Riders' Reviews

Overal, I thought this trip was great! Dat was fantastic guide, friendly, helpful, professional – and did a great job of introducing us to Vietnamese culture through some legends, food and explaning about argiculture.. What would have been nice is if we had more days with definite goals (I like cycling from one landmark to another landmark) even though it is difficult to balance with showing us the variety in the country personally. I would have like to learn more about how to say words properly(sh) in Vietnamese and maybe more still about the culture/history but I think that the balance was probably good. 10 - 23 Feb, 2016

Calvin Scott Dick from Canada

The tour was very good – an excellent way to see many parts of the country in a two week period.
Dat was an exceptional guide. It is hard to think that that someone else could be better. He was very helpful in many ways, often doing more to help us than we would expect.
The biggest problem we faced was arriving at the hotel and finding it closed during th Tet holiday. It was nice that things worked out as well as they did.
If we were American, the tour value would be exceptional, but our Canadian dollar has fallen a lot in the last  few months so I can only say good. For what we received, it was certainly reasonable. If someone else,asks me, I will recommend your company – especially it Dat is the guide. 10 - 23 Feb, 2016

Edmund Peter Dick from Canada

It was a great trip, a great way to see Vietnam, experience the culture and learn about its history. We saw so many things we would not have seen driving by car. The trails and back roads we took helped us to see so much of the way of life of the people of Vietnam. We enjoyed the food so much, got to try many new things and specialties of the country. Loc was an excellent guide, took great care of us, his English was excellent and he was very knowledgeable the history of the country. Cuong was an excellent driver in the crazy traffic of Vietnam. He was also very helpful with bike set up and helping us with picnics.

Great tour, great itinerary with lots of diversity. Everyday was an adventure! 01 - 14 April, 2016

Dave and Wendy from Canada

We have just returned to South Africa from our trip to your wonderful country.  First off let me say that our cycle experience with your company was absolutely first class.  From the very beginning, when we met Thang at the airport, to when we parted company with your Cambodian guide, Art, at Siem Reap airport we were treated so well.
 
 Let me start at the beginning.  Our initial booking and all the subsequent hundreds of emails I sent were answered promptly and with exact information.  Thang is an asset to your company.  Everyone absolutely loved him.  He has a super sense of humour, he is courteous, well informed and always helpful. We also appreciated that we had the other guides with us.  They too always looked after us. The few times one of us got lost was sorted out quickly. Our cycles and helmets were perfect.  The iced towels at the end of each section of our ride were such a nice touch and so welcomed as were the abundance of cool drinks, cold water and snacks. I would recommend your company to everyone and will write an article about our experience in one of our magazines. I will also write a reference on Trip Advisor. (please let me know if you have a link)  Let me also say that we enjoyed it when you joined us on the trip.   Please thank Thang for us. We won’t forget him. He is a fine young man.
 
We realised how much went into planning this trip.  The driver with the bikes was always there when we rode up sweating and in need of a rest. The driver of our bus and his little assistant were so pleasant and helpful.  Please let them know we appreciated them so much.   
 
 Some of our party, in fact only two, found Art a little difficult to understand and I think they wrote this in their assessment of him.  I, personally think they were far too critical as I found Art a wonderful guide.  He too was courteous, well informed and went out of his way to see that we were looked after. I recommend him highly.  Please let him know that we enjoyed him as a guide. His tour of the Anghor Wat and the other temples was fantastic.  We loved riding around in that area.  The cycle ride on the wall of the dam was so beautiful and we have wonderful pictures of us cycling in that area.
 
Van, thank you for all the planning that went into this trip.  Thank you for giving us Thang and Art as guides and thank you for an amazing insight into your country and its people.   If I have one criticism it will be that the litter all over is out of control and if both Vietnam and Cambodia want to promote tourism the governments must go on an all out campaign to get the communities to clean up their areas. The people involved in tourism should also get together to ensure that your government takes a strong stand on this.  What a pity to spoil such a beautiful place. 25 Feb - 06 Mar, 2016

