Beginner-Friendly Gravel Routes in Vietnam
Vietnam, with its picturesque landscapes and culturally rich avenues, is gradually cementing its place as a haven for gravel cycling enthusiasts. While the allure of rugged terrains and challenging paths beckons the seasoned adventurers, Vietnam also offers a plethora of routes that are perfect for beginners keen to taste the thrill of gravel cycling without the daunting challenges. Here's a guide to some beginner-friendly gravel routes in Vietnam that promise an unforgettable ride through the heart of this beautiful country

1. Mekong Delta Loop


The Mekong Delta, known as the "Rice Bowl" of Vietnam, offers flat, serene paths winding through rice paddies, fruit orchards, and sleepy villages. This loop is ideal for beginners, thanks to its gentle terrain and the abundance of scenic spots perfect for leisurely breaks.

Distance and Difficulty:

  • 50-60 kilometers

  • Easy, with very minimal elevation gain.


  • Floating markets in Can Tho

  • Sampan rides through narrow canals

  • Traditional Vietnamese rural life

Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Mekong Delta
Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Mekong Delta

2. Hanoi to Ba Vi National Park


Starting from the bustling capital of Hanoi, this route takes you to the tranquil Ba Vi National Park. The journey blends urban and rural landscapes, offering beginners a taste of mixed terrains that are manageable and rewarding.

Distance and Difficulty:

  • Approximately 60 kilometers

  • Moderate, mainly due to distance, with some gentle climbs.


  • Lush forests and stunning mountain views in Ba Vi National Park

  • Ba Vi mountain range

  • Temples and historical sites within the park

3. Hue to Thanh Toan Bridge


This scenic route starts from the ancient city of Hue, taking cyclists through tranquil countryside to the historic Thanh Toan Bridge. It's a fantastic way for beginners to experience Vietnam's rural beauty at a leisurely pace.

Distance and Difficulty:

  • Around 30 kilometers

  • Easy, with flat and well-paved paths.


  • Thanh Toan Bridge, a beautiful example of Vietnamese traditional architecture

  • Peaceful rice fields

  • Hue’s Imperial City

4. Da Lat Countryside Loop


The cool climate and rolling hills around Da Lat make this route a delightful escape from Vietnam's tropical heat. This loop around Da Lat exposes riders to stunning landscapes, from flower farms to coffee plantations, all on manageable backcountry roads.

Distance and Difficulty:

  • 40-50 kilometers

  • Moderate, with some hills but generally manageable for beginners.


  • Valley of Love

  • Da Lat Flower Gardens

  • Local coffee plantations

5. Ninh Binh Exploration


Often referred to as "Ha Long Bay on Land," Ninh Binh features dramatic limestone karsts rising from the ground. The gravel routes here are mainly flat, skirting around rice paddies and through small villages, making it an ideal destination for beginner cyclists.

Distance and Difficulty:

  • 30-40 kilometers

  • Easy, with very minimal elevation and mostly flat terrain.


  • Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Ancient capital of Hoa Lu

  • Tam Coc river cruise

Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Northern Vietnam: Mai Chau to Pu Luong
Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Northern Vietnam: Mai Chau to Pu Luong

Tips for Beginner Gravel Cyclists in Vietnam:

  • Start Early: To avoid the midday heat and enjoy the cooler morning air.

  • Stay Hydrated: Keep water or isotonic beverages handy, especially in the humid climate of Vietnam.

  • Wear the Right Gear: Comfortable cycling clothing, gloves, and a helmet are essentials.

  • Respect Traffic Rules: Even on rural roads, be mindful of local traffic and pedestrians.

  • Have a Navigation Aid: Whether a GPS device or a reliable map app on your smartphone, ensure you have the means to navigate.


Vietnam’s diverse landscapes offer a perfect playground for gravel cyclists, with plenty of routes that cater to beginners looking for less intimidating yet equally rewarding adventures. These beginner-friendly gravel routes not only highlight the natural beauty and cultural richness of Vietnam but also serve as an ideal starting point for those new to the world of gravel cycling. So, gear up and set out on a journey that promises both adventure and the joy of discovery at every turn.

Mai Chau - Pu Luong- Ninh Binh cycling with Mr Biker Saigon

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