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286 Responses to CONTACT

  1. Alex Wiley says:

    Hi, I think this is a wonderful website, thank you for all the information. I was planing on Biking up the country from HCM to Hanoi, and was wondering if you have any tips regarding whether renting or buying is the best option an what and where would be recommended to buy/rent from? Many thanks, Alex

  2. Steve Jory says:

    Chuc mung nam moi Tom,
    Firstly thank you for creating and constantly updating Vietnam Coracle, it has helped me out countless times and whenever any of my mates ask me about riding in VN, I always direct them to your web page. Last year my wife and I on our Yamaha NVX ( as our Nouvo 3 died after 30,000km around mainly Southern VN) done a round trip from Phan Rang up to Buon Ma Thuot then up the HCM Road to Phong Nha then down the coast back to Phan Rang, absolutely amazing memories. This year in May again we want to do a round trip starting and finishing in Phan Rang, but basically the trip will start in Tam Coc (Ninh Binh) I have thought about putting the bike and us on the train to Hanoi but not keen on 30 hours on the train, so it looks like 4 to 5 days riding to get to Tam Coc ( in the past my longest day on the Nouvo was about 440km from Gia Nghia to Chau Doc) If we do about 330 a day we can get to Tam Coc in 4 days. So from Tam Coc the rough plan is to get up to Ban Gioc Waterfall then the Ma Pi Leng Pass to Ha Giang then over to Lao Cai, Sapa. And then make our way back down to Phan Rang, yes I know this is over 4000km (probably closer to 5000km after looking around towns and wrong turns etc…) in probably 3 week. Any tips and suggestions and or alternate routes would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers Steve & MyMy

    • Hi Steve & MyMy,

      Thanks for your kind words about my site – it’s great to hear that it’s been useful to you. And thank you for recommending it to others – that makes a huge difference.

      Personally, I would send the bike from Phan Rang up to Hanoi on the train and just fly yourselves from Cam Ranh (Nha Trang) up to Hanoi then pick your bike up at the station. From there, it’s only 100km or so to Tam Coc. (Of course you’ll need to send your bike at least 2 days prior to your arrival in Hanoi).

      From Tam Coc to Ban Gioc and Ma Pi Leng to Sapa see the following guides: 5 Northeast Loops (you could also use this train to get to the northeast), then High Roads for Cao Bang to Ha Giang, then the Extreme North Loop for the Ma Pi Leng Pass, then the Borders & Back-Roads Loop for Ha Giang to Sapa, then the Y Ty Loop and Sin Ho Loop for Sapa, then the Theatre of Rice route for Mu Cang Chai (or the Northwest Loop if you want to go to that region).

      For the journey back down south don’t miss the Troung Son Dong Road – I’m currently updating my guide, and it’s a must-ride route for any self-respecting rider in Vietnam.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  3. lior says:

    wonderful website !!!!
    We are 50-year-olds looking for a motorbike (110-150 cc) trip loop in North Vietnam.
    Want to start at COA BANG (2-4 days)
    Is the weather fine in March?
    Do you have a guide recommendation?
    Can I get a contact?
    Thank you

    • Hi Iior,

      March is usually OK in the north, but it will probably still be quite cold in the mountains.

      Please take a look at my 5 Northeast Loops for ideas about routes in that area.

      I don’t have contacts for guides as I’m an independent website: I write guides so that other travellers can follow them by themselves.

      You can try contacting QT Motorbikes in Cao Bang.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  4. Gregor Mernyi says:

    Hey there!
    Like many have said before, great site. Your passion really comes across.

    Ill be in Vietnam from august 2 to sept 14 and most likely doing your classic route. Couple of questions:
    1) how long are the rainshowers on average? It seems like i picked the rainiest season to go (poor planning on my part) and i am kinda scared it will single ruin my trip a litte bit. I looked at your weather map and according to that it should get better going north. I guess I’m just looking for validation that it won’t be too bad.

    2) you said the hai van pass isn’t the must beautiful route, which I’ve is in your opinion?

    • Hi Gregory,

      Yes, it’s the rainy season all over Vietnam at that time, but that doesn’t mean it rains all the time – in fact, August-September can be one of the best times of year to travel the length of the country. In general you can expect pretty similar conditions nationwide: hot, humid and sunny in the mornings, usually clouding over by lunch and bursts of heavy tropical downpours in the afternoon. It shouldn’t ruin your trip.