Moira Clark party of 10 from South Africa

We have just returned to South Africa from our trip to your wonderful country. First off let me say that our cycle experience with your company was absolutely first class. From the very beginning, when we met Thang at the airport, to when we parted company with your Cambodian guide, Art, at Siem Reap airport we were treated so well. Let me start at the beginning. Our initial booking and all the subsequent hundreds of emails I sent were answered promptly and with exact information. Thang is an asset to your company. Everyone absolutely loved him. He has a super sense of humour, he is courteous, well informed and always helpful. We also appreciated that we had the other guides with us. They too always looked after us. The few times one of us got lost was sorted out quickly. Our cycles and helmets were perfect. The iced towels at the end of each section of our ride were such a nice touch and so welcomed as were the abundance of cool drinks, cold water and snacks. I would recommend your company to everyone and will write an article about our experience in one of our magazines. I will also write a reference on Trip Advisor. (please let me know if you have a link) Let me also say that we enjoyed it when you joined us on the trip. Please thank Thang for us. We won’t forget him. He is a fine young man. We realised how much went into planning this trip. The driver with the bikes was always there when we rode up sweating and in need of a rest. The driver of our bus and his little assistant were so pleasant and helpful. Please let them know we appreciated them so much. Some of our party, in fact only two, found Art a little difficult to understand and I think they wrote this in their assessment of him. I, personally think they were far too critical as I found Art a wonderful guide. He too was courteous, well informed and went out of his way to see that we were looked after. I recommend him highly. Please let him know that we enjoyed him as a guide. His tour of the Anghor Wat and the other temples was fantastic. We loved riding around in that area. The cycle ride on the wall of the dam was so beautiful and we have wonderful pictures of us cycling in that area. Van, thank you for all the planning that went into this trip. Thank you for giving us Thang and Art as guides and thank you for an amazing insight into your country and its people. If I have one criticism it will be that the litter all over is out of control and if both Vietnam and Cambodia want to promote tourism the governments must go on an all out campaign to get the communities to clean up their areas. The people involved in tourism should also get together to ensure that your government takes a strong stand on this. What a pity to spoil such a beautiful place. Keep well and the very best regards, 06 Mar 2016

Moira Clark party of 10 from South Africa
Five girlfriends of mine, three from Bunbury, one from Perth and one from Rockingham Western Australia and I, just completed our cycle tours with Vietnam Backroads on March 8 2016. It was the most enjoyable and memorable cycle tours we ever experienced.
 
My first contact with Mr Van was around 18 months ago when I was searching a reputable cycle tour company in Viet Nam.  I wanted to be an off beaten track cycle tour because I wanted to see the beauty of the country, see how local people live, see the rice field etc, etc.  So, I started my search with the help of TripAdvisor on the topic. To my surprise many people mentioned 'Van The Man', as the best of man to provide cycle tours I was searching for.  It helped me made an informed decision when I read positive comments from fellow travelers in TripAdvisor about Mr Van, and for this reason I would like to thank those who contributed their comments on Vietnam Backroads Cycle Tours.
 
Mr Van is a man with integrity. During my correspondence through emails, he patiently answered all my questions about safety, routes, bikes, point of interests and other matters related to the tours. If he was not able to give me his answers straight away, he would come back to me as soon as possible.  Mr Van is very professional, honest, kind, friendly and very helpful. He always assured me that everything would be ok and I trusted him.  Mr Van honoured everything he has said during our correspondence and I would like to say 'thank you' Mr Van.
 
Our cycle tours started from Dong Hoi after spending one night with Paloma cruise in Ha Long Bay. When we arrived at Dong Hoi Airport Mr Van's two guides, Mr Dat and Mr Loc were there to greet us.  They both were very polite and helped us carry our luggage to the van and we were introduced to Mr Cuong our 'cool' driver and off we went for lunch.  After lunch Mr Dat and Mr Loc introduced us to another 'cool' driver Mr Vu who drove a truck where our bicycles were kept. 
Thank you Mr Vu for keeping our bikes cleaned everyday.
 
What can I say about Mr Dat? He was very professional indeed, from the start to the finish. He excelled himself in all ways. His attention to details has amazed me. In my group, one was completely vegetarian, one is a part vegetarian and I don't eat pork and from day one we met Mr Dat remembered all of our needs and he made sure that we had the right food to eat.  He also sterilized our chopsticks, spoons and forks in hot water and reminded us whether it was safe for us to have ice cubes with our drinks. His knowledge about history of Viet Nam and all places we visited were just amazing and informative.  Mr Dat was very proud of his country. To make our journey in the van much more interesting, he always told us stories after stories. We started our new day with Mr Dat by saying ' are you ready?' and we all have to say 'always ready!!!' He faced each morning with a big smile on his face which made our days brighter.  Thank you, Mr Dat.  You are a gem.  We will never forget you.
 
