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Anyone tour Vietnam? Advice for a first timer?

Old 01-25-24, 09:58 AM
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Anyone tour Vietnam? Advice for a first timer?

How is the food outside of the big cities? Is lodging reliable or should I bring a tent. Hostile drivers or are they pretty chill?
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Old 01-25-24, 10:23 AM
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I'm touring in Vietnam at this very moment.

Food is available everywhere but the portions are small so fatten yourself up before you come, unless you want to become anorexic.
Don't bother bringing a tent. Hotels are cheap and everywhere. It's hot as hell here and you'll want showers daily.
Traffic is chaos but there is no hostility.
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Old 01-25-24, 10:36 AM
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I have done four extended tours in Vietnam, one of the best places in the world for bicycle touring. I find the roads, even in the city, extremely safe as long as you follow the basic rule which is you worry about what's in front of you and remain consistent and stable in your riding. Traffic efficiently flows around you at that point. Since there are so many users on the roads, from pedestrians, farm animals, millions of scooters and automobiles, everyone is hyper-aware of other users and adjusts accordingly. Accommodation is plentiful, and the only real option tenting really is not an option there and is not recommended. Food providers are everywhere, but the quality is very hit-and-miss. You definitely never go hungry, regardless of your destination. If it is your first time there, I would recommend starting in the Mekong Delta and getting acclimatized to the rhythm of Vietnam before heading north. I would recommend staying away from the big tourist hubs such as HoiAn, DaNang and focus on the rural regions.
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Old 01-25-24, 10:37 AM
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Im looking for a good route from Hanoi to Hoi An. If you have any insight Id appreciate you sharing.

How bad (mountainous) are the inland areas routes?
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Old 01-25-24, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25
I’m looking for a good route from Hanoi to Hoi An. If you have any insight I’d appreciate you sharing.

How bad (mountainous) are the inland areas routes?
I recommend building your route as you go, as the road options are endless. Pick your estimated daily distance and build your route on RideWithGPS, looking at the heatmaps to find which roads are frequented by cyclists. Building a route such as you describe will result in you being placed on major, busier roads, which is not ideal. Get a taxi to take you 40km out of Hanoi as there is little redeeming about the suburbs and begin heading south.

Regarding the mountainous interior, it is magical and well worth spending your time. Obviously, the distances covered are reduced, but the scenery and peacefulness are well worth it. As an alternative to your suggested route, a few years ago, I rode from Luang Prabang, Laos, to Hanoi and it was a fantastic adventure. Highly recommended.

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Old 01-25-24, 11:27 AM
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Hanoi to Hoi An we first rode to Ha Long Bay, then took the ferry to Cat Ba Island, then simply stuck as close as possible to the beach the entire way south. Everyone on the internet recommends avoiding the coast and taking the mountainous inland roads, and they are absolutely right. The coast route (Highway #1) has high traffic, and if you try to avoid traffic by taking parallel village roads, those small roads are very convoluted to navigate and are a bit bumpy, which aside from being uncomfortable, also slows your speed by 15-20%. The villages and rice fields are quite scenic however. We ended up splitting 50/50 large/small roads.

As I said before, the problem is not food availability, it's serving size. The Vietnamese are all 5 feet tall. They eat a peanut and they're good to go. That's how their restaurant portions are sized. As a bike tourist, you will need to eat 10 of their meals a day. You could order a double meal at every restaurant to compensate. There are zero unhealthy processed foods here. I've been in country 23 days and I've lost 8lb. I tried gorging on potato chips, but the bags of chips here are the size of your palm. You open it up and there are seven chips in there. I'm chugging Coca Cola at every meal to get more calories. The Coca Cola bottles here are half the size of the bottles back home. One day I saw a KFC on Google Maps, but when I got there it was boarded up. I bought a jar of margarine to eat.

We enjoyed Hoi An and all the other tourist stuff. We are shameless tourists first, cyclists second. We didn't find the Hanoi suburbs to be anything noteworthy. We rode through.

