My name is Mike (27) from the Uk and I am in Australia at the moment but I arrive in Ho Chi Minh city on the 1st of May and I want t o buy a motorbike and ride to Hanoi within a 7 - 10 day period, I will then be living in Hanoi for atleast 6 months teaching English.
Can anyone gove me any tips where to buy a bike, where to stop on the way accommodation/attractions/rock climbing/route to take etc?
Also I would really like it if I could join a group o people or if people wanted to join me?
I consider myself to be easy going, travelledq uite a bit of the world, really like my music, seeing new things, rock climbing and generally meeting people.
Thank you for any help
We live and teach in Ho Chi Minh City. Last year we lived in Haiphong in the North, so we also know Hanoi pretty well.
There are constantly posters going up around the backpacker area of HCMC (Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien) by people selling motorbikes (often Minsks). The majority of them seem to have just completed the trip you are talking about, but in reverse. I'm guessing they would also be a good source of information for the route/where to stop etc.
I would suggest you come here and check into a guesthouse in the backpacker area and look/ask around.
You could do some of the trip on a kind of guided tour. The Easy Riders are a group of Vietnamese blokes who take tourists on guided motorbike tours of Vietnam. You can google them!
As for what to see en route, if you do it in 7 days I guess you won't have long to sightsee. If you are going to be living in Hanoi for a while then you will have to opportunity to explore the North and do things like rockclimbing on Cat Ba island, so perhaps you would be better spending more time sightseeing in the South.....
Anyway, hope this helps. Let us know if you need any other info.
Thanks for your help, I would really like to try and get a group together to do it, am I best off trying to meet people in Saigon?
I am coming over to teach TESOl as well hoping to teach 8 -12 years old, I have no experience as I have just completed the course, any idea what I should expect to earn in Hanoi or Saigon?
I have emailed easyriders, how are you finding Vietnam? Can you suggest where to stay in Saigon, a good place to meet people etc?
Any advice you can think of would be much appreciated
Thank you again
In Hanoi, you can find Mr. Cuong at his shop - No. 1, Luong Ngoc Quyen street in Hanoi's Old Quarter. This guy is recommended many times in the Thorn Tree forum. He knows well about Minks and motorbike routes in northern Vietnam.
Easyriders mainly work in Da Lat city and organize their trips in the central highlands, as far as I know.
Where to stay in Saigon: find somewhere on Bui Vien. There is an alley way known as mini hotel alley with a lot of places on. You can get a good room there for $12-20 a night. That comes with air con, en suite, cable tv and often internet. In this area you are likely to meet other bikers as well as other teachers.
As for teaching.....check out saigonesl.com for a list of schools in both Hanoi and Saigon. Most language schools cater towards all ages rather than specialising in just one. Have you got a Trinity TESOL or CELTA or a generic one? Cos that will affect where you can apply to. You are probably looking at about $14 an hour in Saigon and maybe a bit more in Hanoi (cos the cost of living is apparently higher). You will have to pay for you own visas etc. Be aware of the issues regarding visa renewals and work permits at the moment that are discussed in full on the website above and on eslcafe.
You seem to be planning to arrive for the summer which is a good time cos it's busy with kids on holiday from school and coming to English classes.
Send us a PM if you want any further personal info on teaching in Vietnam....
thanks for providing a good info.
Hi Mike, I am Vietnamese and living in Sai Gon. I am backpacker in Viet Nam, i usually climb moutain, trekking in rainforest and ride the motobike go around Vietnam.
When you come from Sai Gon, please contact to me. I will take you go around the city and introduce somewhere . ( Send PM for me if you need)
As Rat on the Road said that, Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien ok for you.
I think that, if you want to buy motobike in Saigon, you shell go to the motobike shop : Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or SYM..., i recoment Wave. It's about 1000usd ( You can not bargain when you buy in Honda Shop except local shop, but you receive a lot of services after sales). You should bring hemelt when you ride ( Law in VN)
April 30 and May 1 are holiday in Vietnam, so the price is very expensive. You have to bargain a lot of when you want to buy something.
You just stay for a short period, no need to buy a new bike. I've got a Yamaha 100CC, this is quite popular in Vietnam. It could be used to travel long and bumpy distances. It's just been used about 37,000km. I want to sell it with the price 800 USD ( the new one in shop is 1,230USD). Besides, I can help you to plan your mortobike trip. I've been on such a trip before..