FAQs

FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS

I AM A NEW BICYCLE RIDER,CAN I JOIN A BIKE TRIP?

Yes,there are 05 categories (A,B,C,D,H,please see 'biking grade'),so generally,every one can also do a bike tour.You can see our young man Liam (12 years old) is very cool when he riding behind his Papa (mr Pip).

 

 

 

HOW LONG DO I CYCLE A DAY?

The distances are put on the programs,however,people can ride very flexiblely,the guide will announces what is going on ahead so you can decide to ride the next part or not,you may rest on the support car,jeep and ride the next ride.

 

What is a custom tour?

A tour which is arranged exclusively for your group. Your tour could be family, friends, colleagues, club mates, charities or even just yourself.

 

How is a custom tour arranged?

Fill in the "Build your perfect itinerary" form to give us some ideas of what type of tour you are looking for. We will then respond to your request to let you know when your exclusive itinerary will be ready.

 

What sort of tours are available?

Whatever you want! We can develop anything from road to mountain biking, heritage to multi-activity tours.

 

How big or small can a tour group be?

Any size. We design anything from individual adventures to large corporate events.

 

How far in advance must a tour be arranged?

Depends on the tour and how much customization is required. Half day tours can be arranged the same week, however we recommend contacting us at least 3 weeks ahead for longer tours.

 

Can you help us decide where we should go and what we should do on the tour?

Nothing would give us more pleasure than providing you a variety of tour options. However if you want some inspiration check out our scheduled tours pages.

 

What age(s) are the tours appropriate for?

We can provide adventures for children 8 years of age or older, however we require that all children adventures include adult supervision.

 

Are tours available in foreign languages?

All our guides speak English. In countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia – French is also spoken. We can also provide a translator on a tour on request.

 

How much does a custom tour cost?

Tour costs vary depending on location, itinerary and what is included. We can work to your allocated budget.

 

Recommended daily tipping?

Tipping is entirely voluntary and although it is customary to tip the local tour leader and staff the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a guide we would say US$4-5 per person per day. For drivers recommend US$2-3 per person per day.

 

When is the payment of the tour required?

We require tour payment 45 days before departure.

 

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation fees will be determined according to the number of days prior to trip start. Please refer to our cancellation policy for more details.

 

How do we pay for the tour?

The following methods are available to make payments:

  • Credit Card
  • International Bank transfer by CHAPS or SWIFT
  • Persons with a local Vietnam bank account may make payment by ATM transfer

 

Is there an average tour length?

Tours can be as long as you would like. Tours which we have developed in the past range from half days to 39-day multi-country explorations.

 

What sort of bicycles and equipment can be hired from SpiceRoads?

For all our tours we use well-known makes of mountain, hybrid or road bikes. We can also provide baby-seats, tag-alongs and kids bikes in Vietnam. Gators (pole which attaches a child bike to an adult bike) can also be hired in Vietnam.

 

Can I bring my own bike?

Of course. For all our longer tours we always charge bike hire as a supplementary extra for riders who do like to bring their own bikes.

 

Types of support vehicles

As this tour is a private tour we can provide as little (or as much) support as you like. We usually provide a vehicle well-stocked with water and snacks to follow behind your group. This makes it easy for riders to get on and off to rest when they are tired.

 

Children's price

We do not offer a reduced fee for children. Custom tour costs are structured differently – we work out the costs for the group and then divide by the number of riders.

 

Can we have a personalized tour page?

Absolutely! Here is an example of a page we developed for the charity group Tour of Hope

 

HOW IS THE ROAD LIKE WHEN I CYCLE?

 

 

Vietnam Cycle Tours commites to provide you the best road for cycling,we keep searching for the best backroads,country roads for tourist.we stop at interseting places,we connect locals and you,this is the speciality between us and the others.

Recently,Vietnamese goverment has invested for the countryside a lot,built a perfect concreat ways,net -works,zig zag conect a whole Mekong delta.This is really good for riders to see the Mekong Delta.

HOW IS THE RIDING WAY?

We ride for about 15km(9miles),and take a rest,regroup along the side road,a cafe..to enjoy very recommended vietnamese coffee,rest on a hammock.Our guides and drivers are very 'pro' the will supply you snacks,sweets,fruits,cool towels..

 

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WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME ON BIKE TOUR?

In vietnam,the teritory is narrow and long,so the weather is very complicated,but generally,there two choices:rainny or sunny.so we recomment you to bring:

Sun cream,sun-glasses,cab,long sleave clothes,a light puncher,mosquito repellian,torch,slippers.your favourite snacks,energy bars..wet towels,marlaria tablets,diarrhoer tablets,paracetamol..

