WHAT TO EXPECT The route is the core feature of a successful cycle tour and we make the effort to weave together enjoyable cycle routes with favourite destinations. As much as we can, we ride point-to-point and make sure we avoid the worst traffic. We linger in the worthwhile places and always take the scenic route. We design all our own itineraries, carefully researching each new route. We constantly review our tours to ensure that we offer the optimum experience. TUN Travel is one of very few specialist cycle tour operators in Vietnam. All cyclists need a good sense of balance and we try to strike the right one between price and service for our tours. We provide the very best services and accommodation for our clients without being overly exclusive or expensive. Our tours are fully supported with vehicles, well-trained staff and a full range of top-end equipment. We take very good care of our clients. Our staff to client ratio is generally one to three. We do not make you fix your own flat tires or clean your own bikes and we certainly don't assign chores. We provide more comfortable services and accommodation than most operations, but at a similar price. Our service begins long before the tour departs. To help you make your decision, we provide you with a detailed Factsheet for each tour with information on what you will see, what's included, what visas you need, what the weather is like and what to expect. When you book a space we send you a pre-departure information sheet telling you what you need to bring, how to pack and what paperwork you require. As our clients usually come from many different directions at different times, our tours have a designated starting point so do not always include pick up at the airport. (Though we are happy to arrange transfers if you need one).
On tours more than 5 nights we give you a TUN Travel goodie bag that includes a water bottle and a TUN Travel T-shirt. Of course, you are also matched up with your bike, unless you decide to bring your own. You will meet your cycle guide plus local staff and assistants who are responsible for taking care of you, your bike and to ensure that everything runs smoothly so you can enjoy a trouble-free journey with no worries about logistics or timetables.
The tour price includes all accommodation in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other cities, all meals apart from the occasional lunch on some non-cycling days and maybe a dinner or two in big cities, so you can make some of your own culinary discoveries. Our support vehicles carry your luggage and provide a place for you to rest if you get tired. During the rides, we keep you topped up with water, fruit, soft drinks and snacks and we make sure you get a nice cold drink - and usually a cold towel as well - at the end of each ride. At the end of the day, we make sure you get a good meal and we clean and prepare your bike for the next day's riding. Most meals are included and since so many meals we serve feature local cuisines, we do our best to deliver the real thing. We eat dinner together family style, which means sharing a number of delicious dishes, making sure it is an authentic feast worthy of hardworking and hungry cyclists. There is always enough food to satisfy the heartiest appetite and we provide lots of fruits and vegetables if possible (Mongolia is a challenge!). Drinking water, fruit and snacks are always available in our escort vehicle. Other drinks are not included when not riding, but are widely available at local restaurants and shops along the way. Beer and other alcoholic beverages are available but are not included in the tour price.
We strive to offer a good mix of accommodation on all of our tours, always aiming for local charm. Depending on the tour, we stay at three- or four-star lodges that compliment the local culture, and sometimes logistics forces us to become creative. If we have a great cycle route through an area where there isn't any accommodation, so we will find a local family that is happy to work with us or perhaps set up tents for the night. In isolated or newly developing areas, we are sometimes forced to stay somewhere more basic than we would like, but it is only for one night and we make sure everything is clean and comfortable. And these places are certainly authentic, and often form some of the better memories of your tour.
YOUR FOLLOW RODERS Statistically speaking, an average TUN Travel Tour consists of 10 clients, a tour leader, a local guide, a driver and an assistant. The group of 10 will be comprised of four different nationalities (two of which will be the UK and US), speak at least two languages, contain slightly more males than females and have an average age of 42.
Of the 10, two will return the following year to take another TUN Travel tour, five will join another TUN Travel tour within three years and nine will at least contact us to show an interest in joining another tour. We sometimes wonder what happens to the other one! All 10 will contact each other at least once after the tour. Around half will remain in contact, many will become good friends, and on more than one occasion we have been invited to a wedding! Our exceptionally good rate of return clients tells us we must be doing something right. It also tells us something about the people who join our tours. TUN Travel cyclists are fun and part of the attraction of our tours is meeting like-minded people with a passion for traveling by bicycle. Solo travelers are always welcome and those who would like their own room have the option of paying a single supplement. Otherwise we will arrange for a shared room with another solo traveler (of the same sex) at no extra cost. If there is no roommate available, TUN Travel will cover the additional cost of a single room. Children are welcome on our short tours in Vietnam. However, on our longer tours the minimum age is 18 years. This is for a number of reasons and more to do with group dynamics than the difficulty of the journey.
HEALTH Pre-trip Check-up and Vaccinations Anyone travelling on an adventure holiday should go to see their doctor for a check-up prior to the trip. Some countries will require specific vaccinations and your doctor will have access to the most up to date information about this. It is also a good idea to have a dental check-up before you go, as the facilities in many of the countries to which we travel may not be of the same standard as you are used to.
Personal First Aid Kit Although every trip carries a medical kit, it is advisable to bring a supply of first aid items for your own personal use. Here is a sample list:
Suncream and total bloc.
Throat lozenges or hard sweets.
Painkillers. Aspirin, Paracetamol etc.
Anti-diarrhoea (Diocalm or Immodium).
Plasters (band-aids) and 'Second Skin' for blisters.
Antibiotics. A broad-spectrum antibiotic (such as Ciproxin) suitable for a variety of infections.
Re-hydration salts. (Dioralite).
Dextrose glucose tablets.
WHAT TO BRING It is important that the clothing you take on your cycling holiday is appropriate for the trip you have chosen. There is a fine balance between taking too much and too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for differing levels of physical exertion and also for a range of climatic conditions. On most days your main luggage will be stowed out of reach while we ride, so it is a good idea to bring a day bag or small rucksack to have quick access. A suggested list will be included in your predeparture information, but here is some of the items that you will find on it:
Cycling helmet (mandatory)
Bandana or sweat band
Buff or similar
Stiff soled cycling shoes / SPD shoes
Cycling tops - long or short sleeved depending on climate
Lightweight fleece top
Lightweight waterproof breathable biking jacket
Padded cycling shorts
Baggy overshorts or trousers (for propriety)
Cycling tights (if in a cold climate)
Sun block for lips. Burnt lips hurt and take a long time to heal.
Camera. You’d be silly not to.
Spare batteries. For camera and flashlights.
Toilet kit. Suggestions: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, moisture lotion, razor and shaving cream, tampons etc. (there won’t be any convenience stores nearby)
First Aid – see Health for more info
Electrolyte powder or tablets
Bike Kit (if bringing your own bike)
Tire levers Puncture repair kit
Please be aware that if you have a high tech bike - full suspension, disk brakes, hydraulic brakes - we do not carry tools or parts for fixing all of these components, so please bring your own or you might even consider bringing a more basic bike.
REGIONAL AIRLINES To help you with you tour planning we have compiled this list of national carriers and discount airlines that fly to the countries/cities where our tours start and end. This is by no means a complete list but is meant to be of assistance to those outside the region who may not know about local carriers.