Vietnam 17 Day Cycling Tour

Saigon to Hanoi from $5624 NZD

This epic tour showcases many aspects of Vietnam including its war-torn history. Indulge in the fragrant and unforgettable Vietnamese cuisine, cycle through beautiful wetlands backed by jagged peaks and pass alongside vast stretches of stunning beaches.

We begin in the South, exploring the vast underground Củ Chi tunnels near Saigon before flying to Dalat or “Le Petit Paris.” Here we explore the outskirts of this charming city before heading towards Da Chay where we’ll tackle challenging hills and the Hon Giao Pass. Muscles may ache, but the views will be worth it.

After resting in southeast Vietnam’s Nha Trang with its famous blue waters, gentle climbs snake along the Da Bia Mountain towards My Thanh. Enjoy the smooth terrain of Tuy Hoa, passing rice fields dotted with water buffalo. Its onto the Central Coast at Hoi An, the major trading port, before continuing along the scenic back roads of My Son. We enter North Vietnam through Ninh Binh, with its spectacular backdrop of mountains before completing this adventure on the Northeastern coast in spectacular Halong Bay.

Saigon to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City
  • Road Cycling
  • Grade
  • Tour price is for group size 2-16
  • Accommodation in 3 to 5 star hotels
  • USD590 single room surcharge
  • Mountain bike hire USD195
  • E-bike hire USD590
  • This tour is invoiced in USD
  • Prices subject to change for departures from Oct 2020
This biking adventure takes us 1,700 km from Saigon to Hanoi by bus, train, boat and bike. We cycle about 787 km in 14 cycling days, allowing enough time for sightseeing. The riding surfaces are a mixture of tarmac roads and good quality dirt tracks. Some of the days are quite long, and experienced riders usually find it sufficiently challenging. Faster cyclists can ride at their own pace after consulting the guides on the route. However, the average rider will want to stop for photographs and to take in the magnificent sights. This route has been designed to explore the Vietnamese countryside that lies on either side of the main north-south artery, Highway 1. We spend no more than 20 km on this busy route. Away from the main roads, cycling in Vietnam is a wonderful experience; the bicycle is the most common form of rural transport, and you will probably share the road and tracks with school children, farmers and animals. Free time for sightseeing in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, and Halong Bay allows you to explore at leisure.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival in Saigon

No cycling

We'll meet at our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon. After a bike fitting and trip briefing you are free to explore the city before we gather together for a welcome dinner at the renowned Temple Club Restaurant.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels - Saigon

Cycling: 18 km

Today we transfer a short distance out of bustling Saigon and start riding to the haunting Cu Chi Tunnels, which the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) used as their stronghold during the Indochina War. After witnessing the war's devastating consequences, we return to Saigon in our bus and visit to the notorious Museum of War Crimes. Dinner is own arrangements tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3

Saigon to Dalat

Cycling: 35 km

After a very early transfer to the airport, its a short flight to Dalat, once a favorite summer retreat among the French and Vietnamese royal families. Dubbed “Le Petit Paris”, this Central Highlands city is now a popular holiday destination. On arrival we'll stretch our legs on a relatively easy ride around Dalat and then on nearly traffic-free country lanes and back roads. We'll pass Xuan Huong Lake, colourful flower plantations and the Old French Railway station. After cycling in the shadow of Mount Langbian we return to Dalat. You may like to explore the city on foot this evening after dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4

Dalat to Nha Trang

Cycling: 103 km

As we head towards Nha Trang, a famous seaside getaway, we’ll tackle some challenging hills and be rewarded with some smooth descents. With lush mountains as our backdrop, our first break will be at the community house of highland hill tribe people. Then we'll conquer Hon Giao pass (1,650 m) before a 30 km descent to a local restaurant by the river where we'll have lunch. This afternoon it is back on the bikes for a flat 28 km, then a transfer to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Nha Trang Rest Day

No cycling

During our rest from the saddle we take a boat trip to stunning coral islands for swimming and snorkeling. On the way back we'll have a cultural stop at Pa Na Gar Cham towers. Built between the 7th and 12th centuries, four of the original eight towers are still actively used for worship by Cham, Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists. Alternatively, those who would like to take it easy can stay at the hotel and relax by the beach.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6

Nha Trang to Tuy Hoa

Cycling: 93 km

After breakfast we cycle out of Nha Trang and then take a short transfer to avoid busy Highway 1. Back on our bikes we continue to Dai Lanh Beach where we'll stop for lunch and a swim. To avoid another busy section of road a 20 minute transfer takes us to the start of our afternoon ride which is on a coastal road snaking along the base of Da Bia Mountain. There will be some gentle climbs before a flat finish on quiet country lanes that are a mix of tarmac and dirt, passing rice paddies and small villages.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7

