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290 Responses to Contact

  1. Dan Marriner says:

    Hi, Tom the website is GREAT!!!
    We have just finished your Mekong Delta loop and included phu quoc…
    Then we followed your camping the ocean road guide and we are now in Nha Trang heading to Dalat for a few2/3 nights then we plan to go Hannoi and do your Extreme north loop…
    We have a couple of issues we are trying to resolve. Firstly we hired a almost brand new 125 airblade from Ho chi. and we have to get it back by the 13th to fly on the 14th of dec. (A great bike although you sound like a Yamaha fan!)
    We have discovered that although easy to get on the train to the north as a passenger, the bike can arrive between 4/7 days behind us there is only a 36 hour bus ride with the bike to resolve this issue. We are now thinking to leave our bike at our Nha trang hotel and fly to Hannoi to extreme North and will hire another bike to do it on…
    So the questions are: one, do you know any magic solution to get our bike to Hannoi quick? Trucking etc. Or if not can you tell us if we will find a bike as easily as Ho chi (we paid 180 U.S for the airblade) for the month, the guy didnt ask us for license but he has our passport. We have been fine travelling with one passport and copy of the other for hotel guest house etc. But, not sure what we will do if a Hannoi bike rental wants the other? Lastly, we have 15 days to do this in so we think a quick look at Dalat followed by a flight to Hannoi for north loop is the best use of our time but we may choose to delete Dalat and attempt to get from Nha trang to North loop on the bike and then train bike and plane ourselves back to Ho chi, but this maybe difficult and pushing it especially for the pillion wife. Your thoughts on these questions will appreciated as is all the hard work you do to help so many have such fun! Cheers, Dan and Aya.

    • Hi Dan and Aya,

      Following on from the email I sent yesterday and after you checked the weather in the north, yes, it does sound like you should stay in the south.

      If I were where you are now and had the time you have left, I would: take the coastal back-roads from Nha Trang north to Quang Ngai (zoom in close to the relevant areas of this route map to find the roads). From Quang Ngai I would take Road 24 up to Kon Tum. From Kon Tum I would take the Ho Chi Minh Road all the way to A Luoi. From A Luoi I would take Road 49 down to Hue. (For details about the Quang Ngai-Kon Tum road and the Ho Chi Minh Road check this guide). From Hue I would take the coastal back-road to the Hai Van Pass and over the Danang/Hoi An (all this is covered in this guide). Then you can either train or plane it back to Saigon.

      The above is good for a week’s trip. Again, bear in mind that the weather could still turn cooler and perhaps more rain as you travel north of Nha Trang.

      I hope this helps you with making a decision.

      Tom

      • Dan Marriner says:

        Hi Tom fantastic we will follow your directions and perhaps leave the North till mid next year when we plan to be back. We are loving Vietnam! And want you to know you are not only helping many have great holidays but you are also very good for the vietnamese tourist industry / economy! If you ever decide to ski or board or motorbike Japan / Hokkaido let us know and we will try to return the hospitality! (You got the email) :~) All the best Dan and Aya

        • Thanks Dan and Aya,

          It’s always great to hear from people who’ve had a positive experience in Vietnam with the help of my blog 🙂

          I hope you do get a chance to come back for the north – it’s well worth it!

          I’d love to get up to Japan some time soon – it’s been over 10 years since I was there – so I’ll definitely let you know when I do!

          Enjoy the next leg of your trip,

          Tom

  2. Sabrina says:

    Dear Tom,
    I JUST found your amazing site just before my 3 week trip (12 Dec-5 Jan)! Thankfully I’ve made only a few reservations so I can experience Vietnam a bit like you do. I’ll be alone at Christmas and western New Year and wondering, at this late date, where I should hang (preferably in different places). Con Dao (instead of Phu Quoc)? Elsewhere?
    Thanks!
    Sabrina from Chicago

    • Hi Sabrina,

      It depends what you’re looking for: Con Dao is very peaceful and quiet (no parties), whereas Phu Quoc has more visitors and the beginnings of a bar scene. To help you decide, take a look at my comparison of the Con Dao and Phu Quoc here.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  3. Magdalena says:

    Hi!

