Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Vietnam N.W cycling holidays...
Karina Lehrner, Santa Cruz, USA
Redspokes, you did it again! Trip three with you and once again, the result is an environment where we become a "family" cycling around a new country, with a local guide and a support team that join in the spirit of family as well. There are so many good memories, in all, the trip was a remarkable experience. Highlights include climbing the famed highway up and over a mountain pass. There were nearly no cars and it was one of those "pinch me, this can't be real moments in life". Stopping and learning about a family in the countryside growing rice, thanks to Phong's dedication to connecting us to Vietnamese culture, was another of many highlights. Thank you, redspokes! Now, will it be Tibet, Peru, or Kyrgyzstan... See you soon.
Family Mulligan-Bennett, Bellingen, Australia
Our tour of North West Vietnam with our 14 year old daughter was so much more than we were expecting. Every day was interesting to the degree that it was hard to know what to look at: mountain people in traditional dress, a couple ploughing with a buffalo on a scarily steep slope, the school children trying out their English and easily keeping up with us on their vintage bikes, and beautiful scenery of mountains and rice fields. Our daughter managed extremely well with the help of our tour team and we only used the van for around 40km on some of the steepest climbs. A totally brilliant trip.
Judith Evans, York, England
This trip was such an adventure for us. Vietnam is an amazing and interesting place. The people have had to deal with so much recent history of battles and wars yet they are not resentful -they are friendly, lively, fun,positive, forward thinking and proud of their country. The scenery and countryside was varied and spectacular- made so much more interesting by Phong our guide who seemed to be able to answer all our many questions be it flora,fauna,history geography economics etc.-his command of English even allowed him to joke and tease- quite remarkable when it is not your first language. The cycling lived up to expectations- and for me was quite a challenge but I'm proud to say I completed it without having to resort to the support van -even the 26km climb. The downhills and stunning views were well worth the hard toil up hill. I would certainly recommend this holiday to anyone who cycles-a fabulous introduction to Vietnam.
Alistair , York, England
An excellent and memorable trip. As many others have commented Phong our guide is just great. Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable and rightly proud of his country. We all really enjoyed the whole trip, great views, lovely people, enough of a challenge without being impossible and a feeling of really being in Vietnam and not viewing it from within a tourist bubble. We loved it.
Louise Ryan, Umina Beach, NSW, Australia
I loved everything about this trip! We were lucky that our small group size allowed for highly personalized attention from our guides. In fact, our tour leader, Phong, felt more like a knowledgeable friend and travelling companion than a paid guide. His outstanding command of English allowed for lots of fun banter as well as meaningful discussions, especially about Vietnamese history and culture. I learned so much. I found the cycling challenging in a positive and often exhilarating way. I'll be coming back again to do the North East Vietnam trip with Phong for sure!
Jonathan Pearce, Marrickville, NSW, Australia
North-West Vietnam is a beautiful part of the world and excellent for mountain biking! The hills were challenging- the views were worth it and the downhills exhilarating. Culturally, we were lucky enough to have our trip coincide with the 60th commemoration of Dien Bien Phu, meeting interesting groups of veterans en route in local hotels. Their interest and generosity was touching- plenty of shared rice wine!Phong and his crew were first rate: helpful, patient and always available to help us experience interactions with the local culture and people. hotels and food were great.
Barbara Bennett, Swanage, UK
This is a wonderful area of Vietnam to visit and bicycle tour is a great way to see it. I went on a southern cycle tour about 8 years ago with a different tour company and although interesting - this was quite a different experience. This was much more the Vietnam of regional costumes, terraced rice paddies and wandering livestock. The redspokes tour was well organised and all accommodation was sufficient with possibly one exception - however we were staying in the only guest house in town so poor plumbing and a rock hard bed had to be overlooked. Overall very enjoyable.
Jean Mc Arthur and Andrew Credland, Wellington, New Zealand
Our trip to northwest Vietnam was a true adventure... biking up and down mountains offering spectacular scenery, winding our way through valleys where terraced paddy fields and tea plantations cling to seemingly impossible terrain, being invited into people's homes and experiencing their generosity and ingenuity, eating meals in local people's living rooms (cum cafes), laughing with children... laughing with each other.
Dermot and redspokes did a brilliant job... establishing the culture within the group, ensuring the organisation ticked over smoothly. I can't imagine any better way to experience the people and the countryside than biking it with a group of like-minded people. Well done Dermot: the fact that nine of us had travelled with redspokes before says it all. The big question is - where to next?
Paula Dyche, London, England, UK
I don't think there could be a better way to experience Vietnam than cycling around the northern loop from Hanoi to Sapa. One of the great aspects of the trip was that you are on the bike all the time which allowed you to experience the contrasting landscapes - rice fields, mountains, villages and towns. You get a real taste of daily life - you happen upon events - stop to admire someone's pig, watch rice pickers, sample some local food. Some of the days I found tough but Dermot and his crew were there to keep me moving and there were carefully planned 'strategic' stops where you can see the table with refreshments up the hill/mountain that you need to get to. The rest days were well placed in the itinerary and meant that we had time to explore Sapa and Hanoi, stay in more luxury accommodation and sample some great food.Going on a redspokes holiday (this was my second one) is like going away with friends on an adventure!
Peter Marsden, Blackbool, England, UK
Vietnam was memorable... for its 'off the tourist trail' cycling, its stunning rural scenery and the genuine welcome of its people. What do I most remember? Long, steep punishing climbs (to 1,900 metres) and adrenaline fuelled downs. Mountain scenery, especially the lush greens of terraced paddy fields clinging vertically to the hillsides. Chance encounters on the road with exotically dressed hill tribe people and a run in with a stubborn road-blocking buffalo. And above all the camaraderie of the road - cycling and sharing experiences with like-minded people. A once in a lifetime holiday (at a bargain cost)... that is etched permanently in my memory banks.