Riveting Saigon to Hanoi Bike Tour

vietnam bike tour 27

Overview

A vivid and engrossing trip that begins at Saigon and takes us through spectacular mountain trails of Da Lat and the classic coastal cycling route of Central Vietnam. The ride takes an exhilarating twist as we board an overnight train to Ninh Binh, where we'll be enchanted by limestone mountains and the serene rural vistas of Mai Chau. Finally, the tour culminates in the timeless city of Hanoi, where ancient traditions and modern vibrancy converge.

The juxtaposition of lush countrysides and unspoiled beaches with vibrant markets and enchanting ancient towns characterizes this adventure. Throughout this cycling journey, we'll have the opportunity to discover temples, pagodas, and imperial citadels, bask in the splendor of some of the world's finest warm-water beaches, and savor delectable Vietnamese cuisine as we cycle from South to the North Vietnam.

Start

Saigon | 17:00hrs

Finish

Hanoi | 16:00hrs

Lodging

casual

Level

moderate

Avg. dist. cycled

50km or 30mi

Suitable for

Age: 16+

Fly-In

SGN

Fly-Out

HAN

Highlights

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Saigon

Indulge in the history, culture and cuisine of Vietnam at Saigon where your leisurely Vietnam bike tour begins

Itinerary

Brief Itinerary

DayPlacecasual Inns or similarMealsDistanceActivity
DAY 1SaigonSilverland YenD
DAY 2Fly to Da LatDu Park HotelB,L,D30km / 18micycling
DAY 3Nha TrangTTC MicheliaB,L100km / 60micycling
DAY 4Tuy HoaSala BeachB,L,D60km / 36micycling
DAY 5Quy NhonL'Amor Boutique HotelB,L,D70km / 42micycling
DAY 6Quang NgaiCocoland River Beach ResortB,L,D65km / 39micycling
DAY 7Hoi AnRiver Town Hoi AnB,L,D65km / 39micycling
DAY 8Hoi AnRiver Town Hoi AnB
DAY 9HueRosaleen Boutique HotelB,L86km / 54micycling
DAY 10Overnight train to Ninh BinhTrainB,L25km / 15micycling
DAY 11Cuc Phuong National ParkCuc Phuong Resort & VillasB,L,D40km / 24micycling
DAY 12Pu LuongPu Luong HomeB,L,D70km / 42micycling
DAY 13Mai ChauMai Chau Lodge B,L,D60km / 36micycling
DAY 14HanoiB,L60km / 36micycling

Detailed Itinerary

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Day 1: Saigon

Our guide meets you at your hotel at 17:00hrs for a briefing over dinner to celebrate the start of our journey on a bike.

The morning is free for you to explore the city. We recommend exploring some of the most popular sites - Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Opera House, Continental Hotel, The Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Post Office, The War Remnants Museum, China Town (Cho Lon in Dist 5), Thien Hau Pagoda, Landmark 81 building and Jade Emperor Pagoda. It gives you an excellent introduction to the city’s history with plenty of opportunities to soak up the unique mix of chaos and tranquility that is modern-day Saigon.

If you intend to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City a day in advance, we recommend seizing the chance to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels—an elaborate network of underground passages that were extensively used during the Vietnam War.

Meals: D
Accommodation: Silverland Yen
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Day 2: Fly to Da Lat

Get up early today for a short flight to Da Lat, the jewel of the central highlands. The region is dotted with lakes, waterfalls, pine trees, and infinite flowers, making for a picturesque cycling adventure. After the bike-fit, here we take a classic ride around Da Lat. Take in some spectacular views as we ride along Da Lat’s pine-forested hills, picturesque flower farms, and past Xuan Huong Lake and Mount Langbian.

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi
Accommodation: Du Park Hotel
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Day 3: Nha Trang

An awesome day on a bike today. Ride through the lush mountain range and conquer Hon Giao 1,600m mountain pass before arriving at Nha Trang, a classic beach resort town. The initial stretch is undulating past pine forests and then it’s a sheer drop of 1,500m to the low lands. Break for lunch at a local restaurant by the river and continue riding on flat terrain through some gorgeous village trails. Hop into a shuttle for the last section to avoid a busy road. Da Lat-Nha trang.PNG

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 100km / 60mi
Accommodation: TTC Michelia
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Day 4: Tuy Hoa

After a visit to the nearby Cham temple, ride a spectacular coastal trail to a nearby village. A shuttle transfer from here brings us to our lunch point by the ocean. Today, we have an early lunch. Continue riding along the sea and admire the delightful ocean views around the Dai Lanh beach before meeting the pass which is the natural border between the provinces. Descend down to stunning Vung Ro bay and take a break for a swim and some snacks.

