Our multi-day tours grew out of Vespa road adventures we used to embark on ourselves from Saigon. We've long known that it’s impossible to truly experience a place - its culture, its geography, its smells & tastes, and most of all its people - from behind the windows of a crowded bus, stopping only where package tours drop off huge crowds of desensitized ‘travelers’ every hour of every day of the year. So we made our trips spontaneous events, believing fully that the journey is much more important than the destination. We bring that same sense of spontaneity and discovery to our tours with Vietnam Vespa Adventures - the idea of letting these trips happen to us, instead of forcing them to fit a set schedule and itinerary.
We typically spend four hours a day or less riding; the rest is open to our guests' whims and suggestions, our guide's recommendations, and to those serendipitous events and happenings that can't possibly be planned. We like to say that at Vietnam Vespa Adventures we have set destinations, but not set tours.
There are three ways to book a multi-day tour with us:
1. Join one of our existing, currently scheduled tours (you can find those schedules here and here).
2. Create a new tour date for yourself for which we'll try to find additional passengers, up to a maximum of 8 total travelers
3. Create a new exclusive tour date for your group of less than 8 travelers at a slight additional charge
We have scheduled tours, but we’re also happy to book tours according to our guests' travel schedules. We understand that itineraries can be tight when traveling abroad, and we do our best to work within them. We require a minimum of 4 people for a tour to go forward (unless you book an exclusive tour for fewer than that), but for those booking well in advance, there's rarely any problem with finding additional passengers for a given tour. We can lock in any date with a small 20% deposit, which is fully refundable up to two weeks prior to departure.
The main idea of the tour is obviously to have fun, but safety is of paramount importance for us.
On day one of the tour we spend as much time as necessary orienting our guests on the Vespas and automatic scooters. We reserve the right to qualify each rider for satisfactory safe driving ability on these vintage scooters. If we are not fully satisfied with a guest's demonstrated ability, we will provide an automatic scooter in order to assure his/her safety and that of the entire group. (Guests are also welcome to ride pillion behind one of our experienced drivers or behind another guest driving his or her own Vespa. Alternatively, we can also provide automatic scooters for you to drive on the trip instead of Vespas.)
We spend considerable time going over the document we provide our guests entitled ‘How To Drive Safely in Vietnam,’ which explains at length the very different driving conditions to be found in Vietnam and how to navigate them safely. We also provide high-quality full-faced helmets for all our guests.
Our Terms and Conditions make very clear that we expect guests to follow our guide and crew’s instructions to the letter throughout the tour. We are not flexible on this condition.
Because of all these precautions, our accident record is essentially zero. We've had the occasional unavoidable minor mishap but none of our passengers have ever been injured beyond a scrape or two and slightly bruised pride.
It would be false to suggest that our tour is as safe as sitting at home on a sofa and watching the Travel Channel on TV. The name of our company has the word Adventures in it, and an adventure is what we aim to provide -- but in as reliable, secure and comfortable a manner as is possible in Vietnam.
It's a very good idea to have motorbike riding experience, even better to have driven a manual clutch before (motorbike or automobile). But it’s not strictly necessary. Before departing Saigon, we'll spend plenty of time orienting all riders on the proper and safe operation of the Vespas. We reserve the right to qualify each rider on a Vespa for your own safety. For those guests uncomfortable with driving a vintage, manual-clutch scooter, we will happily make automatic scooters available instead. We take safety very seriously.
All the Vespas on our tours in Vietnam are 1960-1970 original, collectible-quality Italian scooters. Each of these classic 150cc motorbikes has been restored to near perfection using original parts. We ride these bikes ourselves every week, and a support crew is available to repair any minor mechanical problem we may encounter.
Not with us. There are 90 million Vietnamese people in the country and approximately 40 million motorbikes. The vast majority of those riders are clustered in the big cities, which can certainly make a ride through Saigon or Hanoi a hair-raising experience. But we don't like heavy traffic any more than the next person. Our multi-day tours are well outside these high-traffic centers. And rather than taking the busy (and unsightly) Highway 1, we keep to back roads and non-commercial routes on our trips. This results in not only a much more pleasant and scenic ride but a much safer one.
The condition of the roads is generally fine, but there are occasional rough spots with potholes or sand of the road. We travel these roads almost every week, so we have very good idea where we’ll need to take extra care. Also, our guide in front will always warn passengers before we approach one. Again, your safety is our highest priority.
Not normally. However, if your group is all arriving at the same time and on the same flight, we can arrange an airport transfer for the group as a whole. A taxi from the airport into District 1 should not cost more than about 150,000 VND (about $7.50 USD)
Absolutely. We can make all the arrangements for booking hotels and trains outside the tour.
