(Colin Daniel McDonnell reviews of 6 days Khau Vai Love Market of Vietnam, Minsk motorcycle touring, ~1,250 km)
Tempo of the tour and the stop-over
The Hanoi – Ha Giang ride of the first day was long since it was the first time on the bike, getting used to it on a traffic filled highway was very dangerous. We arrived after dark.
Bikes and equipment
I felt my motorcycle was not mechanically prepared for the trip. The mountains are punishing on a motorcycle and Minsk needed repair after 3 hours of riding.
A supply of towels at the homestay near the lake (Vu Linh) is a good idea. The overnight at the Love Market should be discontinued. There are no toilets or running water. This was not explained before we left Hanoi. The family at the homestay (Vu Linh) was nice. More of these should be incorporated into the tour.
The food was excellent. Except for the overnight at the Love Market. In the future, I see no need for anyone to stay overnight at this market. To stay there for an afternoon and then return to Meo Vac is sufficient.
Thoi and Hai were excellent guides. When my bike broke down, Hai tried very hard to repair it. They can speak excellent English. With a few more tours they will become even more improved. They both were in tune with each of us and tried to provide over personal service. I am not the best rider, but Thoi and Hai worked with me and were patient. Those are good characteristics in a guide.
How did you know about us?
In total the trip was fun. I saw and learned a lot. I would recommend it but I would also say the trip is not for the weak or poor riders. You must be prepared to overcome obstacles on this trip and that makes for a better experience. I had a good time and I can only wonder when I will have a chance to do it again.
Full name: Colin Daniel McDonnell.
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