1. Pre-Plan to Visit Highlights
Vietnam’s central coast has a lot of incredible highlights to visit, like the Hai Van Pass and the Marble Mountains. It’s not exactly a compact region, though, so you’ll need to pre-plan a route to ensure you see everything you want to.
Check out our full post on where to go on Vietnam’s central coast to help yourself plan a route. Or, even better, consider Mr Biker Saigon’s Central Coast Tour. Like all our tours, it is mapped out beforehand by our route-planning team and will take you to the highlights you want to see while avoiding throngs of tourists.
2. Fishing Villages
The colorful fishing villages of Vietnam’s central coast are quintessential parts of the seaside experience in the area. That’s why you should factor into your itinerary some time to stop in the sleepy, traditional villages and just drink in the local atmosphere over a coffee or a bowl of pho. You’ll also want to explore the towns to immerse yourself in the local way of life, witnessing fishermen casting nets, colorful boats, and bustling markets.
3. Local Seafood Delights
The central coast is renowned for its delicious seafood. You can plan to indulge in local specialties like grilled squid, fresh fish, and shrimp dishes. Quang-style noodles, a local delicacy, are also a must-try. You don’t necessarily need to plan your dining destinations ahead of time, since most towns on the Central Coast will have seafood restaurants in abundance.
Do note, though, that seafood is more susceptible to going bad and causing stomach problems when it is not stored well! For that reason, we’d highly recommend only getting seafood from actual restaurants with an actual kitchen complete with a refrigerator.
4. Cham Culture
The Cham people are one of the most historically and culturally fascinating ethnic minorities in Vietnam. You’ll want to make time to explore the remnants of the ancient Cham civilization at My Son Sanctuary, near Hoi An. Marvel at the temples and learn about the rich history and cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Water Sports
We know that cyclists tend to enjoy their extreme sports, and there are few places in the world better for extreme water sports than Vietnam’s central coast — in particular, Mui Ne. Consider trying out water sports such as surfing or kiteboarding in the coastal town, which is famous for its windy conditions and favorable waves.
6. Local Festivals
The Central Coast has an even richer cultural tradition than most of Vietnam, and there are a lot of festivals in the region at different times of year to celebrate that tradition. The festivals provide a unique opportunity to witness local customs, music, and dance performances. Look up the dates before you plan your cycling holiday to make sure you get the most out of your experience!
A good place to start is our article about when to visit Vietnam’s central coast, which lists several of the area’s major festivals and the approximate time of year in which they take place.
Vietnam’s Central Coast is more humid than you’re probably used to, and that means you’ll be sweating a lot more, especially on a cycling tour. Remember to not only drink water but also take advantage of the broth-based dishes that are common in Vietnamese cuisine. It’s no coincidence that pho is one of the most popular dishes eaten in Vietnam; it’s perfect fuel for the body to keep producing sweat while maintaining its supplies of sodium and water.
A Final Word
When planning your Central Coast expedition, don’t forget to leave room in your itinerary for adventure! It is true that the region contains some of Vietnam’s most beautiful cities, like Hoi An, Hue, and Danang, but the dirt roads and detours that you’ll come by in between those stops will likely bring you as much or more satisfaction than the stops themselves.