We really appreciated the extremely well organized tour. Everything from 1st contact to the last day of our tour was perfectly organized and we felt in very good hands at all times. The bikes have been in good condition and have been adjusted individually to each one of us. The layout of the tour has been well chosen. We enjoyed crossing rice fields and riding through backroads of beautiful Vietnam as much as climbing mountains within the rainforest. The variety of each single day of the tour gave a great taste of how diverse the country really is. Supplies throughout the tour have been perfect. Whenever a break was needed, everything was there: drinks, snacks, fresh fruits, warm lunch and even for us Germans, plenty of cold beer to enjoy after each stage of the tour!!!
Accommodation on the tour was also well organized. Outside the main cities options have been rather limited and therefore basic but we always found a place to have a shower and bed to sleep. Van and Tho always did a fantastic job by selecting places and food for lunch and/or dinner. The variety and taste have been amazing.
Besides the tour itself, Backroads also did a great job by choosing “must-see” stops in Vietnam like the Amazing Cave, Khe Sanh, Da Krong Bridge, Imperial City or My Son. Our guide Tho was always well prepared to give us huge background information on all the sites. This has been a great chance for all of us to learn more about the history of Vietnam.
Thank you very very much Tho for the tour and the extra time and effort you took to keep us happy at all times.
Van, thank you for the overall organization and support. We can clearly recommend to use Backroads for any tour in Vietnam. Great job! From February 23, 2015
Ps: We also hope to see (and get) all the pictures that have been taken on the tour!!
The best cycle tour in Vietnam - "Van the man"
Five girlfriends of mine, three from Bunbury, one from Perth and one from Rockingham Western Australia and I, just completed our cycle tours with Vietnam Backroads on March 8 2016. It was the most enjoyable and memorable cycle tours we ever experienced.
My first contact with Mr Van was around 18 months ago when I was searching a reputable cycle tour company in Viet Nam. I wanted to be an off beaten track cycle tour because I wanted to see the beauty of the country, see how local people live, see the rice field etc, etc. So, I started my search with the help of TripAdvisor on the topic. To my surprise many people mentioned 'Van The Man', as the best of man to provide cycle tours I was searching for. It helped me made an informed decision when I read positive comments from fellow travelers in TripAdvisor about Mr Van, and for this reason I would like to thank those who contributed their comments on Vietnam Backroads Cycle Tours.
Mr Van is a man with integrity. During my correspondence through emails, he patiently answered all my questions about safety, routes, bikes, point of interests and other matters related to the tours. If he was not able to give me his answers straight away, he would come back to me as soon as possible. Mr Van is very professional, honest, kind, friendly and very helpful. He always assured me that everything would be ok and I trusted him. Mr Van honoured everything he has said during our correspondence and I would like to say 'thank you' Mr Van.
Our cycle tours started from Dong Hoi after spending one night with Paloma cruise in Ha Long Bay. When we arrived at Dong Hoi Airport Mr Van's two guides, Mr Dat and Mr Loc were there to greet us. They both were very polite and helped us carry our luggage to the van and we were introduced to Mr Cuong our 'cool' driver and off we went for lunch. After lunch Mr Dat and Mr Loc introduced us to another 'cool' driver Mr Vu who drove a truck where our bicycles were kept.
Thank you Mr Vu for keeping our bikes cleaned everyday.
What can I say about Mr Dat? He was very professional indeed, from the start to the finish. He excelled himself in all ways. His attention to details has amazed me. In my group, one was completely vegetarian, one is a part vegetarian and I don't eat pork and from day one we met Mr Dat remembered all of our needs and he made sure that we had the right food to eat. He also sterilized our chopsticks, spoons and forks in hot water and reminded us whether it was safe for us to have ice cubes with our drinks. His knowledge about history of Viet Nam and all places we visited were just amazing and informative. Mr Dat was very proud of his country. To make our journey in the van much more interesting, he always told us stories after stories. We started our new day with Mr Dat by saying ' are you ready?' and we all have to say 'always ready!!!' He faced each morning with a big smile on his face which made our days brighter. Thank you, Mr Dat. You are a gem. We will never forget you.
Now, Mr Loc. He is very witty, funny, and it was fun to be with and he had great sense of humor. He has made our 'challenged' days on the bike a bit lighter especially when the uphill seemed had no end every time we turned around the corner. Mr Loc was always there for us especially for the five of us who sometimes struggled to push a bit more up hills. He sang us songs 'Hallo Vietnam' which encouraged us to ride to the finishing line of that day. One of Mr Loc passions in life is photography. He took beautiful photos along the way and shared his photos with us. I hope someday he will pursue his gifted talent in photography. Thank you, Mr Loc. I will treasure the experience to cycle with you and Mr Dat for a long time to come. A big personal thank you for those wonderful experience you've captured on videos and photos for me to share with my family and friends back in Australia.
