• FEATURED VIDEO

    The art of fixing Vespa scooters is dying. This niche skill is a difficult one to master, especially with the increasing rarity of vintage Vespas. Our mechanic, Duy, has fixed over 1,000 Vespas! Check out this post for more info, and learn about how this scooter became legendary in Vietnam here.

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100 TripAdvisor Reviews! To Infinity and Beyond!

For the past several weeks, our team here in Saigon has been a little distracted. The source of our distraction has been the social media-driven travel site TripAdvisor, on which we've been listed since last February. We've been marking the progess of those (incredibly flattering, blushworthy) reviews toward the number 100 like a kid watching a Christmas calendar. Like a pot that's being watched for a boil or that red light that just seems to go on forever (in Vietnam this is admittedly not much of a problem), it seemed like the closer we got, the slower time dragged on,…
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We’re at 99 TripAdvisor reviews and counting!

One review to go before we hit triple digits. We've been waiting a long time for this - since February of this year, when we first signed up for TripAdvisor. And all the party plans are in place. Will it be today? This weekend? We're all atingle over here.
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Lonely Planet: World-Class Cycling in Vietnam

Lonely Planet: love it or hate it, there's no denying the Aussie-birthed empire of travel guides, which was recently snapped up by BBC Worldwide, is among the most influential sources of travel information in the world. Despite that the leverage Lonely Planet guides once wielded to shape not just individual travel experiences but the destinations as well, is slowly waning in this age of social media and TripAdvisor, a word from LP still packs a wallop, even with its Web-only features.  So it's worth mentioning that, earlier this summer, Lonely Planet revealed its subjective list of the world's 10 best…
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The Century Mark Approacheth

No, we don't have a lisp, we've just that darned excited about how close we're getting to 100 TripAdvisor reviews. The latest post yesterday, from Ira in Singapore, puts us within a mere 5 reviews of the Big Number. Heck, we can count that high on just one hand! The icre cream cake is in the fridge, the bubbly is chilling, the party hats are on order (which is just as well, as a crowd of tipply lisping people in party hats might result in a mistaken impression). Wheverever you are, Ira, thanth!
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Comme ci, comme ça

Last Tuesday evening we were joined on our Saigon After Dark tour by Christina and Danny from Richmond, Virginia. We've got to hand it to this über-cool couple, who described themselves right away as "very laid-back," which was a huge relief to us as it was pouring rain like the end of the world for most of the night. What's more, we quickly learned that both Christina and Danny are strict vegetarians - as in they eat "nothing that moves." This was their first evening in Vietnam, so these two had not yet learned that in Vietnam, anything that moves…
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Cu Chi Tour Development

Last Saturday, Steve and Phuong and I took a spin out to Cu Chi District to research possible activities for our new full-day tour there. Cu Chi is well-known for its maze of underground tunnels, which Viet Cong used as an ingenious (and very unpleasant) military base from which to mount raids on Saigon. The astonishly tiny tunnels (which have been widened for all those porkish foreigners) and a handful of on-site military accessories make for an interesting couple of hours, but virtually everyone who visits Cu Chi overlooks completely the fact that the tunnels are located in the middle…
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Fallen Angel

Seen at our second stop, in District 4, during a Saigon After Dark tour last weekend. Angelic lottery seller with a rather naughty T-shirt. To be fair, I don't think she spoke a word of English.
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Vietnam Among Top Places in the World for Deeelish Coffee

Writer Jo Lane, reporter at AsianCorrespondent.com, writes today about her five favorite places in the world for a good cuppa, and Vietnam is right at the top of her list: Coffee drinking in Vietnam is magic. I love the slow drip drip of the single-cup filters, the strength of the brew and the sweet thickness of the condensed milk (introduced because of easier storage in a tropical climate). You can also get the coffee brewed onto ice. In Vietnam coffee is normally served while it is still brewing and on my motorbike travels through Vietnam last year it was blissful to…
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East & West Traveler magazine pours on some love

Aw, snap. East & West Traveler magazine features a phat feature about us in their August issue. This is the kind of press that we love - where we can really tell the whole story of what we do. That requires a double-truck color spread in the feature well, 1500 words minimum. Thankfully, that's just what we were given. Hats off to the friendly & classy folks at East & West Traveler, especially Ms. Nga. Go pick yourself up a copy! Or, if you're not in Vietnam, click through the embedded link and read it online. Have a look at the…
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Riding Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh trail

