All-inclusive motorbike tours offer the easiest way to experience a country inside out. In general, you just ride while we work!
Asia is one of the most exciting places on earth for motorcycle touring. Vietnam is a wonderful place, one of a few Asian countries offering stunning landscape, high twisty mountain roads, and friendly people. From Hanoi, our company offers many types of amazing on and off-road adventures on two wheels (motorcycles, motorbikes, moped scooters) 4×4 vehicles and anything that can go off road, off the beaten track or off the tourist trail. All tours start from Hanoi but can end anywhere in the country. You pay us in one piece and enjoy the ride. There is no need to negotiate with bike repair, restaurants, killer traffic and a place to stay overnight.
Our motorbike rides are not extreme off-road holidays. In fact, Offroad Vietnam is simply our trade name. We ride on a variety of roads, both on and off road.
Most of our tours are private and customized, but some are open for more riders to tag along, we don’t run pre-scheduled trips.
How We Ride
Our staff designed more than 150 different itineraries, and the route map is useful for you when deciding where to ride. Tours are designed by professional riders for foreign riders to experience a different Vietnam away from the mass tourism. With us, you venture many places less travelled, less visited, unspoiled and not yet mentioned in guide books. Conquering the high twisty roads, hairpin turns and meeting real local people who welcome foreigners as special guests who bring good luck to their homes.
Motorbiking is probably the best way to freedom as you can stop wherever and whenever you want. Feeling pot holes under your belt, meeting the kids, shaking hands and having a cup of green tea with local people in the roadside “cafes or tea shop” offer The Real Vietnam. Windy mountain roads, lush green rice fields, historical Highway 6, Highway 4 and Dien Bien Phu battlefield, legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail/Road, Khe Sanh combat base, coastal Highway 1, foggy Sapa, cloudy Ha Giang, magnificent Ban Gioc waterfalls and picturesque Halong Bay are just a few typical places you will see and much more is waiting for you to discover. Riding on the empty countryside and mountain roads is always a different feeling from the crowded roads in big cities.
The speed limit is only 60km/h and we ride slower to firstly play it safe and secondly take in the stunning views. Away from big cities, people wave and say “hello” as you pass by. They will gather around you when you stop to welcome you, touch your skin and try to understand why you are so hairy as well as looking at the bikes because they hardly ever see one like this before.
Every trip to our guides is a new discovery and a chance to make more new friends and build up a relationship which in the end is an added value to the whole trip. The tour leaders are all trained with mechanic repairs, they speak Vietnamese, English and some dialect languages. With them, you will experience the very best of Vietnam and have more new friends. They are the real assets of our company and have been leading motorbike travel for many years.
The most popular adventures we provide are all-inclusive motorbike tours (over 600 tours and more than 3,000 customers and still counting). Offroad Vietnam is the first and original motorbike & motorcycle tour operator in the Northern part of the country offering voyages exclusively on Japanese Honda road and enduro motorcycles. We are a truly professional team, own all touring bikes and maintain them ourselves. We don’t use rental bikes from any company. This is very important and we are different with most of the touring companies who use rental bikes and don’t just specialize in motorbiking holidays. We use only two types of touring bikes: off-road motorbikes and sport touring motorcycles.
To have more personal attention, we ride in small groups. No easy riders or motorcycle-taxi-driver ride is available, you ride your own bike or ride two up with your partner/friend. If you care about prices, we are not the cheapest but if you care about price/value balance then we are definitely the best (see more at review & feedback comment pages). As a way to say “thank you”, repeat customers won’t need to send a deposit for booking the next trip. In addition, a discount will be offered. A deposit is required for first-time customers only and if you want to check out how trustworthy we are, contact these references, real people, and straight forward experiences.
We provide mainly motorcycle adventures (over 95% of all bookings) so these notes are for all-inclusive motorbike tours clients. The following are questions our customer usually ask. Also, make sure to check out FAQs page to have more information. If you still don’t have the answer, please contact us.
To have an idea of our tour prices, please click here.
BEFORE SENDING A DEPOSIT
Our only office is in Hanoi where all rides start from, but you can end your ride anywhere in Vietnam. Please arrange flight(s) to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport at least one day before your trip starts. For people who don’t want to negotiate with Hanoi busy traffic, we can send the bike(s) on the truck to the edge of the city and actual riding starts from outside of Hanoi. This costs you extra and please send us an email to discuss.
We provide either full package guided tours or just bike rentals, nothing in between. We are unable to assist with timing and itinerary routing for self-guided tour customers as we ride on highways, back roads and shortcuts, some of them you can’t find on maps. The experience from a guided tour is of course very different from a self-guided trip as our guide is 4 in 1: guide/mechanic/translator/road finder. Guided tours offer flexibility and a real/deep insight of Vietnam and cost much more than self-guided trips.
For North Vietnam where 90% of our rides take place, the best time is usually from September to January (cool and dry). It is normally cold and wet between February and April. May to August is hot and Indian summer is in June, July, and August.
Tour Deposit & Payment
When you pay a deposit to secure your booking, most banks double charge as most of them use a middle bank (over 80% of the transfers we received). If this is the case, don’t worry about the short balance as we can settle this when we meet in Hanoi. You can transfer the money in your local currency, but make sure to ask your bank about the exchange rates. We prefer cash as “cash is king” in Vietnam, and accept USD, GBP, CAD, AUD, CHF, EUR, HKD or SGD. If you don’t want to travel with cash, you can just pay us all before you come to Vietnam with instructions here.
Most travellers need a visa for Vietnam. We can assist with a pre-approval visa letter. For the standard 30-day tourist visa, you pay us the letter (20$US/person, available after 2-3 days working days) and then pay the border police (45$US) on arrival. Totally you pay 65$US, no more. This is only possible if you enter by air.
