Ultimate Vietnam North to South Bike Tour

vietnam bike tour 29

Book with Confidence: Enjoy a full refund up to 60 days before departure as per our flexible cancellation policy.

Overview

This trip promises a wholesome Vietnamese cycling holiday experience as we journey from North to South, encompassing Hanoi and Halong Bay, Coastal Vietnam, and the enchanting Mekong Delta, showcasing the best of each region.

We set out on our cycling adventure through the picturesque Red River Delta in Northern Vietnam, followed by an exhilarating kayaking experience in Halong Bay. Returning to Hanoi via Ninh Binh and Mai Chau, we soak in the beauty of these regions. Next, we arrive in Hue and set off on a bike tour along the iconic coastal route of central Vietnam, widely regarded as the country's most beloved path. A brief flight then takes us to Saigon, where we meander through the tranquil landscapes of the Mekong Delta before returning to Saigon.

Throughout the journey, we'll have the opportunity to explore awe-inspiring temples, pagodas, and imperial citadels. Additionally, we'll seek out some of the world's most inviting warm water beaches and savor delectable Vietnamese cuisine, making this an unforgettable and enriching experience.

Start

Hanoi | 13:00hrs

Finish

Saigon | 16:00hrs

Lodging

casual

Level

moderate

Avg. dist. cycled

50km or 30mi

Suitable for

Age: 16+

Fly-In

HAN

Fly-Out

SGN

Highlights

Highlight Image

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayak through the islands of Halong Bay

Itinerary

Brief Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

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Day 1: Hanoi

Our guide meets you at your hotel at 13:00hrs for a bike fit.

Post that, walk the busy streets of Hanoi visiting some of the cultural and historical highlights of Hanoi. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, which was constructed nearly a millennium ago, and is delicately elevated in a pond. Also visit the Temple of Literature, dating back close to a thousand years, is a wonderfully preserved piece of ancient Vietnamese architecture and stands to honor the scholarly achievements of the country’s academics and philosophers. Continue exploring the area around Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, the old quarter including Ngoc Son Temple, which sits perched on a little island in the lake. In the evening, we convene over dinner.

Meals: D
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Day 2: Halong City

Ride past the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta before taking a shuttle to Halong City. The river rises in Yunnan province, and flows across the Tonkin region, through Hanoi, and enters the Gulf of Tonkin. We criss-cross the rivers and ride over a multitude of bridges. Hanoi-Halong City.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 50km / 30mi
Accommodation: Halong Plaza Hotel
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Day 3: Halong Bay - Cat Ba Island

A quick ferry journey amidst spectacular limestone mountain scenery brings us to Cat Ba Island. After lunch, get on the bike for a loop around the island. Enjoy the stunning sunset over the limestone mountains.

Cat Ba Island also has numerous caves; Hospital Cave, Hoa Cuong (Diamond) Cave, Thien Long Cave, and Trung Trang Cave. Cat Ba Island is fortunate to have so many fantastic caves and natural beauty. Cat ba island Loop.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi
Accommodation: Blue Lagoon
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Day 4: Kayak and Shuttle to Ninh Binh

After a hearty breakfast, get on board a smaller boat and take a journey to the more remote and secluded parts of the Lan Ha Bay waters and islands. Trade your boat with a kayak and explore the lagoons, the coral reef, beaches, and limestone peaks. Ferry back to Hai Phong and journey towards Ninh Binh.

The distance from Halong to Ninh Binh is approximately 170km. We spend around 3 hours in transit, and if time permits, unload the bikes for a cycling journey on backroads, along the dike, covering approximately 20-25km to reach the hotel. Anticipated arrival time at the hotel is between 16:00 and 17:00.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 20km / 12mi
Accommodation: Trang An Retreat
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Day 5: Cuc Phuong National Park

A short cycling ride along the river brings us to Trang An, known as Halong Bay on land. The landscape is largely dominated by limestone mountains, rivers, caves, and pagodas. Here we take a boat ride and get to experience the magical scenery dotted with natural and cultural wonders.

We take a break at the ancient city of Hoa Lu for a quick temple tour and then continue riding toward Cuc Phuong National Park through the stunning landscape.

Nin Binh-Cuc Phuong National Park.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 40km / 24mi
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Day 6: Pu Luong

In the early morning hours, visit the Cuc Phuong National Park, an important site for biodiversity in Vietnam

It’s a long day interspersed with transfers and rides. We start with a transfer of about 90min to the starting point for our cycling. Unload the bikes and cycle on largely undulating paths. We continue cycling past acacia plantations, sugarcane fields, and corn farms dotted with Thai and Muong Tribes' villages. Arrive in Pu Luong, and check in at a family lodge located in the heart of Pu Luong Nature Reserve.

