Vietnam Cycling

Trip Length 12 Days
Group Size 4-16
Activity level
Starting from
$3,699 for REI Members
$4,099 for non-members
Departures Feb 2020-Dec 2020

See the best of Vietnam from the seat of a bike on this 12-day cycling adventure.

To see the world from a bike is to truly see it. Pedaling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, immerse yourself in beaches and backroads; Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities; and the rare opportunity to not only see the changing face of Vietnam, but to feel it.

No two days are alike on this adventure. Cycle up to 40 miles per day, with a flexible riding schedule and plenty of time to get off the bike and explore. Visit Po Nagar, an 8th-century Cham temple and our first introduction to the rich history of the country, then snorkel or soak in the sunshine on tropical Whale Island. Enjoy a comfortable seafront hotel in the beautiful coastal town of Quy Nhon. Boat through mountains and jungle in Northern Vietnam, then hop back on the bikes to follow country roads through small villages all the way back to the hotel. Visit bustling markets, rice fields and jungle-covered forests, indulging in fine foods, magnificent culture, and the thrill of adventure along the way.

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the changing face of Vietnam while cycling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
  • Visit rural villages, working pagodas, rice paddies, local markets, and more
  • Cycle up to 40 miles a day with flexible riding schedules and ample time at sites
  • Extend your stay with a trip to Angkor Wat

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Rides range from 12 ? 40 miles a day (3 ? 7 hours). Although a support vehicle will be available, participants should be experienced cyclists who enjoy spending much of the day on their bikes.

Terrain varies from flat to rolling hills with some steep grades, packed dirt roads and narrow trails. Some stretches of road near busy towns can be noisy with lots of traffic, exhaust and/or dust.

  • Road Cycling
  • Cycling

What's Included

Double occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; all activities, tours and entrance fees as noted in the itinerary; one group airport transfer upon arrival and departure; 27 speed mountain bike and spare parts; bilingual guides; travel permits; support van; drinking water and snacks while cycling.

Accommodations

Hotel, 11 nights

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?  You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for a quick tour and bike fitting.

Arrive into Ho Chi Minh City by midday, where our guides will greet us and lead us to our city hotel. This afternoon, we have a bike fitting before getting our first taste of southern Vietnamese cuisine at a nearby restaurant. Dinner included.

Day 2

Pedal the Hon Gom Peninsula and catch a boat to Whale Island.

An early breakfast is followed by a transfer to the airport for a one-hour flight up the coast to Nha Trang. We rendezvous with our bikes and visit Po Nagar, an eighth-century Cham temple and our first introduction to the rich history of the country. After lunch we drive north to the spindly Hon Gom peninsula for an easy ride through a myriad of shrimp farms that abut this sandy stretch of coastline. Reaching a jetty, we take a 10-minute speedboat ride to tropical Whale Island. The rest of the day is free for snorkeling, nature trail hiking, or simply soaking in the sunshine and enjoying the views. All meals included.

Transfer: 3 hours; Flight: 1 hour; Cycling: 12-15 miles, 1 hour; terrain: mostly flat.

Day 3

Pedal quiet back roads to the protected bay of Quy Nhon.

Crossing back to the mainland, our route today heads north following miles of sinuous coastal back roads. Pass blue water bays, inlets and mercantile fishing towns of the South China Sea. Arriving at the beautiful coastal town of Quy Nhon, we break for the day at our comfortable seafront hotel. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on own.

Transfer: 3 hours; Cycling: 40 miles, 4 hours; terrain: mostly flat with some hills with short pitches at 8% grade.

Day 4

Cycle coastal roads from Nhi Nai Bridge to Tra O Lagoon.

Jumping on our bikes by midmorning, we set off through the rural countryside and along a coastal lagoon. Here we pass by shrimp and salt farms and learn of the local harvesting techniques and way of life. After lunch at a local restaurant, we have a scenic drive to our hotel in Quang Ngai. All meals included.

Transfer: 3 hours; Cycling: 30 miles, 3 hours; terrain: flat with some hills and several short steep pitches of 7% grade.

Day 5

Cycle from Thien An Mountain to Hoi An.

Today we encounter sweeping views of the Tra Khuc River and the surrounding countryside from Thein An Mountain. We also spend time in My Lai to learn the history of this sobering memorial. Our ride this morning picks up from the memorial, passing through small villages, vast rice fields and pine tree plantations to Chau O. See farmers tending to their fields and children riding their bikes to and from school. Driving on to the enchanting town of Hoi An, we break for lunch. This afternoon we have the option to relax at our hotel or join our guides for a fun scavenger hunt in the old town market. All meals included.