    Firstly, thanks a lot for your wonderful job, it’s undoubtely the best web site about travelling to Vietnam! Thanks to you we decided to go to Con Dao (instead of Phu Quoc) in February but still haven’t made a decision about accomodation. So, I’d like to ask you for advice 🙂

    I’m wondering which of the two options – Con Dao Camping or Con Dao Seatravel Resort would you recommend? The first one is cheaper but, what results from pitcures made by other travellers, is located nearby the jetty (or something what looks like a long, big deck or catwalk or pier) where ships moor. I’m wondering whether it may be disturbing because of noises? And what about the view? Doesn’t this ‘thing’ spoil the view? How far I can understand from pictures, location of the Con Dao Seatravel Resort is better but is it worth to pay twice more? Moreover, the second option has very bad reviews on Tripadvisor and the first, despite it’s location nearby the jetty, is highly recommended so I totally don’t know what to think 😛

    Thanks a lot and greetings from Poland!

    • Hi Magdalena,

      Yes, both those options are good. Con Dao Camping is good value for money: it’s right on the beach, clean and simple accommodation. You’re right that it’s near the new jetty, but Con Dao is still so quiet that it probably won’t disturb your peace. There is a little bit more of a backpacker (or ‘flashpacker’) atmosphere at Con Dao Camping than the other beach options.

      Seatravel is romantic and quiet. The rooms are large and the beach is great. However, as you say, there have been many bad reports about it on TripAdvisor. But personally I have never had a negative experience there, and on my last visit it seemed to me that the owners were trying hard to improve their reputation. The rooms and beach are nicer than Con Dao Camping, and it’s quieter too, but of course it’s more expensive.

      Personally, if I’m going to spend $70-80 on a room on Con Dao (the price of Seatravel) I choose a sea view room at Con Dao Resort everytime. This is because the sea view and the beach there are unbeatable. The rooms are plain but spacious. It’s not a very attractive building and breakfast is quite average, but there’s a pool and large gardens to walk in: me and my parents love it 🙂

      I hope this helps you make a decision.

      Tom

  4. Tricia says:

    Hello,
    After reading your travel stories around the country, I will do my best to get out and see more of this beautiful country. Thank you… Tricia

  5. Ariel says:

    Hello Tom,
    Wonderful website. My wife and I are planning to come to Vietnam at the end of Nov this year for 2 weeks and we want to stay 2 nights @ Mr Si s home stay while visiting Hanoi.

    Do you have information how to get from Hanoi to this home stay or region (if the home stay is not available)

    Also do you have any other methods of contact for verifying the availability of the homestays, haven’t had much luck by phone.

    We are truly looking for an authentique quiet and humbling experience. Everything you have described makes us feel the sensations, sights, smells.

    Thanks

    Ariel

    • Hi Ariel,

      Mr Si’s homestay is now Les Bains de Hieu Ecolodge (check the comments at the bottom of this article). It still looks marvellous to me, but obviously not quite as ‘rustic’ as before. Things change quickly in Vietnam! 🙂

      However, if you’re looking for something a bit more ‘real’, Pu Luong Nature Reserve is dotted with other great homestay options. You can try Mr Ba’s homestay (not far from Mr Si’s), or just go to Mai Chau for a night, get your hands on the map of the nature reserve (the one I mention in the article) and work something out on the spot. Travel to Pu Luong Homestays is probably easiest via Mai Chau anyway. Local buses leave Hanoi to Mai Chau as it’s popular route for travellers.

      I hope this helps.