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Old 01-25-24, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
As I said before, the problem is not food availability, it's serving size. The Vietnamese are all 5 feet tall. They eat a peanut and they're good to go. That's how their restaurant portions are sized. As a bike tourist, you will need to eat 10 of their meals a day. You could order a double meal at every restaurant to compensate. There are zero unhealthy processed foods here. I've been in country 23 days and I've lost 8lb. I tried gorging on potato chips, but the bags of chips here are the size of your palm. You open it up and there are seven chips in there. I'm chugging Coca Cola at every meal to get more calories. The Coca Cola bottles here are half the size of the bottles back home. One day I saw a KFC on Google Maps, but when I got there it was boarded up. I bought a jar of margarine to eat.
You've previously made similar absurd comments about food portions throughout SE Asia. The friends I biked with in SE Asia as well as myself, got plenty of calories by eating 3 meals a day in SE Asia. None of us felt deprived at all. Perhaps you've got a metabolic problem.
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Old 01-25-24, 12:25 PM
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In 1969-70 I toured the country by foot, PC, Huey, and Caribou while there on my Uncle Sam's tab for a year. Country was beautiful, accommodations were well below average.

Good luck to you!
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Old 01-25-24, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
You've previously made similar absurd comments about food portions throughout SE Asia. The friends I biked with in SE Asia as well as myself, got plenty of calories by eating 3 meals a day in SE Asia. None of us felt deprived at all. Perhaps you've got a metabolic problem.
Or maybe I'm riding far more miles in a day than you

I'm riding around the world and need to get from here to Bali by March to fly to the next leg.

I was in Japan and Taiwan before Vietnam and had no calorie problem in those places.

Laos is worse than Vietnam for food portions. And Myanmar is worse still. Thailand and Malaysia are better. In Myanmar I didn't want to offend the restaurant owners by ordering double meals like I'm accusing them of skimping, so I'd eat, bike five minutes down the road to another restaurant, and then have a whole second meal back to back. Was in country 18 days. Started at 161lb. Got home and weighed 150lb.

I don't know what kind of a schedule you guys kept, but if I ate only the 3 standard restaurant meals a day right now I'd be literally dead in less than a month. I'm stuffing my face all hours of the day like a grazing cow on every piece of junk food I can find. I have a 2L jug of ice tea, a pack of Oreos, and a bag of sausages next to me right now.

Also reminding the OP that Vietnam tourist visas are 30 days and cannot be extended, and while the country is narrow in shape it is actually freaking gigantic, so if you want to do the entire length of the country and still take days off to see all the countless scenic destinations, then you have to hustle ass on the riding days whether you like it or not. You get 45 days if you're from one of a select few countries such as France.

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Old 01-25-24, 08:37 PM
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I will add my voice to the quantity of available food debate by saying I had a problem getting enough especially in rural areas of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos which were my favourite parts to visit, it was difficult to find enough and on a four month tour of SE Asia went from just over 140 pounds to 130, I am 5' 8" tall but don't let it put you off it will not kill you but you might need to take the bus sometimes.
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Old 01-25-24, 09:12 PM
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I'm a 6' tall male and on my last long tour in SE Asia, I weighed 128lb when I arrived in Singapore. I've toured here 2 more times since but all have been short tours. We'll see how much I weigh this year when I get done. Hopefully still in the 150s.
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Old 01-26-24, 09:17 AM
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Since we're talking about food, what is the chance to get vegetarian food out in the countryside? When I was there (2000) as a tourist not on a bike, we visited big cities only and finding vegetarian options wasn't a problem in the hotels where we stayed. But, the noodle places on the street likely used fish sauce in their broths, which I'd want to avoid. So, does "food everywhere" mean street vendors or are there restaurants in the countryside that serve vegetarian food? I know that there are lots of vegetarians in VietNam.
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Old 01-26-24, 09:31 AM
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one thing to remember is security while ON the bike. everything goes INSIDE the panniers. kids have been known to (try to) snatch loose items bungeed to racks as you slow down on that long slog uphill thru the village.......

traffic in cities is orderly chaos. ride like the natives, go with the flow, no sudden movements. be predictable.

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Old 01-26-24, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
The Vietnamese are all 5 feet tall.https:
Utter nonsense. Are the Vietnamese people shorter, on average, than in most developed countries? Yes. But to say that all Vietnamese are 5 feet tall is ridiculous. You lose all credibility when you write things like that.

