Cycling Viet Nam 14 Days
DAY 1: HO CHI MINH (D)
Our guide will pick you up at the airport, transfer to the hotel in the city. Free at leisure and overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
DAY 2: HO CHI MINH – CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK 30KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
Transfer out of the city about 1.5 hours to get out the busy traffic and head on to Vinh Cuu district – Dong Nai province. Start cycling on quiet countryside road to Nam Cat Tien park. This forest area used to be the head quarter of Vietnamese army during the war. We arrive at the ranger post, meeting our Cat Tien park ranger, check in the guest house, a short trekking in the forest to see many old trees in the park. Overnight in Nam Cat Tien national park and take a jeep to see the wild animals in the evening. Overnight in the park.
DAY 3: CAT TIEN - DA LAT CITY 60KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the park. Start cycling through forest in the park to Madagui area. Madagui, in its ethnic mi- nority language, means “The Gui river of the Mạ people”. Mạ people are an ethnic minority of the lin- guistics family of Mon – Khmer. Their current living area is at the central upstream Dong Nai river on a strip of successive land along the Đạ Đơng river valley, bordering the Bảo Lộc plateau, the Di Linh plat- eau and the red-soil southeastern area. In Vietnam, there are approximately 30,000 Mạ people, mostly liv- ing in Lâm Đồng province with over 20,000 people. There are several Mạ’s villages around Madagui For- est Resort, namely, B’Kẻh village, B’Lú village, …
Transfer to Dalat. Biking around Xuan Huong Lake, visit Crazy House. Continue biking to Ta Nung area and visiting vegetable and flower fields and forests, coffee plants, etc. Visit mushroom farm (depends on season), the rural market of Nam Ban, silk farm and factory. Vehicle pick up and transfer back to Da Lat for overnight.
DAY 4: DA LAT TO NHA TRANG 100KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
Today is definitely one of the highlights of the trip as we take a fun downhill journey from the cool misty mountains down to the coastal region of Khanh Hoa Province. The journey is epic, as long as you remember to keep your eyes on the road, which can be hard as you coast down the spectacular weaving and winding pine-treed road, past breathtaking mountain scenery and rugged countryside. We’ll descend out of the cool air onto the sunny coastal plain as though out of a dream as we head down to see the famous Cham towers around Nha Trang. The Cham temples were built by the Champa civilisation who ruled the southern Vietnamese area for over a millennium up until the early 1800s. We’ll then transfer the rest of the way to the coastal city of Nha Trang, where we’ll also spend the night.
DAY 5: NHA TRANG TO TUY HOA OF PHU YEN 90KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
On this day we’ll drive north for about 50 kms in the morning. From there, we’ll jump onto the bicycle and cycle along the well-paved road that runs along the Reunification Express Railroad, also known as the North-South Railroad, which holds the ignominious record of being one of the world’s slowest railroads! Cycling through this countryside is blissful, as the gently rolling terrain offers stunning view of the land as we travel northwards, with the foothills of the highlands on your left and the East Ocean (as the south China Sea is known in Vietnam) on your right.
We'll be cycling downhill until we stop for lunch at the half-moon shaped Dai Lanh Beach, where you can also have a swim or explore the large sand dune to the south. We’ll spend the afternoon cycling up the coast
to the town Tuy Hoa, capital of Phu Yen Province. Tuy Hoa is a famous local tourist destination due to its wonderfully fluffy white sand beaches and is also where we’ll spend the night.
DAY 6: PHU YEN TO QUANG NGAI 70KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive about 30km to a spot from where we get to cycle the quiet back roads to Quy Nhon. Despite still being little more than a quiet fishing village, Quy Nhon has become a sought-after five-star resort spot due to its remote location and gorgeous natural scenery and beaches. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant and then transfer to Quang Ngai, where we’ll stop over for the night.
DAY 7: QUANG NGAI TO HOI AN 50KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
We continue our journey north. We'll come face-to-face with one of the biggest tragedies of the Vietnam/America War – the My Lai Massacre. In 1968, American soldiers stormed the little hamlets of Quang Nai Province in the area around Son My and killed just over 500 villagers in a sad moment of history. Today, a memorial stands at My Lai, including a recreation of that fateful March day. We’ll have a guided tour of the site and museum before continuing on north. We’ll cycle through more of the rural countryside and visit a local pagoda, before looping back to the highway, from where we’ll transfer to the quaint ancient town of Hoi An. You’ll have the afternoon free to relax and explore and there's plenty to see and do here. The town is a centuries-old trading port and remnants of its prowess can still be seen in the beautifully curated and restored assembly halls, temples and houses of the old trading families. Other sites include the iconic Japanese covered bridge, numerous pagodas and temples, and the bustling riverside marketplace where local specialties such as cao lau (a flat noodle dish) and hoanh thanh (wontons) are served up fresh. One of the first things you'll notice are the numerous tailors and colourful silk shops for which Hoi An is famous.
