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Our night tour with Christine

Thanks Christine for this. The Saigon After Dark tour with Vietnam Vespa Adventures was an incredible way to explore the city’s food-focused nightlife in a truly local way: on the back of a motorbike. As Steve, an American expat who has lived in Saigon for more than 10 years and who owns Vietnam Vespa Adventures, explained: Saigon nightlife involves a lot of “cruising” from spot to spot: it’s essentially a tapas culture where you have a drink and a bite at each stop along the way, visiting several bars or restaurants on each night out. Read more....
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Saigon After dark – Discover Saigon nightlife

Saigon After Dark tour from Ton Bao on Vimeo.
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Vocal Locals

It probably goes without saying that most of the guests who join us on our tours are from out of town. But in the past few months we've found that more and more of our passengers are locals -- people who are living in Saigon and have heard of us one way or another, eager for a chance to see the city with new eyes or to entertain visiting friends and family who've exhausted the limited sightseeing options listed in the guidebooks. Nothing makes us happier than to introduce area residents, whether short-term passers-through or long-timers, to a side of…
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Brand Loyalty (in which a guests gets our logo tattooed on his arm)

Tattoos have not traditionally been looked upon in Vietnam with much regard, but in the past year or so a few tattoo and piercing shops have opened in the Pham Ngu Lao ward where backpackers tend to congregate. You also see increasingly more young Vietnamese kids wearing them, which surely drives their parents berzerk (which is probably the point in many cases). In late September we received an email  from Stuart Vella, a guest on our October 2 tour to Nha Trang, who asked where he could get a tattoo in Saigon. Not unusual, in itself, but what really got our…
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The French Connection

We've lately found ourselves awash in awesome post-tour videos shot and produced by guests who've joined our longer multi-day trips to either Mui Ne or Nha Trang. We don't know if this is because of the proliferation of HD-enabled smartphone cameras out there, the availability of online video editing software, or just that film-school wannabees are drawn to our tours. Whatever the reason, we couldn't be happier about it!  This latest video is surely one of the better efforts we've seen. It comes to us from Marine Bourgeois-Potel, who joined our 7-day Nha Trang adventure with a passel of French-speaking…
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Over the Top: 3,000 Page Likes on Facebook

Can this be true? Just a couple of months ago -- maybe even less than that -- we were celebrating 2,000 page likes at our Facebook page. And now we check in on an otherwise ordinary Sunday morning to find that we had 98 new fans over the weekend, putting us at 3,029! We wish we could give every one of them a big group hug. Thanks everyone!
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In Moving Pictures

Former guest and now new friend Tony Brinsdon may not be a world champion speller, but he's put together one heck of a video about his recent trip on our 7-day Nha Trang Coastal & Highland Adventure. Kudos, Tony! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQWTuDnEcwc
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Fall Promotion for Anh Phu Neighbors!

Many thanks to everyone at Saturday's Bazaar @ The Deck who took a free Vespa ride courtesy of Vietnam Vespa Adventures! We spoke to scores of you about the half-day and evening tours we offer in Saigon as well as the multi-day trips we provide to Mui Ne, Nha Trang, and (soon) to Hue. It was a pleasure meeting you all! Many of those we spoke to Saturday accepted a coupon from us good for 15% off any of our local tours. We only regret we weren't able to give out more of those vouchers. Therefore we'd like to extend…
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Picture This

Love this video posted last week from Mark, Sin, D, and Chris of their July 6-12 Nha Trang Coastal & Highland Adventure. Guys, we're totally using this in our marketing materials! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ15QlXcRSI&list=PLF73EFF82D4683A51&
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Travelfish.org Gives Us a Great Big Blog Hug

We've long been fans of online travel guide Travelfish, which specializes in Southeast Asian destinations. In fact, Travelfish is our own first go-to resource whenever we're doing any exploring in the region. We've used it in Bali, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Thai islands, and of course here at home in Vietnam (if we ever get to Laos, we'll use it there, too). So we practically wet ourselves with excitement last week when Travelfish Vietnam editor Angela Schonberg contacted us about joining one of our Saigon After Dark tours for a possible write-up. She and her boyfriend joined us on a…
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Tram Phan Tram!

On Monday night, Steve and Josh were both out of town on a Mui Ne tour and a Nha Trang tour, leaving Bao and Phuong and I to mind the house and the local tours that cropped up. These included a birthday group of five (happy birthday, Rafael!) and a separate tour of mostly locals. Among them were District 2 residents Rachel and Rupert, hosting Singapore compadre Dmitry on his last night in HCMC before returning to the world's largest city/state/shopping mall. But we also had the media with us - namely Angela and Max, Americans who are the local…
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Vietnam Vespa Adventures Nails 100 Reviews at TripAdvisor

04 September 2011, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Custom scooter tour provider Vietnam Vespa Adventures today reached a milestone for customer satisfaction that puts them in a class of their own: 100 total customer reviews at social media-powered online travel website TripAdvisor. The achievement places VVA in a singular position among Saigon-based tours of every type, as no other tour operator in the region can claim so many positive reviews on the popular site. The  overwhelming response from satisfied guests of the company's five tours places them among the preeminent custom tour providers of any kind in the city.…
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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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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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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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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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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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