Originally Posted by Yan
They eat a peanut and they're good to go.
More nonsense.

Originally Posted by Yan
As a bike tourist, you will need to eat 10 of their meals a day.
Yet more nonsense.

Originally Posted by Yan
There are zero unhealthy processed foods here.
Originally Posted by Yan
I tried gorging on potato chips, but the bags of chips here are the size of your palm. You open it up and there are seven chips in there. I'm chugging Coca Cola at every meal to get more calories. The Coca Cola bottles here are half the size of the bottles back home. One day I saw a KFC on Google Maps, but when I got there it was boarded up. I bought a jar of margarine to eat.
Yet you seem to have gone out of your way to find unhealthy processed foods.

If you're losing weight and don't want to, eat more. It's that simple. Places to eat are not in short supply in SE Asia, and the food is dirt cheap relative to prices in the developed world. And nearly always delicious.

Included in my cycling in Laos was the beautiful road from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Very mountainous with multiple long climbs over 3 days. This was by far the most difficult cycling I encountered in 4 countries in SE Asia. But I had no problem getting enough calories eating 3 meals a day and a few snacks during the day, even though parts of that route are in remote areas.
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Old 01-26-24, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
Since we're talking about food, what is the chance to get vegetarian food out in the countryside? When I was there (2000) as a tourist not on a bike, we visited big cities only and finding vegetarian options wasn't a problem in the hotels where we stayed. But, the noodle places on the street likely used fish sauce in their broths, which I'd want to avoid. So, does "food everywhere" mean street vendors or are there restaurants in the countryside that serve vegetarian food? I know that there are lots of vegetarians in VietNam.
I think it would generally be difficult to avoid fish sauce if you can't speak the local language. Two exceptions are Singapore and the western part of peninsular Malaysia, because both have a significant Indian population. BTW, in a couple of the larger towns I visited in Laos, each town had an Indian restaurant. Since dairy products are nearly nonexistent there, they used tofu instead of paneer (a fresh Indian cheese).

I ate one day in Thailand with a couple of cyclists I met, and one was vegetarian. She had learned some Thai and was able to ask the cook to not put fish sauce in her noodle dish. It was no problem. I suppose you could use a translating app these days.
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Old 01-26-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
Since we're talking about food, what is the chance to get vegetarian food out in the countryside? When I was there (2000) as a tourist not on a bike, we visited big cities only and finding vegetarian options wasn't a problem in the hotels where we stayed. But, the noodle places on the street likely used fish sauce in their broths, which I'd want to avoid. So, does "food everywhere" mean street vendors or are there restaurants in the countryside that serve vegetarian food? I know that there are lots of vegetarians in VietNam.
Depends on your version of vegetarianism. If you mean complete avoidance of animal products such as animal-based broths, including seafood, you would be out of luck in nontourist areas.
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Old 01-26-24, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
Utter nonsense. Are the Vietnamese people shorter, on average, than in most developed countries? Yes. But to say that all Vietnamese are 5 feet tall is ridiculous. You lose all credibility when you write things like that.

Yet you seem to have gone out of your way to find unhealthy processed foods.

Included in my cycling in Laos was the beautiful road from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Very mountainous with multiple long climbs over 3 days. This was by far the most difficult cycling I encountered in 4 countries in SE Asia. But I had no problem getting enough calories eating 3 meals a day and a few snacks during the day, even though parts of that route are in remote areas.
That wasn't me making up numbers. 5 feet is the actual real life statistical average height of female Vietnamese. Males are taller yes.

Yes, I go out of my way to find the most unhealthy foods available. High fat, high sugar, deep fried. I'm complaining that these are not available enough here. The nice healthy noodles and fresh vegetables everyone eats here, as well as their sensible restaurant portion sizes, I applaud it. It's very good for normal life, prevents obesity in their society. But it's killing me. Insufficient calories.

Not to diminish your accomplishment but I found that section south of Luang Prabang to be by far the easiest portion of Northern Laos. That's the road connecting to Vientiane and is the most touristy road in all of Laos. If you had continued north of Luang Prabang you would have been in for a rude awakening in both terrain and lack of service.

