Vietnam Explorer: Bicycle Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (TourzPlus™)

  • Itinerary Summary

    This is your chance to bicycle through Vietnam alongside friendly locals. Ride your bike past rice fields, visit local ethnic villages and explore imperial cities.

    We'll Visit the Imperial City of Hue, historic Hoi An, the beach resort of Nha Trang, Dalat - an old French spa resort, and cosmopolitan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

    This trip combines Beaches and Highlands and Ancient Vietnam tours.

    Learn more about our TourzPlus™ partner tours and how they differ from regular ExperiencePlus! bicycle tours.

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    1. Day 1: Hanoi

      Highlights: Hanoi

      You will met at the Hanoi airport. Today is designed to allow you settle in and relax after your journey. The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets where trades peole can be seen working on the pavement, is well worth exploring. The Water Puppet show is also highly recommended - it is best to prebook on arrival in Hanoi. We also recommend that you add a few extra days in Hanoi and the World Heritage Park of Halong Bay before the tour.

    2. Day 2: Hanoi to Hue

      Highlights: Bike fitting and exploration of Hue, traditional music show

      We take the morning flight from Hanoi to Hue (c.1hr 15 mins). Hue, (pop.286,000) built on the banks of the Perfume River, is steeped in 3,000 years of history. Here we will meet our cycling guide and fit you to your rental bike, or unpack your own and then explore the Citadel and Forbidden City by bicycle. At dinner tonight we will be entertained with traditional music in the garden courtyard.

    3. Day 3: Hue to - Hoi An (population 76,000)

      Highlights: Coastal riding, Hai Van Pass

      We bicycle from town along a flat coastal road, through various fishing and agricultural villages. You will have your first experience of the friendliness of the locals, especially the children. Lunch is at Long Co Beach, which is an hour's drive. From here we tackle the Hai Van Pass - the view from the top, and on the descent, is outstanding and well worth the effort. (The support vehicle will be there, of course, should you prefer to take a ride) After a fabulous descent we reach Danang, where you can board our support vehicle to drive to Hoi An (you can also continue riding if you prefer).

      You may like to visit China Beach where American servicemen went for their R&R during the Vietnam /American War or a marble factory and view the exquisite workmanship.

      Bicycling Options:

      Morning ride: 40 km / 25 mi

      Afternoon ride: 21 km / 13 mi over Hai Van Pass, or 66 km / 41 mi to Hoi An

    4. Day 4: Hoi An

      Highlights: Rest day in Hoi An

      Today is a day at leisure to explore this delightful town (dating back to 200BC) with its street side cafes, artists and markets. Explore the historic architecture of Japanese and French origin, take in the morning concert of traditional music or take a gentle ride (c.10km return) to fabulous Hoi An beach. There is much to see and do and there are also wonderful pastry shops in the old town and excellent tailors who will make any garment to measure, including cycling jerseys, in a few hours. Let your guide know if you would like an an extra ride.

    5. Day 5: Hoi An to Sa Huynh

      Highlights: Visit an ethnic village

      We drive out of Hoi An town for about 45 minutes (25km) to the start of cycle section on Highway 1. The country side is pancake flat with green fields and we will sample a slice of rural Vietnamese life-look out for villagers harvesting rice. We start cycling (about 50km) on a quiet road hugging the coastline before a half hour vehicle transfer to Tam Ky for lunch.

      After lunch, an hour vehicle transfer (42km) from Tam Ky to Chau O Town. From here, we veer towards the coast to start our ride on country roads through Saky fishing village to My Lai. The route includes 12km of unsealed road; it is quite rideable but the support vehicle will never be far away. The ride finishes at My Lai at 4:00 pm; you may wish to visit the massacre memorial site (1968). Please discuss with your guide in the morning whether you wish to tour this site. We then continue driving 60km to Sa Huynh resort.

