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Motor Bike SaiGon Hanoi

Eight years ago I came to Vietnam to do a TEFL course in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). On the first day of the teacher training course I met lots of new and interesting people. One of them, Sam, became one of my closest friends. Sam left Vietnam after 7 months, but now he’s back for three weeks to finish what he started eight years ago: riding the length of the country on a motorbike: Saigon to Hanoi!

Our journey will be just shy of 2,500km. The vast majority of the roads will be quiet and scenic: from dry, sandy, coastal back-roads in the south, to meandering mountain passes in the central provinces, and the increasingly famous limestone landscape along the Lao border on the Ho Chi Minh Road, near Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Only 200km of the entire route will be on the notoriously dusty, dirty, and busy Highway 1: most of the time – if all goes according to plan – we’ll have the roads to ourselves.

I’ll be adding photos to this post over the next couple weeks as we make our way from Saigon to Hanoi. You can also follow our road trip on my Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages, where I will be posting updates, photos and videos along the way. Below are a map of our route and a video of some of the places we are going to see. (Thanks go to the ever-efficient staff at Rent a Bike Hanoi  for providing us with one of our bikes in biking vietnam shop).

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ROUTE MAP:

Key:

– CLICK on any of the PINS to see a PHOTO and DESCRIPTION of the place it marks

– RED PINS: some of the bigger towns and cities on the route

– BLUE PINS: scenic spots and places of interest

– GREEN PINS: places I’ve written guides to on VietnamCoracle.com and links to them


View ‘Saigon to Hanoi: the Scenic Route’ in a LARGER MAP

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PHOTOS:

Saigon | The Coast | The Mountains | Hanoi

Saigon: 1-3 Aug

FINDING A HELMET THAT FITS ISN’T EASY!
8 YEARS OF WAITING FOR THAT HIT OF VIETNAMESE CAFFEINE: STRONG!

 

JUST ANOTHER LUNCH IN SAIGON

 

REUNION: MEETING UP WITH OLD ACQUAINTANCES
A BIT OF TENNIS IN THE SUNSHINE

 

SEARCHING FOR SOME ‘PICK-ME-UP’ HERBS FOR OUR LONG JOURNEY, IN SAIGON’S CHINATOWN
1-2-3 YO!! LAST NIGHT IN SAIGON

 

The Coast: 4-10 Aug:

TAKING TIME OUT ON THE OCEAN ROAD
STREET FOOD DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS! (PHAN THIET CITY)
RIDING THROUGH DRAMATIC STORMS ON THE COAST ROAD
BREAKFAST ON THE STREET: THE GRAFFITI ON THE WALL SAYS ‘NOODLE SOUP’
LUNCH ON THE ROCKS ON HÒN GÓM SANDBAR: MILES OF EMPTY BEACH

 

SEA SNAILS WITH LEMONGRASS & CORIANDER IN QUY NHƠN CITY
ADMIRING THE VIEW SOUTH OF QUY NHƠN.
DELICIOUS LITTLE BÁNH BÈO RICE CAKES BY THE ROADSIDE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
SAM’S BIRTHDAY PRESENT: COCKTAILS BY THE POOL AT LIFE WELLNESS RESORT, QUY NHƠN

 

The Mountains: 11-20 Aug:

View from the first of many mountain passes (Quang Ngai Province)
VIEW FROM THE FIRST OF MANY MOUNTAIN PASSES (QUANG NGAI PROVINCE)

 

CAMPING ON OUR FIRST NIGHT IN THE MOUNTAINS, BY A RIVER IN THE JUNGLE
Bathing in the river by our campsite
BATHING IN THE RIVER BY OUR CAMPSITE

 

A warming lunch of 'mountain' food in rainy, misty Kon Tum Province
A WARMING LUNCH OF ‘MOUNTAIN’ FOOD IN RAINY, MISTY KON TUM PROVINCE

 

At A Luoi my speedomter reached 100,000 kilometres!
AT A LUOI MY SPEEDOMTER REACHED 100,000 KILOMETRES: TOOK 6 YEARS TO GET THERE

 

Fueling up for a day on the road with 3 strong Vietnamese black coffees (A Luoi, Thua Thien Hue Province)
FUELING UP FOR A DAY ON THE ROAD WITH 3 STRONG VIETNAMESE BLACK COFFEES: A LUOI, THUA THIEN HUE PROVINCE

 

Campfire in the Truong Son Mountains, near the Lao border
CAMPFIRE IN THE TRUONG SON MOUNTAINS, NEAR THE LAO BORDER

 

The West Ho Chi Minh Road is spectacular & completely empty
THE WEST HO CHI MINH ROAD IS SPECTACULAR & COMPLETELY EMPTY

 

Taking it all in!
TAKING TIME ON THE ROAD TO STOP & TAKE IT ALL IN!

 

Dog meat is very popular in northern Vietnam...and it's delicious.
DOG MEAT IS VERY POPULAR IN NORTHERN VIETNAM…AND IT’S DELICIOUS.

 

Waterfalls offer great massages!
WATERFALLS OFFER GREAT MASSAGES!

 

A last goodbye to the mountains at sunset
A LAST GOODBYE TO THE MOUNTAINS AT SUNSET

 

Hanoi: 21-23 Aug:

Made it! Sam & I after a celebratory run around Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
MADE IT! SAM & I AFTER A CELEBRATORY RUN AROUND HOAN KIEM LAKE, HANOI
Street food in Hanoi is always excellent: this is Bun Rieu Nam Bo
STREET FOOD IN HANOI IS ALWAYS EXCELLENT: THIS IS BUN RIEU NAM BO
Sam bids an emotional farewell to his bike (The Red Growler) in Hanoi
SAM BIDS AN EMOTIONAL FAREWELL TO HIS BIKE (THE RED GROWLER) IN HANOI

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VIDEO:

A montage of scenery & sights on our route (for more videos from our trip click HERE):

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