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Motorcycle Along Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour - 16days

Highlight: Hanoi - Mai Chau – Vinh - Huong Khe - Phong Nha - Dong Hoi - Dong Ha - Khe Sanh - A Luoi - Hien - Thanh My - Hoi An - My Son - Dong Phu - Kham Duc - Kon Tum - Buon Me Thuot - Lak Lake - Da Lat - Saigon

Summary

Motorbiking in Vietnam

Motorbiking in Vietnam, the land of hidden charm and mysteries is one of the most adventurous tours. There are some organizations like GREEN TRAIL TOURS which offers all-inclusive motorbike (motorcycle) tours package. It includes off-road adventures on 4x4, with trekking and kayaking an extension. These tours are often categorized as specialty, adventure or extreme travel. Vietnam is a frontier destination and a ride on an old school Soviet motorbike through its rugged mountains is an unparalleled adventure.

Some of the accessories that you must have with you before embarking on the Motorbiking in Vietnam are gloves, helmet, saddle bags and equipments like riding jacket and pants, rain gear and Belarusian Minsks.

The destinations of interest in Vietnam that you can include in your list while embarking on a motor biking tour in Vietnam are Hanoi, Saigon, Cao Bang, Ba Be Lake, Ban Gioc Waterfalls, Mau Son Mountain, Halong Bay, Cat Ba island, Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Quan Ba, Khau Vai, Lung Phin, Luc Yen, Vu Linh, Tam Duong, Phong Tho, Lai Chau, Sin Ho, Than Uyen, Nghia Lo, Muong Te, Dien Bien Phu, Tuan Giao, Son La, Phu Yen, Mai Chau, Xuan Nha, Hang Kia, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Kon Tum, Dac Lac, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Long Xuyen, Chau Doc and more. These destinations cover Vietnam from Northeast, Central North, Northwest to Central Vietnam, Central Highlands and end in Mekong Delta. Vietnam is a long country with over 3,000 km coastline and the motor bikers need at least one month to tour all Vietnam.

While choosing a motor bike before going for the motor biking in Vietnam, be careful as many roads are in poor condition and you really need a strong bike with high clearance. The Honda Baja proves to be 'top notch' for this type of excursion.

Discover the enormous mountains populated by hill tribe communities living as they have for centuries. Skirt gorges, chasms and cliff faces, cruise high mountain passes, enter remote weekly markets and discover hidden terraced valleys and isolated communities while you tour Vietnam by motorbike.

Go to Vietnam. It will be a whole new way of experiencing the splendors of the country and getting a thrill out of it too. Motor biking in Vietnam is a popular adventure sport as well as a recreational means, well indulged in by both the locals and the foreigners.

About Motor Biking In Vietnam

Motor biking in Vietnam will take you through an entire gamut of luscious landscapes: rugged, mountainous terrain, dense woods, lush and tranquil valleys and past vibrant markets, towns and villages. The Vietnam motor bike tours will not be taxing on your strength either for there are biking routes of varied difficulty levels to suit your capabilities.

In your Vietnam motor biking trips, be sure to head up the northern highlands of the country. This part of Vietnam boasts of some spectacular mountain scenery made up of narrow, rocky passes, deep ravines, towering peaks and beautiful cascades that plunge down from the cliffs. You can warm up for your north Vietnam motor biking journey with a stint on the comparatively gentle valley roads of Mai Chau.

Northern Vietnam hides away many beautiful lakes amidst its depths and the roads to them are a tad difficult, if not impossible to tackle. But all the more incentive for the thrill-seeking biker to give a serious thought to some adventure holidays in Vietnam.

Take the road less traveled to northern Vietnam. Adventure in Vietnam herein takes the form of the biking routes from Hanoi to Mai Chau, Mai Chau to the Cuc Phuong National Park or from Mai Chau to Son La and from here to Lai Chau.

When you are motor biking in Vietnam, you can also drive out for Lang Son from Hanoi. There are isolated mountainous stretches along Cao Bang where you can enjoy the solitude along with the scenery while zipping on the rocky roads. Take the road to Ba Be Lake from Cao Bang, and enjoy a little caving and trekking stint here. After all, it’s Vietnam. Adventure is here to be found at virtually every nook and cranny.

The options for adventure and recreation in Vietnam come aplenty. Motor biking in Vietnam is just one of them, all set to give you the ride of your lives as you take in the enchanting beauty of the Vietnam landscape.

