As i have said in a previous post i will be traveling in Vietnam for just under a month in April/May time this year moving from Saigon (Ho Chi Mingh City) in the south to Hanoi in the north by train stopping on the way and exploring.
Im finalising a few things before booking and have a few queries and im in need of clarification:
1. Whilst im there i want to travel from one town/city to the next without a train or bus etc, do you think it would be possible by bicycle? Ive worked out that i can travel 50 miles in 5 1/2 hours so what is the best way to purchase one in the city, how much would they be approx?
2. What would be the best places to bike to and from? Both scenic and safety wise?
3. What places am i to avoid in vietnam in terms of safety and places that are just a complete tourist hole?
4. Recommended places to visit? I want to try different food and see the real culture or rural vietnam?
5. Any other tips etc to do with traveling, flights, visas etc.
6. I plan to book the plane ticket from london to saigon, and the hanoi to london before, so i have 27 days to get from one to the other, good idea, or pay as i go with the hanoi to london when i decide to leave?
7. Anything else?
Hope to hear from someone soon!
I will leave most of your questions to those that live in VN. I would really discourage you from riding a push bike on the roads of VN. Almost every road I was on was a narrow 2 lane affair. Large trucks, buses, vans cars, motorbikes, ox carts, kids and dogs were using the road. I would not risk my life by trying to navigate their roads on a bike. Once there, take a bus ride from HCMC to another city and see if you want to share the roads with the traffic you will encounter. Good luck.
I will not mind going to Vietnam one day to experience the culture and life they have there!
anyway, since I am already here, thought that it would be good to introduce an travel agency which I trust in - Nam Ho Travel...
Prolly can find out some of the Vietnam tour packages, free and easy plans they have. =)
Ha, sounds like I am their free walking adv. :X
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Hi there, i was in vietnam this time last year for a month and travelled the full length of the country, like the previous post said you would be risking you life on a bike going form town to city etc its a very very long country and will take a very long time to ride, if you wish to get a bike it would be a good idea as local transport once in a town etc,
Hoi An would be an ideal place to ride around, i hired a motorbike here and great to get to the beach on and do a bit of exploring. You could buy a bike in Ho Chi Mingh City and i imagine they would be very very cheap as well but you would have to take it on the train with you which the locals do.
I would recomend getting the train over the bus as the busses are only tourists and when you get off the bus there is a lot of pressure to stay somehwere the bus company are partners with.
If you train it you get the fredom to go where you wish and if you have a bike you will be able to ride to from the stations with out and transfer issues (Hoi An station is 30min drive/taxi away as it is in Danang)
Dont forget most if not all the roads are very hilly and very very windy so its not a straight route by far and you will have to deal with traffic of all kinds dodging cows dogs huge lorrys etc. so i think you 5.5 hours for 50 miles is very optimistic when you take this into account!! you would be just riding and sleeping for a month if thats what you want to do?
Places to definatly visit are
Dalat - Rural town in highlands etc
Na Trang - probably the only touristy spot but a fun place to visit.
Hanlong bay - also very touristy but for good reson its stunning!!!!! cant miss it
Sapa - many people say this is there highlight of vietnam rural highlands rice fields trekking etc. will need to to take train from Hanoi to get here.
There is knowhere i would say avoid as vietnam is not very touristy compared to thailand etc, some places are very developed like Ho Chi Mingh City but in a vietnamise way not a tourist way so well worth checking out.
I you have time i would check out Laos while in the area personally i much prefered laos - nicer people - stunning senary near vang vienne and very cheap, also very very under developed and only back packers go here and some areas are extremely poor and as rural and off beat as you can get. so if you have time do it.
You do need to get a visa in advance before you leave the uk, this can be done be contacting the vietnam embassy on the web site and by post etc.