Vietnam Vespa Tour Overview

Duration: 7 Days (ex Ho Chi Minh)

Departs: Saturdays

Highlights: Explore Southern Vietnam on one of our restored classic Vespa Motorbikes. Tour and capture the feel of the famous and eye-opening city of Ho Chi Minh. Become apart of war history in Long Hai as you drive into the hills to overlook the sea caves that acted as protection for Viet Cong fighters. Feel young as you marvel over the ancient Cham ruins at Mui Ne. Turn French in Dalat, an Old French inspired city of abundant lakes, waterfalls and dramatic views. Lose yourself in the countries innumerable ethnic villages and breathtaking scenery. Finally get down and dirty in a therapeutic mud bath in Nha Trang.

Tour Type: Style rider category – Gear carried in support vehicle

Itinerary:

Day 1               –           Ho Chi Minh

Day 2               –           Mui Ke Ga

Day 3 – 4          –           Phan Thiet/Mui Ne

Day 5               –           Da Lat

Day 6 – 7          –           Nha Trang

Inclusions:

Fully restored 110cc or 125cc classic Vespa Motor scooters

Accommodation in Superior standard hotels

All meals

All fuel with mechanics on tour

Support vehicle

English speaking guides

All sightseeing options

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh

On day one of the tour, guests will have breakfast at their hotel with a pick up at 9am for a comprehensive city tour with guests riding pillion behind our drivers. Highlights include the People’s Committee Building, the famous former Opera House, Reunification Palace, Binh Thanh Market, and the historic Central Post Office and Notre Dame Church in Le Duan park . We’ll even embark on a short ferry ride across the river to get a perspective of 21st-century Saigon from District 2 that’s rarely seen by visitors. The tour includes a traditional Vietnamese lunch. The late afternoon is free for guests to further explore Saigon on their own before meeting back with the group for dinner.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh – Mui Ke Ga

We start early on the second morning of the tour, picking up our guests at their hotel at 6:15am. A few minutes later we’ll board a hydrofoil ferry for the 90-minute trip down the Saigon River to scenic Vung Tau, a seaside retreat south of Saigon on the South China Sea. Here we stop for breakfast

After breakfast and an orientation on your own Vespas, we’ll start our ride along the tropical coast through Ho Coc, Long Hai Village and Binh Chau (160 km).

The fishing village of Long Hai, lies 30km northeast of Vung Tau. Here we’ll visit Dinh Co Temple and nearby gravesite, drive into Long Hai hills for a spectacular panoramic view of the coastline and see caves where Viet Cong fighters hunkered down through months of shelling from South Vietnamese forces during the war. Afterward, we’ll visit Long Hai Temple to the Martyrs and the unique Cao Dai Memorial, followed by a picnic lunch on the beach.

In the late afternoon, we’ll drive on through Ho Tram and La Gi to the pristine beach at Mui Ke Ga, where we’ll overnight for a well-earned night of four-star slumber. Dinner is included.


Day 3: Mom Da Chim – Phan Thiet/Mui Ne

After breakfast at Mom Da Chim, we’ll hit the pavement again for our third day of riding. The morning’s journey takes us along the scenic coastal road from Mui Ke Ga to Phan Thiet (55 km) and its sister town to the north, Mui Ne. Shortly after leaving Mom Da Chim, we’ll visit a local market and a handmade rice paper manufacturer. Closer to Phan Thiet, we’ll pay a visit to ancient Cham ruins just south of Mui Ne and stop for a fresh seafood lunch on a bluff overlooking the crashing surf of the South China Sea at Cay Bang restaurant. Here we will spend the two nights at our beachside hotel. In early afternoon, guests are free to spend the rest of the day with their toes in the sand, or perhaps learning to kiteboard or windsurf at one of the many instruction sites along the beach. We’ll meet again at 6:30pm for a sumptuous Vietnamese-style seafood dinner and, for night-owls, an evening of drinks at one of the chill and hip nightspots that dot the beach.

Day 4: Mui Ne

We’ll spend day four of the tour exploring Mui Ne and the surrounding region and relaxing on one of Asia’s least populated beaches. Our first stop: an early morning visit to the nearby fishing village, where local fishermen can be seen bringing in the previous night’s fresh catch from scores of colourful boats. A visit to the local market is followed by a cruise to the wind-softened sands of Mui Ne’s famous Red Sand Dunes, afire with colour in the morning sun.

