From the moment I knew we were coming to Vietnam, exploring it by motorbike was a must for me. Catherine not so much.
My feet don’t seem to be made for walking so for me there was no better way to see the country than buzzing around on the back of a motorbike. As we only had a short time in Vietnam we had to chose our trip wisely. After a lot of research (done in double quick time!), we picked a company that was highly rated on TripAdvisor and booked a one day tour with Mr Thong Easy Rider in Hoi An.
We opted out of driving as Catherine has a general fear of the beasts and the last time I drove one, I sent it head-on into a lamp post with myself and my dad on it!
The day started early with an 8am pick up from our hotel. We were greeted by the lovely Mr Thong and his co driver Mr Vinh and two motorbikes, not scooters. To our surprise we weren’t in a group, it was just the four of us and we were quickly whisked off as there was a lot of ground to cover.
Our first stop was the Marble Mountains. We were wowed by the beautiful pagodas, taken deep into caves full of history and immersed in the Buddhist culture as incense burned and prayers took place. Mr Thong was the perfect guide, explaining everything to us along the way, while others tours we saw just left their customers to figure it out for themselves.
Next stop was a fishing village where locals were making traditional fishing boats with bamboo and cow dung while the fisherman prepared their fresh catches which ranged from blue crabs to squid. We then rode the famous High Von Pass, which was featured in Top Gear as the most beautiful coastal road in the world. It really was breathtaking.
One of our highlights of the day was a swim at a local waterfall. We were greeted by hilarious, enthusiastic families all enjoying a picnic and it felt like we were a world away from the tourist hotspots. It really was an untouched wonder of nature, where the pool looked out onto sweeping views of the mountains. We had an hour to swim, relax and enjoy a pounding massage in the waterfall. We were treated like superstars as we were asked to have pictures taken with the locals who had apparently only seen girls like us in the movies.
The journey home was dubbed by Mr Thong as the “real Vietnam”. We drove back through the countryside surrounded by endless green rice fields being farmed and local villages bustling with Vietnamese riding push bikes.
We were genuinely interested in the history of Vietnam and Mr Thong loved it. If we loved his country then he liked nothing better than showing it to us and talking about it during many spontaneous stops throughout the day. We had such fun that before taking us back to the hotel, he offered to take us out for dinner. We shared beers and generally sat around and got to know each other, whilst having a good laugh at the same time.
For us this was one of the highlights of our six month trip. It’s suitable for small or large groups, informative, interesting, safe and importantly fun! We can’t recommend it enough.
If you decide to book any of the easy rider tours with Mr Thong, which range from one day to 15 day tours, make sure you take sun cream, water, long sleeved top and trousers, swimsuit and a big smile on your face.
For more information visit www.easyrider-hoian.com. Please note that only lunch is included in this day trip.