Vietnam bike rentals

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by LivinLOS, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. A few of us are looking to escape Song Gran with a bike tour.

    Looking for some bikes for road use, not extreme off road, maybe the SL230's, maybe some XR250 (400 ??).. Hopefully not some decades old XTs but beggars cant be choosers maybe ??

    Dont really want to end up on minsks or urals if possible, would consider anything else going really (not a wave !!) if it was more road biased than off road not a problem.

    Any up to date suggestions of known good places ?? At the moment I am just doing the google search scattergun approach but perhaps BM's here have better contacts.
  2. They are one of the outfits I already emailed.. Will see what they say..

    Double points to any service that allows us to rent in Hanoi and leave in HCMC or load the train.
  3. Livinlos
    Good luck with the rental & trip. It will make a good trip report for us to read. Make sure you get plenty of photos & info for us to enjoy. I can't wait.
  4. Am actually surprised at the low response on rental guys, my buddy was mailing for a week or so and I must have blasted out 30 plus emails over the weekend and been pretty negative responses. All the main ones seem to be either booked or unwilling to just do rentals they want to package a full tour with guides and accommodation etc.

    Might have found some 125 road machines out of dalat, its not like I want anything exciting but just some kind of solid workhorse.

    Of course a pic report will come if this all works. Right now its hopeful but by no means sure.
  5. I would email Hung at Flamingo Travel in Hanoi and try to book one of his newer Honda XRs or the Suzuki DR-Z400. Expect to pay more than in Laos due to the tax situation for bigger bikes in Vietnam. Hung is a good fella, and very helpful. His bikes didn't miss a beat during our trip July 09, and he agreed to weld some saddlebag racks one XR that didn't have them, and replaced a lowish tread tire on request before our trip. Ms Thuy his admin girl is also a legend.
    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]
    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]

    As far as places to ride go, definitely head up to Ha Giang and Cao Bang: ... t6120.html

    Nice new-ish XR we hired from Flamingo:
  6. Thanks for that... Was looking at basic bonus 125's from Mr Lee at Dalat Easy riders but those seem much better.

    Will contact and see how it goes.
  7. Mat,

    What kind of deposit did you leave with them ?? I ask as we agreed all the pricing, sent them a booking deposit and then AFTER they got the money they now demand a 2k USD rental deposit per bike which feels very much like a bait and switch.

    Call me cynical but leaving 8 or 10,000 USD with someone I dont know, in a developing country is a bit more trust than I would normally have. Plus theres the whole difficulty in having that kind of cash, in USD from THB etc.

    If it was a credit card hold or similar maybe, but they want cash only.
  8. Hey Guys,

    I am in Hanoi, let me know if I can help.

    I can tell you no one living here would give a deposit of that kind here, it is almost always impossible to get it back.

    Be careful it sounds funny
  9. It totally feels like a bait and switch.

    We will see what responses we get but for him to demand this the email AFTER sending him the booking deposit just feels bad.
  10. Just left my passport that was fine. Have you been given that option? Remember in Vietnam good bikes are a massive investment for these operators due to the tax laws - from their point of view they are placing a lot of trust in strangers.
    Let me know,
  11. We have offered passports and we would of course do a visa card 'hold' as is common for rentals or hotels..

    I understand that bikes are costly and I would point out no one is attempting to scam anything and we would pay for any damage that happened.. But really ?? 8000 USD in cash ?? To be given back to us on our last day in another city ??

    Even the whole aspect of how to get 8000 USD (I dont want dong as we leave the country) and carrying this brick of currency, even without the possible scam. Just seems too much.

    Add in we have been speaking fora couple of weeks, this was all discussed in detail, his website speaks about 'booking deposits' in detail (yet nothing on this) and this was sprung the email AFTER being sent the booking cash. All just feels bad.

    Anyway the fact you left only a passport seems cleary different.
  12. Yeah, I hear what you're saying, and I have no doubt that you would sort out any damage etc. Your concerns are completely reasonable, particularly as you were not made aware of this until you had paid the deposit. Maybe I could understand this requirement if for some reason you did not want to leave your passports.

    Just to confirm, you have been speaking with Hung at Flamingo? If so, then in my opinon this is just an unreasonable request or misunderstanding rather than a scam. In 2006 he went out of his way to help us even though we had bikes, and did not buy anything from him. He was excellent last year with our 10 day trip (eg he set up a paypal account at my request so I did not have to wear the Western Union charges).

  13. Yes thats him...

    So for a 10 day trip you didnt leave a deposit ?? Just passports..

