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Old 09-16-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
danbrew OP
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Off to Vietnam in the am...

Decided to do a trip with the folks from www.offroadvietnam.com. It's midnight now, my flight leaves in about 12 hours. I first read about Offroad Vietnam here on Advrider a few years ago and have always wanted to go explore on two-wheels in Vietnam. Since I'm not at the point where I can take three months, I have to make do with a two week trip. It's a lot easier to go take advantage of a tour than it is trying to get your bike across the pond (especially with the whacky import tax in VN on larger bikes).

I'm going to do the nine-day Ho Chi Minh trail ride.

More details soon.

http://danbrew.smugmug.com/Travel/Vi.../9565733_tYbNa

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Old 09-17-2009, 03:20 AM   #2
GB
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Sounds good.. thanks for the link to your smug gallery.. will be looking for updates

Safe journey and best wishes for a great adventure

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Old 09-17-2009, 03:26 AM   #3
throttle twist
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I loved riding there. old russian bikes in the north ( the minsk in my photo was one i rented there ) and honda's in the south.

easyriders in dalat are great also. you can go for a couple of days or just a daytrip with them.

i rented bikes in every city and loved it! you can do solo trips by yourself easily.

i did Sapa down to Lao Cai, around there ( accidently nearly crossed into china ) and back. great hill climb

Hoi An to Hue then back and onto danang.

the traffic is crazy but great! I also love their use of the horn. not a "get f0cked" as here in australia, but a "beware, i've overtaking you"

you will love it!
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
thor.i.am
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:11 PM   #5
Edmond Dantès
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Location: Château d'If
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Option 5 (Russian road bike Minsk 125cc): Very basic bikes, smooth shocks, drum brakes, saddle bags, kick starter, no battery which means everything works only when the engine starts, even no speedometer, 2-stroke underpowered engine, 10 hp, full spare parts support, made in early 1990s, imported brand new from Belarus (Russia), not really reliable. None of our clients has chosen to ride a Minsk since May 2007!

Option 5 from the website. I love !

Good luck with the trip Danbrew. Post plenty of pics and information please. I am very interested in taking a bike trip in Vietnam in the future.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
on2wheels52
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Looking foward to new vistas, post away.
Jim
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:39 AM   #7
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Man, it's been a long week. Left the US last Thursday, flew into Hanoi and goofed off for a few days. On Monday I joined up with seven other guys (3 brits, one aussie, and four US guys) and we began our trek from Hanoi to Hoi An. We're currently in Dong Hoi and are off to Khe Sahn tomorrow (http://www.offroadvietnam.com/eng/2-4.php).

Day 1 out of Hanoi was rain in the AM and crazy, absolutely crazy traffic. Day two and three were great riding days with lots of twisties and along the way very picturesque villages. Day 4 (yesterday) was monsoon day. It started raining the night before - heavy, heavy, heavy, check the sump pump kind of rain. And didn't stop until about 24 hours later... meaning we rode all day yesterday in the rain. Of course that's when we had the mechanical issues. One guy has a bad starter, another guy had a flat, and there were various other odds and ends that had us sitting by the side of the road in the rain. Rain like no other rain. But all that aside, it was a wonderful day. The kind of day where you really don't mind sitting by the side of the road in the biggest rainstorm you've ever seen as the kids that ride by on their bikes, or scooters, or even those walking always stop to say "HALLO" and offer a great big smile. And 'ya sort of expect a day like this when out in the boonies, right?

Today was a great ride - we were all sort of tuckered out and we had only planned 50k or so today. We got up early, saw some light rain, but motored from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi. We've been eating local food all week, and while it's surprisingly good and filling, all of us were kind of yearning for a western meal. We ended up at a "5-star" resort in Dong Hoi and had a blast. A very nice tenderloin was something like eight bucks (and, yes, that's waaaaay overpriced for Vietnam, but it was *superb* and was in a nice western resort). The 90-minute massage for $17 rounded out a great afternoon.

Tomorrow, Khe Sahn, a few battle sites, then Hue, then Hoi An. As I've been motoring through the country side, I can't help but to think of the war - what sticks in my mind the most is how folks humped through this landscape. It's either rice paddies, jungle, big ass hills, or mountains. Man.

I anticpate taking loads more photos, but am uploading about 100 images now. May be a few hours yet this morning (9:20p Friday night in Dong Hoi) before all 100 are uploaded, but they'll all be at the link below. Got some great video too, but that'll probably have to wait until my return before I can upload...

A quick domestic flight back to Hanoi on Tuesday, overnight in Hanoi, and then back to the US on Wednesday. Home Thursday afternoon.

