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17th March 2017

Home in Nha Trang

I am now back home in Nha Trang after my epic bike trip from Nha Trang to Tuy Hoa, Pleiku, Kon Tum, Quang Ngai, Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Khe Sanh, Phong Nha, Dong Hoi, Danang, Quy Nhon and finally back to Nha Trang - total distance covered was about 2,500 kilometres.


16th March 2017

Danang to Quy Nhon

I am spending the night in Quy Nhon after another long day (around 320 kilometres) made worse by the fact that it rained for a good portion of the way (the first rain I have encountered on this trip). I chose Quy Nhon simply because it was the only real town between Danang and Nha Trang and I have never been here before. I was surprised to find that it appears to be a modern well laid out city and it also has a wonderful beach - long and wide with clean golden sand and no crowds. Tomorrow is the last leg of my marathon motorbike road trip and I am looking forward to some rest.

Quy Nhon Beach
Quy Nhon Beach


15th March 2017

Dong Hoi to Danang

Another day another 300 kilometres - although as it was all on the main north/south highway it was relatively painless. I spend tonight in Danang and then another 300 kilometre+ day tomorrow to Quy Nhon.


13th March 2017

Ho Chi Minh Road

Today was another hard day in the saddle covering around 300 kilometres - more than 200 of which was on the Ho Chi Minh Road from Khe Sanh to Phong Nha through the endless mountain ranges that run along the Vietnam and Laos border. The surprising thing about the road to me was how good it was as it was concrete all the way.
I am now in Dong Hoi staying at the Geminai Hotel and Cafe and it is excellent - I am staying here for two nights and will have a rest day tomorrow. I had planned to return to Nha Trang from here by train but have decided to ride back down the main coast highway stopping overnight in Danang and Quy Nhon.

Ho Chi Minh Road Village    Ho Chi Minh Road Valley    Fishing Boats on Nhat Le River
                   Ho Chi Minh Road Village                      Ho Chi Minh Road Valley (Video)              Fishing Boats on Nhat Le River - Dong Hoi        


12th March 2017
Khe Sanh

Today I had an easy ride from Hue to Khe Sanh as the road was in excellent condition and very smooth (at one stage I was cruising at 100 kph) probably because it is the main trading route between Vietnam and Laos (Khe Sanh is only about 15 kilometres from the Laos border).
I met up with an American guy at my hotel and we rode out to the old Khe Sanh Combat Base which was a major American base during the Vietnam War and was involved in continuous heavy fighting from 1967 to 1968.

Khe Sanh River
Khe Sanh River


11th March 2017


I am after now in Hue (Hway) spending yesterday in Hoi An. I stayed at the Hoi An Trust Villa which was good. I am not really a fan of Hoi An (I visited once before) as I just don't understand what the attraction is. The place has always been populay with backpackers and has now got to a stange similar to Nha Trang were it is simply being swamped by toursits. I also noted whilst riding along the coast from Hoi An to Danag that the entire coastline between the two place is being developed into "Resorts" again similar to what is happening between Cam Ranh Airport and Nha Trang.

Hoi An River    Hoi An Ferry    Japanese Covered Bridge
              Hoi An River                                               Hoi An Ferry                                        Japanese Covered Bridge       
Short Hoi An Video


9th March 2017

Quang Ngai

After a tough day riding (more than 6 hours) from Pleiku to Quang Ngai (245 Klms) over three mountain ranges and roads that varied from very good to dirt tracks with hundreds of potholes. The plus side was that the scenery was absolutely spectacular. I am spending the night at the Ma Tra River View Hotel and my room ovrerlooks the river.
Most people have the impression that Vietnam is a "Backward Asian Economy" and that is not the case as there is obvious prosperity and progess everywhere. I had started to get the feeling myself that Vietnam had decided to become a "Tourist Destination Only" but I have spent the last three days visiting areas that are totally tourist free and they are thriving.

Mountain Village Central Vietnam    Valley Town From Mountain Top    Oink
Mountain Village in Central Vietnam               Valley Town From Mountain Top                                         Oink                  
Click to Watch Video

My Tra Hotel View
My Tra Hotel View


8th March 2017


I am now in Pleiku staying at the Hoang Vu Bien Ho Hotel which is much better than I had imagined - it is a large, modern hotel on the main road - I booked a single room with breakfast for less than $14 USD and have been upgraded to a VIP Room on the 6th floor.
Pleiku town covers quite a large area and is well laid out. It is not a tourist destination and in fact I have not seen any foreigners since I left Nha Trang. The people here are very friendly and most of the kids speek English to some degree (more than just Hello). The road to Pleiku from Tuy Hoa was very bumpy and on two occasions my helmet cam mounting fell out of level - the gyro stabilising of the video camera is great and watching video footage of the trip you cannot tell how bumpy the road was.

