Vietnam on a motorbikesplash

Þórey Jóna Guðjónsdóttir

Vietnam

Vietnam on a motorbike

We spent two months in Vietnam driving on a Honda Espero Detech motorbike with all our luggage strapped on the sides. We bought the bike in Hanoi and sold it seven weeks later in Ho Chi Minh City for almost the same price. An experience of a lifetime! Here are all the places I recommend visiting :)

Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam. It has the craziest traffic I have ever seen in my life and some of the greatest street food in the world. My favorite thing to do was to find a place with a view of the street and just sit there and watch all the people, vehicles and food stalls that went by.

Image - Nha Hang Bach Phuong Bún Bò Nam Bộ
Place
Nha Hang Bach Phuong Bún Bò Nam Bộ
Þórey :Bún Bo Nam Bo is my personal favorite out of all the dishes I tried in Vietnam! The place only serves 2 dishes, both are good
Image - Phở Gia truyền Bát Đàn
Place
Phở Gia truyền Bát Đàn
Þórey :Always crowded with locals.
Image - Bánh Mì 25
Place
Bánh Mì 25
Þórey :Best Bánh Mí sandwiches in Hanoi!
Image - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Place
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Þórey :Pretty amazing to see Ho Chi Minh's final resting place. There is often a really long line but it moves fast.
Image - Hanoi Old Quarter - Khu Phố Cổ Hà Nội
Place
Hanoi Old Quarter - Khu Phố Cổ Hà Nội
Þórey :Bustling with life at all hours. Walk through the 36 streets that each one only sells one kind of product each - bamboo, silk, alumnium etc.
Image - Hoa Lo Prison Memorial
Place
Hoa Lo Prison Memorial
Þórey :You can go into the real prison chambers and learn about the escape of a few prisoners.

Northern Vietnam

A list of all the places we stayed at during our trip through Northern Vietnam. The north has two major qualities - incredible views and almost NO tourists. We did not meet an english speaking person for days, in return we got pretty good in ordering food with google translate and talking to locals.

Image - Mai Châu District
Place
Mai Châu District
Þórey :Really beautiful place, rice paddies everywhere! Recommend to stay at a farmstay in a bungalow.
Image - Son La
Place
Son La
Image - Mường Lay
Place
Mường Lay
Þórey :Needed to stay here two nights due to weather, very small town.
Image - tt. Sa Pa
Place
tt. Sa Pa
Þórey :Touristy. Many people take a night train from Hanoi to here. Recommend doing a homestay with people from the Hmong tribe, check out ETHOS.
Image - Bắc Hà District
Place
Bắc Hà District
Þórey :Stayed here only overnight on our way from Sa Pa to Ha Giang
Image - Ha Giang
Place
Ha Giang
Þórey :Recommend doing the Ha Giang loop on a motorbike, it is extremely beautiful!
Image - Tom Homestay
Place
Tom Homestay
Þórey :Stayed in this place in Yenh Minh - met some really great people that we finished the Ha Giang loop with. Great family dinner!
Image - Lung Cu
Place
Lung Cu
Þórey :Northernmost part of Vietnam. Views on the way driving there are AMAZING. Once you get there you can see over to China.
Image - Mã Pí Lèng Pass
Place
Mã Pí Lèng Pass
Þórey :Last part of the Ha Giang loop and considered to be the best. The views are breathtaking
Image - Ban Gioc Waterfall
Place
Ban Gioc Waterfall
Þórey :On the border to China. Recommend going up to the temple afterwards, has great views.

Cat Ba Island

Go here instead of staying in Halong Bay!! Cheaper and you get so much more for your money in all the tours! Kayaking into the sunset, swimming with planktons and doing yoga on the beach while the sun was setting was a few of my favorite things to do on Cat Ba.

