multi-day tours FAQs
Find out about safe travel with our team in 2020-2021
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Foreign countries, new equipment, different riding conditions, exotic food, trip preparation, safety…
We know touring abroad often comes with a whole host of important questions, so for your convenience we’ve assembled our most Frequently Asked Questions & Answers below.
Still got a question for our team? Contact us directly: by email or, if you prefer a chat, use the phone option at the top of your screen.
What’s your question?
Are there discounts and promotions?
Can I get a discount?
Our tours are carefully priced without big margins, so we generally aren’t able to offer discounts. That said, we have crafted some new referral, group and loyalty offers, that can help reduce the price of your trip. In addition, there are times we are able to find some cost savings and offer a special limited-time deal, make sure to check the latest offers regularly or sign up to our mailing list to be notified directly.
While it’s true that you may find cheaper tours run by other operators in the region, we find that the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true in the case of bicycle touring in Asia. Several years ago our company made a conscious decision to move away from budget tours so we can offer higher quality tours and services to ensure that our guests enjoy a truly exceptional experience. You’ll find that we offer a high level of value for each dollar spent, demonstrated by our well-maintained bicycles and vehicles; rigorously trained guides, mechanics and drivers; comfortable accommodation; high quality meals; and careful logistical organization & safety procedures.
In addition, we make a point of compensating all of our team members fairly. Although many tour companies take advantage of cheap labor available in Asian countries in order to offer more competitive prices, here at Grasshopper we prioritize making a positive impact in the communities we’re operating in. This means paying livable wages to our staff as well as offering small donations to communities and projects that allow us to come visit on tour.
Can I get a discount for booking more than 1 tour?
A new loyalty program has been developed which offers credit towards your next tour booking. This program became active from January 2021.
Are there discounts for children?
On family tours, children 12 years or younger get 20% off our standard tour price, and kids 12 and under sharing a room with parents or 2 other siblings enjoy a 30% discount. If your child is 6 or younger, please be in touch to see if further discounts are possible!
Are there discounts for large groups?
If you have a group of 8 or more people, please get in touch and we can extend a special offer.
How do I stay healthy and safe?
What vaccinations do I need?
There are no specific health requirements or vaccinations required in any of the countries that we travel through. We recommend that you speak with a doctor for professional advice before you depart and have your tetanus shots up to date. You can check the World Health Organization’s website for more information on recommended vaccines.
What do I do about Malaria?
Malaria is rare in most countries we travel through, however, occasional instances do occur in Southern and Southeast Asia. Ask a doctor for advice on effective anti-malarial drugs.
Are the tour guides trained in safety and first aid?
All Grasshopper Adventures guides travel with a phone for making or receiving emergency calls. Our guides also have first aid and safety training and we carry a full first aid kit on all tours. There will also be a safety briefing before the start of each tour.
Should I bring my own medications?
Please note that our guides are not permitted to administer medication to our guests. Please be sure to bring an adequate supply of any necessary medication.
If you want to, bring:
- ibuprofen or paracetamol
- plasters and blister kit
- anti‐diarrhea tablets
- muscle rub or Tiger Balm
- required medications
- knee braces (if needed)
- antimalarials (if needed)
What is the food like?
What is the food provided on tours?
We know that part of the adventure of traveling is trying local cuisine. Local food is an important part of our tours, and we are always looking for exciting and typical things to eat. To the best of our ability will choose safe and reliable establishments and cater to your specific food requirements.
What if I cannot eat meat or gluten? What if I have food allergies? Will there be vegetarian choices?
Let us know at the time of booking and we will be sure to make a note. We can accommodate all types of dietary restrictions and do it all the time. Do not sweat it if you are a vegetarian, eat halal or have food allergies. We will take care of you.
Also be sure to let remind your guide at the beginning of the tour.
What is the RIDING like?
What does the tour difficulty level mean?
Despite the complexities of our ranking system, you can find a brief summary below of the different levels to help estimate what’s achievable for you:
Level 1: Mild – Leisure Riders / Family Tours
Most days are 35km or less and the riding is mostly flat. We take a laid-back pace so these trips are well-suited for riders who prefer a relaxing ride or those new to cycle touring who are looking to find out what it’s all about.
Level 2: Moderate – Recreational Riders
Average daily distances are around 50km. There may be some hills, but mostly undulating rather than long or steep ascents. These rides are generally achievable for anyone who rides occasionally as a commuter or recreationally on weekends.
