This has been the absolute best experience of our Vietnam trip.
PICK UP FROM HANOI
We were picked up from Hanoi for our custom made mountain bike trip. We drove 4 hours west of Hanoi with Huong our guide and Huong our driver, had lunch on the way and were dropped of with our bikes and with Huong.
MOUNTAIN BIKE EXPERIENCE - 4 DAYS ON BIKES
We biked through rice paddies, sugar cane and corn fields, little villages and through the mountains. It was to die for. We loved every bit of it.
LEVEL OF FITNESS
They can custom make your trip to fit your family. We have boys at the age of 13, 15 and 19 and we are all quite fit with exercise being a big part of our lives and we were challenged at some stages at a level which was perfect for us.
CONDITIONS OF MOUNTAIN BIKES
They were very good American mountain bikes. All were ready for us in the correct size as they they asked for all of our measurements before arrival. Pls note that this is far from the case for other agencies. My husband is 195 cm tall and 2 of my son's are 185 cm meaning we were positively surprised that they lived up to their promises.
All food was included and pre-booked. All Vietnamese specialities and we got to taste food which we would never have been able to order ourselves.
Agency will suggest Hotels and Home Stays, however I had done a lot of research and we asked specifically to stay at Sol Bungalows (my favourite hotel in all of Vietnam) in Mai Chau and Hidden Charms hotel in Tam Coc (Ninh Bin). Both hotels with lovely swimming pools.
We had one night at a Home Stay (house on stilts) picked by agency. The family we stayed with were wonderful and the sleeping accommodations were clean and very cozy. The area underneath the house where we spend the entire evening was clean but totally stripped from charm. The actual location of the Home Stay was nothing special. We passed many other Home Stays which were much more charming and in more interesting locations. Maybe this was just what fitted in with the bike ride.
THE SERVICE / STAFF OF CUSTOM VIETNAM TRAVEL
I was in contact with several agencies beforehand to get quotes.
My contact was Minh Ninh and she was massively professional. Responded quickly to all emails, was gentle in her approach but still really good at the follow up part. She has been so helpful and was the main reason why I chose this agency.
Huong our guide throughout the bike tour was one of a kind. His English was exceptional good and we had no problem understanding him.
He was also very knowledgeable and well educated and on top of this he was a joy to be with. Really kind, good fun and joyful. We will definitely ask for him next time.
They were not the cheapest, but as I trawled through the quotes I can guarantee that you get what you pay for.
The agencies who had lover prices did not offer the same good bikes and of course they adjust the price compared to your accommodation requirements.
HALONG BAY AS WELL
On top of the mountain bike trip Minh Ninh also arranged and booked our HALONG Bay trip for us and everything booked was of proper good quality and standard. They will not book the bad and lower price / standard cruises.
Top recommendations from me.