The Guardian U.K. drops a lovely read today about the adventurous scooter riding to be had along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We couldn't agree more! Our own route through Southern Vietnam is rather more comfy than the one the author of this article took, but the adventure and the scenery are of a piece. The mountain paths of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail offer visitors to Vietnam an adventurous alternative to the well-worn coastal route - especially if you travel on the back of a motorbike."    
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New Zealand vs. Oz

It was a little testy at first - two Kiwis and two Aussies on the night tour, each cracking jokes about the other's motherland. But very quickly the spirit of the evening (and, well, the spirits) overcame the niggling little differences of nationality and questions over what one may or may not do with sheep and everyone united in their love of Banh mi.
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Look at the Size of this Group!

Last night was a doozie for us - three groups on our Saigon After Dark tour. One of them was this group of 10 Aussies who'd ridden Down from Hanoi. That's a lotta Bia Hoi!
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Streetside Views

Two weeks ago a longtime friend celebrated his departure from Saigon & return to London with one of our Saigon After Dark tours. Nhu Vo, one of our Vietnamese friends who was along to say farewell, posted a blog about the experience on Facebook. A lovely meditation on being a Vietnamese watching visitors experience the unseen Saigon (and learning a few fun things about her city along the way). Saigon does not offer the natural beauty or flocks of birds except for the flow of bikes, ever-growing high-rise, French-colonial buildings, war-memory spots and one of the famous cuisines in the…
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Day 1 Orientation

Tour manager Josh Baker runs through orientation with the members of our July 17 tour after an intro to the Vespas at Steve's house. "Watch out for cows, chickens and water buffaloes "
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From Melbourne to Hidden Saigon in 24 Hours or Less

Last week we received an email from Aussie Robert Harper, who joined our Saigon After Dark tour on July 1 with his 12-year-old son: Thursday night tucked up in front of fire watching telly in Melbourne, 4 degrees outside. The next night we are Zooming around Siagon on Vespas with some great people -- what a buzz!”
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Vespa Club Of the Philippines: Four Months and Counting

Several members of the Vespa Club of the Philippines will be joining us in November for a one-week Nha Trang Coastal & Highland Adventure, which should be a blast; we love having Vespa enthusiasts on our tours, and Steve can talk for days (and days and days) about the old Vespas. Today we saw a Tweet pointing to a new image club members had created to convey their excitement over the coming trip. If these folks aren't enthusiasts, nobody is.
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Our Favorite New Review of the Week

My group of 4 friends (all early 20s) spent 4 days & 3 nights in the city. While we visited the usual attractions like Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Museum. This Vespa Tour was the highlight of the trip, for all of us! My experience first started about a month before the trip, when i emailed Vespa Adventures to ask about the availability of their night tour. Steve was especially helpful and patient as i clarified all the nitty gritty details about the tour. He even agreed to send Vespas to pick us up from our hotel (which they…
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Moms’ Night Out with the Williamses on Saigon After Dark

The Williams family from Brisbane joined us last night for our SAD tour (we really need a new acronym for that one, don't we? Perhaps SDK?). A blast was had, even though Dad Williams stayed home at the hotel. It all evened out, as we were joined by VVA General director Ton That Thien Bao and his mom visiting from Orange County, California.
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In which Steve becomes a local media source

Yesterday we received a nice mention in a short article posted by author David Lloyd Son, reproduced here. In the article, about the changing face of Vietnamese journalism, Son quotes Steve on being a foreign business owner in Vietnam and working with local media. In Saigon, Stephen Mueller, owner of two businesses – Green Energy Biomass, and Vietnam Vespa Adventures – reflected on the media both here and in his native United States. “Something that the media here has done is open my eyes to how blatant the agenda of some news corporations in the USA are. When I go…
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“Best Part of Our Trip So Far”

This is my first review ever on TripAdvisor - I signed up just to give Steve and his team a glowing review for their Vespa tour through Saigon. We did Saigon After Dark, and the tour was perfectly arranged. The food is AMAZING. I was hesitant to do the nighttime tour, since I figured all of the street food in Saigon is delicious, but you absolutely will not find food and experiences like this on your own. It's a great way to see the city, and the vintage Vespas are beautiful, but the food was out-of-control delicious. I think all…
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