Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of some useful, common questions we receive often from our guests preparing to join Vietnam Backroads for a group guided cycling tour. Please read them all and they will help you to prepare well your trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. As always, Vietnam Backroads's staff is available to help with any other assistance you need! Contact: info@vietnamcyclingtours.com 

 

How can I get a visa for Vietnam?
All nationalities require a visa in advance. Most visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries, which have signed a bilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam. Tourist visa may be valid for 15 to 30 days. Tourist visas can only be obtained in Vietnamese Embassies, Consulates, or Online. 

Get visa online. Here are the Embassies and Consulates of Vietnam worldwide. You can contact Vietnamese Embassy near you to get it done before you go. You should send your application and photos to a Vietnamese embassy or consulate abroad which is most convenient to you. On your requirement, the reply will be returned by post (you must provide stamped envelopes with your name and address).Vietnam-Embassy.

A Vietnam visa is required for most foreigners to enter and exit Vietnam at the three international airports: Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang airport and Da Nang. 

Vietnam visa-on-arrival is a process of obtaining the pre-approved visa letter (visa approval letter) through a travel agency in Vietnam to check in at the departure airport and pick up the actual visa stamp at an international airport in Vietnam upon arrival
Most visitors to Vietnam require a valid visa to visit the country and are eligible to apply for a visa on arrival as long as they enter Vietnam by air at one of the International airports in Vietnam.

 

How can I get a visa for Cambodia?
Cambodian visa can be obtained on arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports. The visa fee is US$20. Please bring 2 passport sized photos with you for your visa application. 

Visa to Cambodia is also available at border crossing on Thai - Cambodian and Vietnamese -Cambodian border points. Travelers can also apply for Cambodia E-Visa online before you go. Here are nationalities that tourists don’t need to apply for tourist visas when entering Cambodia: Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, and Vietnam.

Get visa online: Cambodia Visa fees is US$30 https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

 

How can I get visa to Laos?
A 15-day visa on arrival can be obtained at all airports and all land border crossings. Fees vary depending on country – US$ 42 for Canada, US$ 35 for the USA, UK and most of Europe, and US$ 30 for Australia and other countries. You’ll need a passport photo, an application form (your guide will provide this to you in advance) and US dollars for the visa fee. At land borders you will be asked to pay nominal (US$1-3) overtime, weekend and other various fees, the amount of which varies at each border crossing. A visa issued at a Laos consulate abroad is valid for 30 days. When entering Laos with a visa please, be sure to obtain an immigration entry stamp. Entering the country on only a visa, and not the proper immigration entry stamp, could subject you to fines and/or penalties.

 

How much are the airport taxes?
- Airport taxes at International Airport in Vietnam: 

- Airport taxes at International Airport in Cambodia:
International airport tax is USD25 and USD6 for domestic airport tax. The airport taxes have to be paid in cash at the airport. Travelers, who exit Cambodia by land border, do not require paying for any departure tax

 

How many people in group do you guarantee to depart?
-    A small group: 02 to 04 pax. To guarantee a departure we normally require 2 paying passengers at least. 

-    A large group size: 08 – 14 pax. Once the booking confirmation is made and agreed by travelers and Vietnam Backroads , then your confirmed trip will be listed on GUARANTEED TO DEPART page and it’ll welcome more travelers to sign up. The numbers of travelers are limit depended on small group OR large group that you and Vietnam Backroads have singed.
If there is not any traveler join in your trip in the last minute! You then enjoy a private trip without any extra charged.

 

What hotel categories & types of accommodation do you provide on entire trip? 
Each detailed trip on website shown the names of hotel for a whole trip with its tour price but travelers can require changing hotels which they wish! Depends on hotel categories! We will revise the tour price

1. There are three different hotel categories

- 3 star hotel category

- 3 – 4 star hotel category

- 5 star hotels category

- Travelers can require to stay at 5 star hotels in big cities as tourist destinations and your requirement will be made but not in down towns or somewhere are not large cities and not tourist places because these place has no 5 star hotels and luxury hotels.

- Do remember somewhere is not tourist places but countryside, scenery and removed villages are the wonderful places to discover. Foreign travelers usually rarely be seen by locals 

- Travelers can take the same trip and select to stay in different hotel categories.