      The Hai Van Pass (this this guide) is certainly a nice and scenic route, it’s just not THE BEST road in the country (as it’s often touted to be). See my list of the 25 Greatest Riding Roads in Vietnam. Between Hoi An/Danang and Hue there are several good, scenic options to choose from – take a look at this guide for details.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  5. Jake says:

    Hey Tom. I am currently in Pho Chao and wanting to take the QL7A towards the Laos Border. If we loop around onto QL48C does this make for a nice drive. I imagine it does but I guess I’m more concerned with the amount of places to stay that would be available in this region!

    Any help would be appreciated

    Cheers
    Jake

    • Hi Jake,

      Well, yes it does, but I haven’t ridden QL48C for many years so I don’t know what its current condition is like. If you do decide to ride it, I’d really appreciate if you let me know what it’s like.

      There are guest house along QL7A, even towards the Laos border. Back along QL48C I’m not sure of, but Thai Hoa has guest houses, too.

      Tom

      • Jake says:

        Hey Tom.

        Thanks for replying so quickly. We rode the QL48C from Cua Rao back to HCM Road, it was a wonderful drive with almost empty roads for the mountainous part of the drive. The condition of the road varied. Around Ben Ve it was poor. But nothing to be too concerned about. Shortly after there it improved drastically, some sections were almost new and the worst parts weren’t so bad at all, just a little bit of patching up is needed.

        Lots of petrol stations along the road but there were no hotels in the mountains. But the distance is easily covered in a day. We made it all the way from Muong Xen to Thanh Hoa in one day.

        Thanks for the website. Really appreciate the effort thats gone into it.

        Cheers

        Jake

  6. Emily says:

    Hi Tom,

    What a great site! Thank you so much for all the info.
    I’m after a beach break with no hawkers, no traffic, just scenic beaches, ocean breeze and some relaxed bars. Going at the start of August.
    Is there anywhere you’d recommend at this time please?
    Thanks,
    Emily

  7. Nguyễn Trọng Giao says:

    Chào vietnam coracle. Tôi là một người làm trong ngành du lịch . nhận thấy web có nhiều thông tin rất hữu ích. Muốn đóng góp ý kiến nhỏ nhỏ về giá cả mà bên bạn viết trong bài viết thật sự là ko đúng như thực tế. Một suất cơm nấu riêng dao động từ 70-100 k trên vùng núi vì việc vận chuyển đồ ăn rất khó khăn và lượng khách ko thường xuyên cho nên ko thể đồng loạt nấu theo suất và giá ko thể rẻ 20-30k như dưới xuôi dc. Bún và cơm rang từ 30-40 k .
    Về tiền phòng thì bed dao động 50-115 k tùy chất lượng . room từ 230-450 tùy chất lượng.
    Việc suggest giá chuẩn thì khiến khách ko có cảm giác bị chặt chém mỗi khi hỏi giá về đồ ăn thức uống. Thân ái

  8. Dale Chad Stephen says:

    Awesome website. thank you.

    I am looking to do one of the rides up North. But is it possible to rent a bike for the trip if not doing the loop?

    So picking the bike up in one location and dropping off in another.

    • Hi Dale,

      It depends on the route. For example, QT Motorbikes might be able to arrange pick up/drop off between Ha Giang and Cao Bang because they have shops in both cities. But many don’t. Generally, picking up and dropping off your bike in different places is fine anywhere between Hanoi and Saigon with the rental companies I recommend on this page, but the northern mountains is usually different. Even so, it’s worth contacting them to ask.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  9. Mike Dunn says:

    Hi Tom,

    Great site. I have been using it a lot as I plan my upcoming trip.

    I am now in Kampot Cambodia and hoping to start a motorbike trip around Vietnam next month. I have been looking for a Vietnam-plated bike Honda Wave or Dream here with no luck, so I am wondering if you would recommend going over the border and getting one in Ha Tien or Chau Doc. If so, can you make any suggestions on how to find a decent used one?

    Thanks
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      I don’t really have any good information about that, although I would expect it to be easier to find a bike to buy in Ha Tien than Chau Doc. It might be worth contacting Andy at Oasis Bar in Ha Tien for some advice – if anyone can help you get a bike there, it’s probably Andy.

      Good luck,

      Tom

      • Mike Dunn says:

        Thanks Tom,

        Yes I had actually read about Andy on your site and heard about him from other people in PP. I will definitely do that.