There's no point in us arguing. It's just calories consumed vs calories burnt. If you and I have vastly different levels of calorie expenditure, then naturally we will have different opinions about the ease of eating enough in SE Asia compared to in other countries. I had no problem eating enough in other parts of Asia, but here it is much harder. That's all there is to it. And if it makes you feel better about yourself to attribute the difference between us to my "metabolic problem", then sure, go ahead I don't mind

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Old 01-26-24, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Not to diminish your accomplishment in but I found that section south of Luang Prabang to be by far the easiest portion of Northern Laos. That's the road connecting to Vientiane and is the most touristy road in all of Laos. If you had continued north of Luang Prabang you would have been in for a rude awakening in both terrain and lack of service.
But I did continue north from Luang Prabang almost to the Chinese border, and then west to the Thai border. All of that was much easier than the 3 day stretch with multiple mountain climbs from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. In fact, I met an Italian cylist at the tiny guesthouse where we were both staying in Kiou Ka Cham. The village was high up in the mountains. We had dinner together, and I learned he had biked to Laos overland all the way from Italy. He said that the day we met had been the most difficult day of riding of his entire trip. I agree with you, however, that there were fewer services along some parts of the route north of Luang Prabang, but I was always able to find food & drink when I needed it. As for the glorious ride from Vang Vient to Luang Prabang, there was hardly any traffic when I rode it, maybe about 12 years ago. It was not at all full of tourists. There were almost none except a handful of cyclists I met headed the other directions. Both Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, however, had lots of tourists.
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Old 01-26-24, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
But I did continue north from Luang Prabang almost to the Chinese border, and then west to the Thai border. All of that was much easier than the 3 day stretch with multiple mountain climbs from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. In fact, I met an Italian cylist at the tiny guesthouse where we were both staying in Kiou Ka Cham. The village was high up in the mountains. We had dinner together, and I learned he had biked to Laos overland all the way from Italy. He said that the day we met had been the most difficult day of riding of his entire trip. I agree with you, however, that there were fewer services along some parts of the route north of Luang Prabang, but I was always able to find food & drink when I needed it. As for the glorious ride from Vang Vient to Luang Prabang, there was hardly any traffic when I rode it, maybe about 12 years ago. It was not at all full of tourists. There were almost none except a handful of cyclists I met headed the other directions. Both Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, however, had lots of tourists.
I rode that section in 2010, entering from the Chinese border. I found the section north of Luang Prabang far more difficult than south of it. I started in Shanghai and instead of staying on the coast I went through northern Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan, so by the time I got to Laos I had already spent multiple months riding some absolutely massive mountain passes in southern China, far higher than the rolling hills of Laos. Climbing was not a big deal to me by then but I had little body fat reserve at that point and the main difficulty in Laos was, you guessed it, eating enough calories. Never had this problem in China.

Different experiences, different conclusions.
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Old 01-27-24, 09:26 PM
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Hard to say given the little info from the OP. How many days, what bike, what month. For sure is avoid the TET Chinese New Years.
I took the whole winter to do Vietnam and China to Chengdu, 4,200 miles. Weeks in Saigon, Hanoi and Chengdu. From Saigon to Hanoi was Dec. 5 to 30, 2014. The ride to and around Vung Tau is GORGEOUS, but had not enough cash and this place had none so, I actually had to go back to HCM to get 16 million in my wallet. LOL. I then had a poor start because Malaria pills made me feel zonked until I stopped taking them. Had 3 vanxi rides and a 180 mile bus ride to Hoi An.
I really don't see the hype of this super crowded shopping bazaar with boat rides. I don't bar hop either. I did get there after dark at a hotel on the outskirts and it was spitting rain when I got on my bike and rode thru less than an hour. I just don't get the hate for DaNang, must have 8 miles of beaches and ocean waves and MUPs. Traffic is lighter compared to Hanoi, but is horrible to walk across the main drag with few lights. Checkout Two Wheel Cruise on YT for these two cities.
Halong Bay tours are fun, but you choke on diesel fumes that also choke the view. I did that one day bus tour from Hanoi in 2007. That year I just flew in and spent 5 days in Hanoi and 15 in Saigon, riding a cheap little girls bike I bought, and used my own tools I took. LOL.