On the way back into town we’ll stop by Mui Ne’s popular Fairy Stream and visit some of the lesser-seen local villages, where Vietnamese are going about their normal lives without concern for the touristy bustle a few kilometres away. We’ll lunch at one of Mui Ne’s favourite local seafood restaurants, Lam Tong. Guests are free to spend the remainder of the day relaxing as they wish, followed by dinner again as a group.

Day 5: Mui Ne – Da Lat

Day five of the tour will have us aiming for the sky – a 170-km ride northeast into Vietnam’s Central Highlands, up to the old French hill-town of Dalat. We’ll start the day with a stop at the White Sand Dune at an altitude 1,500 meters; Dalat is a city of abundant lakes, waterfalls, and dramatic mountain views

Dalat prides itself on the preservation of its unique architecture, much of which dates from the French colonial era. The many pagodas, churches and villas all add to the considerable charms of this beautiful city. A bevy of local outfitters also offer adventurous guests the chance to take to the mountains and forests with hiking treks, rock climbing and biking trips, kayaking and canyoning, even ropes courses.

After checking in to our hotel, guests will have the afternoon and evening to spend as they wish exploring the winding streets of the town and its famous lakeside markets.

Day 6: Da Lat – Nha Trang

The stretch of rural road from Dalat down to the coast 150km distant is a highlight of the seven-day journey. Fully paved only recently, the road spirals down through the mountains and innumerable ethnic villages, past cowherds tending their charges, affording a breathtaking new view at every switchback until we arrive once again at the coast: the charming seaside splendour of Nha Trang, Vietnam’s most famous oceanfront town.

With its beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, and lush sub-tropical forest, the natural beauty of Nha Trang is captivating – and the nightlife strives to match.

Our midday arrival will allow guests to get situated in our beachside hotel and relax on the nearby beach if they like, with plenty of time for sampling the steady supply of steamed crab, lobster and fresh fruit from passing vendors. We’ll meet up again for dinner and our last night together in the evening.

Day 7: Nha Trang – Departure

We’ll rise early on day seven of the tour for a final morning of exploring Nha Trang on the scooters, which includes the local Cham tower complex at Po Nagar. Afterward, guests may wish to indulge in the plethora of watersports available: snorkelling and diving, boat cruises to outlying islands, sailing and river kayaking. For the landlubbers, or the Oceanographic Institute at Cau Da may beckon – or perhaps it’s Vietnamese cooking classes or a real mud bath in nearby Thap Ba.

We’ll bid our new friends’ farewell at 3pm, with the tour leaders and crew returning to Saigon by train.

TOUR COST – based on exchange rate of Aus $ 1.50 to £ – subject to actual at date of payment.

Cost per person on twin occupancy basis as per itinerary

3 Star Hotels

Per Person         Australian Dollars – A$1270 – PlusAcceptance Payment/Deposit of £130

£980 approx. (subject to exchange rate at time of payment)            Includes Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £130

Payment.

1.On Booking£130 per person, Acceptance Payment/Deposit (non refundable) by International Bank Transfer to UK Bank Account

NOTE: Tour Deposit In addition AU$ 320 (approx. GB £215) to Australia unless you make arrangements for payment with your Acceptance Payment.

Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with our Partner Company in Australia to whom payment for the tour is made.

2 Payment of Balance in full on Acceptance or a minimum of 8 weeks prior to arrival direct to Australia by International Bank Transfer

Cancellation Charges

35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable.
30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable.
25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 75% of the total amount will be applicable
Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount.

Acceptance Payment non refundable

Included in the Cost

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in the hotels mentioned above or equivalent – subject to availability
  • Any single room subject to supplement shown.
  • Room and breakfast basis – or meals as indicated in the itinerary (B), (L) and (D)
  • Fully restored 110cc or 125cc classic Vespa Motor scooters

Accommodation in Superior standard hotels

All meals

All fuel with mechanics on tour

Support vehicle

English speaking guides

All sightseeing options

  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle where appropriate.
  • Services of an English speaking local guide (or a naturalist in National Parks)
  • Entrance fees at monuments and parks where applicable
  • Basic porterage at airports, rail stations and hotels (not tips).
  • All currently applicable taxes.
  • Where US$ are quoted the UK pounds price shown is for comparison only and is subject to change.

Excluded from the Cost

  • Expenses of a personal nature:  table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
  • Any other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary or ‘includes’ list.
  • Any international airfares to India and Asia
  • Domestic economy airfares, indicated in the itinerary, are subject to change.
  • Any airport taxes where applicable in each country
  • Any subsequent increase in airfares, fuel costs, monuments/sightseeing fees.
  • Any other taxes subsequently introduced by Government, State or Tourist Ministry.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa Fees, if applicable, in any country
  • Any Christmas, New Year and Gala Dinners

General note:

All elements included in this quotation are subject to availability until the booking is made.  The hotels/ services as quoted may change when giving you the final confirmation, based on current availability.

