Cycling in Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour

Vietnam Bike Tours

Destinations: The Ho Chi Minh Trail was an elaborate system of mountain and jungle trails linking North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War against the United States. Today, the many paths of the Ho Chi Minh Trail criss-cross the newly built Ho Chi Minh Highway. On this Tour we explore the northern section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was previously inaccessible, from Ngoc Lac to the Hai Van Pass in Danang. This wide, smooth undulating highway is a bikers dream as there is little traffic on the road. And it conveniently will take us through farms, orchards, tribal villages and offers us easy access to some of the country's top attractions - one of Vietnam’s most spectacular caves, the ancient royal seat of Hue, the picturesque trading port of Hoi An
Detail Itinerary

Day1: Hanoi Arrival

Arriving in Hanoi, you will clear customs and immigration. Leaving the airport, you will be met by your guide, holding a sign with your name on it. He will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of day is free to wash up and rest.

In the evening we will attend the famous Water Puppet Show, with its introduction to Vietnamese history and mythology. At night, you will have a welcome dinner with local delights. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Biking to Pu Luong (Hang Village)

Leave Hanoi at 8 am. We drive southwest to Ma Chau, the gateway to the impressive mountainous area of northern Vietnam. The drive is very nice with stunning view of mountains, valleys, sugarcane farms and rice paddies. We would have a stop en route for refreshment. Upon arrival in Mai Chau we have a lunch stop in Pom Coong, a village of Thai ethnic minority. We will have lunch in a local house. After lunch we embark on a biking on village road to Hin, a village of Thai minority group which is located within Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We will first bike on beautiful tar road through Mai Chau valley before jumping into undulating dirt paths. We reach Hang Village around 5 pm. We will have dinner and overnight in a traditional stilt-house of a Thai family. (B, L, D)

Biking:40km - unpaved bumpy road - Moderate grade

Day 3: Climbing mountain slopes to Hin Village

Today is a tough day with long climb on mix of dirt paths and village roads. in the morning we climb mainly. in the afternoon we enjoy easier ride slightly downhill to Hin, a village of Thai minority. Great mountain view and scenic villages. Lunch in local house en route. Dinner and overnight in Hin village. (B, L, D)

Biking:30km - unpaved bumpy road - Challenging grade

Day 4: Downhill ride to Canh Nang Town - Ngoc Lac

After breakfast we say good bye to the villagers and ride toward Ma River passing expansive maize fields. Near the river we would see many water wheels which used by the local to water their farms. We cross the river on bridge and have lunch in Canh Nang town. After lunch we can continue biking along Ma River with the road gets more beautiful the closer you ride to Ngoc Lac with looming karst limestone cliffs and lush vegetation. The route is tarmac all the way, but quite hard riding due to the undulating terrain. Overnight in local hotel Ngoc Lac. (B, L, D)

Biking: 80km - unpaved bumpy road - Moderate grade

Day5: Ngoc Lac - Thai Hoa

Ride for the first time on the newly built two lanes Ho Chi Minh Highway. It hardly warrants two lanes as there is no traffic! The road makes for smooth fast riding, and for those who prefer there is always the old highway dirt and gravel - that weaves around the new highway allowing for plenty of exploring possibilities along the way.

Ride to Muc Son, on the banks of River Song Chu. On the outskirts of this small town are the famous Kan Linh historical relics - a pagoda where the first king of the Ly dynasty, Le Thai To, ruled, in 1428. Continue riding on the Trail to Yen Cat. The distance covered today is quite long and there will be the chance to transfer some sections by the back-up vehicle to rest weary legs. There are fewer villages today as the route cuts through forests and jungle. Picnic lunch en route. Overnight Thai Hoa guesthouse. (B, L, D)

Biking: 80km - Moderate grade

Day6: Thai Hoa - Nghe An

Continue riding the incredible Ho Chi Minh Trail. Have lunch in Lat town. in Kim Lien visit the famousmuseum and birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in 1890. This province has a reputation for producing charismatic revolutionary leaders; not only Ho Chi Minh but also Phan Boi Chau – another fervent anti colonialist -was born here. Overnight in Nghe An Town (B, L, D)

Biking: 80km - Moderate grade

Day7: Nghe An - Khuong Khe

After a relaxing breakfast continues riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Trail is still a dream to ride on. Again there is virtually no traffic. Transfer if tired in the afternoon to Huong Khe for overnight in a local guesthouse. (B, L, D)

Biking: 80km - Moderate grade

Day8: Huong Khe - Phong Nha National Park

From Huong Khe the mountains rise and the road winds up, down and along the hillsides. The scenery is spectacular, the road tranquil. Ride up to 80km then transfer the last few km to Phong Nha National Park. The park contains one of the most spectacular caves in Vietnam; it is a true speleological wonder. Visit the cave by boat then wander through the cavern, past the foundations of ancient Cham ruins. Pause to admire the incredible formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Formed approximately 250 million years ago and during the American war, the North Vietnam army had used Phong Nha cave as a hospital and ammunition depot. The entrance still showing evidence of fighter aircraft attacks. There are community projects underway with Flora and Fauna International and it may be possible to visit village initiatives and learn more about the forests of the National Park. Overnight at the National Park. (B, L, D)

Biking: 55km - Moderate grade

Day9: Phong Nha - Dong Hoi

Boating and exploring World Heritage site of Phong Nha where local civilians and military sheltered from incessant bombing during wartime. Then we drive down to the coastal town of Dong Hoi, which was heavily shelled by US warships during the war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi. (B, L, D)

Biking: 50km - Moderate grade

Day 10: Dong Hoi - Dong Ha -Vinh Moc - Dong Ha

Today we continue south along Highway 1 using both our bicycles and our support vehicle. We reach the town of Dong Ha

Biking: 63km - Moderate grade

Day 11: Dong Ha - Hue

Today we drive to the former Imperial capital and cultural centre of Vietnam, Hue. After all check-in formalities are done, we set out our bike and explore this ancient city. (B, L, D)

Biking: 78km - Moderate grade

Day 12: Hue - Hoi An

Hue was the capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty of emperors from 1802 till 1945. in the morning cycle to the elaborate mausoleums of Emperor Tu Duc and Khai Dinh along the banks of the Perfume River . Leave Hue in the afternoon for the ancient trading port of Hoi An 120km to the south via the spectacular Pass of Ocean Clouds . Arrive in Hoi An late afternoon and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Hoi An. (B, L, D)

Biking: 70km - Moderate grade

Day 13: Hoi An

Leave Hoi An after breakfast and cycle to the sacred Marble Mountains where caves contain dozens of Buddhist shrines. Stop off at Da Nang to visit the famous China Beach, once a 'rest and recreation' resort for American servicemen. Return to Hoi An for lunch and spend the afternoon discovering the delights of Hoi An's historic town centre or perhaps cycle to Cua Dai Beach 5km away. Overnight in Hoi An. (B, L, D)

Biking: 30km - Moderate grade

Day14: Hoi An Departure

today we have free time until transfer to airport for your departure . (B) where we stay for the night. in reaching Dong Ha we pass through the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), scene of some of the bitterest fighting during the American War. Here we will visit Vinh Moc tunnels to see at first hand how the Viet Cong fought. The stretch of tunnels runs for nearly 3km and have not been altered for the tourists benefit. (B, L, D)

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