I booked a 7 day tour through http://www.dalat-easyrider.com.vn/Websites/English/ and did it in January. They are the real deal. I had numerous email communications with them and they were ready and waiting for me in Dalat. We discussed the tour over a beer in Dalat and were ready to go the next day. There were three of us (2 guides) and we had the best time riding through the highlands. Ended up in Hue but wished we went all the way to Hanoi. I would do it again in a pinch. Here is my testimonial I put on their website. "Do this tour with the Dalat Easy riders. It is that simple. I booked a 7 day tour from Dalat to Hue via Vinh Moc from 3 January 2010 to 10 January 2010. It was a (hopefully not) once in a lifetime experience. Our guides, Tien and Tan were the most safe, knowledgable, funny and professional tour guides I have ever met. The best thing about the tour is that you go so far off the beaten track, meet genuine local people and eat all of the local produce. The accomodation Tien and Tan booked for us was extremely good, all with aircon. Quite simply, it was the best value for money part of our holiday. If I had have known that it was going to be this good, I would have organised the rest of my holiday to accomodate it. Thanks again Tien and Tan, you were the best."
By the way they were in the blue and black jackets but booking through that website will ensure the real deal. We met some other easy riders (copies) on the tour who started in Nha Trang and they had put a bloke on a motorbike by himself with NO experience in riding....our riders were extremely angry. If you have seen the traffic in Vietnam, you would understand why...I hope he is still alive! So as you can see some others are dodgy operators...
Anyway, this was one of the best experiences in my life.... do it.
#1 Fattymac has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 28
As two oldies we decided that a 3 day bike trip was a trip too far, but found an Easy Rider with a Jeep. (It seems that all Easy Riders work as a co-operative all of those we met were great fun. Mr Lee supplied us with Ha, our lady driver and her brother David who was both our very knowledge guide and interpreter. The Jeep was a great alternative and David and Ha took us to places not mentioned in the guide books. All in all we had a brilliant time and couldn't have been looked after any better. It was also great on the first day out to occasionally meet up with other Easy Riders to swop stories over a beer and great local food. Highly recommended! We never saw another Jeep in our travels so we felt we were lucky to travel together as we wanted. We suggest you contact Mr Lee at: Easy Riders Vietnam [email@example.com]
I was wondering how you found your easy riders? I have been corresponding with one over email prior to my departure to Vietnam, who seems highly recommended (judging by internet forums), but he is asking for a deposit upfront via Western Union and I am wondering if that is the norm.
#3 mandarc has been a member since 14/7/2010. Posts: 4
I did not have to pay a deposit. In fact I negotiated a price upon my arrival. In Vietnam, it is customary to ask for a money transfer deposit for some tours though (eg: Ha Long Bay) so it is not that unusual. But if you book through the website I recommended above, it should be just confirmation via email and then negotiation when you get to Dalat (depending on how far you are going etc.).
Hope this helps,
#4 Fattymac has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 28
We paid a deposit through Western Union but felt that this wasn't unreasonable as we wanted to secure what appears to be the only Jeep in Dalat. Once the deposit had been received by them we got a lengthy email detailing the trip for our approval. On arrival in Dalat they came to our hotel the night before to chat and talk about what we could expect. We opted for a first night in a 'minority village' but chickened out when I discovered that the (very clean) loo was the other side of the village - a trek too far in the middle of the night. During dinner David, our guide, made a few 'phone calls and we were accommodated in a local hotel which was fine. Like 'Fattymac' we too loved being able to eat in really local places and things we would never otherwise have tried. All in all a great experience.
When in HoiAn we met a young Ozzie woman getting off an EasyRider bike and she had just completed NINE days with just her and her guide. It had started out as a 3 days trip but she enjoyed the experience so much that her Rider was happy to keep extending and took her through jungles etc. She wished she had been able to afford more, so I think this says it all. Have a great trip.
Ed & Sue
We went to the Easy Rider cafe on 70 Phan Dinh Phung, Da Lat , in the morning of the 7th of January 2013, talked to one guy and booked a trip from Da Lat to Mui Ne . We paid 70$ per person per "day", i.e. 280 $ for the whole trip for the two of us. (we were picked up at 11 am at our hotel in Da Lat, arrived at Di Linh at 5 pm, started in Di Linh at 8 am the next morning arrived at Mui Ne at 3 pm)
I think it wasn't worth the money.
1. The 280$ do not include food or drinking for some miraculous reason (I really don't get why, because this was: lunch + dinner + breakfast + lunch, all in all 200.000 VND per person, I don't know why they can not pay this).
2. The hotel in which we stayed in Di Linh was ok, typical Vietnamese Hotel, a nice room I have to say, but still it shouldn't cost more than 250000-300000 Dong (~12$) estimated from what I have paid for other rooms like that.
3. The drivers had a lot of breaks, when they left us to explore 'nice' waterfalls and walk down the street ('jungle experience'), so the had two really short working days.
4. The two drivers spoke OK-English and showed us a lot of stuff (mushroom farm, silk worms, passion fruit, tea and coffee plantation, dragon fruit and so on), nevertheless the whole trip was quite unpleasant, because I did a very very very bad thing after the first two hours of the trip: I dared to say that I am "not happy" and ask for a change of the plan. I shouldn't have done this!
