Vietnam: Hanoi to Saigon
Cycling from Hanoi to Saigon the Ho Chi Minh Highway, Central Highlands, and spectacular coastline.
Trip Dates (2021-2)
Days & Nights
Our Vietnam tours, since 1994, captures the very best of Vietnam more, from must-see places, to lesser known one few travelers see, such as the sublime northern river valleys. Explore historic Hanoi and witness the rush of modernization in Saigon, in between exploring villages where little has changed in hundreds of years.
Day 1 — Welcome to Vietnam
Arrive into war-era Noi Bai Airport, where ancient Russian MIG fighters still line the runway. The cultural and political capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a step back in time with French-built, tree-lined boulevards and old quarter, which has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years.
On arrival, meet us for transfer to the city center. After check-in, we recommend a jet-lag refresher of massage, herbal bath, and nourishing bowl of fresh pho. Afternoon bike building, testing, and orientation before dinner.
Day 2 — Guadalupe Wine Country
Hanoi to Cuc Phuong
If you’re up early, before breakfast strolling around nearby Hoan Kiem Lake where locals gather at dawn for tai chi, badminton, weight lifting and aerobics.
After breakfast, we depart by van to into the countryside, biking quiet roads past farms, villages stunning karst mountain scenery. We break to visit the jungles of Cuc Phuong National Park and visit the adjacent Primate Rescue center.
24-48 miles +1,227 feet (long and short options each day)
Day 3 — Vineyards & Rancheros
Cuc Phuong to Ben Phu
A long ride today, starting off on broken road for 10 km (optional van shuttle if you are flat-adverse). After, downhill to Kim Tan town, cycling a small route that connects to Cam Thuy. From here, a fast, smooth road along the HCM Highway to Ngoc Lac and onto Lamson and Yen Cat. Today has rolling hills, but not much climbing. At Yen Cat, we turn off the highway for a last 20 km to Ben Phu, our town for the night.
18-49 miles +3,114 feet
Day 4 — Valle de los Cirios
Ben Sung to Vu Quang
Today we can ride up to 200 kilometers, spread over four stages. We will see the sunrise from our saddles with an early 5.00 AM start. We transfer by van to Yen Cat, before starting the first stage to Nghia Dan before stopping for breakfast and coffee. We’ll slow down around Tan Ky, the starting point of the historical Ho Chi Minh trail during the war. Here was what used to be the main junction of the supply line to the south during the war and was heavily bombarded throughout the war [See Map of Ho Chi Minh Trail]. Many supplies were moved by “Iron Horse,” or bicycle, although not much pedaling was done — see photo.
We continue on to Tri Le and start the longer stage of our ride today, heading towards Huong Khe and breaking for lunch en route. Hours later after arrival, enjoy a warm sauna and massage before dinner. Overnight in Vu Quang at simple guest house.
24-75 miles +4,234 feet
Day 5 — Oasis in the Desert
Vu Quang to Dong Hoi
From breakfast, we travel in the van, uphill for approximately one hour to the junction near the famous intersection of the HCM trail and Road No. 12, where east and west connect with the Truong Son Mountain range. Khe Ve, Ca Tang, Khe Nung, which were fiercely bombed by US air forces from 1965 to 1973. The Front Command of Truong Son Troop Headquarters were located at Hoa Tien commune in 1965, 3 km south of Khe Ve. This was also a starting point of the petroleum pipe line, communication line and liaison line during the war. From here, a faster 25 km to Pheo, followed by 20 km to the Da Deo mountain pass, and finally crossing over the Truong Son mountain range, we have a wicked descent into Khe Gat (a former airbase) where we’ll have a picnic lunch. During the afternoon we cycle to Xuan Son bridge also a heavily bombed target. From here, onto Dong Hoi town for massage, dinner and overnight.
27-68 miles | +1,397 feet
Day 6 — Along the Sea of Cortez
Dong Hoi to Hue
A flat to undulating ride, with a quiet start inland on country roads for 24 km through a scenic pine forest and eucalyptus plantation planted after the war. After lunch, a fast ride along a smooth surface for 11 km to Ben Tat bridge (the old Ben Tat suspension bridge over Ben Hai river, at the 26th parallel), passing by the Truong Son National Cemetery, (the cemetery for over 10,300 martyrs, mostly soldiers of Viet Minh Corps 559). Another section of fast road for 20 km to Cam Lo and from here, then we turn to Highway Nine for 15 km to Dong Ha. Our van will then pick us up for the final transfer to Hue, the former Imperial Capital (1.5 hours).
