tour should be as I may be there for 2 days weekend only.
If anyone have some idea or recommendation would be great for me to plan and decide.

Thank you all.
 

Rogdog

Member
Jun 10, 2012
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The Diavel is one sexy toy... but at $51K... ouch that is one expensive toy! Guess as I will have to stay happy with my 'girls bike' for the time being. Oh well, I can pretend I chose my bike because it is more practical for Vietnamese roads.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Yeah, damn expensive toy. However, I think now the price has reduced quite a lot as there are some more dealers also selling Diavel here.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Some more nice spots at the place:
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Endless chatting:
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Construction is still going on....
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What a smell...
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(to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Lastly, the food came.
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We have "cơm lam" - the traditional rice with the cooking style of the remote area people:
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For the normal rice, they cook by boiling in a cooker. But for "cơm lam" (~ green rice), they use a segment of bamboo tree instead of the cooker. Rice, with special leaf (to add the flavor) with water put inside the bamboo segment, cover it by another leaf, then provide heat from burning wood. When eating, just pull the leaf then the cooked rice will come out:
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Really great:
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Some mountain chicken as well:
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We have sang so many songs...
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This friend came back from Westminster, CA, US really enjoy with us there:
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Tried to take a photo with myself in the scene:
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The guy was great with romantic guitar:
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In the jungle with love...
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(to be continued...)
 

Rod Page

Ol'Timer
Jan 7, 2010
823
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Great stuff VietHorse; we needed a romantic writer in VN & you're the man!
Fly out later today, sorry not to have had the chance for one of those magical rides with you all.
All the best, mate.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Rod Page;280011 wrote: Great stuff VietHorse; we needed a romantic writer in VN & you're the man!
Fly out later today, sorry not to have had the chance for one of those magical rides with you all.
All the best, mate.
Thank you Rod for your nice words. There is always a chance for us to cross our paths in the future.
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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We took some time for rest after lunch.
Almost dawn time, we started to gather for heading the city.
Took some nice photos at the peaceful place before saying goodbye:
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Heading to the way back, thanks to the place owner for the very good time:
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There was the difficult part ahead, even turning the bike heading to the way out:
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My bike said "I am ready":
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This is a valley, so the sun came down very fast. Saw it almost down:
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Almost of bikes are ready:
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This damn heavy, waiting for the owner to come and we turn it toghether:
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There were still some more works:
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(to be continued..)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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We heading back while the sun coming down the hill.
The dark came so fast, really different from our imagination. On the way out, we stuck there for abt 20mins as there was a malfunction truck at the middle of the road.

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Safely back to the hotel. Took the water hose to have light cleaning to our bikes.

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Bikes were right at our windows:
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Used taxi to go for dinner. Here 's dinner place:
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Some add-on, very suitable with the cold here:
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Small black chicken inside:
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Impressive:
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Afterward, we went to Dalat night market:
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Almost people there are tourist. Lots of foods on the street.
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Some clothes for winter:
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Chitchat again:
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Get some more breads at the coffee shop:
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Slept very well that night.

(to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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I got up early the next morning. Started my bike for a while for warming up at wake up others.
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Breakfast at hotel, some sort of Beef noodle:
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Oh, here 's the welcoming flowers from hotel to us - thanks to the hotel's kindness (I did not realize that until we do the checking out):
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We gathered in front of the hotel for a group photo:
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All feel happy:
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(to be continued...)
 

VietHorse

Ol'Timer
Jan 9, 2011
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Done the group photo, we took a ride around Xuan Huong Lake - the lung and the heart of Dalat City - to say goodbye to the beautiful place:
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On the way back Ho Chi Minh City, we met our friend from HCMC to join us. It was so pitty to him that he was hanging around with other business so could not be able to join with us from trip beginning:

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A place to rest ourselves and our bike:
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Belows are some snapshots on the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, just to show you guys how Vietnamese roads look like:
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Dalat is very famous with flowers, vegetables and also strawberry. This fellow bought some kilos of fresh strawberry for his wife. Gud man:
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This is end of my trip report.
Hope you all enjoy with the beautiful and peaceful Vietnamese scenes.
It's our pleasure to have you visiting Vietnam.

Ride safe, guys.