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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Owee

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

48 thoughts on “Vietnam Easy Riders

  1. Hi Owen, first off thanks for all the great advice on travelling vietnam in general – just spent the last while reading your blog! I’m going to be arriving in nha trang on 16th April and staying for 2/3 days. I’ve just started looking into an easy rider trip to maybe dalat – just wondering if you have any advice as to who to contact. I’m a 27 year old solo traveller so want to make sure I go with a reputable person who will make me feel safe!! Thanks 🙂

  2. Hi Owen, awesome blog. I am travelling with my sister, brother (all mid-late 40’s) and two nephews (early 20’s) in Sept/Oct this year and it is the first visit for all of us. Will land in Hanoi and want to see Halong Bay and Hoi An but we would also like to do a motor bike tour (as passengers) for probably 2 night/3 days and was wondering if you have any suggestions both in itinerary and riders. Cheers

  3. Hi there Owee. I have my first trip to Vietnam coming up with my partner 21/03 to 04/04, having read TA and now making my way through your blogs I must say the information you have provided is a godsend !! I would like to do a 3 day trip from NT to Dalat taking in Lak Lake, waterfalls and an elephant ride along the way, I realise you may not personally be able to take us however any recommendations would be great (and a guide on cost as I don’t have a clue)…

    PS hope Mai’s foot is on the mend and the homestay is coming along!

    Best, P

  4. Hi, looking at coming to northern vietnam for 2 weeks in may/june 2013. would like to do something like land in hanoi, then do a tour through the mountains for 3-4 days on motorbikes, then maybe travel back up the coast in a leisurely way by bus or whatever staying 1-2 nights in a couple of places, then an overnighter on halong bay. interested in adventure, motorbikes, natural beauty, beaches. we are a married couple in our early 50’s travelling with our 7 yo son who is also quite adventurous and loves motorbikes. would love your thoughts on the weather side of things, approximate costs. (don’t mind being a bit rustic and basic in the mountains, but would like 4-5 star beach resorts and a 4-5 star junk experience.

    1. May and June are the perfect time of year. For a spectacular trip involving high mountains, glowing rice fields with minority hill Tribes, and some historic war locations, you might want to Fly to Nha Trang for beaches, then up to Dalat, Lak Lake, Buon Ma Thuot, Kom Tum, Kham Duc to Hoi An for another smaller beach stay.
      Indochina Sails is a reputable Junk company and you can find information on popular 5 star resorts in all locations on the Trip Advisor website.

  5. Hi Owee,

    We will be in Nha Trang in Nov. for half day and not sure what we can do in this raining season. Will you have easy rider tour in Nov? Are there any spa places in NT you recommend?

    Many thanks!!!

    1. Only half a day for the dest destination in Vietnam? Pity….. Yes you can visit one of the mud baths, or one of dozens of spas in the tourist area. If weather is good, i could do a short countryside tour. Simply contact me when you are here….. I am not hard to find.

  6. Hi…I,m looking at getting to Hoi An, from Nha Trang, around the 26th May….approx how much would that cost? How long would it take?

  7. Hi Owee,
    Would you consider doing a 4-5day trip from Nha Trang to Hoi An via Central Highlands for family of 4 in a jeep or car/van. (Two teenage kids 17/15 so not sure about them being on a bike)
    Timing would be around Apr 2/12.
    If not, any recommendations?

    BTW, love your blogs.

    Mimi

    1. Mimi… Of course I would however I am bookes for that time. I can certainly help organize a tour for you though. I will email you.

  8. Okay so not DaNang- how about Dalat? My mother (70) is very keen to do a 1/2 day or day trip using easy riders. Are they available Hue or Hoi An

    Thanks

  9. Hey will it be possible to recommend me a Rider in Da Nang somewhere July 2012, Just need a day tour to explore the country site

    Thanks

    1. Hi KT…. I really wish I could help you but in this instance I have nobody I can recommend. I have business cards for two riders but after spending some time talking with them, I concluded that I could not recomend them….. sorry, my reputation is always at stake so I am very careful about who I recomend. I can recommend a guesthouse that has a wonderful young woman running the place that might be able to set you up with a decent rider if you wish….Yu can email me directly by going to the Who is Owee Page

  10. Hi owee, can you recommend a reputable easy rider company in nha trang to go dalat? And also to travel in dalat itself. How much would be be from nha trang to da lat by er?

      1. Hi Owee, I see you have recommended some easy riders. I would like to go from Dalat to Nha trang this way. If you know of someone I can email or call whilst in Vietnam it would be much appreciated.

        1. Email me…. I can set you up with a good rider, or even do it myself. What are you looking for? Perhaps a 3 day from Dalat, or just a ride to NT?

          I will email yo

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