HCMT: Legs 1 – 5

Pleiku to Kham Duc – Leg 5

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Pleiku to Kham Duc - Leg 5, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Pleiku to Kham Duc – Leg 5

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 5: Pleiku to Kham Duc – STATISTICS Total Distance: 219km (136 miles) Total Duration: 7hrs, 12min Total Moving Duration: 7hrs, 04min Average Pace: 31kmph Max Elevation: 1101m Current Elevation: 478m Although the two most testing legs of the trail were still to come today was going to be the most remote section to date. It was also going to take us over the first real mountain pass of the trip and we would finally officially be on the HCM Trail. So quite a monumental day...

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Kham Duc: Review

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Kham Duc Review, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Kham Duc: Review

I really didn’t expect much from Kham Duc. And when you don’t expect much you’re always surprised. Bordered by two large mountain ranges on either side Kham Duc is a beautiful spot and as we rolled down the main road (of which there really is only one) a friendly local rolled up next to me asking if I needed any help leaving me once again reflecting on the kindness of the Vietnamese people. Given I didn’t have any accommodation lined up he turned out to be a very useful chap as he literally took us around to every...

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Buon Ma Thuot to Pleiku – Leg 4

Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Buon Ma Thout to Pleiku - Leg 4 | 0 comments

Buon Ma Thuot to Pleiku – Leg 4

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 4: Buon Ma Thuot to Pleiku – STATISTICS Total Distance: 200km (124 miles) Total Duration: 7hrs, 39min Total Moving Duration: 6hrs, 50min Average Pace: 29kmph Max Elevation: 896m Current Elevation: 851m After the excitement of the previous day in Buon Ma Thout I just wanted to get to Pleiku and have a decent nights sleep. Although I was hoping for an uneventful drive that didn’t turn out to be the case. As I reflected on the number of Mexican sounding towns on this...

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Da Lat to Buon Ma Thuot – Leg 3

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Da Lat to Buon Mat Thout - Leg 3 | 0 comments

Da Lat to Buon Ma Thuot – Leg 3

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 3: Da Lat to Buon Ma Thuot – STATISTICS Total Distance: 249km (156 miles) Total Duration: 8hrs, 35min Total Moving Duration: 7hrs, 20min Average Pace: 34kmph Max Elevation: 1556m Current Elevation: 443m The next leg was going to take me from the idyllic city of Da Lat to Buon Ma Thuot a destination that I assumed was going to be a one horse town but turned out to be a rambling city of over 300,000 people. Consulting trusty Google and the locals my suggested route was to...

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Buon Ma Thuot Review

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Buon Ma Thuot Review, Vietnam Blog | 2 comments

Buon Ma Thuot Review

For me Buon Ma Thuot, or just Buon Ma, was to be a simple two night stop off before I tackled in earnest the start of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Buon Ma, at 300,000, is the largest city and provincial capital of both coffee in Vietnam and the Central Highlands district. As interesting as these facts are Buon Ma Thuot won’t be remembered by me for any of them – rather it will be remembered for the case of the missing phone. THE CASE OF THE MISSING PHONE: Given Buon Ma is the supposed coffee capital of Vietnam I indulged in a number of...

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Mui Ne to Da Lat – Leg 2

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Mui Ne to Da Lat - Leg 2, Vietnam Blog | 1 comment

Mui Ne to Da Lat – Leg 2

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 2: Mui Ne to Da Lat – STATISTICS Total Distance: 174km (108 miles) Total Duration: 4hrs, 20min Total Moving Duration: 4hrs, 10min Average Pace: 41kmph Max (and destination) Elevation: 1,523m The plan was to get up at 7am, pack, check out, grab some breakfast and hit the road. Well after basically zero sleep thanks to something bad in my stomach I eventually managed to pull myself together at 10am. So i’m running late, I’ve got absolutely no idea whether Jonny...

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Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne – Leg 1

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Saigon to Mui Ne - Leg 1, Vietnam Blog | 2 comments

Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne – Leg 1

(Click on the above image to see the full version of the map) Leg 1: Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne – STATISTICS Total Distance: 290km (180 miles) Total Duration: 8hrs, 20min Total Moving Duration: 6hrs, 46min Average Pace: 43kmph Max Elevation: 96m The journey began at 0800 and ended at 1620 in the afternoon. Over 8 hours, including stops, from District 7 in Ho Chi Minh to the beach town of Mui Ne. Total distance covered was only 290km. On an open road back home (New Zealand) that would take about 3 hours but not in Vietnam. Even with the...

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Mui Ne: Review and Things to Do

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Mui Ne Review | 0 comments

Mui Ne: Review and Things to Do

Mui Ne is a small fishing town on a peninsula to the East of Phan Thiet about 220 km South of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). 20 years ago the idea that the beach to the South of Mui Ne township would explode into one of the most developed beach resorts in South East Asia would have been the last thing on the mind of the local community as they went about their day to day business. But explode it did and the development continues with a significant increase in Russian Tourism the driving engine. Russians, in part thanks to a Visa exemption agreement...

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Da Lat: Review and Things to Do

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in Da Lat Review | 0 comments

Da Lat: Review and Things to Do

I needed another day in Da Lat. It is one of those towns. The further you dig the more stuff you discover and want to do. But alas a national holiday and associated complete lack of accommodation ended my trip prematurely. Da Lat is a fascinating city. Standing at over 1,500m above sea level the climate is in stark contrast to the cities to the East and South. The city goes by many names, “City of Eternal Spring”, “City of Love”, “the Paris of Vietnam” being but a few and the names are well deserved as it is...

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Ho Chi Minh (Saigon): Review and things to Do

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Saigon Review | 2 comments

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon): Review and things to Do

Over the month of April I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks in Ho Chi Minh, previously known as Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam with a population knocking on the door of 9 million. Rather than focus on the long and fascinating history behind the city this post is focused on where to stay, some key pointers about what you should look out for and if you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a few days spare some ideas to help you explore the city. Firstly let’s cover the basics. Ho Chi Minh comprises of a number of...

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