16 days

Cycle Vietnam

Cycle Vietnam

The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An

Nha Trang cruise - the islands of the South China Sea

The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon

Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi

'Junk' boat cruise among the limestone karsts of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay

Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong

Perfume River cruise to the Thien Mu Pagoda and royal mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc

Trip rating
  • This trip is designed for those who are fit, energetic and enjoy cycling. We are each supplied with a mountain bike as we travel from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), via the central highlands and the stunning coastline, on to Hanoi, visiting the fascinating attractions of this beautiful country along the way. This is neither an endurance test nor a marathon survival race from one point to another and we try to avoid the busy, major highways. We ride instead on the back roads and, supported by a back-up vehicle, experience the best that Vietnam has to offer in a most interesting way! There are some days where there is no cycling involved. On the cycling days, we tend to ride anywhere from two to six hours, however the support vehicle and bus are always on hand if you decided that you would like to rest instead of cycle.

    Please note that this itinerary may vary slightly, depending on the cycling capabilities of your group.
     

    Why we love it

    • This trip is designed for those who are fit, energetic and enjoy cycling.
    • You will be supplied with a mountain bike and travel from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), via the central highlands and the stunning coastline, on to Hanoi, visiting the fascinating attractions along the way.
    • This is neither an endurance test nor a marathon survival race. We try to avoid the busy, major highways, instead riding on the back roads and experiencing the best that Vietnam has to offer.
    • There are some days where there is no cycling involved. On cycling days, you will tend to ride anywhere from two to six hours, however the support vehicle and bus are always on hand if you decided you would like to rest.
    • Please note that this itinerary may vary slightly, depending on the cycling capabilities of your group.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    • Your trip starts today with your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. No activities are planned until your evening group meeting, so you may arrive at any time. Please check the welcome board or reception desk, located on the ground floor of the hotel, for information on your upcoming tour.
    • This will advise you of your tour leader’s name, telephone number and the time and location of your group's Welcome Meeting. Normally, the meeting is at 6pm. Until your meeting we encourage you to get out and discover the delights that Vietnam has to offer. Make sure that you take a hotel business card so that you will be able to find your way back to the hotel.
    • Please note that your tour leader will collect your travel insurance details at the meeting, so please bring them with you. The meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.
    Asian Ruby Hotel or similar

    Day 2 - Ho Chi Minh City (cycling approximately 40km)

    • There is much of interest in the countryside not far from Ho Chi Minh City.
    • We head out of town today to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district, which covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong.
    • The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Ho Chi Minh City. The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect.
    • A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like.
    Asian Ruby Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Mui Ne (cycling approximately 60km)

    • You drive on the highway out of Ho Chi Minh City, before turning off on the road to Vung Tau.
    • After hitting the back roads you cycle through the rubber and dragon fruit plantations.
    • You also pass by some small fishing villages as you make your way closer to the coast.
    • The ride today finishes in Mui Ne, a beautiful and tranquil white sand beach, where you can enjoy a swim after the day's riding and witness your first sunset by the South China Sea (known locally as the East Sea).
    Dynasty Resort or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 4 - Dalat (cycling approximately 50km)

    • Today you head away from the coast and begin our ascent into the Central Highlands.
    • Along the way you pass by an abundance of coffee and tea plantations as well as flower gardens and pine forests, as you reach higher altitude.
    • Dalat is one of Vietnam's most charming towns. The influence of the French is prevalent as Dalat was founded as a hill station to enable the colonials to escape the heat and chaos of Saigon. The city is set around a lake and surrounded by forests, waterfalls and rolling countryside.
    Dalat Du Parc Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 5 - Nha Trang (cycling approximately 80km)

    • Your bike riding today is mainly downhill as you travel through the new Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park.
    • Here you will descend through some rare pine forests as well as some small villages, which are home to some of the ethnic minority people who inhabit the highlands of Vietnam.
    • You will board a vehicle and drive past the naval base of Cam Ranh Bay to the beach resort town of Nha Trang.
    • On arrival you will have time to enjoy a swim or to relax on the beach, which is just across the road from the hotel.
    • In the evening you can visit one of the many nearby restaurants and sample some of the delicious seafood available.
    Asia Paradise Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 6 - Nha Trang

    • A highlight of visiting Nha Trang is a day trip on a boat to explore the islands of the South China Sea (East Sea).
    • You will spend a day on the water enjoying swimming, snorkelling, lazing on a beach and feasting on a seafood lunch.
    Asia Paradise Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 7 - Quy Nhon (cycling approximately 80km)

    • Drive and cycle up the coast to Quy Nhon. Aside from white gold sands and a fishing village ambience, Quy Don is famous for its seafood.
    Seagull Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 8-9 - Hoi An (cycling approximately 60km)

