Dalat Easy Rider, Vietnam

Our Tour with the Easy Riders

We first met some Easy Riders while waiting at a bus stop in Danang. Two men with faces as worn as the black, insignia-inscribed leather jackets they wore roared over to us, pulling their shiny, black machines to a stop: “We are Easy Riders – wherever you are going, we’ll take you,” they said, flashing confident, tobacco-stained smiles in our direction.

Dalat Easy Rider, Vietnam

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Err, actually, we just wanted to get the cheap public bus over to Hoi An, not hitch a lift with a couple of Vietnamese Hell’s Angels, thanks very much. That wasn’t the last we saw of the Easy Riders though; minutes after stepping off the bus in Dalat a week later we were accosted by yet another one of them and we couldn’t help but feel intrigued – what exactly is the deal with these guys?

Easy Rider Tours Vietnam

Just as you don’t have to travel far in Vietnam before you bump into an Easy Rider, you don’t have to search for long to find word of them on the Web either. The group offer tailored personal motorbike tours around the country, organising accommodation, food and pledging to take you off the tourist trail to experience a slice of real Vietnamese life.

A good option for us would have been to take a tour from Dalat down to our next stop, Saigon, checking out the Ho Chi Minh trail as we went. While I’m sure it would have been incredible, the price would have run to £85 a day, which was far too expensive for us. Instead we decided to take a one-day Easy Rider tour of the Dalat countryside costing just £24 for both of us.

Dalat Countryside Vietnam

Since there don’t seem to be any patenting or copyright laws in Vietnam, we found it ridiculously difficult to figure out exactly who the real Easy Riders were and book a tour. There are several different offices in Dalat and numerous websites claiming to represent the original group; in frustration we eventually just went with one at random.

Our Easy Riders Countryside Tour

Things didn’t get off to a great start when the next day we were told there was only one Rider available for our tour, so Andrew would have to drive his own bike. We suspected that the other drivers were more interested in trying to fix themselves up with longer, more lucrative tours rather than bothering with our measly day-trip.

View of Dalat, Vietnam

Nevertheless, after negotiating a cheaper rate we decided to go ahead with the tour anyway and all negative thoughts were banished as we sped out of the busy city centre into the spectacular hilly countryside. The clean mountain air chilled us as we wound along spiralling roads, stopping at a view-point to see the city stretched off in the distance beyond fields full of vegetables, fruits and flowers; the climate in Dalat is just right for growing crops and coffee beans.

Flower Farm in Dalat Vietnam

Further along the road our guide sent us into a forest for a ‘romantic’ walk and with the scent of pine trees, the cool air and glimpse of rising peaks on the horizon, we felt more like we were in Austria or Switzerland than Vietnam. The next few stops were standard tourist-fare; a flower and then a mushroom farm and a silk weaving factory.

Silk Worm Factory, Dalat Vietnam

The only stop we weren’t pleased about making was at a coffee factory where we were shown a room full of tiny metal cages stuffed with distressed weasels pacing (as much as they could in the cramped conditions) to and fro. We were appalled by the conditions they were kept in, all so the coffee beans that they’d fermented in their stomachs could be collected, dried and sold. The only weasel that looked happy was a pet free to roam around the place. We refused to try the coffee and moved on.

Weasel at a Coffee Factory in Vietnam

In sharp contrast to the other commercialised waterfalls we’d seen in Dalat, our next stop, Elephant Falls was a welcome change. Despite the dangerous climb down over slippery rocks to the bottom of the hill and were rewarded with brilliant views of the powerful waterfall. After a lunch of rice and vegetables in a local café we stopped off at a peaceful pagoda and Buddhist meditation place before my most anticipated stop of the day – the cable car.

Elephant Falls, Dalat Vietnam

As we flew over the hills in our tiny metal and glass box we marvelled at the views of Dalat spread below us and got off at the other end to snap some pics of the city from above. At only £2 per person, a trip on the cable car was the perfect way to end our Easy Rider tour.

Dalat Cable Car in Vietnam

Would we Recommend an Easy Rider Tour?

Although we did have a good time on our Easy Rider Tour, after reading all those great reviews before-hand our experience was a bit of a letdown. As well as Andrew having to drive himself around, we found that our guide, while pleasant enough, wasn’t particularly informative, especially after we’d declined his offer of taking a longer tour with him down to Saigon.

For what we’ve read, it seems like you get a much better experience if you book a longer Easy Rider tour rather than a day trip. As for which company to choose, since it’s so difficult to figure out who the authentic Easy Riders are we’d recommend taking a day trip with a driver first before booking a longer trip with him.

Have you been on an Easy Rider tour in Vietnam? What was your experience like?

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11 Comments
  • James Long
    Posted at 14:57h, 08 April Reply

    Good tips Amy. Didn’t know about those guys last time we were in Vietnam. What would have happened if Andrew couldn’t ride a bike? If you get the right tour it certainly sounds like the best way to see the country. May have to give it a miss with our two little ones next time round. Cheers James

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:03h, 09 April Reply

      Thanks James, I think we would have had to cancel the tour if Andrew couldn’t ride; I’m pretty sure there were plenty of riders available, they were just scouting around for longer tour customers. I bet you guys will bump into the Easy Riders at some point in Vietnam – they’re everywhere!

      • Chris
        Posted at 16:45h, 31 October Reply

        Yes they ask people to go on a tour. Highly intimidating, as I thought they would end up leaving you in the middle of nowhere and demand high prices for a return trip.

        • Amy
          Posted at 02:11h, 01 November Reply

          Hi Chris, sorry you had a bad experience and it’s definitely something to be aware of when taking a day trip. We tried to make it clear from the beginning that we couldn’t afford a longer trip, still he tried to persuade us. I hope you enjoyed Vietnam though.

  • Victoria
    Posted at 06:26h, 11 April Reply

    Hi guys, I’ve never heard of the “Easy Riders” in Vietnam but I have been to Dalat. It was one of my very favourite places. The weather was lovingly cool and it was pretty quiet. So much so that we felt relaxed enough to have Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Hotel for an outrageous fee of $7.00 per person! We also went to the waterfall. Did you go to the Crazy House?

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:40h, 11 April Reply

      Hi Victoria, we loved Dalat too but didn’t have afternoon tea – that sounds amazing though! Yes, we did go to the Crazy House too, which definitely lived up to its name 🙂

  • Jenia from HTL
    Posted at 11:00h, 24 April Reply

    Hey guys! We just did a five day adventure with the Original Easy Riders — I think a different outfit, but with same stellar results! We loved our time on the road with them, if it wasn’t for the cost I would gladly spend the entire month riding with them.

    • Andrew
      Posted at 12:00h, 24 April Reply

      Hi Jenny, did you do your tour from Dalat? If so which office did you use? Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Pingback:Escaping to the Dalat Highlands | Our Christmas Week in Dalat Vietnam
    Posted at 06:11h, 06 May Reply

    […] Despite a long and varied day of sightseeing we still hadn’t seen all Dalat had to offer, so we decided to book ourselves on a much-hyped Easy Rider tour of the surrounding countryside for the next day, you can find out how it went in our next post. […]

  • Michael
    Posted at 06:20h, 28 January Reply

    Good tips, i am going to Dalat in March. Which waterfall is good to go? I have heard of langbiang mountain and a few of the other nice place like crazy house.

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:08h, 28 January Reply

      Have a great trip, Dalat is beautiful. We really liked Elephant Falls but there are many amazing waterfalls around that area as well stunning countryside.

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