Vũng Tàu—Wind and Rip Tides

Distance: 71km and 30km
Temperature (max): 36°C
View the stats on Strava (Bình Chai to Vùng Tau)
View the stats on Strava (Roaming around Vùng Tau)

Total distance to date: 1,917 km

We’ve almost accomplished The Mission—riding from Hanoi to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Having determined that we don’t need to cycle further into the Mekong Delta, we will spend three more nights in Vung Tau being sloths while we mentally prep for the final 75km ride into Saigon.  This requires loafing, poolside. Some snacking on potato chips. Getting our fill of green oranges. And fixing Randy’s brake cable.

Crunchy, grinding sounds have been causing him to baby his rear brake for several days. He brought a spare cable plus every tool imaginable—except the one necessary to cut it with. Google maps showed three bike shops in town so into the first one we rolled. Two people fully engaged in siesta-ing in hammocks were uninterested in helping. “No, no do,” along with a shake of the head was our cue to move along. Bike shop number two had a worker—but Google Translate informed us that “staff not here until 2:00”. (Likely another siesta situation) We carried on to shop #3. Two enthusiastic workers propped up the bike right on the sidewalk right away squeezing this, turning that and bing bang boom, 45 minutes later Randy had a newly installed cable. With a boatload of gratitude, he tried to establish how much is owed for the repair. …No no no. No money! They wouldn’t hear of it. Wouldn’t  accept any money. We feel it’s worth letting the world know that in Vùng Tau, Thành Bike is the best!

Vùng Tau—it’s a popular seaside resort and port city of half a million people. Big container ships float in and out of port, along with fishing boats, ferries, and other commercial seafaring vessels. You can find an amazing spectrum of fresh seafood.  It’s a Seafooders paradise, if willing to experiment with some culinary exploration. It’s windy—really windy. So windy, we didn’t see anyone at the beach other than a few rebels defying prominently displayed black riptide warning flags everywhere. White caps on the waves were threatening enough.  No ocean swimming for us. We’ll stick to our hotel pool, thank you.

Dane, who we met 1,300 kilometres ago, also accomplished his north to south Mission, and joined us for dinner last night along with a friend, Nic, who is exploring Southeast Asian countries in search of somewhere to settle. Both from the UK, Dane who is 67 and young at heart, really feels like he really “fits in,” here in Vietnam while Nic will continue to Thailand in search of that “just right” place.

Vietnamese people are wonderfully hospitable. The security guard watching over our bicycles spreads happiness and joy with his child-like “Hellooooo” and wildly waving hand every time he sees us, making us wish we had a GoPro strapped to our foreheads to capture it. One thing we have been consistently impressed with is how well hotel and guesthouse staff treat our bicycles—always locked indoors, security watching over them as though guarding bars of gold, always helping us to check air pressure and attempting to help affix our bags to them upon departure.

Streets unfortunately are not designed for walking here.  Not just in Vung Tau, but all over Vietnam. Sidewalks are virtually non-existent. Curbs are angled to facilitate motorbikes climbing up onto them from the road to park. There are always broken sections, gaps and holes to trip over or fall into. So, walkers join the bikes, motorbikes, & cars on the road. Honestly, sometimes, we just feel safer riding our bikes.

Our bicycles given safe harbour in underground parking at our hotel while security watches over them.



Posted in Uncategorized, Vietnam 2024.


  1. Love those dragons! We found, especially in Hanoi, that even where there were sidewalks they were primarily used for motorbike parking so, as you wrote, one ends up walking on the road.

    Safe journey to Ho Chi Minh City!

  2. Pretty spiffy underground parking. You have great skills at finding what you need. Enjoy your sunny relaxing days. the snow has returned here. Spring is temporarily over.

  3. I will miss travelling thru Viet Nam with you. It has been a great trip with innumerable memories.

    • We have eleven more days to go! We’ll be seeing Saigon and visiting Randy’s son who will fly in to meet us.

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