      Bicycling Options:

      Morning Ride 50 km / 31 mi

      Afternoon Ride 32 km / 20 mi

    6. Day 6: Sa Huynh to Quy Nhon (pop. 260,000)

      Highlights: Seaside resort

      We drive to Tam Quan (15km, 9 miles) to commence cycling on an attractive minor road through rice paddies, salt making flats, mountainous area and later past shrimp farms. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the way. After lunch, continue riding to Tuy Phuoc town where we meet our vehicle and driving 30 km to Quy Nhon city. We will arrive between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

      Bicycling section: 88 km / 55 mi

    7. Day 7: Quy Nhon to Tuy Hoa (pop. 202,000)

      Highlights: Wonderful valley and coastal ride

      Transfer 20 minutes out of the city for the start of ride at Café shop in Dieu Tri village. From here, we start cycling (about 60km) on a delightful quiet road to Me Trang café, though cassava and sugar cane plantations. A picnic lunch will be served when we arrive at Me Trang café. After lunch, continue riding 10 km to Chi Thanh town before reaching Highway 1 where our vehicle will transfer us (about 29 km) to Tuy Hoa city.

      Bicyling Options:

      70km (44 miles)

    8. Day 8: Tuy Hoa to Nha Trang (pop. 315,000)

      Highlights: Vung Ro Bay

      Drive out of Tuy Hoa city about 15 km to Tuy Hoa airport. Here we start cycling on quiet road to Vung Ro Bay then up to the top of Ca Pass (about 35 km). You will have a chance to enjoy jungle and bay views on both sides of the road up the pass. Have a short break at Vung Ro Bay for photographs and a recharge of energy levels before heading to the top of Ca Pass. Then we drive to Dai Lanh for lunch before transferring to Nha Trang city. Our last ride is about 17 km through Nha Trang city to the Novotel hotel for our overnight stay.

      Cycling Distance: 52km (32.5 miles)

    9. Day 9: Nha Trang

      Highlights: Rest Day

      Today there is the option of a boat trip to the islands. There will be time to swim and snorkel, so bring your "togs". Lunch will be at a lovely bamboo restaurant on an offshore island, returning to Nha Trang mid afternoon. There will be an opportunity to have a manicure or a relaxing massage while on the boat. There may be time to visit an ancient Cham Tower, a relic from the ethnic people who once ruled this part of Vietnam.

    10. Day 10: Nha Trang to Buon Ma Thuot (pop. 187,000)

      Highlights: M'Nong people

      Today we cycle through the mountainous Central Highlands. A feature is the long houses of the Edeh and M'Nong people (the two main ethnic groups in the Central Highlands). We drive 18 kms from the city to begin cycling on quiet roads, past sugar cane farms towards Dat Set village, which has a local market and on an undulating route around a national park. After lunch there is a climb to the Phuong Hoang Pass before a final drive to the town of Buon Ma Thuot. Buon Ma Thuot is known as the coffee capital of Vietnam, a country that is second only to Brazil for its coffee exports.

      Cycling Distance: 82km (51 miles)

    11. Day 11: Buon Ma Thout to Dalat (pop. 130,000)

      Highlights: Wonderful route, ethnic village, anyone up for an elephant ride?

      We cycle on a very attractive road through a wonderful variety of scenery - through hills and broad valleys we head for Lien Son, the summer palace of the late Emperor, with its sweeping views of Ho Lak and the surrounding countryside. We also stop at an ethnic village, with its long houses and may have the opportunity to have a ride on working elephants.

      Bicycling Options:

      Buon Ma to Lien Son: 75 km / 47 mi (An uphill but good cycling day)

    12. Day 12: Dalat

      Highlights: Rest day

      We will sample a slice of rural Vietnamese life as we take a lovely side road out of Quang Ngai. On the wDa Lat, at 1,475 metres (4,839 ft) above sea level, is a temperate region dotted with lakes and waterfalls and surrounded by evergreen forests. Once known as "Little Paris", this was once a French hill station. The surrounding hills provide South Vietnam with the more temperately grown flowers, fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, carrots and apples.

