Anh Wu has over fifteen years of experience working in tourism, he is proud that Offroad Vietnam is, and will remain, 100% Vietnamese owned and operated. When you travel with Offroad Vietnam, you’re not just customers but also friends. Unlike overseas-based tourism companies, every Dollar you spend on the trip stays in Vietnam. They don’t have fancy offices or pay high commissions, they believe in putting the money back into the Vietnamese community.
How do the experiences you offer at Offroad Vietnam give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?
We ride off the beaten tourist trails, taking riders to less visited areas where we can interact with locals by sleeping in home stays, eating at local restaurants, etc.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
Vietnam opened its door to foreign tourists in late 1980s and at first there were only classic bus tours. There weren’t many touring bikes in Vietnam and most are scooters, either semi-automatic or fully automatic. We wanted to show people a flexible yet unique way to experience local life. In late 2000s we could import bigger bikes (over 125cc) and we realized an increase in adventure travel on two wheels so we invested in 125cc and 250cc fleets. We used only Honda motorbikes because that was ridden by at least 90% of the nation at the time. With the BBC’s Top Gear Special, more riders wanted to explore Vietnam on two wheels.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Safety. Riders to Vietnam can never imagine how bad the traffic is. Nearly 30 people die on the road everyday and most are motorbike riders in a country where speed limit is only 60km/h. We put safety and bike performance on top of everything and proud to say our customers have never had a serious accident. Out of over six thousand riders we served, only about ten crashed and broke elbows, knees or ribs. Nobody died and no one was taken home by emergency helicopter. That’s a terrific safety rate, right?
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
Vietnamese standards are different. Vietnam is not a home away from home, if riders want it like home then just stay home. We are living in a developing country and it takes time to have better standards.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
Large displacement bike touring. But this is not a feasible idea because Vietnam is a small country (329,560 sq km) but it has 91 million people. The bikes are already very expensive (with 120% taxes) and speed limit are low, so how could this become true?
What sets Offroad Vietnam apart from other, similar, organizations?
What makes us different is our personal and professional approach. We have only two people at the office (myself and a co-owner) and six guides. We work on the bikes ourselves because no mechanic in Vietnam delivers professional service. We know and remember all of our clients and most are our friends after their tours.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Careful preparation. Riding bikes is not as simple as sitting in a car with windows around you. It’s a game of coming back in one piece. Some riders came without safety gear or plan for a self-guided trip and in the end they couldn’t cover as much as they thought.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Working hard is our key to success. I take care of promoting websites and bookings and my co-owner takes care of the bikes. This is our own business so we can do it better than if we employ people.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
That’s the love of riding motorbikes. We want to not be restricted to any pre-arranged itinerary, no windows around and ride where we want. We also wanted our partners in local communities to benefit from accepting visitors, so co-operation and exchange are needed.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
There’s an American man who was single and owned a farm in Argentina. He rarely travels and to him the world was small. When he visited our country he said it’s like a fish back to the ocean. He loves Vietnam even more than we love our country and you can see him in the following YouTube video, he is the older man who dances.