You would think, if you pay such a big amount of money that you at least would have the right to tell your guide what you like and what you don't like, but NONONO not with the Easy Riders.
From the beginning: We were picked up and there we went, through Da Lat to the monastry and I was happy. Freedom, yeah. But then we left Da Lat going to the south. This is a very boring scenery, a broad valley full of farms and the normal Vietnamese streetlife to the left and to the right (if you have already travelled for some time, it is really nothing special anymore). We went to the chicken village. Personally, I don't have to see a big chicken sculpture. After that, sitting on the motorbike behind my driver, I told him what I had already told him, when we booked the tour: that I was quite impressed by the scenery in the north of Da Lat, that this was the reason that I booked the tour, because I felt that the small mountain roads should be explored 'off the beaten track'. He said: Be patient, step by step. We then drove on, boring big street boring plain farm land, visited another village where they grow mushrooms. Drove on. Nothing changed. I was becoming more and more disappointed. And then I told my driver: please can't we maybe change the plan and take another road, I am not happy. And bam! this was the worst thing that I could have said. he got really aggressive, yelling and almost crying: He never had someone complaining (I didn't want to complain, I just wanted to have a say in the plan), that he had already told me that I should be patient, blablabla. I got a bit afraid to drive with somone that angry and started to apologize and told him that I won't complain that he should just please stop to be that angry.
After that he felt the need to point out to me every 5 minutes how "beautiful and nice" the scenery is. I bit my tongue and agreed every five minutes. It was really exhausting. Really really exhausting. And I felt that I should be paid for assuring him all the time what a great trip he was offering to us.
Advice: If you do this trip, take some MP3-Player with you and listen to the "From dusk till dawn"-soundtrack.
And try to get them down to not more than 100$ for the whole trip per person. That is really more than enough, in my opinion.
#6 travrike has been a member since 18/1/2014. Posts: 2
travrike - Seems like maybe you should have done some research or discuss with the guides on what you were going to see. I can tell you the road north from Da Lat includes lots of villages and chickens etc and for long portions of it it is boring. Not sure what you thought you were going to see! Just be happy you were on holidays and had the freedom of being on the road.
You obviously saw waterfalls etc and then complained that the riders had a short day because they showed you some beautiful "jungle" and waterfalls. You cant have it both ways. How can you blame the guides for the boring scenery and roads on the tour that you booked? You come across as an absolute whiner.
#7 Fattymac has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 28
Thank you for accepting my point of view and for your precious opinion about my personality!!!
I guess you have a good reason for that. I guess it is the same reason that the Uneasy Rider had.
As I already wrote, of course it wasn't their fault that the route to Mui Ne is as it is. The only thing I criticize is the way the guy reacted.
I think it is my right to say/think what I want.
#8 travrike has been a member since 18/1/2014. Posts: 2
It is your right to say/think what you want as it is mine.
By the way "As I already wrote, of course it wasn't their fault that the route to Mui Ne is as it is. The only thing I criticize is the way the guy reacted." is factually incorrect. You did not write that "it wasnt their fault that the route to Mui Ne is as it is", that actually would have made sense. And in your previous post you do more than criticize the way the guy reacted.
Just my thoughts.
#9 Fattymac has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 28
hey, as an alternative to easyriders, i rented a bike ($10/day) and rode from mui ne to da lat on the tl716 route, the diversity of landscape ranged from hot and dusty on the coast, then up and over the switch-backs along the hydro-electric dam and through the tree-lined hills on the da lat plateau... the journey took approx. 6 hours including stops. took another day trip from da lat to nha trang and back on route tl723 over the spectacular mountain range taking approx. 5 hours... for those without riding skills, easyriders is a good option, you just need to negotiate hard on the price!
Yes riding a motorbike to see the real Vietnam is a great thing. In my 4 journeys so far to Vietnam I have hired a bike from a local in Hoi An for $5 a day and for an extra $5 was guided to Danang and back to see Marble Mountain and China Beach. That was a great day.
Then in 2011 we hired a company from Nha Trang to ride the HCM Trail to Hanoi . With many emails and phone calls and paying a deposit via W.U. we had a fantastic journey for $80 per day....that covered everything except food and drink. Our guide was great and very knowlegeable of all the towns we went to. We each had our own bike (Lifan 150 cruisers) and was able to ride to many interesting places on the 2000k trek. Commenting with other riders along the trail who used Easyriders we found that our guy had done thorough research on what to see and do and the history of each place. The other riders had not seen what we had.
In 2013 we hired bikes direct from Hanoi to ride to Sapa via Mai Chau without any guides this time. It is very easy to get around out on the country roads. Bikes were $20 a day though but good reliable bikes. When it was all over our bikes returned to Hanoi from Lao Cai and we were fully refunded our deposits ($250 each).
Now in 2014 for a ride around Southern Vietnam, we have arranged bikes from HCMC for a 1500k ride. Bikes delivered to our hotel for $20 a day and we can expect to pay maybe another $20 for food and accom.
So simply put use a guide if you want, but find a guy who knows whats going on and can speaka da english. Use a good company with reliable bikes and best of all have a great time seeing and doing it all by yourself....you will meet lots of others along the journey to chat with about where to go next.
#11 Conehead has been a member since 27/2/2014. Posts: 1