Itinerary: How is a self drive 4x4 tour in Vietnam
On this incredible type of adventure, we make our way through the mountains, staying overnight in hotels and at the odd home stay, right in the heart of the Vietnamese Hill-tribe Villages. The tours are predominantly on tarmac and compacted dirt roads.
You will be driving a 4×4 double cab pickup truck as Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado or Toyota Hilux, through some of Vietnam’s most spectacular scenery, through streams, shallow rivers and along narrow tracks and trails, (all optional) even suspension bridges and sampling some of the most incredibly delicious food in Asia whilst learning much about their culture and experiencing the very humble and hospitable nature of the Vietnamese people
Northern Vietnam is always selected as the best place to discover by Foreign Travelers, it’s a mountainous region, sharing borders with Laos and China, this area is sometimes known as the Northeast and Northwest, it’s one of three sub-regions of northern Vietnam
With rugged terrain, Northern region has many mountains and large rivers. The Hoang Lien Son mountain range runs northwest-southeast, high as 1500m, 180 km long, 30 km wide, with a number of peaks over 3,000 m. Two major rivers, such as the Black River and Thao River( Red River).
Northwest Vietnam is the best place to drive a 4×4 car, as the scenery changes fast from one region to another and the road conditions are quite good.
You will experience the culture of this beautiful country first hand as the tour includes “home-stays” – this is where we get to stay in large traditional bamboo houses that accommodate large families. It is shared accommodation on these evenings, usually on the first floor accessible by a set of wooden steps. Comfy mattresses, privacy curtains and mosquito nets are provided along with clean bedding, showers and toilets.
ACCOMMODATION: Our accommodation is always of good standard. The hotels and home-stays are typically clean and friendly.
DINNER: During the home-stay we sample the delicious food, cooked by the owners, this usually consists of chicken and pork, rice, omelette, noodles, spring rolls and greens followed by fruit for dessert. During the evening we may be treated to some traditional dance from the local women in the village.
When in Hanoi or other larger city we are likely to eat out and other than on your rest day, your guide will take you either to a street restaurant or an indoor restaurant that serves excellent freshly cooked food and plenty of Beer and rice wine!
BREAKFAST: Each morning for breakfast we are treated to fruit, pancakes, eggs, bread etc. It’s all very delicious topped with a drizzle of fresh honey!
DAILY ROUTINE : Every day we leave at around 8.30 – 9.00 and head off in the car once they have undergone some maintenance from our local tour guide and mechanic. The luggage is loaded on the trunck and we spend the day stopping frequently to take photos, learn about the culture and told stories of the history that makes Vietnam so intriguing. You will get plenty of time off the car, your local tour guide is on hand to advise and provide you with details on what you can do and see. We also have a day off in somewhere (Big Town) where you can have your clothes laundered if you wish, grab a massage and explore the region. You can also get a pizza or burger and chips here if you begin missing the typical diet of your home cuisine!
LUNCH TIME: At lunchtime, around 12.00 – 13.00, we stop for about an hour and indulge in some noodle soup, rice, spring rolls, meat and other fine food, all freshly prepared for us. The food is clean and freshly prepared. After lunch, we head off again and may even take in some dirt tracks, often crossing shallow streams and rivers or negotiating rope suspension bridges, it’s all brilliant fun.
CAMERAS: By the end of each day, your camera memory cards will be bulging with photos captured and memories that will last forever. Bring a small camera so you can carry it in a small backpack or hydration pack, even better. A small helmet camera is also a good option
COSTS: Vietnam is relatively cheap outside of the main cities, such as Hanoi. Lunch is approximately 3 – 5 usd each day and beer is around 1 usd a can. Fuel, breakfast and dinner (dinner excluded on the rest days) is included, as is airport transfers and car hire
CAR INSURANCE : We always have an agreement with all our customers that “IF YOU BREAK IT, YOU PAY FOR IT”. This simply means if you make a hit or an accident, you would be expected to cover the cost to repair for the damages, for any engine or tyre damage you would not be expected to pay as this is wear and tear
GETTING AROUND: Mopeds in Vietnam outnumber cars by approximately 300/1. This is due to zero rated tax on mopeds. As such it can seem hectic at first even crossing the road. The key is not to look and just walk slowly, seriously, they will move around you!!
Moped taxis are very common in the cities and charge around $5 for 15 – 20 mins journey but be warned, it can be quite daunting weaving in and out of the traffic hanging on for dear life!
DRIVING LICENSE: According to the Vietnam road traffic laws, all the car drivers and motorbike riders must have a permit while driving or riding. Since October 2015, Vietnam’s Transport Authorities has started issuing International Driving Permits (IDPs) to Vietnamese and Foreigners, allowing the holders to drive/ride in more than 80 countries that recognize the licenses. For temporary visitors to legally drive a car or ride a motorbike, it is preferred that you possess an International Driving Permit, which can easily be obtained from your home country. When driving in Vietnam, the Traffic Police generally don’t stop the Westerners simply because Vietnam is now implementing the open policy to welcome as much as possible the Foreign Tourists from all over the world, so nobody wants to disappoint the tourist, the question of having or not a Driving License is mainly concern your insurance. However, you will have a safe and sound trip if driving carefully and respect the traffic law.
Vietnamontrails is a Destinations Management Company offering all kinds of self-drive 4WD trips, guided 4X4 car, jeep adventure tours, guided motorcycle trips in all over Indochina including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Having dozen years of experience in organizing adventure 4×4 tours, motorcycle trips, all of our Tour guides/Drivers/Mechanics are born and grew up here in Vietnam, they come from different regions of Vietnam, they all know well their home land as they are local and they got a large knowledge of our tours. We’re the only company in North Vietnam own a fleet of new model 4×4 pickup trucks as Ford Ranger 2014 – 2015, Toyota Hilux 2013, Mazda BT50 2014, Chevrolet Colorado 2014 – 2016, a lot of them have been upgraded with off-road accessories, enabling us to customize trips to anywhere you want to go as well as offer you competitive car rental rates and travel packages at low price.
So as to attract more foreign tourist to the country, according to the new traffic law, as from 2015, the tourist is allowed to drive car throughout Vietnam and Laos with only an international driving license that easily applied in the home country.
Please contact us to customize a trip of your life time.
See the Photos of the trips