Explore Indochina
Explore Indochina
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Explore Indochina is the premier motorcycle tour operator in Vietnam. Our team has been exploring the northern mountains of Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Trail on both sides of the Vietnam-Laos border for 22 years. We offer classic tours on vintage motorcycles. We trained the rest, ride with the best!
Hanoi, Vietnam
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

65 reviews
Very good

Delta, Canada4 contributions
Oct 2015 • Friends
We recently attempted to go on a motorcycle tour, however, one of our riders was in an accident and we had to cut the ride short. What Digby and his wife did after was nothing short of fantastic. Digby and Thuy made all arrangements for transportation for our group within Hanoi, arranged all lodging, took us for lunch and dinner to all the spots they enjoy to go themselves, just all around fantastic hosts. They both ensured that our injured rider was taken care of and was made a priority. They both insured that even though we didn't get to go on our planned trip, that we were able to see Hanoi through their eyes, which was unbelievable. Digby pushed the 2 riders who were able to get out on a ride, out on a quick few night trip, experiencing unbelievable scenery and fantastic FOOD!!!! Hands down, Explore IndoChina(Digby and Thuy) were unbelievable hosts and we will definitely enjoy back to see them and go on another ride in the near future. This is a company that has been around for years and what we experienced with them, is why the have been around for so long and will continue to be around. Hats off to Explore IndoChina!
Written November 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

11 contributions
May 2015 • Couples
For two relatively disorganised travelers, with next to no expectations about what this trip may have held, we absolutely struck gold with these guys.
Explore Indochina could not have been more accommodating. They planned and executed for us the adventure of a lifetime, which we loved every second of. The five days touring around northern Vietnam, up to the Chinese border were breath taking. We hardly touched a main road, and for once, managed to enjoy that rare sensation of true escapism.
The itinerary, accommodation and food were pretty much faultless. Not to mention our guide - Tony 'Manx' who was superb. Extremely Informative when required, organised and a damn good laugh! And a special mention to 'V' our mechanic, who relentlessly rode behind us making sure we were still in one piece!
I wouldn't for one moment hesitate to recommend this tour to people. Particularly those who like to leave the beaten track, do something a little bit different, and build some awesome memories.
Cheers guys,
Sam and Mark - UK
Written June 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pokhara, Nepal23 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
Mountain High ride from July 3rd to July 8th, 2016, Minsk motorcycles (Tony and Chan)
This is my second trip with then having done the borders to beaches with the urals last year. Thinking it would be the same but it is not. The views were simply breath taking (Pictures taken does not do it any justice). On the third day of the ride we were lucky as it was pouring we had four river crossings, countless challenging trails - WOW.
If this is mid life crisis - please please do not let it end.
The website that explore Indochina has does not do the trip any justice.
This is not only a bike tour but a food tour, a cultural tour, a scenic tour- everything you expect and much much more.
The only quote I can use to describe this tour is " It is not the amount of breath you take but the moments that take your breath away"
Written July 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sydney, Australia16 contributions
Dec 2014 • Solo
This company tried to change itinery in order to increase its own profit on a ride I did with them in May 2012.
I tried to ring Digby many times to object but he would not answer his phone,return messages or respond to emails whilst on a border to beaches tour.
I found this very unsatisfactory.
Written November 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brisbane, Australia5 contributions
Oct 2015 • Friends
I've just returned to Hanoi after my second 10 day trip with Digby in 18 months. Spent 10 days exploring the Chinese border north of Hanoi. I was a little worried that this trip wouldn't best as good as last years because as they say, never go back. If anything it was better as we spent more time off pist, exposing little tracks that even Digby hadn't been on even after 20 years riding.
The days start around 7 for breakfast and on the bikes at 8:00. Everyday brought new and more spectacular scenery and roads.
The accommodation was above expectations, homestays in particular were fantastic. The food was excellent mostly, (The bacon/honey/banana pancakes for breakfast are the best hangover cure ever....:-P )
The plucky little Minsk's will get you everywhere you need to go, Fun little bikes and much suited to the rugged conditions on some of the tracks.
Cannot recommend explore Indochina enough. Digbys a great guy with a outlook that makes the trip feel like a true adventure.
I'm typing this at the Hotel breakfast, and across from me are 2 groups saying what a adventure they are having in Hanoi, eating street food, riding pedicabs and booking a trip to Ha Long bay....I can't help but feel a little sorry for them, because if only they knew what they missed out on....
Written October 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sydney, Australia13 contributions
Jul 2019 • Solo
Just finished 11 day trip from Delhi - LEH in India. What a fantastic experience!!. The guide Digby and support crew of local guides, mechanics + doctor made the trip seamless. We were riding Royal Endfield Bullet 500cc which were perfect for the rough roads and terrain we traveled on the trip. Accommodation was best available at location, we stayed in tents for 3 nights and they had a separate ensuite toilet and basin, no hot water, the other nights were a combination of hotels and home stays and these were the best in location, they were not 5 star but they had clean rooms and ensuites with hot water ("water was not always hot- but that is India") food along the way was typical Indian with breads,rice and curries. Digby's route took us off the tourist routes to locations of pristine wilderness and views that can only be imagined, In some locations we were the only non-locals there. In closing, I would highly recommend this tour to any experienced riders that want to get off the beaten track and share a unique experience with other like minded people. Our group was 14 which was a perfect size.Exceptional, Awesome experience
Written July 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

