Cycling in Vietnam

Asian cycling adventure

Many people are choosing to discover Vietnam on an extensive cycling tour. Here's a great Vietnam cycling tour itinerary to give you an idea of a typical trip for keen adventure cyclists.

Vietnam is a land of amazing sights and experiences and all at an affordable budget for the adventure traveller. Enjoy lush paddy fields, the colourful people, and vast stretches of undisturbed white sandy beaches – Vietnam has it all.

Vietnam stretches almost 1,500 miles (2,414km) from the Mekong Delta up to the highlands bordering China, covering a wide range of climates, countryside and ethnic groups. Vietnam is the perfect destination for an adventure holiday on foot or on two wheels. 

Vietnam cycling trip

Vietnam is known as the land of a million bicycles and two wheels is definitely one of the best ways to explore this amazing country. From the crazy hustle and bustle of Saigon your two-wheeled adventure could take in the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay, pass some of the most spectacular scenery that Vietnam has to offer and also give you time reflect and explore during the rest breaks along the way.

The Vietnamese people love traveling by bicycle so a cycling trip offers a real opportunity to integrate closely with the locals and experience their culture first hand.

Vietnam really is a beautiful country, with a long coastline of wonderful sandy beaches, thousands of paddy fields and mountains cloaked in forests.

If you fancy exploring Vietnam on a bike, then we have put together a sample 14-day trip itinerary of what to expect and some of the major highlights. And the good news is – the entire trip is not spent in the saddle, there is ample time to relax too.

Day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Spend the day relaxing and recovering from your flight before your adventure begins. Make sure you take some time to explore this amazing, vibrant city.

Day 2 – Saigon to the Cu Chi tunnels

A mixture of transportation by 4x4 vehicles and cycling takes you to the Cu Chi tunnels, one of Vietnam's most visited tourist attractions. The tunnels are the site of one of the most famous battles of the Vietnam War and bear a poignant reminder to the conflict that devastated this beautiful country only a few decades ago.

Day 3 – Cu Chi tunnels to Dalat

Today is spent cycling through the spectacular scenery of the Central Highlands to Dalat. This beautiful city is surrounded by stunning lakes, waterfalls, and pine forests. Due to its immense beauty Dalat is a very popular destination with honeymoon couples and is a wonderful place to experience on your travels.

Day 4 – A day off to explore Dalat and the nearby villages

Day 5 – Dalat to Nha Trang

In the morning you set off from Dalat and cycle through the beautiful lush green Ngoan Muc Pass before reaching the Cham Towers. Between the 8th and 13th centuries eight Cham Towers were built about two kilometers north of Nha Trang. Four towers remain today and the largest of these was built in worship of 'Po Nagar', or the Goddess Mother. This colossal 22.5m (74ft) tower statue depicts Po Nagar sitting cross-legged on a Buddha's throne. The statue has ten hands, each holding a specific object illustrating the intellect and power of Buddha.

These statues are an amazing sight to experience and give an amazing feeling of history as well as the religious beliefs of the region. The statues are set on top of Cu Lao Marble Hill from where you can enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery of Nha Trang. From the statues you will be transported by vehicles to the beautiful beach resort of Nha Trang for your overnight stay.

Day 6 – Rest day at Nha Trang

After breakfast you can rest your saddle-sore posterior as today is a well-earned rest day in Nha Trang. Go for a cruise around the beautiful islands and enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch, as well as some fantastic snorkeling.

Day 7 – Nha Trang to Quy Nhon

After your rest day at Nha Trang, today you’ll take the very enjoyable cycle to the beautiful Dai Lanh beach for a relaxing lunch break before riding to reach Quy Nhon.

Day 8 – Quy Nhon to Hoi An

Your bike will be transported from Quy Nhon to Quang Ngai from where you will cycle on to My Lai and then be transported once more to Hoi An.