Detailed Itinerary

Motorcycle Along Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour - 16days
Motorcycle Price


Itinerary in brief
Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau
Day 2: Mai Chau - Vinh
Day 3: Vinh - Huong Khe
Day 4: Huong Khe - Phong Nha - Dong Hoi
Day 5: Dong Hoi - Dong Ha
Day 6: Dong Ha - Khe Sanh - A Luoi
Day 7: A Luoi - Hien - Thanh My - Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An - Free at leisure
Day 9: Hoi An - My Son - Dong Phu - Kham Duc (Phuoc Son)
Day 10: Kham Duc - Kon Tum
Day 11: Kon Tum - Buon Me Thuot
Day 12: Buon Ma Thuot - Lak Lake - Da Lat
Day 13: Da Lat Touring
Day 14: Da Lat - Saigon
Day 15: Saigon

Day 16: Departures

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau
In the morning we take a short bus drive the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum on the outskirts of Hanoi. The museum is a great place to learn about the historic trail which we will ride on. After the visit to the museum we will jump on our Minsks and spend sometime to get familiar with the bikes.
Now, let's begin our adventure. We will ride on Highway 6 passing extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads punctuated by limestone karst scenery.
After a light lunch in Hoa Binh Town, the capital of Hoa Binh Province, we cross two short mountain passes then descend to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. Dinner and overnight in a stilt house of the Thai people.
- Distance: 140 km
- Accommodation: Home stay in village
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Mai Chau - Vinh
Say goodbye to the villagers, we then head south on a beautiful winding road which follow the banks of the Ma River. After some hours riding on undulating quiet road we join the new Ho Chi Minh Highway. This newly carved route leads us due south, through remote back country, not far from the Laos border. Lunch will be on the way with local foods. In the afternoon we cut eastward towards the coast and stay overnight in the peaceful city of Vinh, which is close to where Ho Chi Minh was born. Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
- Distance: 268 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Vinh City
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Vinh - Huong Khe
This morning we head inland towards the Laos border after 40 minutes riding we can reach the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in Kim Lien Village. The place is truly a shrine to the Vietnamese and visited by few westerners.
After paying respects to Uncle Ho, we head to the HCM Highway via Thanh Chuong District. You cross the Lam River on the Ro Bridge and then drive primarily on the beautiful new highway of Ho Chi Minh. Lunch break in Pho Chau Town, a tiny town about 40 km from Thanh Chuong.
After lunch, we continue on the quiet highway to Dong Loc Intersection, (main junction for supply lines during the war) which is widely regarded in Vietnamese eyes as the beginning of Ho Chi Minh Trail. We then pass through remote back country, close to the border, as the scenery steadily becomes dominated by karst limestone rock formations. We will reach our overnight spot, Huong Khe Town, around 5 pm. Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in a mini hotel.
- Distance: 160 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Huong Khe Town
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Huong Khe - Phong Nha - Dong Hoi
Today's ride is on a very quiet section of the new highway. En route, you will come to Khe Ve Intersection and Pheo - the very first branch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail into Laos.
Continuing on from Pheo, we will arrive in Phong Nha around noon. After lunch in local restaurant, we board a dragon boat to explore the famous Nature World Heritage Site of Phong Nha cave.
After the exploration of Phong Nga, we ride 30 km eastward to the costal town of Dong Hoi, our today’s overnight spot. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
- Distance: 210 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Dong Hoi Town
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Dong Hoi - Dong Ha
Today's ride is also on the new, quiet highway. Along the way, we will have a short stop at Truong Son National Cemetery to pay respect to the soldiers who fought and died on the trail during the American War. Later we head to Dong Ha Town passing Ben Tat Bridge, built by the VC over the Ben Hai River.
Arriving in Dong Ha, we will check into the hotel, and have some lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to the mystic Vinh Moc Tunnel and the famous DMZ, Doc Mieu fire base and the historic Hien Luong Bridge.
Dinner and overnight in Dong Ha.
- Distance: 250 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Dong Ha Town
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Dong Ha - Khe Sanh - A Luoi
Continuing west on Highway 9, we will climb into the Truong Son foothills. About 16 km from Khe Sanh is the Dakrong Bridge and the road turns winding and narrow. A bit further, we will come to Huang Hoa, once known as Khe Sanh Base, which was established as a forward base by General Westmoreland near Laos to secure Highway 9. About 3 km from Khe Sanh is Ta Con Airbase.
Lunch in Khe Sanh and then head out across the famous Dakrong River Bridge on Route 14 Near the town of Ta Rut, we will stop for a visit with the Pa Co people and a walk through their village.
From Ta Rut, you head over scenic Pe Ke Pass and then down to A Luoi for the night.
Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in a simple guest house.
- Distance: 200 km
- Accommodation: Guesthouse in A Luoi
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: A Luoi - Hien - Thanh My - Hoi An