Massage and spa in Hue or sightseeing before dinner along the Perfume River.
22-46 miles | +2,159 feet
Day 7 — The Azure Coast
Hue to Hoi An
Following an early breakfast, pedaling over the river through the Imperial Citadel — memorable to most Americans from the intense, month-long fighting that took place here during the 1968 Tet offensive. Continued riding along one of the most beautiful coastal settings in the world, passing emerald green rice fields fronting blue lagoons and over the Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the High Clouds”) affording dramatic views of the sweeping bay around Danang.
Pause at Lang Co Lagoon for a seafood lunch before an (optional) conquering the six-mile traffic-free pass. After admiring the views from the top, descending to meet up with our van to shuttle the remaining distance into Hoi An, a quaint town that is typically everyone’s favorite stop. At dusk, cruising by private boat along the river to the elegant open-air Red Bridge Restaurant. (B,L,D)
26-84 miles +2,687 ft.
Day 8 — Parque Nacional Bahia de Loreto
After early breakfast, depart at 7:00 AM sharp from Hoi An by van driving south along Highway One to our starting point (about three hours). After early picnic lunch and refreshments, mount bikes to ride back roads meandering through emerald rice fields and small villages en route to Qui Nhon.
This long day ends with passing through the former American port base, Qui Nhon, and down the coast to our hotel on the beach. If it’s early, plenty of time for swimming and massage before our dinner banquet. Optional evening karaoke in largely unvisited Qui Nhon.
18-48 miles +2,205 feet
Day 9 — Rugged Canyons
Hoi An to Nha Trang
Our ride from Qui Nhon to Nha Trang covers some of Vietnam’s most scenic coastline, featuring blue lagoons with stone promontories overlooking the languid waters below. Fishing villages under rows of palms dot the coast here, their bays filled with brightly colored boats. Not many travelers here, so lots of attention can be expected.
Another long day in the saddle, beginning with a ride down the quiet road from the Life Resort to the Highway One turnoff (about one hour). Here, we rejoin traffic on the main road (although this section is one of the least busiest on Highway One) will continue on bikes all the way down to Tuy Hoa, where we will rendezvous for lunch. From Tuy Hau, continued riding to picturesque Dai Linh beach, pausing for a dip in the water and refreshments. In the late afternoon, arrive on the waterfront in picturesque Nha Trang. After dinner of local seafood, evening free for “red rhum” cocktails along the waterfront or enjoy a great massage the town is known for.
16-31 miles +1,346 feet
Included with trip:
- Pre-tour packet
- VeloPura cycling jersey
- All Airport Transfers in Vietnam
- Required Visa processing
- Covid-19 safe travel procedures*
- All accommodation
- All transportation
- All entry and activity fees
- All snacks, water, meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Laundry service for cycling clothes
- Bike assembly, disassembly, and maintenance
Not included with trip:
- Rental bike (below)
- Single room (+$1,225)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Customary guide gratuity
- Trip cancellation, travel, emergency medical insurance (request information)
Rental Bicycle Option (+$350):
– 2019 Trek Carbon road bike or Giant e-bike
– Experience the legendary ride quality in Baja on a Pinarello.
– Shimano Ultegra 11 speed components & hydraulic disc brakes
– Available sizes: Sizes 46.5cm, 51.5cm, 54cm, 56cm, 59cm
*Covid-19 Travel Safety Procedures
While we are optimistic a vaccine will provide us with safe and healthy travel again by the dates of this trip. For travelers, Vietnam is one of the safe destinations in the world. Participants will be asked to provide a Covid-19 test or proof of vaccine prior to the trip.
Contact us for more details at (415) 680-3788 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Images of Baja
Private & Custom Trips
Prefer a trip less riding and more “R&R” than this one? Travel with your club, friends, or family. Customize this trip to your specific preferences—we’ll work with you to make it the trip of a lifetime.
5 - 12 Day Trips