Day 9 – Rest day in Hoi An

Hoi An is one of Vietnam's best beach destinations with some stunning beaches. As well as soaking up some sun, soak up some history and culture too in this historic port. Hoi An was a very busy commercial port in the 16thand 17thcenturies for trading with Japan, China, Holland and India. Almost all of the original architecture is still intact and you can also still experience old customs and cultural activities plus traditional handicrafts and famous local specialities.

Day 10 – Hoi An to Hue

After an amazing day in Hoi An, it's time to saddle up again for the ride to Hue via the spectacular Hai Van Pass and down to China Beach. After relaxing on the beach you will be driven to your night's accommodation in Hue.

Day 11 – Exploring Hue

Spend the day exploring Hue and the surrounding areas both by bike but also by dragon boat. The 17th
century city of Hue sits on the northern bank of Perfume River. Spend an exhilarating day exploring the hundreds of temples, pagodas, palaces and tombs. With so much to see make sure you get to visit The Citadel and Forbidden City, Khai Dinh Emperor’s Tomb, Tu Duc Emperor’s Tomb and the Thien Mu Pagoda. At the end of an amazing day sightseeing you will take the overnight train to Hanoi.

Day 12 – Hanoi

Day 12 is spent relaxing after your cycling adventure in Hanoi. Some must see places include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and One Pillar Pagoda.

Day 13 – Hanoi and Halong Bay

From your hotel accommodation in Hanoi you will be driven to Halong Bay where you can cruise, swim and snorkel along this spectacular coastline before returning to Hanoi for a meal to celebrate the end of an amazing adventure.

Day 14 – Return home or go on a Vietnam trekking adventure ...

How to get to Saigon

realbuzz.com recommends booking this trip through a reputable cycling tour operator. Due to the large distances and terrain covered it is advisable to have knowledgeable guides as well as all of your accommodation booked in advance. For a real adventure and to save some money you could of course book some flights to Saigon and try to arrange guides and accommodation yourself but using a reputable cycling tour operator has many benefits.

Accommodation on a cycling tour

During the trip you will spend one night on the overnight train from Hue to Hanoi and the remaining 12 nights it’s all comfortable hotels and guest houses.

Cost considerations of a Vietnam cycling tour

The cost of te trip will vary depending on what time of year that you choose to travel.

Your cycling tour price should include:
  • Return flights.
  • Applicable departure taxes.
  • All airport transfer and holiday transport costs.
  • All accommodation.
  • All meals.
  • Cycling tour leader and full support crew.
  • Luggage transfers.
  • All cycling equipment and basic medical kits.

Who can do this cycling tour of Vietnam?

This 14-day cycling tour is an adventure suitable to relatively fit individuals who are able to cycle for five to six hours each day. Some of the days are quite long, and depending on the time of year, the cycling can be strenuous … and the conditions hot and humid.

Regardless of your age or fitness, it’s always good advice to have a full medical check-up before deciding whether or not to undergo any long term adventure activity holiday.

Medical information

Always consult your doctor for a list of all the medical requirements for an adventure activity holiday.

The table below lists the vaccinations you may require as well as the time you should see you doctor before traveling in order to get your vaccinations:

Disease
Recommendation
When to see
your doctor
Typhoid
Vaccination recommended
10 days before travel
Hepatitis A
Vaccination recommended
2 weeks before travel
Diphtheria
Vaccination recommended
3 months before travel
Tuberculosis
Vaccination sometimes recommended
3 months before travel
Hepatitis B
Vaccination sometimes recommended
2 months before travel
Rabies
Vaccination sometimes recommended
1 month before travel
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination may be required
10 days before travel
Japanese B encephalitis
Vaccination sometimes recommended
1 month before trave


Charity challnge events

Why not cycle Vietnam for charity? Get sponsored for your trip and raise loads of cash for a worthy cause ... not only will you have had the adventure of a lifetime, but you'll have helped other people too ... the feeling of achievement will be fantastic!

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