Looking for something different to do in Hue?
Then look no further than a Vespa Safari Tour!
We’ll admit being motorcycle riders ourselves, we’re not too keen on being pillion passengers. Hence why we each have our own bikes haha.
But on the Vespa Safari tour we didn’t even think about the fact that we were pillion passengers. Owner Tu Doan and his team looked after us so well, that when it came time to say goodbye we were reluctant to let them go lol.
What is a Vespa?
We’re glad you asked.
If you’re not already familiar with the name Vespa, it’s pretty much a synonym for Italian scooter.
Vespas have long been the inspiration for romantic rides along the Amalfi coast or just looking super chic rolling through the city.
In Vietnam they are THE vintage way to see the city and country sides whilst still looking very chic. (Even when you are a 6’ plus man hehe).
They are a fun and comfortable to travel on and you get to relax while you see the sites and learn more about Vietnam.
Vespa Safari, Hue
Along with Go Explore Vietnam, we enjoyed the Rural Life Discovery tour.
One of four organized by Vespa Safari and guaranteed to meet your tour needs. They are;
- Free & Easy 3 Hours – plan your own itinerary
- Twilight over the Perfume River – a quieter, romantic tour through the Citadel
- Twilight Foodie Delight – yuuuuuummmm! (clearly on Tash’s future must see list)
- Rural Life Discovery – see the real side of Vietnam.
Did we mention these guys are the bees knees?
They are passionate about what they do and it shows in every part of the tour. From well maintained and beautiful looking Vespas to their well-designed tours. They pride themselves on delivering a top-notch service.
Not to mention the great relationships they have with the local community.
That sense of community is one thing we enjoyed most about the tour. When we arrived at a stop, we didn’t feel like we were just tourists coming for a gawk. Welcomed with open arms, it felt like we were old friends coming round for a tea and a catch up. No awkwardness and no stiffness.
That was something really special.
Their knowledge of Hue and the way they tell their stories too will have you hanging onto their every word. Meanwhile you’re learning about Vietnam and her amazing people and culture without even realizing it.
The Rural Life Discovery tour
This tour is normally done between 7AM and 11:30AM, but ours was a little different. We did the tour in the afternoon to meet some work obligations and they were happy to help us out.
Whoohoo, they’re here!
Tu and his team arrived at Ruby Bistro riding a rainbow colored Vespas fleet. This brought big grins to all our faces and we couldn’t wait for the tour to start.
We went through the itinerary for the afternoon which included four stops. A visit to a community house, a temple, a local family and then a small commune for refreshments. After which we would head back to our starting point.
We were then given the opportunity to ask questions. We only had one, “Are we able to stop randomly for photos?”. Like most tours we expected a ‘no’, and were pleasantly surprised to get a ‘yes’ this time. (We never made use of it because there were plenty of great spots along the tour to take photos.)
Once the Q&A was out of the way, each passenger met their rider. Introductions where followed by a safety run down and then a helmet placed on our head.
We then got a demonstration on how to get on and off the Vespa pillion seat. Yes, there is a clever little maneuver to get onto these things, and it had Tash in stitches lol.
With everybody onboard and ready to go, we left the city of Hue behind in search of natural beauty of rural Hue.
The ride out to our first stop was amazing.
The journey started on winding narrow lane ways lined with traditional houses. These would run past markets, where you can hear the friendly banter of locals everywhere.
We continued on a small road along a river feeding water to verdant rice paddies on one side. A picturesque scene dotted with buffaloes and conical hats. So Vietnam!
The scenery was mesmerizing and there was no way we would ever have found these roads by ourselves. It was a real treat to see a very non-tourist side of Vietnam. One where you’re greeted by giant smiles and friendly hospitality.
The communal house
Our first stop was a large communal house. Here we learnt the history behind rural communities and its impact on the country as a whole. It was interesting to hear how the tradition began and how it’s been upheld for centuries. Passed down from generation to generation.
The Buddhist temple
The next stop was a temple where we learnt a bit more about Buddhism in Vietnam and its origins. We had the great pleasure of sitting down to tea with a nun which at first we weren’t sure how to react to.
We were the only westerners in the group and not familiar with how to behave properly in this situation. In the end there was nothing to stress about. Tu managed to translate for us and it was a fun experience.
Afterwards, we were treated to a lotus pod harvest demonstration and shown how to eat the seeds! They are delicious but you just have to remember to take out the bit in the middle. That bit’s a bit bitter lol.
What we really enjoyed about this stop was that it was so peaceful and not rushed at all. We enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere and great company.
Meet the locals and give them a hand
Our third stop had Tu introduce us to a local family and into their home. They make and supply the local market with Vietnamese staple called banh chung. We don’t want to give too much away, but it certainly was a good laugh and a lot of fun.
Here you can really appreciate the simple life and get a feel for what that’s like. We wandered the roads past local farming houses and patches laden with produce. It was beautiful.
Again, we had many friendly locals greet us and the kids were hilarious!
Missed it, but fear not
The last stop was at a museum, but we missed it unfortunately. We were running a little late and got there after closing. Luckily for us, we were in for another treat!
Last stop for the day
Tu showed us the Thanh Toan bridge and told us more about the Thanh Thuy Chanh commune. We sat under a tree listening to Tue’s fascinating story on the area and it’s unique lagoon, all the while enjoying local produce. (The harvest from the lands we’d be riding through all afternoon.)
We finished the tour off by meeting the local village keeper. Turns out she’s not only a great host, but a talented singer and great poet too.
Sadly, it was time to go and we were dragging our feet. (The Vespa Safari crew patiently waiting in the wings for us at every stop.)
We had so much fun on the tour that we went slightly longer than planned and the sun was beginning to set. But the day had a final show in store for us.
Heading back to the city
On the way back, we rode past vast rice paddies, farewelling the day with a spectacular sunset. It was the perfect way to end the tour.
We reached our starting point safely, with a chorus of ‘Ciao’s’ to a fabulous Vespa Safari crew.
Things to know
The tour costs VND 1,452,000 and includes pretty much everything. We did give each of our riders a tip to say thanks for looking after us. But that is totally up to your discretion.
The crew provide water regularly so you don’t have to worry about carrying any with you if you don’t want to.
What to wear
Comfortable casual is fine. Nothing too tight or constrictive lol, that climb onto the pillion seat is different. Ladies, we wouldn’t recommend wearing a dress either it might get a bit annoying trying to get on and off too.
We both opted for closed in shoes as they seem like a safer option on a scooter, but again it’s up to your discretion.
Also, take something small that you can carry on your front for personal belongings. Your back will be against the seat and having something on your back might make it uncomfortable.
Worried about helmet hair, fear not!. The helmets are pretty much what you see everybody riding around with. They just sit comfortably on top of your head, without covering your face and not to rough on your ‘do’.
You will be in the sun a bit during the tour, so we would suggest taking a hat to keep you cool.
Would we recommend Vespa Safari?
This has definitely been a highlight of our time in Vietnam so far! We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Vespa Safari to anybody interested in doing something seriously fun in Hue.
Or feel free to ask us a question or share your Vespa Safari experience in the comments below.
A massive thank you to Vespa Safari, Go Explore Vietnam and Vietnam Discovery Travel for the great experience!
Source: leonandtash.com by Leon and Tash