2. Rooms types: 

- We provide travelers with a double room for a couple

- We provide travelers with a twin room (two separated bed) if you are the same genders

- There will be a triple room for a family with three people.

- If you wish to have a single room for your own! A single accommodation must be charged.

- We can also arrange 5 star hotels for some people who are looking for luxury accommodation

- We can also arrange 2 – 3 stars hotels for some people who are traveling on budget accommodations

-  Who travel alone and joined in the trip and wish to have room shared – twin room! If the group size is an odd numbers then you will have a single room without charged.

Vietnam Backroads Company Limited reserves the right to offer alternative accommodations with similar standards in the case the accommodation has been overbooked or already fully occupied in advance.

Are there internet accesses to all the accommodations on the trip?
Internet technology in South East Asia Country have been developing really fast even in rural villages where daily cycling through. All accommodations on the entire trip have internet access, in home-stay in countryside villages as well.

-    Vina Phone, Vina mobile phone and Viettel Telecom provide 4G internet sim cards with different gigabyte and amount of money It’s very easy for travelers who use smartphone to accesses internet on daily biking. We recommend you to use Viettel sim card because this belonged Vietnam Army and its mobile antennas are built every from big cities to forests and borders so internet access and mobile networks are really good

 

Which ages to join in your guided cycling tours?
Kids must be 8 years old at minimum and they can ride on regions have flat lands and as Mekong Delta region. Teenagers can join in a long trip. We welcome all people ages from 18 – 65 years old.

 

What type of bikes do you use? Can we bring our own bike?
We use brand new mountain bike and hybrid mountain bikes all are lightweight and good quality bikes

-    Trek and Giant MTB bikes wheel size: 27.5” x 1.95. We use this bikes for more off-roads cycling on dirt track, paths and countryside back roads

-    Trek and Giant hybrid mtb wheel size: 700c x 33/38. These bikes are good for a long trip. These bikes use gravel tires as they are suitable on back road and off-road single track. Especially, these bikes give you easy and more comfortable to ride serious hills and undulating paved roads. In general, hybrid mountain bikes equipped Rockshox XC30 – 100 mm travel is the best choice.

Here are what we provide on our guided cycling tours:

-    We provide helmets

-    New bottles of water for a long trip. More than 7 days

-    A New cycling jerseys of Vietnam Backroads and Saigon Bike Shop – a long trip. More than 7 days
You can bring your own bike if you do a long trip! Then bike hired cost is not applied on this trip

- Handlebar bags, spare parts and spare bike, helmets, bottles of water, first aid kits, tool kits, pumps.

 

Can I use pedal cleat on my trip?
You can use pedal cleats on your trip but it highly recommendation for a long ride and long trip. 
Pedal cleats are not to be recommended for cycling through Mekong Delta because there are many bended single tracks, dirt tracks and small bridges through canals, villages and local markets where they are really busy on small paths

 

What cloths and cycling gear do I bring on my trip to Vietnam?
Vietnam is a tropical climate with warm weather all year round except winter season in the northern Vietnam from late November to February. We highly recommend you to bring lightweight clothing, sun cream, gloves and sleeves , sunglasses and mosquito spray...

If you do a long ride / long trip! You should bring something with you: your own cycling shoes or sneakers, shorts, pedals, cycling meters, camelback/hydration cycling shirt and shorts. Also, many people prefer to bring their own seats (saddles) seat posts, pedals, and helmet, especially for long trips. If this is the case with you, be sure to bring these items. We advise you to bring your own water bottle for a long trip. Handlebar Camera Mounts & Water Bottles: We suggest that you bring your own camera handlebar mounts and water bottles with you for long trips

 

Do you provide a fully support vehicles on whole trip?

All your luggage, suitcases and day bags will safe on our private vehicles on daily cycling.

- Small group: 02 to 04 people.

There is a A/C van- Mercedes Sprinter 16 seated support riders on entire trip. This van will take up all travelers, luggage and bikes. There are four rows of seating for passengers on A/C 16 seater van.Two people seat on each row. The third row is for luggage and suitcases. The last row of seat will be fold up so all bikes will be uploaded here.

