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  #1  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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Offroad Vietnam

Has anybody had any experience or heard anything good or bad about this tour company Vietnam Motorcycle, Motorbike Tours On HONDA Bikes, South-East Asia
Even a suggestion on which of the 11 tours available in Vietnam would be the best option?

Best time of year to travel?

Like me it's cheap and it could just fit the bill for a short trip in '09. It's a step up from Posties to the Cape '08, OK only just but I have discovered that small HP = lots of fun!!!



Glen
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  #2  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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I have a mate in Cambodia at the moment, he rented an XR 250 and tore up a beach which was full of holidaymakers lol (he said the Cambodians found it pretty funny).

If I was you I'd just buy a bike and sell it afterwards, probably be cheaper than renting. There's a good thread here:
Ho Chi Minh Trail - Southern Laos - ADVrider
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  #3  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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When

When are you going? I'm renting a bike from them Jan 4 09 for a three week ride. I might considering hooking up for all or part of the trip. I'm not the worst person in the world to get along with.
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  #4  
Old 5 Dec 2008
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Bike hire Vietnam

Hi, You say you are hiring a bike, how much are they charging you? The Lao ride report looks awesome!!! Done a tiny bit in Lao and loved it...nice people> Much prefered to the Vietnamise I have met...I see viet tour prices are increasing by 40% in 2009 ouuchhh...!!!

Regards jimmy
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Old 6 Dec 2008
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Re:how much

I think it's about 20 bucks a day. No doubt a lot more than some places but for me there's value in securing a rental weeks in advance (hopefully). Also they seem to have some good testimonials from previous customers. I'll let you know the end on Jan. how it works out.
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  #6  
Old 10 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loxsmith View Post
Has anybody had any experience or heard anything good or bad about this tour company Vietnam Motorcycle, Motorbike Tours On HONDA Bikes, South-East Asia
Even a suggestion on which of the 11 tours available in Vietnam would be the best option?

Best time of year to travel?

Like me it's cheap and it could just fit the bill for a short trip in '09. It's a step up from Posties to the Cape '08, OK only just but I have discovered that small HP = lots of fun!!!



Glen

I did a tour with them around northern vietnam for 10 days last April. It was absolutely incredible!
I had only been riding a year, and it was my first experience riding overseas. Hanoi is nuts! Probably the most dangerous thing i have ever done is riding in Hanoi. I had my stomach in my mouth the whole time.
I devised my own itinery and went with a guide that was about my age. It was like travelling with a friend. I decided to take a guide because I was so new to riding and traveling.
I reccommend these guys without any doubt. They are genuine and very knowledgable.
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  #7  
Old 13 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loxsmith View Post
It's a step up from Posties to the Cape '08
What do you mean a step up?
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  #8  
Old 25 Dec 2008
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Hi Glen,

After living and working in Vietnam for over seven years, I highly recommend that you also check out the tours offered by Explore Indochina - motorcycle tours & motorbike adventures in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia. before you book a ride with anyone else.

They are more expensive than Offroad, but the founders of the company set up the Minsk Club Vietnam ::: The Bike over 10 years ago and have ridden just about every road in northern Vietnam. The company has its own fleet of about 50 bikes, both Minsks and Urals, and is the only motorcycle tour operator with its own garage and team of dedicated mechanics.

Riding a motorcycle in Vietnam is a real adventure, and as with any adventure activity, it pays to go with the most experienced operators who will make sure you have a great time and make it back in one piece.

The best times to ride in northern Vietnam are April/May and from September to mid-December. Try to make it in late September before the rice harvest is finished in the mountains.

Explore Indochina is also offering tours of the Ho Chi Minh trail in southern Laos on Honda 250s, but these tours are only for experienced dirt bikers.

Cheers,

Glenn

Quote:
Originally Posted by loxsmith View Post
Has anybody had any experience or heard anything good or bad about this tour company Vietnam Motorcycle, Motorbike Tours On HONDA Bikes, South-East Asia
Even a suggestion on which of the 11 tours available in Vietnam would be the best option?

Best time of year to travel?

Like me it's cheap and it could just fit the bill for a short trip in '09. It's a step up from Posties to the Cape '08, OK only just but I have discovered that small HP = lots of fun!!!



