Our 17-day Vietnam Explorer takes us from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the South to Hanoi in the North. Enjoy bicycling on quiet country roads with the locals.
Included in the tour is a flight from the ancient capital of Hue to Hanoi, two nights in the lovely town of Hoi An, two nights at Dalat, the temperate Central Highlands and sailing on a deluxe junk in Halong Bay
As with all our tours, we stay at very comfortable, character places and bike on minor country roads. To avoid the highway, we drive part-way most days.
Optional extras include a leisurely 4-day Mekong Delta cycle tour that starts and ends in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 1 SAIGON. You will be met at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and transferred to your hotel. A brief meeting before having dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 HO TRAM BEACH. A scenic day’s cycling as we bike by rubber, cashew nut and black pepper plantations. You may see large flocks of ducks being herded across rural roads.
Day 3 MUI NE. Quiet country roads take us to the coastal desert reserve at Phuoc Buu. In the afternoon we cycle beside plantations of Dragon fruit and descend gently to the coast with expensive views of large sand dunes.
Day 4+5 DALAT. Today we will take a minor road, with superb views, through coffee plantations and isolated country, to a K’Ho, an ethnic minority village where we have lunch. Then continue to Dalat via Prenn Pass.
Day 6: BUON ME THOUT. We head for Lien Son, the summer palace of the late Emperor, with its sweeping views of Ho Lak and the surrounding countryside. We also stop at an ethnic village, with its long houses. This is an excellent day’s cycling with bamboo forests, rice paddies, coffee plantations and water buffalo en route.
Day 7 NHA TRANG. Today we cycle through the mountainous Central Highlands. A feature is the Edeh and M’Nong people (the two main ethnic groups in the Central Highlands). You will share the road with many local cyclists – the school children often doubling up on their bikes.
Day 8 TUY HOA. Drive (20 minutes) out of the Nha Trang city to start the ride. Here we start cycling on a quiet road up to the top of Ca Pass and then to Vung Ro Bay. You will have a chance to enjoy jungle and bay views on both sides of the road up the pass.
Day 9 QUY NHON. We start cycling on a delightful quiet road through cassava and sugar cane plantations to the city of Quy Nhon.
Day 10 SA HUYNH. We drive to Tam Quan town to commence cycling on attractive country roads, through rice paddies, salt-making flats, mountainous areas and later past shrimp farms.
Day 11+12 HOI AN. Cycling today along the coastline through Saky fishing village of My Lai. Hoi An, is a delightful UNESCO world heritage town (dating back to 200BC) with street-side cafes, artists and markets. Much of the city was developed between the 16th and 19th centuries.
There is a beautiful cooking school in Hoi An, let your guide know if you wish to book a cooking class.
Day 13 HUE. We cycle from town along a flat coastal road, through various fishing and agricultural villages. You will have your first experience of the friendliness of the locals, especially the children. From here we tackle the Hai Van Pass or “Ocean Cloud” Pass (496m), a very quiet road now that there is a tunnel (not open to cyclists). The view from the top, and on the descent, is outstanding and well worth the effort.
Day 14 HANOI. Take the late afternoon flight from Hue to Hanoi (c.1hr 15 mins). Hue, built on the banks of the Perfume River, is steeped in 3,000 years of history. We explore the Citadel and Imperial City by cycle. The Imperial City is a UNESCO world heritage site. Arrive in Hanoi and have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 15 HALONG BAY. Drive 3 1/2 hrs to Halong International Cruise Port, embark on Oriental Sails Cruise along the limestone islands of Bai Tu Long Bay, heading to Vung Vieng fishing village to see the life of local fishermen. Dinner and overnight on board
Day 16 HANOI. After breakfast. Continue cruising toward Thien Canh Son Cave. Visit Thien Canh Son Cave – the medium size and less visited cave in Bai Tu Long Bay. Transfer back to Hanoi.
Tonight, celebrate your ride with a group farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 17 HANOI. The tour finishes after breakfast
We will gladly take you to the airport should you depart this morning
We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and wish you a safe journey home.