        Cheers
        Mike

  10. Matt says:

    Hey Tom

    My partner met you in Thailand just recently. She mentioned you had spent some time in Vietnam and to check out your page.
    I am amazed by the amount of content you have put together and shared and like many others I am very thankful.
    My partner and I are planning to meet in Vietnam in a few weeks time and explore for three weeks in total.
    I have always dreamed of riding through parts of Vietnam and am very excited to get there. One thing which had put me off was the license and I think on one of the other comments you stated having the money for the fine is an easy solution?
    Also I have had quite a lot of experience riding and in quite a few parts of Asia although my partner has none at all.
    Would you recommend against taking her to the road or just be careful to avoid busy cities and keep day riding distance to a minimum?
    Cheers, Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      I don’t think it was me who you met in Thailand – I haven’t been there for years. But anyway, I’m glad you found my site 🙂

      Well, licenses is still sort of a gray area and sort of in flux all the time.

      The reality is that most foreign riders still don’t have a license; and most still get a way with it. The law is that you need an local license, although some (but not all) international motorbike licenses are accepted, and in any case it’s better than nothing,

      The bottom line is: as long as you are not riding in Ha Giang Province or the ocean road between the Red and White sand dunes near Mui Ne, you are still quite unlikely to have any trouble. You might be pulled over by the police, but after brief, polite, smiley conversation, a ‘fine’ of 200,000-400,000vnd (about $10-20) is paid then you can go on your way.

      Since last year, it is now virtually impossible to ride in Ha Giang without a local license. On that sand dune road in Mui Ne, there is an easy way to bypass the police completely – see the first few paragraphs and the red line on the map in this guide for details.

      Also, if you’re renting your motorbike from any of the recommended companies on this page, they should be able to give you some more advice about licenses and the police.

      If you’ve had experience riding in Asia you should be fine and know what to expect to a certain extent. But if your partner has none at all then some of the riding culture will come as a shock and be potentially dangerous. The cities especially can be daunting at first. But if you start your road trip from somewhere other than Saigon and Hanoi (Danang or Phan Thiet/Mui Ne, for example) the roads are much quieter and you can avoid the urban sprawl of the bigger cities.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      • Matt says:

        Okay maybe she meant she met someone who’s followed the advice of your page hahah.

        That helps a lot and clears up a lot of my concerns.
        I will start to build an itinerary now following your advice and page.
        Really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.

        Cheers

  11. Petra says:

    Dear Tom,
    got the link to your website last night in a guest house from a traveller, who is fascinated of that.
    I read it at once and found myself in your text: a disappointed traveller who want to leavt the country… But after reading your lines I am really interested in Vietnam again and wanna give it another chance 🙂
    At the moment I am in Phan Rang. My idea is to do a roadtrip (I can drive automatic scooter) to Dalat and back to Saigon. But unfortunately I am alone and it is much more fun with a travel-buddy…
    How can I find a buddy, who wants to do the same? I can try on FB “Vietnam backpackers”. Or take an Easy Rider? How does it work with your service? I just take your links e. g. to rent a bike or accomodation?

    Sunny greetings

    Petra

    • Hi Petra,

      You can try posting in the Vietnam Back Roads Facebook page to find travel buddies. You might meet a few people on bikes on the road, too.

      For supporting my website you can book your accommodation, transportation, or make a donation – more about all of that here.

      For the route between Phan Rang, Dalat, and Saigon there are lots of good roads to choose from. To get an idea of what possible routes there are in that region, try opening my Vietnam Coracle Map and then zooming in on the relevant area, then clicking the green motorbike symbols on the map and follow the links to the motorbike guides for full details.

      You can also choose to send your motorbike back to Saigon from Phan Thiet – that way you don’t have to ride all the way back to Saigon.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  12. Bay says:

    Helloo Tom, I have worked myself up into a foaming ball of excitement perusing your travel guides. Its grand to find a site with such great content. The challenge is picking an adventure.
    I will be meeting 3 other friends in Vietnam from early Feb, having inadvertantly booked our trip coinciding with Tet. They really want to see Hoi An but also do some riding. We have 8-10 days.
    I have been considering the coast road to Hoi An but am wary of spending too long in the saddle getting to places rather than enjoying them. I am curious as to whether your time estimates cover your side trips to places like the Cam lap promotory and the Burnt road etc?
    Other plans rattling about have included catching a train/bus to Phan Thiet or Nha Trang and getting a bike and looping through your multitude of side trips from there over 5ish days then getting transport north to Hoi An and doing the Golden loop from there as well. Too much? OR
    Fly to Hoi An, get a bike, complete the golden loop and meander down the coast getting as far as we do with the remaining time and getting the bikes back to HCMC as a one way rental on the train around the 15th Feb.
    As we will be in HCMC at the start of Tet any sugestions for fireworks spots or good shindigs?
    Thoughts?
    Thanks for your time, truly appreciate your efforts here. you do an epic job!
    Bay

