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Old 01-11-2015, 09:31 AM   #1
KoosIsLoose OP
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Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
750 Kilometers Across Vietnam on a 40 Year Old Motorbike

"Saigon.....Shit; Im still only in Saigon" Martin Sheen's words resonated with me as I celebrated 2015 and 4 months living in Vietnam. A career move inspired by a a Top Gear episode and Anthony Bourdain's raving reviews of Vietnamese street food had not materialized exactly how Id imagined it. Turns out living in Saigon can be quite cushy. Ive come to discover that unless you make an effort to experience the culture its unlikely to find yourself living a life much different from home. I've been stagnating in Saigon, eating western food and hanging out with fellow expats from California ever since my arrival. A new year meant it was time to do something!
That something was the realization of a dream I brought here with me to explore this breathtaking country by motorbike.
On January 1st, a little after the crack of noon, hungover as shit and feeling more ambitious than ever I threw some clothes in a backpack and hit the road. Freedom!
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:57 AM   #2
KoosIsLoose OP
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Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
The Route

The Route I planned was inspired by a great blog I stumbled upon http://vietnamcoracle.com/saigon-esc...torbike-guide/

This guide gave me the confidence I needed to get out of the city but I also had an ace in my sleeve! I put the link up on my Facebook asking who of my rugged adventuresome friends in Vietnam would be up for such an epic journey.
My expat buddies showed excitement but couldn't make it for one reason or another. Who did show up? This little vietnamese girl I work with and her scooter.

Not even 1 hour out of the city I realized my plan to pull over and check google maps would not be possible without cell reception. There was really only one or two roads on the route and with Quyen's vietnamese we were able to pull over and confirm with the friendly locals that we were still on the right path.

Our trip was 5 days and took us from: Ho Chi Minh City> Vung Tau> Ho Tram> Phan Thiet> Mui Ne> Dalat> Nha Trang
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:03 AM   #3
KoosIsLoose OP
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Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
The Map

Overnight Stops:
Vung Tau (Night 1)
Phan Thiet (Night 2)
Dalat (Night 3)
Nha Trang (Night 4)
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Quyen on her Scooter

Her little 150cc city scooter made it places guys with their garage-queen-fully-equipped-Dakar bikes only dream about. At times I even felt spoiled with my dirt tires watching her tackle rugged roads with ease on bicycle tread.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:12 AM   #5
Nickhob
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Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Nyon, Switzerland
Oddometer: 81
Looking forward to this
What bike is it?
__________________
All the gear and no idea......
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:12 AM   #6
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Countryside

Its amazing how much the scenery can change in Vietnam.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:14 AM   #7
KoosIsLoose OP
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Beach

In one day we saw the Beach, Desert and Mountains.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:17 AM   #8
KoosIsLoose OP
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Desert

Its so incredible to have open roads all to yourself!
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:24 AM   #9
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Sand Dunes

We had to pull over and check out the sand dunes.
There were people renting plastic mats you could sled down the dunes.
I skipped this attraction. My ass was already feeling the hurt from my uncomfortable seat and 40 year old shocks. Sand in uncomfortable places could generate some unwanted friction when your riding this far.[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:26 AM   #10
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
La Gi Lighthouse

A little side excursion
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #11
KoosIsLoose OP
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Oddometer: 24
Going Up

Made it to the island dry!
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:28 AM   #12
KoosIsLoose OP
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View from the top

Nice break from riding.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:33 AM   #13
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Fog in the Mountains

It got a little cold on the way up to Da lat. Being spontaneous is fun until you're freezing cold climbing a mountain pass. The feeling was exactly that scene in Dumb and Dumber when they are riding their moped to Colorado in the snow and Jim Carey has snot frozen to his upper lip.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:36 AM   #14
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Waterfalls

With so many AMAZING waterfalls along the way, I'm ashamed this is the best one I took a picture of. I was so freezing cold that as I briskly drove by one beautiful sight after another I couldn't be bothered to get off my bike and shiver with my camera. All I could think about was hot tea and getting to my destination.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:39 AM   #15
KoosIsLoose OP
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Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Oddometer: 24
Mountains

Getting to this elevation was no easy task. My Honda climbed in 2nd gear most of the way with occasional bumps down to first. At times i couldn't tell if my clutch was slipping or what, the bike really struggled to get up the mountain.
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