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6 thumbs up - Thai delivers and exceeds expectations

We met Thai from GoBambooTrek rather serendipitously when we were looking for motorbike rental... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
bernardjhuang
,
San Francisco, California
Thai is the real deal

Top 5 reasons to go on a motorbike trip with Thai: 1. Thai is a genuinely kind person Our group... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
hangsu
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Reviewed 1 week ago

We met Thai from GoBambooTrek rather serendipitously when we were looking for motorbike rental shops in Hanoi. We had a group of 3 and even though some of us had motorbike riding experience, we still felt it'd be safest to get a local to take us on a tour and get us acclimatized to Hanoi driving conditions--the streets of Hanoi can feel overwhelming with the masses of motorbikes and cars.

To our luck, Thai showed up and not only offered our least experienced team member a class outside the hub-bub of the city... he let us borrow a couple of his own motorcycles to ride for the rest of the day. What got us to commit to a (at first) 2-day 1-night trip with Thai is his warmth, generosity, and kindness.

The trip from Hanoi -> Mai Chau was gorgeous, and Thai always made sure everyone was riding safe and having a great time. The stops along the way felt just right and always had some great scenery to go along with it. We enjoyed the trip so much, that when we arrived in Mai Chau we decided to extend another day :)

Mai Chau -> Phu Yen was our favorite leg of the trip. You get amazing country-side views, a ferry across the lake, and all kinds of variety along your ride (dirt paths, tons of animals, friendly villagers).

Yes the motorbike scenery is gorgeous. But what made the trip the best travel experience of my life (and the reason why I created a TripAdvisor account) is Thai. Whatever request we had during the trip, he acknowledged and often times went out of his way to make happen. Here's a couple examples:
* the night in Phu Yen, quite a few of us were feeling a bit sick and noted the table next to us had some fruit. Thai immediately asks to borrow the restaurant owner's motorbike, disappears, and comes back with bags of fruit for us to enjoy. He definitely didn't have to, but we loved that he did.
* the last day from Phu Yen -> Hanoi, Thai had a pretty bad fever, but still went out of his way to make sure we were having a good time... stopping at cafe's along the way and letting us sample the local fruits and juices.
* one of us had zero motorbike riding experience. The day before, Thai met us up and took a couple hours out of his day to train us all on automatics, semi-automatics, and fully manuals. All at no additional cost (should be ~$25 / hour) just to make sure we were all confident on the road.
* after the training, Thai invited us back to his house where he gave us an entire tour of the house, and let us select from his gear what helmets / jackets / gloves we wanted to take on our trip. We also met his lovely wife and son (who loves playing soccer).

All in all, if you're in Hanoi looking for a motorbike tour, motorbike rental, or just want to chill, Thai and GoBambooTrek delivers and exceeds expectations. Go with Thai and you will have a blast. Guaranteed.

1  Thank bernardjhuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Top 5 reasons to go on a motorbike trip with Thai:

1. Thai is a genuinely kind person

Our group of 3 did a 1-day trip around Hanoi and a 3-day 2-night trip to Mai Chau and Phu Yen. Through it all, Thai treated us like family. In fact, we met his wife and son and even got a tour of his beautiful home.

At dinner in Phu Yen, I saw a family with a bowl of fruit and asked Thai if we could order one too. Thai asked, but found out the family brought it from home. Minutes later, Thai convinces the restaurant owners to let him borrow their bike (ours were in the hotel garage), and minutes later, he returns with a bag full of fruit.

What a guy.

2. Thai is flexible and accommodating

We originally tried to go on a tour with Offroad Vietnam and got turned away (rather rudely), so we walked to a random motorbike shop and asked the owner if he did tours. He didn't, but asked us to wait while he called a "very nice guy" who does do tours. 15 minutes later, Thai shows up and took us on our 1-day tour on the spot.

We had such a great time that we decided to do a 2-day tour a few days later. DURING our 2-day tour, we asked to extend our trip for another day. Thai accommodated every request we made without hesitation despite being bombarded with requests during the trip.

I still recommend booking him in advance, as we simply got lucky with Thai's time, but flexibility during a motorbike trip is essential and Thai's flexibility helped make this trip truly memorable

3. Thai's experience as a guide is invaluable

We actually came to Vietnam thinking we could just rent a few scooters and go off on our own, but in retrospect, that wouldn't have worked out at all.

