Day 1 | Saigon – Phú Mỹ

First we had to pick-up our scooters. We rented them at Saigon Scooter Centre, the only company in Saigon that allows you to leave the city on your rentals. So that was an easy choice. Arrangements were made before we left for Vietnam. So our arrival was no surprise. The rental company is located at a five minute walk from the airport, which is enough time to experience long trousers have to be switched with shorts.

Just received our scooters... still clean

Just received our scooters... still clean

While our scooters were being brought from the shop we go a copied book and additional tips for our route, a great help in the planning of our trip. And additionally a Honda guy was arranged to bring us through Saigon traffic to the edge of the city.

 

Busy traffic in Saigon

Our initial plans were to stay in Saigon and leave the next day, but because it was still early (around 13) we decided to head out and see how far we could get on our first day. After a couple of hours of driving, trying to find the correct road, being send in all directions we ended up in Phú Mỹ, on the 51 southwards, not yet at the beach as we hoped to. The 51 is one of the main roads, which means quite some traffic, but doable. Arriving at the hotel we immediately decided tomorrow we will not carry our back packs on our back, but will work something out on the back of the scooter or on the foot stand. The hotel was nice. A bit away from the 51, very peaceful.

Day 1 route

Day 1 route - estimate, we don't know exactly where we were

A strange rule here is that hotels need to keep your passport during your stay… some law requires it.

No restaurants in our area, but still one phở (Vietnamese noodle soup) stand that was open. We were in luck, because we just happened to order the best phở bò in Vietnam, or so we were told.

Getting directions

Getting directions is easy. As soon as we stop our scooters people start pointing in all directions, not even knowing where we want to go.

Getting correct directions is more difficult. All maps have the highways, which we typically don’t want to follow. Our 1:600.000 map does have some additional roads, the Lonely Planet has other additional roads on the maps, the road book from the Scooter Centre has a different set of roads and Google Maps again shows totally different roads. And much of the roads are on none of the maps, interestingly enough these are the roads we take most of the times.

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