Wild Vietnam

To visit a particular place, click its name on the menu at left. Some words about it will appear plus a link to a gallery of photographs. Then click another name and the same will happen. To return to this page, click "Main Page." The site you are visiting now is particularly designed to answer questions about our summer 2004 trip to Vietnam, to show places we'll visit, and to encourage you to join us.
Our trip to Vietnam will include two national parks in the north, boating to a cave on an island in Ha Long Bay, an overnight train ride to Dong Hoi, and into another spectacular cave. We'll be out on the coast near Vinh Moc. We'll drive down part of the new Ho Chi Minh Highway through magnificent country into the A Shau Valley. We'll emerge from the mountains at Hue, visit another national park high on a mountain top, and walk through the ancient Cham capital at My Son. We'll fly to Nha Trang and enjoy the magnificent beach there. On to Phan Thiet to enjoy another magnificent beach, and to see some other things along the way. We'll have a day in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and then fly home.
This will not be a bicycle trip. Ground transportation will be provided by VYC Travel., but there will be several walks on trails. The longest of these will be seven kilometers in Cuc Phuong National Park, and we'll walk about four kilometers to/from the high point in Bach Ma National Park.
Quite frankly, much of Vietnam isn't as wild as I thought it might still be. The A Shau Valley, for example, is quite populated now. I hadn't seen the valley for about thirty years, and it's changed. But there is still very much of a "presence" about it. Other fine places have been protected as parks.
Trail to the top, Bach Ma National Park
Yes, I'm a veteran. I was drafted in 1968 and sent to Vietnam. There, I discovered what a beautiful place it is, but I didn't go again until 1998. Since then I've done three bicycle trips from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, but I wanted to explore Vietnamese national parks and other wild parts of the country.
I scouted some of these very special places this past winter with Tran Xuan Hung of VYC Travel in Ho Chi Minh City. Xuan Hung, Hung Luong of Common Ground Journeys, and I have worked to put together a trip to these and other areas.

Obviously, a trip like this will have a price--I don't yet know what Hung will charge. We do think of it more as a labor of love than a commercial venture. For several years, Hung Luong has been donating extra money to schools along the route of his bicycle trips. I like visiting these places. I'll be photographing and possibly writing.

Without big help from VYC Tours and from Common Ground Journeys, this scouting trip, our summer trip, and therefore this site would not have been possible. I thank these people.

Other things I've written on the Internet about Vietnam may eventually move to this site. This includes the bicycle trips down Highway One from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. About the first two bicycle trips (and a bit on having been a draftee), I wrote Vietnam in the Absence of War which includes many photographs. It's available from me or from bookstores.
Links

Common Ground Journeys (and Hung Luong) in Vancouver, WA, can be reached by calling 503-307-7524.
Hung works another job, and you may need to leave a message. E-mail here
URL is
www.commongroundjourneys.com

We will be supported in Vietnam by VYC Travel of Ho Chi Minh City. They do several other trips around Vietnam, and often to other places like Singapore or China. VYC will set up our hotels, our meals, and our transportation inside Vietnam. They will also provide a guide who will travel with us. They are at www.vyctour.com

My website is www.blacktail-enterprises.com There's more there about Vietnam and several other things.
My phone in Colorado is 719-395-2706. E-mail here

Please be in contact if you are interested in joining our trip!