    • Hi Bay,

      Firstly, you should be aware that Tet is not a great time to travel in Vietnam. The week leading up to it should be OK, but from Tet day for about a week after it the entire country hits the road, many destinations are packed, and many businesses close, including some motorbike rental companies. The dates this year are around 5-15 Feb. Bear this is mind when planning your trip.

      As your time is quite limited, I suggest you start your road trip in Danang or Nha Trang. The Golden Loop is excellent, but the weather may not be ideal at that time of year. You could take the Coast Road route south from Danang/Hoi An to Nha Trang and drop the bikes there. All of the bike rental companies that I recommend here can arrange pick up in Danang and drop off in Nha Trang (assuming they are open during Tet, of course).

      Another possibility is to start from Nha Trang and ride several shorter roads, most of them connecting to each other. For example, Cam Lap, Nui Chua, Dragon’s Graveyard, Burnt Road, River Road.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      • bay says:

        Cheers Tom, I will throw some beer money in your kitty, and sort our accom and bikes through your links.
        Your guides have been immeasurably helpful and I am truly flabbergasted that you manage to reply to everyone.
        I know Tet is not ideal but thats the way the cookie has crumbled and we just gotta make the best of it. I will be there a week before the others and intend on doing a loop in the mekong from Ha Tien.
        Thankyou again for the recommendations.

        • Thanks, Bay. I appreciate that.

          A loop in the Mekong is good fun – try to take as many back-roads as possible. And the western corner, including Ha Tien, is my favourite part of the region.

          Safe travels,

          Tom

  13. Maciej says:

    Hi Tom,

    Maybe you could help me. I’m planning a trip arount north Vietnam in the second hald of February. Route I’m planning to make looks more less like this: Hanoi-Sapa-Dong Van – Ban Gioc – Ha Long – Hanoi.

    How do you see this trip at this time of the year. Wouldn’t be to cold out there, especially in the mountainous part of Vietnam. Maybe it would be betther to go shouth from Hanoi.

    Would be thankful for your advice.

    Best
    Maciek

    • Hi Maciej,

      Yes, it will definitely be a bit cold in the northern mountains at that time of year. During those months the best weather is in the south, particularly anywhere south of Nha Trang – see this guide for more information.

      But if you do want to do that northern loop then 3 weeks is OK, but remember that travel takes longer in that area because the roads are so mountainous.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  14. Max says:

    Hello, Tom,

    we plan from 09.01.19 to 16.01.19 a motorbike trip from Saigon, via Mui Ne to Dalat. Possibly also from Dalat to Nah Trang if there is enough time. In order to save time we consider to take the train from Saigon to Mui ne. Or is the route from Saigon to Mui Ne especially recommendable by motorbike? Which part of our route would you call the most beautiful?

    In your opinion, is one week enough for our plans? In Mui Ne I would like to spend 1-2 nights and in Nha Trang only 1. I know both places, so I know what to expect. I do not know Dalat yet and cannot estimate how many nights I should plan. We have no language barriers, because my friend speaks Vietnamese. Therefore they are also suitable for tips outside the tourist paths.

    Is it possible to send the motorbike from Dalat back to Saigon by bus? So that the tour could end there?

    Altogether we are 16 nights in Vietnam and plan the following:

    04.01 – 07.01 Phu Quoc
    07.01 – 09.01 Saigon
    09.01 – 16.01 motorbike trip (Mui Ne, Dalat, Nha Trang maybe)
    16.01 – 19.01 Con Dao

    Do you think our plan is too tightly tacked?

    I’ve been to Vietnam twice, both times much longer. Each time the time went by faster than I thought. But this time I plan to fly all distances. My girlfriend’s never been to Vietnam. Should we therefore plan more time for one of the destinations from your point of view?

    Many greetings Max

    • Hi Max,

      Yes, that’s enough time for the road trip. I would recommend taking the train from Saigon to Phan Thiet (Mui Ne) then riding up to Dalat, then down to Nha Trang. From Nha Trang you can send your bike back to Saigon. Try contacting any of the bike rental companies I recommend here. They should be able to arrange for you to collect your motorbike in Phan Thiet and drop it back off in Nha Trang.

