Vietnam

First of all, it wasn't possible to take our bike into Vietnam. We have been to the border with it but the only answer we've got was : “You can go, bike no go” So we had to think what to do next....we had some chit chat with agents at the Cambodian border but they said that they don't know what the reason is that we can't take our bike but apparently we were not the first one and not the last one who can't take it's own bike into Vietnam. So we headed back into Kampong Cham, there we spent some nights before. After all we have decided to go to the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Phen and ask for permission over there. Although we've been there but didn't get any permission, it's just not allowed according to the law to take ur own vehicle into Vietnam, full stop!

So we got back to ur escape plan, to go to Vietnam but only light weight. That means only with 2 small rucksacks and leave our bike and big bags in Cambodia, so we did.

The fist day in Vietnam, HCMC to be specific, was unforgivable! We were unlucky to stap into a cab and been cheated. So guys, if we may give u some advice, if ur in the big city in Vietnam make sure u know where you are and u know where ur hotel is, otherwise the cab will take u around the city and even if he has a taxi meter he will screw it up and u end up paying shit loads of money. We were quite pissed but we thought by our selves that that bugger isn't gonna spoil our vacation! After one day being in HCMC we left it to have some rest at Mui Ne beach. After some beaches in Thailand, we didn't find Mui Ne beach impressive. It was very touristic, we didn't like the beach coast but this beach seems to be a great one if u r up to surfing (it's definitive something for u Jeroen!) Mui Ne has some nice attractions to visit: Red and White sand dunes, Temples, Fairy River and Fishing Village. U can see some photos of it at ur site, click.

Our next destination was Dalat, a very beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and water. We rented there a mountain bike and had some fun with it (despite a flat tire ) We did hiking to Lang Biang, which was awesome! After that we went to Buon Ma Tuot, a very peaceful city. With a motorbike we rented we visited beautiful waterfalls (Dray Sap) and drove around the National Park Yok Don. The next stop was Qui Nhon. It lays on the coast of the China Sea. It's amazing!!! We love it! A combination of the sea, mountains, friendly people (yes u hear us good ;) friendly Vietnamese) and no tourists! So u won't be bothered with: “Where u come from and where u go?” We stayed there in the nice Au Co Hotel, one to advice. It has big clean rooms and u can chose a sea view, with a reasonable price. Unfortunately we stayed there only one day because of the weather. But if you r looking for some peace and a beautiful city this is the one to visit.
Now we are on or way to Da Nang.

See ya later

Back again.

After we arrived in Da Nang late in the evening (22-12-2011), things went quickly.
We woke up the next morning and noticed that it was pissing rain. After a look on the for casts which showed rain for the coming 2 weeks to come we decided to look for the weather in Ha Long Bay.
As it turned out the weather should be good from 24 to 26 of December. So we wanted a tour (on x-mass) those days. After we called a tour office in Hanoi we where told that booking a tour was only possible if there was a deposit.
After some thinking the man from the tour office (Explorer tours in Hanoi, http://www.explorer.com.vn) said, well, you can wire me some money through Western Union. We thought to our selves, well we'll see if we manage.
Then we went to the reception of our hotel & asked whether it would be possible to book the train to Hanoi. That turned out to be an absolutely breeze. After paying the tickets in advance to some guy on a motorbike (and a little fee for the hassle & the gasoline) we got ourselves a ticket on the 14:42 train to Hanoi. BTW for everyone traveling in another country and wanting info about trains, check out this site: http://www.seat61.com.
We then said to each other, we might as well try the Western Union trick to get our selves a tour to Ha Long Bay. To cut a long story short, we managed the Western Union trick.
I photo copied all the papers and send them to explorer tours. After some time (we were already an hour or 2 on the train) we got an email back saying sorry I couldn't book you on the tour you wanted but I booked you on another tour, the photos were included in the mail so we thought, doesn't look bad so go for it!
We agreed to go to his office at 08:00 (24-12-2011) and pay the rest of the money.
So after our arrival in Hanoi at 06:00 (24-12-2011) we walked to the office of Explorer Tours & paid the remainder of the money & at 08:08 we were on our way to Ha Long Bay.

X-mass of 2011 will be remembered by us as one of the nicest. The atmosphere, the nature, the food, it was great. If you ever get to try Ha Long Bay, go for a 3 day, 2 night trip (sleep on the boat) it's magnificent. Just take a look at the pics: Click.

After our return on the 26th of December in Hanoi we tried to get a train to HCMC but unfortunately everything was booked. So we tried the 27th and that was ok.
Some ride it turned out to be, we entered the train the 27th @ 23:00. The 29th @ 06:00 we arrived in HCMC where we booked a bus to Pnom Penh. Around 08:00 (the 29th) we got in the bus, arriving in Pnom Peng 15:30 (the 29th) then we quickly bought a ticket to Kampong Cham for the 15:45 bus.
Finally arriving at our destination @ 19:45 (the 29th) we were happy to be back in the place where we left our bags & motocy.

Ok so much for our trip in Vietnam!

GRTZ GoofY & Iryna