Do you know how to spot the only clean and delicious restaurant riding through a small village? Do you know how to navigate the windy, bumpy roads of northern Vietnam while dodging traffic and cattle? Do you know enough Vietnamese to arrange a high quality homestay in advance?

Thai knows. He was born in the countryside of Northern Vietnam, he has personal relationships with the locals, and he's been taking people on tours for 20 years.

4. Thai knows how to balance safety and fun

I actually had never even sat on a motorbike until this trip. I told Thai that when we first met him, and he wouldn't give me a motorbike to ride -- for good reason, the streets of Hanoi can be unforgiving, though I was a bit salty at the time. Instead, he took me on the back of his bike to a wide, low-traffic road and taught me to ride a fully automatic scooter. 15 minutes later, he says "ok, let's go pick you up a bike". I spent the rest of the day on my own scooter feeling great about myself.

The day before our 3-day trip, he invites us to his home to teach me semi-auto, then manual all without extra charge.

Thai started the 3-day trip going steady and safe, always signaling to help us pass safely and gently pointing out mistakes (I'd often leave my turn signal on). But by day 2, he was leading us through more challenging terrain and faster speeds, still always with an emphasis on safety.

Thai is patient, has a great sense for riding ability and doesn't hold you back from having fun.

5. Motorbiking is the best way to see Vietnam's beautiful and welcoming countryside

I won't go into this one too much. Just google "Vietnam Countryside". From our experience, the Vietnamese people were always happy to see us. More so than any other country I've visited.

1  Thank hangsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2018 via mobile

Went one a one day bike tour by myself with Thai in October 2017 and the whole day was amazing. In the process of saving up to go back and do one of the longer trips. Amazing experience and amazing customer service, unbelievably hospitable

Thank SamC3892
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2018

7 Stars!

Three friends and I just got back from a 2 week trip to Vietnam where we did 10 days on dirt bikes across Northern Vietnam with Thai from Go Bamboo Trek and 2 days on a boat through Ha Long Bay. It was ridiculous. Thai arranged everything and was one of the most warm and welcoming hosts I could ever imagine. You could *not* be in better hands than with Go Bamboo. Everything was better than promised and the trip was super fun, adventuresome and flexible. Go Bamboo has a lot of knowledge from doing these trips for 20 years and will take you on some amazing side adventures that most people probably fly right past. You get a legit local experience. Be careful when you tell him you want to try all the food :D

We made lifelong friends with Go Bamboo and wouldn't go back to Vietnam without doing a trip with them. Was blown away by all of their service - the reliability, friendliness, professionalism, knowledge, planning, flexibility, patience, guiding, food choices, etc. etc.

Thank iwontdowhatyoutellme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2018 via mobile

Thanks to the Go Bamboo team I had an amazing 6 day trip on a motorbike through the Northwestern part of Vietnam. I’ll definitely come back and do another tour!

Thank Erik H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2018

For anyone wanting a more personalized tour, I can really recommend Go Bamboo Trek. Thai, our guide, was so incredibly adaptable and easily attuned to what we wanted and how we wanted to travel. We spent a day with him at the beginning of our tour in Hanoi and four great days at the end of our trip on the coast. Each place we saw and were able to photograph aspects of the country we would not otherwise have seen, ate healthy local food we would not otherwise have tried. He and his driver were the best. They were always patient, always pleasant, always helpful. As photographers we really appreciated their attitude. For anyone interested in getting off the beaten path, moving at their own pace and doing so at any level of comfort, Go Bamboo Trek can do it.

1  Thank _joannleimberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2017 via mobile

World Wonders in Ninh Bình

Thai took my father, some friends, and me to Ninh Bình for a two-day adventure.

Though my father wanted to take motorbikes, we were in the rainy season and Thai advised us to take a car instead since a 2-hour motorbike trip in cold Hanoi rain might be more unpleasant than adventurous (especially since our group had all different ability levels on motorbikes and I had less experience than anyone!). Thai arranged a very comfortable van to take us to Ninh Bình.