Pleiku Hotel Room
Pleiku VIP Hotel Room


7th March 2017

Tuy Hoa

The ride up to Tuy Hoa was good and on the way I passed Dai Lanh, a small fishing village with a great beach. I had an interesting time passing lots of trucks on Ca Pass (Click to Watch The Video).
There were many lush green fields of rice but some had already turned golden and were being harvested. The beach a Tuy Hoa is clean, long and deserted - there seems to be work in progress to rejuvinate the area.

Rice-Harvest    Tuy Hoa Beach
                  Rice Harvest                               Tuy Hoa Beach - No Crowds Here  


6th March 2017

Road Trip

Tomorrow I leave for my big road trip to central and northern Vietnam visiting Tuy Hoa, Pleiku, Quang Ngai, Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Khe Sanh, Phong Nha and Dong Hoi. The plan is to then come back to Nha Trang by train from Dong Hoi but I may keep going all the way to Hanoi. The route is a combination of coastal and mountain roads and covers 1249 Klms on motorbike and 795 Klms on the train.


26th February 2017

Dalat Trip

I am back in Nha Trang after taking my new bike on a trip to Dalat and back - I rode up yesterday morning and returned this morning. The bike is exactly what I wanted and performed better than I had expected (I think Honda have a "Winner" here). I tried a new restaurant in Dalat and it was wonderful (and cheap) - I have been to Dalat eight times now (I like Dalat) and find new things each visit. The fruit and vegetables in the market change with the seasons and I found the healthiest/freshest looking cauliflower and broccoli I have ever seen - I also saw the largest grapes I have ever seen (I had to taste one to make sure they were grapes), they looked like bunches of plums - but they were expensive at around $10US/kilo so I passed.

Dalat Roundabout at Night    Al Fresco Dining Dalat    Street Food Dalat
     Dalat Roundabout area at Night                             Al Fresco Dining Dalat                                   Street Food Dalat                  


23rd February 2017

Phu Quoc South Day Tour

Today I took the Red River Tours "South Day Tour" and it was better than expected. Whilst it was nothing special it was quite informative - visits to a Pearl Farm, a Pepper Farm, a Fish Sauce Factory, the Sim Wine Factory, a Fishing Village, Sao Beach and the old Coconut Prison. I took a few photos and will post them when I get back to Nha Trang if I have time before I leave on Saturday for a trip to Dalat to trial and run-in my new bike.

Pepper Trees - Phu Quoc    Fish Sauce Fermenting Vats    Sao Beach Phu Quoc
Pepper Trees - Phu Quoc                     Fish Sauce Fermenting Vats                              Sao Beach Phu Quoc         


22nd February 2017

Phu Quoc

I am now in Phu Quoc (a Vietnamese Island off the south coast of Cambodia) for four days. I arrived yesterday and spent the afternoon down the beach followed by a trip to the local "Night Market". The beach is good with calm seas, warm water and a gentle breeze - there were not a lot of people around and so far it has not been swamped by tourists. The night market was nothing special mainly consisting of restaurants targeting tourists. I ate at the busiest restaurant and the service was bad, the food was terrible and the price was about double that of Nha Trang.

So far the best thing about Phu Quoc is my hotel, the Hiep Thoai Hotel, as it may well be the "Best Value" hotel I have stayed at in Vietnam (and I have stayed at plenty), it is accross the road from the main beach and a short walk into town, it is clean and my room is good and it only cost me $7US/night (Mr. Cheap) for a double A/C room with Wifi, cable TV and a mini bar.

Today I rented a motorbike and rode around most of Phu Quoc and to be honest there is very little to see as the whole island is bland and the same. There are several tourist developments in progress especially in the North near Vinpearl Amusement Park.


20th February 2017

My New Honda Winner

Yesterday I bought a new motorbike as I have plans for some major touring (see January 7th post below) and my Honda Blade was a good town bike but not a touring bike. The Honda Winner may look similar but it is completely different - six speed manual gearbox, disc brakes front and rear, fuel injected 150 cc engine, liquid cooled, wider wheels with better tyres and it has double the power of the Honda Blade. I took it for a 50 kilometre run up the coast yesterday and it went well.