Level 3: Somewhat Challenging – Active Bikers
Distances on these tours may reach up to 100km a day and there will likely be some sustained climbs and/or steep gradients. Some tours may have rough and broken road surface at times depending on seasonal conditions. These rides are designed for people who are fit and go out for longer rides fairly regularly.
Level 4: Challenging – Avid Cyclists
Our most challenging tours are rated as such because they include long and numerous climbs. Technical cycling skills may be required.
What is the riding like?
On each tour page, there is a more detailed description of the ride in the Overview section, so we recommend reading this to have a better idea of what to expect.
There are many factors that determine how a tour’s difficulty is ranked, making it hard to generalize our ranking system overall. Daily distances, hilly vs flat terrain, riding surfaces, the number of consecutive cycling days, and weather conditions all play a part in assessing a ride’s challenge level. If you have specific preferences in regards to each or any of these factors, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Travel Experience Planners to find out which rides are the best fit for you.
You can also keep in mind that all of our multi-day tours have a support vehicle on hand, so you are always welcome to reduce distances or get a lift up the hills by hopping in to enjoy the scenery from the van. For this reason we truly welcome riders of all abilities on all of our tours. E-bikes are also available in some locations.
How should I prepare for my tour?
What should I pack for my tour?
All Multi‐day and Self‐guided tours include a support vehicle to carry your luggage, but you will be required to carry your own luggage at certain times. Pack as little as possible. Try to fit everything into a backpack or small wheeled suitcase. Below is our recommended packing list for Multi‐day and Self‐guided tours with Grasshopper Adventures. Feel free to print this and use it as a guide.
2 cycling shorts or leggings
2 regular sports shorts to wear over leggings
2 quick dry cycling shirts
Trainers with a stiff sole or cycling shoes
Sun protection, hat and sun sleeves or arm warmers
Windbreaker/vest/ jacket for tours in colder regions or high altitudes
- Protective eyewear
Lightweight quick dry towel
Lots and lots of socks
Sandals or flip-flops
T-shirts and casual wear for dining out
Swimwear is a must
Raincoat/poncho if cycling during rainy season
Torch/Flashlight or headlamp + batteries
Camera and memory cards
Tablet or e-reader
A weatherproof watch is a good idea
All your chargers + plug adapters
Waterproof or Ziplock bags to store your tech.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Medications and antimalarial (if applicable) Mosquito repellent with DEET
Sunscreen and lip balm
Toothbrush + paste
Deodorant comes in handy
Shampoo and Conditioner
A spare roll of toilet paper is a good idea!
Feminine sanitary products
Earbuds or plugs, in case you have a noisy roommate
OTHER BITS & PIECES
Hydration pack and small daypack
Passport, Visa and plane tickets are vital
4 passport photos
Shampoo and conditioner
A photocopy of your passport
2 different credit cards and money
A good book or e-books
A taste for adventure!
How can I train to prepare for the tour?
You don’t have to be a cyclist to join our tours. But for longer multi‐day tours we do recommend some training. Here is a suggested guide on how to get in shape for one of our medium‐difficulty multi‐day tours in Asia.
Start cycling roughly 8 weeks before you travel.
- Cycle 2 or 3 times per week if possible.
- Don’t forget to hydrate!
- Week 3: Try one ride of at least 40 km.
- Week 5: try 2 consecutive days riding 30 – 40 km each day. By this point you are ready for most multi-day tours. Well done!
- Week 6: Keep up the good work, or increase distances as you see fit. If you can, try out some varied terrain and hills.
- Week 7: Ride often but take it easy. Don’t burn yourself out right before your trip.
- Week 8: Rest up and start packing (see our packing guide above).
Daily expenses & Tips
What should I budget for daily expenses?
Our multi-day guided tours are all inclusive, and we generally cover all the costs you will have throughout your trip with us. However we suggest budgeting a daily allowance of at least US$20 for all of our tours across Asia. This would go towards drinks at meals, non-included meals, laundry, or souvenirs.
If you are a hardcore souvenir shopper then you need to account for this in your daily budget. In some countries you can rely on access to ATMs or credit cards.
When and how much should I tip?
Don’t worry about tipping during your trip with us. Grasshopper Adventures will cover all tips at hotels and restaurants along the way so you don’t have to!
Should I tip the guide?
Please note there is no tipping requirement for your Grasshopper guide, driver, and support crew, but if you felt you received excellent service from your team we suggest:
- Multi‐day: 3% – 5% tour price per customer
This is just a suggested rate and you are free to leave any tip you feel is appropriate for the service you were given.
