Motorbiking Vietnam : Day 20

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For details of the places I visited in Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, with GPS Coordinates, see my book Vietnam Caves.

For details on motorbiking in Vietnam and Cambodia, from buying and selling a motorbike, to border crossing, see my book Motorbiking Cambodia & Vietnam.


Having arrived early the morning off the train from Hanoi. I walk the 2 1/2 km to the hotel I stayed in when I first visited Saigon. Last time when I stayed at the Backpacker Club, they wanted $15 a night. Knowing that it is always cheaper booking online, I told them then that the online price was $12. They then agreed to drop the walk in price and let me stay for $12 a night including breakfast. (Tip, walkin prices are almost always higher than booking online due to you already being in the place and less likely to walk out. I have actually negotiated hotels down in price by showing them the online booking price and told them frankly if they do not give me the same deal I will just make a booking now online, even when I had no internet connection. The online bookings was a screencap picture I took when I had internet.)

So I got the same deal again, and the same room, 5th floor. Suits me as it is quieter. All I wanted to do at this point was get a shower. It’s been about 52 hours or more since I last showered, mmm, I normally take two a day.

Get to my room, and there are no toiletries. Good thing I took the unused small soap and hair shampoo from the previous hotel. The hair shampoo is one of those small sample hair shampoo packages, that either leaks in your suitcase, or is bomb proof in opening. It has a picture of a girl with long black hair on the front, and writing I do not understand.


Struggle as I may, I just cannot get the package ripped open. In the end, I bite on the edged and tear a piece off, almost ripping my tooth out. It is funny that this package is made by Unilever, a company I used to work for, years back in my IT days. The shampoo tastes crap, but hey, I got it open. I squeeze the contents of the package in my hand, and look worrying at it. It is pitch black with some silver traces in. Is this shampoo or hair dye, or shampoo with hair dye in? I decide that o well, if it is dye, then I am just going to have black hair for a while.

The shampoo does color my hair a bit darker, but does not change it black, nor do I get the long hair shown on the packaging, mmmm, false advertising.

I get a few hours rest, then go and find Simon from Saigon minks. My bike is supposed to arrive today, but i have decided i will go to the train station tomorrow to check myself. I find Simon at the Mexican restaurant he loves to hang out, and i squeeze some more information from him for my book. The time flies, and soon it is bed time.

Motorbiking Vietnam : Day 2

Start of trip || < || >

For details of the places I visited in Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, with GPS Coordinates, see my book Vietnam Caves.

For details on motorbiking in Vietnam and Cambodia, from buying and selling a motorbike, to border crossing, see my book Motorbiking Cambodia & Vietnam.


Having already decided that i had enough of those get up at 5am to be on the road by 6am, I lazily get my but out of bed just after 7. Take a nice bath, then head down for breakfast. The place i ate at the previous evening is closed, and the shop next door only sells coffee. Any coffee almost you can want, but not for me thank you.

So i head down the road and sit at a place i though was closed the night before as the told me they do not serve food. What i did not know is that it is actually a sports bar and they serve no food at all. As i sit down, the waiter immediately puts a glass on the table, that could either have been beer, or urine, i had no idea. she gave it to all the other blokes (no women there) and most only take a sip or so.

I decline and ask for water, and the girl brings me i do not know what. I presume it is coffee. There were what looked like condense milk at the bottom of the mug, and a pot on the top, with some blackish stuff dripping down from it into the condense milk. she also put a bowl of ice next to the thing. Checking at the other dudes, they wait until it stopped dripping and throw the ice in, then drink it. Again i decline and this time the girl brings a can of coca cola. I indicate i actually want food, and she shakes her head no, so i leave.

With my stomach complaining, i take the bike to the gas station to fill it up, which is next to the local gym.

Gym in a town on the road from Saigon to Hanoi

Then I head back, pay for my room, get my passport (You have to leave your passport with reception where you stay the night. They check you in with the local police. If you stay at a place that does not have a permit to house tourists or they cannot produce your passport to the police when they get raided, it is big trouble for them.)

I head out of town and get a nice stretch of road.

View a few hours ride form Saigon on the way to Hanoi
Somewhere over there is the ocean

Nice roads in Vietnam

Boats at anchor, Vietnam
I pass some more boats on the way.

more boats at anchor, Vietnam

round boats used for fishing, Vietnam

Closer view of round boats, Vietnam
Round boats, wow, with engines.

wine castle, vietnam
Then i pass a wine castle. I did wanted to go have a closer look, but you have to park your bike at the entrance, and i was not sure about leaving my backpack there. Might have been okay, just did not know, so i head on to the next town. Was also now really getting hungry.

ocean road, saigon to hanoi

ocean view on road from saigon to hanoi

ocean road, vietnam
There you are, i knew there was an ocean there somewhere.
dragon on the road to hanoi from saigon

horses on the road, vietnam
Pass what looks like an old hotel with these outside

I spot a nice place to eat at the beach, and sit down for breakfast and lunch in one.

beach side restaurant, vietnam

nice restaurant along the beach, vietnam

ocean view, vietnam

ocean view 2, vietnam

local food, vietnam

I decide to go for the next town. The road is just amazing.

boats at anchor, vietnam

more boats at anchor, vietnam

loads of boats at anchor, vietnam

I stop for gas, and then spot oil all over the back wheel and gearbox section. O crap. I phone Simon, and he says it is nothing, the filler pipe just came out. Took it to a mechanic (rode 20 km back to find one i liked), and it turned out the gearbox was overfill and just blew out the excess. (hope he is right) I decide to have the gearbox and engine oil changed in any case.

yamaha nouvo rear gearbox overfilled

smooth road, vietnam

easy riding, vietnam
wind generators along the way, saigon to hanoi, vietnamOpen road
As it is getting late and i am hungry again, i select a town and go for it. Find a nice hotel right at the beginning of the town, with ocean on one side, and hills on the other. Get some nice food right on the beach.

gas station across from hotel, vietnam

beach side restaurant next to hotel, vietnam

ocean view from restaurant, vietnam

hotel by the seaside, vietnamHotel room

ocean view from hotel window, vietnam

excellent view of ocean form hotel, vietnamView from my hotel room

Tomorrow I leave the ocean behind, and head for the mountains.

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