Vietnam Easy Riders

Which one is not like the others?
Which one is not like the others?

Vietnam easy riders are nowadays very common. In the past, a person came up with the idea to make a few dollars by taking visitors for Dalat city tours on the back of his motorcycle. I personally know one of the original easy riders, and he told me that the name brand was started by the Lonely Planet or other travel guide. The term easy rider has stuck to this day. I do not profess to have a clue of who the actual original easy rider might be because I have encountered probably a dozen older riders claim to me that they were the original. I have even had a couple of the originals ask to work for me….. huh…. imagine that.

“Easy Rider” has now become a generic term used to describe a person that will for a fee, take you on the back of his or her motorcycle and provide you with a tour into the countryside where few tourists currently travel. You will find them mostly in Hue, Dalat, Danang. Hoi An and Nha Trang. It can be a fantastic way to travel between destinations if you have the time. For example, heading to Hoi An after Nha Trang? Take 5 days to travel to your destination Via Dak Lak, Buon Ma Thuot, Kom Tum, and Kham Duc…. What a time you will have. Along the route, they will stop at farms, factories, and natural wonders. But more importantly, a person will get the pleasure of interacting and experiencing the friendliness of the local life and the

Windy roads
Windy roads

people. Children will run behind yelling hello’s and startled adults will grin and wave as you pass. Most people that go on “Easy Rider” tours go home with tales of it being the highlight of their trip.

For two tears now I have been organizing such tours, but I have to stress that I am not an Easy Rider……… how about a highland cruiser? My tours are very similar, but differ in that I understand what most foreigners want to experience on their off the beaten track holiday. My tours are built as packages, all most all inclusive thereby insuring that the tours are not driven by kickbacks and commissions. It sometimes is frustrating to me to see a young backpacker that has hired a easy rider for a discounted rate but seeing that they will end up paying much more than they realize without even knowing it. For most easy riders you will simply decide on a route and a daily price. Some will include accommodation and some not. You will be responsible to cover your own expenses ( and many times theirs also). Some are very honest people and will give you a great trip, and others will try to get whatever they can by taking you to places where they have pre arranged agreements with the shops, restaurants, and hotels. After all…… in the end you always get what you pay for. If you pay a low price, the rider will try to make up the money by other means.

There are thousands of Easy Riders, and hundreds of websites all claiming to be the real easy riders…. Ignore all the hype. Most of them will offer the world but in the end, they all go the same place and on the same routes. How can you weed out all the bull and find a decent rider? The answer is actually quite simple. Unless you wish to book a specific person or service that you are confident in…… WAIT UNTIL YOU ARRIVE. There are offices everywhere that can arrange your tour starting the next day. There are thousands of people everyday on the streets trying to sell you their own special tour. Many of them will simply don the office jacket if called.

A person should use a bit of cautious skepticism when shopping for a rider. Many are good and reputable, but each has their own personality and sometimes personalities clash. There are also some scammers out there that

Wooden church

promise the world but deliver something quite different than what you asked
for. There are many riders who frequent corners and have books filled with
praise of their trips and others that rely more on a tour operator to send
business their way. Here are a few tips to help for those that are interested
in doing such a trip, but are not sure how to go about it. If you meet a guide on the street, first impressions are important. If there is anything about the mannerisms or speech that make you uncomfortable, politely say no and move on. Consider finding riders through a reputable local tour office and meeting them before confirming. The drivers will be known and accountable if something goes wrong.

Do not make a large deposit! I know of an instance just recently where a 3 day deal was struck, but when the customer went to check and assure everything was well, the unscrupulous guide said every thing was go for a 5 day trip. When the customer stated that was not as planned, the rider
returned 50% of the deposit and ended the deal.

Lastly…….. And very important!!!! You get what you pay for.
If you negotiate a price below the standard rate…. Do not be disappointed at
the quality of your accommodations or tours.


I could go into a tale of what a highland country tour is
like, but how about I show you in Pictures?

Village meeting hall

A local village
A simple house
Pretty as a picture
Fish farm on the river
A scenic walk
Care for a leisurly ride?
Fishing village
Sleepy?? How about a long house?
Another sight along the way
The country is beautiful


A view on the way
Suspension bridge
A stop for a shot
Small village
the countryside

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

48 thoughts on “Vietnam Easy Riders

  1. Hi Owen. We (self and hubby) are in Nha Trang for 1 day from a cruise ship, 31st March, and would love to spend the time there touring on the back of a motorbike instead of the boring old organised tour booked through the cruise company. Are you able to help out.
    Thanks ….Julie

  2. Hi Owee, great blog and information you are sharing here. I will be travelling with my young boy, (3 + years old) in December, intending to go from South to North or North to South for 30 days. We would like to do a trip to Sapa, but worries that it gets too chilly and there will not be heating at night. Any advice you could give on this?

    We would also like to tour the central highlands, experience Vietnam in a non touristy way, from Dalat to Hoi-an/Hue before we head to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park to do some caving at Paradise Caves etc. What would be the best way to travel and the associated costs? Would you recommend the Phong Mha Ke Bang National Park? (as I did not see this destination on your blog)

    Many thanks for any help in advance and sorry for the barrage of questions. Looking forward to hear from you!

    1. At the moment I am guiding a tour in the highlands. I will email you with more details including about the Phong nga area as soon as possible

  3. Hi
    Four of us will be travelling from Nha Trang to Dalat in mid-December. We have made the trip on the bus before, and never want to do that again!
    Could you please send me a price for the four of us to go up on motorbikes?
    Many thanks, Joanne

  4. Hi Owee,
    Have just found your website and blog as part of my research for a trip later this year.
    Our group of 4 (2 couples) were thinking of 3 weeks in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia but I now think we are trying to do too much in 3 weeks.
    I think we will now spend the entire 3 weeks in vietnam.
    I love the sound of the Easy Rider trip from Nha Trang to Hoi An.
    Can you give me a bit more detail such as cost, luggage restrictions etc.
    We are thinking either September of November this year.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks, Robert.

  5. hi there. my friends and I will be traveling there in vietname. are there easy riders from Ho chi minh to da lat? how much will it cost..we’ll be 6-8 pax.

  6. Hi Owen,

    I’m currently in nha trang and looking to go on an easy rider one day tour of the countryside. Do you have any companies you can recommend?


  7. Hi Owen,

    I love reading your blog. My husband and I (young adventurous couple) live in HCMC. With busy work schedule, we did not organize any trips for the upcoming holiday weekend (April 26-30). So, this is a plea! We would like to explore Dalat. I was reading from your blog that the drive from Nha Trang to Dalat (or reverse) is fantastic. How long will it take to do an easy riding that you describe above from Nha Trang to Dalat? Can we rent one motorbike and join the group? Any recommendations for tour companies and hotels in Dalat? We are budget travelers, and for hotels we ask only that the room be clean. Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you soon. The flights to Dalat are very expensive, so I need to figure out what is the best/affordable way to do this trip (to Dalat via Nha Trang or vice versa). It looks like we may have to take a bus.

    1. Thanks…. The drive is spectacular and usually takes 3.5 hours if hurries and 4 or 5 with multipal stops. I might suggest siply taking a bus to Dalat and renting a motorcycle. You can then hire an easyrider to escort you on a tour around the area. Bus to Dalat from Saigon is 7.5 hours and to Nha Trang about 4.
      I usually stay in the dreams…. a bit more than budget.

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