Northern Vietnam Cycling To Saigon - 23 Days. Vietnam is the great ideal destination for a cycling holiday, with everything from gorgeous coastlines to majestic mountains, coffee plantations, busy cities. Cycling to Northeast of Hanoi, Cycle along Ho Chi Minh trails and along beautiful coastlines to Hoian and the green Mekong Delta. Spend time with warm and friendly locals. Taste the local food. Discover the beauty of Vietnam on a bicycle tour.

Day 1 – Ha Noi - Arrival
Pick up at the airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. If time permits we will take a short city tour in Hanoi.

Transfer Distance: 35 Km

Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 2 – Ha Noi  Challenging to  Nghia Lo ( Yen bai )
Leave Ha Noi at 7:00 you will be met up with our team at your hotel in Hanoi. Depart for Yen Bai. Stops will be made en route for you to cycle. Our cycling is a spectacular ride on back roads that take us to Nghia Lo through a terrain of tea plantations, lush forests, rice fields, and gum trees. The town sits on a mountain ridge overlooking the Red and Black River and is home to the Thai, Nung, Hmong, La Ha, and Ma peoples. Stay in Nghia Lo hotel .

Total Distance: 180 Km

Biking Distance: 100 Km ( 20 km road flat, 80 km mountain 4 to 10 % )

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel in Nghia Lo

Transportation: Support car

Day 3: Nghia Lo Challenging Tu Le – Than Uyen  
Breakfast, Today we will tough cycle out of Nghia Lo passing large white limestone mountains as we explore the “Real Vietnam”.  Following the rolling road, to end the day in Tu Le. Leaving Tu Le we travel through rugged terrain with dense vegetation and come into contact with the Black Hmong and the mysterious White Tay people, who are famed for their folk music, poems, and songs. The road winds down out of the hills and we descend into the valley to end the day at Than Uyen.

Total Distance: 160 Km

 Biking Distance: 100 Km ( 10 km road flat, 90 km mountain 5 to 12 % )

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel in Than Uyen

Transportation: Support car

Day 4: Than Uyen Tough to Sapa
From Than Uyen we begin with a gentle 30km ascent to ride along with the Hoang Lien Son mountain range through magnificent landscape. Then, from Binh Lu Junction there is another hard ascent of 30 km to the top of the Tram Ton Pass, on our way to Sa Pa. We stop on route to visit the “silver waterfall”, before descending into Sapa for the final 15kms. Check-in beautiful hotel view. explore dinner on your own.

Total Distance: 110  Km

 Biking Distance: 75 Km – 110km ( mountain  tough 6 to 13 % )

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa

Transportation: Support car

Day 5 : Sapa - Lao Cai – Coc Ly - Bac Ha

After breakfast and downhill to Lao Cai - This is the principal town in Lao Cai Province in North Eastern Vietnam, bordering Yunnan province, China. The border was closed from 1979 –to 1993 following the war with China and the town mainly consists of modern architecture constructed since then. The town is now a popular destination for those journeying between Hanoi or Sapa and Kunming in China, and a key trading post. We will arrive at around 6.30 am and have breakfast in a local restaurant. Our cycling begins to Coc Ly villages with 45km on a gently inclining sealed road towards an uphill route over the mountain pass to Bac Ha. As we cycle up to the pass the final 15km is a tough 800m climb on the unsealed road as the terrain becomes more challenging. Our efforts are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Bac Ha is famous for the delicious plums that grow in forests on the hillsides.

Summary

Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 95 km

Total climb: 1,115m

Total descent: 202m

Day 5 : Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi

We’re back on the bikes today cycling to Xin Man. Our route takes us into some of the remotest areas of Northeast Vietnam. The ride begins with a 10km climb of around 400m on a newly sealed road before we turn off onto an unsealed rough track for the next 15km heading into rural tribal areas. Then it’s a massive descent of 1000m to Xin Man. Located right on the Vietnamese/Chinese border Xin Man is hidden away in a landscape of wild mountains and forests and inhabited by 15 ethnic groups including the Nung, the Flower Hmong, the Tay, La Chi, Kinh, and Hoa. After lunch we cross over the river Cathy for 40km of cycling along a quiet road; there is a gentle incline as we approach Hoang Su Phi. We encounter some rough sections of road along the way but are rewarded with beautiful views of the river.

Summary

Accommodation: Hotel in Hoang Su Phi

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 85 km

Total climb: 1,509m

Total descent: 1943m

Day 6 : Hoang Su Phi – Heaven Gate – Ha Giang

Hoang Su Phi is one of the most untouched regions of Vietnam and communities have lived in total isolation from mainstream society until very recently. At an average elevation of 800 m above sea level with high mountains, deep valleys, streams, and forestland, it is an area of outstanding natural beauty and unspoiled traditional life. Today we undertake the challenge of cycling over the ‘Heaven Gate 2’ mountain pass +895m, en route to Tan Quang. The pass offers stunning views beneath a wide-open sky.  You really will feel on top of the world. This afternoon we make our descent cycling past villages, rice, and maize terraces cultivated by the Red Dao and Tay tribes. The aromatic scents of cardamom and star anise fill the air as we pass along our route to Tan Quang nestled down in the valley. For the final stretch of this long day’s cycling, we take it easy with a leisurely cycle of 46km along the Lo river bank through unspoiled countryside to Ha Giang the sleepy capital of Ha Giang Province, and approx 215 miles (350 km) northwest of Hanoi. This is the old Silk Road.

