Saigon to Hanoi Cycling Tour - 17 Days
This classic cycle exploration of Vietnam, starts in modern Ho Chi Minh City and ends in the old northern capital of Hanoi. Along the way we pause to visit the main sites in Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and finally Hanoi. What makes this tour special is our route hardly touches the frenetic Highway One, as we ride along quiet or little used roads to discover the real Vietnam. Taking time out of the saddle we have excursions by boat in Nha Trang, Hue and on Halong Bay, as well as interesting rides to Cu Chi Tunnels and My Son. We spend a night aboard the Reunification Express Train before cycling through the incredible limestone karst scenery of Ninh Binh and Cat Ba Island in Halong bay. On reaching Hanoi, we have time to appreciate the architecture and ambiance of the most French of all the Indochine cities. We cycle 700 of the 1700 kilometers between Saigon to Hanoi. Riding along country on back roads and quiet byways making sure we avoid the traffic of National Highway One. The trip is point-to-point, apart from two loops, and fully supported: a minibus rigged to carry bikes will shadow us for the entire journey. ITINERARY Day 1 Ho Chi Minh (D) Meet at a city centre hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Day is free to explore the city. Dinner at the atmospheric Temple Club Restaurant. Day 2 Ho Chi Minh 40 km (B,L) Ride to the Cu Chi tunnels. Return to Ho Chi Minh City by bus in time to visit the museum of war crimes. Dinner is choice of guest. Day 3 Ho Chi Minh - Dalat 35 km (B, L, D) Early morning transfer to Dalat in the central highlands. In the afternoon we ride quiet back roads in the shadow of Langbian Mountain. We return to Dalat with time to explore the town on foot. Day 4 Dalat - Na Trang 109 km (B,L,D) Ride along quiet roads out of Dalat, passing along side the Xuan Huong Lake. We leave Dalat and tackle some big hills in the morning. We'll stop for lunch in Da Chay to give us more energy to tackle the challenging Hon Giao pass. Once we get to the other side of the pass we'll transfer to Nha Trang. Those arriving early may have time to visit Po Na Gar Cham tower before driving to our resort town for a lively evening. Day 5 Nha Trang (B) Take a boat trip to the coral islands for swimming and snorkelling or relax and enjoy the beach or go scuba diving. Day 6 Nha Trang - Tuy Hoa 80 km (B,L,D) A scenic ride to the fishing village of Dai Lanh lunch on the beach. Spend the rest of the day swimming and relaxing or ride the last 45 km into town. Day 7 Dinh Lanh - Quinhon 62 km (B,L,D) Transfer out of town to avoid the main highway. Ride a remote road running along the railway passing a mix of tribal and Viet villages. Loop back to the main highway and transfer to Quinhon. Day 8 Quinhon - Quang Ngai 70 km (B,L,D) Start cycling right from the hotel and follow the coastal road to Tra O lagoon. We have lunch on the route at a local restaurant before riding further up the coast to rejoin Highway One and transferring to Quang Ngai for the night. Day 9 Quang Ngai - Hoi An 70 km (B,L,D) Visit the interesting Thien An pagoda on our way to see My Lai, the site of one of the worst massacres of the American/Vietnam War. Transfer to Tam Ky to begin cycling. Loop to Ha Lam through the picturesque countryside of Quang Ngai province. After 35 km we'll stop for lunch in Hiep Duc, before we continue to cruise another 35 km to Ha Lam. We transfer the rest of the way to Hoi An and you'll be free to explore. Day 10 Hoi An - My Son - Hoi An 54 km (B,L) Transfer out of town to avoid the highway before cycling along country back roads to visit Mai Son, the ancient centre of Cham civilization. Take lunch before spending the afternoon visiting the site. Transfer back to Hoi An in the afternoon. Dinner is choice of the guest. Day 11 Hoi An - Hue 100 km (B,L,D) Transfer beyond Danang to take on High Van Pass and climb 500 metres over 10 km. After lunch, turn off the main highway and take a coastal side road for 44 km almost all the way to our destination. Energetic riders will make it all the way into Hue. Day 12 Hue - Ninh Binh 30 km (B,L,D) Explore Hue and beyond, we end with a visit to the Forbidden City. Transfer to the train station and take the Reunification Express to Ninh Dinh. Day 13 Ninh Binh - Cuc Phoang 60 km (B,L,D) Arrive at Ninh Binh hotel for breakfast and prepare to ride to the ancient city of Hua Lu. After visiting the temples we continue to the National Park at Cuc Phoang and visit the primate rescue centre before checking into the accommodation at the Park. Day 14 Cuc Phoang - Haiphong 60 km (B,L,D) Head east, riding some back roads through North Vietnam passing rice fields and follow country back roads past poor but friendly villages. Transfer rest of the way to Haiphong late in the afternoon. Day 15 Haiphong - Cat Ba Island (B,L,D) Cycle to harbor and take a private boat to Fulong on Cat Ba Island. Disembark at Fulong and cycle 27 kilometers taking the islands only road. Stop on the way for lunch Cat Ba town. In the afternoon ride through some local villages to Gia Luan before transfer back to our hotel. Day 16 Halong Bay - Hanoi (B,L,D) Cruise on a boat through the UNESCO Site of Halong Bay. Transfer to Hanoi. Day 17 Hanoi (B) Free day. Includes - All hotels (twin share or dorm) and meals specified - Cycle support by a/c vehicles - All water and snacks whilst riding - All entrances to museums and sites mentioned - Local English speaking guide - All meals mentioned Excludes - International flights - Departure tax - Visa fees - Alcoholic, and other beverages in the evenings - Tips for guides. - Personal travel insurance - Any services not mentioned in itinerary Please Note - Children under 18 years old are not allowed to join this tour. - This tour has a 4 passenger minimum requirement for operation and is subject to cancellation if this minimum is not met. Please call at least 24 hours prior to departure to confirm schedule. - There are no technical sections and the tour is suitable for riders of every level of experience. Some of the long rides will test experienced cyclists and due to the excellent nature of our support keen riders can happily blast off at their own pace. - This tour follows a mix of good asphalt roads and vehicle-width dirt roads, which may be smooth, gritty, stony, rocky, rutted, loose or hard-packed. - Support includes one or two 8-seat air-conditioned buses converted to take bikes and bikers. - If these dates don't suit your travel schedule, please contact us to talk about operating a private tour or customizing a tour for you or your group.