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Cycling Vietnam

Enjoy the best of Vietnam on two wheels
Includes return economy airfares

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Escorted Journey
This superb trip combines some of the best cycling routes in Vietnam with time to explore this beautiful country with its long coastline of broad, ...

Highlights

... sandy beaches, shimmering paddy fields and mountains cloaked in forests.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Enjoy the best of Vietnam on two wheels
  • Tuck into mouth-watering Vietnamese cuisine
  • Relax in the charming riverside town of Hoi An
  • Cruise around the breathtaking limestone karsts of Halong Bay

Holiday Type

Active
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N
Culture
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N
Beach
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N
  • N

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What's included
  • All breakfasts, 10 lunches, 1 dinner
  • All accommodation: Hotels, Boat & Sleeper Train
  • International and internal flights
  • Airport transfers
Need to know
  • Minimum age 16
  • The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size.
  • Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam, and this must be obtained prior to departure.
  • Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is suggested and we advise that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.
  • Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited.
Your route
Exodus: Cycling Vietnam Map Asia Hoi An Nha Trang Saigon Halong Bay

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Saigon

Arrive Saigon

Officially known as Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh, Saigon is Vietnam's biggest city. It's also the country's commercial hub, though not the capital city; that's Hanoi. Standing on the banks of the Saigon River, this Southeast Asian metropolis is alive with swanky hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. Yet there's another side to this spectacular city; one that's made up of authentic pagodas, French empirical influences and contrasting stark housing blocks. Whether you've come to find out about the war and French rule, or simply to soak up the stunning natural setting, Saigon is bound to stay with you long after your departure.

Day 2
A mix of driving and cycling to the Cu Chi tunnels

A mix of driving and cycling to the Cu Chi tunnels

This morning you'll drive out of the city, before cycling to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This offers a great introduction to cycling in Vietnam and a chance to fine-tune the bikes. The tunnels were Viet Cong sanctuaries, used by the guerrillas as living quarters and escape routes, the network covers three levels and approximately 240 kms of tunnels. Although originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for tourists, but even so it is still necessary to crawl on hands and knees. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine! If you prefer not to visit the tunnels you can have an unguided free day in Saigon. Places of interest include: the Emperor of Jade and Giac Lam pagodas, the former Presidential Palace (now the Reunification Hall), Ben Thanh market and the War Remnants Museum. Ride approx. 35 km.

Day 3
Drive towards the coast and cycle to Mui Ne

Drive towards the coast and cycle to Mui Ne

After an early breakfast, head out of Saigon by bus before starting the cycle towards Mui Ne on the coast. Hit the backroads and head through tropical fruit and rubber plantations, also passing some small fishing villages as we make our way closer to the coast. Finish the ride in Mui Ne, a tranquil white-sand beach where you can enjoy a swim after the day's riding and witness your first sunset over the South China Sea. The ride is (approx.) 50 km.

Day 4
Cycle to Dalat in the Central Highlands

Cycle to Dalat in the Central Highlands

Cycle towards Dalat - this part of the cycle route is undulating with occasional climbs. Along the way, pass coffee and tea plantations, as well as flower gardens and pine forests as you reach higher altitude. Rejoin the bus before the road climbs steeply to the mountain town of Dalat. Dalat is a pleasant hill station, formerly known as Le Petit Paris, and has been described as the most beautiful town in Vietnam. It was favoured by the French for its climate, and is now a popular honeymoon resort for the Vietnamese. The ride is approx. 60 km.

Day 5
Cycle through Bidoup N.P. to Nha Trang and the beach

Cycle through Bidoup N.P. to Nha Trang and the beach

Today's ride is predominantly downhill through pine forests and paddy fields as you descend nearly 1,500m travelling through the Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park. This area is home to rare pine forests as well as small villages inhabited by the ethnic minority people of the central highlands. Once you arrive at the coast, continue by bus (approx. 1.5 hours) to Nha Trang. This beachside town is idyllic, with swaying palms, golden sands and the beautiful deep blue water of the South China Sea. Ride up to 100km, according to your preference.

Day 6
Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

Today you'll have a rest from the bikes, and instead take a boat trip to the offshore islands where you have the opportunity to swim and snorkel amongst the colourful reef. This is a  wonderful experience where you can soak up stunning views of the mountainous coastline that lies to the north of Nha Trang, and an opportunity to eat some of the freshest seafood available. If you don't fancy the boat trip, you can relax on the beach, have a massage, go scuba diving or ride off to other nearby beaches such as Hon Chong, a fishing village lined with coconut palms, mango and banana plantations.

