—– Original Message —–
From: Angie Fielder
To: [email protected]
Cc: Offroad Vietnam – Admin; Hamish Ginn
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 8:53 AM
Subject: Offroad Vietnam
Dear Lonely Planet,
We would like to tell you about a very wonderful experience we had on an offroad biking tour of North West Vietnam.
My boyfriend and I found Anh Wu and his company Offroad Vietnam via the Internet. He was just starting out at the time, and we were his third or fourth customers. A friend of ours had done a motorbike tour through Vietnam and had raved about what a great experience it was. Being keen riders of low cc bikes (no more than 250cc’s) we looked into this immediately upon our arrival in Vietnam, and it turned out to be the highlight of our trip.
Anh Wu was very helpful online, giving us all the information we needed. We could design our trip anyway we wanted – we could choose the number of days, the number of towns we visited, the pace at which we wanted to ride, and the route we wanted to take. He also assisted us with great advice. Though Anh had a fleet of Honda bikes for the tours, he even satisfied our wishes for a pair of Russian Minsk’s for our tour. We had the option of travelling with other tourists and a guide, or just a guide and no one else. We chose the latter option. We paid a deposit up front to secure the tour (I think it was 10%) by depositing money directly into Anh’s business bank account at Vietbank and then paid the balance when we met Anh Wu on the first day of our tour. It was about US$110 per day per person (Offroad Vietnam: Hey Angie, it’s only US$85 per day per person!), which might seem a bit expensive for Vietnam, but this included 3 (huge!) meals per day, all fuel and maintenance, accommodation and what we feel to be one of the best guides in Vietnam. It was well worth it.
Offroad Vietnam’s office is in the heart of Hanoi amidst the maze of tiny, narrow streets in the old quarter. The tall, narrow building is set back off the main roads, and it is here that we meet Anh and our guide, Ngoc. They fitted us out in full biking gear – pants, jackets, gloves and helmets – gave us a quick lesson in the operation of our bikes, and then we were on our way. I had never ridden a bike with clutch and gears before, but I got the hang of it quickly with Ngoc’s help.
We rode for 6-8 hours a day for 8 days through some of the most stunning and diverse terrain in Vietnam. Each day we wound our way through huge mountain ranges, stopping at little villages along the way for lunch and fuel. We would pass all the different Hill tribes on our journey – the looked amazing dressed up in their colourful traditional clothes. Our accommodation was a mix of homestays and hotels. For the Homestays we would stay with the Chief of the village. He and his family would put us up in their home for the night, cook for us, talk with us (Ngoc translated as most villagers could not speak English), and show us their way of life. It felt very authentic and genuine – these were real Hill tribe people. We stayed with a Black H’mong family, and two White Thai families.
Ngoc was amazing. He looked after us so well. He knew everything about bikes, could fix anything, and he even rode our bikes through any tricky terrain for us, running back to get the next bike and driving it through the mud, whilst walked behind him. The biking was challenging (you would need some previous experience riding motorbikes or scooters), but really fun. This is not a relaxing holiday – it’s an intrepid bike trek. But it is so rewarding. We met wonderful people, ate wonderful food and felt that we had an insight into the real way of life of the hill tribe people. We felt much closer to the country of Veitnam when we were finished. We would certainly do it again, and this time probably for longer. It has set a precedent for us now – this is how we would like to see the rest of the world. On the back of a motorbike, offroad!
I hope that you will contact Anh Wu and put his business in the next edition of Lonely Planet Vietnam. They deserve a BIG mention and have our total recommendation. We have been telling all our friends about Offroad Vietnam and encouraging them to do a tour.
I have attached a couple of photographs of our trip. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – my details are in my signature below. And here are the details for Offoad Vietnam:
OFFROAD VIETNAM – Off-road tours in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and China on motorbikes, moped scooters, motorcycles and 4×4 jeeps, kayaking and trekking an option.
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
Website: https://offroadvietnam.com / http://www.motorbikevietnam.com
Tel: (844) 9045049 / 9263433. Mobile: 0913 047509 / 0913525400
Yahoo Instant Messenger and/or Skype: offroadvietnam (GMT+7)
Angie Fielder and Hamish Ginn
To read more recommendation about Offroad Vietnam service, please follow this link.