Frequently Asked Questions:
This is the question everyone seems to get wrong, they tell you how great they are but the actual question is ‘Why Choose them over other Vietnamese bike tour companies’, So:
Firstly, and foremost, I am a biker providing tours for bikers. As a Manxman, I grew up in the Isle of Man around bikes and bikers, both on and off road and have experience of touring and taking tours in other places such as Australia, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the UK, I’ve taken my best and worst experiences and used that to build tours I hope you’ll enjoy so much you’ll want to come back before you’ve left. Over 70% of our customers are repeat customers.
At MAV we focus on taking you on the motorbike adventure of a lifetime whilst keeping you safe and each ride can be tailored to fit your riding skills, what you want to do and what you’d like to see. During most days on the tour, we can also change route or the kind of roads we are riding if you are finding it too hard or easy or just fancy doing more exploring.
You will have a guide that speaks both English and Vietnamese, so you will be able to understand where you are, what you are eating, the history of the area we are in, ask questions and be able to interact with the locals which is always a great part of the experience.
I also understand the standards of accommodation and food you’ll expect along the way and we always seek out the best for our tours and are also continually seeking out new accommodations as they appear and new places to visit as more remote areas open up.
Also riding through these areas is a privilege and we are committed to keeping a low impact on the local communities and the beautiful countryside we travel through which helps maintain great relationships with the people we meet and have got to know along the way. It’s called the land of smiles; the locals are always pleased to see us arrive and stop to chat.
If you are confused by the large number of different motorbike tour companies in Vietnam, it’s no surprise. Numerous new companies have started up in recent years, many of which are copies of copies of bike companies offering cheaper tours, which is very typical of South East Asia and unsurprisingly they have 1,000 great Trip Adviser reviews. Many aren’t experienced tour operators, without the knowledge or experience to make your tour special or be able to explain much in English.
They also don’t really have the infrastructure in place, local contacts and services to ensure a great tour and that any problems are solved smoothly. Many websites will tell you that you will stay in nice accommodation but it’s all just a sales pitch and here it isn’t seen as misleading not to then provide what they promise. A good indicator is that if the website you are looking at has poor grammar or translated English descriptions then take this as a warning signal.
The main one to avoid is the booking agent or tourism company that is not specifically a Motorbike Tour Company as they usually hire any guys who say they can guide or mechanic, but rarely can.
Yes, anywhere else you’d like to visit or see outside of our tour we can point you in the right direction of trusted partners. Whether that be other tours, transport, accommodation or simply local opinions on places you are considering visiting.
- We provide open face helmets with optional clear visors and drop-down sun shades plus all season HWK/MVK Motorbike water resistant, breathable Jackets made of 600d Condura fabric. Many riders prefer to bring their own gear to ensure a good fit for the tour but also many riders don’t wear jackets due to the heat and humidity plus we are exploring not racing.
- When riding the Minsk, panniers are provided and waterproof bags which either go inside the Minsk panniers or on the back. On the Hondas we’ll provide a large waterproof bag to put yours in, in case yours isn’t 100% monsoon proof.
- We also provide lightweight water proof trousers you can throw on quickly over your own during any down pours.
- We suggest that you bring a light weight water proof jacket as even on the clearest sunny day down pour can appear out of nowhere. We’ll always try to stop for a coffee or sugar cane drink if this happens, as often they only last 20 minutes.
People often bring a shoulder bag, however it can be hot and humid here and I prefer not to have a bag on my back for 10 days, so opt for a tank bag, tool belt bag for essentials, phone, cash etc. I use a magnetic tank bag and they’ve been my best piece of kit over the years, just great for easy access and you can just lift it off when we got in anywhere.
The Minsk motorbikes each has a set of panniers. We provide waterproof bags to put your things into the panniers. For electrical items and chargers, you should bring additional zip waterproof bags. Or if you wish you can bring a fully submersible waterproof bag which can be strapped to the back of your bike.
If you aren’t travelling with a support vehicle you should try to pack as light and small as you can. If you have items that you’d really like to bring and benefit the group such as a drone with extra heavy batteries, you can speak to your buddies and share the load. For larger groups we use support vehicles to carry gear not needed during the day.
Clean and modern toilets are now common throughout Vietnam. Our hotels and homestays have good bathroom facilities. Even in remote regions most petrol stations have modern bathrooms and toilets.
Mosquito nets are provided in accommodation where they are required, so you won’t need to bring your own.
You don’t need to bring a large sum of money as the tour is fully inclusive and now there are ATM’s throughout Vietnam. On the tour you’ll only need cash for alcohol or purchases. If you’d like to have some cash wait until you arrive and just withdraw Vietnamese dong from an ATM. You could bring US dollars but everything will be rounded up then.
Yes we do, the cost of course is going to be higher, the best thing to do, is contact us and we can discuss what you have in mind and provide you with a quote.
Yes, we’ve had several vegetarians on our tours and they’ve loved the food and felt there was a lot of choice in Vietnam.
Depending on what you want to see, the kind of riding you want to do and where you are from, there are numerous answers to this question. It’s best to contact us and we can discuss all the options available.
Not at all, you can leave items with your hotel in Hanoi, even if you aren’t staying there when you return or we can arrange for them to be forwarded to our final destination.
Many groups like to bring gifts for people and children in the less advantaged villages and communities we pass through along the way. We find that great gifts are coloured chalk to draw with which washes away, school supplies such as text books or stationery or small toys from your country that are enjoyable and have an educational side to them. Many Australians for example bring small Koala bears, which shows them a new animal and we can tell them where it is from and that it is indigenous to Australia.
Please don’t bring candy or sweets as the arrival of such things in the ethnic communities and tribes in the mountains has had a terrible effect on dental health, there is a candy stall right outside every school now. Also, anything that has a plastic wrapper creates litter as it will just be thrown on the floor. Vietnam has changed very rapidly in recent years and education is still catching up with that progress.