      Tom

  6. Yaniv says:

    Hi again Tom,

    So I did my homework 🙂 and read all your North Vietnam reports.
    They looks great and are loaded with helpful tips and details.
    thanks for that. great site. you have here.

    so I consider to combine the motorbike loops if possible.

    so Q#1:
    I’m getting to Sapa by train, so i plan to rent a bike in Sapa,
    and then, do the loop of Sin-Ho, and then going east.
    The thing is, how am i going to pull it off if ? I mean, I rent the bike in Sapa,
    It’s kind of a long loop until Cao-Bang or even further, to Lang-Son.
    So, do you suggest i rent the bike in Sapa, and just do this huge loop ?

    Q#2:
    are the bikes in a good condition to bear such long tour ?
    any recommended places to rent a bike in Sapa ? any tips ? 🙂

    Q#3:
    about the weekend markets.
    I like photography and authentic places, costumes and colorful markets.
    Have you seen some really off the beaten track places, villages that
    can provide some good photos ?

    Q#4:
    last question – i have around 20 days for the motorbike trip.
    do you think it’s enough ?
    if i do have some extra time left, what would you suggest me doing ?

    thank you
    Yaniv

    • Hi Yaniv,

      I would recommend renting your bike from a bike company in Hanoi: they can deliver the bike to you in Sapa and pick it up at your end point too. Try contacting Flamingo Travel or Rent a Bike Vietnam for more details about this. These two rental companies keep their bikes in good condition, so they will be ready for such a long loop. Also, they will give you a contact number so that if anything goes wrong while you are on the road they will be able to help.

      There are lots of good off the beaten track villages and markets on this loop: Sin Ho has a Sunday market, and so does Muong Khuong. Colourfully dressed ethnic minorities dominate the region, so you will encounter lots of authentic markets, villages etc along the way. The Sunday Market at Bac Ha is the biggest, but it is very touristy these days.

      I think 20 days is enough. But I think if you are going to ride the Sin Ho Loop, the Sapa to Ha Giang route, the Extreme North Loop, and the Northeast Loop, you will have plenty of things to do and places to see to fill all your 20 days 🙂

      Have a great trip,

      Tom

      • Yaniv says:

        Hi Tom,

        Your reply was very helpful.
        already contacted the 2 motorbike renting agencies you recommended.
        I appreciate the time you take to reply and strangers around the world who need a good advice or a tip from experienced guy.
        Thanks a lot 🙂

        Yaniv

  7. Mishi says:

    Hi Tom,

    Great website & blog. I love your concept to help visitors get the most out of Vietnam.
    I stayed in Hanoi about 10 years ago, did the usual trail of Halong Bay & Sapa hill station.
    This time Im meeting up with my boyfriend for a long weekend in Hoi chi Minh City. He lives in Jakarta, myself in Dubai. We have 3 full days + Tuesday morning.
    If you have time I would really appreciate some help to make the most of our trip.
    We plan to hire a motorbike and see as much as we can without totally over doing it. As I mentioned both us is live in pretty hectic cities. I miss anything Green/nature/animals/waterfalls/culture/temples since living 12 years in the wonderful but concrete playground of Dubai! So Im interested to see the monkeys, but not sure if there is one national park or a few ?? Its not clear when I read. I would also love to see some rice or coffee fields. We have however booked our accommodation for the 4 nights in Hoi chi minh, which of course limits our options as we need to head back to the city each day. Not sure if that was the best idea. Regards to food I am a Vegan. What the hell am I going to eat Tom? lol. Although Im happy to live on white rice & the green veg (if there is something Kulung like in Indonesia) so my partner can enjoy fresh fish & sample some street food.

    Many thanks & blessings to you
    Mishi

    • Hi Mishi,

      Well, considering you don’t have much time in Vietnam, and that you need to be back in Ho Chi Minh each night, your options are limited.

      You can easily drive to Can Gio and back to Ho Chi Minh in one day. Can Gio is just south of Ho Chi Minh, and there are lots of monkeys there! 🙂

      Your other choice for a national park is Cat Tien, which is 150km northeast of Ho Chi Minh. There’s a Gibbon Trail here, but you will not be able to drive there and back in one day – you would have to stay overnight at Cat Tien.

      Coffee and tea plantations are even further than Cat Tien so you probably won’t have time to do that either.

