Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here You'll Find The Answers That You're Looking For...

Some get asked…

If you don’t find the question and answer you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to contact us! 




About The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience

All the Info you need about the unmissable Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience.

With the Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience you get to experience a side of Hanoi that few people get to experience. Exploring Hanoi from a bicycle affords you the opportunity to see sites that even the locals seldom get to see.

We pride ourselves on staying away from the main tourist hotspots, instead bringing you a tour that is an authentic Vietnamese experience. Don’t worry, this tour will still be utterly unforgettable!

Some of the highlights include: A non-touristic tour on the best bikes in Vietnam! A tour of both city and countryside. Visiting markets and temples, the scenic Long Bien Bridge, and experiencing the local way of life. Sampling some local snacks and drinks together with local history, customs, and culture.

All of our tour guides are Vietnamese and they speak excellent English. We have a rigorous guide selection in place and we only use the cream of the crop! However sometimes something can still get lost in translation, if you are unsure about anything, please do not hesitate to ask our guide to repeat it.

Booking Questions

All the Info you need about booking questions

Yes! It’s not a problem to pay in cash at our office before the start of your tour. We can also accept credit cards but there’s a 3% banking surcharge.

Yes, we do accept credit card payments at the office, but there is 3% surcharge for the banking system. So we suggest you to pay by cash or make an online payment

We require at least 24-hour notice prior to your tour departure time to amend your booking. For cancellation see our terms & conditions.

Each tour-page has it’s own dedicated calendar with live availability. Green means the tour is available on that day and can be booked directly. Red means the tour is unavailable on that day.

Children Options

Find out why our tour is your best family friendly option.

Yes, from the age of 6 years we accept self drive bicycle tour with us.
Children are more than welcome to join our tours if they meet two conditions: They are comfortable on the bicycle and their parents are comfortable with them on our bikes. 

Yes we do! We have kids bikes that’s made to the exact same high standards of our normal adult bikes. Plus all of our normal bikes come equipped with easily adjustable seats, so if your child is more comfortable on a normal sized bike, that’s also not a problem!

Yup. We have children’s seats that can be easily attached onto your bicycle as pillion. These seats can support children up to 22 kg. (age 1,5 year to 5 years)

Infant seats not available, we advise your to take your back baby carrier with you, suitable to drive!


Your Safety

Don’t worry, overall Vietnam and Hanoi is super safe! However we will still want to give a couple of tips and pointers about your safety.

Yes absolutely!  Our youngest attended start from 6 years. As long as you cycle with Friends Travel Vietnam, the answer is yes. We take the utmost care to ensure a safe bicycle experience.

And the traffic isn’t nearly as bad as it looks. We understand that anyone who’s ever seen a Hanoi T-junction in rush hour will have second thoughts about getting on a bicycle, but believe us; as long as you follow the tour guide’s lead you’ll be perfectly safe.

Helmets are available, and recommended, but ultimately it is your choice.

While Vietnam is remarkably safe compared to other Southeast Asian countries it is advisable to keep your valuables out of reach while on any tour as crimes of opportunity still do take place.

We advise our clients to only bring their camera or phone along to take pictures and to leave the rest of your valuables in our secure lockers at our office.

We understand that the prospect of diving headlong into Hanoi’s infamous traffic can be daunting, but don’t worry! Our expert tour guide will be with you every step of the way. As soon as you are actually on the bike and cycling, you’ll find that there is a method to Hanoi’s madness.

The traffic, especially the motorbikes, moves a lot like a school of fish, and you’ll be able to drive through the busiest streets without much trouble. On the rare occasion that you’ll need to cross a busy street our guides will place himself in the way of oncoming traffic to enable you to cross safely.

Photography

Hanoi is a photographer’s paradise, but exactly what is the proper decorum when you’re aiming your lens at a subject?

Different cultures may have different customs when it comes to being photographed. In Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, people do not mind you taking a quick snap of them, provided that it is done in a considerate and respectful manner.

Unfortunately there is no blanket statement concerning photography in temples. In some temples it might be allowed but frowned upon while in others it will be totally forbidden. The best advice is to ask your tour guide if it is allowed. If a tour guide is not available, have a look around for a light blue clad security guard or even temple official.

It’s advisable not to take pictures of government buildings in Vietnam, as the government seeks to protect these buildings from security breaches. Government buildings that are of touristic importance, like the outside of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Communist Party headquarters, are excluded from this rule.

That being said, it would be wise to conduct yourself with decorum while visiting these sites.

Preparation

Some handy pointers to help you make the most out of The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience

Something that you are comfortable cycling 15 km in. Dresses and skirts are not recommended as we’ll be climbing over some obstacles. While it is important that you are as comfortable as possible, we must also respect local traditions and customs. Dress modestly as we will be visiting local places of worship.

