Our bicycle tours will avoid cycling on traffic roads and highways as much as possible, ride into the stunning countryside, and never forget to take you to the historical relics of Ho Chi Minh trails. Today, numerous series of rural roads, small pathways, mirror roads through beautiful countryside, valleys, spectacular mountain ranges, and country farms have been built and well-maintained along the new Ho Chi Minh roads running from north to west-central provinces of Vietnam.
The Ho Chi Minh Trails called Annamite Range Trail, was a logistical network of roads and trails that ran from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Vietnam through the kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia from 1959 to 1975. There was not just one trail but many complicated trails that ran along the borders of Laos and Cambodia. The trails were made up of pathways and small roads that crossed the numerous networks of rivers, through primarily Truong Son Mountain Ranges, rainforest jungles with plenty of simple suspension bridges to supply weapons, food, and equipment.
The Vietnam War ended in 1975, and the original Ho Chi Minh trails are no more longer after rapidly developing the country. Most of the original Ho Chi Minh trails have been replaced by new roads, high ways and traffic roads, but all the old military bases, airports, cemeteries, hill bases have been exact locations since the war ended.
Welcome to Hanoi, the capital city with a lively Old Quarter of 36 narrow streets and colonial landmarks. Vietnam Backroads Team will meet you outside the terminal gate of Noi Bai Airport and take you to your hotel in the city centre. In the afternoon, take a walking tour of the atmospheric and bustling Old Quarter, Opera House, Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. Dine at one of the famous restaurants in town.
Enjoy an early breakfast, and you'll transfer on the road through Hoa Binh, enjoy spectacular mountain views on winding roads, passing green rice paddy fields, break for tea at a small tribe shop, admire the mountain landscapes, gaze down the verdurous farmlands. Then continue travel on the road to Mai Chau. Arrives in a Thai tribe hamlet after 3.5 hours travelling on the vehicle.
Have lunch at a local restaurant, and then we start our first-day ride through Mai Chau valley, explore ethnic life along the valley, through rice terraces to Poom Coong, to Lac villages, passing Thai's tribe stilt houses, family shops sell tribe custom clothes and souvenirs. The back roads in Mai Chau almost are concrete and smooth, some still dirt track and mostly in removed hamlets. Ride and enjoy watching beautiful rice terraced fields, see buffalos working on farms, cycle along Ma River, turn left to Ban Do hamlet where we have a transfer on highway 15C to Pu Luong in the late afternoon.
After breakfast at home-stay, check out for a 30-minute transfer to rural village for a full day adventure. Before the ride, we walk down the river, see numerous bamboo water wheels of different sizes, learn the structure, and how do bamboo wheels working? These bamboo water wheels will transfer water on bamboo pipelines to terraced rice fields. How much water will move depends on the stream, river's current, and the bamboo water wheel doesn't when the water is still. This is why the tribes make only one crop of rice at the beginning of the rainy season as the yearly crop.
Then we pick up the bike, cross the Cham River, cycle to explore the tiny tribal villages until we reach Ma River. Explore the life of locals along the sleepy river, undulating the minor road, through the jungle, pineapple farm, senjoy Karst limestone mountain views. Pedal on impressive floating bamboo bridge. Ride onto removed tribal hamlets on the Ho Chi Minh trails. The sceneries are stunning, breathtaking, and the routes are a mix of the gavel, and small concrete and asphalt allow support vehicles to always be near us. Explore the life of tribes in remote stilt house hamlets on the Ho Chi Minh trails, with looming karst limestone cliffs and lush vegetation, explore the most picturesque scenery in the country of today's ride to Cam Thuy. Finally, we have a transfer Yen Cat township.
After breakfast, we'll transfer 45-minute rural village in Nghia Dan to explore lush country farms and ride across the colourful fields of various flowers, most of which are sunflowers. It's a fantastic place for nature lovers and photographers. The routes and rural hamlets we explore today are almost flat and undulating roads through some stunning hills with numerous fruit orchards and rice paddies.