Glen
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
I think it's about 20 bucks a day. No doubt a lot more than some places but for me there's value in securing a rental weeks in advance (hopefully). Also they seem to have some good testimonials from previous customers. I'll let you know the end on Jan. how it works out.
So how did it go CTB??????
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by AussieNat View Post
What do you mean a step up?
OK, maybe a slide sideways!
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  #11  
Old 25 Feb 2009
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Re: how did it go

It was an awesome ride. About a 2.5 week loop around Northern Vietnam via Dien Bien - Pa So - Sa Pa - Meo Vac - Cao Bang - Ha Long - Nam Dinh - Hanoi. I'm really glad I decided to do the north of Vietnam even in Jan. as my short ride south of Hanoi wasn't to impressive. I also met some Aussies who had ridden in the south and said that northern Vn. was by far more impressive. Though I don't think they did the Ho Chi M. trail so I can't speak for that. It was cool, especially around Sa Pa but not to cold - at least not for a Canadian prairie boy. A shot of rice wine at the end of the day warmed things up quite a bit though. Meo Vac is a bit of a pain to get to because officially you need to have a permit and a guide - neither cost very much and getting to Meo Vac is well worth the few extra$$. The folks at Offroad were great and very helpful. The bike 125cc Honda did the job but it wasn't in the best condition. At Offroad they have larger bikes that appear to be better maintained but I think it's only for there organized tours. The Vn people I met along the road were very friendly - not a lot of English outside of the main tourist areas but with some charade skills and a good sense of humor it's not to difficult to get by.

If you have any specific questions I'd be glad to help out. If I can ever figure out how I'll post some pics.
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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I am currently looking at a North Vietnam guided tour for late this year.
Cost is approx. $100USD per day inc bike, fuel, food etc etc.
Ho Chi Min Trail is a bit more expensive due to return transport costs, so that's probably out for me.
Have also contacted another Aussie who did a tour last year and he had nothing but praise for "Offroad Vietnam".

I will get my crew together (3 or 4 riders) in the next couple of weeks and book it.

"CTB" Would love to see some of your pics when you get a chance!
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  #13  
Old 2 Mar 2009
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I just got back from a 6 day loop through the north west of Vietnam. I rented an XR250 from Offroad Vietnam which I prebooked about a month in advance. The cost for the bike was $30 USD per day which they requested I pay at the time of booking. You can transfer the money through Western Union.

It was my first time in Vietnam and I did the trip on my own although I gather most people travel with a guide. The roads are dangerous but easily manageable if you are a regular rider and use a bit of caution. Maps are not very reliable. I used a road map that I bought beforehand and a road atlas I bought locally and a gps and a lonely planet but still managed to get lost fairly regularly. It doesn't help that they change the names of the towns.

The XR was the biggest Heap of crap that I have ever sat on but quite acceptable by local standards I gather. Leaving the shop I couldn't get the bike into second gear so I went back and they bent the selector out so it was no longer jammed against the engine cover. The rear wheel bearings failed the first afternoon and I got them replaced at a mechanics shop (xe may) in a small village. The gear selector stripped out on day 5 but after riding for about an hour in 3rd I stopped and took the time to repair it. It had been half put on and packed with some sort of shim. It looked like it was probably from a different model bike. The rear suspension was totally stuffed which made cornering with any spped at all quite interesting as the back end would skip across the road. I actually stopped a couple of times because I thought I had a flat rear tyre. I think parts are a problem for them as they source them second hand from China and I think the cost of keeping the bikes up to a reasonable western standard would keep them broke.

So the bike took a bit of manageing and couldn't be ridden fast or hard at all because of the state it was in but it did get me back to Hanoi and the trip was well worth doing. I got to some quite remote spots as well as the more well known tourist towns and the locals were generally welcoming and helpfull. 6 days was probably a little quick. 7 or maybe 8 would have been about right.

If you have got any specific questions ask away and I will tell you what I can.

Wayne
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  #14  
Old 17 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by loxsmith View Post
Has anybody had any experience or heard anything good or bad about this tour company Vietnam Motorcycle, Motorbike Tours On HONDA Bikes, South-East Asia
To answer the original question - I have done two tours with Offroad Vietnam, and absolutely loved both of them. Although riding with a guide may not be as exciting or challenging as a doing a ride on your own, the cultural and historical insight a guide offers is invaluable, and for me, made the trips.

In fact, it was the guide who made the trips so memorable - Ngoc - who is a champion of the highest order. Since my last ride with them, Ngoc has left Offroad Vietnam and started his own company Vietnam On Trails. Anh Wu (who works in the office at Offroad Vietnam) is also a nice guy, but without question, it was Ngoc who made the trips for me, and if I was to ride again in Vietnam, I would ride with him, rather than ride with Offroad Vietnam. Rest assured that Ngoc is probably more enthusiastic about motorbiking than you are, and is also a fully licensed/government approved Vietnamese tour guide, so you get the best of both worlds!

Good luck

Jimmy
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  #15  
Old 30 Mar 2009
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just got back from 7 days with Offroad..

am still in Hanoi...had a blast...ass feels like chewed shoe leather but what else is new it's motorcycling isn't it.

The guys are very professional, our guide Mr lau was very easy going and helpful...the scenery is awesome and the bikes aren't too bad.

would recommend them for sure

Cheers
Miller
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