Or bring along a shawl and a sarong to cover your knees and shoulders when entering places of worship.

While you do not need to pop any magic potions like Lance Armstrong some natural fitness is required. Basically, if you are comfortable on a bicycle in your home country, you’ll be comfortable on this tour. Luckily for us, the streets of Hanoi are mostly level, making for a relaxing and enjoyable cycling experience. In total, we’ll only go uphill twice, and never further than 25m.

If you are going on the morning tour, make sure to arrive a little bit earlier, so we may treat you to a nutritious complimentary breakfast that will fuel you during your bike ride. If you are leaving on the afternoon tour, ensure that you eat something before going on the tour.

There will be snacks and traditional Vietnamese morsels available, but it would be smart not to cycle on an empty stomach. 

Food Requests

Because we understand that everyone's dietary needs differ.

If you have a special dietary need, whether through religious, health, or ethical reasons we look forward to accommodate you and help you enjoy the tour to the fullest. Please send us an email to indicate what your dietary needs are.

Firstly, please send us an email stating A.) Your full name; B.) The extent and details of your dietary requirements; C.) When your tour will take place and how many people will be joining with you on said tour. 

Secondly, please confirm with us upon your arrival at our office that your food request has been received and arrangements made.

Lastly, while on the tour double check with your guide that the food request has been carried out, before accepting any food or drink.

If for whatever reason you are unsure that your food request has been understood or carried out while you are on the tour, please contact us immediately, or ask the tour guide to contact us if you are unable to do so.

A quick phone call can quickly clear up any miscommunication. 

What to Bring

Wanna know what to bring, or what's included and excluded on the tour? Just read on...

Bring along sunscreen and insect repellent. Even when it is cloudy the sun can still do a lot of damage. And insects are just one of those realities of traveling in Southeast Asia. If you are not a fan of chemical insect repellants you can use citronella oil.

Bottled water and some light snacks are included in this tour, as well as all of your entry fees, your licensed tour guide and supporting guides for groups larger than 4 people. Your european style bike comes with the option for a child seat (up to 22kg) as pillion as well as helmets for both adults and children. In the case of rain lightweight ponchos will be supplied.

Tip or gratuity for your guides – this is optional if you feel like rewarding exceptional service.

Beverages like cold drinks or juices may be purchased while on the tour, but alcoholic drinks are not permissible, as you’ll be riding a bicycle through Vietnamese traffic.

Personal insurance is also not included and remains the prerogative of our individual travellers.

Luggage storage

Don’t let your baggage weigh you down...

No problem! Just bring your luggage along and you’ll be able to store it with us until you want to come and collect it.

You can rest assured that you don’t have to lug around your bags while out exploring the city and that your baggage will be safe and secure.

Your luggage can be picked up bat our office any time between 6:00 am and 18:30 pm.

We close at 18:30 and will only open up the next day at 6:00 am. Sorry, but even a dedicated team like ourselves have to sleep some time!

Yes, we can do this if your hotel or hostel is in the old quarter. If you are unable to arrange a pickup for your luggage before we close at 18:30 pm, you can always arrange to have us drop it off at your hotel or hostel.

Our Bicycles

Find out why our bikes are the best...

We take great care when selecting our bicycles, ensuring they meet our standards when it comes to safety and comfort.

The bicycles are all european style with soft seats. Bikes with a front baskets are available if preferred. We only use thin wheel bikes, thick wheel or mountain bikes are not necessary.

The bike comes with a normal braking system, with the brake-levers situated on the handlebars, together with a bell to let people know you’re around.

We do not use any bikes with the antiquated “backpedaling” method of braking; we do not consider them safe.

Yup! Our bicycles are crafted especially to fit our guests’ needs.

This ensures that your ride is one without comparison, in Vietnam at least! Other bicycle tours choose to use local Vietnamese bikes – bikes which was not designed with the average Western traveller in mind.

Details, Departure Times & Location

Find out what where and when...

The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience’s duration is a total of 3 hours. During that time you’ll cycle a total of 15 km.

The terrain that you’ll be visiting is mostly flat tarmac, but at one point it you’ll veer off the path onto a small dirt track, but the bike is more than capable of handling the terrain.

We have two tours each and every day; a morning tour starting at 8:30, and an afternoon tour starting at 13:30.

We recommend that you arrive at least  30 minutes before we depart, in order to be prepared for the tour and enjoy a delicious iced tea or coffee.

The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience both starts and ends at our Head Office Friends Travel Vietnam  in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. You should arrive 15 minutes before the tour starts so you can enjoy an Iced Coffee while our guide gives you a quick brief about our tour.

After your tour you are more than welcome to use any of our free services offered, including showers, luggage drop off at any hotel/hostel in the old quarter, and even free laundry service.