DAY 8: HOI AN 50KM CYCLING OR FREE AT LEISURE (B)
You have the option of resting your tired legs in Hoi An or visiting the area around My Son. We’ll transfer out of town to avoid the highway before cycling along the country roads along the Song Tranh River to My Son. We’ll grab a bite to eat before heading out to explore the site. My Son was the ancient centre of the Cham civilization, and remnants of this culture dating back as far as the 4th Century can still be found here. Descendents of the Cham people still live in Vietnam and neighbouring Cambodia as well as Thailand. Champa towers are classic examples of their architecture and there are quite a few which survive throughout the region. We’ll head back to Hoi An via the van in the afternoon.
Evenings in Hoi An are possibly some of the most beautiful in the whole country, especially on a full moon, as shop fronts light up with colourful, traditional lanterns as you enjoy a stroll down the promenade and the Thu Bon River laps lazily at the shore. One of the unique aspects of this town is the fact that motorised vehicles are banned in the centre throughout most of the day, making for a quiet and relaxing amble as you peruse the myriad shops and restaurants. We'll overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 9: HOI AN TO HUE 100KM CYCLING (B,L,D)
On this day, the van will take us beyond the coastal city of Danang, made famous by so many Hollywood war movies, and on to Hai Van Pass. For over 10 kms, we’ll climb about 500 metres, into the ever-present mist (Hai Van literally means “ocean cloud” pass), with a wonderful payout at the top: absolutely stunning views of Lang Co beach, the coast and the South China Sea stretching out to the horizon beyond. We’ll head down the other side for lunch, after which we’ll turn off the main highway and take a coastal side road for 44 km almost all the way to our destination. Depending on how much energy you have left, we can cycle all the way to Hue along the peninsula, all in all making for about 100 kms of cycling.
DAY 10: TRAIN FROM HUE TO HA NOI CAPITAL (B,L,D)
Explore Hue and visit the citadel. Take a boat ride along the Perfume River and visit tombs of the Nguyen emperors: Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Transfer to the train station. Take the overnight on the Reunification Express Train to Ha Noi at 5:00Am.
DAY 11: HANOI CITY TOUR (B,L,D)
Arrive Hanoi at 5:00am. Breakfast at local restaurant. We’ll spend the penultimate day of the tour visiting places of interest, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the old presi- dent, as well as visit Uncle Ho's (as he is affectionately known) stilt house. Spend some time exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter with its fascinating streets steeped in history and culture. Each street was named after the product initially sold there in the past, such as Hang Da (leather street) or Hang Ca (fish street). These days, not all the products are still sold on that street, but they are definitely worth exploring, and the narrow alleys often open up into a whole new area. The evening will be a leisurely one, with a traditional water puppet show and dinner.
DAY 12: HANOI TO HALONG BAY (B,L,D)
Depart Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by road through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields (harvest time: 5th month and 10th month of Lunar New Year), water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life on both side of the highway No.18.
12.15 pm: Arrive in Ha Long city, board our traditional wooden junk boat, for an overnight journey. Sip
on a refreshing welcome drink upon check in before you begin your cruise through the bay. Feast on a delicious lunch as you cruise among hundreds of islets (Dinh Huong islet, Ga Choi – Fighting Cock islet, Dog islet, Finger islet, etc.) to discover unspoilt pockets of Halong Bay and visit Sung Sot cave, one of the most imposing grottos of the Bay. Swim at Soi Sim beach or Titov beach or a short trek to the top of Titov mountain for a magnificent panorama scenery.
7.30pm: Enjoy your dinner with fresh seafood on board.
9.00pm: Squid fishing or relax and chatting with your partner, friends, family. Overnight on Ha Long Bay aboard of Junk.
DAY 13: HALONG BAY TO HANOI (B,L)
7:00am: For early riser complimentary tea, coffee, fruit and cake are served.
8.00 am: Visit Luon cave on small bamboo boat paddle by out crew staff and enjoy the quiet atmosphere enclosed by high islets and mountains. Be back to our Junk. Sail past rock formations such as Man’s Head islet, Tortoise islet, Butterfly cave, Lion islet, Bai Tho mountain, enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat meanders its way through the bay on the way back to Ha Long city, etc.
9.00 am: Arrange your luggage and do the check out on board.
9.30 am: Enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations.
11.30 am: Arrive back at Ha Long city for disembarkation where your driver waits to take you back to your Hanoi.
DAY 14: HANOI DEPARTURE (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Free at leisure till transfer to the local airport for your home flight.
End of tour and welcome back.