      You could drive to Ho Tram and Ho Coc beaches for the day. There are rice fields there too. But again, you will need to leave early in the morning to make the day trip there and back.

      You can also drive to the nearest towns in the Mekong Delta and back in one day. Places like My Tho and Ben Tre are about 3 hours’ drive fom Ho Chi Minh. Here you’ll find rivers and rice fields and fruit plantations.

      Regards being a vegan in Vietnam, you need to write down the word ‘vegetarian’ in Vietnamese: cơm chay. Then you have a better chance of finding food that you can eat 🙂

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  8. Bunty says:

    I must say that I keep coming back to this site to get more and more information about Vietnam and riding there. My best friend and I are visiting Vietnam to do a road trip from HCMC to Hanoi in September and we’re planning on taking Highway 1 pretty much the whole way up. That is, unless anyone has a better suggestion?

    Thanks again for all your input. It is advice we are planning on taking quite seriously!

    Bunty

    • Hi Bunty,

      I don’t recommend that you stay on Highway 1 most of the way from HCMC to Hanoi. If you do that you will miss some of the best countryside in Vietnam, and you will also have to deal with more traffic on the roads.

      The best way to see Vietnam on a motorbike is to stay off Highway 1 as much as possible.

      I suggest you take a look at my Route Map and click on some of the links to guides that interest you, and start building your itinerary from there. Also, browse my Motorbike Guides Archives for some of the more interesting back-roads and loops.

      Then, when you have a clearer idea of what you’re itinerary will be, email me and I can give you some more detailed advice.

      Tom

      • James Pinero says:

        Met your Dad today on the bridge. Any suggestions for a move to a beach before the holiday? Up or down the coast… thanks

        • James Pinero says:

          Close by I meant to say

        • Hi James,

          Yes, Dad told me he met you. He said you were keen to get off the beaten track, so perhaps you might try Lagi:

          Lagi is a fishing town on the beach about 50km south of Phan Thiet. There are local buses that ply between Phan Thiet and Lagi. In Lagi you can stay by the beach at Ba That Resort for a couple of nights and in town at local guesthouses. Lagi town has decent street food and a large fishing fleet. You could say it’s like a smaller Phan Thiet. You could also go to Coco Beachcamp which is just a few kilometres out of Lagi.

          I’ve written a bit more about Lagi is Section 1 of this guide, and also Day 1 of this guide.

          I hope this helps,

          Tom

  9. Laurence says:

    Hello Tom, i’m a fellow viet-canadian circus artist. I really love your site and i’m impressed by all the detailed informations. I more of the outdoorsy adventurous type. I’ve been living in Hanoi the past year. I’m heading down Central between Hoi An and Nha Trang for 2 weeks. I have a tent, been roadbiking a lot in the north, i know the camping situation in VN. Do you have other sweet spots or suggestions (beach or forest) like the one in Dalat 😉 ??

    • Hi Laurence,

      Camping spots in Central Vietnam? If you stick to the coastal back-roads between Hoi An and Nha Trang you’ll find plenty of places to camp (unofficially, of course) near the beach. To find the back-roads zoom in on the relevant region of this map

      Hon Gom Sandbar, north of Nha Trang, has a tiny village near the tip. If you avoid weekends, the beachfront restaurants will let you pitch your tent on the sands – it’s a beautiful spot.

      Also, the beaches around Quy Nhon are good. South of Quy Nhon there are loads of pretty coves, some with informal accommodation – again, if you ask they might let you pitch your tent. Try asking Haven Guesthouse.

      Most places will ask for a small fee to camp on their grounds of course.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  10. Martin says:

    Thanks for maintaining such an amazing and informative blog. There is so much to take in!

    I am also from the UK, although I have been living in Tokyo for the last 3 years. While I had one in the UK, I don’t have a motorbike here in Japan and I miss it very much. I’m considering coming to Vietnam for a month to ride around, but I haven’t really done a holiday like this before so I’m a bit apprehensive (as well as not being able to speak the language very well). Would you mind if I emailed you some questions about doing this sort of thing? You definitely seem to be the man to speak to!