Today's riding is the best riding of the whole route. For the first 110 km, we cross one of the longest and most stunning pass on new and quiet road, through stunning scenery of primitive forests backed by the imposing Truong Son mountain range. There are also two long tunnels and very little traffic. The next 68 km from Hien to Thanh My are on good road with some gentle climbs. Lunch on the way in local restaurant. The last 40 km of the day are on an older, bumpier road all the way from Ai Nghia to the charming ancient town of Hoi An. Dinner and overnight in Hoi An.
- Distance: 240 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An Town
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Hoi An - Free at leisure
Hoi An, nestled on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Before the river silted up, Hoi An was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia, and a center for East-West exchange and trade. The rooftops of Hoi An retain a magical old world Oriental feel and are a favorite subject for Vietnamese artists. In the early 1980s Hoi An's ancient quarters and historical monuments came under the protection and restoration efforts of UNESCO and the Polish government.
You will spend the day visiting the town of Hoi An on your own. Overnight in Hoi An.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An Town
- Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Hoi An - My Son - Dong Phu - Kham Duc (Phuoc Son)
Time to hit the road again! We leave Hoi An in the morning and head to My Son, a world heritage site that is the Cham version of Angkor Wat.
Most of the temples are dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, considered by the Cham as the founder and protector of their dynasties.
From My Son, we will continue along the highway, busy at first, until the road shifts and becomes smaller, although paved. Then the drive becomes challenging, but a lot of fun and progress is far slower.
We will continue driving along the river, but the road itself, new and not very busy, climbs up along a very steep valley with the river rushing below. The river below is dotted with unique rock formations and there are waterfalls along the way. Lunch will be in Dong Phu.
Leaving Dong Phu, eventually, we will come to the town of Kham Duc or Phuoc Son. Overnight in Kham Duc Hotel.
- Distance: 200 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Kham Duc
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kham Duc - Kon Tum
After breakfast in local restaurant we continue driving north on Highway 14 today on a bit of a bumpy section of the road to Kon Tum.
A day to visit different minority villages. We will drive over Lo Xo Pass, making lots of stops along the way to meet De and Trieng minorities, who live along the Dak Po Ko river. Along the river are many amazing hanging bridges, built by the local people to cross to the opposite shore. Lunch will be in Tan Canh, and we can visit a village of Xo Dang, before driving on to Kon Tum.
Along the way, we also pass one of the key towns and battle sites of the Vietnam War - Dak To and outpost Charlie.
In Kon Tum we can visit the Catholic church and the orphanage, based behind the Catholic Church in town and run by a group of French nuns. If time permits, you can also visit a beautiful Bahnar village near town.
Overnight in Kon Tum at the Dac Bla Hotel.
- Distance: 190 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Kon Tum
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Kon Tum - Buon Me Thuot
The new Ho Chi Minh Highway was built on the old trail, but from Kon Tum to Daklak, the historic HCM trail (Highway 14C), runs parallel to Highway 14 linking Kon Tum, Pleiku, and Buon Me Thuot.
We will continue riding Highway 14 today, finding that traffic is busier than usual. Lunch will be in Pleiku. From here, we ride along the Tun River and up over a pass. Along the way are coffee plantations and the stilt houses of the Central Highland's largest ethnic group, the Gia Rai. Eventually, we will cross the Nha Rong pass down into Buon Me Thuot, the provincial capital of Dac Lac Province, and the site of the last battle of the Vietnam war in March 1975.
At night we can stop by the beer parlors or sample the local coffee grown in the region. It is far and away the best coffee in Vietnam and worth bringing home. Overnight at the Thang Loi Hotel.
- Distance: 240 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Buon Ma Thuot
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Buon Ma Thuot - Lak Lake - Da Lat
This morning, we drive to Lak Lake on Route 27, a small paved road with poor surfacing and quite busy. Here we can have a break for refreshment and troll around the by the lake. There are said to be about 31 different ethnic groups in Dac Lac, each with their own traditional dress and customs. Some of the villages are known for elephant hunting and taming, some for weaving and other arts.
After lunch in Lak Lake, we continue on to Da Lat. The road is narrow, winding, but not busy. We have three passes to cross - Krong No, Chuoi, and Phu Son. The drive itself is quite beautiful and lined with dense forests. Late in the afternoon, we will arrive in the hill town of Da Lat. Overnight in Da Lat.
- Distance: 200 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Da Lat
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Da Lat Touring
Da Lat is known as 'œThe City of Love,' and is a favorite holiday resort for Vietnamese as well as the French. With evergreen forests, waterfalls, beautiful lakes, the country's best flower gardens, and delicious fresh produce, Da Lat has always provided a welcome respite from the heat of the lowlands. We can spend the day visiting the highlights of Da Lat - its gardens, cathedral, waterfalls, market, Valley of Love, convent, university, train station and key pagodas. Overnight in Da Lat.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Da Lat
- Meals: Breakfast