Honda Winner
Honda Winner


14th February 2017

My New Video Postcards Site

I have created a new website to show the videos I record so that this site doesn't get overloaded. The site is
There is only four videos there at the moment but I plan to add one or more per week.


12th January 2017

Vung Tau Trip

I just got home from a three day trip to Vung Tau (about 90 kilometres south of Saigon) which is a popular weekend "Beach Escape" for residents of Saigon. I went during the week to avoid the crowds (and to get cheaper hotel prices) and that certainly succeeded as there were very few people around and almost no traffic - it reminded me a lot of how Nha Trang was when I first visited in 2010 (before the hoards of Russian tourists started coming). Vung Tau's main beach (Front Beach) is OK but nowhere near as good as Nha Trang, they also have a sheltered beach (Back Beach) that is calmer and not as windy. I rented a motorbike from my hotel and covered a large portion of Vung Tau.

Vung Tau is not that easy to get to as it has no commercial flights and no train service. I flew to Saigon from Nha Trang and got the fast ferry to Vung Tau (200,000 vnd) which takes about 2 hours and was quite relaxing. I decided to get a minibus back just for the experience (90,000 vnd) and it took more than 2 1/2 hours with lots of traffic and road works and it only goes to the main bus terminal on the outskirts of Saigon so I had to get 2 more buses to get me into Saigon and to the airport. I am fairly sure I will visit Vung Tau again and I will take the fast ferry both ways.

Vung Tau Front Beach - Tide Out    Vung Tau Front Beach - Tide In    Vung Tau Back Beach
           Vung Tau Front Beach - Tide Out                    Vung Tau Front Beach - Tide In                            Vung Tau Back Beach                 

Vung Tau Beach Road    Nha Trang Beach Road
Vung Tau Beach Road                                Nha Trang Beach Road


7th January 2017

The Great Central/Northern Trip

In keeping with the idea that I will have a trip per month (Vung Tau this month, Phu Quoc next month) I am planning a motorbike trip mid March from Nha Trang to Dong Hoi coming back on the train. I have booked all the hotels (at an average price of $20.50 AUD/night - $15 USD) - which includes breakfast at half of the hotels and one hotel is rated five stars - "Mr. Cheap") - Day 1 Nha Trang to Tuy Hoa (126 Klms) - day 2 Tuy Hoa to Pleiku (221 Klms) - Day 3 Pleiku to Quang Ngai (245 Klms) - Day 4 Quang Ngai to Hoi An (116 Klms) - Day 5 Hoi An to Hue (130 Klms) - Day 6 Hue to Khe Sanh (133 Klms) - Day 7 Khe Sanh to Phong Nha (233 Klms) - Day 8 Phong Nha to Dong Hoi (45 Klms) - Day 9 Train from Dong Hoi to Nha Trang (795 Klms).

The route is a combination of coastal and mountain roads and covers 1249 Klms on motorbike and 795 Klms on the train.


25th December 2016

Back Home - Nha Trang

Back home in Nha Trang after my 4 day "Coffee Trip" which covered more than 550 klms. The ride down the mountains from Dalat was cold and wet - it rained almost all the way to Nha Trang - and there is a major storm across the Philippines that is heading this way. I had a rest stop at Com Khan Le and had a Banh Mi Op La (Baguette with 2 fried eggs) and a wonderful coffee - I was cold and wet.
The road is a disaster area with numerous landslides, washouts and potholes - the road was in excellent condition in September when I last rode to Dalat - the continual heavy rain has made a mess.


23rd December 2016


Still in Dalat spending the night at the Gold Star Hotel and all is well. I went on the Dalat Countryside Tour today and it involved visits to a Flower Growing Farm, Highlands Coffee Plantation, a Silk Worm processing plant, Elephant Waterfall, Linh An Pagoda, a Cricket Breeding business and Dalat Railway Station.
I did a couple of new things today - I had a cup of Arabica Weasel Coffee and also ate some Crickets.
I will be riding home to Nha Trang tomorrow and the weather forecast is good.

Marigolds    Highlands Coffee Plantation    Coffee Bush
                              Marigolds                                      Highlands Coffee Plantaion                               Ripe Coffee Cherries                          

Coffee Cherries    Sleeping Weasel    Silk Worms
                      Coffee Cherries Drying in The Sun                               Sleeping Weasel                                       Silk Worms                                            

Elephant Waterfall    Inside Vietnam Pagoda    Happy Buddha
Elephant Waterfall                                   Inside Linh An Pagoda                                         Happy Buddha    

Breeding Crickets    Roasted Crickets    Dalat Railway Station
      Breeding Crickets                                          Roasted Crickets                                 Dalat Railway Station    


23rd December 2016


I have arrived in Dalat after a torrid 200 klm plus ride from Buon Ma Thout. The first half of the trip was OK then once at the top of the mountains the road quality dropped dramatically with many rough areas and large potholes everywhere. It took about five hours including a coffee break at about half way - my body is still vibrating from all the bouncing around - you probably don't have to be crazy to do this trip on a motorbike but I am sure it helps.


