5 Weeks in Asia: Costs
A Quick Trip Out of FRA
Money Problems in Beijing
72 Hour Visa Free Transit of Beijing
Scams in Beijing
The Angkor Experience
The VIP Sleeper Bus Experience in Cambodia
Sleepy Kep, Cambodia
Arranging Visas on the Move
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Mekong Delta
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Easy Riders Tour
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Tailored Hoi An
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Solo Motorbiking
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Halong Bay
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Sapa
Scams in Vietnam
6 Hours in Bangkok
Scams in Bangkok
A First-Timer First Class Experience
Both locals and foreigners head to Da Lat to escape the intense heat of summers in Vietnam. Once there, it is a pretty laid back town with parks to relax in, plenty of hiking, and temples and pagodas to see via motorbike. Another popular activity to embark on leaving out of Da Lat is an Easy Rider tour.
The Easy Riders are men with motorbikes who can take you on anywhere from day-trips to week-long adventures exploring the Vietnamese countryside. The “original” group of Easy Riders are relatively older, but there are also a ton of younger Easy Riders. They typically have a pretty good to very good grasp of the English language so you are not only hiring transportation for some sight-seeing, but also a guide.
As soon as I heard about the easy riders I knew that it was something I was interested in. It would give me the ability to reach areas I otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and a guide who knows the area and the language to gain additional insight.
I knew I was headed to Hoi An afterwards, and ideally wanted to take the Easy Rider tour the whole way there. Alas, even though I save up and splurge on experiences, I was outpriced to make it all the way to Hoi An – it would have been a four or five day journey. Instead, I elected to take a two day journey to Boun Ma Tout and take a bus from there to Hoi An afterward. The two-day option of the Easy Rider tour cost around $155, whereas the 5-day journey to Hoi An would have been double that. That covered transportation, lodging, and some of my meals. Additional food expenses were around $6 and transportation to Hoi An from Boun Ma Tout was about $14.
Now, I was traveling to Vietnam during the somewhat rainy season, which definitely made some moments on the Easy Rider tour a little bit less enjoyable — and a little scary! I remember less than ten minutes out from our hotel after the first day the bike almost went down… and the absolute last thing I wanted was for myself and my stuff to be covered in mud. Luckily, my guide and driver was able to correct the slip and kept the bike upright.
Other than than brief moment thinking that I was going to spend the rest of my trip covered in mud, the Easy Riders tour was amazing. I was able to see an area of the country that I otherwise would not have been able to, I was able to gain some insight from a local who was able to speak Vietnamese and some amount of the languages of the minority tribes, and who was able to explain things to me that I knew I didn’t understand, and other things that I didn’t even know that I didn’t understand.
To contact Phillip, my Easy Rider guide, visit his website or email him at philliptan2001 [at] yahoo.com.
I’ll let the beauty of the central highlands of Vietnam speak for itself. You can view the rest of my photography here.
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