Choosing a route
Vietnam is such a big and beautiful country, it would take years for someone to ride all of its best routes. You are lucky enough to be able to ride across the country on a motorcycle which is − in my opinion − the best way to explore a foreign country. Not only you will get to places that you would never discover with a four wheel vehicle, but also on a motorcycle, you are always a part of your surroundings. Unlike in a car, where you are closed in a metal case with windows, on a motorcycle, you immediately feel all the weather changes, smell the air and hear all the sounds.
Whenever you look at the map and start planning, I would like you to keep in mind one thing: No matter what part of Vietnam you are in and where you go, never take the main highway AH1 which connects Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. It is full of trucks, coaches, buses and cars that will make your life a nightmare. Always take the alternative route, there is usually more than just one. That is the golden rule you should follow when choosing a route in Vietnam.
5 best routes in Vietnam I have taken
While I definitely haven’t taken all the best routes of Vietnam, I will gladly recommend some of those I liked the most:
1. Far north: t.p. Ha Giang to Meo Vac
This is one of the longest and at the same time the most beautiful scenic road I can recommend. It will take you at least two days to fully enjoy and it will literally blow your mind. You will ride through the famous Ma Pi Leng Pass, long mountain pine tree roads, meet people of minority ethnic groups and at some part will only be a few kilometers from the Chinese borders.
2. Central Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh Road – Huong Khe to Phong Nha Khe Bang
Ho Chi Minh Road or at least a bit of it should be a part of everyone’s itinerary as it offers some of the best sceneries, low traffic and high quality roads. Begin this section the day before by accommodating yourself in a small but interesting town of Huong Khe. Early in the morning, hit the road and enjoy the entire way to the national park of Phong Nha Khe Bang.
3. Central Vietnam: Hai Van Pass
This famous mountain pass is one of those roads that should be definitely taken more than once. Make sure you have enough time to stop by numerous places to take pictures and do not forget to spend some time at Lang Co as well. There is an ocean beach and a lake too.
4. Southern Vietnam: Nha Trang to Dalat
5. Southern Vietnam: Duong 706 – Ocean Road leading north of Mui Ne
This is one of the best Ocean Roads I have ever taken. For several kilometers there is nothing else than the ocean just right next to you. Stop whenever you like and jump into the waves.