Vietnam Destination Information

What time to go

Generally, there is no “best” time for travelling in Vietnam. The seasons are a little vague and vary considerably from north to south and within regions.

THE SOUTH:

The dry season is from December to June with March to May being particularly hot and humid, with temperature ranging from 27°C to 36°C. The wet season, with short and heavy rain showers, is from July to November, with temperature averaging between 22°C and 27°C.

THE NORTH:

Unlike the South, North Vietnam has four seasons. Winter is from December to February – it can be extremely cold in Hanoi and the mountainous regions, with overnight temperatures of 4°C and daytime highs between 10°C and 20°C. Thermal clothing is a good idea if trekking in winter. Summer is June to August – expect hot and humid conditions at this time, with temperatures averaging 27°C to 30°C with high humidity.

Transport

Trains

  • The Reunification Express has soft sleeper cabins with 4 berths; luggage is stowed safely under your bunk.
  • For some journeys use local trains. This means the soft sleeper option is unavailable, however, an overnight journey with the locals in hard sleeper can be loads of fun.

Buses

Vietnam has an enormous amount of local bus transport, but in many areas it may be unsafe and not as versatile for all the stops you may like to do along the way. Public buses are a great way to meet the locals though.

Boats

As Vietnam is full of waterways and has one of the longest coastlines in South East Asia, boats are in abundance, and relatively simple to access

Cyclos

  • These three-wheeled pedi-cabs are an absolute must to try and are the perfect way to experience the sights and sounds of any town in Vietnam.
  • We recommend you sit back and enjoy the ride and always negotiate the price before embarking on your journey.

Food and Drink

Meals

  • A highlight for all travellers to Vietnam is the food – it’s fantastic!
  • Vietnamese food has a style of its own and relies upon quality and seasonally fresh ingredients rather than added spice.
  • Excellent seafood at very reasonable prices is readily available throughout the country.
  • Duck, chicken, beef, and lean pork also feature on most menus, as does fresh salad and vegetable dishes along with some delicious legacies from the French Colonial period.
  • Tipping is becoming expected

Vegetarians

The strong Buddhism influence means vegetarians are well catered for.

Drinks

  • Bottled mineral water, soft drinks, Vietnamese tea and coffee are readily available.
  • Beer is the main alcoholic drink and is usually a light lager style.

Water

  • We recommend that you do not drink or brush your teeth with the tap water
  • We suggest you bring water purification tablets or a bottle with an in-built filter as these are more environmentally friendly alternatives to buying water in plastic bottles

Communication

Email

  • Internet is quite popular now in every town and city.
  • Internet cafes are easy to find and are generally open till late at night.
  • Most hotels also have Internet service.

Telephone

  • Mobile phone networks cover much of the country.
  • Global roaming is available depending on your carrier.
  • Hotels often have telephones available; however, it is also easy to find public telephones in most towns.

Shopping

  • Shopping is generally done in small stores and markets
  • Hoi An is particularly famous for tailored clothing which can be excellent quality, cheap and fast
  • Some of the hill tribes sell colourful woven bags and clothing
  • Other popular souvenirs are silk goods, coffee, tea, ceramics, conical hats, wood carvings, lacquer-ware, rattan furniture, and beaded bags and shoes
  • Bargaining is expected in markets and souvenir shops
  • Check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to import some items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand for example have strict quarantine laws

Culture

People

  • The Vietnamese have a great sense of humour and the ability to joke about almost anything
  • Be prepared for all types of personal questions – this type of questioning is not considered rude – just gathering of the facts
  • Don’t be surprised if the Vietnamese are intrigued by your size, particularly if you are tall or well-rounded
  • In Vietnam the people have different attitudes to time-keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with patience and a sense of humour then you will love it.
  • Buddhism is the main religion with influences from Taoism and Confucianism.

Dress

  • Vietnamese people in general adopt modest dress
  • For travellers, modest clothing goes a long way towards making a good impression with the Vietnamese people and they will be more willing to approach you if you dress as they do
  • Try to keep shoulders covered and do not expose too much leg.

Toilets

  • Toilets are mostly squat style
  • Carry paper and hand sanitiser with you as it is not usually provided

Smoking

  • Smoking is banned on public transport nationwide
  • It is still permitted in restaurants, bars and clubs