How do I book a tour?
You can book our tours directly through the website by clicking the date of departure you’d like or the “Book this tour” button at the top right hand side of the page. Once we receive and process your information, a Grasshopper team member will be in touch within 1 business day to confirm availability and your booking, provide additional tour and travel details, and talk you through your payment options. We recommend booking flights after receiving tour confirmation from the Grasshopper team.
When do I need to pay the full amount for the tour?
The deposit amount per person can be found on the right hand side of Dates & Prices section on each tour page. This is due within 5 days of booking confirmation. Full payment for the tour is due 2 months prior to departure. On our Mekong Bike & Boat Adventure tour, full payment is due 3 months prior to departure.
Can Grasshopper Adventures help me to book a hotel, another tour or transportation after the tour?
If you’d like assistance in extending your stay before or after the cycling tour, we would be happy to help you make transportation, accommodation, and activity arrangements as you wish. Be in touch and we’ll present you with options based on your time frame, hotel preferences, and interests in activities or independent exploration!
Can I request changes to a tour? Can I customize a tour?
Whether you’d like to slightly tweak a standard tour or dream up something completely different, we are well-equipped to design a custom itinerary perfectly tailored to your interests. We can include as much or as little cycling as you’d like and we have plenty of off-bike activity options to bring into the mix: kayaking, walking tours, cooking classes, hiking, food tours, cruises, ziplining, and more! Whether you’d like to stay in 4-5 star hotels or modest properties & homestays, we’ve got you covered. For solo riders, small groups, and large groups alike, we would be honored to put together a special adventure just for you. Please feel free to email us or fill out our custom tour form and we’ll get back to you shortly with some ideas!
How to I pay for a tour?
You have the option to either pay via credit card through a secure payment link – no hidden fees! – or via direct bank transfer.
What currency do I pay in?
At the moment we only accept payments in USD due to the constantly fluctuating conversion rates. Our website will show conversion rates for major regional currencies, otherwise you can calculate it according to the current exchange rate here.
When is the last day I can book?
We have no official booking deadlines and will try to accommodate last-minute bookings when possible, but the more notice you’re able to give the more likely it is that we’ll be able to secure the necessary hotel rooms and other resources to host you on the tour. During high season especially, and in certain countries such as Sri Lanka and Japan, hotels do tend to fill up quite far in advance, so we recommend registering as soon as you’re able. We are not able to guarantee a place on the tour until you make your booking and pay the deposit.
I can’t find a tour on the dates I want. Can I request a different departure date?
If you see an itinerary that you like but the scheduled dates don’t match your travel plans, be in touch! If you’re able to give us 3+ months’ notice, we may be able to schedule it as a group tour that is open for others to join. Otherwise, we can likely schedule it as a private tour.
Can I book a private tour?
We can always make any of our itineraries private for parties of 2 or more. If you’d like to avoid the dynamics of an open group and allow for maximum flexibility (perhaps even some itinerary modifications), this option is always there for you. Depending on your group size, a 10-20% surcharge may need to be applied. If you are a larger group (10+ people) you may qualify for discounts! Please feel free to be in touch to discuss further.
What happens if I want to cancel my booking?
You can find our booking & cancellation policies here. We do always try to be flexible with these policies when possible. Even when our official policy indicates no refund for cancellation, we try to recoup any costs we can from hotels & other suppliers and offer a Grasshopper voucher for you to enjoy one of our tours in the future.
What is included? What’s not?
What is included on a Guided Multi-Day Tours?
- High quality bike, helmet, and handlebar bag
- An experienced and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide
- A support vehicle to transport your luggage and provide some air-conditioned relief should you need a break from the bikes
- Transfers during the tour, including any train tickets, domestic/regional flights, or boat rides mentioned in the itinerary
- All entrance fees
- Lovely accommodation. Accommodation is included beginning with a check-in on Day 1 of the itinerary and check-out on the final day. For example, if an itinerary is 7 days, it includes 6 nights accommodation. If you would like to extend your hotel stay on either end please be in touch!
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary (BLD = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- An abundance of local snacks and unlimited water
- Grasshopper souvenirs: memento cycling jersey & water bottle
What is not included on a tour?
- International flights
- Drinks other than water
- Expenses of a personal nature (massages, laundry…)
- Tips for the guide and support crew (optional)
- Pick-up and Drop off (for some tours)
- Special equipment like soft saddles and clip pedals
Bikes & Equipment
What type of bikes does Grasshopper use?
