Motorcycle Tour Report – Vietnam Mountains. Last month Guided Motorbike Tours Ltd headed off to Asia with 13 lucky customers who threw their legs over one of our 250cc enduro bikes
Despite the news surrounding the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, we were all buzzing with excitement and spent an awesome 12 days riding and exploring the stunning beauty that Vietnam offers. Discover more about this tour by reading our Motorcycle Tour Report – Vietnam Mountains
Discovering the wilderness of Vietnam
Vietnam has always been one of my top touring destinations. With its incredibly friendly people, intriguing culture, delicious food and beautiful scenery, it makes for a wonderful destination to get away from it all and enjoy a unique experience. We hope you enjoy our Motorcycle Tour Report – Vietnam Mountains
When: 1st February 2020
Where: Vietnam North Mountains, Asia
Group size: 16 (including 2 tour guides and support vehicle)
Having endured the flight, we arrived in Hanoi in the early evening on 2nd February and met with our business partner Ngoc where we all jumped on the minibus and was escorted to our hotel in the center of Hanoi and soon after went to dinner in a local restaurant to experience our first taste of Vietnamese cuisine, noodle soup and spring rolls.
The next day, after having a well deserved lie in. Ngoc took some of the group on a mini tour around Hanoi, where he showed our customers the lake, Buddhist temple and many of the shops. In Hanoi, each street represents one product, for example, one street may sell only hardware, another street running parallel to it may sell only silk and so on.
We then jumped onto the minibus again in the afternoon and headed for the garage just outside of the city where the bikes are stored and gave everyone the opportunity to size themselves up for their bikes.
Most of the bikes have a lower seat height, owing to the fact they are built with Asian frames to accommodate the shorter legged Asian people, so getting to grips with the bike wasn’t too difficult. On offer were the impressive Honda CRF250L and Kawasaki KLX250. Both styles in my opinion are ideally suited to the terrain. The bikes are well maintained and relatively new.
Heading back to Hanoi after a safety briefing on how to deal with riding in Vietnam (which isn’t actually as bad as you’d think), we met up later that evening for dinner. Some headed out into the city for a few drinks, whilst others got an earlier night ready for the days riding the following day.
The following day we got kitted up and headed out of Hanoi, fortunately no one was hungover or had contracted some dodgy disease the previous night by misunderstanding the meaning of a “happy ending”. Que, our intrepid leader, who looks like a 16 year old, took his position up front and as always, did a fine job of guiding us along some amazing trails after an hour or so getting used to the bikes on tarmac in the outskirts of Hanoi central.
It was soon lunchtime. We sat and ate omelette, pork, rice and greens, all incredibly tasty, washed down with a can of soda or water. This is typical of our daily lunch with of course some variation throughout the tour. It’s great for replenishing much needed energy!
As the days progressed so did the riders and their skills. The trails became more challenging, fun, entertaining to say the least and smiles were beaming all round at the end of each day. Some trails were incredibly muddy and therefore slippery but the team managed very well, albeit there was a lot of back ends weaving about.
Motorcycle Tour Report – Vietnam Mountains
We would sit around as a group in the evening, either at the home-stay accommodation or the hotel nights as we’d head off to a local restaurant. There would be laughing, drinking beer and munching on some fantastic food, chatting about the days events, the water logged muddy tracks, the animals that would play a game of dodge the motorcycle and the many villagers who’d come out of their bamboo huts to wave at us with beaming smiles as we rode through their village.
We experienced the hot spa in the mountains and the impressive Hydro dam and plenty of bamboo and wooden bridges we crossed to get over the rivers.
Despite the weather being misty and damp some days, it didn’t seem to dampen our spirits in the slightest. The beautiful scenery and the odd peculiar sight kept us amused and preoccupied, such as the chap on the moped carrying a door down a very slippery slope (seen above)
Ngoc, took the time to pull up behind us at times in his Ford Ranger 4×4 to give us insights into the history of Vietnam along with the traditional farming methods.
His knowledge is awesome and often he would tell our customers of his story for survival, having been born in a cave during the war when his family fled from the devastation that was crippling the big cities.
Ngoc would crack open a Thermos flask and make coffee for everyone on the roadside as well as hand out water for those that needed it. And then we would press on again, riding through muddy trails, alongside mountains, through streams and dense forest.
The tour ends with a trip to Ha Long Bay. Leaving our bikes and headed out in the minibus and then onto our junk boat. The boat had lovely cabins with showers, bar, restaurant and a sun deck. During the little excursion we stopped off at the Oyster Farm, where some of the customers took to Kayaks and paddled around the bay, followed by a visit to the Oyster Farm itself. There was also a trip to the cave in one of the tiny islands.
The food on board the boat was delicious and of fine quality.
After the boat trip we headed to the airport which sadly marked the end of a brilliant tour. We all arrived home safe and sound (and free from Coronavirus!) the following day on Friday 14th February 2020.
Special thanks to Ngoc and Que and of course to all the customers on the tour; Tom, Ian, Lewys, Louis, Dean, Suzanne, Jo, Russell, Neil, Rolland, Mark, Richard P, Richard A
If you would like to join the experience you can find more details on our website by clicking here… www.guidedmotorbiketours.co.uk/far-east-tours
Motorcycle Tour Report – Vietnam Mountains