Cycling Vietnam February 14th

Looking to find out who will be joining my husband and I on our Cycling Vietnam trip

Hi Laurie,

My wife and i have just finished this trip. I have a few tips and notes about the trip for you.

The trip is fantastic. you get to see rural Vietnam at it's finest. The journey. The 90km day was the best. Start from hotel, cycle 25km, get on the coach for an hour and drrive up to the top of a mountain then cycle downhill for 30 km!! absolutly stunning views. The only day we had bad weather was on the 10km uphill climb with a 10km downhill the other side and a 10km dash to the fish restaurant for lunch. The veggies were well catered fo and our guide Tung was on hand all the time to help them order food.

The overnight train trip was great. You order pizza to eat on the train and buy snacks ad drinks on the platform of the station. People did take a thin snugpack sleeping bag with them but we got on fine with the blanket provided on the train. THERE ARE COCKROACHES IN THE SLEEPING COMPARTMENT but we only saw 2.

The Island stay and the overinght boat trip at the end was really nice. take lots of pics.  you can swim in the sea at both but it was a bit cold.

You also stay in a 5* hotel with pools but we never had tme to use them.

Tipping and food kitty everybody put in and everybody gave our guide $30 each at the end.

Tips (in no order)

you only get one chance to do a big clothes wash (by the kilo) and we found that by doing a wash every night was ok. Clothes were dry by next morning. Take a travel washing line to string up on he balconies or bath room. (sea to summit line from Cotswold outdoor)

If you are taking a camera a small compact with a neck strap was the best. I took my big Nikon DSLR and a compact and prefered the compact when on the bike. The compact can be worn round the neck or in the back pocket of your cycling jersey or in a bike bag.

some of us had  handlebar bags, cross bar bags like a topeak fueltank bag (.75ltr) and saddle post bags. I also rolled up my wetproof jacket and used electricians tape to tape it to the cross bag so it was handy if I needed it. I did this for a few people.

Padded cycle shorts are a must we took 2 bibs and 3 jerseys each (we bought a vietnam cycling jersey from Tung so be aware you could take 2 and buy a 3rd or just wear tshirts)

I took 2 long trousers,3 shorts,2 long sleeves, 2 short sleeves (Shirts) 2 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve quick dry sports shirts, 2 sports shorts, 1 pr track suit trousers, 2 light weight fleeces (1 hooded), 5 tee shirts, 2 prs trainers (1 for bike 1 for going out)

Cycling gear.

I took my ow saddle. IMHO there is no need to tak your clip in peddles and shoes but it's up to you. gloves x2, jerseys, bibshorts for my preference, cycle socks, handlebar bag and crossbar bag, rear and front light (used both on rainy day), Helmet, Sunnies. I'm bald so i wear a cycle cap under my helmet to soak up sweat and stop sunburn, arm warmers (thin ones mainly to protect from sunburn) wetproof jacket.

hope this has been of help. if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Pete    

Thank you very much Pete for all the great information. This is our first cycling tour. What are bibs?

Laurie

Also, how much luggage did you take for the 2 of you?  I'm trying very hard not to overpack.

Laurie 

Hi Laurie,

Bibs are shorts and a vest combined. They are more comfy in my opinion and stop the shorts from drooping in the crotch area. We took 19kg each in our case,bags I have a mountain equipment 120ltr soft bag which i carry as a rucksack and Alex has a Berghaus 120ltr mule bag on wheels. I had my DSLR and electronics (if you have a lot of electrics try using double adaptors as in 2 uk plugs in 1 Viet plug) in my day sac which was 7 kg. It's hard to pack I know as you have to take warm, cool, wet gear. We took waterproof trousers but did not wear them even in the rain. 

Also if you have a bike computer or GPS watch do take that and link it to strava to get the profiles of your rides. If you try and send me an email addy I'll try and send you the profiles of the rides in Vietnam. Most of the days riding is split because you are on and off the coach.

Dont take a lot of toiletries as usual buy them over there.

As i'm a paramedic I also took loads of medications with me to deal with everything. We had 8 days in Cambodia first and I had a blocked up nose but I'm sure that was to do with the air con on the plane. For cycling in the cities some people had surgical masks to wear as it did get a bit smelly from exhaust fumes.

1 chap had a nasty cough and on the last day another chap had a sore belly. No one was ill due to the food. 

Pete 

In the main "tourist street" by the hotel there are loads of shops selling outdoor clothing. Knock off waterproofs, fleeces and lightwight puffa jackets (North Face £20 - £25) so here would be an oppertunity to buy something warm for up north. But you may have one already used for getting to the UK airport.

Plug adaptors are the 2 round pin type.

Tung made sure that the 3 vegatarians in our group were well catered for in all the meals.

Vietnamese dong (currency) takes a bit of getting used to. About 30,000 to the £1.

 

 

 

The tourist street I refer to is in Hoi An when you can also get your washing done by the kg.

If you do not already use them you may like to try using packing pods/bags especially if you are using a soft bag. I use one for each type of clothing and they just slot into the bag/case. On this trip I used different coloured ones (x2) for my cycling kit so I could tell them apart. You can buy them from Mountain Warehouse or from Ebay or Amazon quite easily.

Also a tip I got from an airline stewardess was to laminate an A4 size sheet of paper with your name and address on and leave on the top of your clothes in your bag/case just incase the luggage tag comes off your bag/case (as the well made Exodus tag was broken on my wifes bag)  

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