Putting up a business in this highly volatile Vietnam economy is not a well-paved road. In fact, in this economy, business owners for sure will meet lots of bumps, dips, and uphill climb to take a slice of the market. But behind every successful business is it’s champion and in the case of Vietnam Bike Tours, business owner, Ngo Trong Huy is making sure that its pedaling its venture all the way to the top.
A native of Quang Ngai province, Huy made his way to Vung Tau City to study how to be a tour guide. After 7 years of being a biking tour guide in Ho Chi Minh City, he decided to set-up Vietnam Bike Tours in 2010. “I love biking and I want to share my passion to cyclists about biking and show them the hidden treasures of our country. With Vietnam Bike Tours, I want to inspire people to ride the bike,” Huy shares.
Vietnam is best explored on a bike with its characteristically narrow roads within the city and although you see much wider spaces as you cycle your way through the countryside, bikes allow you to quickly stop and go to the next scenic spot.
It was in 2007 that Huy toyed with the idea of opening his very own tour bike company. But it was much earlier than that the name Vietnam Bike Tours was conceived. In fact, it was in 2005 when Huy was working as a guide for American clients when these self same clients urged him to open up his own company with the name. With his family’s support, this idea came into fruition on March 3, 2010 from his small home office in District 7. Today, Vietnam Bike Tours is found in the busy central district 1 with three (3) satellite offices in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
During the early years of Vietnam Bike Tours, Huy himself was giving the tour. Their maiden route was the Mekong Delta, “It’s the nicest area in South Vietnam and my experience when I was a tour guide, helped me choose that [route],” Huy explains.
With Huy’s long experience as a tour guide, it was no surprise that eventually, word got out of Vietnam Bike Tours’ service and their 4 secondhand Giant bikes, could no longer meet the demands of their clients. Today, Vietnam Bike Tours has at its disposal 100 Trek 4500 disc bikes. Every two years, Huy makes sure that they have the top of the line bikes available. With the Trek4500 disc bikes, cyclists can have the ease to choose from 9 different speeds.
When asked about his favorite bike route within Vietnam, Huy chooses the Saigon to Hanoi route, “Where we can see the different sceneries such as: parks, mountains, the beach, rice paddies, and countryside life. Bikers will also be challenge with the varied terrain including hills, flatlands, and pass.”
On his favorite route outside the country, Huy relates that the Saigon to Bangkok route via Angkor Wat remains his favorite, “This is a great connection to see three countries in a 2-week bike trip with three different cultures.”
Although May to September is the lean season, the months of October to April brings in a lot of clients. In a year, Vietnam Bike Tours serve 500 clients with 240 to 300 tours a year. With a growing number of clientele, it only means that Vietnam Bike Tours is doing what it does best in creating a truly professional and personal experience. It is no wonder that after only 3 years of operation, Vietnam Bike Tours has earned the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest and trusted travel site.
When asked his most memorable experience as a biking tour guide, Huy relates, “There was a honeymooner on a bike tour from Nha Trang to Hoi An. They travel with me for a week. On the second day of the tour, after pedaling very hard to the hills, we stopped for water and snack. But instead of me saying SNACK, I said SNAKE and that startled them both. Their reaction was unforgettable!”