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Hanoi and onwards June 11th beginning- Companions wanted!

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Hanoi and onwards June 11th beginning- Companions wanted!

Hiya

I'm Sarah- I'll be 3 weeks off 22 years old when I land in Hanoi on the 11th of June 2015. I'd love to find someone to share at least the first part of the journey with- male or female, young or old.

I haven't got any plans set in stone- I'll just start in Hanoi, spend a week or two there and spend the next 4 months just traversing Asia.

I'd like to find someone with a similar outlook to mine trip-wise:

Someone who:
- also has an easy-breezy attitude to schedules and time constraints
-who has a similar budget: I'll be staying in cheap guesthouses and hostels/ eating street food (If you have camping equipment that would cover both of us then I'd also be happy to camp- I just don't have any of my own as I don't want to extra weight)
-likes the idea of getting a steady rhythm going but also taking the time to see the places we're visiting.

Fitness level doesn't really matter- I'm sure that will even out once we get going :) I have an old new zealand Healing bike with thin road tyres but I might change these yet.

As far as me goes I'm outdoorsy and happy, Australian and a bit daggy. I'm into British comedy, cycling, motorbikes and the open road. As a travel partner I'm organised when I need to be but happiest just going with the flow. I've traveled Asia before and I'm capable in tricky situations but this is my first overseas trip in 3 years so I'll be seeing it all with fresh eyes. Honestly the best way to know me over the net is to go to my blog: www.sarahstackman.tumblr.com. its got 3 years of travel stuff on there :)

Have a great day,

Sarah

[ad expiry August 2015]

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hi

Could you give me some more information about yourself?

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Vietnam to India

Hi Sarah, I'm part of a group of 3 Brits (2 guys, 1 girl) and we're cycling from Hanoi to India. Our route takes us through Laos, North Thailand and Myanmar. We're hopefully setting of May 23rd providing we get our bikes sorted (we're buying them here) so we'll probably miss you, but if you're around for a while in Asia our paths may cross. Good luck!

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Wow what a great idea

I would be so freaking down for joining you lot its not funny. We've got practically the same trip planned!

I arrive on June 10th in Hanoi- too late?

Are you guys taking it pretty cruisy and just seeing how you go or do you have a tight schedule?

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10th June is a little late

10th June is a little late for us I'm afraid, we do have a deadline in that we have a flight booked from Delhi on the 6th August.

We haven't set our route for India and once we cross the border from Myanmar its most likely that we'll take alternative transport - a bus or train.

Other than that I'm not sure how fast we'll ride, obviously it will depend on heat, mountains, weight etc. I've never toured before but the others have...so I'm the weakest link ha! So you never know, we may meet at some point!

For the border crossing between Myanmar and India though, the permit you receive is for a specific date, so hopefully we'll be able to obtain these magic permits in Mandalay and then we will have a definite deadline to aim for.

If we're a little ahead of you I can try and keep you updated on our progress if that helps?

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sounds good

I'm taking life a lot easier then you lot by the sounds of it, So I'll probably be way behind. But yeah- lets keep each other in the loop as see how we go :)

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Where are you now?

Howdy- I'm in Hanoi now and just about the set off- have I missed you already?

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Where are you now?

Howdy- I'm in Hanoi now and just about the set off- have I missed you already?

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Yes, I'm afraid so, we left

Yes, I'm afraid so, we left about 3 weeks ago! We cycled through to Laos, and now we're in Thailand a few days away from the border to Myanmar. Let me know if you have any questions/ want any help though! The heat is pretty brutal but it's already cooled down a lot since we set off. Good luck!

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Help much apreciated!

I'd love to know a few things before I set off- what do you think is the best route? I'm going exactly the same way you are.
Are there guesthouses along the way or did you have to camp sometimes? (I didn't bring any camping gear with me :/ )

Have you met anyone else along the way who is going a bit slower and would maybe like a cycling buddy?

Anything else I should know?

To be honest I'm a bit wigged out by the whole prospect which is totally out of character so I'm very glad to know someone has just done it and its not as scary and I'm thinking it is!

Thanks! and good luck to you too!

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Well, there are a few things

Well, there are a few things to consider before you set off. Do you have an end destination in mind or a time limit? It kind of depends what kind of trip you want to have.

Because we have to get to Delhi in a specific period of time, we weren't able to take detours to places that we thought looked nice (for example any coastal areas). We went south west out of Hanoi to meet the HCM highway which we followed South to TT Pho Chau and from there headed west. We crossed the border into Laos at the Cau Treo/Nam Phao, which becomes the number 8 road, which meets the number 13 which takes you all the way to Vientiane (took us 10 days from Hanoi).

Although some of the scenery was beautiful, the HCM highway was a bit lonely in places and the distances between food places/ guesthouses stretched out a bit. We didn't meet a single other cyclist (still haven't actually!), or any other foreigners/travellers. We only camped one night, so just make sure you note down the Vietnamese words for guesthouse. We had a few problems communicating at times and getting water, but it was ok. The cycling is manageable, no major hills till the border, although I struggled I think it was more due to the heat and getting used to the cycling. The places we stayed were mostly dusty little towns though, so maybe not that interesting for some people!

