Southern Ho Chi Minh Hwy. in Vietnam--Anyone ridden all of it?
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 2, 2012 4:42 AM Last Post By: SimonHill
Oct 31, 2012 11:25 PM
Southern Ho Chi Minh Hwy. in Vietnam--Anyone ridden all of it?I'm thinking of cycling Highway 14, the southern Ho Chi Minh Highway, but haven't seen any information on riding the south and north ends. Cyclists just seem to do the middle part, Buon Ma Thuot-Pleiku-Kon Tum. Has anyone cycled the north section between the turnoff for Hoi An/Danang and the Dong Ha-Lao Bao highway? This section goes past Aluoi and Hamburger Hill, which are mentioned in guidebooks. Some maps show this section as unpaved. True? Is it a good ride? Any places to stay? I plan to carry a light tent in case I get stuck somewhere.
Also, has anyone cycled the southern section of Highway 14 that runs from north of HCM to Buon Ma Thuot? What's it like to ride?
I also plan a loop from Buon Ma Thuot to Dalat, Nha Trang (on the new direct highway), and back to Buon Ma Thuot on the direct highway. This looks on the map to be a good ride. Are there any places to stay between these cities?
In 2009 I had a great ride the length of Vietnam, www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/AsiaAgain, so this time I wish to cycle some lesser-visited regions of south and central Vietnam. I'll be riding in March 2013, and will let you know when I've posted a journal.
Nov 1, 2012 4:03 AM
1Bill, Ralph lives in Nha Trang and should be able to set you straight if he has not replied in a few days I will message you his email keep smiling.
Nov 2, 2012 4:42 AM
2Hi Bill, I was only thinking about that bit of the HCM today, while pedalling the flatlands of the Delta! Its called the west HCM. The other one that most people ride is called the east one from Dong Hoi to Dong Ha, where it ends and you then have to take H1 until Danang (as you know).
I haven't heard of anyone riding it, bike m'bike or car - and I have searched. I did hear that you need a pemit cos it goes through 'troublesome 'areas, but again not confirmed. I have seen where it starts (ie the E & W ones split) just N of Dong Hoi and I have crossed the other end near Khe San and onto the Dakron Bridge, but the middle section is a mystery to me. I know it is a lot longer than the straight East and H1 route, suggesting lots of bends and ups and downs. If you do ride it I can't wait to know what it is like.
In Feb March this year I rode the HCM from Hanoi to Dong Hoi, then Hoi An to Saigon, so did the other bit you are asking about. I also rode the Dalat to Nha Trang and back to BMT circuit. I posted on accom on the Dalat road, search TT for it. From Dalat to Nha Trang no real accom, so start early, toughish first 40 kms, then wonderful down hill then 50 odd on flat - about 110 in all. There are a few roadhouses that will let you stay once down the hill, but no proprer accom.
Nha Trang to BMT in 2 days, accom after about 100 kms. I am on tour at the moment so doing from memory. As Boagy says, Ralph can probably help.
H14 BMT to Saigon is Ok, some lovely ridge riding for first few days, then drops down and gets more busy. Last day is 4 lane highway (H13). Some shortish parts of H14 are in pretty bad shape, but easily cyclable unless heavy rain (they call the big potholes elephant traps). Plenty of accom in all the towns on the way.
As I said, on tour at mo, but hope this helps, let me know if you want more info.
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