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).