Our accomodations in Ninh Bình were at a cottage-style picturesque inn where Thai facilitated communications with hotel staff to ensure our rooms were ready promptly and that we were all comfortable and had what we needed.

After lunch at the hotel, we all headed out for a boat trip. Having watched boaters cruise by in the river that ran by the hotel, I was expecting a short, provincial but charming, hour-long boat ride near the hotel. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Thai had booked us for a 3-hour boat excursion over cool green water-lily laced waters, through fascinating caves, and under the shadows of Ninh Bình’s emerald hills.

At our inn that night, we all slept well in our sturdy little cottages under plush bedding. We woke up early for a tasty complimentary breakfast before heading out to Bái Đính Temple.

At Bái Đính, Thai played a great tour guide- he checked in with us throughout the trip and challenged us to find the elements that make Bái Đính unique in all South Asia (there are three!). Thai also provided us with historical anecdotes to enrich our understanding of what we were seeing while also allowing us to explore and take everything in on our own time.

I have traveled through Europe and not found anything quite so astounding as the sprawling symmetry of the Pagoda grounds and the vast scale of the statues of kings, gods, and Buddha in their temples- such giants that are carved from whole trees, flanked by giant stone warriors, and adorned in gold. Bái Đính is a delight for the eyes and the spirit.

Thai scheduled our excursion to Bái Đính Temple and the river trip at the perfect times of day- morning and late afternoon- so it was not too hot, but we still had plenty of light. Thai also secured appropriate accommodations and transportation to and around our destinations that suited the different needs and ability levels of the people in our group. What we probably most appreciated, though, was that Thai enriched our natural and historical experiences with culinary ones as he was always on the lookout for a coffee shop or restaurant to refresh us and fill our bellies with local delicacies like steamed and fried goat meat, fried country chicken, and savory spinach soup.

If you go to Vietnam, make sure you book a trip with Go Bamboo Trek as they organize trips throughout the country. Thai and his friendly staff are confident, organized, informative, and dedicated to making sure everyone has a great time on their unforgettable journey.

Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2017

I looked at different rental options for a Honda XR 150cc for 4 weeks and ended up to do business with Thai. The reason: I am a women and I wanted to go by myself. So I needed a trustworthy bike and enough support on the road from a distance if I needed it. And oh boy, I needed Thai's help a few times and he was always fast to respond and helped almost each day when I had a question reg which route, alternative options etc.
When the temperatures dropped unexpectedly to 4C I decided to shorten my trip and to get back to Hanoi earlier. Thai arranged not only a bus ticket back but as well the accommodation and for the bike a transport by train. I mean, how much more could you ask for? I have done business with many shops before but this one stood out in their customer service approach as it was just phenomenal. Thai & his wife make you feel like a friend and I was amazed by their honest approach, friendliness and support they have provided. They offer a lot of different bikes and they do not try to sell you anything. Safety is their top concern and I even had spare parts for the tyres provided so not to get stuck in the mountain in case I have a flat tyre. I very strongly recommend Thai's business and when you plan to go up North and you can afford it take him as a tour guide. The area is not very touristy and english is hardly spoken anywhere which made it quite challenging. Even finding food was a bit of a challenge. Having a local guide would have been a great support but unfortunately my budget did not allow it. But if you can, make an organised tour with Thai or one of his colleagues as it will make the trip so much easier.

2  Thank CoCoDives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2017

Very friendly and accommodating. Great price for a full day on a Simi automatic Scooter. Easy rental and very happy.

Thank Sebastian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2017

Highly recommended! Just back from a really excellent motorcycle tour of North Vietnam. Jungle and mountain scenery was breathtaking and all the more special as part of a bike experience. Thanks to Thai at Go Bamboo Trek for organising our trip, guiding us and making it all run so smoothly. We wished we had booked all our other, non bike tours in Vietnam through Go Bamboo Trek as the standard was well ahead of the rest. Good pace, good experience and great craic. If you are interested in touring this beautiful country they will take you to less "touristy" places with a more authentic cultural feel. Email Thai at Go Bamboo Trek when you are planning your holiday and he will tailor your trip with air conditioned vehicles or motorcycles as rider or pillion to best suit you.

2  Thank 899Panigale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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