World by Wheels

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Jan 29, 2011
4 Wheels
A bit Off-Topic but with quite a bit of information on routes, etc. by a pair of bicycle riders in Vietnam

World by Wheels

First impressions: We had a love-hate relationship with the Vietnamese. For our first love affair, it was on arrival into the border town of Dien Bien Phu – the historic battlefield where they overcame the French forces. With both bikes needing repairs, the locals sprung off their feet to help us.

Pushing our sorry looking bicycles, we were passed by a man on his moped, he signalled for me to hop on and to hold my bike to the side in search of a mechanic. I didn't hesitate to do so but struggled to support the weight of the bike and its luggage, leaving Cynthia in the unknown. He dropped me at the mechanics and quickly returned for Cynthia. When they arrived, the mechanic had shown he was unable to fix our bicycle. So again, on the moped we drove to the next mechanic, and again, until we were able to find new a derailleur and a tyre. He asked for nothing, accepted nothing, smiled and rode off into the distance...


Vietnam is one of the most complex destinations in the world. Boasting an incredible cuisine throughout its land, a relentless history of invading foreign forces and some of the most awe inspiring scenery you can experience. There is very little English spoken outside of the tourist centres, you will need to learn a few expressions and the numbers to get by if don't want to be ripped off !

Vietnam is not as straight forward as Thailand or Laos, and you'll have to bargain EVERYTHING. Whether it's a coffee, a room or a plate of rice. Remember roughly how much a Pho costs, and don't be shy to tell them its too expensive. Don't become too worked up over situations such as an unfair price, it is a daily occurrence. Keep your composure and smile if this doesn't work; walk away. If you've done it well, they will laugh and offer you the fair rate by respecting your perspicacity of the region.

Vietnam can be exhausting at times for these small factors, but taking it on the chin, you will enjoy the everyday games of the local people.

More info here: World by wheel - Vietnam/
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