Our address:
62 Hang Buom Street
Hanoi – Vietnam

Transportation

We’ll help you get where you want to be!

Definitely! Be sure to arrange the exact time and adres with us, as well as the amount of passengers and we’ll organise it for you in a jiffy. Please ensure you contact us at least 30 minutes before you want to depart, to enable us to find you the best deal possible. 

Yup! All you need to do is give us the amount of passengers and end destination and we’ll arrange it for you in the blink of an eye! Then you’ll be able to enjoy your tour while knowing that all your transport needs have been taken care of.

Yes, that won’t be a hassle for us at all! Whether you need inter city transportation or just a quick cab out of Hanoi, we’ll sort you out in no time. All you need to do is give us the details of what you need and leave the rest up to us.

Weather Conditions

We’ll keep our eyes on the sky for you!

Anytime is the best time to visit Hanoi! Because of the temporal nature of the weather in Vietnam, a dreary and rainy day can be transformed into a sunny day within minutes and vice versa.

The best thing to do is to make the best of your time here, and The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience definitely qualifies as the best!

Vietnam is a tropical country, and while Hanoi is cooler than the central and southern parts of the country, it can still get quite hot. During the months of May to September the average high temperature goes up to 33 C.

But don’t worry, cycling is a perfect way to keep cool during those hot days. Plus we provide enough drinking water on those hot days to ensure you don’t really feel the heat!

Sit back and enjoy the welcome break from the heat and humidity. The Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience will continue through rain and shine. This may sound daunting, but trust us, we’ve been doing this every single day for the last couple of years.

The type of downpour in Vietnam is temporal: What seems like a tropical storm at one moment becomes a drizzle minutes later, and makes way for a bright sunshine filled day, sometimes within the hour.

If the weather is so bad that a tour cannot take place the tour will be cancelled and refunded. This is an extremely rare occurrence and on average only affects 5 tours in an entire year. Please note that the cancellation of the tour is done at the discretion of Biking Around Vietnam. 

Tour Tickets

We’ll make purchasing your tickets as easy as possible.

You can book your tickets online and then purchase them using our secure online purchasing platform, or pay for them directly once you are at our office.

Please note that purchases made at our office by credit card will incur a 3% surcharge. 

You can pay us through online booking, bank transfer, our paypal account, credit card, or cash. Please note that purchases made at our office by credit card will incur a 3% surcharge.

Yes, and they make great gifts for people travelling to Vietnam! Brighten up your loved ones day with a gift voucher that can be exchanged for any of our products.

Our gift vouchers never expire, are transferable to someone else, and unless explicitly stated will remain valid throughout the duration of time.

Our extra Services

The details of our service are in the small things...

Our offices at 62 Hang Buom in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is equipped with a downstairs lounge area, an upstairs lounge area with bunk beds, and a shower.

Of course! If you want to have some of your laundry done, just bring it to our office when you come for your tour, fill in a short form, and we’ll get it done and back to you in no time.

The best part? It’s absolutely free! Just be sure to arrange whether you’ll be picking it up, or whether we should send it to your hotel/hostel.

Loads! From our complimentary breakfast service, setting you up with a Vietnamese sim card, to having access to computers and printing services, we are here to make your stay as hassle free as possible. Pop into our offices and you’ll see how we convert our words into actions!

Other Tour Questions

All “Real Hanoi Bicycle Experience” tours include the following (when appropriate):

  • Experienced English speaking local guides
  • Safe, well-maintained bicycle (city or mountain bike)
  • Bicycle helmet (upon request)
  • Drinking water enroute
  • Entrance fees
  • Snacks on the tour

Our bicycle tours are not designed for cycling enthusiasts. We cycle at a leisurely pace and make frequent stops at interesting destinations along the way. Children as young as 6 years and seniors as old as 86 years have joined our tour with no issues. That being said, we do cycle through narrow alleyways and upon raised footpaths over water, so a certain level of balance and comfort on a bike is required.

Unfortunately, the tour is not appropriate for people who are not comfortable handling a bike and there is no possibility for non-cyclers to join their cycling friends on a tour (ie. via motorbike, tandem bike, or rickshaw)

We do not have any tandem bikes as they will not work in the tight spaces and sharp corners of our tour route.

We do not have any electric bikes. Vietnam Hanoi is extremely flat and easy to cycle!

It is usually not a problem to book a private tour on forehand. In our peak summer months (July-Aug.) this may not apply.

Please send your enquiries to Sidney@friendstravelvietnam. Additional charges may apply depending on the number of participants booked.

Yes, we are happy to work with you in planning teambuilding or other corporate events based on our tours. In the past, we have organized such events for a variety of corporate clients locally and abroad.

On our bicycle tours you don’t have to wear a helmet. However, if you feel like wearing a helmet just ask your guide who will provide you with one.