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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.