Safe and only way to see the Vietnamese country
We did a 10 day ride from Saigon to Hoi An, through the coast and up through the Central Highlands. My wife and I have never been on a motorcycle, and we had our guides, Ace and Kun, drive us while we sat behind them. Over the 10 days Ace and Kun became like family.
They are longtime friends, so cementing the camaraderie among us was easy. Their enthusiasm and love for their country was infectious, and their knowledge from history to farming and produce to local culture gave us an ability to see Vietnam as few get to see. We stopped at farms and tasted their own distilled rice and fermented wines, as well as meet several local minority clans and share their own rice wine and liquor. We swam in pools next to waterfalls. And they brought us to road stops and restaurants that gave us a true taste of Vietnamese cuisine. In the markets we saw (and tasted) local foods and produce with the unbridled enthusiasm from Kun. In the evenings over beer, Ace taught us new card games and we taught them both a few new ones as well. Always cheerful, always witty, Ace and Kun adjusted the itinerary and stops as they got to know us. A couple of things to note: you will always stay in air-conditioned rooms, but don't expect 4 or 5 star accommodations. If you want to stay in beautiful hotels with big staffs and sealed off from real locals, this trip is not for you. Also, 10 days on a motorcycle is a long journey for those not used to traveling this way. Fortunately we a bicycle riders at home, so our butts were maybe a little less sore. Still, 8 days would have been perfect, the last 2 days were a tad bit over. Ace mentioned his longest ride was 23 days, so it is possible. Tuan, the owner, is super easy to communicate with, and made all the arrangements easy and answered all my questions, no matter how many I asked in advance. I can write so much more about the trip, so much happened that will be top in our list of travels, and we travel a lot. In short, we miss our new best buds, Ace and Kun. This is the ONLY way to truly see Vietnam, get out of the tourist traps and get as local as possible. I would do this again, and in fact will as we will come back to Vietnam and tour some more..Travel QuirkySettle