Finally, I would like to show my appreciation to Mr Van who had worked so hard to provide us with the most memorable and educating cycling trips for my group. It was so awesome to ride along the Ho Chi Minh trail (west). The scenery was just breathtaking and magic. Camera did capture the beauty of the jungles, rivers, valley, people, rice paddy, etc. but you need to be there to experience it. It was liberating.
When the tours came to an end, we all wished it never ends. We were so saddened that it ended so quickly. The four staff members and my group shared jokes and stories, and we became one big happy family for the duration of our tours. It was just magic.
I would highly recommend Vietnam Backroads to those who would like to see beautiful Vietnam from off beaten tracks... the real beauty of the country.
A huge thank you to our team - Mr Dat, Mr Loc, Mr Cuong and Mr Vu. You are just so awesome!!!! You excelled yourself beyond anyone's expectation. Well done and thank you!!!
Until we meet again soon for another tour, I hope .. 24 Feb - 08 Mar, 2016
Dear Ms Hue, I'm still in Vietnam, but it will be my last week here before I go back to Malaysia :( Anyway, here is my comment: This is my second time biking with Vietnam Backroads and Mr. Van. As expected, the experience was great. Although we didn't bike as much as I had expected, the boat trip through the canals was extremely fun too. I enjoyed the the coconut candies, the honey tea, taking pictures with the tame python, the sampan ride and the food. This trip was meant to be a graduation trip with my friends, and I strongly believe that it will be a trip that all of us will remember for many, many years. Hence, thank you very much Vietnam Backroads! If I were to be back in Vietnam again, I would definitely sign up for a longer trip and challenge myself :) Ms Hue, please pass my appreciation to Mr. Trung (spelling?) and Mr. Van. Thanks to you too for the great service! ^^ Sincerely,Wei Syn A day trip cycling to My Tho on June 4th 2012
I am sorry it is not more constructive but really I have no criticisms. For us we were very lucky as you we incredibly flexible and could be as there were just the two of us. You have two converted bike tourers! As for value for money it is certainly not the cheapest trip but good value for what we do, the quality of equipment and for 2 comfortable hotels. However payment is tricky! I understand the need for a deposit but it was surprisingly difficult to do an international bank transfer. None the less I was more comfortable with doing that than supplying my card details. Payment of the balance at the end would have been much easier to do with a card or knowing dollars was your preferred method of payment I would have taken dollars out in Cambodia and carried them with me. So maybe some more info on that before the tour could have been helpful. Anyway thank you again for a fantastic few days - a real highlight of the trip as a whole! I hope it is ok but I suggested my biking friends from Cambodia get in touch if their tour is taking them through Saigon. Feb 2012
I am back at my office desk now - sadly my holiday in Vietnam is over. I enjoyed it very much, though - and also enjoyed the bike trip through the Mekong Delta very much. Hung was a very good replacement for you - at least I can say we had lots of fun with him and he really showed us around the back roads. Everything was perfectly arranged, we were felt well, the hotels were all right - we loved the trip. Best wishes from Germany. 05 Dec 2011
Hi Van, We had a great trip - our guide Thang was great, everything went like clockwork - we did a lot of eating of all sorts of food we never would have tried on our own or known what to order as we told Thang we were interested in trying foods, he introduced us to iced coffee and we had one or two every day. The bikes were good, minivan driver excellent and as we expected our bums a little sore at end of day 3 but what we expected. Our three days were excellent but I strongly suggest you change the last night hotel. I tell you this as I also own my own business and feedback is important - I strongly think you need to change the hotel. We will write good report on trip adviser and will recommend you to others as we did not see another westerner on the days we were on the bike as you promised. 16 Jan 2012
We have just returned from Vietnam where we were fortunate enough to travel with Vietnam Backroads bicycle tours.
We are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children aged 8, 10 & 12 and we all thoroughly enjoyed our 4 days exploring the Mekong Delta by bicycle.
From the minute we were collected from our hotel by Dat, we knew we were in capable hands. The bikes were all new Giant MTB's and very similar to our bikes at home so our kids felt very comfortable cycling each day.
We did the Saigon-Travinh-Cantho-Sadec-Cao Lanh itinerary and it gave us a wonderful insight into life on the river. We shared many a laugh, and witnessed so many trip highlights on our ride.
Thank you to Dat and Van for making our visit to the Mekong Delta so enjoyable. April 30, 2016
We had the most wonderful experience with this company! We only cycled for three days and really felt that we got to see the true rural Vietnam. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get away from the tourist hotspots and see the real country in a safe manner (as your guide is always to hand). Our tour was brilliantly organised and led. Our guide, Dat, made the trip even more special. He was very good at listening to our concerns and even factored in very last minute itinerary changes. He also plied us with fruit and local drinks at every opportunity. Water is also very plentiful. We only had to pay for our drinks at dinner and lunch, all other food, drink and transport was included.
