I loved Dalat.
Surrounded by pine forests, orchards and mountains with a centre full of French architecture, Dalat is known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ in Vietnam, and there are tonnes of things to do and see there.
However, as someone who is risk averse at the best of times, I couldn’t make like other travellers and just rent a motorbike myself to explore the area.
Instead, I opted for a Vietnam Easy Rider Tour, and boy, how I’m glad I did.
This post will outline my experience with Vietnam Easy Rider – where we went, what we saw, and perhaps most importantly, whether I’d recommend it.
Easy Rider Vietnam – A Dalat Motorbike Tour Review
What is ‘Vietnam Easy Riders?’
Easy Rider Vietnam is a concept popular all over Vietnam, although Dalat Easy Riders were the first.
They are a team of licensed and professional local tour guides who take tourists on epic motorbike tours through the Vietnamese countryside, enabling them to experience the country through their eyes and get off the beaten track a little.
You can either drive the bike yourself or hop onto the back of the guide’s bike (which is what I did).
Tours can last anywhere from one day, all the way up to 12, with various routes and itineraries based on your preferences.
Is Dalat worth visiting?
Unlike the relaxed beach town of Mui Ne or the sleepy Hoi An, Dalat is where you go to explore, have an adventure, and experience a whole host of new things.
Located 300km Northeast of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Southern Vietnam, in the Central Highlands region.
Although it is a city, it is surrounded by breathtaking nature, and is home to an abundance of coffee plantations, vineyards, silk farms and waterfalls, making it popular with Vietnamese tourists and backpackers alike.
If you are travelling up (or down!) the length of Vietnam, you would be really doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t visit Dalat.
There are so many things to do there, and you can actually do most of them on a Dalat Easy Riders tour just like the one I’m about to tell you about!
My Easy Rider Vietnam tour
I opted for a full-day tour, from 8.30am until 5pm, which cost about 25 GBP – a bargain if you ask me!
The highlights of my tour were:
– Elephant Waterfall
– Pongour Waterfall
– Visiting a cricket farm
– Visiting a coffee plantation
– Visiting a silk factory
– Visiting a Dutch flower farm
– Visiting ‘Chicken Village’
– Visiting the Crazy House
My friend and I met our guide, Linh, at 8.30am and we kicked things off by speeding off into the mountains, the cool air whooshing past us as the city of Dalat grew smaller and smaller.
Our first stop was a viewpoint that we had to hike up a hill to get to.
‘This is why I said it was a hike, not a walk!‘ Linh laughed, as my friend and I found ourselves completely out of breath halfway up!
The view more than made up for our exhaustion though – seriously, the countryside surrounding Dalat is stunning.
We then hopped back onto the bikes and headed to a Dutch flower farm.
Owned by a man from the Netherlands, the farm grows a huge variety of flowers, including tulips!
We had a small wander round, admiring the vast array of flowers, before getting back on the bikes and zooming to our next stop – a Vietnamese coffee plantation.
Dalat coffee – A word of caution
Many coffee plantations around Dalat produce the infamous Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee which is made from collecting coffee beans from the poop of palm civets.
I’d actually tried this coffee before, in Ubud, Bali, and I tried it again on my Easy Rider Vietnam tour.
However, after finishing our cups, Linh took us to see the animals themselves, and it made me wish I’d never participated.
On the plantation I visited in Bali, we were told that the civets roam around freely in the jungle, but in Dalat they were in tiny, filthy cages covered in rust, and I hated that they were kept in these conditions for tourists like me.
It’s because of this that I don’t recommend trying Kopi Luwak.
By all means visit the plantations, drink the regular coffee or sample the types of tea available, but I don’t encourage you to contribute to the abuse of the palm civets.
Vietnamese coffee is some of the best in the world, so you won’t be missing out if you refrain from trying the Kopi Luwak.
Also, Kopi Luwak is really low in caffeine so, yeah, not worth it.
A silk factory
Our next, and one of the most interesting stops on our Easy Rider Vietnam tour, was a silk factory.
We had a tour of the entire factory and learnt all about how silk is made, seeing every single stage that silk worms go through to produce silk.
Linh explained everything super clearly, and while I’ve never been interested in textiles or anything similar, it was incredible to see the worms doing their thing and spinning silk!
Next was a Hindu temple complete with a gigantic laughing Buddha, before one of the major Dalat attractions – Elephant Waterfall.
Elephant Waterfall is the most popular waterfall in Dalat.
Located 30km southwest of Dalat, Elephant Waterfall is gorgeous, and even though it can get pretty steep and slippery on the walk down, it’s definitely worth it, and there is a handrail in place to help you on your way.
