Mr TOSCANO David – A Sydneysider living in London

Mr TOSCANO David (Solo trip. January 16-18, North Centre, Motorbike)

—– Original Message —–
From: David ToscanoMr TOSCANO David
To: talk2us@lonelyplanet.com.au
Cc: voyagevietnam@vnn.vn
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 8:35 PM
Subject: Recommendation for Vietnam Lonely Planet

Dear Lonely Planet,

I would like to recommend Voyage Vietnam for inclusion in the Vietnam Lonely Planet guide.

It wasn’t until I arrived in Saigon on 2 January 2006 that I gave serious thought to doing a motorcycle ride in the northern highlands once I got to Hanoi. Once I had that idea, I emailed Voyage Vietnam about a short trip and kept in touch with them through my tour north toward Hanoi. They always responded quickly and directly.

Once I got to Hanoi on 14 January, I dropped into their office (details below) and had a chat with their sales manager, Tuan Anh, who had itinerary options ready to discuss and maps to look over. I decided to take a three day trip (as that was all the time I had left in Vietnam) and was fitted with my motorbike gear and helmet there and then!

On 16 January I met my guide, Hung, at the office and after getting suited up, we made the almost diabolical ride out of Hanoi! That traffic is a true hazard to one’s health – but Hung always made sure there was plenty of room for both of us and I always felt safe. Within an hour we were out on open spaces and the ride up to Thac Ba reservoir was just the tonic I needed after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. We stayed with local villages on the reserviour who were truly friendly and warm.

The next morning we loaded our Minsk motorcycles onto a boat and rode across the reservoir and then through Hoa Binh and over the Tan Lac mountain pass to Mai Chau. Amazing! This was the Vietnam I had wanted to see. Our home stay in Mai Chau was again full of warm hospitality, plentiful food and comfy sleeping.

The final day was a ride back down the mountain pass, through Hoa Binh and the treacherous ride through Hanoi traffic.

All in all, Voyage Vietnam were always helpful, professional and I had absolutely no problems on my short tour – my only regret is that I didn’t allow more time to ride further into the beautiful highlands. My guide, Hung, was a very knowledgable and friendly guy who took great pride in showing his wonderful country to me. His help was invaluable – as was the chance to meet and stay with local communities who show a hospitality you cannot help but love.

The price was a little cheaper than other operators in Hanoi and it was definitely value for money.

Sometime, somehow, I will get back to that part of the world and when I do, I will definitely ride with Voyage Vietnam again. I recommend them to you without reservation.

Please feel to contact me for any other information you need.

Regards

David Toscano

A Sydneysider living in London

Contact details for Voyage Vietnam are:
2 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Website: www.voyagevietnam.net
Email: voyagevietnam@vnn.vn

You could also read his comments on our tour here.

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