(Rossa Geraghty reviews of 8 days scenic Ha Giang, Honda XR250, ~1,500 km)
Tempo of the tour and the stop-over
I loved the pace of the tour. We could have stopped more often and relaxed a bit more but the speed and challenge suited my common sense/adrenaline fuelled disposition very well. I am still buzzing 8 weeks later.
Bikes and equipment
The bikes were well maintained if a bit battered and getting on in the years. This was most evident with vibration and shaking when speeds were higher but I realise that they get shocking abuse from the terrain. That said, I liked my bike, it was reliable, very capable and would happily use the old girl again.
The hotels were poor in some places but I understand that they may be the only options available in rural locations. I would bring a hair dryer next time for heat as they were very cold and damp at times. Thank God it was not raining and that I didn’t have to contend with wet clothes.
I enjoyed the food although it was much the same thing for lunch and dinner every time. This was OK though as there was a huge variety on the table. Breakfast sometimes consisted of just bread and an egg. This could be improved I reckon. I never left the table hungry.
Thon was a good guide. He was knowledgeable, friendly and very sociable. He tended to be in a hurry though. This may be for good reason but I would prefer to have a more relaxed schedule with more stopping, chatting, photos etc. along the way. Our rides usually finished around 4pm but didn’t get dark for over 90 mins. after that, so time for easier pace was available.
It felt expensive when I first paid for it but it is actually very good value for money when compared with similar trips in other countries. On reflection, it was worth every penny and would do it again in a heartbeat. What you cannot put a price on is the great people I met on the trip and the experiences we shared.
How did you know about us?
If you are going into the mountains of the North of Vietnam in winter:
Bring warm clothes and a small heater (hair-dryer) for the hotel.
Take or rent protective biking gear.
Bring some casual clothes for wearing in the evening (every bike garment will be caked in dust).
A fleece outdoor jacket is a must for the cold evenings! (Lowe Alpine, North Face etc)
Bring a hoodie top and a beanie/ski hat and a neck tube for riding.
You are dealing with temps of 10C / 50F at night.
Prepare to enjoy beer and having the time of your life.
Full name: Rossa Geraghty.
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