    He is saying we need passports for hotels, which I can understand, but right now hes insisting on this cash.
  14. Actually, come to think of it, of course we didn't leave our passports as we needed them for the hotels.

    We signed a contract, and had our passports photocopied. I think we also left our immigration cards.

    Maybe he's been shafted by someone who hired a bike and has changed his deposit policy? Still, you should have been told about the deposit beforehand. He may not have credit card facilities, hence the request for cash. Maybe an arrangement with someone who can process credit cards might be possible?

  15. Well we had to say we would cancel, but he has now said passports would be OK..

    I happen to have 2 so might be able to use the one without the viet visa, we will see..

    Ultimately it looks like we have reached a deal but communication or rather the timing and approach to problems hasnt been great.
  16. Yep, it seems like Hung should have handled this better as far as informing you of the deposit etc.

    To be fair to him it must be a bit nerve wracking for him to hire out these bikes which cost him a silly amount of money to legally register.

    Passports deposits aren't practical due the fact clients need them during their trip. Cash deposits that only cover a proportion of the cost of the bikes are prohibitive for clients, and who wants to leave a shite load of cash with someone they don't know in a foreign country? I don't think he can insure the bikes as clients do not have Vietnamese licenses?
    Seems like a credit card deposit would be the way to go.

    If I was you, I would have been thinking WTF, but in my opinion Hung is a stand up guy and just didn't handle this as well as he could have.

    Hope you enjoy the ride. Where are you going?

  17. Yeah we can understand his side too.. But as stated he should have approached it differently as it felt like a bait and switch. But never mind I have confidence all will come out good.

    We are doing a HCMC / Saigon to Hanoi.. We have arranged with Hung to pay additional fees and leave the bikes there with his contact.
  18. LivinLos,

    Can I ask the type of bike you hired from Hung and the daily rate? I will be looking for a rental to do the north of Vietnam (had enough of the Minsks).


  19. LivinLos
    So how was it? Did you follow through & go?
  20. Arrived home midnight last night..

    Will do a full TR with tracklogs, geo-tagged photos, and the like, once I have time to wade through the few 100 emails, portfolio updates, and cleaning 2500 kms of road grime out of my ride gear.. Maybe 48 hours to get into it.

    2 things I will say right now.. Vietnam is a great country to ride, great people, cheap, fun, friendly, and nicely different and interesting.. I will be back soon for another round at areas we missed this time (sappa and the north).

    Plus the biggie.. Theres a way into vietnam on our own bikes. Have a viet fixer who assures me that 100% he can get bikes in via one border point with Laos !! Bike needs (of course) fully legit book, you need a pre applied visa, and theres 80 - 100 USD in what I assume is a combined paperwork and bribe. Of course this can change next week, next month, or whenever, but as of now he assures me this is 100% reliable and not a maybe. Adventure riders, Vietnam is on the menu !!
  21. Greetings from Vietnam. I'm working over here in the central region for an unconfirmed amount of time.

    Seems a little mixed up. I don't know the ins and outs of the rental places but what I do know is:
    There are 2 westerners doing business here; one in Hanoi and one in HCMC. They are both Minsk specialists for servicing, repair and overhauling and seem to have good reviews from people.
    They rent and/or sell the bikes and have an arrangement with each other. i.e. if someone buys a bike off one of them lets say in Hanoi for a tour around Vietnam and ends up in HCMC then the other guy will buy the bike back off the purchaser, and vica versa. It is normally a Minsk and the purchase price seems to be between $350 - $450. Not sure of the buy back price. They both do a training session with the bike and carry spares and are available at the endof the phone if problems occur.
    So here are the contacts:

    HANOI: Anthony Tel No.: 0932566003 e-mail: [email [email protected]]kobrowi[email protected][/email]

    HCMC : Kevin Tel No.: 01677418959 e-mail: [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]

    Hope this is of use.
  22. Hung @ flamingo has my full an unreserved recommendation..

    Having spent time with the guy, hes as straight up to deal with as I have encountered in Asia.
    is the number one reliable honest rental shop in Hanoi / Vietnam.


    The shop office (business card above)

    The workshop

    The staff

    Some of the bikes


    The Yamaha YBR 125
    that I'd consider cruising Vietnam on! Note the pannier side racks.

    XRs with side panniers racks

    Dinner prepared by Mrs Hung, & what a wonderful meal it was & cook she is!

    Happy inebriated times for the boys after consuming Mrs Hung's food.

    A big GT Rider recommendation for

    :clap: :clap: :clap:

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