So I hope you have 30 days, but I suspect you only have 14 or 21. If so don't bother with the muddy mountain torture test, it's just not worth it that I've seen on videos. Same slop as Laos. I HATE gravel anywhere.
I made sure to stop in big cities and big hotels, they were $40 to $60. If you are OK with $20 hole in the floor shower rooms, there's hundreds of them too. I'm a picky fast food eater, so NO pho soup and not much banh mi sub sandwiches. EVERBODY gushes over these. LOL. Had a mostly OK hotel breakfast and seldom found anything for lunch but fruit, Snickers bars and they only had orange juice among all the poison spiked drinks and pop. Yah chips are awful in VN. There are buffet places, just look for a line of trucks at noon. Even there I was lucky to find some bird meat, tomatoes and plain rice. Duck is rather awful IMO. What is good are the bakeries present in many small towns, buns maybe with eggs or weiners, little cakes smothered in icing.
For supper it was burgers at Lotteria and McD or the many VERY good KFCs, where I got 2 fries and 3 pieces to fatten up. I know I'm the only guy doing this, LOL. McD burgers actually pretty small and their Mc chicken has absolutely HORRIBLE hot spice same as many States, nothing like in Canada, but I haven't been there the last 2 years either. There's some soso Burger Kings. I hate pizzas. Street vendors will only give a speck of meat, but yah it's dirt cheap. Half the fast food was in the Big C grocer malls, now called Metro or something.

I ride freeways around Edmonton, so I also rode the coast and lots of Q1a. Get the hell over when a bus comes along, beep beep means there's a bus stop. Truck drivers waved at me, LOL.
You DON'T really need to wimp out of city traffic, especially with experience on the Toronto lanes. Expect salmon MCs, give them the gutter. Lots of times I helped out cars and trucks by blocking the MCs butting in.
The fort in Hue is a must see. I had time to see the zoo in HCM. Most guys see the boat caves tour in from Ninh Binh. I didn't mind some rides on side roads if they didn't end in dead ends. Lots east from Hanoi.
So have FUN riding up Hai Van pass, lucky if it's not raining.
Some pics >>>
My fave kind of breakfast for 3 weeks on Pham Ngo Lao, # 275 I think. Was about $5 with juice, didn't starve there for sure. My hotel was old and dumpy, but it had tubs and I had stayed there in better times, 2007. Nowhere is quiet in big cities. January is the smoky cane burn season. I didn't mind losing 10 lbs, mostly because of skipped lunches. I started every day with 3 bottles of water, now iced in Kleen canteens, and at least 2 OJ, leaving Hanoi I had 7. I bought 6 snickers bars where I found them. LOL.

Cakes >>>

Truck crash in front of my hotel in Vinh while I was sleeping, LOL. >> That'll buff right out.

My 120 lb Rohloff14 bike in beautiful Vung Tau >> Only flat was from a patch that came loose. Make sure you have a good air gauge, there was none for sale there. I sat on mine and broke it in Hoi An. Big oops. I also goofed not having an inches ruler for the chain. Another need, IMO is a bunch of shoe and 72" skate laces to tie stuff. None there either. I had to tie plastic bags on my shoes when it was raining and the shoulders were soupy mud from tractors I guess.



In 2019 I was riding my CCM 3 speed from Markham to the Toronto shore 4 days, easy.

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Old 01-28-24, 08:03 AM
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Listen to the guy above. Everything he said was spot on.

I finally found a KFC in Nha Trang two days ago. It was terrible. Not enough salt, not enough oil. Tasted like the chicken was baked in an oven. I don't know if they're all like that but KFC might be a dead end for gorging.

I'm not a pre-planner and had never even heard of Hoi An. Didn't realize it was a tourist town until I rolled in and just stumbled into the tourist zone. Immediately got a hotel next to the stupid boats and went to a restaurant. Those tourist restaurants cater to fat westerners so they have the right type of food. Ate myself to death, skipped the boats, went to sleep, continued riding the next morning. Best place I ever found in Vietnam.

