Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions about our tours and what to expect on the road. I you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you with more information.
What to Expect on one of our Tours
You can expect the full range of riding conditions on the road of Vietnam — rain, fog, wet roads, rocks, roadworks and other hazards. It’s all part of the adventure! Let us know whether you prefer riding on sealed roads, challenging trails or a combination of both. We will attempt to give you the level of adventure you are looking for, weather permitting! Please contact us if you have any questions.
The traffic looks like a free-for-all, but it’s not. There are fixed rules. They are just a different set of rules than the ones we are used to. Not that drivers don’t sometimes break the rules. The big difference is that in Western countries, a traffic light is just a suggestion and all intersections should be approached with caution.
Our 4X4 tours take us out in the mountains and countryside where the traffic is limited, and roads are clear. Be aware at all times there are other vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles and farm animals on the road. Always drive defensively and stay on the right side of the road and slow down when other people are on the road.
Payments and Deposits
Full payment must be made by the time we leave on the trip, we accept Visa, Master Card bank fees from 2-3% might apply.
Deposits: We require a deposit of approximate 200US$ to secure a booking. Deposits can be made to our Hanoi bank in local currency, US$ and by PayPal. Please contact us for full details.
Although Vietnam is a developing country and we visit some remote places, the quality of accommodation has improved greatly. In small towns we stay at local private guest houses, each double room will have air conditioning, private bath, hot water and mosquito nets on each bed. In some locations local home stays are available where the sleeping arrangements are made usually in a house on stilts all in one room. Each person will have a mattress, pillow and mosquito net with a shared toilet / shower in an out building. Silk sleeping sheets are available from Shops in Hanoi.
Some places have proper hotels with International TV, private showers and balconies (depends on location). We always try to take the best hotel or guest in town on our tours. Our tours are based on twin share, Single occupancy room are available for additional cost.
Meals and food on Tour:
We provide quality Vietnamese food on tour and take in the local seasonal specialties where available. Breakfast usually consist of a Pho Bo (noodle soup), My Tom (packaged noodles) or Eggs and bread with Jam. At lunch we provide picnic with bread, imported deli meats and cheese and “special supplies” we bring with us from Hanoi, It’s great stopping on a mountain pass or by a waterfall to take lunch and enjoy the view. Dinner is local fare with rice, tofu, vegetable and meat (pork, beef, buffalo or Chicken)
Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions we will do our best to accommodate There is rice and vegetables, eggs and tofu for vegetarian diets.
Travel Visa and Documents
Important notes: Your passport must be valid 6 months from date of entry in Vietnam, Please check to make sure your documents are up to date. A single entry 30 day tourist visa should suffice and varies in cost from country to country. ASEAN passport holders get a free visa on arrival. Please check with your local embassy before travel.
You should keep your passport or clear photocopy of your passport and Vietnam visa on you at all times when driving. you will be asked to hand it over to the hotel clerk at night where they will register you with the local police. it will be kept safe and returned to you when you check out of the hotel.
What is included and what to bring
Equipment available in Hanoi
Waterproof rain paints
Dry bag and bungee straps for your luggage
Sample Packing List
Here is a list of items that you should bring to make your self comfortable on tour
Personal Items to bring:
Long sleeve shirt
Warm sweater or fleece
Sandals or comfortable shoes
Sturdy boots for riding
Passport/money belt or wallet
Tooth paste / brush
We provide Dry Bags and bungee cords for your luggage to strap to the jeep. Try and bring a minim with you on tour. If you need to leave luggage in Hanoi you can leave it with the hotel and pick on your return to Hanoi. Please don’t leave any valuables in the left luggage. For larger groups we can arrange a support vehicle to carry your luggage while on tour. For an additional charge.
Drivers Licences and Travel Insurance
Vietnam now accepts international driving permits from most countries, you home driving license is fine for our tours. Please check with your health insurance provider to make sure they cover driving while in Vietnam
Drivers Licenses for self-drive tour: Your home country driving license will need to be converted to a Vietnamese drivers license, you will need a 3 month tourist visa and have your licence changed over, this takes three days and we cover the cost, Please contact us for more information.
