Bikes on boats
Bikes on boats
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Rice terracing in Sapa
Rice terracing in Sapa
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In deep water
In deep water
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Khau Vai Hmong market
Khau Vai Hmong market
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Luke Smith from Australia

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Luke Smith

Just wanted to write and say thanks for organising such a memorable motorbiking trip. 

For anyone who is unsure of whether or not they should go, I'd like to offer a bit more insight from a recent customer. 

Our trip was 5 days long, our party consisted of 5 blokes aged twenties to forties (!!) and we elected to use the Minsk motorbikes. 

We arrived in Hanoi the night before the trip was due to start and EI arranged hotel rooms in the Old Quarter, basic accomodation in a lively historic part of the city with great food, cheap beers and plenty of souvenir shops. 

The next day we loaded up our saddle bags, left our suitcases in storage at the hotel and headed off to the Explore Indochina HQ to collect our trusty Minsks. 

The next 5 days consisted of both on and off road riding, with the guide tailoring the route to our next destination, based on our requests (lots of off-road) and ability (mmm...). 

We spent 2 nights in hotels in small towns and 2 nights in 'home stays' - basically in a 'dormitory' in a local villager's home, which was really fantastic. They were very welcoming and cooked fabulous Vietnamese dinners and great breakfasts. 

Highlights of the trip were the strong local coffee at our rest stops, the fabulous Pho noodle soups, the afternoon river cruise on a longboat with beers in hand, floating in the river through a 100m high cave, the unbreakable Minsk, the comfort of having a mechanic travelling with us in case we did break the Minsk....(you are a legend), the incredible scenery and, of course, the welcoming smiles and waves of all the villagers every time we passed through. 

Our trip was all inclusive - the only time we reached into our pockets was to buy beer in the evenings - and we considered it great value, not the least of which was having a guide plus a mechanic with us. You would not be able to organise and do this by yourself. 

We had a great time and already we are talking the next trip. Maybe the Northwestern hilltribes and returning to Hanoi via overnight train.... 

Thanks again ! 

 

Luke Smith from Australia
December, 2009

 

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