It was brilliant to cycle through very remote villages where all the locals would come out and wave as you pass. The tiny bridges linking the islands are beautiful and occur fairly regularly. However, some can have a few holes in them but don't be undeterred, the local Vietnamese use them all the time.
We caught the minivan for small sections so that we didn't have to cycle on too main roads (quite a health hazard in Vietnam). This was far more pleasurable than expected as you still get to see the sights and fit in lots of cycling. The only negative would be that I felt we were misinformed about the boat trip from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh in the last day. This was a slightly cramped public boat that takes five hours including long stops at the border (most passengers didn't get visas in advance).
- see if you can get Dat as your tour guide
- personalize it: don't be afraid to ask for a shorter/ longer day or for the itinerary to be changed
- be prepared with mosquito spray
- bring clothes that you don't mind getting torn or stained
- try as much of the local cuisine and fruit as possible
Sadly we just completed our bike tour through the Mekong delta from Ho Chi Minh city to Chau Doc. We will be completing the tour by boat to Phnom Penh tomorrow. We had an absolutely amazing time and feel so fortunate to see the Mekong delta in this way. Our guide Cong was fabulous. He was very informative about each area we rode through and so kind and generous. Each day was a new experience. We loved meeting the local people and having the opportunity to interact with them. The food was incredible too and Cong was always sure to make sure we stayed well hydrated. We are active seniors and found the ride certainly doable. Highly recommend Vietnam Backroads and hope we can do another ride with them again sometime soon! 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 Nov, 2018
Cannot think of a better way to get a taste of Vietnam. Our tour, the one which visits a number of UN World Heritage sites, offers a diversity of both riding and cultural experiences. The riding is fairly rated as a 3 out of 5, so it is designed for recreational riders who are in decent shape. The riding is quite diverse, from mountainous roadways (mostly going down), to trails of dirt, asphalt or concrete along seaside trails and trails through rice paddies, villages, and forested areas. Along the coastal plain, the term backroads is very fitting.
Aside from biking, the tour also caters to historical, cultural and recreational interests. Among others, the tour includes time at the ancient sanctuary at My Son, the Vietnam War Memorial at My Lai, and the Citadel at Hue. The stops during the day and the evening meals focused on Vietnamese fare. More “touristy” activities like the mud bath at Dark Cave and an overnight cruise at Ha Long Bay add to a great holiday.
A lot of work went into putting this package together. Depending upon what one is used to, the accommodations range from adequate to very good. (one of the hotels was the nicest we have ever stayed at) Because the tour covers a long distance, quite a bit of time is spent in the van during transfers from the centre of a city to the tour departure point, or taking us to our hotel at the end of the day. It was nice that there was internet access in the van during these trips.
Finally, a word has to be said about the guide team. A van to carry us and a truck to haul the bikes followed us wherever that was possible (and met up with us when the trails didn't allow it) There was always a guide behind the last rider to ensure that no one ever got lost. And our main guide, Dat, was fabulous, both in leading the group, or letting keener riders ride ahead when the way ahead was straight forward. He was also great at giving us advice when we got to our destination at the end of the day. And he was an excellent guide at the historic sites we visited, providing the background necessary to make the visit worthwhile.
Like a few other bike adventures we have been on, there were one or two “misadventures”. Our own view is that “misadventures” become part of the adventure when the tour operator puts in the work to overcome them with minimal inconvenience to participants.
So, if you are going to Vietnam, do some bike riding, and want to experience a variety of the flavours which the country offers, you should seriously consider what Vietnam Backroads has to offer.