Image - Hospital Cave
Place
Hospital Cave
Þórey :Abandoned in 1975, used as a hospital in the war. Impressive and cheap entry fee!
Image - Woodstock Beach Camp
Place
Woodstock Beach Camp
Þórey :Did not stay here, only had lunch. Looked interesting and 'Hippy'. Private beach and easy to get to know people. Far away from Cat Ba town.
Image - Cat Ba Vision
Place
Cat Ba Vision
Þórey :Did a 2 day, 1 night tour with this company and really liked it. Visited Halong Bay, swam with planktons and stayed in a floating house
Image - Asia Outdoors
Place
Asia Outdoors
Þórey :Did the sunset yoga with this company. Recommend it!
Image - Yummy Restaurant
Place
Yummy Restaurant
Þórey :Went here four times in two days. Much cheaper than the places on the main street and really good food.

Tam Coc

Often called Halong Bay on land. Great stop on the way from Halong Bay down to Phong Nha. Mua Cave viewpoint is a must if you go here

Image - Mua Cave Viewpoint
Place
Mua Cave Viewpoint
Þórey :Must see if you go to Tam Coc! Great to go during sunset, the views are amazing!!
Image - Tam Coc Family Hotel
Place
Tam Coc Family Hotel
Þórey :Good breakfast, extremely nice owners. Met some really great people during our stay.
Image - Tràng An
Place
Tràng An
Þórey :Did a sailing tour from this place, it was nice (nothing extravagant though).

Phong Nha

Don't skip this place! Easy Tiger hostel is the place to be, don't miss their 9am info talk (don't need to stay there to go to the talk). A company called Oxalis operates tours to Hang En Cave where you sleep inside the cave - definitely something I'm doing next time (was closed when we were there).

Image - Phong Nha Cave
Place
Phong Nha Cave
Þórey :Used for storing weapons in the war, very impressive.
Image - Easy Tiger Hostel - Jungle Bar
Place
Easy Tiger Hostel - Jungle Bar
Þórey :The place to be! GREAT food, good happy hours, free info talks, pool, hammocks, a lot of fun people - what more do you need?
Image - The Duck Stop
Place
The Duck Stop
Þórey :Meet Donald Trump - the huge buffalo, give the ducks food and have a delicious Bánh Xeó for lunch.
Image - Wild Boar Eco Farm
Place
Wild Boar Eco Farm
Þórey :A few km away but so worth it if you want to relax. Hammocks, a huge swing, river to swim in and great views. Possible to stay overnight.
Image - Paradise Cave
Place
Paradise Cave
Þórey :42.5 kilometers long and goes all the way to Laos.
Image - Hang En (Swallow Cave)
Place
Hang En (Swallow Cave)
Þórey :It is possible to sleep inside this incredible cave! Check Oxalis company for more information.

Hué

A city full of history, check out the Citadel and the walking street. Recommend driving through Hai Van Pass to get there or if you don't want to drive yourself you can hire a Vietnamese driver to drive you through the pass.

Image - Vinh Moc Tunnels
Place
Vinh Moc Tunnels
Þórey :100 km from Hué. Up to 600 people lived there. 17 children were born in the tunnels. Few tourists, recommend!
Image - Citadel Gate
Place
Citadel Gate
Þórey :Built around 1200, really pretty.
Image - Hải Vân Pass
Place
Hải Vân Pass
Þórey :Appeared in a Top Gear show, many people hire a Vietnamese driver to drive with them on a motorbike over the pass. Great views
Image - The Marble Mountains
Place
The Marble Mountains
Þórey :In Danang which is a city between Hué and Hoi An. We looked at the water mountain, the views at the peak were amazing.

Hoi An

Very touristy but still a must see place in Vietnam. The place of all places to get a tailored suit. I recommend going early in the morning to the old town to see the place without the crowds, watch the locals prepare for the day and maybe have a bowl of morning Pho at a local restaurant.

