Thứ bẩy, Date 23/09/2017
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    FAQs

1 Does the price include vehicle insurance?

The given price does not include insurance for the motorbike in case of damage, or medical insurance for the person who controls the motorbike. (Note: It is obligatory for us to buy insurance when buying a new motorbike, however, it is very complicated and takes a long time to get the insurance policy. Therefore, we cannot and do not arrange insurance for short term renters, such as tourists.)
2 Do you have any travel insurance recommendations?
SARS, Avian flu, airline bankruptcies, and terrorist activity have made travel plans much more sensitive to disruption. Travel insurance is strongly recommended and required for all of our two-week tours. We do not endorse any particular company or service. However, for a side-by-side comparative analysis of several leading insurance providers, go to www.insuremytrip.com. Specific companies you may wish to look at are: - Access America (www.accessamerica.com) - CSA Travel Protection (www.csatravelprotection.com) - Travel Guard International (www.travelguard.com) - Travel Insured International (www.travelinsured.com) - Travel Safe (www.travelsafe.com)
3 What about Avian flu & other disease-related dangers?
With avian flu or SARS, please keep a rational perspective of the actual risks in mind despite a typically alarmist media. Avian flu has only been transmitted by direct contact with chickens in poor, agrarian villages and is not typically spread from human to human. Moreover, tourists are usually the last in line for infectious diseases. We travel to exotic places because they are profoundly interesting, but we would not travel there unless they were also reasonably safe.
4 Do you have any general health and safety advice?
Make sure that you carry any medications you may need along with you prior to departure. Notify your guide of any health problems you may have, so that he can be proactive in an emergency. Also, check with your doctor to make sure that you have the recommended inoculations for traveling in Southeast Asia. Consult a good travel guide for further travel safety tips.
5 How do I make a reservation for my trip / how do I pay for my trip?
To reserve your tour, we request an advance deposit of 30% of the total price of the trip. This should be arranged by bank transfer at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled departure. The remaining balance due can be paid in cash (USD, EURO, VND), or by the following credit cards: Visa & Mastercard (you will incur a 3% bank commission), or American Express (you will incur a 4.5% bank commission).
6 Do I need a driving license to drive a motorbike in Vietnam ?
If you travel with a guide, this is not necessary. If you travel without a guide, you are responsible for the safe operation of your vehicle and for complying with local laws. Regardless, it is obligatory that you obtain personal insurance which will cover you in the case of a motorcycle accident. For additional assurance, you may want to obtain an international license (see below).
7 Is an international license valid in Vietnam?
Despite some press reports to the contrary, Vietnam does recognize the validity of international licenses. Whilst some authorities in remote regions may not be able to comprehend a document written in a foreign language, they go a long way in smoothing out any potential difficulties should an issue arise.
8 How do I get an international license?
International licenses can be provided on the spot at the motoring authority in your country (e.g. The AA in the UK, AAA in the US, or the NRMA in Australia). Take your existing national license and passport photo to their office and for a small fee they will provide a license along the same lines as your existing license, valid for one year.
9 I am beginner with motorcycles, but I am interested in going on a motorcycle trip. Can I still take part in a trip?
Yes, it is possible to do so if you travel with our guidance and assistance. For inexperienced riders, we will organize a training course that will typically take place one day before departing on a tour. This course is intended to give you the confidence you need to operate the motorcycle. Of course, if you are not an experienced rider, we recommend that you select a bike that is appropriate in size and power for a beginner.
10 Which is the best season to travel in Vietnam and Indochina by motorcycle ?
The weather in Vietnam and Indochina varies by season and region. At any given point in the year, there are periods of wonderful sunny weather that is perfect for motorcycling. However, we recommend that you consult seasonal climate information for the given area in which you will travel. In northern Vietnam, the weather can be cool and dry in early to mid winter, followed by cool and wet for a brief period in early spring. By mid spring, the weather is warm and fresh, with higher temps and more precipitation. Summer is hot and wet, and autumn is warmer and dryer.
11 How long do we drive per day ?
We aim to ride approximately 4-5 hours/day. However, this will vary depending on your program and your skill level. We typically stop often during the day for photos, drinks, or short visits in the villages along our route. On longer tours, we can accommodate a rest day from the saddle.
12 What other expenses should we expect? How much cash do we need to take with us?
In terms of costs (for tour customers) we cover everything except telephone calls, tips, souvenirs, alcoholic drinks and personal medical insurance. As there are often some impressive minority crafts to be found in the markets, you may want to bring US$150-200 extra for the ride.
13 Where do the tours start from?
All tours start out from Hanoi between 8-9 AM. Return to Hanoi is either by road or sometimes by overnight train (in which case we send the motorbikes on the train). We usually come back to Hanoi between 2-6 PM, though that depends on the ride selected and other variables.
14 What is the best duration for a trip?
The perfect time frame to spend on the road would probably be eight or nine days, looking at a maximum of 12 days before the body starts to tire of the strain. However, for the indefatigable traveler we can offer an 18-day trek of the entire northern region of Vietnam.
15 What is the minimum time to complete a good ride?