All of our tours include high quality, well-maintained bikes in a full range of sizes and with a wide gear range to help you on any climbs. Set up for touring, our bikes are perfectly fitted-out & suited to the distances and terrain we cover. A wide gear range to help you on any climbs and removable mudguards in case we encounter wet conditions. You may find the specific bikes we use in each country below.
Please visit our Bikes & Equipment page to know which bikes we use in each country.
Does Grasshopper have bikes for kids and baby seats?
In countries where we offer family tours, we have child seats and tag-along attachment bikes for the kids. Generally tag-along bikes are suitable for kids ages 4-6 and child seats are suitable for anyone younger, but please let us know your child’s height & weight to confirm.
Where does Grasshopper offer e-bikes?
We are now offering electric bikes on tours in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Sri Lanka! If you’re worried about the distances or hills, or you would just like the option to sit back and relax sometimes, then an e-bike might be the right choice for you. Read more about our high quality pedal-assist e-bikes here. Our e-bikes come with a surcharge of $55 USD per e-bike per cycling day.
Can I bring my own pedals and saddle?
Our bikes come with standard, flat pedals. If you would like, you are welcome to bring your own pedals and we can fit them when you start the tour. Keep in mind we do not recommend road cycling shoes with protruding cleats – only those with recessed cleats. If you are particularly comfortable on your own saddle, you may also bring your own and we will fit it on.
Can I request a tandem bike?
Unfortunately we do not offer tandem bikes.
Can I bring my own bike?
If you are interested in bringing along your own bike, please contact our team and let us know what type of bike it is so we can confirm if it is suitable for the tour’s riding conditions.
What type of accommodation does Grasshopper use?
Whether it is an upscale resort on a beach or a homestay with a local family, you are sure to find the accommodation a memorable aspect of your Grasshopper trip. In cities we stay in comfortable & characteristic 3-5 star properties. In more rural or remote areas where there are limited options, we use the best available hotel or guesthouse in town which is always clean and comes with air-conditioning or a fan (depending on what the temperature requires) and a private bathroom. (The exception being homestays and accommodation in national parks.)
Please note that, while we endeavour to use the hotels listed, occasionally for reasons of availability we are required to book alternative accommodation. In such cases the hotel provided will be of an equal or higher standard than the one we usually use. If you would like to know the specific night-by-night accommodation on a specific tour please feel free to be in touch!
What if I want a private room?
Of course! Reach out to our team, or make sure to mention this while booking and we will lock in private accommodation on your tour.
Mind that in some more adventurous destinations, such as Mongolia or Nepal, where we sleep in traditional yurt tents, such option is not possible.
Will my children have a separate room?
On our Family tours, where available, we provide family suite, which sometimes will have a separate room for children. If you wish to ensure your children have a separate room then please make this request when booking or inquiring with our expert team.
What is the weather like during your travel period?
The climates we ride through vary from the cold winds of the Himalayan mountains to the tropics of Southeast Asia. In all destinations there are prime times to travel. The best weather generally overlaps peak tourist season, so everything from flights to accommodation can be more expensive at these times. Below is some basic information on the best times to travel to the regions where we offer tours, and the type of weather you can expect throughout the year.
See our travel guides to various Grasshopper Adventures destinations for more information about weather and best times to visit: Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal and Taiwan.
What is the weather in Southeast Asia like?
Though weather will vary somewhat from country to country, Southeast Asia is generally hot, 30C̊ (85°F) or higher throughout the year. December to January are the coolest months, but this is also the peak tourist season. In Laos, upper Myanmar, and Northern Vietnam, temperatures can fall below 10 C̊ (50 °F) at times during the winter. November and February are a bit hotter, but there are far fewer tourists around. March to May are hot, but coastal Vietnam & Thailand are quite enjoyable at this time due to the ocean breezes. June to September or October is the rainy season. Many people try to avoid the rains, but actually the wet season can be a great time to travel in Southeast Asia. The fields turn green with young rice, the rivers are flowing again and the heat and haze of the dry season are replaced with fresh, clear air. During the rainy season, rain tends to come in short and heavy bursts during the late afternoon and at night. A bit of rain can actually comes as a welcome relief while you are riding.
Passport & Visa
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you will need a passport with at least 6 months validity and enough visa pages for all of the countries you will be visiting.
How do I get a visa for Cambodia?