23 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
My wife and I finished watching the Top Gear UK: Vietnam Special (for the 100+ time) and said to each other, “We should do something like this.” Google quickly showed us Explore Indochina results since this was the company behind the logistics for that episode. We emailed our interest along with questions and quickly received a response. The company has many rides to choose from and we settled on the Border Crawl for 12 days. Thuy, who is the office manager is a hidden gem in the planning process. She was able to confirm pre and post night hotel accommodations, airport transportation, a private train cabin, visa information, and invitation letters. Thuy’s attention to detail and help was greatly appreciated.
I wouldn’t call us experienced. We’ve only ridden a Yamaha FZ1 for a few seasons and always on tarmac, so what were we thinking and getting ourselves into? This was a question we frequently asked ourselves before the trip. The Border Crawl adventure is not entirely ridden on roads or what we would call roads. There are settled landslides, loose gravel, dirt, holes (pot and otherwise), mud, and at times rocky terrain. Be prepared for off-road driving if you want to see the spectacular scenery and really experience the culture and beauty of Vietnam, it's worth it.

We started out with a cab ride from our excellent Morgans (we stayed at the golden lotus as well across the street but Morgans breakfast was waaaay better) hotel across the street from Explore Indochina's Hanoi office to the garage on the outskirts of Hanoi. Taking a car taxi in Hanoi is much like riding a raft through a fast river. The car pushes against the sea of bikes filling the streets and the bikes try to dictate the car's direction of travel. At no time did it feel unsafe (for us in the car) but the bikers seemed to at times be more akin to the starting line on a dirt bike track. It was a great experience and a fun way to get to the garage quickly.

The Garage is CHALKED FULL of bikes in varying states of assembly and repair, minsks everywhere and urals sprinkled about along with parts all over for both. It was a glorious trove of vintage bike awesomeness! The mechanics had pulled us out three battle tested minsks ready for another tour of duty through the sometimes rough and difficult terrain. We took them out for a test ride around the garage area to make sure it was all in order and other than the transmission having N at the bottom instead of between 1&2 which throughout the tour I kept forgetting about and making a fool of myself they are excellent for the task and were a treat to take on the trip. These are the kind of bikes you would be glad to have with you if you were slogging through a remote area and needed them to work or be repaired with some string and a screwdriver. Simple, utilitarian, and reliable performance. We loved them for the whole trip. They add another level of awesome to this trip that we were not expecting. Riding the trip in new BMW's would not have been as much fun and would have made the trip less exciting. The Russian stallions we rode also got more looks and had people come over and ask about them when standing next to them was ~12 new XYZ dual sport looking bikes. This Garage visit also serves to ensure riders are capable of riding the bikes safely and are competent enough to run the ride. While we were there another tour company was having a young woman try to ride a bike solo and it reminded me of all the shows about when teenagers first learn to drive.... She ended up on the back of another bike as a rider. In this country YOU HAVE to be able to ride decently as the roads are unpredictable and the people, cars, trucks and ESPECIALLY the taxi buses can be even less predictable. It's not a "learn to ride a bike in Vietnam" kind of holiday and you have to be able to ride well BEFORE you get here.