- A medium group size: from 5 to 7 people

There will be 2 vehicles to support riders on entire trip. One 16 seater van to take up all riders, luggage & suitcases. Another small truck to carry all bikes, spare bikes, tool kits ice box and related equipment

- A large group size: 08 to 14 people

One minibus to take up all riders including luggage & suitcases and one truck to carry all bikes, spare bikes, water, cold drinks and snacks...Ice box although plenty of snacks, fruits, cold water and soft drinks available on the minibus

- A group has more than 15 riders and more than 20 people

We provide 2 vans and 1 minibus and one truck to escort large groups of riders and help ensure their safety. Our pro guide will motivate a team with support vehicles to bring the best services to riders.

 

Travel Insurance:

Vietnam Backroads does not provide travel insurance. We strongly advise you to purchase your own travel insurance. All our cycling guides are licensed and well- trained with first aid and we have first aid kit in the support van.

 

Luggage:
Lightweight suitcases - will go into A/C van or compartment of minibus. All of your luggage will be carried by a support vehicle. Small bags: day bags to contain personal things that you can use .....journey camera and Go Pro, sunscreen,

 

Electricity:
Double-insulated Plug-in, 220V

2 pin power sockets - 220V

 

Money: Vietnam đồng
There are two types of bank notes in Vietnam, both cotton and polymer, with various values and designs currently in c. The lowest value of bank note in Vietnam at present is VND 1000 (around 5 cents), and the highest value is VND 500,000 (around US$23). Bank note in Vietnam has two sides which often carries national symbols. The front side of all bank notes contains the image of President Ho Chi Minh 

Money bills:

VND$500.000 is around US$22

VND$200.000 is around US$9

VND$100.000 is around US$4

VND$50.000 is around US$22 

The rules of roads

Here is something you need to know before your adventure trip with Vietnam Backroads

Country roads are very narrow and bendy. Many forks and cross-roads in rural village but there is not any traffic signal and traffic sign. Small concrete bridges have no rails and holders. Bicycle, mopeds and motorcycle are main means transport in rural areas. Women and kids are very slowly riders but men and teenager riding too fast. The handle bar is too long in comparison with the width of paths/, paths.

01 - Do not ride to close front rider

02 - Never block the path/road when you had stopped

03 - Do not ride off concrete paths. It’s really deep and you could get a fall.

04 - Ride with the traffic on small back road! Please, ride on the ride side of roads and stay on single line. Do remember, you are in Vietnam, not in UK.

05 - Ride on a single line on country roads is save

06 - Whenever you stop to capture photos or any reasons. Do not stop so quick, say louder; stop, stop… so that cyclists coming up from behind, they could hear you clearly so they could stop in time or they could pass you on your left hand side. Once you stop, please, placed your bike on one side of road as not to block the traffic (country roads are too narrow)

07 - Do not take photo when cycling

08 - Do not turn your head when you are biking

09 - Many narrow wooden/ concrete bridges have no rails and holders; you should walk better than ride! Path, track and country back roads are also very bendy. You should ride slowly and keep riding on right side to avoid bicycles, moped come from opposite direction. 

10 - If wooden and concrete bridges are too small, narrow without rails and holders! Please, get off your bike and walk over.

11 - Most of bridges in countryside are very high in proportion to its length so that boats could get through. (Bridges are not too long but too high). You need to balance your riding on your bike by moving your body rearward when you ride on bridge slope. (go down from the top of bridge) Do not use the front brake. Front brake is the left hand brake

12 - Once you noted that some mopeds coming up from your behind! Please, do not turn your head back, keep cycling slowly and stay on the right side of paths/country back road so locals who riding bicycle/ mopeds have more space/ room so they could pass you (front riders) safety on your left hand. 

13 - How to safely pass a local riding a bike/moped in front of you. 

14 - Sometime you coming up from behind of local riders who riding their bicycle or mopeds very slowly in front of you and they are also ride in the middle of narrow path/ track. It’s really hard and very difficult for you to pass them! In case of this, you should say louder “WA…WA… WA… (I’m passing you) other word is “ZO…ZO…ZO”. Then you can see locals on bikes/moped begin slow down and they keep riding on right side as to give you more space/ room so that you could pass them easily and safety on your left hand.