Now, Mr Loc.  He is very witty, funny, and it was fun to be with and he had great sense of humor. He has made our 'challenged' days on the bike a bit lighter especially when the uphill seemed had no end every time we turned around the corner. Mr Loc was always there for us especially for the five of us who sometimes struggled to push a bit more up hills. He sang us songs 'Hallo Vietnam' which encouraged us to ride to the finishing line of that day. One of Mr Loc passions in life is photography. He took beautiful photos along the way and shared his photos with us. I hope someday he will pursue his gifted talent in photography. Thank you, Mr Loc.  I will treasure the experience to cycle with you and Mr Dat for a long time to come. A big personal thank you for those wonderful experience you've captured on videos and photos for me to share with my family and friends back in Australia.
 
Finally, I would like to show my appreciation to Mr Van who had worked so hard to provide us with the most memorable and educating cycling trips for my group. It was so awesome to ride along the Ho Chi Minh trail (west). The scenery was just breathtaking and magic. Camera did capture the beauty of the jungles, rivers, valley, people, rice paddy, etc. but you need to be there to experience it. It was liberating. 
 
When the tours came to an end, we all wished it never ends. We were so saddened that it ended so quickly.  The four staff members and my group shared jokes and stories, and we became one big happy family for the duration of our tours. It was just magic.
 
I would highly recommend Vietnam Backroads to those who would like to see beautiful Vietnam from off beaten tracks... the real beauty of the country.
 
A huge thank you to our team - Mr Dat, Mr Loc, Mr Cuong and Mr Vu. You are just so awesome!!!! You excelled yourself beyond anyone's expectation. Well done and thank you!!!
Until we meet again soon for another tour, I hope .. 24 Feb - 08 Mar, 2016
Swie Lan Wiggins from Bunbury Western Australia

Hi Van,

On behalf of myself and my family I would like to say thank you to you and your crew for making our holiday in Vietnam a success.  The itinerary you planned for this trip, both the types of riding that we did and the activities involved, fit our needs perfectly - and Dat was an absolutely excellent guide - friendly, energetic, and both very knowledgeable and very helpful.  When things didn't go quite perfectly (like when the hotel we were booked into in Nha Trang was closed) we correctly had complete confidence that things would work out.  Overall, your support team took great care of us.

Because of the ages and commitments of our boys, this was the trip of a lifetime - it will very probably be the last time we will ever have to be together on a holiday excursion like this. I am happy to say that we picked the right country, the right company to help us, and the right tour!  As I said in my written evaluation, if anyone asks, it will be easy for me to recommend Vietnam as a destination and Vietnam Backroads as a tour company.

I hope that it is alright to add a couple of thoughts.

On your website I see that there are some pictures and videos of various tours.  I have many pictures to go through from our trip.  If you are interested, after I go through them I can send you five or six of ours that you can add to your collection if you wish.

A year and a half ago, Nancy and I did a bike trip in Albania that was advertised as a UN World Heritage Site tour.  (also an excellent adventure)  In reflecting on your tour, I wonder whether you might wish to consider using a similar title to describe the tour we took.  As we visited five UN world heritage sites (more than we saw in Albania), it would be a very accurate description and perhaps would draw more attention to the tour, at least for certain people. 10 - 23 Feb, 2016

Ed Dick Nancy family of 5 from Canada

- It was really well organised and the route taking us through different landscapes and settings was great
- Dat was great. Very good guide, knowledgeable, easy to get on with, looked after us extremely well and made sure we enjoyed ourselves and tried lots of local food. Patient (especially with me taking photo's, and trying to make it up the pass!) and very good at setting the right pace
- Cuong (I have likely spelt his name incorrectly - sorry). We felt very safe with him at the wheel, and I am trying to adopt his patience with driving now I am back behind the wheel
- Very happy with the accommodation. I think I chose the two stars when I booked, but the majority of the accommodation was four stars. If this is normal practice than you should advertise that, as that makes the tour better value for money
- Bikes - would have liked to have been able to adjust the handle bars (higher)
- The boat trip in Nha Trang was not our cup of tea (party boat). It would have been good to know beforehand what kind of trip it was so we could have chosen to do that, or something else on our own that day. 8 - 19 Dec 2015