Day 14: Da Lat - Saigon
Today we head to Saigon on bus, since the road is so very crowded and busy! On the way, we will stop for lunch in Bao Loc, where we can also see the impressive Dambri Waterfall. In the afternoon, we will finally arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. The rest of the day is free to relax or wander on your own.
We might want to visit the Re-Unification Palace, the former palace of President Thieu and his predecessors. Today this building is a museum and venue for official receptions. Inside you can visit the private rooms of the president, from where the South Vietnamese forces were controlled, and, most poignantly, the room where the North Vietnamese army finally took control in 1975. A second stop is at the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 and one of the city's major landmarks. Neo-Romanesque in form, Notre Dame is the major seat of the Catholic religion in modern Vietnam of the Sea. Tonight, weather permitting, we can have dinner outside at the Ben Thanh Market. Overnight in Saigon.
- Distance: 300 km
- Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Saigon
Our day begins with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the few remaining monuments to the Vietnam War. Beneath the ground lie 200 km of tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Viet Cong during the conflict, which ended in 1975.
From Cu Chi, we will return to Ho Chi Minh City. Here, we can stop at Cholon, the Chinese market. Tonight you will have a farewell dinner. Overnight in Saigon.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Departure
Free until car transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Departure & Price

TOUR PRICE: This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on your hotel choice, number of people in your group and time of travel. Please contact us to customize this itinerary and price to meet your needs and budget.


We act responsibility by contributing to local communities, ensuring we work with reliable suppliers and paying our staff and guides a fair wage, so that you, the traveler, can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you have booked through a well established, professional, reputable and responsible tour operator. For more information about us please click here.


Our teams are well trained, bursting with information and eager to help put together a customized quote for you so please send us your enquire.
 

INCLUDING

- Motorcycle(s), all fuel;
- Tour guide/Translator;
- Standard hotel and/or homestay (sleeping bags, mosquito nets, sheets, pillows...are provided);
- Third party motorbike insurance;
- All food;
- All entrance fees, permits, tickets, boat trips, ferries, bamboo rafts, etc;
- Green Trail Tours provides support. We are with you along the way;
- Vietnamese tea and rice wine.

NOT INCLUDING

- Personal expenses, personal medical insurance;
- Drinks other than tea and local rice wine;
- Motorbiking protective pants, jacket, gloves, helmet, rain gear and other safety equipment at favourable rental rate;
- Train or flight tickets;
- Breakfast on the departure day and dinner on the return day;
- Accommodation in Hanoi;
- Tips

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Fill out the form below to tell us your interests, your schedule and people in your group to Vietnam and/or countries around. Your private travel consultant in '' Asian Trail Tours is one of the online travel portals market which is operated by the team of professional travel consultants at Green Trail Tours Co., Ltd '' will contact you within 0.5 - 23.5 hours to give you a proposal including a tentative itinerary tailor-made for you and the most competitive price GTT can offer. Not all information is necessary in this form, but the more you tell us, the better we can serve you.