Visit old temples and pagodas along the villages. We cross through Thai Hoa township, Hieu River and explore the spectacular landscapes, beautiful countryside, and tiny towns. Cross the Hieu river, and explore small villages along the hillsides and rivers. Lunch break in a small town and carry on the ride through rustic villages to Tan Ky. We finish the day ride at Milestone 0 HCM trails and hop on the vehicle for 1. hours transfer to Kim Lien village, the hometown of President Ho Chi Minh. Then continue travel on the vehicle to Vinh city.
Vinh is a small town, and it's urban Dists are such beautiful countryside with fertile plains protected dams. Today's ride begins with a short transfer out of the city, and we start riding along the rivers, explore the rural village outskirts of Vinh city. The ride from Vinh to Huong Khue is not quite far, so we take our time as it's easy to enjoy every moment.
We bike through the idyllic countryside, enjoy large fields of chilli pepper, rice paddy fields and some grassy hills with plenty of photos along the rural. Ride on the old suspension bridges, cross the rivers, stop to admire colonial steel bridges, visit small markets in the countryside that are still busy, stops at the ancient temples and lined bamboo trees along the country until we reach the Ho Chi trails. We undulate the Ho Chi road today, pass rainforest, picturesque hamlets with a lunch break in Dong Phuc small town.
Following lunch, we bike 15 km on gravel roads, through villages, experience the life of locals along the waterways of Ngan Sau river to Huong Khue, see buffaloes on rice paddies, enter the Huong Khe town, and ride directly to the hotel.
From Huong Hue, we follow a small narrow road, bike into lush fruit orchards of grapefruits, rustic villages, and some villages along sleepy rivers. The country roads are narrow gravel and small tarmac roads, and less traffic with lush orchards and agricultural farms but fewer rice paddies. Stop to visit some fruit orchards and taste some fresh fruits. Next, we enter the west Ho Chi Minh roads and rainforest.
Lunch en route. The routes are smooth asphalt and undulating mountains, rising up and down along the hillsides, through tropical forest, past many small towns and rice paddy farmlands, limestone mountains, valleys, lakes with spectacular mountain views of Truong Son Mountain. Stops at many Ho Chi Minh historical relics, military cemeteries. Challenge the Da Deo Pass, and stop Khe Gat, the old U.S military Airport, before a 30-minute transfer to Phong Nha.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Paradise and Son Doong Caves are some of the most beautiful Caves in Phong Nha. We will explore the incredible Paradise, and Dark Caves combined mud bathing, swimming, kayaking and zip line cable adventures on this trip. Phong Nha is an amazing home to the 360-million-years-old rock formations, the 31km long, the longest and the most beautiful in Asia, the central province. The countryside and surroundings in Phong Nha are fantastic. The small town and it's surroundings have some colonist buildings ring by limestone mountain ranges, lush foothill farms, rice paddies, rivers, and tiny villages make it more rustic and spectacular.
After breakfast, we travel by bus on Ho Chi Minh road to Paradise Cave, spend 3 hours exploring this cave, and travel by bus to a restaurant for lunch. After we take zip line cable to Dark Cave, then take mud bathing and enjoy swimming. We return to Phong Nha town, check out and transfer to Dong Hoi in the afternoon. Dine with the team in the city and sleep early for the next day's adventures early start.
After early breakfast, we leave the hotel at 7:00 am for 1.5 hours, transfer to the famous historic battlefield, visit the Vinh Linh military cemetery before riding on scenic paths, cross the rural farms to Vinh Moc tunnels. The road is mixed of country roads and paths through rustic farmlands and vibrant villages to the sea. The tunnels were under bombardment during Vietnam War from 1966 to 1972. The locals began to dig tunnels in 1965 and finished in 1967 with simple tools in 18,000 days. The total length of the tunnels is nearly 2,000 m long, with six entrances to the tops of hills and seven gates to the sea.
We take the tour with a local guide to get through the tunnels and informed during the visit. Next, we ride another 10 km on a beautiful coastal route to Cua Tung Beach, where we have lunch at a nice restaurant by the beach. After lunch, our ride continues 10 km on a smooth back road along Ben Hai River with views of the fishing port, big and small wooden fishing boats alongside the river bank. We visit the Hien Luong Museum, then walk on the historic Hien Luong Bridge.