Birgitte and Fiona from Australia

Dear Quang,
We really appreciated the extremely well organized tour. Everything from 1st contact to the last day of our tour was perfectly organized and we felt in very good hands at all times. The bikes have been in good condition and have been adjusted individually to each one of us.
The layout of the tour has been well chosen. We enjoyed crossing rice fields and riding through backroads of beautiful Vietnam as much as climbing mountains within the rainforest. The variety of each single day of the tour gave a great taste of how diverse the country really is. Supplies throughout the tour have been perfect. Whenever a break was needed, everything was there: drinks, snacks, fresh fruits, warm lunch and even for us Germans, plenty of cold beer to enjoy after each stage of the tour!!!
Accommodation on the tour was also well organized. Outside the main cities options have been rather limited and therefore basic but we always found a place to have a shower and bed to sleep. Van and Tho always did a fantastic job by selecting places and food for lunch and/or dinner. The variety and taste have been amazing.
Besides the tour itself, Backroads also did a great job by choosing “must-see” stops in Vietnam like the Amazing Cave, Khe Sanh, Da Krong Bridge, Imperial City or My Son. Our guide Tho was always well prepared to give us huge background information on all the sites. This has been a great chance for all of us to learn more about the history of Vietnam.
Thank you very very much Tho for the tour and the extra time and effort you took to keep us happy at all times.
Van, thank you for the overall organization and support. We can clearly recommend to use Backroads for any tour in Vietnam. Great job! From February 23, 2015
 Ps: We also hope to see (and get) all the pictures that have been taken on the tour!!

David, Kai, Daniel, Moritz, Matthias and Jesco from Germany

Loved it! Tried to think of a negative but cannot!
Despite the deadful road surfaces we always felt completely safe in our driver's hands.
Dat was funny and charming, very knowledgeable and always thoroughly professional.
We would recommend Vietnam Backroads to our friends without hesitation.

Mark Tunstall party from UK

It was fantastic experience for my 2 boys and myself. Dat we could not rate more highly. He was very engaging and very informative on the Vietnam history. That we were traveling through. The fruit stop we all enjoyed. We would highly recommend Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours. The bikes we could not fault nor the hotels. However, I would strongly state that our fantastic experience came about through our excellent guide Dat. This attention to hygiene was brilliant. We wish Dat and your company all the very best for a successful future.
Don, Ben, same Robinson. 17 -18 19 - 20 Dec, 2014

Don Robinson family from Australia

It has been a magnify experience. I would definitely do it again and I will recommend it to friends. The only comment I would like to mention it is about the seat off the bike. It is quite hard so after a while riding it hurts. Even though this is little detail, the tour was amazing! 03/09/14

Adrian Sancho Garcia from Spain

We had a wonderful tour filled with really good cycle guide Dat who  was very helpful, friendly and full of an excellent knowledge and great recommendations for any and all our needs. Thank you to Miss Quang who was very helpful when we organise the booking and also thank to our driver and all the team from Vietnam Backroads.

we will recommend your company and will post a good review on Trip Advisor as well. 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 June 2014

David Frot from France

This was such an incredible experience, I'm so happy we chose Vietnam Backroads Bicycle Tours. I contacted your company because of reviews on Trip Advisor and after emailing 5 - 10 different cycling tour companies. I chose Vietnam Backroads because of the exceptional customer service and dedicated attention of Quang - she is an asset to your business ! We have now finished the tour and we ave been extremely impressed by the quality & professionalism of your team. Dat is every knowledgeable and enacted . Nothing is too much trouble for him and he is a patient teacher-i'm a new cyclist still learning how to manage a bike and he has been very helpful! Cuong was very professional & friendly & always on time. I can not say enough about this this experience an d will recommend your services to friends and write a review on Trip Advisor of course! June 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23, 2014

Laura Maya from Australia

Hi Vietnam Backroads,

Had a fantastic time!
An amazing way to see the real Vietnam with a fun, friendly + very knowledgeable guide.
Thank you very much for providing such an excellent bike tour. We were very sad when the end of the third day came + hope to book another tour soon.

Nisha_ May 1, 2014

Nisha Lucy Taylor from New Zealand

Hi Vietnam Backroads,
Great trip. Thang is wealth of knowledge + food choices were brilliant. Cuong- the driver was great, friendly and really knew his way around!
All around great time. Some bum but enjoyed it immensely.
Cám ơn
Joe_ April 18, 2014
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You guys rock!
Allan Whitehead_ April 18, 2014

 

Joe and Allan from Australia

Hi Vietnam Backroads,
Our guide was very attentive, knowledgeable, kind. We were in very good hands. He is a lovely person. He mad the tour special. The driver- Mr. Huy was also wonderful.
We had lots of snacks, meals, drinks. All really good.
The sights biking and on car and ferry were so nice, including the visits to the markets.
The Mekong Delta is a unique and beautiful place.
THANK YOU!...April 26, 2014
 