Cuc Phuong National Park-Mai Chau.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 70km / 42mi
Accommodation: Pu Luong Home

Day 7: Pu Luong

Pu Luong is a beautiful region located in northern Vietnam and known for its stunning natural landscapes, lush green rice terraces, ethnic minority villages, and pristine forests. The area is characterized by its tranquil and picturesque scenery and offers a variety of trekking and hiking opportunities. There are numerous trails through the terraced rice fields, across suspension bridges, and into the heart of the forested hills.

Today we go hiking in Pu Luong, promising an immersive journey through the picturesque terrains of Don Village, Hieu Village, and culminating at the breathtaking Hieu Waterfall.

For those seeking a leisurely day, feel free to opt for a rest day and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Whether hiking or relaxing, Pu Luong invites you to savor the richness of its landscapes and culture at your own pace.

Hiking: 10-15km

Meals: B,L
Accommodation: Pu Luong Home
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Day 8: Mai Chau

Another day of the undulating ride. Cycle past a spectacular mountain range with karst cliffs, terraced rice fields, and a typical agricultural landscape, ending at the beautiful valleys of Mai Chau. The experience is truly unique as we get to experience a good change in landscape.

Mai Chau is a collection of villages and offers a true rural cycling experience. Do enjoy the evening walking around the valley and admiring simple rural life amidst spectacular scenery.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation: Mai Chau Lodge
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Day 9: Fly to Hue

Today enjoy a thrilling loop around the gorgeous valley and experience Mai Chau village life at close quarters. It’s an off-beat trail and some sections are over a gravel road. We pass by many bucolic villages where children come to greet us and through tumbling steams. The region is mainly inhabited by White Thai people.

In the evening, take a short flight to Hue. Our guide meets at the airport and then transfer you to your hotel. Hue is a city located in central Vietnam, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and scenic beauty. The Perfume River flows through Hue, adding to the city's charm. Taking a boat trip on the river is a popular activity. Hue is also known for its traditional arts and crafts, including delicate porcelain, intricate embroidery, and distinctive Hue-style cuisine, which is renowned for its sophisticated flavors and presentation.

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi
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Day 10: Hué

Today take your bicycle out for an early morning leisurely loop around the imperial town of Hué. Ride past the Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Mausoleums, and the merchant’s houses along the banks of the Perfume River and through quiet lanes with lush gardens.

If you're up for more riding, explore the ‘purple city’ on a short countryside loop on a bike, swerving to unthreaded nooks and corners through the beautiful rural countryside and absorbing this historic capital city of Vietnam at your own pace. Take a short transfer out of Hue to visit the Thanh Toan Bridge, an ancient architectural monument extremely valuable in terms of its history and culture. This is one of two bridges remaining in Vietnam today that retains its unique architectural style. We then cycle on to Dam Chuon Lagoon, a part of the Tam Giang Lagoon system. This is a must-see spot for all those who are lovers of beautiful scenery and keen photographers.

We continue riding to Thuan An beach, an ideal place for relaxation. On the way to the beach, there will be many houses, temples, pagodas, rice fields, and beautiful gardens to see and explore. Upon arrival at the beach, enjoy a swim and then jump back on the bikes and head to Con Te Islet.

Loopback to Hue, and stop at Sinh Village – an ancient village well known for its artists and beautiful, traditional, craft woodblock paintings.

Hue Loop.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 25-50km / 15-30mi
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Day 11: Hoi An

After a hearty breakfast, we take a short transfer out of Hue to the coast. Begin riding off the beaten track along a picturesque, narrow peninsular road. Cross the estuary of the Perfume River and from here, challenge yourself by cycling up the Phuoc Tuong Pass then take a short transfer to Lang Co and have lunch by the gorgeous lagoon.

Later, ride along the Lang Co Bay with spectacular views of winding paths, wooden fishing boats, waterfalls, mountains, and forests, and bike over gradual hills to climb Hai Van pass for views of this splendid bay. This rugged pass is the final section of the Truong Son Range stretching to the sea. From the pass, go downhill to the base and shuttle to Hoi An, a delightful old trading town and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hue-Hoian(Part1).PNG Hue-Hoian(Part2).PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 80km / 64mi
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Day 12: Hoi An

The architectural beauty of Hoi An will captivate you as this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a melange of Vietnamese, European, Chinese, and Japanese monuments in an unhurried, timeless setting.

Today you can plan your own day, and enjoy the enchanting Hoi An town at leisure. A paradise for shoppers, a walk through the town gives a feel of an open-air museum.