I have just completed my 3rd ride with Vietnam Backroads, having ridden from Hanoi to Saigon in 2012, Mekong Delta/Cambodia 2013 and now Hanoi to Luang Prabang in 2014. The trips have been for 2 weeks and private tours with 12 to 15 friends from the South Coast, NSW, Australia. Van again organised an amazing ride for us. He goes out of his way to make sure our trips are memorable ones. I cannot speak highly enough of his professionalism. We are so impressed with our cycling holidays organised by Van that we will be back in 2015 for another memorable cycling trip
We are back again in Germany and again very busy in our companies. We enjoyed very much your country and especially the bike-ride in the Mekong Delta. The tour was very interesting and we saw a lot. Mr. Trung was a very good guide and we could ask him everything. He has knowledge about almost everything, so we could ask a lot. Everything worked good, the paths we were riding were fascinating and the distances were not too hard. So we can recommend Vietnam Backroads. Especially the Ba Duc homestay, which Mr. Trung recommended, was very nice. Please say thank you to him. April, 2014
Thanks very much to the entire team for the excellent organization of our vacation in Vietnam. Thanks to our excellent guide Loc, we could really see how beautiful Vietnam and its people are. The Mekong delta is surprisingly rich in the variety of activities, fruits and vegetables that you can find, but you absolutely need a good guide to spot it all. The cycling is making it not only a very interesting, but also sportive and pleasant experience. We especially appreciate the good care that was given when our daughter got sick. Your team did everything to help her and still make it very pleasant for everybody involved. She is getting better now, but still needs further recovery. 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 July, 2015
Top marks to guide, Loc for the personality, local general knowledge, proficiency with English. We enjoyed the fact that we went to non-touristy sights took time to visit with locals and that the guide adapted the tour when the planed item was not of interest to us. It was nice that the guide arranged for such a lovely dinner and setting for our wedding anniversary. An the particular highlight was the Khmer village ride afternoon due to the amazingly beautiful settings. All in all, a very satisfying tour experience. 28 - 29 - 30 -31 Dec, 2015
Overall we have very, very positive feelings about our trip to Vietnam. Here are the things that we were very happy with through Vietnam Backroads: * Above all, we feel truly lucky that we had Loc Dang as our guide. He was WONDERFUL. We told him that a hundred times, but you can tell him again for us. ;-) * The bikes were in good shape, the van was in good shape, and the driver was good. * We did not feel pressured to "stick to the agenda" with Loc. If a particular route was too difficult or if it was too rainy, Loc was fine letting us ride in the van for a while. Most of the bike routes were very interesting. * Overall we were happy with the food provided by Vietnam Backroads. * The arrangements with Vietnam Airlines and the Paloma Cruise company in Halong Bay were very good. We were happy with those arrangements. Here are the things that we felt could have been better with Backroads Vietnam: * The floating market at Cai Rang near Can Tho was a BIG letdown/disappointment. I had expected to see LOTS of floating boats with people selling produce and flowers. Instead there were just a few boats actually selling, and it seemed very, very touristy (there were more tour boats than boats with people selling/buying things). We felt cheated not getting to see something better/bigger. * For US $4,798, some of the 11 nights spent in hotels could have been much better. We booked our own hotels in Saigon (before the trip began) and Hanoi (after the trip ended) ourselves, so we know that it is so very easy to get a great hotel at a very good price (US $80 or so is enough to get a very nice hotel). The hotels chosen by Vietnam Backroads in Saigon and Quang Ngai were especially bad; we should have stayed at much nicer hotels after spending so much money for the tour. We want your company to make a profit and we felt happy with some of the hotels (Hoi An, Hanoi, etc.), but we are unsure whether we could recommend Vietnam Backroads to our friends due to some of the hotels chosen for us. This definitely needs to be improved. * We did not like having to ride through the heavy traffic of Hue city on the last day of riding bikes. It was SCARY for Americans to be riding through Vietnamese traffic. We would have preferred having the van pick us up out in the countryside. Also, the route around Hue probably could have been better. It seemed to be not really planned well. So, overall there are good points and less good points about our experience. Even though it rained a lot we are glad we chose to go to Vietnam. Due to the reasons outlined above, though, we would have to talk very carefully with our friends here in the US before we could actually recommend using Vietnam Backroads as a touring company. 03 -14 Dec, 2016
As we are budget travellers this trip was a big cost for us but we had an excellent time so very glad we did it. We were never pressured in tipping or buying things and snacks/drinks were provided whenever we felt like it which was a good touch. Guide was great fun and made the trip more enjoyable. Dinner was also very good. Very friendly guide. The journey was just challenging. Minivan' diver always providing enough water, snacks. The trip to experience the Mekong Delta was very accommodating to our needs. Ms Quang in the office in Saigon was so nice and helpful too.
Thang was a really excellent guide who has great knowledge and passion about his country. I feel as if I know much more about Vietnam. The food was a particular highlight as we stopped at many local places and samled a great range of food. The hotel on the first night was fine. Then dinner on the first night was ok, but I think we preferred the food from the market Thang showed us. This has been a really wonderful tour, and I will definitely be recommending it! Thank you. 26 Feb,2014
A wonderful insight into the real Mekong Delta. We thoroughly enjoyed this experience and will recommend it to others. Thank you Thang for your time and your interest in showing us these beautiful people, amazing scenery and exceptional food. January 5, 2014
Our trip was a great journey and the best way to see the people and their lives in the Mekong Delta. My only complaint was the bed in the hotel, room first night. It was too hard Everything else was exceptional.
I have had an amazing time on this trip and has easily been the most enjoyable part of our holiday so far. Our guide- Thang is incredible. His knowledge has taught us so much about Vietnam and the way he tailored the tour so that we weren't around lots of tourists which makes it even better. We really want to see the real Vietnam and Thang showed us that. The restaurant on the first night wasn't great though, a little too touristy for us but it might be perfect for others. Thank you so much for organizing this trip. We've really had a great time! 26 Feb, 2014