I don't know enough about your situation, but based on what you've said I think you have a few options. If you take our route exactly, I personally would try to find a buddy. You could ask around at the Hanoi Bike Collective or put an ad up. You will be fine on your own but it just might make it more fun. Alternatively, you could start by following the number 1 from Hanoi, which is much more equipped for tourists and bike travellers. Then you could follow the coast and check out all the nice beaches that we didn't get to :(. Then when you feel more confident you could rejoin the HCM highway if you wanted. You could still head to Laos, or you could just go all the south to HCM. Or even Cambodia....the world's your oyster!

If you end up taking a train or something somewhere you might even catch us up! Hope that helps, let me know if you need any more help.

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Not sure if my reply to this posted so I'm going to reply again

Thanks for all this! super super helpful :)

Couple of questions I forgot to ask- I have thin road tyres. (I know- not very forward thinking!) Will i be ok with these? Have you come across any super bad roads you'd need MTB tyres for?

What have the temperatures been like? How many kms a day have you averaged?

In answer to your question- I've got a very open ended trip with a vague destination of India. :)

Thanks for all your help! Anything else you think I should know- fire away :)

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I think you'll need to

I think you'll need to replace the tyres...although saying that, the roads were better than we expected but there have been some stretches of rubble/dirt/sand road especially around the Vietnam /Laos border. Do you have a road bike that can fit a rack and everything? If you need tyres go to Antons Bike shop in Hanoi (you can find it online).

Temperatures in Vietnam when we started got to around 45 degrees in the hottest part of the day but as we've continued it's got into monsoon season (and we've got higher) and got cooler. Currently it's 34 degrees in Sukothai! The heat was difficult - camping was awful and I got a massive rash all over my legs but we set off at 5am most mornings.

Average distances have been anything from 70-115km...depending on hills, weather etc. Our bikes are pretty heavy, and we have quite a lot of breaks throughout the day for shade/water. We've never cycled in the dark and usually set off 7am by the absolute latest and try to finish by 2ish. You just have to pay attention to your own body though and rest when you need to - I felt the boys pushed me way out of my comfort zone with regards to cycling in heat. Make sure you have a rest day every 3 or 4 days to recover if you have time, we didn't and my fitness barely improved as a result because I was always knackered!

We're actually having a couple of rest days in Sukothai so if you want to Skype or anything in the next two nights let me. The other two are probably a bit better than me at route planning and stuff!

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hmmm. I think I might see how

hmmm. I think I might see how I go and replace the tyres in Chiang Mai if I feel like I need to. It will take a bit of work to do - I'll need to widen my forks etc I think.

All good advice- my bike is well set up-I have a rack, ortlieb panniers and lots of experieince cycling around Melbourne and a few other places.

I'd love to skype with you- maybe when I'm a little further along and have more of an idea of what I'm doing! haha. Hopefully I will have found a travel partner by then :)

Have fun! hope your rest is relaxing- sounds like it is well deserved :)

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Hey Sarah, No need to spend

Hey Sarah, No need to spend your money on a new fork. I rode through China, laos, now vietnam on 25mm tires. I've hit rocks, dirt, mud... I'm fine and the bike is fine. Missed you in Hanoi, I was there June 23 to July 3.

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Hi.I'm in Laos

Hi Sarah. My name is Oscar and I'm cycling RTW from Melbourne. I'm in Laos and heading for Hanoi via M Nonghet border. Where are you now? I will be in Hanoi around early July or so.

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Hello Oscar!

Hello Oscar

Nice one! I began my trip in Melbourne too but have done most of it by postie bike and flying so far :) We're actually going in opposite directions I'm afraid, I'm currently in Vietnam cycling towards Laos! But any tips along the way would be apreciated. Happy to let you know a few things I learnt here about good places to stay too: just hit me up!

Might pass you on the way- in which case lets grab a beer and swap stories :)\

All the best

Sarah

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Change òf plans

Hey everybody

Just letting you all know that I've pushed my plans back at least 6 months- probably more.

I decided it was a lot more sensible to do Asia in Winter and Europe in the Summer, so I'm off to the UK in 3 days.

If you're still keen to cycle, give me a buzz in 6 or 8 months and I'll tell you where I am. Otherwise- hit me up in Europe where I'm cycling now.

I'm also in Hanoi until Monday so lets get a beer anyway if you're around- I can give some advice about cycling out to Ha Long Bay and back which I did last week :)

All the best and thanks for your replies- sarah.

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SE Asia in winter

Hi Sarah,

I'm looking at cycling SE Asia anytime from November onwards for a few months with no fixed plan yet or timeframes. I'm a newbie cycle tourer so not keen to go it alone but I'm pretty practical as it goes and know I'll pick things up no problems. Thinking of doing some stop offs to do some wwoofing (work on farms for free in return for food and accomodation). Do you have a route or schedule(ish) in mind at all?

Lucy