I'll update this thread when I post more pics at smugmug, and will update the thread with narrative and specific photos later, but thought it would be nice to post the pics now. Having a blast.





Enjoy,

danbrew

:)

http://danbrew.smugmug.com/Travel/Vi.../9565733_tYbNa
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danbrew screwed with this post 09-25-2009 at 07:45 AM
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:27 AM   #8
danbrew OP
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How do you get a few motorbikes across the river?

by boat, of course.



And up the hill...



And what happens when it rains all night?



You get a typhoon...

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Old 10-03-2009, 09:11 PM   #9
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Hi Danbrew, pics and videos looks great. Thanks for taking us with you. Wow, tyhooon....hope everyone's ok.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:20 PM   #10
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Watching with great interest

I want to go here very bad, with my dad. So i'll be paying close attention.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:15 AM   #11
Patrol
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Danbrew (or anyone else who is in the know)

I have a spot reserved with Offroad Vietnam for October 2010. We're doing the 9 day HoChiMinh Trail tour. Can you give me any insight into gear to bring? I was planning to bring my enduro helmet, armoured jersey, gloves, Alpinestar boots, etc but I see in your pictures that most people were dressed casual with hiking boots. Is the enduro gear overkill? Also, I reserved a 250 Honda but it sounds like a lot of people preferred the 125s. I was thinking the 250 was the only way to go in the mountains (actually, a 450 would be the way to go but those taxes are insane). Is there a fuel mileage/availability issue that makes the 125 desirable that I don't know about or something else or is it just that the 125s are slightly cheaper?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
Thriller5
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those are great pictures, I've never been but it looks like an amazing place.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:34 AM   #13
mikeb.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrol
Danbrew (or anyone else who is in the know)

I have a spot reserved with Offroad Vietnam for October 2010. We're doing the 9 day HoChiMinh Trail tour. Can you give me any insight into gear to bring? I was planning to bring my enduro helmet, armoured jersey, gloves, Alpinestar boots, etc but I see in your pictures that most people were dressed casual with hiking boots. Is the enduro gear overkill? Also, I reserved a 250 Honda but it sounds like a lot of people preferred the 125s. I was thinking the 250 was the only way to go in the mountains (actually, a 450 would be the way to go but those taxes are insane). Is there a fuel mileage/availability issue that makes the 125 desirable that I don't know about or something else or is it just that the 125s are slightly cheaper?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Back in 92 I did 2 months touring the Southern part of the country on a scooter type without any issue, and for easy maneuver, move around on the boat…etc I would pick the 125s. For traveling purpose I would bring and wear hiking boot w/knee and elbow pads, light glove and light helmet. The weather in Oct. would be around 70-80F with some rain so bring rain suite and a light jacket or long sleeve shirt for a cool evening.

Top of the list to bring,
Mosquito sprays
Rain suite
Upset stomach, Flu or muscle cramps (Tylenol or Advil) medications.....on and on.....
You got a whole yr to think about……how can you stand it?.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:59 AM   #14
2wheelprozac
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Went with Off Road Vietnam in January. Great outfit. Unfortunately, I got taken out by a drunk on a scooter three hours north of Hanoi and had to cut the trip short. Fractured clavicle.

Our guide, Quynh was great. Made sure I got back to the hospital in Hanoi safely.

I'm jealous. Maybe I'll be able to finish the trip some day. Following the RR with eager anticipation.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:01 AM   #15
roo6135
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offroad vietnam

Im not long back from a 10day north west tour with offroad vietnam. I see you had the same guide. qwin was his name . not sure how he spells it but thats how its pronouned. He was excellent at his job and helpfull with anything else you could need and great at partying as well . I took an old full face helmet (road) over and left it there and some old sturdy steel capped work boots .that did me just right. A rain suit and jeans t shirts and shorts. dont bother with taking your mx boots, take up too much luggage space. and go for a 125 xl honda . thats all you will need .my travel insurance only covered up to a 200cc by the way. im 105kg and had a 15 kg waterproof tourpac i bought of ebay.it was perfect. and a backpac which was my hand luggage on the plane.5 kg there, The little honda blew the back shoocks from my weight but they just got me some new ones sent to were i would be the next day and away i went. i spent heaps on vacinations which i now think were unneccary and dont bother with doxycline for antimalaria .it will make you sick if you enjoy there draught beer as much as i did at less than $2 a jug.Just use plenty of insect repellant. we saw hardly any mosquitos or flys. after your bike tour go to Handspan ( 2 blocks from offroad vietnam) and book the halong bay trip on a junk for a night then sea kayaking then a night at cat ba island in nice resort with meals and all transfers for $195 . best value on earth. do it.
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