This is our first day of riding along the Vietnamese coast and it’s a long ride. Enjoy it to the fullest. Nha Trang-Tuy Hoa part1.PNG Nha Trang-Tuy Hoa part2.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation: Sala Beach
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Day 5: Quy Nhon

A transfer of about 1hr today takes us off the highway and to the remote area where we start biking with the view of gorgeous forests and hills. The biking is through undulating terrain past beautiful villages and mountain views. After lunch, continue riding towards the main highway. Avoid the last leg of 10km as traffic picks up and transfer to Quy Nhon. Tuy Hoa-Quy Nhon.PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 70km / 42mi
Accommodation: L'Amor Boutique Hotel
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Day 6: Quang Ngai

Visit Cham tower – built by the Champa civilization who ruled the southern Vietnamese area for over a millennium up until the early 1800s. Descendents of this culture, the Cham people, still live in Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia as well as Thailand. Later bike in the tropical countryside, past tree-canopied rice farms and lush green fields and paddies. Arrive at Sa Huỳnh and spend a night at a beach resort. The Sa Huỳnh culture flourished between 1000 BC and 200 AD, was most likely the predecessors of the Cham. Quy Nhon-Quang Ngai (2).png

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 65km / 39mi
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Day 7: Hoi An

A transfer of about 1hr brings us to our start of the day with a visit to My Lai Massacre Memorial. During the Vietnam War, a company of American soldiers brutally killed the majority of the population of My Lai. Ride from here through corn and vegetable plantations with our first true view of cowherds. After a ride of about 30km, take a shuttle again to Tam Ky for lunch and then ride past a network of lush rice fields and narrow interior rural trails. We end our day at Hoi An with a short transfer. Quang Ngai-Hoi An.PNG

Quang Ngai-Hoi An(Part2).PNG

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 65km / 39mi
Accommodation: River Town Hoi An
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Day 8: 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
Accommodation: River Town Hoi An
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Day 9: Hue

We avoid riding on Da Nang’s busy roads and transfer straight away to the point, 5km before the climb. Bike on over gradual hills in the coastal ride to climb Hai Van pass for views of this splendid bay and of wooden fishing boats, waterfalls, mountains, and pine forests. Ride the downhill with utmost care and stop for lunch by a delightful lagoon. A short transfer brings us to Phuoc Tuong where we ride the undulating mountain terrain and cross the gorgeous estuary of the Perfume River. Recharged, ride through the backroads and beaches of this region towards Hue, a must-visit in Vietnam.

Hoi An-Hue Part1.PNG

Hoi An-Hue Part2.PNG

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 86km / 54mi
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Day 10: Overnight train to Ninh Binh

Today take your bicycle out for a 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.

In the evening, we take an overnight train to Ninh Binh, arriving at about 2:30-3:30 am. Hue Loop.PNG

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 25km / 15mi
Accommodation: Train
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Day 11: Cuc Phuong National Park

Our representative picks you up at the station and transfers you to a simple hotel for some rest and to freshen up. 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 towards 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 12: 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
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Day 13: 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 14: Hanoi

The initial stretch has a bit of climb and then it delves down to the foothills of mountains. The topography is adorned with timber and fern trees. After around 45km, we stop for lunch along the Da reservoir and then make a transfer to Ky Son to cycle further along rivers and lakes. The cycling is up to yen Trung and then take a shuttle transfer to Hanoi. We aim to reach Hanoi by 4 pm.

We highly recommend extending your trip by a few days to indulge in the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see destination and serves as a perfect complement to your cycling holiday.

Mai Chau-Hanoi.png

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation:

Ready to plan your adventure? Download a print-ready detailed itinerary.

Map

Dates and Prices

Members get an estimated 10% off on this trip.

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Single Supplement

From US $575

E-Bike Upgrade

From US $165


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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.

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

Trek X-Caliber 7 or similar

mountain

Included in your trip price

Bike Image

Timewalker 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.

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

Philip B. from NZ

5.0

Great people to travel with!

From the minute we met our guide and driver (Lok & Bot and then later Nam & Kong) we knew we were in good hands for our journey south to north through Vietnam. Great people to travel with and they customised our cycling distances etc to our needs on the fly! The food, accommodation and wider cutural experiences were genuinely enriching and made for a truly fantastic experience. The organisation prior to the trip was very efficient and friendly. We highly recommend The Art of Bicycle Trips!

Cassandra C from AU

5.0

My family and I loved our Vietnam tour

My family and I loved our Vietnam tour. The tour guides were able to tailor the tour to our needs and pace, which was greatly appreciated. The hotels that we stayed at were all very nice. We were able to ask the tour guides lots of questions that they answered, and we were able to put in requests that they always helped us with. [Biking through Vietnam](https://www.artofbicycletrips.com/destinations/vietnam-bike-tours/) was the most perfect way to see the country. We went off the beaten track, saw the main tourist attractions and saw how the locals live. Highly reccomend!

Tom M from US

5.0

Still digesting this trip!

It met or exceeded all of my expectations and was an experience the entire group will never forget. I will definitely search your site at the beginning of my search for the next one.


What Sets Us Apart

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Thoughtfully Crafted

Each day is crafted with utmost care so that you are well-rested; get a drift of local culture and enjoy the curated routes at your own pace.

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True to their heritage and character, luxury and boutique hotels that reflect local ethos; providing an unforgettable experience.

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Top-quality Gear

With our unwavering commitment to quality, you can fully immerse in the adventure while we take care of providing top-notch bike.

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Expert Guides

The folks who steer you towards a unique and enriching experience, and sometimes truly a life-changing adventure.


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