And so after many vicissitudes and program changes, the first destination choice for our long journey is Vietnam.
We based this decision on the chance to see so many different scenarios, from those of overcrowded urban Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), the wonderful stretches of Sapa rice fields to the white sandy beaches of Mui Ne.
Since my reluctance to use bus and train to move from one city views, and also the connections, good but not optimal, it was decided to groped to make the whole journey in motion.
Approximately 3000 km to be covered in three months, starting in the capital Hanoi, in the north, to the island of Phu Coc, located southwest, a few kilometers from the border with Cambodia.
For convenience we have divided the map of Vietnam in three parts: North, Central and South, by calculating twenty days in each area. The cities that we intend to visit are:
– Ha Long Bay
– Ninh Binh
– Phong Nha
– Hoi An
– Qui Nhon
– Nha Trang
– Mui Ne
– Ho Chi Mihn City
– Phu Quoc
The preparation before leaving is fundamental for a country so big you have to carefully select the things you want to see absolutely, also leaving room for those days when the fatigue will require a couple of days extra rest.
Equally important it is to take out travel insurance that gives the widest possible coverage. After evaluating several Italian insurance, visa costs and lack of coverage I opted for online insurance with World Nomads (https://www.worldnomads.com) That allows me to have unlimited medical expenses, repatriation to Italy for treatment as well as a cover in case of motorcycle accident. More another series of different covers that worth checking out, especially if you plan to do some kind of sport, for example, I will go to Kite Surf and I'll be covered in case something happens.
As for vaccinations, Vietnam requires no mandatory vaccination but it is recommended to take some precaution. Reading on the internet there are a huge amount of information often discordant, I also feel that the website of the Foreign Ministry is not very complete so I decided on my own to do dell'antitetanica recall, as well as vaccinations for hepatitis A&B, Japanese encephalitis and typhoid.
To enter Vietnam will need an entry visa (VISA), for which I relied on Vietnam Visa Pro website (http://vietnamvisapro.com/) Which has the much better prices than Vietnamese embassy in Turin, and also offers telephone support and e-mail, in addition to proposing an urgent service for people of need of a visa within a few hours.
To be able to ride a motorcycle in Vietnam, European driving licenses require some integration. Since I was living in England and having a regular British license, I had to request a document called IDP, international driving permit, or permission to drive with my license in a country outside the European community. The procedure is very simple and can be done by mail, avoiding unnecessary queues, following the directions of the English website AA (http://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/driving-abroad/apply-for-an-idp-by-post).
Lastly advice to anyone going on a plane ride of this magnitude, to enroll in the loyalty program of the airline you are using, if you have not already done so.
Virtually all airlines Low Cost does not have this program that allows you to earn "miles" every time you travel, which then can be spent in free travel, hotel discounts and lots more.
We will see compared to our plan what will happen to us, we will keep you updated on all the stages of the journey, of unexpected events, changes of direction, indecision and difficulties and of course sensational scenarios, dream places, local, food and the Vietnamese traditions.
See you soon!
- November 7, 2017GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS If a first impression of the Vietnamese traffic can be frightening, remember the following: No one seeks the incident, although it might seem otherwise. Cross the street safely and decided, other means will move accordingly. The rules you learn in driving school can also scordarvele. There is no way to the right or one way, you learn the rules on the local rail and Adapt without protest. The biggest vince.SEMPRE. The Vietnamese ...
- October 25, 2017THE ROAD FROM HANOI TO SAPA So we decide to leave the capital, always crowded and noisy, the mountains and the terraces that surround the city and the Sapa area. Still inexperienced regarding the routes in this country, we rely on Google Maps as far as the path. The suggested route is the highway QL32 / C that we can walk with our bikes (highways are off-limits to the two wheels) to the town of Yen Bai, and then continue on the DT163 up to Lao Cai where ...
- July 2, 2017And so after many vicissitudes and program changes, the first destination choice for our long journey is Vietnam. We based this decision on the chance to see so many different scenarios, from urban ones of overcrowded Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), the wonderful stretches of Sapa rice fields to the white sandy beaches of Mui Ne. ...