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Old 07-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #31
Asienizen
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Vietnam
Oddometer: 5
It rains a lot in N. Vietnam, in fact from December to April the clouds almost never lift. Also it gets cold, much colder than you'd expect. We all think that Vietnam is tropical, but in the north it is more subtropical. The best weather is in late October to mid December - so take some rides in the autumn while you can. You could take a trip north to the border perhaps.

As far as bag checking, isn't it ironic that you have uniformed men pawing through your bags as you leave "the free world" but when you come to a one-party state, no body even takes a peek as you walk in? I wish you luck in getting the kind of bike you want, it can be hit and miss sometimes.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #32
stan.riner OP
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Location: Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
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I've been here for a few months so I thought I would provide an update. Everything is going good. I really like it here. The food is great, we have a nice place to stay, work is fun, and the Vietnamese people are super nice. I ride my bicycle down to Van Don island and the little kids treat me like a rock star saying Hello and what not. The biggest difficulty so far is not being mobile on the weekends. I don't have my own car/driver so I'm kind of at the mercy of the the guys I share a car with.

I am actively working on that now. I just obtained my car and motorbike license and I'm trying to find a dual sport now. There's not a lot for sale and they're in Hanoi or HCM City. I'm going to get my wife a 2013 XR125. They're readily available in Hanoi for around $2,800. I have been riding a scooter around. The company won it in a drawing at the Metro (Vietnamese version of Costco). I can go around the local area now that I have my license (boss didn't want me riding it until I was legal).

Mr. Anh Wu at Offroad Vietnam has been super helpful providing advice. Viethorse (on here) has also given me some tips.

Mr. Wu told me about the XR125 and this is the picture of the new one's they're getting on his web site.

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Old 09-22-2013, 05:40 AM   #33
stan.riner OP
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Location: Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
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I went to Hanoi to bike shop this weekend and bought a 2007 Yamaha TTR 250 with motard wheels. I bought it from Flamingo Travel. It was a good experience. The transaction was easy and they went out of their way for me.

In front of Flamingo travel's shop before heading back to Quang Ninh province (where I live).
I don't have my proper riding jacket. My wife is bringing it from the States when she comes next month. I was able to get what looks like a good rain suit for $10. We'll see how it holds up once I wear it.

This is a brand new road that more directly connects the road that goes North of Ha Long bay back down to the road that we normally take. It saves a little bit of time, it's way safer because there's very little traffic, and it's awesome.










Paid $2 for a rửa xe (bike wash). They took a few minutes longer than the time it took me to walk across the street to buy fruit at the market. The lady even loaned me a knife to cut a piece of fruit while I was waiting for him to finish.
People act like this bike is a Desmosedici. I guess there's not a lot of these types of bike out here in the sticks.



This drive normally takes 5 hours in a car. I did it in around 3 and a half. There's usually a small strip of real estate to get by the traffic jams so I was able to save a lot of time that a car has to wait to get by slower traffic. There's a lot of road construction so I would just stand up and go over the rough stuff.
I didn't really have any big issues. I think I've pretty much figured out the "rules" of the road. I had several times where there was a big ass bus in my lane but I handled it ok. It seems that they won't pinch you off to a situation where you have nowhere to go.
There was a Toyota Camry right in front of me that passed a bus that was passing a truck. They were three abreast in front of me. Everyone handled it well and they all got all back in line before the next oncoming car showed up.

Overall, it was a fun ride and I'm looking forward to touring around with my wife on the weekends and eventually doing the Ho Chi Minh trail.
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:37 AM   #34
VietHorse
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Congrat. You've made it!
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:21 PM   #35
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Wow. Gives me hope. Looks like I will be in HCMC next week for a year and hoping to ride.

Viethorse, sent you a pm.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #36
VietHorse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamcanjim View Post
Wow. Gives me hope. Looks like I will be in HCMC next week for a year and hoping to ride.

Viethorse, sent you a pm.
Is it? Where did you pm to? I don't see here on ADV
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:56 AM   #37
stan.riner OP
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I'm coming down to HCMC this weekend to look at a Honda XR250. I will ship it back on the train if I buy it. You may have seen it around. It's all camo'd out. He advertised it in the Asia section of the regional forums.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #38
BitShuffler
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Good job on the TTR, they go well. If you want to you should be able to get a 21" front rim and some dirt tyres for not too much $$$.

Is the XR250 for your wife? A friend is selling a Yamaha Serow/XT250 in Hanoi. The nice thing about the Serow is it has quite a low seat. Price is pretty good and it's been well looked after - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6514324&type=1
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:19 AM   #39
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Oh and if you decide to go for the XR125 it should be possible to get them registered in your name since you would be buying new. Registration laws are starting to be enforced more strictly so that could be an advantage and will definitely be worthwhile when it comes time to sell again (bikes that can easily be transferred to the new owner demand a higher price these days).

That said, I wouldn't worry about registration issues too much...
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #40
Keithert
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Originally Posted by BitShuffler View Post
Good job on the TTR, they go well. If you want to you should be able to get a 21" front rim and some dirt tyres for not too much $$$.

Is the XR250 for your wife? A friend is selling a Yamaha Serow/XT250 in Hanoi. The nice thing about the Serow is it has quite a low seat. Price is pretty good and it's been well looked after - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6514324&type=1
Wow, $2900 or 59 MILLION Dong. Reminds me of the James May quote from Top Gear in VietNam where he mutters 'my Dong is all wet'.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #41
stan.riner OP
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Originally Posted by Keithert View Post
Wow, $2900 or 59 MILLION Dong. Reminds me of the James May quote from Top Gear in VietNam where he mutters 'my Dong is all wet'.
My wife and I have had some laughs at the Dong thing.
We were in Korea and I had USD, Korean Won, and Vietnamese Dong in my wallet.
I was trying to find some Won to pay for something and ended up with some Dong in my hand. She told me "You need to put your Dong away!" without realizing what she said. So I replied "But it's so biggg!".
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #42
stan.riner OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitShuffler View Post
Good job on the TTR, they go well. If you want to you should be able to get a 21" front rim and some dirt tyres for not too much $$$.

Is the XR250 for your wife? A friend is selling a Yamaha Serow/XT250 in Hanoi. The nice thing about the Serow is it has quite a low seat. Price is pretty good and it's been well looked after - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6514324&type=1
Thanks for the link.

I will give her the TTR since it's already lowered. I originally wanted the XR250 for myself but couldn't find one with a registration card. The one down in HCMC looks to be in really good condition with recent engine refurbishment. I'm stil going to talk a look at the XT250. I can sell the TTR if she likes that one better.
I was all set to get her the 125 but after riding from Hanoi, she won't be able to keep up on the more open stuff. Keep in mind, it's not like driving across the desert in Arizona or something but there were place where I was doing 100kph and could have gone faster.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:57 PM   #43
Asienizen
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Location: Vietnam
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It's good to see you've been able to get the things you need in Vietnam.

I really wish I could get up to north Vietnam this November, but I think that is unlikely.
It's rainy season in Da Nang right now.
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