MINSK JEEP Tour

History of MINSK Motorcycle

MINSK motorcycles, also known as M1A or M1NSK, are an ex-soviet brand of motorcycle. Originally, manufactured in Moscow then the factory was transferred to Minsk, the capital of Belarus in 1951, therefore, it was renamed MINSK from M1A. The MINSK motorcycle then rapidly gained popularity in the USSR, East Europe, the Warsaw Pact countries, China, Vietnam and western Asia. Spreading out with the extension of Communism and the geostrategic and ideological influences of the USSR they have been delivered to and sold in 45 countries and the total number has exceeded 6.5 million.

The history of the Minsk motorbike in Vietnam

“The eventful life of the MINSK motorcycles in Vietnam came with glory, grew up with poverty and died with memory and reborn as an immortal legend”
The first MINSK’s arrived in the North of Vietnam at the beginning of the 1960’s, following the support of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact during the Vietnam war. Later on, the MISNK motorcycles were officially imported to Vietnam in the following decades from the 1970s to the 1980s. That’s why during this period of time the image of MINSK motorcycles in the eyes and minds of the northern Vietnamese stood for the kind-hearted, wealthy, generous, creative and hard-working Soviet and Communist friends. Also, according to the Northern Vietnam government’s propaganda, along with the hammer and the sickle on the communist flag the MINSK motorcycle stood for working-classes, the pride of communism technology and creativity as well as a good friend of the working-class. In contrary to the girly and lazy Honda and Vespa scooters which stand for capitalism and imperialism.

For many decades, from the beginning of the 1960s to the end of the1980s the MINSK was the most popular motorbike in Vietnam, just like the Honda scooter is now. It was the most valuable property and the sweetest dream of most Vietnamese families and they have become the best friend of any Vietnamese person, from a peasant to a doctor or a politician.

Things changed quickly as a result of the collapse of the USSR, the dissolving of the Warsaw Pact and the decline of Communism at the end of the 1980’s. On the other hand, in 1994 the USA lifted the trading embargo for Vietnam and the country was allowed to open its doors to the world, of course, the influx of dozens of other shinier, more elegant and more comfortable motorbike brands came to Vietnam. As a result, the image of the heroic MINSK motorcycles was also fading with the collapse of communism which made way for the lazy and girly Honda, Vespa, Yamaha scooters and even the cheaply Chinese ones. When having no choice, the MINSK was the best. But when having more choices, Vietnamese people suddenly turned back to the MINSK and fell in love with the young, shiny and beautiful girls like Honda, Vespa, and Yamaha. As a result, the old, hash and rough lady like the MINSK was abandoned and cheated. Poor the MINSK!

Gradually, almost people turned back to the MINSKs and it is said that there is no reason to ride such heavy, ugly and dirty motorcycles in the city and there is no room for it in the house. Most of the MINSKs were pushed to the construction work to suffer with the “life of slaves” and labor exploitation, carrying anything and everything from the construction materials like sand, bricks, concrete and timber to chicken, pigs and buffaloes. You name it, they carried it!

The rest of the MINSK motorbikes were taken to the remote areas, rugged mountains and terrains with dirt tracks and off-roads where they had to work hard but were being treated better than the slaves in on the construction sites. However, the people in the remote lands just considered MINSK motorbikes as iron workhorses. From the status of a hero, a legend, suddenly the MINSK had to bear with the status of a worker and a slave. Because of hardship, over-used and under-maintained conditions, most of the MINSKs were found dead in the recycle storages or villages.

Nowadays there are very few MINSK’s left, it is estimated that there are about 3000 MINSKS left in Vietnam and most of them have been wounded or disable! What an eventful life story of the MINSK motorbike in Vietnam. It came with glory, grew up with poverty, died with memory and reborn as an immortal legend…Though most people have turned back to the MINSK, the ones that were born in the 1970’s and 80’s could not forget the MINSK as a red page of their lives. The image of a rough motorcycle- a workhorse is forever in our mind and reminds us about the glory time of Communism in Vietnam under the subsidy economy!

We are happy to know that the few young people in Hanoi and around Vietnam still love the MINSK. They ride them with love, passion and respect! Throughout Vietnam, the biggest and craziest motorbike fan clubs are the Minsk Clubs. Recently, there has been an amazing rebirth of Minsk motorcycles. The wounded Minsk in the recycle stories and villages has been rescued and reborn to become immortal and legendary motorbike in Vietnam.

Our immortal legendary Minsk Motorbikes

We are proud to be official members of Hanoi MINSK Club, there are about 200 members and we all have love, passion and respect for the MINSK, that’s how we got to know each other. As nostalgias we strive to preserve and enhance these antique motorcycles and we would like to share our love, passion and respect for the MINSK with you our beloved customers to make an impactful and unforgettable experience for you about Hanoi and Vietnam and our people through the legendary ride of a MINSK.

Fact and figures about motorbikes in Vietnam and 8 top-reasons why you should take a motorbike ride when traveling in Vietnam . Simply, being a ride-pillion passenger on a motorbike at least once in your lives.

1. Motorbikes are the most convenient means of transportation; used by most Vietnamese from the infants to the 100++ year-old.