I'll be crossing into Cambodia in three days. Goodbye Vietnam.

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Old 01-28-24, 09:50 AM
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To each their own, but I think it's pretty sad to travel to SE Asia and not enjoy the wonderful local food, and instead seek out overpriced western junk food. And then complain that the Western junk food isn't good and that you can't find enough of it. The local food is consistently fantastic in SE Asia. I love trying local dishes and my only complaint is sometimes I'll try something that tastes wonderful but then I can't find the same dish again. I've never gotten sick there and I've only had one bad meal in all of my travels there.
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Old 01-28-24, 10:16 AM
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Yan So where the hell are your pics?? Did you get into Vung Tau? There's sandstone rock along that shoreline and the huge marble statue. The KFC around the bend closed 5 years ago, same with a real nice burger bar I ate at, run by an Ozzie guy. KFC actually have lousy small fries. I eat at DQ here every day. LOL.
How many accidents were close to you. 2 dozen I saw or heard. LOL. Seeing school kids on bikes was fun. The cows and chickens are well behaved there. LOL.
The mad dogs are the ones chained up.
Actually I hear more than a few get food poisoning, not from fast food.. Likely from seafood.
========
What happened is the 3 year CON19 depression killed tourism and likely many businesses closed. Last week I saw a video showing how things have taken a general down slide in VN. Every country has suffered terribly. Sad.

>>> I just looked up KFC on Google. There's actually way more now, 4 in Nha Trang. 20 in Hanoi, I went to 8 or 9 of them. LOL. The one 4 blocks from my hotel I went to 4 times, some just for a icecream cone. Riding from Ninh Binh it was 53 miles to the first KFC in Hanoi. LOL Then 12 miles to my favorite hotel Moonview at 61 Hang Than. I was the first to ride a bicycle over that huge bridge to the airport and back.


Jan. 4. 2015 Grand opening Cau Nhat Tan bridge to the airport. >>

Saw this cool chopper by a KFC. >>

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Old 01-28-24, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Hard to say given the little info from the OP. How many days, what bike, what month. For sure is avoid the TET Chinese New Years.
I took the whole winter to do Vietnam and China to Chengdu, 4,200 miles. Weeks in Saigon, Hanoi and Chengdu. From Saigon to Hanoi was Dec. 5 to 30, 2014. The ride to and around Vung Tau is GORGEOUS, but had not enough cash and this place had none so, I actually had to go back to HCM to get 16 million in my wallet. LOL. I then had a poor start because Malaria pills made me feel zonked until I stopped taking them. Had 3 vanxi rides and a 180 mile bus ride to Hoi An.
I really don't see the hype of this super crowded shopping bazaar with boat rides. I don't bar hop either. I did get there after dark at a hotel on the outskirts and it was spitting rain when I got on my bike and rode thru less than an hour. I just don't get the hate for DaNang, must have 8 miles of beaches and ocean waves and MUPs. Traffic is lighter compared to Hanoi, but is horrible to walk across the main drag with few lights. Checkout Two Wheel Cruise on YT for these two cities.
Halong Bay tours are fun, but you choke on diesel fumes that also choke the view. I did that one day bus tour from Hanoi in 2007. That year I just flew in and spent 5 days in Hanoi and 15 in Saigon, riding a cheap little girls bike I bought, and used my own tools I took. LOL.

So I hope you have 30 days, but I suspect you only have 14 or 21. If so don't bother with the muddy mountain torture test, it's just not worth it that I've seen on videos. Same slop as Laos. I HATE gravel anywhere.
I made sure to stop in big cities and big hotels, they were $40 to $60. If you are OK with $20 hole in the floor shower rooms, there's hundreds of them too. I'm a picky fast food eater, so NO pho soup and not much banh mi sub sandwiches. EVERBODY gushes over these. LOL. Had a mostly OK hotel breakfast and seldom found anything for lunch but fruit, Snickers bars and they only had orange juice among all the poison spiked drinks and pop. Yah chips are awful in VN. There are buffet places, just look for a line of trucks at noon. Even there I was lucky to find some bird meat, tomatoes and plain rice. Duck is rather awful IMO. What is good are the bakeries present in many small towns, buns maybe with eggs or weiners, little cakes smothered in icing.
For supper it was burgers at Lotteria and McD or the many VERY good KFCs, where I got 2 fries and 3 pieces to fatten up. I know I'm the only guy doing this, LOL. McD burgers actually pretty small and their Mc chicken has absolutely HORRIBLE hot spice same as many States, nothing like in Canada, but I haven't been there the last 2 years either. There's some soso Burger Kings. I hate pizzas. Street vendors will only give a speck of meat, but yah it's dirt cheap. Half the fast food was in the Big C grocer malls, now called Metro or something.

