Riding With Grasshopper - Oct 24 - Nov 27, 2019
We had a specific requirement to accommodate our own tandem bike. Kimkim and Grasshopper Adventures were very attentive to that and made it happen.
Our trip was a chain of itineraries beginning in Bankok and ending in Hanoi, with the mix of companions changing as we went. At one time we were 16 (a bit over the promised limit of 15) but on the final leg we were the only travelers, making it a private tour with a guide, a passenger van and a service truck and two drivers! A bit much for a couple who ordinarily ride on their own. They were very attentive.
Accommodations were always 5 star if available and excellent in every case. The entire trip was well researched. We were impressed with Grasshopper Adventures' focus on patronizing local businesses and restaurants and seeking those which included a mission to help disadvantaged youth get training in the booming hospitality trade.
Early in the trip we were both had colds and the heat was debilitating, causing us to fall several times on the second day out and we had to ride in the van for the last few km. The guides, staff and our riding companions were all very attentive and supportive. At 76, we were at least a decade senior to all the others.
Guides and assistants who stood out were Sophat and Rong, in Cambodia, and Ky and Huong in Vietnam. We came to know Rong and Huong quite well because we were always last in and they were riding sweep. My only minor complaint is that they were too attentive and I kept having to remind them that "I can do it myself." There were two communication lapses which did not detract from our experience. On our arrival in Cambodia, Sophat was surprised by our tandem bike. He never let on to us and he managed it smoothly. And in Saigon we were sceduled for a foodie tour on Vespa motorbkes, but we did not know and had arranged for dinner with some departing companions that evening.
Our favorite experience was at Phong Nha national park with the Choy Lap Farm Stay, karst landscape, caves, waterfalls and scenic riding.