      As for the route, from Phan Thiet to Dalat you can take either QL28 or QL28B. However, if you choose to take the latter, be aware of the notorious so-called ‘police trap’ just outside Mui Ne – read the first few paragraphs of this guide to find out where it is and how to avoid it.

      Then from Dalat to Nha Trang, you can take QL27C.

      Each of those rides (Phan Thiet-Dalat and Dalat-Nha Trang) are doable in one day, so that gives you enough time to stay in the places you want to.

      The rest of your itinerary is also doable within your time frame, providing you take flight between all your destinations – Saigon-Phu Quoc, Nha Trang-Saigon, Saigon-Con Dao. All of this is easily done, but you should try to book your flights in advance because you’re on a relatively tight schedule. The only problem you might have is Saigon-Con Dao flights, which are sometimes difficult and expensive to book through the Vietnam Airlines website. All the other flight are operated by Vietnam Airlines and budgets airlines, such as Jetstar, so the flights are frequent and cheap. To get an idea, you can search flights and trains here.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  15. Rob C says:

    Hey Tom!
    I know you’ve heard this many time but really thank you for your blogs, because, even tho my trip to Vietnam isn’t until April next year is already helping so much to understand how many things work, really thanks a lot.
    Now to my question(s)
    it probably sounds crazy (especially compared to most of the people here) but, i would only have 2 weeks to explore as much as i can of Vietnam, i was initially thinking doing the HCM to Hanoi route, but im not sure if thats entirely possible, and if it is… how would you recommend doing it
    If it isn’t
    What would you suggest would be the best way to spend 2 weeks on a motorbike, while exploring as much as possible of this beautiful country.
    Once again, thank you for what you are doing, it is amazing

    • Hi Rob,

      If you have experience of motorbiking and you are OK spending lots of time in the saddle each day then you can ride HCM to Hanoi in 2 weeks. Take a look at my 5 Suggested Routes for some more ideas.

      April is a good time of year to ride Vietnam – the weather should be pretty good across the nation. This means that are lots and lots of options for road trips. For example you could do the Ha Giang Loop in the north, or the Golden Loop in central Vietnam, or the Coast Road from the south to the centre.

      I hope this helps get you started,

      Tom

  16. Ganesh says:

    Hello Tom,

    This is Ganesh from India. Very glad to have come across your website https://vietnamcoracle.com. It is mesmerizing to see your blog about vietnam and specially about the ban gioc waterfall..

    We are a team of 5 to 8 people (aged 32 to 36) planning to travel to vietnam and combodia from Nov 1st to 18th 2018. All of us are nature lovers and would like to explore Vietnam in the best possible way with expert opinions like you.

    We do not have much idea on how the weather will be during November and the best places to cover but as much with googling around , we have thought through trying to cover Northern and southern vietnam (couple of places each ) in 9 to 10 days with the following places of interest.

    Vietnam : [in 9-10 days]

    1. Mua Cave and Tom Coc, (Ninh Binh) (1 day)
    2. Halong Bay, (3 days)
    3. Ba Be Lake (1 day )
    4. Bang gioc waterfall & Nguom Ngao Cave, (Cao Bang) (2 days)
    5. Nha Trang (2 days for scuba diving or snorkling)
    6. Mekang Delta.(1 day)

    Clarifications and Help:
    We reach Hanoi airport on 2nd Nov morning. (We can change this to reach Hanoi by 1st Nov morning if its worth to come one day earlier).

    1. Can we possibly start from Hanoi airport directly to ban giac waterfall and stay overnight there and then next day, visit the waterfall and cave and move to ba be lake ? how long will it take by car to reach ban gioc waterfall from hanoi airport through taxi , is it possible or will be very strenuos ?

    2. Is it possible to cover the above mentioned places in 10 days ? Can you suggest any other better places of visit than the above list .Any additions / modifications/ deletions in our list that we can make to make the trip worthwhile?

    Sorry for this very long comment and thanks in advance for your time and help.
    Again to mention, your Vietnam Coracle is just amazing

    • Hi Ganesh,

      Your itinerary is fine but it is a lot to do in just 10 days. I recommend getting to Hanoi a day earlier and leaving the Mekong Delta off your list – this gives you two extra days to play with.

      The weather is November is OK, but it might be getting cooler and misty in the north. The central provinces, including Nha Trang usually experience their wettest weather in November.