    Thanks again for the webiste, it must be so useful to so many.

    Martin

  11. Guillermo says:

    Hello we are in mui ne at the moment with our motorbikes and our next stop will be dalat, wich route would you recomend, QL28 or DT716?
    Thank you!!!
    Ps: you have an awesome page!

    • Hi Guillermo,

      Thanks. I assume the road you refer to as DT716 is what Google Maps now labels QL28B? This is the road that goes via Dai Ninh Reservoir. If you haven’t already seen it then take a look at my guide to the Southeast Loop which has pictures, a map, description and video of both the routes you are thinking about taking.

      QL28B is more direct and, as it meets Highway 20 to Dalat at a later stage, it cuts out the time you have to spend of that highway – which is a good thing because it’s a relatively nasty highway.

      However, the mountains and jungle and more impressive on QL28. But, as this road meets Highway 20 at Di Linh, then you have to drive 80km on that highway to Dalat.

      Overall, I’d take QL28B because you get both beach and mountains (the first 40km from Mui Ne goes along the sea and past the sand dunes, before heading into the mountains). Note that there are parts of this road that are a little bumpy, but it’s not too bad at all.

      Ideally, do it as a loop and take one route up and the other down, as I’m suggested in the guide I mentioned above.

      Have a great trip,

      Tom

      • Guillermo says:

        Thank you very much!!! I would do the hole loop but we are heading to hanoi so we dont have enough time to loose an extra day (we have almost a month, but there are some places in the north we really want to get lost!!) Thank you for the advice, i think we will take the QL28 just for the scinery!!
        One more time, Awesome page!!!

  12. Ishay says:

    Hi Tom,
    Wonderfull web site, thanks for that.
    I will arrive to Hanoi next Tuesday to start my trip on my push bike from Hanoi to Sigon.
    I”m looking for very detailed map of OCM highway to Have it in hand and to load into my garmin Gps as well, can you please help me with it.
    While in Hanoi, where would you recommend to stay for 2-3 night and where I can meet and get the best information from other travelers.
    Cheers

    • Hi Ishay,

      If you want to meet other travellers in Hanoi then stay anywhere in the Old Quarter. There are lots of cheap and decent guesthouses and lots of fellow travellers. I can’t recommend a particular place to stay – check the trusted guidebooks – Lonely Planet etc – to find out what they suggest.

      The Ho Chi Minh Road is easy to follow. If scenery matters to you (and you’re not overly concerned about cycling up big hills) then make sure to take the Western branch of the Ho Chi Minh Road from Phong Nha – the Eastern branch is dull in comparison but it is a lot easier to cycle.

      For a map and guide of the central section of the Ho Chi Minh Road have a look at my guide here.

      For other advice on which maps to use have a look at this.

      Also you could check with Flamingo Travel in Hanoi – I think they are developing a GPS system for motorbike rides around Vietnam.

      Have a great trip,

      Tom

  13. Nancy says:

    Hi Tom,
    Love your website! I am planning my first trip to Vietnam for about 3 weeks: Aug 20-Sept 11 with my 19 year old daughter. From SF, I plan to fly into & out of Hanoi. I’m having difficulty deciding in which order to see places.
    I want to visit:
    Hanoi, Halong Bay (2 night boat trip), Hue, Hoi An, Sapa, Dalat, Bac Ha (because of your article), Laos-Luang Prabang (elephants), Not sure if I can fit in HCMC/Mekong Delta, Angor Wat
    Also, is it easy & safe to hire a guide for each of the places once I get there or should I try to arrange it beforehand?
    Your suggestions or guidance would be much appreciated!

  14. Gene says:

    Hi Tom.
    super blog. information overload. lots of reading to do.
    do you have any info on ha long bay please? i want to know what kind of cruise to book & for how long.
    thanks!

