Testimonials - Vietnam N.W
A World Apartů
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Vietnam N.W cycling holidays...
Showing 1 to 38 of 38 Testimonials
Robert Cameron, Pincher Creek, Canada
Hard to ride fast because there was always something interesting to look at. Friendly people. Excellent "pit crew"!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Sarah and John Blyth , Shipley, England, UK
We have had the best holiday ever, it will live with us always. The people on the trip were fantastic & the support from the team couldn't have been better.I only hope Vietnam doesn't change too much over the next few years as I would love for more people to experience what we have. Thank-you for an unforgettable experience.
Nicola Hardie, Paris, France
Just loved it! Perfect balance of sport, culture, contact with local people, stunning landscapes off the beaten track, fun, chilled beer time and great fun. Can't recommend it enough.
Andy Harriman, Wolverhampton, England, UK
I had the greatest time and made some new friends. Vietnam was lovely, people so friendly.. Not a day went by without being inundated by hello/goodbyes from the locals especially the children. With an occasional high five for good measure. Certainly put a smile on my face on some of the more difficult days. A brilliant way to see the country. Definitely recommended.
Paul Bridges, Birmingham, England
A superb trip, please send a special thank you to Phong and his team. Even after the trip had finished Phong was very helpful and arranged our train trip and attended it with us. Maybe it was the Fresh beer !!!!!. That we had promised him.....Once again thanks to all the team in London and Hanoi.
Timothy Lawley, Shropshire, England
Another fantastic, well organised trip by the redspokes team, the local knowledge & guide Phong was exceptional. Varied accommodation & local cuisine dishes every day along with beautiful outstanding scenery every inch of the way made this trip truly memorable.With redspokes great value & attention to detail I will certainly be booking up with them again.
Janne Turpiainen, FinlandThis was my first guided cycling adventure and I was in this tour with my daughter. We had great time cycling in beautiful Vietnamese country side. The support team did a good job and we could really just focus on enjoying the ride and had no worry about the arrangements. We got also enough information about the local culture and had a chance to work at the rice field also. As we enjoyed this tour a lot we look forward to next adventures.
David Whitton, Bristol, England, UK
This was a fantastic trip, which included the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, and remote countryside. The contrasts were great, from rapid development with new roads and dams, to quite rural communities. I loved the climate, hot and relaxing. The food was interesting, including the deep fried grasshoppers and snakes in wine! The cycling group soon formed a close knit supportive team and the leaders and back up team were great. This trip is a brilliant challenge, and the rewards, including the friendliness of the local Vietnamese people added up to a most memorable holiday.
Richard Evemy, Hythe, Kent, England, UK
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Dermot (specifically) for getting the balance right on this trip. The independence we are given as riders on this trip is just right, and I was glad to not find to rigid a timetable each day. I lost my dad a couple of weeks before this tour started and naturally debated as to whether or not it would be a wise move to go - but I found I could ride on my own for most days if I wanted to, or ride as part of a larger group - it was ideal 'thinking' time for me, and for that I thank the ethic on which redspokes is clearly founded. The whole experience was just glorious and I truly think Dermot has a lot to be proud of in the 'redspokes' company. I'd like to wish both him and all of the team a fruitful future. Really hope to be in touch again at some point in the New Year to book up Peru! Best get writing to Santa...
Michael Forde, Dublin, Ireland
What a great part of Vietnam to cycle, empty roads, stunning scenery and great craig with a nice bunch of people. For me the essence of travelling is getting on roads less travelled and meeting different cultures and experiencing their warmth and hospitality, well done for helping me achive this.
Alastair Ward, Dorset, England
What a wonderful trip. A combination of camaraderie from others on the tour and welcome from the local peoples in an astounding geographical area less travelled made the whole experience truly memorable. Organisation was good but not intrusive allowing for flexibility and time to stop and meet the local people along the way. My photos really don't do it justice. Looking forward to another trip with redspokes in another part of the world... just can't decide where.
Eddie Brocklesby, Southampton, England, UK
What a privilege - cycling in North Vietnam while tourism is still in its infancy. Spectacular countryside and endless variety from rice fields to the towering mountains, steady ascents and awe-inspiring descents. But it was the markets, the street vendors, the colourful tribes and, overwhelmingly, the kids and their families that made the trip so memorable. A great sociable though disparate group and competent redspokes organisation made the trip a fabulous, once in a lifetime Christmas experience.
redspokes organisation was superb - we had our own well travelled, informed English guide. The ages, nationality, cycling skills and experience of our group were widely varied - with not a bike mechanic amongst us, so David's skills and the motorised backup were much appreciated. We also had an enthusiastic knowledgeable Vietnamese guide, Phong, who managed the balance between his loyalty and pride in Vietnam, patiently answering our endless questions about the legacy of his formerly divided country, and its occupying forces.