To begin with, remember that, unlike other Southeast Asia countries, in order to enter Vietnam you'll need to secure your entry visa before you arrive at the airport or border. We'll take care of just about everything you'll need on the tours. But you may wish to make sure you bring some good driving sunglasses, closed-toe shoes, jeans or cargo pants, long sleeve shirts, a light jacket for the hills, and a high SPF sunscreen.
Anytime is best. We run our tours year-round, as in Southern Vietnam we’re lucky to have a relatively consistent climate all year. The temperature rarely rises above 32 degrees and rarely falls below 22 (at night). Vietnam has only two seasons: wet and dry. In Southern Vietnam, that means that May through October usually get an hour or two of rain every day (peaking in September). November through April, on the other hand, are typically dry and warm. In the Central Highlands around Dalat, it can get quite cool, especially at night. In the wet season, it simply means we may stop for a drink or a snack. It's all part of the adventure! Rain also tends to happen in the late afternoon here, and we're usually at our destination by the time it starts, if it starts. When necessary, we do provide wet weather gear.
Helmets are required by law in Vietnam, and we provide certified, open-faced motorcycle helmets for all our guests.
Not at all. You may choose to ride pillion behind another member of your party or behind one of our crew. There’s also the support van.
No problem. We're happy to provide current-model automatic scooters for those who prefer a less 'vintage' option.
Nearly all our costs on the tours go toward accommodating our guests, not the Vespas themselves, which we own. Therefore our rates, which are already a great bargain anywhere in the world, won't be reduced significantly if a guest wishes to ride only pillion with another guest. (This is true also of guests who wish to accompany a Vespa-driving partner by remaining in the support van.)
We usually drive for no more than four hours (roughly 120-150 km) per day. We stop often for photos, conversation, leg-stretches, drinks, road-side lunch, and almost anything interesting or unusual.
Our tours are shadowed by a support van at all times. Guests are welcome to keep their luggage in the van while they're riding. The van's also a popular place for sunburned riders, chatty riders, tired riders, and hungover riders.
Our team will be happy to help guests arrange hotel bookings in Saigon or Nha Trang before and after the tour. We also can help any guests arrange train or flight transportation back to Saigon if necessary. The best options from Nha Trang are an hour flight (about $50 US) or an overnight sleeper berth on a train, which runs about US $24/person, departing around 6:30pm and arriving in Saigon around 5am. From Mui Ne, one of the twice-daily buses ($12) is the best option.
We’re happy to have children accompany the longer tours. With parent's permission, they are allowed to ride pillion with a parent, our guide or driver. The rate for children 7-12 years old sharing a room with parents is 40% of the single room rate ($1656) - or $662 each.
No, you don't need a Vietnamese driver's license. Any official driving license issued by your country of residence is fine.
Travel insurers will not provide coverage to anyone driving a motorcycle above 49cc in Vietnam without a locally issued licence. However, riding pillion behind any other operator is fully covered. If that condition is an insurmountable concern for you, then we would certainly not recommend driving your own motorbike or scooter in Vietnam - though we're happy to have you join us as a pillion passenger, which many of our guests choose to do.
Our multi-day tours run with a minimum of four (4) and a maximum of eight (8) persons. Above that it becomes difficult for us to provide the individual level of personalized attention and care that we feel makes our tour so special - though we have done bigger tours and can make special arrangements for them. Tours are often comprised of more than one group, so prepare to make some new friends along the way.
Certainly. One of the things we most like seeing is different groups of travelers meeting for the first time on the tour and becoming friends during this unique shared experience. But we also understand not everyone always wants that kind of shared adventure. Our online booking process will allow you to choose an exclusive adventure for a slight premium.
We require a 20% deposit to lock in a group and date, payable via PayPal or any major credit card (VISA, Mastercard, American Express). The deposit is fully refundable up to one month before the tour if you choose to cancel for any reason. The remainder of the balance is due no later than one month before your arrival in Vietnam.
A better question might be, What doesn't the tour price include?
The Mui Ne Coastal Adventure and Nha Trang Coastal & Highland Adventure include three and six nights (respectively) of hotel/resort accommodation, all food and drink, our road crew and tour guide, a support van, Vespa rental, petrol and several days worth of spectacular scenery and memories to last a lifetime. (Airfare and alcohol are not included).
A minimum 20% deposit on the total tour cost for all travelers -- fully refundable up to one month prior to departure -- is required at the time of your booking in order to lock in your tour date. The full balance of the tour must be paid no less than one month prior to the date of your arrival in Vietnam.
Please don't hesitate to contact us vie email, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, or telephone:
From within Vietnam: 01222993585 or 0938500997
From outside Vietnam: +84 1222993585 or +84 938500997