I used WS last year for a tour of the US West Coast and was blown away by the generosity of WS hosts. Staying with fellow tourers was the highlight of my trip.
Now I'm looking for a good, low traffic route from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
I'd love either a detailed printed map to buy and better yet a digital route map I can program into a phone or Garmin.
Where possible I'd like to avoid highways and crazy traffic, though I am told the Ho Chi Minh highway is far quieter than the Highway 1 and more scenic.
If necessary I would use the HCM Highway but want to completely avoid National Highway 1
I'm not afraid of a little climbing or rougher roads to avoid the highways but would like a generally decent route that avoids mud trails.
A beautiful route that meanders through quiet roads would be my dream.
Any advice on routes, places to stay, things not to miss and of course and links to files to download would be hugely appreciated!
I would also be interested in routes from HCMC to Angkor Wat and from there through Laos back to Hanoi.
If any hosts on route would like a London cyclist to stay, or any riders that would like to spend a few days on the road together let me know!
Thanks so much!
Patrick :) x
Ps I found the photo on http://acruisingcouple.com/2013/09/tour-de-vietnam-cycling-central-vietnam. Would love to know where this is.
I rode through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in 2013.
HCM highway is definitely the best route.
HCMC is a nightmare.
Laos is quiet so anywhere is good. Lots of Cambodia is quiet but avoid the road from Pnom Pen to Siem Reap. Very bad traffic.
I blogged the journey
Hi, we did Hanoi to HCM twice, the first time we took the coast roads, which were quiet, but you sometimes have to go on Highway 1 (if you cycle on main roads in your own country Highway 1 is not as bad as everyone makes out, it is being converted into a 4 lane road in most places and the cars and trucks use the outside lane and the scooter and bicycles use the inside lane). Last year we took the HCM Highway, a much quieter route but with lots of mountains. Of the two, the HCM Highway is much more scenic, but there are less facilities, and they are further apart.
HCM City is a hole! If you are not experienced in city cycling it might be best to stay outside and take a train in for sightseeing. The traffic is so dense the scooters ride on the sidewalk and will drive in to pedestrians if you are not careful. It gets worse every time you go there.
Hi! I did a big tour through south east asia in 2015 and second all of the info already posted here. I'd add that I had a phone with a local data plan (super cheap) and found google walking direction to be incredibly useful in Vietnam. They will send you along whatever older pathways parallel the highway, lots of meter-wide winding lanes, wooden bridges, and tiny passenger ferries. Just scan the route ahead of time for staircases. It only tried to send me over one on the whole trip. As for the route from hcmc to siem reap, if you have the extra time I would strongly reccomend going south-west through the Mekong delta and crossing into Cambodia at the coast. That region was easily my favorite part of an amazing trip. Low traffic, tiny river villages, little tourism, and the most welcoming and friendly people I've met anywhere in the world. Good luck!