Robin
We did the Vietnam Ocean road self-guided ride in February 2020. It was a wonderful experience from the briefing to the final pickup. We are both in our 70s and fairly fit. We ride often at home. We found the ride challenging but very doable. The scenery is very varied and super interesting. We really appreciated getting out into the countryside and small communities and felt that we saw a side of Vietnam that could be seen in no other way. At first we were a little nervous about heading out into the countryside with no Vietnamese, but quickly realised that it was no problem at all. With a few words of hello, thank you, and goodbye we found everyone welcoming and helpful. We stopped in several coffee shops where no English was spoken and had no trouble getting what we wanted with the aid of the Grasshopper guide and Google Translate. Riding in traffic in towns can be a bit daunting at first, but we very quickly realised that Vietnamese drivers and motorbike riders are very bike conscious. Look around, signal, go with the flow and we were soon navigating busy intersections with no trouble. Navigating the route with the Wahoo Grasshopper provided was very easy too. That said, I got a local SIM (very cheap) and also used RidewithGPS on my phone (Grasshopper provides a phone mount). We like to be able to zoom in and out and even take an impromptu side trip which RwGPS makes easier, for example, en route between Hue and Vedana we went down a side road to the ocean which would have been a bit more difficult to find and do with only the Wahoo. We also enjoyed all the overnights and wished we could have stayed longer at some of them. The fishing community at Vedana Lagoon was fascinating and we could easily have enjoyed the resort for another day. We had three nights in Hoi An and opted for a further two at the end and really enjoyed our time spent there as well as the day ride out to My Son. We could have easily stayed another night in Tam Hai as there is lots to do there to fill a day, not to mention just relaxing at La Domaine. Last but not least, the Grasshopper support was super from the briefing to the final pickup. We set up a WhatsApp connection and they were flexible with both time and location of pickup. We opted for the hybrid bikes and were glad we did. Although there are a few bumpy stretches and the occasional small track, in our view, none of the route was really mountain bike territory and we appreciated the extra efficiency of the hybrids. There is so much to see and do on this ride we would easily do it again.
7 months ago
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