At the garage we met our fearless leader Tony and our master of mechanical mayhem, Chan. These guys were awesome! Chan could fix anything, I swear if we tossed one of the bikes off the side of a mountain and hid both tires in adjacent buildings he would have it back together and running again by morning. He was an extremely nice and genuine individual too. We enjoyed having him on the tour with us. Tony and Chan knew EVERYTHING about the area and where we are going, gone, want to go, thought about going, would like to eat, like to see..... Well everything. You ask and poof Tony delivered, he was also an indispensible member of the tour and excellent person as well. This ride would not have been the same if either of them were absent and we feel like we left Vietnam with two new friends because of it.

I am not going to detail the ride day to day as you need to experience the surprise and excitement for yourself but I will detail some of the basics of what we experienced without too much detail. Tony as well as the other guides, wore highly visible pieces of clothing and or gear so we could see him better. It's always a good idea when riding to wear some hi-vis clothing but here I think it was more so we could pick him out in a crowd. At times you are the only one of the group in sight and it's like you are riding alone in the country then you catch up to the next bike or guide and know you are going the right way. It's a great system they use because it's simple and time tested and by no means exclusive so everyone just kinda gets it. Tony was always in the lead (unless we passed him because we were looking off at some of the ridiculous scenery) and Chan was in the tail gunner position ready to handle whatever mechanical malady had befallen a comrade. We had a couple but none that took longer than 15 mins to fix on the road. Chan was very skilled in field dressings for the bikes then more permanent repairs at the overnight stop. Tony would make regular breaks and stop for a time if for no reason than to let us catch up to him (we were stopping a lot to take pictures and the like) He would normally stop somewhere nice (well pretty much everywhere is "nice" in the northern mountains) and we could get off the horse for 10 mins or so. This continued until you reached the city border then we all bunched up in single formation for the trip to the overnight stop as the cities even remote ones could have enough traffic to separate us. It was always fine and went without incident.

We would stop for picnic lunches with fresh carrot and cucumber peeled off into thin slices, patte, mustard, pickles, etc.... and fresh bread. They hit the spot every day and we got to have them while basking in the beauty of the countryside, it was staggering at times. You would just look around and say to yourself " I am having lunch at the side of the road in the mountains of Vietnam" and it would be real then. It all seemed surreal at times, it was all so different.

The "Home Stays" were far and away my favorite of the overnight stops. Most are on a stilted second level building and have a single very large (~30'x50') room with curtains separating the "cubes" that represent individual sleeping areas. The family had their own building and so we had this all to our group. Each spot had a foam mattress, mosquito netting and power outlets to charge your gear. Unfortunately for my comrades I snore like a sleeping dragon so if you are reading this I am sorry for that.... The meals they serve at these stays are delicious and easily had some of the best food on the whole trip! When going on this trip don't expect 5 star michelin fare. Do expect more simple dishes of vegetable soups, rice and meat (normally pork/beef/chicken) fried rice, fried spring rolls (easily our favorite and like nothing you have tasted in your country) and normally a fried/steamed greens dish. All of it is delicious and filling. We never went hungry or felt that anything was no good enough it was ALWAYS excellent! Drinks are plentiful at all the stops both adult and fizzy. Of the adult variety it's mostly beer and of that there are basically five you will encounter of local beers and SOME imports in larger towns. I tried them all and there is no reason to get anything other than the local fare and by far the "BIA HA NOI" was the winner. It's definitely not a beer snobs paradise (I am not :-)) but it was VERY reasonable compared to the states. They also have a thing in most places called "zeo" (rice wine brewed onsite normally) spelling there is wrong but phonetically that's how it sounds in english. Comes in a little 20oz water bottle and it's worth a try. We drank A LOT of water on our tour and I suggest you always have the largest bottle you can fit in your pannier bags back pocket as it stays cold longer and to either freeze if you can at the overnight stop or refrigerate every night. You will be glad you did :-)

Hotels on this ride in the north are all special in their own way and Tony did a WONDERFUL job of ensuring they all had the right beds etc... as it IS possible to get a room with a hard bed (think wood plank like sleeping on top of a kitchen table) instead of the amazing invention that is memory foam. After the long days ride it was a much appreciated effort. Other than that they are simply a place to sleep and sit in the AC. The real fun in town is around town mingling with the people and places. We saw so many things that just were so odd it's ALWAYS worth a walk around town. We were never in town bored or wondering what to do. There is something around every corner that is worth a look.