For most nationalities, Cambodian visas are easy to obtain on arrival at a Cambodian border crossing or an international airport. The cost is US$30 and you will need one passport photo. If you do not have a passport photo you will be charged $1 – $2 USD. E-visas are now an option here, but these are only valid at international airports and certain border crossings including the Poipet border point with Thailand. If you are crossing at the Phsar Prom border point you cannot use E-visas.
Do I need to get a visa for Thailand?
Citizens of 42 countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, most of Western Europe, UK and Ireland, Israel and many countries in the Middle East, Brazil, Peru, and most of Asia do not need to obtain a visa in advance of travelling to Thailand. You will receive a 30 day entry visa on arrival at any international airport or 15 days if arriving via a land border. Twenty other nationalities can apply for a 15 day visa on arrival in Thailand. Everyone else needs to apply in advance.
Do I need to get a visa for Laos?
Yes, for most travelers. Laos visas for most nationalities are easy to obtain on entry to the country, so there is no need to apply in advance. You will need one passport photo and $30-$42. The price is determined by your nationality.
Do I need to get a visa for Myanmar?
Like many things in Myanmar, the visa situation is undergoing changes. Please check online for the latest developments. As of 2018, e-visas are now accepted at Yangon, Naypyidaw and Mandalay airports and overland crossings. These e-visas are available for citizens from 43 countries and are relatively efficient and cost-effective. You can apply online here: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/. Some Asian nationalities (including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) no longer require visas.
Do I need to get a visa for Japan?
Citizens of 66 countries are not required to hold visas while visiting Japan, although you must have a valid passport. This includes citizens from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, most of Western Europe, Israel, and some countries in Asia and Central/ South America. Check online for the complete list.
Do I need to get a visa for Sri Lanka?
Visas are available on arrival in Sri Lanka. The cost is US $30. You can save $5 and some time by applying online at: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/.
Do I need to get a visa for Taiwan?
Citizens of 42 countries including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, most of Europe, UK, Japan and Korea can enter Taiwan without a visa for stays of less than 30 days. Other nationalities will need to apply for a visa in advance at an embassy or consulate.
Do I need a Visa?
With the exception of Bhutan, it is your responsibility to arrange and cover the cost of your visas (we can assist with Vietnamese visas for a fee). Visas can be purchased on arrival in certain countries, but generally must be arranged in advance of your trip. A travel agent can help arrange your visas and travel documents, or you can arrange them yourself through a local embassy or consulate. Be sure to read the information provided below on visa procedures in each of the countries we visit.
Do I need to get a visa for Vietnam in advance?
Yes, Vietnamese visas must be obtained in advance of your travel through an embassy or consulate. If you are arriving in Vietnam through an airport, there is an online visa on arrival application process, however various online services may charge different fees. When you apply online your name will be placed on a pre-approved list for obtaining a visa on arrival at any international airport.
Be sure to submit your online application at least 30 days before your arrival date and bring a copy of your approval letter. We can assist with the online application process. To do this we need a scanned copy of your passport and $60 USD service fee. On arrival in Vietnam, you will receive your visa and pay a stamping fee of $25 USD. Vietnam’s visas are strict, including specifying arrival date. Please ensure that your Vietnam visa starts on or before the date you will cross the border into Vietnam. Online e-visas are not valid for land border crossings. If you are traveling overland on our tour and have been unable to obtain a visa, we can apply on your behalf once the tour starts in Cambodia. The fee for this is US$95.
The British, French, German, Spanish & Italian passport holders, are given free (single) entry into Vietnam for no more than 15 days. Read more about visa exemptions and online application.
Do I need to get a visa for China?
Chinese visas must be obtained in advance of travel from an embassy or consulate. If you don’t have any plans to travel to a location where there is a consulate/embassy anytime soon, you can arrange for a local travel agency or a visa service to get it for you.
Do I need to get a visa for India?
Yes, you may apply for an Indian visa online at https://www.indianimmigration.org/apply-visa or through a consulate, although the visa process through a consulate or embassy takes a significant amount of time and must be completed well in advance of travel.
Do I need to get a visa for Mongolia?
No, not for most travelers. Many nationalities can now enter Mongolia visa-free, including the USA, Canada, and Germany. Check online for the full list: https://www.discovermongolia.mn/mongolia-visa-information/. If your country is not on the visa-free list, you can obtain a visa ahead of time at an embassy or consulate or on arrival.
Do I need to get a visa for Nepal?
You can apply in advance for a Nepal visa or obtain one on arrival for US$25 that is valid for 15 days. You can pay a higher rate for longer stays. You will need 2 passport photos to purchase a visa on arrival in Nepal.