2. It is NOT that dangerous as you think to take a motorbike ride or a motorbike taxi ( Xe Om) in the big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. Let ride Minsk & enjoy “school of fish” traffic in different way. Hassle and panic free to experience a motorbike ride when you are in the cities.

3. It is legal to carry an adult ride-pillion passenger and as many children as you can on a motorbike. But it is illegal to carry 2 adult ride-pillion passengers on a motorbike.

4. It is also legal if you carry anything and everything on a motorbike and one more ride-pillion passenger in the back.

5. Vietnam is a home of Motorbike; it is the 4th world largest motorbike market after China, India and Indonesia.

6. Motorbikes account for 93% of the citizen’s demand for transportation, making up 96% of the total vehicles running in the country ( according to the latest statistic -2016, reported by the Ministry of Registration of Vietnam)

7. Until 2016, Vietnam has had 40.5 million registered motorbikes, equivalent to 2.4- 2.5 persons per unit.

8. It is estimated that there are about 5 million motorbikes are driving in Hanoi and 6.5 million in Ho Chi Minh City every day.

Touring time: 08:00 - 16:00
Private Tour: at any time
Duration: 8 hours
Pick-up & Drop-off at your hotel in the Center of Hanoi

Style of Tour: Join-group, however, you can order a personalized, PRIVATE tour with surcharge depending on your group size, please contact us for more details!

Tour price: USD per person, kids under 12 receive 30% off and kids 3-5 are free.

You will be greeted by our guide and driver at your hotel lobby or our meeting point for safety briefing, we then begin our adventure!

Morning time: Hanoi Parts-unknown on motorcycle

On the first part of the trip, we expose you the REAL HANOI with a day in the life experiences, featured with the parts-unknown of the city with slices of life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, random markets and black market, experiencing where & how locals live, work and play. Other travel companies show just you the beautiful and tell you to run away from the bad and the weird of your destinations. On Hanoi Backstreet Tours’ journeys, not only do we show you the good but we also expose the bad and the weird of your destinations as it is what it is. For us, the run-off-the mill tourist sites are only the tip of the iceberg, the majority of your destinations remains hidden in the parts-unknown.

On the second part of the trip, we also take you to the poetic & peaceful villages and floating community along the Red river to enrich your experiences about the contrast in harmony of life between the city and the countryside of Hanoi.
Afternoon time: Hanoi city tour in a vintage Jeep.

After lunch, you will come inside to visit the MUST-SEEE MUST-SEEE places of our beautiful city such as Ho Chi Minh mausoleum-the Mecca of Vietnamese, The 1000 year-old Buddhist and Toasist temples of Tran Quoc, temple of Literature, the historical training track, the enchanting French Quarter, The hustling & bustling Old Quarter, the romantic lakes of Hoan Kiem, West lake , Hanoi Opera House & famous Long Bien bridge etc.

Last but not least, en route, you gonna stop at different AUTHENTIC restaurants, eateries and food stalls to savor the tastiest of the tasty dishes of Hanoi including family heirloom & secret recipe dishes, local delicacies and specialties.

INCLUSION:

  • Pick up and drop off
  • Vintage Minsk motorbike & Gaz69 Jeep
  • Experienced driver
  • Helmet & rain poncho
  • English speaking guide
  • All food & drinks
  • Entrance
  • All drivers are licensed and we provide local travel insurance, but we also recommend that you have your own

JEEP TOUR

Morning Tour: 08:00 - 12:30
Afternoon Tour: 12:30 - 17:00
Private Tour: at any time
Duration: 4.5 hours
Group Tour size: Min: 1 & Max: 6 people in a Jeep
Pick-up & Drop-off at your hotel in the Center of Hanoi

Style of Tour: Join-group, however, you can order a personalized, PRIVATE tour with surcharge depending on your group size, please contact us for more details!
Tour price: USD per person, kids under 12 receive 30% off and kids 3-5 are free.

You will be greeted by our guide and driver at your hotel lobby or our meeting point for safety briefing, we then begin our adventure!

Leave the busy streets of Hanoi via a scenic road winding through the city’s Old Quarter, through the urban outskirts, and into the countryside. We’ll cross the bridge to the other side of the Red river where you could immerse yourselves into to tranquil countryside.

Experience the beauty of Vietnam’s countryside as you ride through back roads and along the banks of the Red River on our Hanoi village tour. See local villagers at work as your guide will engage you with traditional rural activities and sights.

We’ll continue our Jeep journey by riding through the tranquil banana and vegetable farming area of Red River. There will be lots of opportunities to stop and take photos of the beautiful surroundings and the locals working on their farms.
We then head off to the 1000 year-old village ceramic village of Bat Trang, the biggest pottery village in Vietnam where we visit an old artisan family to learn about Vietnamese art of ceramics and cuisines.

INCLUSION:

  • Pick up and drop off
  • Vintage Gaz69 Jeep
  • Experienced driver
  • Helmet & rain poncho
  • English speaking guide
  • All food & drinks
  • Entrance
  • All drivers are licensed and we provide local travel insurance, but we also recommend that you have your own

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