    • Hi Gene,

      Halong Bay is great but there’s no denying it is jammed packed with tourists these days.

      Most people do a 2 day tour (with one night spent on the boat). They’re easy to arrange in Hanoi, rather than doing it in Halong City.

      There’s loads of competition for these tours so prices can be very low, but standards can also be very low too. In general, you get what you pay for: if you go cheap then you may be disappointed; pay a little more and you’ll get a lot more from the tour.

      I reckon on between $100-150 all inclusive tour from Hanoi. I can’t recommend any particular tour company, but make sure you check the reputation of the company before you book the tour.

      Good luck,

      Tom

  15. Charlie says:

    Hi Tom,

    Such a great resource you’ve created, really useful thank you. I’m heading to Hanoi with my girlfriend in mid-March and we’re hoping to get a bike (Honda Rebel 250) on the train up to Lao Cai and loop back to Hanoi. She’s not so confident on a bike so will be on the back. Do you think that this a reasonable route for 8 days? http://bit.ly/1BfjDsC

    Anything we’re missing? I don’t want to be spending all day on the bike to be honest – not much fun for the passenger! So hoping this route means we can take it easy and not feel too rushed.

    Thanks again for the info, love the site. Cheers,

    Charlie

    • Hi Charlie,

      Happy to hear that you find the website useful.

      March is a pretty good time for this route.

      These are all great roads but they are very mountainous and therefore pretty slow for driving. You’ll probably average 30km an hour, plus all the stops to take in all the great scenery. I would estimate, depending on your riding stamina, about 4-5 days riding for this route. That’s assuming you’re taking it at a leisurely pace and making the most of the journey. So that would give you at least 2-3 days of staying put in one place.

      I noticed your map doesn’t include the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop – this should not be missed. Check it out here.

      Also bare in mind that the more time you have on these road trips the better. Things don’t always go according to plan: bad weather may hinder progress, or landslides may close roads, or new roadworks may slow you down, or quite simply some bits of the journey may prove too alluring to pass by in just one day.

      I hope you have a fantastic trip.

      Tom

      • Charlie says:

        Hi Tom,

        Yeah it seems a shame to miss the extreme north loop but I don’t think we’ll have the time (or perhaps Ba Be will have to go amiss instead). I’ve also noticed in your guide that the road between Lao Cai and Xin Man is closed so this will probably add a day to our journey to Xin Man (unless it’s re-opened, I’ll check with bike rental people – EasyRider, they’ve been great so far!). Will update as I find out!

        Thanks again,

        Charlie

        • Hi Charlie,

          If you are going to miss out either the northern loop or Ba Be I would leave out the latter – although both are great destinations.

          There’s only a small section of the road (about 20km) that was still unmade when I last visited (Oct 2014). The section is just north of Bac Ha after you turn east to Xin Man. It’s passable if you are on a motorcycle (not a scooter) but if it’s been raining this short section is hellishly muddy and very slippery – especially with a pillion. They’ve been upgrading it for years, so maybe it’ll be finished by the time you get there.

          Tom

          • Charlie says:

            Hey Tom,

            Thanks for the advice, that’s good to know. I think we’re going to have to cut it down further in the interest of keeping the pillion sane… We’re getting a flight down to Phu Quoc for some R&R after the biking. Do you reckon it’s possible to do this -http://bit.ly/1LXmJlq – and be back in Hanoi on day six? Is the QL2 a reasonably good road? Anything worth seeing on the way back to the city? Hopefully it’s doable – 500 odd kilometres. Thanks again, huge help! Best,

            Charlie

            • Yes, that’s a very comfortable amount of time to do this route in. QL2 is
              OK but a little dull. You could still go to Ha Giang and skip the north
              loop by staying on QL34 (also very scenic) then hooking up with QL3 back to
              Hanoi. Perhaps it’s best to leave that leg of your ride open until you
              reach the end of DT177 and then see how’s it’s all going – make the
              decision from there.

              Tom

  16. kate says:

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for all informations, very helpfull!

