(Mike Misurka reviews of 9 days on Honda road bike, ~1,200 km)
I signed up for the 10 days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorcycle tour for January 2008. I flew into Hanoi via Bangkok on Air Asia and took a taxi for $12 US into Hanoi.
I met up with Anh Wu and Ngoc and made plans for the following morning then toured the Hanoi Hilton and walked around the lake before getting some sleep. We got underway the next morning and started the ride.
The bikes are the decent shape and are plenty fast enough for the small, winding roads in rural Vietnam. Since you’re sharing the roads with buffaloes, kids, ducks, bicycles and everything else, speed isn’t an issue. It’s just nice to ride along and enjoy the countryside.
Accommodations were good enough for that part of the world etc. hot water, a clean room and clean beds.
The food was for the most part very good and lots of variety.
The last 2 days were rained out so we switched to a taxi.
As a guide, Ngoc was very, very good in his English and translated everything for us, as well as caring for the bikes and doing all the planning. This was the first organized tour I have gone on and learned so much more than I would have if I did it on my own.
I would recommend this tour for anyone wanting to explore Vietnam and see a culture that is still fairly unspoiled from tourism. What I would like to see changed is to spend more time exploring the Vietnam War relics and sites and less time in the cities such as Hue.
I didn’t find the cities particularly interesting and I would like more time to visit the tunnel area and DMZ areas. I was also a little disappointed in the nightlife as most places serve warm beer and everything seems to close by about 10PM. I was hoping for more of a party atmosphere like Thailand and Vietnam is very conservative and work attitude. Also, I didn’t know but you should be aware that the government tries to control a lot of things, especially having “guests” into your hotel and it would be nice if their attitude was a little bit more open-minded. All in all, a great culture tour but a little bit of a letdown as far as nightlife and excitement go.
Full name: Mike Misurka.
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