Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Motorbiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Experience Vietnam's magic on this two-week route from Hanoi to Saigon.

Navigating a crowded Saigon market on a motorbike: not for the faint of heart.
Navigating a crowded Saigon market on a motorbike: not for the faint of heart.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail follows the infamous supply route created by the North Vietnamese guerrillas during the Vietnam War.

Streets of Hanoi.

We began our motorbike journey from Hanoi (left), headed toward the south to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon through rice paddies, green jungles and white beaches. On this route one is frequently reminded of Vietnam’s history of French colonization and war.

Sponsored
Sponsored

As we traveled between the rural areas and charming towns and cities, we were greeted by welcoming Vietnamese (and sometimes local water buffaloes), which we wouldn't have experienced had we been on bus or airplane. Friendly Vietnamese children with smiling faces waved as they walked to/from school on the village roads, while farmers tended rice crops and farm animals grazed on the roadside.

Most of our nights were spent at homestays with hosts who made us feel at home in a country where few people speak English. There are Vietnamese homestay websites that offer accommodations at a fraction of the cost of hotels/motels, and you’ll experience Vietnamese culture in an entirely different way.

The trip from the rugged jungle mountains of the North through the Central Highlands to the coast of the south into Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon takes about two weeks, including a stop at the beach. Sometimes we didn’t see a single person for hours as we drove through the countryside.

Some of the highlights of the trip were the location of the infamous battle of the Vietnam War, Dong Ap Bia (Hamburger Hill) and the historical city of Huế with its Imperial Citadel complex of temples along with abandoned American military tanks languishing on the property.

We also spent a day on the Mekong Delta to see the Cai Rang floating market, where hundreds of small boats compete for space on the water to sell their goods.

Hanoi bike shop.

There are several motorbike shops in Hanoi owned/operated by English-speaking expats, including Cuong's Motorbike Adventure and Rent A Bike Hanoi. Bikes run $10-20 a day per bike, and you can pay a shipping fee of $60 per bike to have it shipped from Saigon back to Hanoi once you arrive in Saigon. Most shops only rent Honda bikes, which are considered more dependable.

Renting a motorbike in Vietnam is relatively easy – provided you have experience riding motorbikes and select a reputable rental company. Gas in Vietnam is cheap, so this is a low-cost way to immerse yourself in this beautiful country with such friendly people.

We began our trip in Hanoi in late summer (August) and headed south as the weather started to cool down. If you like hot, humid weather, you could start in the south/Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon and head north to Hanoi as the weather gets cooler.

Vietnam is a magical place to travel on a bike, but it does have hazards; it's for experienced drivers only. Traffic can be chaotic. Once you learn the road rules, however, it’s easy to navigate around the country. Western highway laws and rules don't apply in Vietnam, so be sure to acquaint yourself before the trip.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Dad Darius Degher writes lyrics for his daughters - and himself

“What I respect most are song lyrics that do something wholly new.”
Next Article

Tasting the beers and the food around the Ensenada Beer Fest

A comprehensive assessment proves impossible, but fun to pursue
Navigating a crowded Saigon market on a motorbike: not for the faint of heart.
Navigating a crowded Saigon market on a motorbike: not for the faint of heart.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail follows the infamous supply route created by the North Vietnamese guerrillas during the Vietnam War.

Streets of Hanoi.

We began our motorbike journey from Hanoi (left), headed toward the south to Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon through rice paddies, green jungles and white beaches. On this route one is frequently reminded of Vietnam’s history of French colonization and war.

Sponsored
Sponsored

As we traveled between the rural areas and charming towns and cities, we were greeted by welcoming Vietnamese (and sometimes local water buffaloes), which we wouldn't have experienced had we been on bus or airplane. Friendly Vietnamese children with smiling faces waved as they walked to/from school on the village roads, while farmers tended rice crops and farm animals grazed on the roadside.

Most of our nights were spent at homestays with hosts who made us feel at home in a country where few people speak English. There are Vietnamese homestay websites that offer accommodations at a fraction of the cost of hotels/motels, and you’ll experience Vietnamese culture in an entirely different way.

The trip from the rugged jungle mountains of the North through the Central Highlands to the coast of the south into Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon takes about two weeks, including a stop at the beach. Sometimes we didn’t see a single person for hours as we drove through the countryside.

Some of the highlights of the trip were the location of the infamous battle of the Vietnam War, Dong Ap Bia (Hamburger Hill) and the historical city of Huế with its Imperial Citadel complex of temples along with abandoned American military tanks languishing on the property.

We also spent a day on the Mekong Delta to see the Cai Rang floating market, where hundreds of small boats compete for space on the water to sell their goods.

Hanoi bike shop.

There are several motorbike shops in Hanoi owned/operated by English-speaking expats, including Cuong's Motorbike Adventure and Rent A Bike Hanoi. Bikes run $10-20 a day per bike, and you can pay a shipping fee of $60 per bike to have it shipped from Saigon back to Hanoi once you arrive in Saigon. Most shops only rent Honda bikes, which are considered more dependable.

Renting a motorbike in Vietnam is relatively easy – provided you have experience riding motorbikes and select a reputable rental company. Gas in Vietnam is cheap, so this is a low-cost way to immerse yourself in this beautiful country with such friendly people.

We began our trip in Hanoi in late summer (August) and headed south as the weather started to cool down. If you like hot, humid weather, you could start in the south/Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon and head north to Hanoi as the weather gets cooler.

Vietnam is a magical place to travel on a bike, but it does have hazards; it's for experienced drivers only. Traffic can be chaotic. Once you learn the road rules, however, it’s easy to navigate around the country. Western highway laws and rules don't apply in Vietnam, so be sure to acquaint yourself before the trip.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Five of us in a one-bedroom on 47th Street

Cars run fast from the light at the 805 to the light on Logan Ave.
Next Article

Tim Flannery, Pete “Pops” Escovedo, Roger Clyne, Orion Song, Jeff Berkley

Jazz, country, R&B, rock, and acoustic evenings in La Jolla, Little Italy, Ramona, and Solana Beach
Comments
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
May 9, 2018
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 6, 2018
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Feb. 14, 2020
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.