Vietnam Trip Planning Advice

Discussion in 'Vietnam Trip Planning' started by CLW, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. Starting from next week I have a 15 day holiday, going and flying back from Da Nang.

    I would like to go to Hue and Hoi An, then heading north towards Hanoi. Halong Bay, is it worth?
    Definitely I want to spend some days in and around Sapa.

    Now the question, I want to rent a Motorcycle to drive around.

    I'm not sure if I should rent it for the whole time and drive from Da Nang to Hanoi. Or just rent it locally in Da Nang and Hanoi (from there to Sapa) to explore the area and use the night train to get to Hanoi and back.

    I didn't read much about the travel by motorcycle between Hanoi and Da Nang so I guess it's rather boring.

    Or anyone has some suggestion?
  2. Anything but boring - it's a great hit-out!

    There are numerous reports on the various options for those riding north from DaNang on this site. Here are some that I contributed:
    NORTHERN VIETNAM - The Ultimate Trip (broken)
    HO CHI MINH TRAIL/ROAD WEST (Duong HCM Tay) - Khe Sanh, Phong Nha

    plus many exploring in details the areas around DaNang itself:
    DA NANG - China Beach, Marble Mountain, Son Tra, Hai Van Pass, Ba Na...
    Da Nang - The Son Tra Loop

    Renting a bike - best bet is to contact Flamingo Travel & arrange with them to send a bike to you in DaNang by train. It's easy! (I wrote a report on it somewhere on-site & have seen others more recently). this way you'll have great back-up support throughout your trip (& it's just as easy to return the bike by train.

    All in all treat yourself to one of the best rides on earth. as the shoemen say: "Just Do It!"
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  3. For my 15 days, would it be enough to ride from Da Nang to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa and back?
    My idea is maybe to stay in Da Nang, Hue and Hoi An for lets say 4 days and then take the train to Hanoi, spend 10 days there and return to Da Nang again by train.
  4. For mine, the best is always to ride - so often you fall on spots where you want to stay, to explore.
    On the basis of the places you have indicated are of interest I'd loom to have Flamingo send a bike to you by train to DaNang. DaNang & surrounds warrant a minimim (you'll wish you had more time) of a day as does Hoi An. Hai Van Pass plus Hue is another full days (minimum). Once again you'll wish you had a LOT more days in each destination.

    You'll need to break your trip north from Hue to Halong (DEFINITELY worth seeing) - don't underestimate the time needed to cover the distances involved (especially if you do not know conditions when riding in Vietnam). It's difficult to advise you not knowing your riding skills or the bike you'll be using, let alone the points of interest that will grab your attention along the way.

    The ride from Halong across to Sapa via Meo Vac & onto Hanoi is sensational - Do It - but you will need plenty of time.

    My strong suggestion is to work through the various trip reports on this site & plan your trip in detail (on a daily basis) taking into regards the advice given you re travel times. If, & its a BIG IF, you can cover all the ground in 15 days then arrange to finish your trip in Hanoi, deliver the bike back again to Falmingo & grab the train down to DaNang.....what a shame you can't take the 'alternative' (inland or seaside) route back down. Riding in VN is sensational, truly its that good........but certainly not to be rushed.
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  5. Thank you so much for that valuable advice.
    However, I might divide the trip into two parts. Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue. And then Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa. Using the night train gives me more time for riding at these two place I think instead of rushing everywhere.
    Regarding bike rental, I'm traveling 1 person on the bike with light luggage. What bike would be suitable? Last trip Saigon to Da Lat rented a new Honda wave RSX which seemed to be fine.
    However I'm a bit concerned about it's abilities on the mountain roads. I saw some rental companies offer more powerful bikes such as Exciter or Winner. Being on a tight budget these bikes cost almost the double rate per day (6$ -> 12$).
    What would be the best choice?
  6. There are bike rental companies & there are bike rental companies. It's a good idea to look behind the offer & not simply at price. Apart from being price competitive Flamingo offers a good range of bikes, bikes that are properly maintained, a full & comprehensive back-up service should things go wrong whilst you are out & about, excellent up to date information on trip planning, road conditions & so on....

    Now that you've studied the various reports on this site & determined where you wish to ride, contact Flamingo, have them propose 'the right bike' for the trip you plan & at the same time seek their assistance to help you pull it all together.

    Keep readers advised of your decision as determining the right bike can be a major issue for most heading off to ride in VN.
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  7. Hello everyone,
    I would like to share my experience about renting a motorcycle for my trips around Da Nang.

    I decided to rent my bike from Da Nang Bikes (
    It is owned by a nice german guy, Dirk and his english speaking staff.

    For the first day I rented one of his Yamaha Sirius ($6 per day) to cruise around the Town including visits to Marble Mountain and Son Tra peninsula.

    At the second day I wanted to rent the Honda Winner ($15 per day) but unfortunately it was still in the workshop.
    However, the owner Dirk called the workshop about the status of the repair and because it was only some scratches on plastic parts, he organized the bike for me within 30 minutes.
    Moreover, he gave me 50% discount!!

    This day I went to the Hai Van pass and Lang Co lagoon and town.

    Hai Van pass was legendary, so was the Honda Winner. This bike is amazing! Only downside is the contoured seat which makes it a bit uncomfortable for taller riders.

    Both of his bikes were in excellent condition, the Winner just had 1,500km on the clock.

    I moved on the Hanoi today and looking for a rental bike to go to Sapa.
    I will write a more detailed trip report later, both for Da Nang and the further journey
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  8. Brilliant - thanks for the feedback.
    Glad you had a great time going to the Hai Van pass.
    Legendary as you said.
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  9. Great start - I'm truly looking forward to your report - Marble Mountain is truly fascinating, whilst with Son Tra & Hai Van Pass you are in God's country.

    Safe trip

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