    Just 2 questions:
    We are a couple with a motobike. Do you know if it’s possible to bring the motobike on the ferry boat? (And maybe the price!).

    Then, there are ferry boat from Vung Tau every day? Every two days?…

    Thank you
    Best

    Kate

    • Hi Kate,

      It’s not possible to put a motorbike on the boat between Saigon and Vung Tau. However, the ‘back road’ between Saigon and Vung Tau is in great condition and takes between 2-3 hours to ride (read more about it here). Or you could rent your motorbike from Vung Tau at Ned Kelly’s Bar, just across the road from where the ferry docks.

      Tom

  17. Christobel says:

    I am visiting Vietnam in August 2015 for 18 days and seriously considering returning the following year to see more of Vietnam as an independent traveller. However I do have some reservations as I am a single mature woman who just might be susceptible to scams etc. I can see that one can travel the country a lot cheaper than an organised tour. I wonder if there is someone ‘out there’ who might be interested in joining up?

    • Hi Christobel,
      Vietnam is still a pretty safe place for female travellers, off all ages. There are scams here and there (as there are in most industrializing countries people travel to) but they are mostly in the big cities and very touristy areas. Check your guidebook for a list of common scams and you should be absolutely fine in Vietnam. However, a travelling companion is a good idea, so hopefully someone will respond to your comment on above.
      Good luck,
      Tom

  18. Alan Murray says:

    I’ve read many of your articles with interest, especially the recent series on your travels to the far north.
    However, I wonder how many of your readers will actually follow some of the routes you have described in such detail. I spent 6 days in the area recently and saw less than a dozen ‘foreigners on bikes’.
    In contrast, I wondered if you might consider a series of articles on ‘short trips by motorbike from Saigon’? I think more people would make use of these. I have made a number of interesting trips around Thanh Da and Can Gio which involve multiple ferry crossings. If I can master Google Maps as well as you have I could send some suggested itineraries.
    Keep up the good work – obviously a labour of love!

    • Hi Alan,

      Quite a lot of people drive those remote routes, and the numbers increase every year, as gradually travellers and expats in Vietnam become more adventurous and want to experience something more off the beaten path, rather than going to Mui Ne and Hoi An over and again. I often receive emails from travellers asking advice on areas such as Ha Giang, because there’s still not much written about it out there.

      Yes, you’re right, I have been planning on a series of day/night motorbike trips from Saigon, but there are so many other things I want to do that I haven’t got around the writing it up yet. I’m not a big fan of Can Gio – for me the best trip within relatively easy reach of Saigon is Ho Tram/Ho Coc, no matter what kind of budget you’re on.

      Thanks for your interest in my site. Yes, I suppose you could say it’s a ‘labour of love’ 🙂

      Tom

    • The Tattered Tailor says:

      I actually found this article more helpful then any other ive read. I plan on following his exact route from HCMC to Hanoi. This article made me ralize how possible and easy and beautiful it will be.

  19. Alyssa Maddalozzo says:

    Hello and thank you so much for this blog!
    My boyfriend Ben and I arrived on Monday (HCMC) and have since been around to many of of your recommendation. Ben has bought a 125 bonus which he plans on stripping down and rebuilding on Monday for our trip up North, we are very excited!

    Part of the reason for this holiday is to see if we want to live here. Ben has numerous meetings set up next week, he is a chartered surveyor. We want to explore areas to live in and was hoping you could recommend some nice spots. We are not into mod cons, more shop houses/alley houses.

    Many thanks,
    Alyssa and Ben

  20. Geoff Manasse says:

    What a wonderful website. I’ve been traveling to and in Vietnam for 12+ years and I found many new ideas of places to visit and food to taste for me here.
    I particularly liked what you had to say about the food. Some of the food smells are far from western palates. There are good restaurants and bad ones and seeing where the crowd goes is usually a good indicator. And if you end up getting invited for a meal in a home, there is no guarantee the host will be a good cook. However the cultural exchange will be worth it. You just need to try it.

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