21st December 2016

Coffee Trip

Tomorrow I am taking my motorbike on a trip to the main coffee growing areas of Vietnam. Travelling from Nha Trang (hopefully the rain will have stopped) to the Dak Lak region, staying in the capital of the province, Buon Ma Thuot, overnight - 185 kilometres. The following day I will travel from Buon Ma Thuot to Dalat - 210 kilometres - and again stay overnight. Then on Saturday I will return to Nha Trang - 135 kilometres.
I have no set plans and am just going for a ride. I have been to Dalat several times and usually buy coffee when I visit.


18th December 2016

Back Home in Nha Trang

I am now home in Nha Trang (and it's still raining) after a great trip to Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay. I already have bookings for a trips to Vung Tau (south of Saigon) for a couple of days next month and a four day trip to Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia, in February.


16th December 2016

Sapa & Halong Bay Trip (Day Four)

This morning I went Kayaking with the group - we travelled further than I thought we would and the trip included going "Through" one of the Halong Bay islands. After the Kayaking the head chef gave us a fruit carving demonstration and we all got to make fresh spring rolls.

The balance of the trip involved cruising homeward and simply enjoying the view. The entire trip was excellent I can highly recommend it - Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay

Kayak Halong Bay    Floating Minimart    Halong Bay Cruising
         Kayaking Halong Bay                                Floating Minimart                                      Halong Bay Cruising               


15th December 2016

Sapa & Halong Bay Trip (Day Three)

The trip back to Hanoi on the overnight train was a bit rough and I only got about 30 minutes sleep. After a quick breakfast I caught the minibus to Halong Bay to board the V'Spirit Classic Boat for two days of cruising. The boat has sixteen large cabins, a dining area, an outside covered seating area and an upper sun deck.

The first day was spent cruising Halong Bay, a visit to Sung Sot Cave (a large cave within one of the islands in Halong Bay) and some time at Ti Top Beach. The food on board has been amazing with many courses for both lunch and dinner (dinner consisted of pumpkin soup, fried spring rolls, stuffed crab, oysters, prawns, rice and vegetables with fresh fruit for desert)

Halong Bay - Leaving Harbour    Halong Bay    Halong Bay Islands
Leaving Halong Bay Harbour                                   Halong Bay                                                Halong Bay Islands      

V'Spirit Cruise Boat    Sung Sot Cave    Ti Top Beach
V'Spirit Cruise Boat                                           Sung Sot Cave                                            Ti Top Beach         


14th December 2016

Sapa Trekking (Day Two)

Thankfully for my leg muscles the second day of trekking was quite a bit easier than the first - We walked from the Sapa Vista Hotel down to Cat Cat village of the Black H'mong people. The remains of a French Colonial power station consisted of large waterwheels very similar to bicycle wheels. We then walked on to Sin Chai, a village located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam at around 10,000 feet.

Cat Cat Village    Cat Cat Village    Cat Cat Water Wheels
Cat Cat Village

Colourful Clothes    So - Our Tour Guide    Me and So
       Colourful Hand Made Clothes                               So - Our Tour Guide                                   My New Girlfriend            


13th December 2016

Sapa Trekking (Day One)

I am in Sapa for the first day of my Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay trip. Arrived early this morning after catching the overnight "King Express" train from Hanoi - breakfast at the hotel and then 12 kilometres of trekking visiting a couple of local villages - firstly Lao Chai village of the Black H'mong people and then on to Ta Van village home of the Dzay minority people.

It was a good day but the first half of the trekking was quite difficult - very steep (up and down) slopes with wet muddy patches and also a lot loose rocks etc. and very uneven. Despite the fact that I walk a lot I found it hard because of the steep uneven surface.

Tomorrow is more of the same although our guide said the trek tomorrow will be easier:)

Sapa Vista Hotel    Valley in Front of Hotel    Sapa Valley River
    Sapa Vista Hotel                                The View From My Room                          Sapa Terraces and River

Sapa Trekking Group    Trekking Sapa    Sapa Terraces
Sapa Trekking Group                                       Trekking Sapa                                             Sapa Terraces      
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