      You could arrange a car from Hanoi airport to Ban Gioc but it is a long way – about 8 hours. Instead, I would recommend going to Ninh Binh and Halong Bay first – these are easy trips from Hanoi. Then going to Ba Be Lake from Hanoi, then Ban Gioc and back to Hanoi. Then you can fly down to Nha Trang.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  17. Ben says:

    Hi Tom,

    What an amazing site. I’m looking to visit Vietnam next summer for 4 – 5 weeks with my family (wife and 2 boys aged 9 & 11) and plan to travel North to South. I’ve been looking at several sites and books but this one is the most informative and genuine of them all.

    Whilst we plan to visit some of the main attractions and sites, we also like a little bit of adventure and it seems like hiring motorbikes is the best way to get out and about and see the real side of Vietnam. Would you recommend this with young children? Obviously not in Hanoi or Saigon!

    Current plan is Hanoi (inc Bai Tu Long Bay) -> Hoi An & Hue -> Dalat -> Mui Ne -> Phu Quoc -> Saigon

    Any other tips for traveling around Vietnam with kids?

    Thanks
    Ben

    • Hi Ben,

      Yes, you definitely do get to see a side of Vietnam on a motorbike that you never would be any other means (except bicycle). But with young children you’d have to be extremely careful. I think perhaps it would be best to look into riding pillion (you can do this through some of the rental companies I mention here and also look up Easy Riders) in two areas that you’ll be travelling through: Hoi An/Hue and Dalat. At the former you could ride the Hai Van Pass, and at the later there are lots of routes, including the Pine Tree Road or riding out to one of the waterfalls.

      Then, after these experiences riding pillion, you can try renting your own bike on Phu Quoc Island and riding around the beaches – you can read more about that here and here.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  18. Robert Duffy says:

    Wow! Wonderful , information-packed and professionally designed website! I live in Thailand and plan to venture into Vietnam after the rainy season. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this site! Safe travels!

  19. Richard says:

    In June I got the eight or so hour bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang, from where I did the Extreme North Loop, which I connected to the Pastoral Pathways: The Northeast Motorbike Loop, back to Ha Giang, then the Borders & Back-Roads: Sapa to Ha Giang, and the ‘Sapa-Sin Ho Scenic Motorbike Loop’, then back to Ha Giang.
    For the entire trip (20 days), printed out copies of the routes and descriptions from Vietnam Coracle were all I had to guide me (together with google maps on my phone).
    I was so impressed with the accuracy of the routes and details included! It made the trip so so easy, and thus more enjoyable. The extreme north loop definitely had the most dramatic scenery, but as a result was also the area busiest with other tourists doing the same route.

    Thank you so much Tom for the articles you write!
    (I’m trying to find a similar website for riding in North Thailand, but cant find anything as details or helpful as Vietnam Coracle)

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your comment, it’s really great to hear that you enjoyed your trip and that my guides helped you out along the way.

      I hope you find a similar resource in Thailand – there must be one out there somewhere.

      Tom

  20. Joshua Sussman says:

    Tom,

    Great site — could I get your opinion on an existential question: guide or no guide? I have a small chunk of time, August 17 – 26th, and have booked a flight to Hanoi. Want to get on a bike and do some exploring. Was in Hoi Ann last year, did a one day ride on a dirt bike — it was awesome: little trials through rice paddies, over the hills, through the dales, etc. Want more of that. Generally I never travel with a guide, but had the impression if I were to try to do that myself, I’d just get lost, fall in a creek, and be eaten by a water buffalo. Haven’t had/wont have the time to do much research, but thinking maybe something along the lines of your High Roads post.

    Have been going back and forth with some guides I found through google, but a bit hesitant to make a commitment over the internet. What do you think — can you get off the main roads and out in the country by yourself? Or is it better to have someone who knows where they are going? If you vote guide, think you need to book ahead? Or could I just show up in Hanoi and find some one? Final question — got any guides/companies you recommend?

    Cheers,

    Josh

    PS. If anyone else is looking at doing something similar in the same time frame, happy to team up.

    • Hi Joshua,

      Yes, you can do it on your own, and the High Roads region is a good place to do it – there are lots of enticing dirt paths into the mountains there. But obviously it’s more dangerous to do it alone and without a guide. You’d also need to make sure you have a smart phone with a local SIM and data. Try to get a Viettel SIM because they get best coverage in the mountains.

      However, if you go with a guide they will know all the best off-road routes. You can check out the bike companies I mention here and also Cuong’s Motorbike Adventures.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

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