This is your opportunity to have photos taken at one of the most famous historic battles of the Vietnam War. Lunch breaks in Dong Ha city, and we follow a narrow way the countryside, for 30 km on small asphalt back roads through rice paddy fields, lush hilly farmlands and the jungles. The routes are primarily undulating, and some are flat and smooth. There will be many stops to experience farmer life along the road and finish today's ride in Cam Lo District. Have a transfer to Ke Sanh township with stopping on the sideroad near Rockpile Hill for photo captures. Stay a night in Khe Sanh.
There are many historic memorials and sites in Khe Sanh and La Bao border gate. One of the well-known battlefields was Ta Con, a former US military Airport with an airstrip used to transport troops and supplies, with many Armed tanks, helicopters, weapons are still there. We visit the old Ta Con Airport, Knows as the Khe Sanh combat base, where relics of the war are exhibited and opens for tourists. Afterwards, the support vehicle takes us to Dak Rong bridge, the friendship bridge built by Cuban.
Then we start today's ride through spectacular scenery. The roads are undulate, up and down, rising along the Dark Rong river. We ride mostly on highway 14 but with significantly less traffic. The scenic ride is through spectacular mountain landscapes, tropical jungle up and down the quiet roads along the river. We will pass many tribe villages, small towns—lunch en route before we challenge Pe Ke Pass. Then we enjoy a downhill ride to A Lin then A Luoi.
A Luoi was an ethnic village controlled by the former French colonial, and it is a township today with a lot of changes. One of the most historical hill bases that attract many tourists every year is the Hamburger Hills, located on the Ho Chi Minh trails and close to the Laos border. The action was primarily an infantry engagement, with the U.S Airborne troops moving up the steeply-sloped hill well-entrenched soldiers in 1969. After 10 days of fighting, U.S Army controlled the hill base.
An option with trekking to hills' top OR skip it and spend more time on cycling.
Have early breakfast, trek 5 km to the peak of Hamburger Hill, visit the museum, gallery rooms, explore the hill bases, look over the Laos border before we are rewinding. Back to the hotel for check out and cycle to Hue. The roads are hilly through the jungle and some gentle Passes. Enjoy dirt tracks cycling through the jungle, pass lush green farmlands, pedal along the quiet river. Stopping to visit Minh Mang Tomb, then continue biking on a pleasant route through the charming countryside on a scenic country road alongside the Perfume River to Hue City.
After leisurely breakfast, we take a walking tour to explore the Purple Citadel on foot and learn more about the Vietnamese culture and ancient and modern history. The Hue Imperial Citadel was built-in 1802 by Nguyen Dynasty, and only the emperor and his eunuchs, servants, and concubines were allowed. It was the feudal political and cultural capital until 1945. Many buildings were destroyed in the Vietnam War during the Tet Offensive 1968. There are many traditional and modern landmark relics to discover.
Afterwards, we'll transfer to a seaside village, and we ride on the fantastic route through the scenic countryside lanes and enjoy some of the most impressive landscapes, passing temples, pagodas, rice fields and fishing villages. Explore the life of locals along the well-known Tam Giang Lagoon, across bridges, small towns, hills and family farms. Then we turn on a small path and ride on flat terrain along ocean Vinh Hien before challenging some slight hills to Phuoc Tuong Pass.
Finally, enjoy lunch at a seafood restaurant by Lang Co beach. Following lunch, we challenge the Hai Van Pass with 12km up and 12 down. The Pass is less traffic because of vehicle tunnels. This is a chance we conquer Hai Van Pass to view the breathtaking scenery. The rest is on vehicle transfer to Hoi An. Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore the ancient town on your own.
Hoi An was the principal port of the Cham Kingdom, which controlled the strategic spice trade with Indonesia from the 7th to the 10th century and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries - and the foreign influences are discernible to this day.
Enjoy your own time after many days to see the country by bicycle. Spend your own time exploring the charming town through narrow streets with plenty of lanterns and along rivers and shopping until departure time. You will be picked up, transferred to Da Nang to catch your flight. Tour End!