Summary

Accommodation: Home-stay in  Ha Giang

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 105 km

Total climb: 1,074m

Total descent: 1,440m

Day 7: Ha Giang Uphill to Quan Ba – Yen Minh

Early morning-This is the challenging day climbing up to heaven gates of the Hmong people (elve. +1,100m). Beautiful view at the summit of QuanBa heaven gate, and nice road along river Nhiem.Setting off this morning we head out of town cycling for the first 25km on a relatively flat road through the landscape of terraced rice paddy fields. Passing through minority villages we cycle the next 25km up winding roads into the vast limestone mountain range with its perpendicular walls of rock, climbing 800m towards the mountain road pass “Heaven gate 1”. As we pass through mountain villages sometimes covered by clouds, we will receive a friendly greeting from the local communities. From the pass, we can look down at amazing views, including the famous vista of the Tam Son valley with the ‘Twin Hills, and can spy Quan Ba town, our destination, in its beautiful location. It’s mainly downhill for the last 15km into Quan Ba and stops for lunch – Afternoon We will want to take our time today as our beautiful surroundings offer numerous photo opportunities and the rocky limestone and karst terrain is as diverse as it is beautiful. We cycle uphill for the first few km before a descent of around 10km and then relatively flat terrain for the next 10km. It’s a challenging up and down terrain to an altitude of 1.025m before we make a final descent for the last 15km into Yen Minh. We will have the chance to see the traditional homes of the local hill tribes. The communities in this area are Chinese.

Summary

Accommodation: Hotel in Yen Minh

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 95 km

Total climb: 1,198m

Total descent: 448m

Day 8: Yen Minh climb Over The Rocky  Plateau to Dong Van and Meo Vac

Today we cycle on semi-surfaced quiet roads as we undertake a challenging uphill ride out of dense cedar forest onto the rocky Dong Van plateau. A registered UNESCO Global Geopark, 80% of the terrain is covered by rock and it is said to contain fossils from 400-600million years ago. Nestled in a valley in the heart of the Rock Plateau, is the isolated town of Dong Van, very close to the Chinese border and surrounded by mountain forest and multi-colored orchids. Meaning ‘sharing culture’ Dong Van is occupied by the Chinese Hoa, Hmong, Tay, and Kinh People. The houses are built in Chinese style.

As we cycle on the modest road from Dong Van to Meo Vac alongside a vast gorge, the views are spectacular. This is a winding and undulating road with the sight of the Nho Que River below. From the Ma Phi Leng Pass, we look down from an altitude of around 1500m into the valley. We stay tonight in the small town of Meo Vac. Most of the tribes living here have preserved their way of life from outside influence as traveling to Meo Vac was almost impossible until the recent construction of new roads.

Summary

Accommodation: Home-stay

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 75 km

Total climb: 2.258m

Total descent: 1.508m

Day 9: Meo Vac – Bao Lac

There is a market daily in the town center of Meo Vac used mainly by the White Hmong, Tay, and Lo Lo hill tribes. Women dressed in their brightly colored traditional clothing walk into the town carrying their bamboo woven baskets laden with corn and vegetables. Today we follow a remote mountain road to Bao Lac. After a 5km uphill cycle, we make a 20km descent the follow a fairly flat road for the next 10km. The surrounding landscape with predominantly limestone formations is a surreal vista of peaks, troughs, towers, and caves. The crops and dwellings seem to perch precariously on the hillsides. There’s a relatively gentle uphill climb of 250m before we descend for the final 30km along flat terrain. We will pass people from the local minority communities along the way dressed in their vibrant tribal costumes. We stay tonight in Bao Lac.

Summary

Accommodation: Hotel Duc Tai

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 78 km

Total climb: 1.008m

Total descent: 1.778m

Day 10 : Bao Lac – Nguyen Binh – Bale lake

Our van will help transfer to the mountain summit, then we start our ride on a newly paved road, some part on a dirt road. Even in this isolated mountain town, there is a busy morning market. We set off for a full day of cycling along challenging terrain but the road is quiet and well surfaced. We cycle through a pretty valley to the tin-mining town Tinh Tuc, heading on to Nguyen Binh. We continue along challenging terrain, but the unparalleled beauty of our surroundings more than compensates for the challenges of cycling. After lunch in Nguyen Binh- we will day heading south to Ba Be lake. If time permits we take boat trips to Ba Be national park. tonight we will stay in Tay people's house in Pac Ngoi villages. O/N Ba Be.