List of things you should bring with you. You are welcome to add whatever you need personally.
The first-aid kit is very important and carry this with you on the ride and throughout your travel. We can’t buy a quality kit in Vietnam.
MEETING & PAPERWORK BEFORE A TRIP
You come at 9am to our office in Hanoi if all paperwork, riding gear, and payment are cleared before we set off. In case you have due balance or need to fill the “Disclaimer” below then come at 8:30am. It takes from 30 minutes to one hour before you actually commence your adventure.
To save time on the day of departure, you can download the disclaimer form. Please print and fill in before you come to Vietnam and give it to our staff before or on the day you start your ride. There are two pages: page 1 and page 2. You can also download pdf version if fonts display correctly.
Cash is king everywhere, including Vietnam. You can pay us in your local currency or US Dollars or VN Dongs. If you use credit cards, bank commission is between 3-4% on top, a surcharge may apply if the rates are a big difference between banks and free/black market.
Last but not least, check the booking conditions here to make sure that we are all clear before we meet in Hanoi.
PRACTICAL ROAD RULES
Motorcyclists in Vietnam becomes more aware of the traffic laws but you couldn’t say they always follow the rules. If you want to come back in one piece and have an enjoyable motorbike tour in Vietnam, please check the rules out. Our customers from all-inclusive motorbike tours normally say they found this type of tour most enjoyable.
ON THE ROAD
Vietnam is still a developing country (or a third world country) and standards are different (lower) than Western countries. Some people complained about hard mattresses in hotels or small and simple restaurants. Please don’t use Western standards for a country like Vietnam. We saw a sign in Thailand and it said “Thailand is still a developing country and you will have a different experience. If you want to feel at home then stay home.” Please be aware of this fact, especially if this is your first time to Vietnam.
Restaurants may look small and simple but the food is great. They offer authentic Vietnamese food that is normally not available in bigger restaurants or hotels. On our motorbike tours, we support local businesses and local restaurants offer things of a real Vietnam.
You need to bring spare money to pay for drinks. A 1.5l bottle of water or a can of beer costs between 10,000 to 20,000 VN Dongs (0.5-1$US). Drinks in home stays usually cost more than in restaurants. However, your money will be contributed directly to local communities and we believe you accept this.
GPS works in Vietnam, please check with your dealer about necessary software and/or updates. Broadband Internet connection is available almost everywhere and you can find a public Internet cafe easily. The cost for using broadband Internet is quite cheap (1$US = 4-5 hours). A 3G Vietnamese SIM card is another option. Many hotels offer free Wifi. Electricity is also available nationwide. However, there can be a shortage in summer. In fact, power-cut is common between May and August (luckily, not normally at night!).
You may choose to stay anywhere in Hanoi but we recommend the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is noisy and crowded but at least this is a typical Hanoi and it’s close to our office. We can help with hotel room booking and airport transfers in Hanoi. Our office is right in the Old Quarter, at the foot of Chuong Duong bridge. This is a good starting point to ride out of Hanoi by following the dike road along the Red river with easier traffic than most of other roads. We don’t start from your hotel as bike(s) and riding gear is bulky to carry. These add-ons will make your Vietnam all-inclusive motorbike tours much easier to handle.
The prices quoted are based on double, twins or triple sharing rooms. There will be single supplement charge if you request a single room, normally about 20$US/room/night. The amount depends on which trip you take and we will advise the cost when we meet in Hanoi.
You should bring your own riding gear due to size and quality matters. If you don’t have any or don’t want to carry them, you can rent from us. A typical set includes a helmet, a pair of fingerless or full finger gloves and protection knee and elbow pads or jacket and pants.
We used to provide saddle bags on the bikes but discovered that it was too difficult to control the balance at the back. In addition, it’s really dangerous to pass through many towns on the road due to traffic problems. Please pack things you need to take on the trip in a medium size bag and tie it at the back of the bike. You can see how the luggage racks look like here. If you request, we can provide a support truck for 170$US/day including a truck, driver, fuel & a spare motorcycle.
First, none of the foreign licenses is valid in Vietnam, including your country license. There are conflicting reports about this but the reality is unfortunately not a good news.
However, the good news is IDP (international driving permit, 1968 Convention and not the 1949 Convention) is now valid in Vietnam from August 1st, 2016 with the 46/2016/ND-CP decree. You can purchase an insurance policy easily when you have a 1968 IDP. If you have 1968 Convention IDP, please also bring your home country driving license with motorbike endorsement.
In case you have no IDP or Vietnamese driving license, the police rarely stop you checking license unless you do something wrong. It’s more to do with personal medical insurance that we cover below.
This is another very important thing for planning your Vietnam guided motorbike tours.
Most of the insurance companies don’t provide a policy that covers a motorbike tour accident if you don’t have a Vietnamese driving license. Sadly, it’s impossible to get a Vietnamese license with a tourist visa. You need a business visa of at least three months, a work permit, a sponsor company and a valid passport. All these documents should be translated into Vietnamese at a notary office and a license will be issued after 7 or 10 days. It’s just too complicated and time-consuming. With just a normal personal medical insurance you will still be covered about 19 hours a day when not riding because we only ride about 5 hours a day on average. Some companies like CHI Insurance, World Nomads, and Allianz didn’t require a local driving license and covered larger displacements.
Even Vietnam doesn’t recognize any foreign license (except 1968 Convention IDP) but take it easy you will be ok.
You pay Offroad Vietnam for add-on(s), there is no need to pay our partner(s) directly. One payment system is always lots easier.