Cycling Saigon - Hanoi
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 12, 2009 10:09 PM Last Post By: fransbrosens
Jan 15, 2009 1:55 AM
Cycling Saigon - HanoiIn a week or two I will reach Saigon from Cambodia. From there I want to cycle north to Danang, Hue, maybe Hanoi. The obvious route is the national highway QL1. This is a very busy road and not nice to ride for cyclists I was told. The Rough Guide mentions that there should be an alternative road, called the Ho Chi Minh Highway.I cannot find it on my map nor can I find other reference of this road.
Is there anyone who is aware of this alternative north-south connection or who has experience with the trip in general?
Thanks for your effort.
Jan 15, 2009 3:19 AM
1HW1 is not as bad as some would have you believe, but it does depend on what you are used to. The main anoyance is the use of horns. A friendly wave puts a stop to that.
I figure the unmissable ride in VN would be from Danang to Hanoi. HW 1 is interesting. The HCM HW is a bit sparse.
But on HW 1 SGN to Danang is not great, not a lot there. Nha Trang gets mixed opinions. But the diving makes it worth it.
A good option, and easy ride is SGN to Dalat then down to the coast. Well worth the trip. Going north is easy. Going south has the wicked hill.
Jan 15, 2009 3:43 AM
2yeah,dotravel is rigth,is not so bad hwy 1....after all is just a few days on it....and is still vietnam....but at this point I can rememeber some roads name from HCM city to Dalat then to Hue.,but they are there,I did it,and most roads in vietnam are busy anyway,try to get some information with locals, as soon you got to HCM,also all the hotels or hostels,have or know some people who ride motrocycles who runs traveling business and they know every road in vietam.I got inf from all the times.and all of them speak good english.
Jan 15, 2009 7:26 AM
3I also agree that H1 isn't so bad, I think people exagerate about it. Once out of the towns it quietens down (to prove my point I counted 13 vehicles in 5 mins at 3 in the afternoon on a stretch near Dong Hoi - that ain't busy in my book!). I'd also go via Dalat from Saigon. Your big problem will be the wind - you will be riding north against it all the way to Hanoi.
When you get to Saigon, go to a good local bookshop and look for good maps. The best is a road map book (blue cover) that has very detailed maps. Yo will find the new HCM highway in there. It is basically H14 in the south, becoming H15 in the north. It is paved all the way and reported to be a great ride, but some parts are very isolated so long stretches without supplies or accom. I've crossed it and seen bits of it, but never ridden it, I might next year.
Jan 15, 2009 4:22 PM
4I too agree ..... highway one aint that bad except for the almost constant horn blasting!
But as Simon stated, the wind could be a real killer! Around the Hue area I was reduced to walking pace by ferociously strong winds, there was spray from the waves on rice paddies!
But you being a strong Dutchman would have no problems in that wind strength ;)
Jan 15, 2009 10:46 PM
Jan 19, 2009 6:20 AM
When you leave Dalat for Nha Trang, go down the new road 140kms long, instead of the old road, 225km long. The new road has far less traffic, and is both shorter and far more scenic, with jungle and waterfalls. You will have to get a map and ask for details of exit roads in Dalat. Ask for the road which goes via Deo Thien Duong (Paradise Pass - the highest pass in southern Vietnam) and Khanh Vinh town From Khanh Vinh it is 25km to Thanh*. From there a further 10km to Nha Trang.
- Note: "Thanh" refers to "Thanh Co Dien Khanh" (Dien Khanh Ancient Citadel) and is the name still used on all the kiolometre posts along the roadside, though maps now call the town by its new name, 'Dien Khanh'.
Thanh was the original province capitol, from the founding of Khanh Hoa Province 350 years ago and up until the Japanese seized power from the Vichy French administration in March 1945 and moved the province capitol to Nha Trang. The citadel houses many Dien Khanh District administrative organs, including the police HQ and court, and schools.
For some other info on routes in Khanh Hoa, see my posts to Cycle Guides updates (threat no.1). If you have any further questions. please send me a PM.
Jan 28, 2009 7:53 PM
we're in Dalat now and about to try and find a better map. We are trying to find out if we can do the new road you mentioned via Khan Vinh and Dien Khan to Nha Trang. Now we still lack information on accommodation to stay overnight and food availability along this stretch. 140 kms is too much for us in one day.
Would you have any information about this?
Jan 29, 2009 6:52 AM
8We now have a 2009 edition map on which the HCM rd is indicated. We feel very much like doing it. So most likely we'll go north from Dalat via rt 27 and rt 14. Now we would appreciate it a lot if anyone could provide information on this stretch as to food- and drink availability and especially accommodation. From Dalat we'll pass through Dinh Van (Lam HA), Phu Son, Krong No, Lake Lak (seems to be a real tourist destination with resorts etc.), Buon Yun, Buon Ma Thuot (big place). Here the 27 ends and we'll continue on rt 14, The map names it Ho Chi Min Road. Towns to be passed: Buon Ho (Krong Buk), Ea Drang (Ea H'Leo), Chu Se (la Hru) to Pleiku. Here we can turn right towards the coast or continue further north.
For the time beig we hope to read your reactions to this.
Feb 12, 2009 10:09 PM
9We have done as stated in the message above (8). We followed the HCM road as far as Thanh My and there we took the 14B to the coast to go to Hoi An, Danang and Hue.
For exact details go to our weblog effefietsen.web-log.nl , contribution of Feb. 13th 2009.
Now we are thinking of going to Halong Bay. If ideas, please don't hesitate.
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.