LUGGAGE

In central maket in Saigon,or Old quater in Hanoi,there are very things,and of course,you will buy some thing or you need anything you can easily find them.So pack your bag tidely and as small as you can.

The following list is a guide to what you should think about bringing.It is by no means the definative list,so don't blame us if you forget some thing or neglect to bring a favourite(sweets,snacks..)or prized item.

CYCLING EQUIPMENTS:

  • Helmet-this will be supplied.
  • Gloves-make sure they are well paddeed.you really need it.
  • Cycling shirts-coolmax shirts are great,baggy mountain bike tops or general bike shorts,bring at least three.
  • Cycling shorts-well padded Lycra and guys,you may like to wear baggy shorts over the top to keep preserve some modesty whist riding
  •  Cycling Shoes-stiff soled cycling shoes are recommened,very good quqlity sandals work and give your feet some extra ventilation,whilst a decent pair of trainers will be fine.If you want to ues SPDs you must bring your own shoes,cleats and pedals.
  • Camelback-not compulsory but we cannot recommend their ues hightly enough.You will be riding in the tropics and you can never drink enough water!A camelback is a great way to keep hydrated.
  • Small backpack-for carring cameras,sun cream,money,and essential items while riding.
  • Saddle-It is highly recommened to bring your own saddle(if you don't have ues ours)

If you can't buy them,you can order from us.

OUR BIKE:WE USE THE BEST BIKE TREK 4500,BRAND NEW:FRONT SUSPENSION,27 SPEEDS GEARS.

CLOTHING:

  • Cap-a lightweight cycling or baseball cap is ideal.
  • Bandana or sweat-band-useful for keeping the sweat out of your eyes.
  • Water proof jacket-a dedicated gore-tex cycling jaket is recommended but anything light is okay.
  • T-shirts-you have opportunity to buy them a long the way but bring some to start with.
  • Dress slacks or skirts-In Asia,it is wise to have something smart and difnified to wear in the evernings,especially in the larg towns and cities.
  • Shorts-most of the time shorts are fine.
  • shirts and tops-comfortable and functional.Ladies,try to keep your top modest and avoid'spaghetti strings' and 'halter tops'.
  • Socks-some for cycling and some for covering your ankles in the evernings.
  • Undrwear-you call.
  • Shoes-one good pair as welll as a pair of sandals or something comfortable.

DO I NEED TO SPEND EXTRA ON BIKE TOUR?

Mostly not,beause whenever you join our tours, we take care of everythings,just a little drinks when you have meals in restaurant which we can not supply you,it's about 5-10USD/day.

CAN I CHOOSE WHAT WE LIKE?

YES.you can choose what you like,tell us what would you like to do(ex:you would like to cyce more,less,rest more,foods you like...)

we always listen to you,and pleasure to help you out. 

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN VIETNAM?

Vietnam is located in both a tropical and a temperate zone. It is characterized by strong monsoon influences, but has a considerable amount of sun, a high rate of rainfall, and high humidity. Regions located near the tropics and in the mountainous regions are endowed with a temperate climate.

The monsoon climate also  influences to the changes of the tropical humidity. In general, in Vietnam there are two seasons, the cold season occurs from November to April and the hot season from May to October. The difference in temperature between the two seasons in southern is almost unnoticeable, averaging 3ºC. The most noticeable variations are found in the northern where differences of 12ºC have been observed. There are essentially four distinct seasons, which are most evident in the northern provinces(from Hai Van Pass toward to the north): Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

Every year there are 100 rainy days and the average rainfall is 1,500 to 2,000mm. The humidity ranges around 80%. The sunny hours are 1,500 to 2,000 and the average solar radiation of 100kcal/cm2 in a year.

Because Vietnam is affected by the monsoon, that why the average temperature is lower than the other countries which are located in the same longitude in Asia. The annual average temperatures range from 22oC to 27oC. In comparing with these countries, the temperature in winter is colder and in summer is less hotter in Vietnam.

Under influence of monsoon, and further because of the complicated topography, the climate in Vietnam always changes in one year, between the years, or between the areas (from North to South and from low to high). The climate in Vietnam is also under disadvantage of weather, such as typhoons (advantage there are 6-10 storms and tropical low atmosphere in year, floods and droughts are threaten the life and the agriculture of Vietnam).