Day 7
Drive to beautiful Dai Lanh Beach; coastal ride to Quy Nhon

Drive to beautiful Dai Lanh Beach; coastal ride to Quy Nhon

Set off early this morning for the ride to the beautiful fishing village of Dai Lanh. A short transfer out of town past the Po Nagar Cham towers brings takes you to a high point and from here today's ride is predominantly flat. The beautiful beach at Dai Lanh is the perfect place to stop for a swim and lunch before continuing by bus around the spectacular coastal cliff road towards the town of Tuy Hoa and on to Quy Nhon (approx. 4 hours in the bus today). Ride up to 90 km, according to your preference.

Day 8
Further coastal ride stopping en route at sand dunes; then transfer to Hoi An

Further coastal ride stopping en route at sand dunes; then transfer to Hoi An

Leaving Quy Nhon, travel through a new economic zone over the Thi Nai Peninsula and Nhon Hoi Bridge, the longest sea bridge in Vietnam. Visit a local market before continuing the ride to Phu Ly. Along the way you'll enjoy views of the coastline, including secluded bays, sand dunes and beaches with colourful fishing boats bobbing on the South China Sea. From Phu Ly, drive to Hoi An. If time permits, you'll cycle the last 12 km once we turn off Highway 1 into Hoi An. Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam, dating back to the mid-sixteenth century, is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. Explore the thriving riverside market, take the chance to buy local art or have some clothes tailor-made for you. It's 6 hours on the bus today and approx. 50 km by bike.

Day 9
Sightseeing in Hoi An; free afternoon

Sightseeing in Hoi An; free afternoon

This morning, take a guided walking tour of Hoi An to explore some of the structures of historical significance in the Old Town, including bridges, temples, wells and houses. Those less interested in architecture can cycle the 5km to the lovely Cua Dai Beach or cycle to the Marble Mountains, which are 19kms from town. These five marble hills, formerly islands, contain many caves, some of which were used as Buddhist (and Vietcong) sanctuaries. Also nearby is China Beach, a famous US R & R spot in the war, and Danang. It is also possible to visit My Son, one of the most important Cham temple sites in Vietnam, where Cham kings were buried as early as the fourth century. Although wartime bombing has destroyed much of the site, there are a number of interesting stone towers and sanctuaries.

Day 10
Ride over the spectacular Hai Van Pass; cycle and drive on to Hue

Ride over the spectacular Hai Van Pass; cycle and drive on to Hue

Today you'll turn north again for the drive/cycle to Hue. The route passes over the spectacular Hai Van Pass the 'Pass of the Ocean Clouds'. The views are stunning though those who prefer to avoid the 580m climb can always take a lift in the support vehicle. Once at the top it will all seem worth it as you plummet back to the ocean, then continue through small villages and timeless rural scenes to the outskirts of Hue, from where we transfer to our city centre hotel. It's around 2.5 hours in the bus today and around 80 km by bike.

Day 11
Explore Hue and surroundings by bike and boat; overnight train to Hanoi

Explore Hue and surroundings by bike and boat; overnight train to Hanoi

Hue claims to be the cultural and historic centre of Vietnam and there is plenty to explore. Take a guided tour of the city and surrounding tombs - the most memorable site is the citadel, with walls six miles in length. Inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins, and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City. Continue by boat along the Perfume River to the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors, who ruled Vietnam from Hue. Tu Duc's Tomb is very elaborate and set in beautiful gardens, along the way you'll will visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government protest in the early 1960s and it houses the Austin car that transported a monk, Thich Quang Duc, to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself as a protest against the president. In the afternoon we will board the Reunification Express for the overnight ride to Hanoi, 600km to the north. Ride around 25 km.

Day 12
Arrive Hanoi; drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise/kayak among spectacular limestone formations

Arrive Hanoi; drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise/kayak among spectacular limestone formations

Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and stop for a local breakfast and a stretch of the legs, before taking the four hour bus journey to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with around 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. Cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery, stopping to swim and kayak in the sea, where you can reach places that are inaccessible by boat (weather permitting) and enjoy a seafood lunch on board.

Days 13-14
Return to Hanoi; city tour including the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison and the Old Quarter

Return to Hanoi; city tour including the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison and the Old Quarter

Continue your cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. Head back to Hanoi and enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, which includes a visit to the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison and the Old Quarter of the city. Soak up the charm of this historical city, admire the beautiful old buildings and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, broad tree-lined avenues and the attractive lakes and pagodas. In the evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets. The tour ends here in Hanoi.

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