      In the morning we visit a silk embroidery village, the "Crazy House", with its weird architecture, and the Art Deco summer palace built for former emperor Bao Dai in 1933. The afternoon is free for you to explore: Dalat is an excellent area to explore by foot or bicycle. You may wish to ride around Xuan Huong Lake, or take the cable-car to the Zen Pagoda. A half day tour to an ethnic village is an optional extra - please ask your guide to arrange this.

    13. Day 13: Dalat to Mui Ne (near Phan Tiet, pop. 169,000)

      Highlights: Wonderful descent, bamboo village resort, ethnic village of K'Ho

      We descend the Prenn Pass, then take a minor road, with superb views, through isolated country, to a K'Ho, an ethnic minority village where we'll have lunch. From here we continue our descent gently to the coast and our overnight stay at beautiful Bamboo Village resort on the golden sand Mui Ne.

      Bicycling Options:

      Ta In to Mui Ne 118 km / 74 mi (mostly downhill)

      Or from our picnic lunch to Mui Ne: 57 km / 35 mi

    14. Day 14: Mui Ne to Loc An

      Highlights: Desert reserve at Phuoc Buu

      Quiet roads take us to the coastal desert reserve at Phuoc Buu. Lunch will be at La Gi. In the afternoon there will be more coastal riding as we cycle beside large sand dunes and plantations of the bizarre looking Dragon fruit. You decide how much you'd like to ride.

    15. Day 15: Loc An Beach to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

      Highlights: Ho Chi Minh City

      We cycle by rubber, cashew nut and black pepper plantations. On reaching a road side temple we load up to avoid the busy highway into Ho Chi Minh City and take the Cat Lai car ferry across one of the many branches of the Mekong. There is the option of not cycling today in order to spend more time in Saigon.

    16. Day 16: Ho Chi Minh City

      Highlights: Enjoy the rest of your travels

      The tour finishes after breakfast this morning. We will gladly take you to the airport should you depart this morning. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and wish you a safe journey home.

    • Highlights

      Saigon, Hue, Fishing villages and quiet roads
    • Includes

      Use of a 27-speed quality hybrid bike, 15 breakfast, 12 lunches, 11 dinners and accommodatons in three and four star French colonial hotels.
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
    • Arrive/Depart

      Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai) (HAN) / Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN)
    • Total Distance

      1073 km (Much less actual riding due to shuttling on some stretches)
    • Daily Distance

      0-118 km
    • Rating

      301-401 Most roads are paved (exceptions are noted in the itinerary) but the road surface is sometimes rough. We only offer hybrid bikes for this reason.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Vietnam Visa Information

      Vietnam's embassy website has the latest info on getting a visa for travel to Vietnam. Be sure to allow 5-7 business days minimum for processing.

    • I was expecting a good trip, but what I got was a 5-fold of all my expectations.

      Tim A. Washington
    • I just wanted to tell you what an amazing trip I had on the Vietnam tour. The entire trip was so special, but I really want to emphasize how hard the guides and drivers worked to make us happy. I would recommend that tour to anyone!

      Brian K. Washington
    • Our hotel accommodations throughout the trip were very comfortable, and most were in beautiful settings. We also got outstanding service from the hotel staff each night. Part of our daily routine included bountiful, freshly prepared seven-course lunches and even more impressive dinner spreads. Those of us who enjoy Asian and spicy cooking raved about the food as being some of the best they had ever experienced on a bicycle tour, or anywhere. Our cycling was dramatic in places. Among the most memorable for me were the climbs through spectacular landscapes on the way to Da Lat and Hue (and several long, stunning descents), a surprising coastal desert environment with impressive sand dunes, and the days we spent deep in rural areas.

      Jonathan F. Washington
    • Loved HaLong Bay. Our guide spoke fluent English and knew his Vietnamese history. Our hotel in the Old Quarter was fabulous: right on the street with the locals, very colorful.

      Barbara C. Colorado
    • Many thanks for a wonderful tour! Hard to believe I cycled all those miles and still came home heavier! Guides, accommodations and meals were exceptional. The drivers couldn't have been more attentive! Each time I stopped, there they were with a cold water bottle. The experience exceeded my expectations!

      Barb L. Colorado

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