We spent the day on the back of two motorbikes and saw the ins and outs of the Central Highlands surrounding Da Lat. With a handful of great stops along the way to break up the journey, we were able to learn about some regional history, drink civet coffee and local moonshine, gaze out at rice terraces and waterfalls, and eat some great food with even better company.
To Easy Ride or Not to Easy Ride
After we arrived in Da Lat, and of course after my minor stint in the local clinic, we found out that all those guys in blue jackets standing outside of their bike shops were motorbike tour guides that take you around the Central Highlands. A little dubious at first, we consulted the traveller’s companion of the 21st century, TripAdvisor. The reviews ranged from scary to ‘YOU MUST DO THIS!’ So we said what the hell and decided to give it a go.
One word of caution, there are a shit load of “Da Lat Easy Rider” outfits in Da Lat. All of them claim to be ‘original’ and ‘the best.’ They all wear similar blue jackets and the names of their websites and companies are all basically the same thing. We probably spent a few hours Googling and looking up reviews on TripAdvisor, but in the end, the best way to pick an outfit is to just walk down the main road in Da Lat and chat with the drivers.
You will quickly notice that some outfits are really aggressive and literally pull you into the shop, while others, like the outfit we went with, which we HIGHLY recommend, gave us a friendly hello and smile and once we enquired about the tour we were casually invited inside for a cup of tea and pleasant conversation.
Bottom line: the tour itineraries of all the outfits are all similar and the prices are roughly the same, but the people you deal with at the various companies are very different so, go with your gut.
Let’s Do This!
Despite scars from a 2011 motorbike accident in Bali, Indonesia and a recent visit to the Da Lat hospital, we decided to hop on the back of two motor bikes and tour the Central Highlands of Vietnam for the day. Spoiler alert: This was a great decision!
Our two guides were not only great drivers and super knowledgeable about the region, but they were just plain friendly and down-to-earth people. While the views were really great and the sites we saw interesting, perhaps one of our favorite parts of this tour was just hanging out with our guides. We shared some coffee, lunch and some enjoyable conversation.
Here are some of the moments from a great day on the road.
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