In order to get into the mountains and out of the delta plains, whilst still completing a good loop, we need a minimum of four days. At a bare minimum we can get onto some back roads and get a good taste of life on the road there in two days, if you do not mind a long day in the saddle.
16 I am traveling alone. Is it possible to join up with a tour group?
Yes, depending on the number of people and bookings we have. We always try to organize spontaneous groups so that the participants will have a compatible program. If you have very specific expectations about the pace of travel or riding style, please inform us of your preferences and/or limitations so we can put you with the right group.
17 I would like to travel “solo” without a tour group. Can you arrange this for me?
Yes. If you so desire, we can organize a “solo” trip for you and provide you with the advice you need to have a great time exploring at you own pace.
18 I have heard that the traffic in Vietnam is dangerous. Is this true?
Yes and No. Common sense dictates that much of this depends on the way you drive. It is true that traffic in Vietnam can be chaotic at times, but if you follow some basic rules and common sense, you’ll be fine. The best way to ensure your safety is to travel with a guide, and to follow their instructions. As with anywhere, use of good judgment and discretion is the key to safe traveling. Wear all recommended safety gear and do not speed. When traveling on wet or slippery roads, slow down. Do not travel quickly around blind turns, and do not get going so fast that you cannot safely stop. Use the horn to notify other drivers of your presence - it’s not rude in Vietnam, it is expected. Did we mention do not speed? For everybody’s safety, please leave your Evel Knievel alter ego at home!
19 Road Conditions?
Most main roads in Vietnam are in good condition, but there are many dirt roads in mountainous areas that become muddy or sometimes impassible in the rainy season. While the roads are busy in the city and on major highways, the traffic on many other roads can be quite light. When choosing a motorcycle, choose a vehicle that is appropriate for the type of roads you’ll be traveling on; if in doubt, ask us for our advice.
20 What do I do if I have an accident?
Vietnam can be a very strange country with regard to how accidents are resolved. The bigger vehicle usually pays (i.e. car drivers pay motorcyclists, motorcyclists pay cyclists). However, if you have an accident, first you have to talk with the other party (via our guide) to find out who has to pay and how much. If you do not agree with each other, then we call the police and they will do their job (usually takes time) and you have to stay in Vietnam until they have the official report. Vietnamese people usually expect you to pay, even if you are right. Do not be surprised and stay calm as our guide will help you to solve the situation. If you purchased an insurance policy, and if you so request, we will contact the insurance company and ask them for instructions. You will need to pay us for all phone calls in this case.
21 What do I have to bring with me for a trip to Vietnam?
In order to have a wonderful trip in Vietnam, prior to your visit do not forget your passport or to arrange for valid visa. That would be a show stopper! Pack your personal luggage according to your needs, and according to the weather. Small gifts like photos, books, pens and souvenirs representative of your country are advised, especially when we spend the night at a homestay.
22 What type of clothing should I bring?
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country and size selection and/or quality products are real issues. Local products are cheap but almost just one size for all or the quality is poor.
Here are some suggestions: Clothing: helmet*, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirt, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirt, turtleneck shirt, extra jeans, light jacket, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses and goggles.
Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen and earplugs, insect repellant, zip lock bags to protect your documents in case of heavy rain.
Emergency items: first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, flashlight, chargers and duct tape.
Miscellaneous: small towel, bungee cords, camera and cargo net.
*Please note that we will provide some equipment, including raingear and helmets.
23 I am concerned about the footwear situation; thinking about leaving walking boots at home to lighten my pack. Can you advise?
It is essential to have strong footwear for the tour to protect your feet whilst driving. Trekking shoes or leather boots are perfect. No driving in open-toed shoes. It is possible to buy a pair of boots (including big sizes) in Hanoi for about US$15.
24 Can you arrange accommodation for us in Hanoi?
Yes. We can make reservations for you at any hotel in Hanoi, and also organise a car to pick you up from the airport. We typically recommend that people stay in hotels located in the heart of Hanoi"s Old Quarter. The central location makes it easy to get around the city and the hotels offer comfortable and spacious rooms in the US$15-30 per night price range. They also provide safe storage for baggage during the duration of the motorbike or offroad tour.
25 Do you carry everything on the bike, or would I leave some of my luggage at "base" until returning?
We provide you with spacious saddle bags which can carry a large amount of belongings. It is also possible to strap an additional bag or rucksack onto the bike"s back rack if required. Any other luggage may be left safely in storage at your hotel.
26 Food and hotel quality?
The quality of food and accommodations varies with location. In the major cities, there are top notch international cuisine offerings, along with a variety of Vietnamese restaurants at all price and quality levels. In the countryside, Western cuisine is not typically available, yet many towns and small cities offer both simple food from street vendors and roadside restaurants, along with Vietnamese formal dinning. In the remote areas, food tends to be quite simple, and the quality can vary considerably. If food safety is an occasional concern for you, you can buy processed, pre-packaged food and snack food from almost any small grocery shop, even in the countryside.