The overnight train ride back from Lao Cai was a new thing for us. We had never ridden a train before EVER. I slept the whole night through but sleep was broken a bit as we stopped a number of times overnight at town stations. We found it a new and pleasant experience, something we had never done and getting the bikes on and off the train was fun too. Just another facet of the great adventure this ride had become. I WILL recommend you ask for a "private" train cabin as we did so you get your own room and don't have to share with others.

I can only say in closing that we had a tremendous time and we are going back next year for another tour. You have to go into it knowing you will not know what is going to happen and to accept what may come and then it is a great time had by all and it was such an adventure as well!

Tony, Chan, Digby, Thuy and all of the team at Explore Indochina, Thank You!
Written August 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Justin, Thanks for choosing us for your motorbike adventure. Great to know that you and your wife had a great time exploring Vietnam. Motorbike adventures are simply the best way to see this fantastic country! We look forward to having you to have another motorbike adventures with us early next year. Cheers, Thuy
Written August 9, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cheryl P
Southampton, UK4 contributions
Apr 2016 • Friends
I cannot rate Explore Indochina highly enough. From the planning stage they were incredibly helpful and offered help with visas, airport transfers and accommodation before and after the tour.
Our guide, Tony was incredible. He is full of enthusiasm, great fun and very knowledgeable. He really did everything possible to make our holiday an adventure.
The riding was hard at times (I am a total off road novice and some of the "roads" are pretty gnarly) but the route was perfectly tailored to our abilities offering just the right level of challenges.
I fell in love with my bike on day one (Minsk 125) and it didn't let me down. They are properly tough machines and just take everything you throw at them. Having our ninja mechanic, Vy along certainly helped too as he kept the bikes running. No one ever saw him work on the bikes but smashed mirrors magically became whole again and minor niggles disappeared overnight!
The accommodation was fantastic especially at the homestays which were comfortable and authentic with fantastic food and always well stocked with beer (and occasionally zio)! We really felt like we were off the tourist trail and got to see real Vietnamese life.
We packed so much in to 5 days (Karst Away Tour) but we still left wanting more so we will be back to do a much longer tour of the south as soon as the bank balance allows!
Written May 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Loi H
Delta, Canada1 contribution
Oct 2015 • Friends
We recently came back from an amazing North Viet Nam Border Crawl trip with Digby and his mechanic, Vy. Prior to our ride, Digby had sat us down and went through all the safety aspects of the ride, gave us the riding tips and his knowledge of the local traffic. Thanks to his 25 years of experience and knowledge, our ride was fantastic. Digby did not short change on us during the ride (with his wife's help, Mrs. Thuy) our experiences on this trip (from the awesome food to home stay and various stops to enjoy the scenery) it was an experience of a life time. With his mechanic, Vy, taking care of our bikes during our ride, it was relaxed, fun and worry free riding trip (except the crazy city traffic...:) ). The entire Team took care of us and had done everything they could to make this trip AWESOME! ... We will definitely be back to ride with Digby and the Explore Indochina Team again.
Written November 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim M
6 contributions
Oct 2015 • Solo
I've just finished the 10 day "Border Crawl" along the North-Vietnam/China border between Hanoi and Lao Cai/Sapa. The trip was incredible. The sheer diversity of scenery, exposure to local culture, and opportunity to travel with like-minded motorcyclists has been life-changing. The trip is one of the best I've ever experienced.

Our guide, with 20+ years local experience, was deeply passionate and embedded in Vietnamese culture. The guide + mechanic know the little roads through rice paddy-fields, sheer-cliff valleys, vast farming land and off-piste tracks. Both had a passion for discovering new tracks and provides outstanding access to real people and culture.

All tour participants were well vetted by the organisers. This ensured a harmonious trip and access routes that suited all members of the travelling party. Digby, Thuy and the team are flawless in their co-ordination of a safe, well organised and flexible trip that caters appropriately to skills and objectives of all participants... And the little Minsk motorbike is the ultimate all-terrain vehicle for all riders in this country.

The accommodation was of high quality and frankly exceeded expectations for a adventure motorcycling trip. Great mix of Home-stay accommodation which were beautifully catered and very high quality hotel accommodation which was fabulous.

The variety and quality of Vietnamese cooking has, in my experience been without comparison. At all times, we were well fed, had access to bottled water...

I enjoyed this trip so much that I expect to return for another with Explore Indochina.
Written October 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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