Meals: B
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Day 13: Fly to Saigon

Get up early today for a short flight to Saigon. Our guide meets you at the airport and transfers you to your hotel. Later, go on a walking tour to explore some of the most popular sites (Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Opera House, Continental Hotel, The Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Post Office, and The War Remnants Museum). This walking tour gives an excellent introduction to the city’s history and provides you with plenty of opportunities to soak up the unique mix of chaos and tranquility that is modern-day Saigon.

Meals: B,L
Accommodation: Silverland Yen
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Day 14: Tra Vinh

A short shuttle transfer brings us to the outskirts of My Tho — the gateway to the Mekong delta. We ride along a small creek to Mekong estuary past gorgeous paddy fields and lush orchards. Along the way, we cross a river on a local ferry. After 20 kms (12.5 mi) of biking, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Post-lunch, we ride in the van for 30 minutes before beginning our afternoon cycling. We ride past coconut plantations on a smooth surface, and under a green canopy of trees growing on either side of the road. En route, we stop at a local family to see how they use coconut fiber to make ropes and use coconut leaves to make thatched huts. After another 30 kms (18.6 mi) miles of cycling, we load our bikes in the van and drive for 40 minutes to our hotel, the Coco Riverside Lodge.

Before dinner, our hotel organizes a fun cooking class where they teach how to make rice pancakes.

Saigon-Tra vinhh.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 50km / 30mi
Accommodation: Coco Riverside Lodge
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Day 15: Can Tho

We begin the day with a 40 minute shuttle transfer to head deeper into the delta. We then visit a beautiful Khmer Pagoda before beginning the day's biking. We ride past numerous rice fields, rivers, and canals, and over a multitude of bridges that may offer views of floating villages. Apart from rice fields, the region is dotted with many plantations of banana, coconut, and citrus trees.

We stop for coffee after biking for 25 kms (15.5 mi), and then bike another 21 kms (13 mi) before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.

It’s a long ride today through the interior trails of Mekong Delta to Can Tho. Post lunch, we ride another 20 kms (12.4 mi) on these trails and even cross a river on a local ferry before loading our bike in the van and driving for 90 minutes to Can Tho.

Set on the southern bank of the Hau River, Can Tho is known for its network of canals and nearby floating markets. We reach our hotel around 5 PM. Tra Vinh-Can Tho.PNG

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation: TTC Premium
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Day 16: Cai Be

We start this day at 7:30am and hop on to a boat to experience the early morning Cai Rang floating market. Each boat in this market showcases its distinct specialty, which can be identified by the items hanging on tall poles. While many boats anchor in place, a few gracefully float around, particularly those dedicated to snacks or coffee, catering to the shop owners' needs. The majority of the boats appear weathered, constructed from aged wood and exude a rustic charm.

This bustling market primarily focuses on the sale of fresh produce and food items, ranging from sweet potatoes and watermelons to lychee. Unlike clothing or household goods, the market solely revolves around agricultural products. Exploring this lively marketplace provides a fascinating glimpse into the authentic daily life of the locals. After the boat ride, we disembark onto a pathway made of old railroad ties and proceed to walk along a busy road lined with numerous meat markets, eventually making our way back to the van.

Later ride into the heartland of the Mekong Delta, past the pristine hamlets nestled in the orchards and coconut plantations. Along the way, see farmers working in nursery fruit tree gardens.

We stay tonight at the Ba Linh homestay, which was one of the first homestays started in this region to welcome tourists. They cook their meals in the traditional Vietnamese fashion using firewood which adds a more authentic flavor to the food. The homestay, however, does not have AC, and the beds come with mosquito nets to make sleeping comfortable.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 50km / 30mi
Accommodation: Ba Linh Homestay
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Day 17: Saigon

Take an early morning boat trip to the bustling floating market, and visit handicraft villages and the Cai Be market on land. After the boat trip, cycle to Cai Lay and along the way discover the gardens of Longan (Dragon eyes). We continue cycling to My Tho and visit the ornamental Khmer pagoda of Vinh Trang. Later shuttle to your hotel in Saigon or the airport.

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 40km / 24mi
Accommodation:

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Map

Dates and Prices

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From US $775

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From US $210


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Essential Info

Inclusions

LODGING

All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).

trip leader

Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.

bike

Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.

shuttle

A Van support follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.

meals

Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.

refreshments

Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.

entrance

Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.

E-bikes

E-bikes are available (subject to availability) on this trip at a surcharge.

Exclusions

Airport pickup and drop

We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.

meals

Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.

Beverages

Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.

Gratuity

Gratuities for your guide team are not included in the trip price.