Hanoi
In Hanoi there are four distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. But it is able to be divided into two main seasons: the rainy season from May to September (its hot, heavy rain), and the dry season from October to April (its cold, little rainfall). The annual average temperature is 23.2oC, but in winter the average temperature is 17.2oC. The lowest temperature ever recorded was 2.7oC in 1955. The average summer temperature is 29.2oC, with the highest ever recorded being 42.8oC in 1926. On average, there are 114 rainy days a year with around 1,800mm of rainfall.

Haiphong
It's one province in the North then Haiphong is influenced by a tropical monsoon climate too. There are 4 seasons and the annual average temperature is between 23oC and 24oC. Rainfall total is between 1,600 and 1,800mm. The weather is warm throughout the year.

Quang Ninh
The climate is symbolic of the climate of North Vietnam; featuring all four seasons. In summer (from May to September), it's hot, humid and rainy, while monsoons flourish. In winter (from October to April), it's cold, dry, and sees little rainfall.The average temperature is over 25oC. Annual rainfall totals between 1,700 and 2,400mm.

Thua Thien Hue
It features a tropical monsoon climate, featuring all four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The spring is cool and warm, the summer is hot, the autumn is cool and the winter is cold. Average temperature is 25oC. The best time for tourists is from November to April next year.

Danang
Its climate is tropical, with two distinct rainy and dry seasons. The average annual temperature is between 28oC and 29oC, and storms hit the area every year in September and October.the best time to visit this area from April-September.

Khanh Hoa
The climate here is oceanic tropical monsoon, but is quite mild. The average annual temperature is 26.5oC. Annual rainfall totals over 1,200mm.

Lam Dong
The climate here is cold, with an average annual temperature of 18oC. Dalat is a city town, the climate is temperature and there are the beautiful natural landscapes with the waterfalls, lakes and pine groves, and is well known as Vietnam' flower city.

Ho Chi Minh City
The climate is divided into two seasons, with the rainy season lasting from May to November. The average annual temperature is 27.5oC without winter, and yearly rainfall totals 1,979mm. Tourism is convenient for all 12 months of the year. best time:October-January

Ba Ria-Vung Tau
The climate here is tropical monsoon. The average annual temperature is 27oC, rarely stormy, rich in sunshine. Vung Tau is without winter so resorts can active throughout the year.

MEKONG DELTA:same as HO CHI MINH CITY.

 

BEST TIME TO VIST AREAS:

NORTHERN VIETNAM:  AUGUST-SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER

CENTRAL VIETNAM: MAY-JUNE-JULY

SOUTHERN VIETNAM: DECEMBER-JANUARY-FEBRUARY

 

 

WHAT IS VIETNAM CURRENCY?

The currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the Dong (abbreviated "D" or VND), which is used uniformly throughout the country. There are presently bank notes in circulation in dominations of:

100 dong; 200 dong; 500 dong; 1,000 dong; 2,000 dong
5,000 dong; 10,000 dong; 20,000 dong; 50,000 dong; 100,000 dong; 500,000 dong
Coin: 200 dong; 500 dong; 1,000 dong; 2,000 dong; 5,000 dong; these notes make foriegners very confuse,so please check them carefully before give out.

Traveller's cheques and credit cards (American Express, Visa, Mastercard) are exchanged for Vietnamese dong at the banks. Cards can be used in travel agencies, hotels, and major restaurants. US currency is exchanged for Vietnamese dong and treasury notes in banks, exchange bureaus, hotels, and jewellery shops. The exchange rate always changes. When leaving the country, remaining Vietnamese currency can be exchanged for US dollars at the exchange bureau at the airport.

NOTE:if you change money at hotel is safer and almost same rate with the bank.

EMMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS

0 Domestic Direct Dialing Access Code
00 International Direct Dialing Access Code
113 Police
114 Fire Brigade
115 Ambulance
101 Long Distance Telephone Service
102 Directory assistance for long distant domestic telephone calls
103 Operator-assisted long distance domestic telephone calls
110 International Telephone Service
142 International Telephone Service Rate
143 International Telephone Service enquiries
116 Phone Number Inquiries
117 Time Inquiries
118 Ring Back Test
119 Advice on Telephone Repairs
133/131 Hanoi ABC Paging Service
107/105 Vietnam Paging Service
106 Paging Service Enquiries
141 Vinaphone Paging Service
151 Vinaphone Enquiry Service
145 VMS Mobifone Enquiry Service
1260 VNN/INTERNET Access Number
1268 VNN Access Number (Local)
1269 VNN Access Number (International)
1080 General Information Service
1088 Consultancy Service
1081 Yellow Pages Information & Consultancy Service

POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

POST SERVICE:
Regular international post service is available. In addition, there are some new specialized services:
- Express Mail Service (EMS). The domestic EMS ensures that letters and small parcels are delivered within 24-48 hours. International EMS is associated with nearly 30 countries worldwide, with a delivery time ranging from 2 to 10 days. Air mail and small parcels, however, are subjected to additional charges.
- Express money transfer: Money is delivered to the receiver within 24 hours.
- Flower delivery: can be ordered by telephone. This service delivers messages such, as greetings or condolences, together with flowers, money, or goods (allowed in circulation) to the receiver by request of the sender.

TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES:
- International long-distance calls (direct): To make an international direct dial (IDD) call,  first dial the international prefix (00) followed by the country code, area code, and the local number. If  you are unable to contact the requested number, dial 110 for operator assistance.
- Domestic long-distance calls: To place a domestic long-distance call, first dial the national prefix (01) followed by the area code and local number. If you are unable to reach the required number, dial 101 for operator assistance.
- Facsimile (Fax): Fax machines are quickly proliferating in Vietnam. Public and registered fax machines are available in hotels, businesses, and public offices.
Local and international phonecards, mobile phones, pagers, and database netlink services are also available.
- The "1080, 1088, 108" service is for inquiries by phone on socio-economic and cultural information.
- This service also runs an advertisements and business self introduction scheme.

 

VIETNAM TIME
GMT plus 7 hours

Office hours:
All Government offices are open from 8.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m.(with a one-hour lunch break) from Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday are holiday.
In local regions, offices are open from 7:00 am to 11:00 p.m. and from 13:00p.m. to 17:00 p.m. Banks are open from 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. to 15:30p.m. Banks are closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
Private shops are open from 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. to 21:00 or 22:00 p.m.

 Public Holidays

January 1 New Year's Day, (one day holiday)
April 30 Saigon Liberation Day, (one day holiday)
May 1 International Labour Day, (one day holiday)
September 2 National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, (one day holiday)
Vietnam Traditional Lunar New Year Festival - Tet Nguyen Dan:(Four day  holiday).  Tet usuallu falls  in January or February. The holiday begins on the eve and the first three days of the Lunar New Year
   
GUIDE-HANDBOOK

Things to remember

 
It's in your best interests not to drink the tap water, especially after flooding!
Avoid cyclo ride after dark.
Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwellings and religious sites, etc.
Leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.
When crossing the road, especially in Ho Chi Minh city, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly!
Do not offer money directly to minority people - instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens.
Try at least once the delicious, local street food.
Always ask permission first before taking photographs, especially in minority areas.
 

Things do not to miss

 
Sleeping out on deck on a boat in Halong Bay
Ordering custom-made clothes from the local tailor shop
Taking a slow cyclo ride through the French Quarter of old Saigon
Eating pho ga (chicken noodle soup)or pho bo(beef flavour) at a street side noodle stalls.
Watching the traditional water - puppet performance in Hanoi.
Experience the full moon festivities in the ancient town of Hoi An.
Drinking rice-wine in the minority villages of the north
Taking a boat along Hue's Huong (Perfume) River, visiting the Royal Mausoleums.
Overnight in a homestay in the Mekong Delta's riverside orchards.
Bartering for a bargain at Saigon's largest market, Ben Thanh Market
Taking a stroll through Hanoi's Old Quarters.
 

HOW TO GET VIETNAM VISA?

VIETNAM VISA

GENERAL INFORMATION

Only citizens of certain countries can visit Vietnam without an entry visa (valid for visit within 30 days). Those countries include: some Asean countries, Korea, Japan & Scandinavians (2005). All other citizens are required to get an entry visa before departure or a pre-approved entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam International Airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam.

We recommend that you obtain your entry visa by having a valid passport stamped prior to your departure by applying to any one of the Vietnamses Embasssies or Consulate world wide . However, if your particular city does not have a Vietnamese embassy, and you wish to avoid procedural delays (anywhere from 4 to 10 days) which sometimes happen with visa approvals at embassies outside Vietnam, we can make this requirement a fairly easy exercise. We provide a form below, which you may copy and paste into a word document, fill out and return to us with the required information by fax or email. We will then arrange to obtain the visa approval code service for you. You will subsequently still need to get the official Vietnamese stamp of approval on your passport at any of our Embassies. Following such an approval, we will send you notification (by fax or email) and fax the approval to your desired Embassy or Consulate. You will need to take that approval with your passport to that Embassy or Consulate to get the visa stamp on your passport, which is done on the same day. You are now ready to go Vietnam!

In the event that there is no Vietnam embassy or Consulate in your country, or you just want to make Vietnam part of a multi-destination trip, then we recommend Visa on Arrival as your best option.