Insurance: We strongly advise all overseas customers to obtain travel insurance before they arrive. You should have you own health insurance coverage that covers Vietnam, while international quality health facilities are available in Hanoi and HCMC, health care services in the countryside is of a lower standard. District towns have health facilities that include emergency, x-ray services and can help you deal with a minor accident, they will except payment at the end of treatment.
We do not offer third party liability insurance If involved in a accident while self driving tour with a local person we will work with them to make restitution in cash on the spot for damages to the other vehicle and if any medical aid is required. Medical care is very reasonably priced and in case of a small accident the cost is minimal. As an example: Trip to provincial town private medical center with 2 X-rays and doctor consultation 40 $US ( no broken bones to set in this case).
We are on a tour not a race.
It is best to avoid problems and drive slowly and safely, if you are in a accident, even if it is not your fault, you must be prepared to negotiate a payment or restitution on the spot.
We have a support vehicle available to follow us on tour to carry luggage and provide transport in-case of injury. Please contact us for details.
Be responsible drive safely.
The Weather in Vietnam changes drastically from North to center to the south please check the local forecast before you departure to see what temperatures are expected.
Weather North Mountains:
December to March: It can be cold and foggy in the high mountains with drizzly rain and wet conditions, The weather is very local in these regions and can change from valley to valley, it is usually dryer the closer you get to Laos this time of year. It can be sunny and warm, then change to a think fog quickly, so it is best to bring a warm layers for riding.
Temps: Low of 8ºc/45ºf to highs of 20ºc/70ºf
April to June: Is spring in the north, with warmer temperatures and clearer skies. there is still a chance of rains but this is a good time to travel in the north It starts to get hot in late May / early June but is still fine for traveling, bring a camel back to keep hydrated during the day and plenty of sun block.
Temps: Low of 17ºc/55ºf to highs of 32ºc/95ºf
July to September: The weather turns hot in the valleys and cool in the hills, there are more thunder storms and heavy down pours at this time of the year that effects the road conditions on the off road tracks and river crossings. The countryside is very green this time of year and the rice starts to turn golden as it gets ready for the harvest.
Temps: Low of 22ºc/65ºf to highs of 30ºc/85ºf
October to November: Is the best time of the year to travel in the north, cooler temperatures and clear skies make the mountains spectacular, the rice harvest starts late September and early October and make for picturesque rides through the high mountains. the harvest changes with the elevation, depending on the rains and location the harvest can continue into late October. There is typhoon season in September and October and that can effect weather and road conditions.
Temps: Low of 10ºc/47ºf to highs of 28ºc/75ºf
Weather Ho Chi Minh Trail and Central Vietnam:
December to March: It can be cold and foggy on the northern sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail ride but the further south we get the warmer it gets. the trade winds blow in from the north east and it makes for some waves and blustery weather from Hue to Hoi An.
Temps: Low of 19ºc/67ºf to highs of 28ºc/83ºf
April to June: Is spring in the north sections of the trail warmer temperatures and clear skies. there is still a chance of rains. the winds change from the west from Laos and it starts to get very hot in late April, but is still fine for traveling, bring a camel pack to keep hydrated during the day and sun block. the beaches along the coast and Hoi An are very nice this time of the year.
Temps: Low of 24ºc/74ºf to highs of 35ºc/95ºf
July to September: Hot weather and thunderstorms kick off this time of the year, the ride is The countryside is very green this time of year and the rice starts to turn golden as it gets ready for the harvest.
Temps: Low of 25ºc/78ºf to highs of 32ºc/92ºf
October to November: Is the best time of the year to travel in the north, cooler temperatures and clear skies make the ride spectacular, There is typhoon season in September and October and that can effect weather along the central coast.
Temps: Low of 20ºc/68ºf to highs of 30ºc/85ºf