Bikes

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Our fleet majorly consist of the below bikes as a part of this tour. However, sometimes due to height or availability constraints, we may provide a different but similar quality bike.

Bike Image

Trek Marlin 5 or similar

mountain

Included in your trip price

Bike Image

Giant Explorer E+ or similar

ebike

Available at a surcharge

Weather

Like most tropical regions, Vietnam has hot summers, mild pleasant winters, and an extremely wet rainy season. Being located in the northern hemisphere, the best season for cycling in Vietnam is generally from September to May, with regional variations as described below:

North Vietnam – Hanoi and Halong Bay: The cycling tour season in this region runs from October to May. December and January can be cold with occasional rainfall. May to October is hot, with heavy rain in the months of August and September.

Coastal Vietnam – Hue to Nha Trang: Coastal Vietnam is a narrow crescent-like coastal strip that is at times only 60 km wide. As a result, it experiences coastal weather phenomena such as high rainfall and occasional typhoons during the wet season that runs from September to December. Travelers during this season should be prepared for last-minute changes to the itinerary. The Best season to visit this region is from January to September with the average temperature hovering around 30°C.

South Vietnam – Saigon and Mekong Delta: South Vietnam is a year-round cycling destination because of its pleasant tropical climate. April and May can be hot, but for the rest of the year, the temperature hovers around 30°C. There is moderate rainfall from May to early November but it settles soon, leaving the weather cool and the countryside lush. November to February is the best time for cycling in South Vietnam with warm weather, clear blue skies, and a light ocean breeze blowing in from the Pacific.

January

Best

February

Best

March

Best

April

Best

May

Mixed

June

Mixed

July

Mixed

August

Mixed

September

Mixed

October

Mixed

November

Good

December

Good

Best

Good

Mixed

Offseason

Visa

Residents from a number of countries have visa exemption status for tourist visits to Vietnam. For a full list of up-to-date visa-exempt countries, see the Vietnam Foreign Affairs website.

Starting August 15, 2023, the Vietnam government will start offering an e-visa valid for up to 90 days with multiple entries, replacing the current 30-day, single-entry option. Furthermore, passport holders from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom will benefit from an extended visa exemption period of 45 days, up from the current 15 days. Eligible foreign nationals will either benefit from a longer duration of stay and greater flexibility with the extended e-visa validity of up to 90 days and multiple entries, or enjoy an extended visa exemption period of 45 days.

e-Visa – You can apply for an e-visa through the government website, then, once approved, simply print it out and present it upon arrival in Vietnam. The additional benefit of the e-visa is that it's valid at land borders, not just airports. The processing time ranges from 2 to 7 working days. We recommend applying 2 weeks in advance to avoid unexpected delays. Read more about tourist e-visas for Vietnam at the Vietnam Immigration portal and apply there.

While applying online for an approval letter, please ensure that you have the following documents:

  • Passport scanned copy: A scanned copy of your passport - front (main) page. It shouldn't be a mobile photo or a photo taken from a laptop. Strictly scanned copy done through a computer scanner.
  • Passport size photo: portrait photo (4*6 size, colored photo, white background, straight looking without glasses). A photo taken from a mobile or laptop may or may not work, so I would strictly advise getting one made through a nearby photo studio (retail shop) that specializes in taking photos for visas.

Here is an excellent resource on Vietnam visas that may be worth looking at.

Reviews from our friends

Reviews—2023 and older

Richard R from US

5.0

I feel that we got a realistic view

I feel that we got a realistic view of Vietnamese citizens which is what we wanted. The bicycles were a great way to see things and engage with people. It was good to have the experience of traveling the length of the country and we are glad we got to Siem Reap as well. All transfers went smoothly and the itinerary was well planned. The guides were helpful in picking our food options and we ate some excellent food. Cycling in Vietnam was not like our other cycling trips in other countries as far as road quality. That was mentioned in the trip literature and should be taken to heart. We rode on some very rough, pitted roads, through gravel, through sand, standing water, and heavy mud. It was a good trip and we are glad we did it.

Lauren Stringer from CA

5.0

Trip of a Lifetime!

Doing this trip to Vietnam on by bike, we saw so much more than we otherwise would have. We went to out of the way places and really got to experience how people live. The guides were also knowledgable and accomodating. The excursions were fun and interesting. I learned so much about the country and its history. I would do a trip like this again for sure.

Corrine Livingston from US

5.0

We loved the trip!

We loved the trip! The cycling was fun and beautiful, the guides were very gracious and informative, of course the food was fabulous and our hotels were very nice. Vietnam is a very special place in our hearts as the people are so warm and friendly.