Image - Bánh Mì Phượng
Place
Bánh Mì Phượng
Þórey :Best Banh Mi in the world according to Anthony Bourdain! Almost always a line out to the street but it is worth the wait!
Image - Mr. XE
Place
Mr. XE
Þórey :The place we did our tailoring at. Quality was good and price in the middle range.
Image - Sunflower Hotel
Place
Sunflower Hotel
Þórey :Backpackers party place, more like a hostel. Pay 100k dong (4.5 USD) and drink as much as you can between 8-10 pm. Go there for partying!
Image - Old House of Tan Ky
Place
Old House of Tan Ky
Þórey :Seven generations have lived in that house (and still do). Really interesting
Image - Escape IQ Hoi An
Place
Escape IQ Hoi An
Þórey :Cheap compared to escape rooms in western countries and really much fun! Unfortunately we did not get out in time - I challenge you to try!

Quy Nhon & Da Lat

If you are driving on a motorbike then Hoi An to Da Lat is too far in one day. That is the reason we stopped in Quy Nhon, now I recommend to everyone to try out the fantastic hostel on the beach! When you go to Da Lat, buy some delicious strawberries of the street vendors - they are so good!

Image - Life's a Beach Backpackers
Place
Life's a Beach Backpackers
Þórey :A hostel ON the beach in Quy Nhon! Also has private rooms. Great place to meet people and relax for a few days! Recommend!!
Image - Crazy House
Place
Crazy House
Þórey :Has been 27 years in the making - a must see when in Da Lat.
Image - Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Place
Linh Phuoc Pagoda
Þórey :Pagoda made entirely out of mosaic tiles in Da Lat - really impressive.
Image - 100 Roof Bar
Place
100 Roof Bar
Þórey :Recommend going for a drink and get lost in the house - a truly unique experience.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a beach town with a lot of Russians but I recommend not skipping it. The red and white sand dunes are incredible and the Langson Mui Ne Backpackers Paradise is a great place to meet new people and sleep in a tent ON the beach (must try at least once in a lifetime).

Image - Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel
Place
Mui Ne Hills Budget Hotel
Þórey :Great hotel for a cheap price! The same hotel across the street has two big pools which you can use as you want - Jackpot!
Image - Red Sand Dunes 2
Place
Red Sand Dunes 2
Þórey :Go at sunset!
Image - White Sand Dunes
Place
White Sand Dunes
Þórey :We took a tour from the hotel to see the dunes at sunrise, possible to rent ATV's.
Image - Long Son Mui Ne Exotic Restaurants & Bar
Place
Long Son Mui Ne Exotic Restaurants & Bar
Þórey :Stayed in a tent on the beach at this hostel. Great team building events - pub quiz, movie nights, poker nights, bonfire etc.
Image - Fishing Harbour - Mui Ne
Place
Fishing Harbour - Mui Ne
Þórey :Go at dawn to see the locals bring in the fish in the coconut boats.

Ho Chi Minh City

Cu Chi Tunnels is a must when staying here. If you fancy a great cocktail, check out the Sky Lounge. Don't forget to try some local street food and check out the markets.

Image - Cu Chi Tunnels
Place
Cu Chi Tunnels
Þórey :Must visit when in Ho Chi Minh! The story is amazing and I dare you to go into the tunnels.
Image - Cu Chi Shooting
Place
Cu Chi Shooting
Þórey :Located in the same area as the Cu Chi tunnels. Possible to shoot from all kinds of guns, including M16 and AK47.
Image - War Remnants Museum
Place
War Remnants Museum
Þórey :Huge museum - you could easily spend a whole day there. I really liked it.
Image - Air 360 Sky Lounge
Place
Air 360 Sky Lounge
Þórey :360 degree view over the city. Great place for cocktails if you want to splurge a little (it's worth it)
Image - Chợ Bến Thành
Place
Chợ Bến Thành
Þórey :Market with all kinds of stuff. Locals are very aggressive trying to sell you stuff

Travelade places

Powered by google logo