Motorbiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Mekong Delta - Lotus

If you think about the best possible way to see a country motorbiking has to be close to the top of the list. When you’re also quite happy with the risk of pot holed roads, rampant buses and horns galore then you can’t go past motorbiking in Vietnam. And if you’re going to motor bike in Vietnam why not go the whole hog and bike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi via the Ho Chi Minh Trail?
If you’re interested in reading more I suggest you start here.

Ho Chi Minh Trail – Conclusion

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Ho Chi Minh Trail - Conclusion | 1 comment

Ho Chi Minh Trail – Conclusion

Well what a hell of an experience that turned out to be. Nothing can really prepare you for driving the length of a country like Vietnam but I have to be completely honest and say that at times I was somewhat concerned my body was going to be found in a ditch on the side of the road! With vans, buses, trucks, other motorbikes and every type of wildlife imaginable attacking you from all angles 2 hours on a motorbike in Vietnam feels like an absolute lifetime. But just like nothing can really prepare yourself for the trip it is also impossible...

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Khe Sanh to Phong Nha – Leg 8

Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 in Khe Sanh to Phong Nha - Leg 8, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Khe Sanh to Phong Nha – Leg 8

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 8: Khe Sanh to Phong Nha – STATISTICS Total Distance: 244km (152 miles) Total Duration: 6hrs, 15min Total Moving Duration: 5hrs, 59min Average Pace: 44kmph Max Elevation: 823m Current Elevation: 11m Two of the most remote legs of the trip were now behind me and only one, today’s leg from Khe Sanh to Phong Nha, remained before the final push to Hanoi. Once again all eyes were on Jonny who was returned to me by the local Khe Sanh mechanic at 9 o’clock the night...

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Phong Nha to Hanoi – Leg 9

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Phong Nha to Hanoi – Leg 9, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Phong Nha to Hanoi – Leg 9

(Click on the above image to see a reduced version of the map) Leg 9: Phong Nha to Hanoi– STATISTICS Total Distance: 568km (353 miles) Total Duration: 11hrs, 55min Total Moving Duration: 11hrs, 34min Average Pace: 49kmph Max Elevation: 479m Current Elevation: 7m Today I had no idea where we would end up. By all accounts there isn’t much to see and do between Phong Nha and Hanoi so I decided we would just get on the road and drive. So with Jonny fully gassed up we departed the Farmstay at the crack of dawn heading in the direction of...

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Phong Nha Review

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Phong Nha Review | 1 comment

Phong Nha Review

In 2003 Phong Nha was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the geological significance of the area. The mountain range is limestone based and therefore prone to erosion making Phong Nha the location of some of the most beautiful cave systems in the world including the recently discovered world’s largest cave, “Son Dong”. Although access to the caves is somewhat restricted visitors to the area are able to easily access Paradise Cave via scooter and others via organised boat tours. Son Dong isn’t on the menu however...

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Hanoi Review and Things to Do

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Hanoi Review | 0 comments

Hanoi Review and Things to Do

(Above photo taken from my hotel balcony at the Nova Hotel, Hanoi) The relief was overwhelming. We had reached Hanoi after a final 12 hour leg that was 6 hours too many. The first goal was finding a park for Jonny that turned out to be a 30,000VND a day minor drama. Once he was finally nestled down in a spot I couldn’t help but think that I would be quite happy if I never rode a motorbike ever again. Feeling like I had been on the receiving end of 12 rounds with Iron Mike I hobbled off to my lodgings “The Central Backpakers”...

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Da Nang to Khe Sanh – Leg 7

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Da Nang to Khe Sanh - Leg 7, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Da Nang to Khe Sanh – Leg 7

(Click on the above image to see the full version of the map) Leg 7: Da Nang to Khe Sanh – STATISTICS Total Distance: 335km (208 miles) Total Moving Duration: 10hrs, 26min Total Duration: 11hrs, 34min Average Pace: 32kmph Max Elevation: 883m Current Elevation: 498m Today’s leg from Da Nang to the North Vietnamese town of Khe Sanh is the longest and the most remote of the journey to date so to say I was feeling a tad apprehensive before we set off would be an understatement. Fortunately one of my concerns, the state of the road, was...

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Khe Sanh Review

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Khe Sanh Review, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Khe Sanh Review

The trip to Khe Sanh had been a struggle. Over 12 hours and I was still with the local mechanic who was trying to figure out what was wrong with my Motorbike. When it became clear Jonny would be staying over night at the mechanics I decided to go for a stroll up the main road in the search of somewhere to stay. I didn’t get far before the now traditional “Ello…!” ringed out from across the road. Now after such a tiring day the last thing I felt like was small talk but it was becoming increasingly clear that the further...

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Kham Duc to Hoi An – Leg 6

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Kham Duc to Hoi An - Leg 6, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Kham Duc to Hoi An – Leg 6

(Click on the above image to see the full version of the map) Leg 5: Kham Duc to Hoi An– STATISTICS Total Distance: 124km (77 miles) Total Duration: 3hrs, 58min Total Moving Duration: 3hrs, 26min Average Pace: 37kmph Max Elevation: 478m Current Elevation: 5m Well there really is only one way to describe this leg of the trip. Uneventful. Once again I was blessed with perfect weather on my way to sea side town of Hoi An. I’ve now managed to avoid any serious rainfall on every leg to date with my wet weather gear only making an...

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Hoi An | Da Nang Review

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Hoi An | Da Nang Review, Vietnam Blog | 0 comments

Hoi An | Da Nang Review

Hoi An and Da Nang are separated by about 25km of excellent coastal road making it very easy to skip between the two cities. Upon reflection it is the diversity of the area that is the main draw card. You’ve got beautiful beaches, centuries worth of  history on display, the contemporary hustle and bustle of the 4th largest city in Vietnam, beautiful country side and outstanding facilities to accommodate the backpacker right through to the most discerning traveler. All of this is within an easy hours drive of either city. Hoi An was a...

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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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