Bangkok and Vietnam

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  • Mad hot post, cheers. I'd take any traffic on, I'm just thinking about the little lady on the back

  • Ha, I was worried about that too, but my girlfriend had never been on the back of a scooter/motorbike so I think she just assumed everything was normal...!

  • We traveled mainly up the coast by night bus. Travel, and save on a hotel for the night. Pretty good way to make it across country.

    Don't bother with restaurants (unless you want a bit of luxury), streetfood is the best. As fucking cheap, anywere between 20-50p a meal.

    Get some clothes made by the tailors whilst you're there, it's worth the money. I only got a pair of trousers made, but they fit great. Cost about £8. Claira had a silk maxi dress made for £15 which is fantastic and fits like a glove.

    Check out the war musuems, and have fun crawling through the tunnels...

    Harlong Bay is incredible, and if you go for a cruise, don't get the cheapest (heard bad reports), I paid $139 for two nights for myself and Claira and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Swiming in the bay whilst eagles were fishing nearby is something I'll never forget.

    Enjoy, you'll have a great time. It's an incredible country.

  • Yes, excited for the war museum stuff, the sleeper train and the street food. Hadn't thought about it before but someone mentioned getting some clothes made, up for that. Also on the look out for a knock-off Submariner...

  • Has someone mentioned Bia Hoi yet?

    it's basically cheap beer sold out of ramshackle shop fronts in giant buckets that the locals sit around drinking all evening - it's not massively strong, but then if you drink enough of it (it's basically free) you can get appropriately drunk.

  • Saigon is amazeballz. Probably one of my favourite cities so far. Did a similar trip a couple of years ago and Phu Quoc is sleepy but very, very nice. There's some amazing beaches but I wouldn't recommend going on a scooter as the island is quite big and there's only 2 roads with tarmac.

    As for beer, $0.70 for a 450ml of Saigon is the norm, pretty much anywhere. So cheap and nice.

    If you've got time I'd recommend visiting Kampot/Kep just across the water/border from Phu Quoc. There's lots of Khmer Rouge/Colonization history going on. The casino on Bokor hill alone is worth a visit.

  • Yes, excited for the war museum stuff, .............

    I'd try to read up before going to museums, it might put in different perspective, the official history is written by the "winners",

    as to Saigon by moped, make sure your insurance is up to date, the stats are scary, and I was with people who lived there and are used to the traffic, or maybe it was having a big "fat" bloke on the back, oh and when they suggest the still beating snake's heart is a local tradition, yes it is (apparently) but most haven't done it

  • Cheers chap, I don't care if they made the whole thing up, as long as I can see guns and stuff

  • In Vietnam they call it the American War. So awesome.

  • *Not the war. That was pretty brutal.

  • Millions of motorbikes in Hanoi and Saigon. Not very bicycle friendly.

  • Update, I did rent a bicycle in Hoi An, safe as houses, and a scooter on Phu Quoc, AMAZING! Scantily populated island with a quarter-built highway running along it's length = great, dusty scooter fun. Do it now before they finish building the road!

  • Bump off here in May

    Plan is:

    Halong bay cruise
    Da nang
    Hoi an

    Anyone done the cruise? We're going for the more expensive one, will it be full of old dudes? Is it worth doing three days? Any other reccos/places to stay?

  • What's the itinery for the three days? If it means you get to explore more of the islands then yep worth it.

  • How rude I never replied!

    We're off on Friday. 4 days in HK then 10 in Vietnam

    I am excite

  • BUMP!

    Will land in Saigon, and then depart from Hanoi three weeks later. Three weeks to make my way trough the country. Have not sorted out my itinerary yet.

    Lots of great Vietnam tips on the forum already, but feel free to update the thread.

  • I cycled from Da Nang to Saigon about 10 years ago. I flew in from Hanoi but figured i didn't have enough time to do the length of the country given i also wanted to head down to the Delta...took the coast road which found pretty user friendly given the wide verge for cyclists and scooters.

    Had a lovely time, ate lots of street food. Guess there's been a lot going on since then but has probably been my most memorable trip.

  • Been to Saigon a few times - L'uisine has the best breakfasts and coffee in the city.

    Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Hash all the way.

  • So worth staying nearby then? Wake up to sweet potato evrytim.
    EDIT: Yup, district 1 seems to be the place.
    Any cheap but not too sleazy hotels? I reckon I am too old for multi-bed dorms.

  • Yeah, District 1 is definitely in the centre - we stayed at a place called Aries Ben Thanh Central Hotel which was about 180 for 6 nights (you could totally go cheaper though). It was down a back street but near the best Banh Mi cart in the city (Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai).

    You could stay out of District one to save cash as Uber is an incredibly accessible way to get around (a couple of quid for a journey, or go for a... Lyft, I think it was called, on the backs of mopeds). We chose these as rainstorms can screw your day up very easily.

    If you like a beer then Pasteur Street Brewing Company is very popular with ex-pats and is worth a visit.

    Definitely worth going for a massage somewhere too, as again they're very cheap (read: reputable massage places - see google reviews to avoid the seedy places).

  • Currently cycling south in Vietnam. Started in Hanoi but took train to Dong Ha to miss out busy roads. Will head down the coast to somewhere past Da Nang then over the central highlands and cross the border into Cambodia. Or go to Saigon and then cross border at Bavet, depends on visa situation and which borders are currently open for visa on arrival. So far it’s been hot and very wet. Food has been amazing but out in the countryside it’s been very much a case of eat whatever you’re given, lots of noodle soups with offal and bones! Have tried to ask for vegetarian food but it’s been tricky. Beer is super cheap at around 30p a bottle/glass, great for thirsty cyclists. Hotels cheap - average is £10 a night for a nice double room with en suite.

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  • Getting bikes on train involved a bit of back and forth between various desks at the station but wasn’t too difficult. Cost £15 and the bikes were packed in a crate for safety…

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  • Hai Van pass today, was nice

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Bangkok and Vietnam

Posted by Avatar for max21 @max21