Linh then drove us to a local café for lunch.
I opted for crispy pork belly, steamed rice and tofu (yum!) and Linh devoured a plate of pig’s tongue – after seeing my curious gaze, he even let me try a little!
However, if I thought that a pig’s tongue was as wild as it would get for me that day, I was sorely mistaken!
Before the pig’s tongue had even had a chance to digest, we were on our way to experience another culinary first – crickets!
One of the most bizarre things to do in Dalat is to pay a visit to a cricket farm, and Linh was determined to introduce us to this unusual snack!
After wandering around the farm and seeing the crickets, we were taken to a little room where we were served a plate of fried crickets and lemongrass with a chilli dip – I was nervous to try them at first, but once I got over the ick factor, I pleasantly surprised and ate the whole plateful!
Crunchy, salty, and extremely moreish, crickets are actually very healthy and a very sustainable food to produce!
You can also try Cricket Wine, which is said to be good for bones, muscles and back pain!
We then drove 30km to another of Dalat’s main sites – Pongour Waterfall.
Pongour Waterfall often gets overshadowed by Dalat’s more famous waterfalls, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it may mean that you will have the entire area to yourself, as we did!
Not only is Pongour Waterfall beautiful, but it is really easy to access, without the gruelling jungle hike that often accompanies waterfalls in Southeast Asia!
We then made a brief stop at a mushroom farm before visiting a place known to tourists as ‘Chicken Village.’
While I sometimes have mixed feelings about the ethics of visiting a village as a tourist attraction, the K’Ho villages on the outskirts of Dalat welcome tourism and the villagers like to show their skills to travellers (such as weaving).
The K’Ho people were the original occupants of Dalat and its surroundings, until the French occupied the city in the 1920s, and learning about their culture is a must-do in Dalat – lucky for you, if you take part on a Dalat Easy Rider tour, you’ll get to!
Chicken Village is named after the huge statue of a chicken that resides there – to learn the story behind it, you’ll just have to go and visit with a guide from Easy Rider Vietnam!
The final stop on our Easy Rider Vietnam tour was the famous Dalat Crazy House.
Hãng Nga guesthouse, commonly known as the ‘Crazy House,’ is an unconventional building created and designed by architect Dang Viet Nga.
It resembles a giant tree, with animal-themed rooms including the tiger room, the kangaroo room and the ant room, and Nga says that it was partly inspired by Antoni Gaudi.
In fact, the Crazy House has frequently been listed as one of the world’s most bizarre buildings!
Although it is possible to stay here, most tourists visit as part of an Easy Rider tour or independently, paying a couple of bucks to wander around and have a look inside.
Where to book an Easy Rider tour
There are plenty of copycat Easy Rider tours in Vietnam and Dalat, which have mixed reviews.
While some of them are surely great tours, I highly recommend going with the official Easy Riders company or using a reputable tour company like GetYourGuide.
The Easy Riders have a fantastic reputation for hiring great guides and providing high quality tours.
If you want to do a full-day tour and visit the same places that I did, this tour is your best option, or if you want to extend, you can check out this 2 day tour from Mui Ne to Dalat.
An alternative option is to book a tour to Ho Chi Minh City and explore the cities’ best day trips by motorbike.
How much is an Easy Rider Vietnam tour?
I paid around 25 GBP for my Easy Rider tour, but that was quite a few years ago!
Now, you can expect to pay around 35 GBP for a similar experience, which I still think is great value for a full-day motorbike tour with a professional guide!
Of course, the multi-day tours can get a lot pricier, but I definitely think that they’re worth it for what you get.
My Vietnam Easy Rider tour in Dalat | Final Thoughts
I know that many backpackers turn their noses up at guided tours because they want to do things themselves in an ‘authentic way,’ but IMO, you don’t get much more authentic than being introduced to a place by somebody who was born and raised there, and I thoroughly enjoyed my Dalat Easy Rider tour.
Not only was Linh the most informative guide ever, but he was also super funny and easy to get along with, which is definitely necessary when you’re spending such a long time with somebody!
All of the Easy Riders guides are known to be this way, and this is the reason I recommend going with an official Easy Riders tour rather than one of the cheaper rip-offs.
It’s been a good few years years since my Easy Rider Vietnam tour, and it remains one of my favourite travel experiences, and certainly one of my fondest memories of Vietnam!
We got to see a tonne of sights, zoom through the Vietnamese countryside on motorbikes, and make friends with a local at the same time.
My verdict? 10/10!
So, that just about concludes my Vietnam Easy Rider tour review!
As always, if you have any questions, do let me know in the comments section below and I will get back to you!
Until next time,
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