Tuy Hoa to Quinhon

Cycling: 71 km

After transferring out of town to avoid the main highway, our ride takes us along a remote, but well-surfaced road running parallel with the railway. The terrain is gently rolling and we have great views of the hills. As we cycle through tribal and Viet villages we'll probably spot potbellied pigs as well as children crossing the trail. We then return to the highway and transfer a short distance to Quinhon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Quinhon to Quang Ngai

Cycling: 72 km

Today we follow the coastal road to Tra O Lagoon, the largest wetland in Binh Dinh Province and also a principal food source for the locals. During this ride we'll take in the sea breeze and spot tranquil fishing villages lined along the coastline. After lunch at a local restaurant the ride continues to Highway 1, where we transfer to Quang Ngai for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Quang Ngai to My Lai to Hoi An

Cycling: 50 km

This morning after cycling from the hotel, our first stop will be at My Lai, the site of one of the deadliest massacres during the Indochina War. After a guided tour we continue cycling along the coast, passing many picturesque fishing villages with their colourful boats. We transfer to Hoi An after lunch. This historic town was a major trading port during the 17th and 18th centuries with 844 structures of historical significance and many vibrant shopping streets, so there's plenty to see while you to wander around and absorb the atmosphere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Hoi An to My Son to Hoi An

Cycling: 47 km

Firstly a short transfer to avoid the highway. Then we ride to My Son, the ancient centre of the Cham Civilization dating back to the 4th century. We'll be cycling along scenic country back roads flanked by rice paddies, eucalyptus plantations and sleepy villages. Later the road extends away from the coast, offering stunning views of the ocean as we head to My Son, once Champa’s most important city. After lunch we'll visit the site and although many of the temples were destroyed from heavy bombing, enough have survived the war to impress most visitors. After the historical tour, we take the bus back to Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11

Hoi An to Hue

Cycling: 119 km

This is probably the toughest day of the tour, yet it is also one of the most rewarding. A short transfer out of Hoi An brings us to the start of our ride along the beach to Danang, known to some as China Beach, an R&R destination for American troops during the Vietnam War. Before long, drop down a few gears and start the climb up Hai Van Pass, a steady and moderately challenging ascent (sea level to 480m) with exhilarating views of the coast. After a long and smooth descent we'll stop for lunch before venturing away from the main highway. The last leg allows us to cruise for 44 km along a coastal road to Hue, the old capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12

Hue to Ninh Binh

Cycling: 28 km

Today by bike and boat we explore the rich history left behind by the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. From our hotel we cycle along the An Cuu (Perfume) River and head up to the tombs of Khai Dinh, the 12th king of the Nguyen dynasty, built between 1920-1931. After our visit, we continue on a quiet road to Vong Canh hill at just 43 m high, but is the best place to catch a panoramic view of the Perfume River. We finish the ride today at the seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest religious building in Vietnam. Built in 1601, it has become the symbol of the city. We then walk to the nearby pier and take a boat cruise back to Hue. After dinner at a local restaurant we board an overnight train to Ninh Binh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Ninh Binh to Cuc Phuong National Park

Cycling: 56 km

After arriving in Ninh Binh around 10 am its a short transfer to a local restaurant. Here we'll be fitted to our new bikes and have an early lunch. This afternoon's ride to Hoa Lu (the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries) is through spectacular karst mountains towering over a blanket of rice paddies. We'll tour the temples and then continue to Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam's first and largest natural reserve.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14

Cuc Phuong National Park to Hai Phong

Cycling: 63 km

A morning ride lets us appreciate the park's beauty. We'll also visit the Primate Rescue Centre before heading east on serene back roads through a sea of pineapple plantations. Today you’ll notice many differences between North and South Vietnam such as type of crops, villages and clothing worn. We'll pass through a number of lovely villages with their friendly locals. Just before we reach Highway 1 we'll load up the bikes and transfer to Hai Phong, one of Vietnam’s major ports.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15

Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island

Cycling: 24 km

We transfer to the pier to catch a ferry to Fulong on Cat Ba Island. Located at the southern end of picturesque Halong Bay, the island is home to one of Vietnam’s most exquisite natural treasures, Cat Ba National Park. Once off the boat we cycle 26 km on the island’s only road before stopping in town for lunch. In the afternoon you are free to explore the surroundings as we spend the night on this heavenly island.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Cycling: 22 km

There's only time for a short ride this morning before a memorable cruise through majestic Halong Bay. With its towering limestone karsts protruding from the emerald sea, Halong Bay is truly one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Legend has it that it was formed by a great dragon that descended from the mountain into the sea. Later today we transfer to Hanoi and get together for our farewell dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the city.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17

Departure Day: Hanoi

No cycling

This morning you are free to do last-minute shopping or take a short tour around the Vietnamese capital before catching your onward flight. Or maybe you would like to extend your stay in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation (twin-share):16 nights: 4 to 5 star hotels
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Support vehicle
  • Domestic flight & overnight train
  • Services as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water & snacks while cycling

Tour Excludes:

  • International flights
  • Airport transfers day 1 & 17
  • Visa fees
  • Personal expenses & alcoholic drinks
  • Tips