Robert Wright, St Margaret's, Ireland
What a great place for a cycling holiday. A mesmerizing hidden corner of Vietnam, totally unspoilt, notraffic, no tourists and undoubtedly the most spectacular scenery in the whole country. Cycling among the different hill tribe people, seeing close up, how little their lives had changed over the generations, was truly a fascinating experience. For me that's what cycling adventure holidays are all about. Well done redspokes.
George Porter, Australia
The leader (Phong) on the NW Vietnam trip is exceptional and understood the riders and their needs really well. He also understands an ironic sense of humour! The cycling route traverses some beautiful and isolated areas, and the locals were universally friendly. We saw almost no foreign tourists anywhere except in Sapa. Accommodation was far better than any of us expected. At the moment (April 2013) parts of the route are being rebuilt by the Vietnamese government which made sections of the road an obstacle course, but this work should be largely complete by 2014. Overall a highly original trip.
Victoria Lomax, Edinburgh, Scotland
A great trip! If you're looking to travel beyond the guide books and get a real insight into remote village life in Vietnam, then this is the ideal tour.The informality of a redspokes tour is one of its greatest aspects, giving the opportunity to stop and meet locals, share a cup of tea and cycle along with groups of children, all of which gives a snapshot of the way of life in some of the villages we pass through. The cycling did have some challenging climbs but these were broken up into manageable chunks and for every uphill, there was always a great downhill ride just around the corner!I'm just trying to decide which trip to do next now.
Steve Cuming, Wellington, New Zealand
Yet another wonderful trip from the folks at redspokes, one that allow's you to see the real essence of the country and it's melting pot of people. The NW of the country is for the most part off the regular tourist trail and better for it, the people are friendly, receptive and not averse to inviting unusually clad, complete strangers into their home for a cup of green tea. Great company with like minded souls who enjoy riding and something a little different in a holiday. Another winner from the team at redspokes.
Dermot Bailiy, Belfast, Ireland
Vietnam is truly an unforgettable experience; the tour takes you far off the usual tourist trail where quiet roads wait as well as the colourful friendly mountain tribes who are very welcoming. The Cycling is sometimes challenging but the rewards of the amazing scenery make it more than worth while. The redspokes Vietnam tour is an amazing adventure; I'll be definitely touring with redspokes again.
Phil Marshalsea, London, UK
Amazing scenery, friendly people and redspokes guides and support crew made this a memorable trip for me. Highlights include cycling in misty mountain foothills and the kids shouting "Heeeeloo" at every village.
Laura Donovan, London, UK
This trip was a brilliant way to see Vietnam in an active way. The group was friendly and good company and I felt privileged to witness the rural communities in the north that very few tourists will see. The cycling was mountainous but enjoyable and the scenery spectacular. Thoroughly recommended.
Alex Whitton, England, UK
I had a fantastic trip thank you very much! Please feel free to add me to the mailing list or whatever - i'd love to go on another redspokes tour!
What a great trip 10/10!
Nicola Webb, Salisbury, England, UK
Absolutely loved it - would do it all again.
Stuart Butler, Guernsey, UK
Had such a great trip in Vietnam. Really enjoyed it. Both David Walker and the local guide, Phong, were enthusiastic and responded well to all the needs of the group.
Paul Tierney, Galway, Ireland
I'd just like to say thank you for the amazing experience I had in Vietnam and one which I don't think I'll ever forget. I look forward to going on another redspokes Tour soon and will definitely be recommending you to anyone I know into cycling!
John Goveia, Oregon, USA
I am a very happy customer and recommend redspokes all the time in the USA. I'll be back! Those are the three sweetest words to Dermot! See ya later Dermot!
Geoff & Emma Pittaway, Middlesex, England, UK
We both had the time of our lives, although at times it did not feel like that!!! Great trip, amazing country, great route and good accommodation - thank you - only trouble is now we want to do more!
Nigel Carrick, Northumberland, England, UK
A fantastic trip Dermot, even better than you described it. We cycled for days without seeing another westerner. This was very much the real Vietnam very much off the beaten track and away from all the usual tourist traps.Your local guides were great - and so much history and culture to take in. What more could you want!
Phil Nelson, Waterlooville, England, UK
A brilliant trip extremely well led by Dermot from redspokes. You need a mountain bike for the terrain and sometimes good legs but everyone helps each other and a backup is there if you need it. The scenery and the people were fascinating. The local population are friendly and often seen in authentic ethnic dress, not because of tourists as there weren't many, but because that's what they genuinely wore. I have cycled in lots of places but this trip was a real new experience. My advice - go now and see it as I saw it before it all changes.
Derek Hunter, Bromley, England, UK
A fantastic tour covering parts of Northern Vietnam not normally frequented by tourists - had a real adventure feel. The tour met all my pre-event aspirations with regards to people, adventure, challenge and satisfaction - would be difficult to better.
Showing 1 to 38 of 38 Testimonials