I ride freeways around Edmonton, so I also rode the coast and lots of Q1a. Get the hell over when a bus comes along, beep beep means there's a bus stop. Truck drivers waved at me, LOL.
You DON'T really need to wimp out of city traffic, especially with experience on the Toronto lanes. Expect salmon MCs, give them the gutter. Lots of times I helped out cars and trucks by blocking the MCs butting in.
The fort in Hue is a must see. I had time to see the zoo in HCM. Most guys see the boat caves tour in from Ninh Binh. I didn't mind some rides on side roads if they didn't end in dead ends. Lots east from Hanoi.
So have FUN riding up Hai Van pass, lucky if it's not raining.
Some pics >>>
My fave kind of breakfast for 3 weeks on Pham Ngo Lao, # 275 I think. Was about $5 with juice, didn't starve there for sure. My hotel was old and dumpy, but it had tubs and I had stayed there in better times, 2007. Nowhere is quiet in big cities. January is the smoky cane burn season. I didn't mind losing 10 lbs, mostly because of skipped lunches. I started every day with 3 bottles of water, now iced in Kleen canteens, and at least 2 OJ, leaving Hanoi I had 7. I bought 6 snickers bars where I found them. LOL.

Cakes >>>

Truck crash in front of my hotel in Vinh while I was sleeping, LOL. >> That'll buff right out.

My 120 lb Rohloff14 bike in beautiful Vung Tau >> Only flat was from a patch that came loose. Make sure you have a good air gauge, there was none for sale there. I sat on mine and broke it in Hoi An. Big oops. I also goofed not having an inches ruler for the chain. Another need, IMO is a bunch of shoe and 72" skate laces to tie stuff. None there either. I had to tie plastic bags on my shoes when it was raining and the shoulders were soupy mud from tractors I guess.



In 2019 I was riding my CCM 3 speed from Markham to the Toronto shore 4 days, easy.
Originally Posted by Yan
Listen to the guy above. Everything he said was spot on.

I finally found a KFC in Nha Trang two days ago. It was terrible. Not enough salt, not enough oil. Tasted like the chicken was baked in an oven. I don't know if they're all like that but KFC might be a dead end for gorging.

I'm not a pre-planner and had never even heard of Hoi An. Didn't realize it was a tourist town until I rolled in and just stumbled into the tourist zone. Immediately got a hotel next to the stupid boats and went to a restaurant. Those tourist restaurants cater to fat westerners so they have the right type of food. Ate myself to death, skipped the boats, went to sleep, continued riding the next morning. Best place I ever found in Vietnam.

I'll be crossing into Cambodia in three days. Goodbye Vietnam.
The most ridiculous perspectives of touring Vietnam or SEA in general I have ever read! LOL.
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Old 01-28-24, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
The most ridiculous perspectives of touring Vietnam or SEA in general I have ever read! LOL.
The harder you ride, the more calories you need to eat.

SE Asia to Chengdu is one of the hardest bike touring routes in the world. Northern Laos itself is quite difficult. Then in Yunnan from the Laos border to Kunming you have to perpendicularly traverse innumerable river valleys including the Mekong, the Red, and many of their tributaries. There is not a single day where you are able to ride along a valley. You're not just arriving at a mountain range and climbing a pass to cross it. This is the eastern continuation of the Himalayas and it's a non stop solid carpet of mountains for two months straight. It's far harder than riding coast to coast in the US. Check out this insanity on Google Maps:

Laos section:



China section south of Kunming:



China section north of Kunming:

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