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Vietnam Cycling Holiday: 8-Day Biking Ho Chi Minh Trail to World Heritages

Nature, history, adventure – this central Vietnam biking holiday has it all! Hop on two wheels and cycle along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, passing historic military sites and scenic landscapes along the way. Visit Hue and Hoi An, UNESCO-heritage towns brimming with culture, for a glimpse of Vietnam’s remarkable wonders.

HIGHLIGHTS

Various activities on sites

  • Cycling the famous Ho Chi Minh trail and admire the local life along the way
  • City exploration of Hue and Hoi An and learn about its century-old culture
  • Explore the nature of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park with ever-green jungle and mysterious caves

Unforgettable moments

  • Admiring the amazing view along the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Admiring the nature of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and its surrounding area
  • Admiring ancient capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam & the century-old town of Hoi An

Nature exploration

  • The nature of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
  • The Nature of central Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Culture experience

  • The peasant culture of local people in Pu Luong and Mai Chau and other places along the way.
  • The graving culture of Hue, home of the last dynasty of Vietnam
  • The friendly culture of the people living in Hoi An

Map

Detailed schedule

Day 1 - Arriving in Dong Hoi - Phong Nha

Begin the cycling tour with a flight to Dong Hoi via either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at the airport in Dong Hoi, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the starting point for the first leg of our cycling adventure from Ho Chi Minh Trail to Hoi An.

The cycling today will take about 1 hour covering the distance of 30-50Km with smooth tarmac and undulating mountains rising up and down along the hillsides.
There is always the supporting car, so you can hop on the car any time you wish.

After 1-hour cycling, trade in the bike for a restful 1 hour bus journey to Phong Nha National Park. The park contains one of the most spectacular caves in Vietnam - a true natural wonder with 65 kilometres of tunnels and underground rivers. Formed approximately 250 million years ago Phong Nha was used as a hospital and ammunition depot during the war, and the entrance still shows evidence of attacks from fighter aircraft. There are also community projects underway with Flora and Fauna International; it may be possible to visit village initiatives and learn more about the forests of the national park before the end of the day.

Overnight at hotel in Phong Nha
 

Notes

Transfer from Donghoi airport to riding point: 1 hour // Cycling distance up to: 30 – 50km – the distance is varied based on the time of arrival // Difficulty: Easy

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Day 2 - Phong Nha - Cam Lo - Khe Sanh

After an early morning exploration of Phong Nha Cave, transfer 1.5 hours by road to the Ho Chi Minh Trail to resume the ride. Pedal across the DMZ (also known as the 17th Parallel) to Cam Lo. Stop en route to visit Truong Son cemetery, a memorial to the tens of thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers who were killed in the Truong Son Mountains.

From there it’s only 14 kilometres further to the town of Cam Lo. It is here that the trail heads across the country into Laos. Finish today with a short transfer to Khe Sanh, a former US marine base and site of the infamous 1968 battle of Khe Sanh.

Overnight in Khe Sanh.

Notes

Transfer: 1 hour // Cycling distance up to: 80km // Difficulty: Medium

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Day 3 - Khe Sanh - A Luoi

Start this morning with a visit to the Khe Sanh combat base where relics of the war are exhibited. There is also an airstrip in the area. Then ride through spectacular scenery, mainly downhill, from the Laos border to the Dakrong River. Cross the river by bridge and ride along the waterway to what was once considered the southern part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Again, enjoy a traffic-free road with rolling terrain, a nice contrast to the flat plains of the previous day’s ride.

Overnight in A Luoi

Notes

Cycling distance up to: 65 km // Difficulty: Medium

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Day 4 - A Luoi - Hue

Due to the bad roads in the south of A Luoi, venture off the Ho Chi Minh Trail and head across the country to Hue. The 60km ride through the middle of Vietnam is on back roads before hitting Highway 1, just a few kilometres south of Hue. Here there is the option of transferring by road or continuing by bike to the center of Hue.

Overnight in Hue.

Notes

Cycling distance up to: 70km Difficulty: Medium

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Day 5 - Hue - Exploration

After breakfast, enjoy a relatively easy ride on the back roads of Hue through lush countryside on a mix of footpaths and quiet country lanes. The day begins with a visit to the Imperial Citadel to explore the ruins of this grand monument to the emperors. Then, ride along backstreets following the banks of the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda. Continue through the quiet roads of Hue’s countryside to visit the royal tomb of Ming Manh, a former Nguyen emperor, and loop back across the river to Hue via the funerary monument to Khai Dinh.

Return to central Hue early this afternoon for time at leisure to relax or explore more independently.

Overnight in Hue.

Notes

Cycling distance up to: 30km // Difficulty: Easy

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Day 6 - Hue - Hoi An

Today is an epic ride with two small hills to conquer before the intense 11 km climb uphill to the top of Hai Van Pass. Upon reaching the summit of the pass, cyclists are rewarded with the region’s most stunning views of the coastline. (Thanks to a recently opened tunnel through the mountain, there is now very little traffic on this uphill road.)

Cruise down the pass to Lang Co beach for a swim and lunch. Then transfer the final 35 kilometres by car to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of this afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore the narrow streets and lanes of this charming town. 

Overnight in Hoi An.

Notes

Transfer from Lang Co beach to Hoi An: 1 hour // Cycling distance up to: 100km // Difficulty: Hard

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Day 7 - Hoi An - My Son - Hoi An

The last day of the journey is an easy ride to My Son, the ancient spiritual centre of the Cham kingdom. Transfer a bit out of town to avoid the busy highway before cycling along scenic country back roads, beyond rice paddy fields, through a eucalyptus forest, and many picturesque villages. The meandering road eventually leads us to My Son, once Champa’s greatest spiritual city and now an impressive archaeological site. Enjoy lunch near the temples and spend an afternoon touring around the crumbling temples before transferring back to Hoi An by bus. 

Overnight in Hoi An.

Notes

Transfer: 1 hour // Cycling distance up to: 60km // Difficulty: Medium

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Day 8 - Hoi An - Departure

Free at leisure until transport (provided) for the departing flight.

Notes

Note: Transfer:45 mins

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