HOW TO BOOK

Send inquiry to Green Trail Tours

Get reply from your private travel consultant

Optimize itinerary according to your needs

Confirm itinerary then pay 30% deposit

Make final payment

Take off with GTT tour voucher and travel guide

Enjoy your vacation!

 

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and/or countries around), we are confident that '' Asian Trail Tours is one of the online travel portals market which is operated by the team of professional travel consultants at Green Trail Tours Co., Ltd '' will be your best choice. Because no other company puts more efforts in every detail of your personal requirement than we do. Our service guarantees not only a smooth journey but also an enjoyable experience belonging to you and yours. (more about us)

Bellows are all up to you.

 

1. private service.

2. personalized travel schedule.

3. Tailor-made destinations & itinerary.

4. Visit some places in a certain city per your request.

5. Experience something special.

6. When and where to start your travel.

7. When and where to end your travel.

8. The length of your tour.

9. Accommodations in which you wish to stay.

10. Transport you like.

11. Ramble by yourself or have a local tour guide.

12. Decide the number of people in your travel group.

 

Besides, we also do.

 

1. GTT's careful and full-of-surprise service.

2. International flights booking.

3. Domestic flights booking.

4. Visa application.

5. Optimizing your itinerary.

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7. Modifying your tour to fit your personal taste before you actually making the final purchase.

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Package 1 pax 2 - 3 pax 4 - 6 pax Over 7
Motorcycle Along Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour - 16days $5,119 $3,059 $2,527 $2,099 Book now !

Before you go

MOTORCYCLE TOURING
What type of clothing should I bring?
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country and size selection and/or quality products are real issues. Local products are cheap but almost just one size for all or the quality is poor. Here are some suggestions:
- Clothing: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirt, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirt, turtleneck shirt, extra jeans, light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses and goggles.
- Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen and earplugs.
- Emergency items: first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, flashlight, chargers and duct tape.
- Miscellaneous: small towel, bath towel, trash bags, bungee cords, camera and cargo net.

I drive a large displacement motorbike back home and am afraid that the Honda 160cc or Honda trail bike 125cc will not be up to the task. Can't we drive anything larger?
Vietnamese traffic laws prohibited the use of motorbikes larger than 175cc until May 2007 after Vietnam was allowed into WTO. It will take sometime to have big bikes imported into Vietnam, but it's likely that nobody rents out these bikes as import tax is 90% and VAT is 10% (a bike costs twice as much as in your country!). The Honda 160cc or Honda 125cc will not break the sound barrier but the Honda will easily carry two people down all of Vietnam's roads. They are light, balanced and fun to ride. As of early 2008, we offered upgrade to Honda Baja XR or Degree 250cc or TLR 200cc. Click to find out
bike options.

Can you arrange accommodation for us in Hanoi?
We can make reservations for you at any hotel in Hanoi and also organise a car to pick you up from the airport. Commonly we recommend people to stay at a particular hotel in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter. The central location makes it easy to get around the city and the hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms in the US$15-30 per night price range. They also provide safe storage for baggage during the duration of the motorbike or offroad tour. More details here.

Do you carry everything on the bike, or would I leave some of my luggage at "base" until returning?
We provide you with spacious saddle bags which can carry a large amount of belongings. It's also possible to strap a further bag or rucksack onto the bike's back rack if required. Any other luggage may be left safely in storage at your hotel waiting for return.

I hear the traffic is crazy in Vietnam. Is it safe?
Traffic in Hanoi is chaotic to the uninitiated driver. For this reason we always use the easiest roads (even if they are longer) to get out of town. We can also arrange for riders to be dropped off at the city limits by taxi. Once out in the countryside, the level of traffic drops off remarkably and on some roads it is possible to not pass a single vehicle for the whole day. That said, it must be emphasized that the conditions here are demanding and extremely defensive driving is imperative. All riders must be very careful and be fully aware that the purpose of the trip is not to ride performance bikes hard into the bends, but rather to trundle along nice and slow and enjoy the sites and sounds. Once a ride is confirmed, we will send you an extensive document covering all aspects of driver safety particular to the conditions found in Vietnam. This document and constant support from your guide will make your ride as safe as possible.

