If you’re flying into Hanoi today you will be met by your driver outside Gate A1 as you exit the arrivals hall. Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign. If you cannot find the sign, please call the emergency number provided. You will have time to relax at your hotel and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. The capital of Vietnam is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, full of culture, history and the engaging contradictions of a rapidly developing and deeply traditional society. In the late afternoon we will have a group meeting being held in the hotel foyer (time indicated in your final documents). You are then invited for a warm and hospitable meal with a Hanoian family. On arrival, the friendly host will give you a big welcome and introduce their household. You'll sip some tea and share insights about Vietnamese culture, customs and habits. Around the dining table the host will tell us more about Vietnamese cuisine which emphasises freshness of produce - vegetables, herbs and spices. Your meal will include authentic local dishes which are popular among the locals. Here, you can eat, chat, and learn some basic Vietnamese phrases like: xin chào (hello), ngon (delicious), and cam on (thank you).
Overnight: Skylark Hotel or similar
After an early breakfast, we spend the morning enjoying a brief sightseeing tour of Hanoi’s major landmarks including the gardens of the Presidential Palace within the Ho Chi Minh complex and the Temple of literature.
We then have lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the bike depo where we will be equipped to start our ride. We depart directly from the depo along the dyke road out of Hanoi. We head North along the Red River, quickly exiting the urban jungle and the road changes into a quaint rural route. The ride takes us through cultivated areas and carpenter's villages. The ride is about 50km until we reach Duong Lam ancient village. From there we continue another 10km on flat road and end up with a 600-meter elevation climb to the heights of Ba Vi National Park.
Check-in to your resort and relax for the evening.
Cycling: 70km / sealed road / flat then a 10km ascent
Overnight: Ba Vi Resort or similar
After a greedy breakfast, we hop in the vehicle for a 20km transfer to our starting point. From here we descend down Mount Ba Vi then ride through the National Park to its most western edge where the Da River flows. Our ride today is a total of 75km, first across the National Park and then along the Da River for about 25km. There we hop on a local ferry to cross the river. Lunch will be arranged en-route at a local restaurant. After the river crossing, the following 40km takes us slowly up a scenic road in the mountains of Hoa Binh Province before the 10km descent to the huge Da Reservoir. Welcome to the wild and remote Muong ethnic lands, a natural haven providing an edge of the world atmosphere. We are welcomed in to a traditional Muong house by the host family. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake before sitting down for a home cooked dinner.
Cycling: 75km / sealed road / 25km flat – 35km uphill – 15km downhill
Overnight: Traditional Muong homestay (multishare)
We bid farewell to our hosts and load our bikes on a local boat to set sail across this beautiful blue reservoir surrounded by towering jungle covered mountains. Sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery as the crossing takes around an hour. From the pier, we start with a fairly steep 4km ride uphill to exit the foothills of the reservoir and get back on the road. We continue for another 20kms along flat roads before reaching the Mai Chau mountainous region. Enter the territory of the White Thai, a large valley carpeted in rice fields, hamlets of stilted houses and surrounded by limestone mountains. We cycle to a traditional guesthouse on stilts where we break for lunch. In the afternoon, we have a 40km ride to our lodge. We continue cycling towards the Laos border before veering off to the east to enter the Pu Luong Nature Reserve. The sceneries change, the road tracks the mountainside with overviews down deep and tight valleys of terraced rice fields. The changes in elevation are insignificant for the initial 15 km before we start a 15km ascent before being rewarded with a 10km downhill. We arrive at a beautiful lodge perched on the mountainside. Enjoy a dip in the swimming pool with the most spectacular views.
Cycling: 65km / sealed road / 35km flat – 20km uphill – 10km downhill
Overnight: Pu Luong Retreat - stilt house (multishare)
Today we complete our journey across the reserve. It starts with a 10km ride downhill to Pho Doan Village and the gates of the nature reserve. From here we take a hidden route that very few know which leads us towards the historical Ho Chi Minh trail. This stretch is particularly scenic and the local people living here are renowned for being incredibly friendly. The following 60km are along gently undulating terrain before we get the bikes in the truck and hop on the bus to transfer to our resort at the doorstep of Van Long Nature Reserve. Check-in the room before gathering at the pier nearby to enjoy a traditional sampan ride on the waters of the largest wetland reserve in the country. This area is famous for the abundance of waterfowl.