Matteson from USA

Hi Vietnam backroads,
Recommend cycling early in the morning- the heat is very bad in the middle of the day. Frozen water in bottles might be good to help with the heat.
Hotels should serve espresso coffee
I love the backroads. Wow, much better than I expected
Highlights:
- Excellent guide, so friendly, so helpful
- Smiling, cheerful, happy driver
- Great bikes
- Viet Cong boat trip, crocodile farm
- Scenery is superb
.......Sarah Thornton from Australia
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Best tour ever. Dat is excellent and we were looked after perfectly
We also love the drive hugely. He was very good
Dat is the best guide I have seen
I love the tour
Thank you so much
Dean Thornton from New Zealand
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Great bicycle tour and our guide was excellent
Ashley and Lynn Lindon from Australia

The Lindon and Thorton from Australia and New Zealand

Thank you Quang,
We are home now unfortunately, having just spent our first week back at work.

Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed our Vietnam Backroads trip, despite my feedback. Our tour guide Dat and Mr Van were fantastic in immediately recognising my limitations and adjusted the cycling routes and distances accordingly to more closely suit my abilities.
The tour itself was good value for money and extremely well organised with high quality, centrally located hotels and a never ending supply of delicious local food!
We loved our time in Vietnam and agree that cycling Vietnams backroads is definitely the best way to see the country.
We would certainly consider another trip with you (at a shorter distance!) and recommend Vietnam Backroads to friends and family. 16th - 29th Mar 2014

Elle and Matt from Australia

Hello Vietnam Backroads,

We are both back home and into our normal work routines - our two weeks holiday flew by.

The whole trip was very enjoyable, well organised and we would certainly recommend it.  The two parts (Vietnam & Cambodia) were very different with the Mekong Delta providing the most rewarding part of the trip for me. The Cambodia part had some challenges but overall was still good.

In Vietnam, Dat was a superb guide and riding with him was a great experience.  He was enthusiastic and made a special effort to explain to us what we were looking at, helped us to engage with the local people and also found us a huge selection of fruit and snacks to try.  I felt that he genuinely wanted to give us the best tour that he could and to show us as much as he could.  He balanced his time between Tamar and us well and kept us all happy.

The hotels were all OK – the Chau Doc Hotel was spectacular and (for us) it would have been good to have arrived a little earlier so that we could use the swimming pool and facilities.

The only part of the Vietnam tour that we didn’t enjoy was the visit to the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields memorial.  It is a painful and difficult topic and I understand why it was included but the town and the van ride to Ba Chuc was rather depressing and I would rather have spent the time doing another activity in the area.  There is a much better memorial and museum just outside Phnom Penh and I suggest including this as part of the Cambodian trip instead.

In Cambodia, our guide Chek was very focused on leading us from place to place – sometimes at a faster pace than we really wanted (I have a lot less photos from this part of the trip !).  He was always polite but we both got the impression that he was less interested in showing us Cambodia and more interested in getting the kilometres completed.  The van driver (Jon) seemed a lot more fun but unfortunately only had very limited English.  There were still great moments such as the picnic under the sugar palms and the (unplanned?) visit to a pottery village at Kampong Chhang which were both real highlights.

The boat trip across Tonle Sap was cancelled which apparently happens every dry season.  We therefore had to spend 7 hours in the van driving the route instead – this was not a very good day and I strongly suggest that this part of the Cambodian trip is revisited during the dry season.  After we found out that there was no boat trip we suggested that we could visit a floating village from Siem Reap.  Chek checked with his office and arranged the trip but I am sure with a little more advance planning we could have had an even better day and visited some more out of the way places.

Siem Reap is more of a tourist super highway than a back road so the end of the trip was very different to the start.  The temples at Angkor are superb and Siem Reap has a very lively ‘backpacker’ nightlife which was good fun and it was a good way to finish.

On a more serious note, Chek unfortunately had an accident towards the end of our first day in Siem Reap and had to have 6 stitches in his knee so he could not ride. I am very pleased to say that we saw him again on the last day and he was making a good recovery. 

The loss of our guide was handled very professionally.  Chek found an alternate guide (Chouy) who was very good and made our next day visiting the temples very enjoyable - even if he was a bit shaky and slow on his bike at times. 

Our hotels in Cambodia were all fine without being great.

I hope that this feedback is useful and feel free to ask for more details.

We both hope that we can find a way to come back visit you all again soon. April 2, 2014

Yours,

Nick and Jonathan

Nick and Jonathan from Canada

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