What is a 'Visa on Arrival ?': this is most likely the easiest way to obtain your visa without having to chase down embassies, consulates and the like prior to your trip, and is a valid alternative when applying for a tourist visa. The entry visa will be stamped on your passport as you pass through our immigration checkpoint. Though valid for thirty days, it can be extended once you enter Viet Nam. With this type of visa, you may only enter the country once (single entry as opposed to multiple-entries)& applied only when you will enter Vietnam by air.

How to get a Visa on Arrival: We are the first agency to offer this kind of service, whereby we obtain what is called an “Approval Letter” for you from the Viet Nam Immigration Department in Hanoi. After we obtain the approval for you, we will forward you a copy by fax or email. Copies of the same document will be forwarded on your behalf to Vietnam immigration checkpoints at International Airports only, so that when you arrive in Viet Nam, the Immigration officers will have those documents on hand and will be able to issue your entry visa expediently

VIETNAM TOURIST VISA SERVICE

1. TOURIST VISA ON ARRIVAL: Prices below do not include the stamp fee of about US$25/pp which you will be required to pay directly at the airport.

Number of customers
Normal: 3 - 5 days
Urgent: 1-2 working day
1-2 persons
US $ 30
US $ 37
3-5 persons
US $ 26
US $ 33
6-9 persons
US $ 24
US $ 31
10 persons upward
US $ 21
US $ 28

2. TOURIST VISA APPROVAL: Prices below do not include the stamp fee of about US$25-65/pp to be submitted directly to the Embassy or Consulate.

Number of customers
Normal: 3 - 5 days
Urgent: 1-2 working day
1-2 persons
US $ 16
US $ 22
3-5 persons
US $ 14
US $ 20
6-9 persons
US $ 12
US $ 18
10 persons upward
US $ 10
US $ 16

BUSINESS & MULTIPLE VISA APPROVAL SERVICE:

Prices below do not include the stamp fee of about US$25-65/pp to be submitted directly to the Embassy or Consulate.

Number of customers
Normal: 3 - 5 days
Urgent: 1-2 working day
Single entry - 3 months
US $ 30
US $ 38
Single entry - 6 months
US $ 35
US $ 43
Multiple entry - 1 month
US $ 35
US $ 43
Multiple entry - 3 months
US $ 35
US $ 43
Multiple entry - 6 months
US $ 45
US $ 53

GETTING VISA APPROVAL CODE OR VISA ON ARRIVAL?

A. Requirement: to process a visa for you, we need the following information:
1. Your title (Mr./Mrs./Ms.)
2. Your name exactly as it appears in your passport
3. Date of birth
4. Nationality
5. Occupation
6. Passport No. (valid at least 06 months)
7. Date of Passport issuance
8. Date of Passport expiration
9. Proposed date of arrival
10. Flight Ref.
11. Port of arrival - Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or other
12. Purpose of visit (Vacation/Business/Visit family)
13. Type of service (Visa approval code or Visa on arrival)
14. The city at which a Vietnam embassy or consulate is located, where you plan to get the visa (only for visa approval code type)

B. How it works:
After receiving your information and payment , we will process the visa immediately. You can expect the process to take 2 to 4 working days, and in urgent cases, only 1 to 2 working days.

Visa on Arrival: After approval, we will fax or email you a copy of the Approval letter as an attachment. Please remember to bring at least 2 photos of passport regulation size (2in x 2in, or 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm)

Approval Code Visa: After approval, we will fax or email you a copy of the Approval letter with code as an attachment. You will then have to proceed to the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate to obtain.

APPLY FOR A VISA AT AN EMBASSY BY YOURSELF

- REQUIREMENTS and PROCEDURE

  • Passport with a validity of at least 6 months
  • Visa application form. (click here to see)
  • 2 photos of passport regulation size (see above).
  • Visa fee: range of US$50 - 85 if application is sent directly to the Embassy or US$25-55 if your visa has been pre-approved. This fee depends on The Embassy and Type of visa required.

The visa application form may vary from Embassy to Embassy, so you need to take the form from the specific Embassy where you will obtain your visa. Submit this form filled with your original passport, 2 or 3 photos, accompanied by the visa fee. If you apply directly to The Embassy, your information will then be sent to Hanoi for approval. Therefore, it will take between 4 to 10 days depending on your country of origin. In case the Visa has already been approved at the Hanoi Immigration Office, this will then take only one day. The tourist visa is for a single entry only and a one-month stay, but it can be extended after you enter Vietnam. Diplomatic, official visas, business and other types of visas should be handled through the official agencies or government or business sponsor of the traveler.

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