Hotels in Vietnam are generally clean and well appointed, even in the budget price range. You will find reasonable hotel accommodations are plentiful in Vietnam, and if you are on your own, you may want to shop around a bit for the best deal. Of course, when traveling in very remote areas, plan on spending the night in a town or a larger population center where you can be sure to find accommodations.
27 Do I need to get an entry visa to Vietnam?
Generally a visa will be required. Start on this process early, as it can take up to two weeks, though it may be delayed longer in some cases. Please note: VISA EXEMPTION - No Vietnam entry visa required for a travel period of less than 30 days: Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos. No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 15 days: Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
28 How do I apply for Vietnamese visa?
There are 2 ways to get a Vietnam visa:
1.) At a Vietnamese embassy or consulate abroad: To apply in this way, contact the Vietnamese Embassy in your country for instructions.
2.) On arrival at an international Airport in Vietnam: We can help you to obtain a visa approval to get a visa on arrival at the airport. This is the most convenient and cost effective way of obtaining a visa. Please see the relevant part of our website to begin the application process.
29 I am filling out the Vietnam visa application and they ask for the name, address of my contact in Vietnam. Do I need to give them this info in advance?
It is not actually necessary to enter anything in this field. If you wish, you may write the details of any hotel in Hanoi.
30 What do I need to know regarding visas to enter Vietnam?
The most important thing is to make sure your Vietnam visa is stamped with the correct dates and the correct entry and exit points. The standard tourist visa is valid for a period of up to 30 days. If you are going for less than 30 days you can either specify the exact dates, but it is probably best to ask for the maximum period to give yourself more flexibility. Processing normally takes between a week and ten days (some embassies offer an express service for an extra fee), but longer for overseas Vietnamese. To be on the safe side, allow several weeks as mistakes are common and inexplicable delays often occur. Do not put this off until the last minute!
31 I still have more questions! Can you help me?
Absolutely! If you would like to contact us directly, you may e-mail us at hanoimotortour@yahoo.com / or gmail.com .We can also be reached by skype or telephone during normal operating hours.

 

 

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