Cycling Vietnam

Resort:Cycling Vietnam
Destination: South East Asia
Price From: £2349.00


Enjoy the best of Vietnam on two wheels

We ride from vibrant Saigon in the south to the thrilling capital of Hanoi in
the north on this two week cycling tour, travelling on tarmac roads through
colourful fishing villages, folding rice terraces and mountains cloaked in
jungle. The vast shoreline of white sandy beaches is ours to discover along
the way, with time to swim in the sea on a tropical island retreat. Stopping
off at the ancient trading port of Hoi An, home to temples and wooden
merchant houses, we delve into the peacefulness of rural Vietnam before
ascending the Hai Van Pass, riding along twisting coastal roads that lead to
remarkable views of the misty forest below.


* Take a cycling holiday through Vietnams most scenic landscapes
* Savour mouth-watering cuisine
* Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
* Relax in charming Hoi An
* Cruise among the limestone formations of Halong Bay
* Overnight on a tropical island


Day 1
Depart London

Depart London

Day 2
Arrive Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon, is an exciting and
absorbing city where bicycles battle with lorries and temples stand defiantly
alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, Saigon is now a
bustling free market city where anything goes. The Ben Thanh Market and Notre
Dame Cathedral are within easy walking distance from our hotel and are highly

This evening there will be a welcome briefing with you leader followed by an
optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
*Huong sen Hotel or similar*

Day 3
Transfer out of the city; cycle to the Cu Chi tunnels

This morning we drive out of the city, before riding 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 3 levels
and approximately 240km of tunnels. Some parts have been widened for
tourists, but the tunnels were originally very narrow and 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.
* Huong sen Hotel or similar*

Day 4
Cycle towards the coast and drive to Mui Ne

After an early breakfast we head out of Saigon by bus and then start cycling
towards the coast. We 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 finishing our ride in time for lunch. We then
transfer approx. 3 hours to Mui Ne, a tranquil white sand beach where we can
witness our first sunset over the Eastern Sea. We spend approx. 4-5 hours on
the bus today.

*Sea Links Beach Hotel or similar*

Day 5
Cycle to Dalat in the Central Highlands

We cycle towards Dalat; the route is undulating with occasional climbs. Along
the way we pass coffee and tea plantations as well as flower gardens and pine
forests as we reach higher altitude. We rejoin the bus before the road climbs
steeply to the mountain town of Dalat. We spend approx 3.5 hours on the bus

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
*La Sapinette Hotelor similar*

Day 6
Cycle through Bidoup N.P.; to the coast and boat transfer to Whale Island

Today’s ride is predominantly undulating and approximately 30km downhill
through pine forests and paddy fields as we descend nearly 1,500m travelling
through the Bidoup 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 we arrive at the coast, we head by bus (approx. 1.5
hours) to the coast near Nha Trang before boarding a boat to our tropical
island retreat of Whale Island for the next two nights. Today you can cycle
up to 100km according to preference.
*Whale Island Resort or similar*

Day 7
Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

Having a rest from the bikes today we get the opportunity to really relax and
unwind. We will join a boat trip in the morning for a spot of snorkelling and
swimming in the turquoise sea before a seafood lunch is served. In the
afternoon there is the option to visit a local fishing village, see the Whale
temple or walk around the island to the viewpoint for a 360 degree view of
the stunning mountainous coastline and the surrounding coves and white sand
*Whale Island Resort or similar*

Day 8
Drive to beautiful Dai Lanh Beach; coastal ride to Quy Nhon

We set off early in the morning and ride to the beautiful fishing village of
Dai Lanh. A short transfer out of town past the Po Nagar Cham towers brings
us to a high point and from here today’s ride is predominantly flat. The
beautiful beach at Dai Lanh is a perfect place to stop for a swim (if road
conditions and time permit) 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).
*Seagull Quy Nhon Hotel or similar*

Day 9
Further coastal ride stopping en route at sand dunes; then transfer to Hoi An

Leaving Quy Nhon we travel through a new economic zone over the Thi Nai
Peninsula and Nhon Hoi Bridge, the longest sea bridge in Vietnam. Getting off
our bikes we will visit a market, where its not unusual to be pulled aside
for a photo as this part of the country does not see many western tourists.
The coast line features secluded bays, sand dunes and beaches with colourful
fishing boats bobbing on the Eastern Sea. We will cycle until we arrive at
Phu Ly and then drive to Hoi An. If time permits, we will cycle the last 12km
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. It is also a marvellous place to
wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market. We spend two nights in
Hoi An which is also a fantastic place to buy local art or have some clothes
tailor-made for you. Its best to bring a picture or a sample of what you want
made. Approx. 6 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 50km.
*Hoian River Green Boutique or similar*

Day 10
Sightseeing in Hoi An; free afternoon

This morning we 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 19km from town. These five marble hills, formerly islands, contain many
caves, some of which were used as Buddhist (and Viet Cong) sanctuaries.

Also nearby is My Khe beach, a famous US R & R spot in the war, and Da Nang,
where there is a Cham Museum, which despite being in poor condition, is very
interesting. 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.
*Hoian River Green Boutique or similar*

Day 11
Ride over the spectacular Hai Van Pass; cycle and drive on to Hue

Today we turn north again for the drive/cycle to Hue. The route traverses
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. Approx 2.5 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 80km.
*Park View Hotel or similar*

Day 12
Explore Hue and surroundings by bike and boat; overnight train to Hanoi

Hue is often claimed to be the cultural and historic centre of Vietnam and
there is plenty to see. We 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, where only the emperor and his eunuchs and
concubines were allowed. We then take a 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 we will
visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government
protests 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 in protest
against the president. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in
newspapers all around the world. In the afternoon we will board the
Reunification Express for the overnight ride to Hanoi, 688km to the north.
*Overnight Train*

Day 13
Arrive Hanoi; drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise/kayak among
spectacular limestone formations

We usually arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and stop for a local
breakfast and a stretch of the legs, before we are met by our bus for an
approximate 4 hour drive 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. We cruise amongst this amazing karst
scenery, stopping to kayak in the sea allowing us to get to places
inaccessible by boat (weather permitting) and enjoy a seafood lunch on
board.We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.
* Overnight Boat*

Day 14
Further cruising in Halong Bay; return to Hanoi

Visit Me Cung cave and enjoy further time to cruise the many islands of
Halong Bay. We then return to Hanoi late afternoon.This charming city
contains many beautiful old buildings and the atmosphere is completely
different from that in Saigon in the south, mainly due to the much more
conservative nature of the North Vietnamese. Also, unlike its industrial
counterpart, thecentreof Hanoi has a faded charm with broad tree-lined
avenues dating from the French period as well as some attractive lakes and
pagodas. In the evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s
famous water puppets.

*Lenid Hotel or similar*

Day 15
Fly to London

Fly to London

Day 16
Arrive London

Arrive London

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