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From the immense, busy Ho Chi Minh City, to a peaceful cruise through Halong Bay, this is the best trip to get a full idea of what Vietnam is really like. We will pass along the seaside, jungle, two former capital cities, two National Parks, two UNESCO sites, and much much more.This trip showcases all features of our beautiful country. You will step into the South, Central, Coast and North parts of Vietnam. The path we have chosen to take is customised, tested, and heavily researched. Simply the best off the beaten track we could find. A paradise for cyclists! . You will pedal on dirt tracks, cassava plantations, rice paddies, smooth roads, and forest trails. Surely there will be challenges along the way, but that cold beer on the beach tastes so much better after climbing a mountain to get there. There will be plenty of time to relax on boats, buses, and cruises along the way.
Saigon – Hanoi
It will be hot. If you have never been to SE Asia, expect to sweat. A lot. So dress accordingly!
We will provide water and snacks, but we recommend bringing your own water bottles to reduce plastic bottle usage.
We also recommend bringing your own bike, helmet, gloves, or anything else that will make your ride more comfortable. However, we do provide all of these stated.
For your first day in Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon you will meet the team of mechanics, drivers and guides that will accompany you throughout your journey from Saigon to Hanoi. Additionally, a bike fitting will be organised followed by a tour briefing and a local welcome dinner.
After a short transfer away from the busy city you will cycle around 30km through small communities, rubber trees and village industries where you will get the chance to observe locals working in the fields and taking care of their livestock. In Cu Chi you will be accompanied through the historical and technical aspects of the tunnels used by the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War and after there will be lunch at a local restaurant. You will then be transferred back to the City and visit the must-see Museum of War Crimes in the afternoon.
The third day will start with an early flight to Pleiku in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This region is known for its mountainous landscape, its’ coffee and pepper plantations as well as its ethnic groups proud of their culture, language, ways of living and traditional clothes. The region is not touristy at all which will enable you to see the real Vietnam by Bicycle including local encounters, authentic food and a unique glimpse of how natives live. After arrival you will go with our team for a half-day ride in Gia Lai Province.
You will first be transferred by bus (1 hr) to the La Ly Pass, a breath-taking area between stunning green mountains and a vast man-made Lake. From there you will cycle 60km to Kon Tum City. Your journey will be filled with dirt roads through cassava, sugar cane plantations and rice paddies, a great day for mountain bike lovers! Throughout the day you will experience 1,300 metres of climbing and 1,090 metres of descent of rolling hills to Sa Tay. The day will finish by an hour-long bus transfer to your hotel in Kon Tum City.
This day will be entirely about discovering the unknown Kon Tum and its surroundings! Your guide will introduce you to different Ethnic Minorities present in the province and will even take you to authentic villages where you will be able to admire the magnificent 15-metre-high traditional community halls called ‘the Rong Houses’. This 5th day 50km ride will go so fast as you experience the Kon Klor Bridge, Dak Bla River, the traditional Gong music, try the Central Highland’s gastronomy, taste the local coffee and maybe the local rice wine?
Our team will drive you up to the Mang Den Pass (1 hr) so get your camera ready for the splendid view! Offering an amazing panorama from its high altitude, Mang Den is also famously known by both the Buddhist and Christian religious community for its worship sites. Once in Mang Den you will hop on your bikes and start cycling 80km downhill in the direction of Quang Nhai. On the way, you will meet 1,718 metres of climbs whilst enjoying 2,520 metres of descent. You will then be picked up by our driver for 1.5 hours transfer to Quang Ngai.
In the morning you will start cycling with a first stop at My Lai where “the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War” took place with hundreds of civilians massacred. You will get a guided visit of the historical site and museum before getting back on your bike to continue the journey. You will cycle mainly on smooth roads through small authentic fishing villages filled with colourful boats. After lunch our bus will pick you up to get directly to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its preserved architecture reminding its time as a trading port between the 15th and 19th century. In addition to its unique atmosphere and inimitable buildings, the city is nowadays famous for its colourful lanterns illuminating the Old Town at night. The end of the day will be yours to explore this amazing city.
My Son, ancient centre of the Cham civilization destroyed by American bombs will be visited on the 8th day. You will cycle on small village roads which will not be the easiest part of the journey but one of the best as it offers a stunning picture of rice paddies and charming authentic villages. Lunch will be taken in My Son and the archaeological site will be visited in the afternoon. You will then be given the choice to cycle back to Hoi An or be transferred by bus.
We hope that you will be ready for some challenges because this ride is not going to be easy but it will be the most rewarding one of the entire trip! You will commence the day with a short transfer out of the city. You will then go on your bike and ride along the coast up to Danang and its China Beach popular from soldiers during the Vietnam War to sunbathers nowadays. Then it is time to climb the renowned Hai Van Pass. The climb goes gradually up to 480 metres with many switchbacks and offers a stunning view on nature overlooking the South China Sea followed by an extensive smooth descent to your reward… Lunch! In the afternoon our team will take you to the seaside for 44km more before getting to Hue, the old capital of the Nguyen Dynasty.
This day will be all about getting to know more about Hue’s history by visiting its must-see sites namely the An Cuu (Perfume) River, the tombs of Khai Dinh, the 12th King of the Nguyen dynasty and the Vong Canh hill, this 43 metre high hill offer a stunning panorama of the Perfume River. Furthermore, you will cycle you to the seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda, the highest religious building of the nation and the symbol of the city. Finally, you will be able to enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Perfume River back to Hue before packing up, eating dinner with our team and boarding an overnight train to Ninh Binh, also known as “Halong Bay on land”.
You will get to Ninh Binh in the morning before being transferred to a local restaurant for an early lunch. In the afternoon, you will bike across the region’s breath taking landscape of karst mountains and rice paddies. Our guide will take you to Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries where you will visit splendid ancient temples. Then you will continue cycling to the Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam’s first and largest natural reserve. You will spend the night in the National Park.
You will begin the day by cycling around this preserved environment before visiting the primate rescue centre. On the way out of the park, you will be able to cycle through pineapple plantations before traveling across local villages and farmlands. At this point, you will be able to differentiate the Northern and Southern landscape, houses, people and even clothing. Our bus will be waiting for you at the Highway 1 for a transfer to Hai Phong, one of Vietnam’s major harbours.
You will board a ferry to Fulong on Cat Ba Island, south of Halong Bay. On the island is one of Vietnam most wonderful natural resources: Cat Ba National Park. Once on Cat Ba Island, you will hop back on your bike for a 26km ride on the island’s only road. After lunch in town, you will be free to discover the rest of the island. You will spend the night on the island.
For your last day with our team, you will go for a short ride in the morning before boarding on an unforgettable cruise throughout Halong Bay. The UNESCO site is made of 1,600 islands and islets mainly uninhabited due to its spectacular fauna and limestone karsts. It is said that Halong Bay was created by a powerful dragon traveling from the mountain into the sea. At the end of the cruise, you will get transferred to Hanoi for some free time. For this last evening together, our team will invite you for a farewell dinner, a lovely time to remind ourselves about everything we have done on this amazing trip! We hope to see you again soon!