Transfer: 3 hours; Cycling: 19 miles, 2 hours; terrain: flat with some hills.

Day 6

Enjoy a free day in Hoi An and relaxing spa treatment.

Today we enjoy a day of rest and personal exploration. Hoi An was one of Asia's major silk trading ports. A short walk through town yields sights of 200-year-old, wood-fronted merchant residences and a vibrant market. One free spa treatment is included in our stay, so be sure to make use of it to revitalize your legs for more riding in the days to come. Breakfast included; dinner on own.

Day 7

Pedal over Hai Van Mountain pass to the city of Hue.

Those up for a challenge will look forward to this epic 40-mile cycling day. Our journey north crosses the spectacular Hai Van mountain pass or "Pass of the Ocean Clouds" to the city of Hue. We cycle by way of Lang Co beach and conquer a couple of short passes before arriving at a beautiful coastal road. This evening, we take the opportunity to experience fine food and Hue's cultural heritage. With a refined take on local specialties, the delectable dishes incorporate traditional decorations passed down through generations of culinary artists. All meals included.

Transfer: 2 hours; Cycling: 40 miles; 5-6 hours. Terrain: hilly with elevation gain/loss of 1,640' over 13 miles and several 1,500' climbs at 10% grade.

Day 8

Explore Hue's famous sites, then fly to Hanoi.

Hue is one of the main cultural, religious and educational centers of Vietnam. We spend the morning exploring some of its most impressive sights. Hue was Vietnam's imperial city from 1802 until 1945 when Bao Dai, the last of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors, abdicated. The Imperial Citadel, built much like Beijing's "Forbidden City," sits on the north bank of the romantically named Perfume River. We also see Hue's best-known religious site, the Thien Mu Pagoda and elaborate mausoleums, which more closely resemble palaces than tombs. In the afternoon, we transfer to the Hue airport for a one hour flight to Hanoi. All meals included.

Transfer: 1.5 hours; Flight: 1.5 hours.

Day 9

Ride through the Karst Mountains of Mai Chau.

This morning we head to the Mai Chau region, known for its jungle-covered karst mountains and rich cultural diversity. The region is home to the Thai ethnic minority whose influence stretches across the valley and into the surrounding mountains. After lunch in a small village set amid rice fields, we ride into the hills on a dirt road frequented by local villagers. As we climb towards higher ground, the views of the valley open to reveal the spectacular countryside. A steep one-mile climb leads to six miles of rolling dirt roads through quiet villages and verdant jungle terrain. Our route eventually ends at the door of our comfortable ecolodge, perched with a stunning view out onto the valley and a short walk to local villages. All meals included.

Transfer: 4 hours; Cycling: 22 miles, 3 hours; terrain: rolling with several 500' climbs at 10% grade.

Day 10

Boat across peaceful mountain waterways and cycle in Northern Vietnam.

We board a sampan this morning and boat through sheer jungle-clad mountains. The scenery change is dynamic; enormous limestone karsts jut from wandering rivers and lime green stalks of rice fill the space between. Hopping back on our bikes, this afternoon?s ride follows country roads and passes through small villages, all the way back to our comfortable hotel. All meals included.

Transfer: 3.5 hours; Cycling: 25 miles, 2.5 hours; terrain: mostly flat with some steep hills at 10% grade.

Day 11

Explore Hanoi and enjoy a farewell dinner.

Hanoi has become one of Asia's most fascinating cities. This morning we return to Hanoi to meet with a local expert who shares his passion and knowledge of the country's culinary delicacies while leading us through the maze of Hanoi's markets. Strolling through the Old Quarter past the old east gate to Thanh Ha market, we can take the opportunity try delicacies and strange (to us) food items while learning about Vietnamese food practices. This busy, eclectic market is alive with the sights and sounds of Hanoi and is the essence of Vietnamese culture! Tonight we enjoy a delicious farewell dinner. All meals included.

Day 12

Say goodbye to Vietnam, or continue to Cambodia's Angkor Wat.

Our trip concludes after breakfast. We provide one group transfer to the Hanoi airport this morning for departing guests. Consider extending your travels in Asia with our extension to the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport
  • Vietnam Visa or VOA Letter (Must be Obtained Prior to Departure)

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.