    • You will depart on a cycle ride that takes you to the sobering war site of My Lai. This is the scene of the infamous massacre, and is an eerie experience.
    • You will then continue your drive up National Highway One before arriving in Hoi An.
    • Hoi An has retained much of its old ambience, and this together with its historic architecture and narrow streets has made it one of Vietnam's most pleasant towns.
    • Today much of it is a tranquil and delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness.
    • It is also an excellent place to cycle around. You can explore the busy market, stroll around the vibrant waterfront, and visit the famous Japanese Covered Bridge and the many Chinese assembly halls, which reflect the town's multi-cultural past.
    • Hoi An is renowned for its tailors and you will have a free day in town to go shopping.
    Hoi An Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 10 - Hoi An (cycling approximately 35km)

    • You will enjoy a ride in the countryside by visiting the nearby Marble Mountain (good walking shoes recommended and be prepared for the most aggressive vendors in Vietnam!) and relaxing on China Beach (known locally as My Khe Beach).
    • In your free time, you can also take a boat to visit the Cham ruins of My Son. There are many street-side cafes and restaurants in Hoi An. Sampling the culinary delights of this town is an ideal way to finish off the day.
    Hoi An Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Hue (cycling approximately 50-60km)

    • This morning you will embark on a journey north in your vehicle, before cycling over the Hai Van Pass. This is one of Vietnam's most spectacular road trips.
    • Along the way you will stop at Lang Co, one of Vietnam's nicest beaches.
    • Your destination today is Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam (1802-1945) and also one of its cultural centres.
    • In the evening you will have the chance to sample the local delicacy known as banh khoai.
    Mondial Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 12-13 - Hue - overnight train - Hanoi (cycling around Hue approximately 10-20km)

    • You will board a boat for a leisurely cruise down the Perfume River to the Citadel and the ruins of the imperial Forbidden Purple City, the impressive Thien Mu Pagoda, and then further on to the most impressive of the royal tombs, the mausoleum of the Emperor Tu Duc.
    • You will then take to the bicycles and cycle through the countryside on the way back to Hue. This is where you will say goodbye to your bicycles. Tonight you will board an overnight sleeper-class train for your journey to Hanoi.
    • The train is very basic; you will travel in soft sleeper class, which is a compartment for up to four people - a communal environment.
    • The beds on board come with a pillow and sheets, although some people may wish to bring their own sleeping sheet (purely optional and not a necessity).
    • This journey is in keeping with the adventurous nature of our trips and allows you to experience a taste of the real Vietnam.
    • On arrival in Hanoi, you will stop off at KOTO restaurant. KOTO is a training centre and restaurant set up to help disadvantaged kids in Hanoi to get off the streets and into a stable living and working environment. Founder Jimmy Phan explains, "the aim is not only to build teamwork but also to ensure the young people at KOTO get the chance to see more of their own incredible country. We want to teach a responsible attitude to the environment and give the trainees an opportunity to learn and grow through the experience. We also want to reward their hard work".
    • Hanoi is one of Asia's most enchanting cities. This northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart.
    • Its relaxed ambience is a joy, and it is best explored on foot or bicycle. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 14-15 - Halong Bay - Hanoi

    • Today you will drive three hours to Halong Bay, truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights.
    • The view of sailing junks navigating past 3000 limestone islands and rocky outcrops is nothing short of spectacular. You will spend the night on a traditional junk among the thousands of column-like limestone islands.
    • All boats used by us have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. You may also have the opportunity to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) on Halong Bay. Accommodation on the Halong Bay cruise is on a twin-share basis, due to the small number of rooms available on the boats.
    • You will return to Hanoi after your night on the boat.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 16 - Hanoi

    • Your tour will come to an end after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included; however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour.
    • 12 days cycling including sightseeing along the way (where relevant).
    • Mountain bike and spare parts.
    • Use of a private back-up vehicle.
    • Time on the beaches of Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Lang Co and China Beach.
    • Visits war sites of Cu Chi and My Lai.
    • Full day boat cruise on the South China Sea off Nha Trang, with a seafood lunch.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Hoi An and Hanoi's One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh’s House and Temple of Literature.
    • Perfume River cruise in Hue.
    • Lunch at KOTO café in Hanoi – a project providing vocational hospitality training to underprivileged young people.
    • Overnight train from Hue to Hanoi with accommodation in 'soft sleeper' class – a compartment for up to four people with beds (a pillow and sheets provided).
    • Arrival transfer.
    • Accommodation: 13 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night overnight train, 1 night boat
    • Meals: 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 1 dinner.

    Not Included

    • Please note that a bike helmet is NOT included
    • International flights
    • International and domestic departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Departure transfer

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Cycle Vietnam

    loretta - Australia, 26 May, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    the accomodation was of a far better standard than i expected from the description "comfortable accomodation". This made the trip great value for money. and the overall value of the trip: excellent!

    Cycle Vietnam

    kate - Australia, 24 Jun, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    Hi there sorry for the late reply...the Dove family left the wonderfully diverse country of Vietnam with fantastic memories,fabulous photos and a passion for tiger beer.Bein went above and beyond as our leader and made the trip a relaxed,humorous and enjoyable experience.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PACV
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
End City: Hanoi, Vietnam

What to know

Explore by bike with plenty of time to see the sights along the way. Physical preparation is required as we are cycling in humid conditions, up to 80 kilometres per day, sometimes on hilly terrain.

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