What do I do and expect when I have an accident?
Vietnam can be a very strange country regarding how the accident is solved, just as the way people ride. The bigger usually pay i.e car drivers pay motorcyclists, motorcyclists pay cyclists... However, if you have an accident, first you have to talk with the other party (via our guide) to find out who has to pay and how much. If you don't agree with each other, then we call the police and they will do their job (usually takes time) and you have to stay in Vietnam until they have the official report. Vietnamese people usually expect you to pay, even if you are right. Don't be surprised and stay calm as our guide will help you to solve the situation.

If you purchased an insurance policy, and if you request we will contact the insurance company and ask them for instructions. You will need to pay us all phone calls in this case.

I'm travelling alone, is it possible to join any existing groups?
Where possible we try to link individuals together as long as they are of similar driving experience. The more advance warning the better. Check out at Late Availability.

When is the best time to come to the north of Vietnam for a tour?
In the north there's no best time to ride. There are four distinct seasons, each with its own unique advantages. Summer runs from April to October, winter from November to March. Hottest months are June and August, coldest month is February. Expect the possibility of rain from April to August, while winter months are normally dry except when a winter storm settles in.

How long do we ride each day?
A difficult question as in most cases we ride from morning to the late afternoon. We try to get on the road early to make the most of the day and we enjoy lengthy stops throughout the day. On longer tours we can accommodate a rest day from the saddle. Our bikes all have extra padding in the seats. Expect at least five hours driving time per day.

What's the minimum time to complete a good ride?
In order to get into the mountains and out of the delta plains, whilst completing a good loop, we need a minimum of four days. At a bare minimum we can get onto some back roads and get a good taste of life on the road here in two days if you don't mind a long day in the saddle.

What's the best duration for a trip?
The perfect time frame to spend on the road would probably be eight or nine days, looking at a maximum of 12 days before the body starts to take the strain. However, for the indefatigable we can offer an 18-day trek of the entire northern region of Vietnam.

Where do the tours start from?
All tours start out from Hanoi between 8-9 am. Return to Hanoi is either by road or sometimes by overnight train in which case we send the motorbikes on the train. We usually come back in Hanoi between 2-6 pm.

Do you need a deposit?
We ask for a deposit of US$200 - US$500 in order to confirm to secure your booking(s). We will provide you with the necessary bank account details to transfer this deposit into once a ride has been agreed upon.

How do I pay you? Do you accept credit card payment?
Yes, we do accept credit card payment in our office. There is an extra bank charge of 3% (4% for American Express card holders). At certain times, we may apply surcharge as banks always offer low or very low rates comparing to black market rates. Deposit is made via a bank transfer or Western Union Cash Transfer. We ask that you transfer to our bank account a deposit and then final balance (cash is king in Vietnam) before the commencement of a ride. Unfortunately, PayPal applies very bad conditions to Vietnamese account holders and we don't like that.

What other expenses should we expect? How much cash do we need to take with us?
In terms of costs we cover everything except telephone calls, tips, souvenirs, alcoholic drink and personal medical insurance. As there are often some impressive minority crafts to be found in the markets or some more bizarre products of Chinese origin bank on US$150-200 extra.

How will I meet you in Hanoi?
We will arrange a pre-departure briefing session to introduce to you the route (with maps) and the minority peoples with whom we'll come into contact, provide you with all the equipment, and cover any other outstanding issues. Please print our office map here.

Is an international licence valid in Vietnam?
Despite some press reports to the contrary Vietnam does recognise the validity of international licences. Whilst some authorities in remote regions may not be able to comprehend a document written in a foreign language they go a long way in smoothing out any potential difficulties should an issue arise. They also take care of any licence requirements that you might have in your insurance polices.

How do I get an international licence?
International licences can be provided on the spot at the motoring authority in your country (e.g. The AA in the UK or the NRMA in Australia). Take your existing national licence and passport photo to their office and for a small fee they will provide a licence along the same lines as your existing licence, valid for one year.

I'm concerned about the footwear situation; thinking about leaving walking boots at home to lighten the load, what do you recommend?
It's essential to have strong footwear for the tour to protect your feet whilst driving. Trekking shoes or leather boots are perfect. No driving in open-toed shoes. It is possible to buy a pair of boots (including big sizes) in Hanoi for about US$15.

I'm filling out the Vietnam visa application and they ask for the name, address of my contact in Vietnam. What should I enter?
It's not actually necessary to enter anything in this field. If you wish you may write the details of any hotel in Hanoi. To save money and time, try our visa letter assistance service (you pay 45$US in total).