MR. CHRIS BATE’S REVIEWS OF NORTH-EAST VIETNAM MOTORBIKE TOUR

(Chris Bate reviews of 7 days Honda GL160, ~1,200 km)

Overall we found it a great trip to undertake with our son’s (two fathers and son’s). We felt like we saw the real Vietnam. There was a good balance of riding, resting, and other activities. The food was excellent, the homestays were fantastic and the riding and scenery spectacular.

Offroad Vietnam Motorbike Adventures - Mr. Chris Bate's reviews of Northeast Vietnam motorbike tour.

Tempo of the tour and the stop-over

The pace of the tour for the 7 days was good. The short day and boat trip on BaBe lake was ideal for a semi rest day.

Leaving by around 8am in the morning was good. We liked getting to the homestay earlier rather than late to give some rest time prior to dinner.

The rest stops on the side of the road for a quick coffee, Vietnamese tea, or water was particularly important and was well-timed. We were travelling with 3 inexperienced riders and this gave them time to have a concentration rest and to be able to talk about what they saw on the way.

Bikes and equipment

Generally, the bikes performed OK, however, all could have done with new shock absorbers as they were worn out and not performing.

The electric start would have been good on all bikes for the less experienced riders (We rode the GL160’s) but the kick-starters were not difficult and our guide Vuong was excellent at starting them in the morning when they were cold to ensure there was no issue with getting going.

Accommodation

Was overall one of the best parts of the trip. We felt that we experienced the “real Vietnam” by using homestays and local hotels that would be used by locals. All of the hosts for the homestays made us feel really welcome in their homes, eating, drinking, and sharing the single room home they had.

The accommodation was not under or oversold prior to the trip and was as per my expectations based on your website and advice.

The Hotel in Lang Son we found was not the best but the location was great. The sheets were not as clean as we had come to expect for a hotel of this quality in Vietnam and we had to ask for toilet paper on arrival.

Food

The food in the homestays was fantastic. Eating with families in their home experiencing the real Vietnam.

The food on the road was also great with our guide providing a broad selection at each meal stop and soon found what was generally liked by the various members. He generally asked if there was something “unusual” to try an offered it which we found was great.

Guide and organisation

We found our guide very friendly helpful and patient given we had some inexperienced riders with us. He was more than happy to travel at a relatively slow pace. This also gave us plenty of time to soak up the sites as we rode along. He was informative about the local areas as we passed through them. Most of the questions we asked he was able to answer on the spot.

Vuong, our guide, was more than happy to cover the daily extras, such as drinks, and have us reimburse him later. This was good as it saved any fuss along the way and allowed him to pay once at the end of a meal. I suggest that if your other guides do not do this it is a good idea. Just ensure that the guide writes down the amount at each stop, just as Vuong did, so there is a clear record.

The price

We thought the price, given the level of accommodation provided, was good/fair. Having everything covered prior (with the exception of drinks) was a great way to do undertake the trip as there was no fuss with a currency we didn’t know well.

Vuong, our guide, was more than happy to cover the daily extras, such as drinks, and have us reimburse him later. This was good as it saved any fuss along the way and allowed him to pay once at the end of a meal. I suggest that if your other guides do not do this it is a good idea. Just ensure that the guide writes down the amount at each stop, just as Vuong did, so there is a clear record.

How did you know about us?

Found your website on the Internet via Google.

Full name: Chris Bate.
Address: AUSTRALIA.

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