Ho Chi Minh Trail Bike Ride 14-day
Cycle in the beautiful, quiet Vietnamese countryside, through lush fields, down jungle paths and past stunning limestone cliffs along the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail; which was once used to carry supplies during the war. Enjoy real local, cultural and natural experiences along the way.
Tour busy city streets on a cyclo (a pedal-powered trishaw). Ride along a route which was used to carry ammunition and supplies during the war. Spend the night at a Thai Village home stay, a great way to experience the nature and culture of the area.
Cycle through a mountain range passing stunning limestone cliffs and lush fields. Roll along on the smooth tarmac of the Ho Chi Minh highway, stopping off at the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh. Go through scenic villages with limestone karst formations.
See Phong Nha National Park, an area of tunnels and underground rivers formed 250 million years ago. Cycle across the 17th Parallel and end the day in the former US Marine base of Khe Sahn. Explore the back roads of Hue and the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled 1200 years ago.
Complete a challenging climb to the top of Hai Van pass then cruise down to the beach for a cooling swim. Pedal through eucalyptus forest, paddy fields and small villages to the ancient centre of Cham civilization.
Day 1: 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
Day 5: 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
Day 6: Thai Hoa – Nghe An
Continue riding the incredible Ho Chi Minh Trail. Have lunch in Lat town. In 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 (B, L, D)
Biking: 80km – Moderate grade
Day 7: 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
Day 8: 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
Day 9: 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 Da Nang 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
Day 14: 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)
- English Speaking tour leader (other languages upon requests)
- All accommodations base on twin-share at hotel, guesthouse and Home stay.etc…
- Meals detailed in the itinerary (B = Breakfast , L = Lunches ,D = Dinners)
- Private A/C vehicle to transfer and carry the bikes.
- Good quality helmets
- Boat trip mention in itinerary
- Sightseeing excursions as outlined in itinerary
- Pump, bike tools, spares tubes.
- Spare bike
- Mineral water drinking.
- Seasonal fruits.
- International airfares
- Travel insurance and bike helmet (compulsory)
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
- Mineral water beyond that supplied
- Single Supplement
- Optional excursions
- Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
- Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills
- Mountain bicycle (Bike Hire US$10/per day)
- Visa fees
- Departure taxes
- Tipping for guiding