Summary

Accommodation: Home-stay

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 85 km

Total climb: 1.848m

Total descent: 1.578m

Day 11: Ba Be to ATK - Thai Nguyen

The scenery continues cycling today from Pac Ngoi to Cho Don – ATK road to Tuyen Quang. We reach hight way 3 and start to pack up our bikes, and refresh for a lunch break. Then we drive the rest of the way to Thai Nguyen city. Check in at your hotel in Thai Nguyen.

Summary

Accommodation: Hotel in Thai Nguyen

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 85 km

Day 12  : Thai Nguyen  - Mai Chau
Breakfast and transfer to Hoa Binh and start cycling to Mai Chau's picturesque landscapes. Stop in Au Lac villages for lunch at a local restaurant. cycling to Ba Khan villages to Mai Chau villages. Arrive in Mai Chau villages and overnight in the homestay of white Thai ethnic.

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals: Break, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 75 Km

Day 13 : Mai Chau – Ngoc Lac

Breakfast in a Thai village house before setting off along a spectacularly beautiful river valley towards Hoi Xuan along an undulating tarmac road. The road follows the flow of River Song Ma. This is an old supply route of the Ho Chi Minh Trail that fed the main trail with ammunition during the American War with Vietnam. just passing scenes of local village life and rice paddies. Dinner at the local restaurant.

Accommodation: Gold Time Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 90 Km

Day 14 : Ngoc Lac – Thai Hoa
Early morning starts to beat the heat of the day. The route takes us away from the river and appears to contour through the same mountain range that stretches from Ngoc Lac to Thai Hoa on Ho Chi Minh trails. 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. We ride for the first time on the newly built two-lane 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 backup 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 Hotel. 90+ km.

Accommodation: Thai Hoa Riverside Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 90 Km

Day 15 : Thai Hoa-Nghe An  – Vinh
Continue riding the incredible Ho Chi Minh Trails. Have lunch in Lat town. Kim Lien visit the famous museum 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. 100 km.

Accommodation: Beijing Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 80 Km

Day 16 : Nghe An- Phong Nha National Park
From Nghe An to 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 Phong Nha was used as a hospital and ammunition depot during the war, 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. 70 km.

Accommodation: Saigon Phong Nha Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch, Dinner

Cycling distance: 85 Km

Day 17: Phong Nha National Park-Hue
Explore Phong Nha Cave in the early morning. Continue riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail across the DMZ  (better known as the 17th Parallel,) to Cam Lo. The road is now quite flat and makes for good cruising! Stop en route to visit Truong Son Cemetary, a memorial to the tens of thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers who were killed in the Truong Son Mountains along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Fourteen miles further on is the town of Cam Lo – the Trail here intersects a strategic feeder road (H9) from Dong Ha and at this junction part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail heads across the country into Laos. We finish our exploration of the Ho Chi Minh trail here. This is where we end the cycling section of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Transfer to Hue visiting war relics en route. Overnight Hotel in Hue. 70 km.

Accommodation: Asia Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch

Cycling distance: 70 Km

Day 18: Hue – Hai Van pass -  Hoi An (135 km)
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 Thien Mu pagodas 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. Cycling from Thuan An beach to Phuoc Tuong Pass. and transfer to Hai Van pass for lunch and then challenge 13 km to Hai Van pass and downhill to Danang for transfer to Hoi An late afternoon. Explore dinner on your own. Overnight in Hoi An.

Accommodation: Venus Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch

Cycling distance: 80 Km

Day 19: Hoi An - Rest Day
Breakfast and all day free to explore Hoian, swim on the beach, pool, or shopping.

Accommodation: Venus Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Cycling distance: None

Day 20 : Hoi An – Danang Flight to Ho Chi Minh city
Breakfast and transfer to airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Arrival pick up and take a short city tour in Ho Chi Minh city before check-in. O/ N in Ho Chi Minh City .

Accommodation:  Hotel in HCMC

Meals: Breakfast

Day 21 : Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - CaiBe - Vinh Long - CanTho
8:00 AM pick you up from your hotel. The first-day ride is to ride from Cai Be to Vinh Long to Can Tho city. You should be ready in the lobby at 7:55. After you are met, an hour and a half transfer you to rural Cay Lay Dist. Your first day of the cycle trip is to cycle and cross through the countryside of Cai Be the Island of An Binh, and the Mekong river to Vinh Long town. Discover local life along with villages on the bike, Have many ferry crossings with locals, and see the main transport as the waterway in rural villages along the river bank. From Vinh Long town, you will have an hour's transfer to Can Tho.

 Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch

Cycling distance: 55 Km

Day 22: CanTho - CaiRang floating market - Ho Chi Minh
After breakfast, we check out for a boat trip to the famous Cai Rang floating market. It cannot be missed because it’s a real floating market where locals do their business every day in the morning. This is a chance you witness farmers bargain over price and try to make money. Then we spend a morning cycle through the countryside of Phong Dien and end up at Binh Thuy's ancient house. Lunch en route and driving back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel in HCMC

Meals: Breakfast, Break, Lunch

Cycling distance: 35 Km

Day 23:Ho Chi Minh - Departure
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

 

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