Cycling: 70km / sealed road / 60km flat – 10km downhill
Overnight: Emeralda Resort or similar
After 280km riding across some of the most beautiful landscapes of Northern Vietnam, we take a break from riding and indulge in two days of rest. Early breakfast for an early departure to Ha Long Bay. We drive across the Red River delta and reach the coast little before noon where we embark on a beautifully crafted wooden junk for a 1 night cruise in the legendary turquoise seascape of Ha Long Bay. Once aboard, we are served a delicious seafood buffet lunch as we cruise between the soaring limestone karsts. In the afternoon we reach a less traveled area and will devote ourselves to relaxation, sunbathing and visiting of a cave if you wish. The program is not fixed and depends on the time of the year and weather. We end the day with sundowners and will hopefully be treated to a spectacular sunset. It is time for an aperitif or to attend a cooking demonstration before dinner.
Overnight: Bhaya Classic Cruise or similar
Rise early to catch the sunrise and enjoy a Tai Chi session on deck or just relax with a tea or coffee. We have the chance to visit a floating village before making our way back to land. While cruising back to the pier brunch is served on deck for your last opportunity to take in the amazing scenery. Upon disembarkation we drive to Hanoi, where you will have time to refresh and have dinner before heading to the train station. The night train has long been a staple in long distance travel in Vietnam and to visit without experiencing this as the locals do is definitely missing out. After trundling through the Tam Diep Mountain range of the north we pass through the Annamite range of central Vietnam before reaching our destination, Hue.
Overnight: Soft sleeper 4-berth cabin with A/C
The train arrives at about 9am. Hue is a cradle of culture and the last imperial capital of Vietnam. This morning we visit the major landmark of Hue’s heritage, the Imperial Citadel. It offers us an interesting insight into Hue’s recent feudality and helps us to understand the changes which occurred in just a few decades in Vietnam.
After lunch we hop back on our bikes to cycle around 45km on flat roads. We head northeast on the impressive “road of the tombs” to the shore of the Tam Giang Lagoon. Here we hop on a local boat and journey across the lagoon, the longest of the country at 70km from north to south, and learn about the ancestral fishing techniques of the locals. Once we bid farewell to our boatman and ride south along the barrier beach road to Phu Thuan and a lovely boutique resort located on the beach. Check-in then enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing. Choose from the sea or the swimming pool for a refreshing dip.
Cycling: 45km / sealed road / 45km flat
Overnight: Ana Mandara Resort or similar
Enjoy a breakfast on the beach to start the day in the best possible way. Then get ready for our 70km ride today. This is easy going, mostly flat with some small climbs toward the end. The whole day takes us along the lagoon and its different pools. We follow a small road with very little traffic, bordered in some stretches by pine forest.
We reach the buffer zone of Bach Ma National Park and then ride along the Chan May and Lang Co Bays to reach a resort right at the foot of the famous Hai Van Pass.
Drop the bikes and relax on the beach or by the swimming pool.
Cycling: 70km / sealed road / 70km flat
Overnight: Lang Co Beach Resort or similar
Today will be the day we remember for having conquered the legendary Hai Van Pass. This massive coastal mountain serves as the major climatic barrier in Vietnam. 11 kilometers up and 11 kilometers down on “one of the best coastal road in the world” as described by Jeremy Clarkson from the television show Top Gear. We will celebrate our conquering of this mountain by enjoying ice creams on the summit before enjoying the descent all the way down to to Da Nang, the fastest growing city in Vietnam.
From Da Nang, we have a further 30km to ride before reaching the beautiful ancient port town of Hoi An. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in this atmospheric riverside town.
Cycling: 65km / sealed road / 43km flat – 11km uphill – 11km downhill
Overnight: Vinh Hung Emerald Resort or similar
Following yesterday's conquest, enjoy a whole day at leisure in this picturesque town. Wander it's ancient alleys of the famous Old Quarter or venture down to the beach just 4km away.
Overnight: Vinh Hung Emerald Resort or similar
This morning we transfer by car to Da Nang Airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh, we drive to the hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name, Saigon is the largest city in the Vietnam. Modern with a huge density of people and some truly crazy traffic which follows its own rules. This city is not the place for cyclist and so in the afternoon we will walk, a gentle stroll around the city center to unveil some very well preserved colonial buildings that give the city an interesting contrasting atmosphere. The walk ends on Pasteur Street where we will visit the taproom of the craft beer pioneers in Vietnam. Enjoy a beer tasting session before returning to the hotel.
Overnight: Le Duy Grand or similar
This morning we transfer by bus to Hoc Mon Town. From here we commence our 20km ride through rubber plantations and rice fields to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels were of significant importance to the Viet Cong forces during the Vietnam/ American war. Visiting the tunnels we learn about the history of the site and also have the opportunity to explore some of the expansive underground system ourselves. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant before continuing another 10km before hopping back on the bus and transferring back to the city.
Cycling: 30km / sealed road / 30km flat
Overnight: Le Duy Grand or similar
The day is free at your leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant onward journey. End of services.