Hanoi Cycling lets you experience the beautiful countryside of the Vietnam’s capital, as well as rural Hanoi village life from up close. Pedaling on the back roads, through countryside lanes while greeting local farmers and school kids as you pass by, all add to an immersive experience!
Hanoi means “the hinterland between the rivers” (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi’s territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.
Hanoi is subdivided in different districts and town including Son Tay, Ba Dinh, Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Ha Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hoang Mai, Long Bien, Nam Tu Liem, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan, Ba Vi, Chuong My, Dan Phuong, Dong Anh, Gia Lam, Hoa Duc, Me Linh, My Duc, Phu Xuyen, Phuc Tho, Quoc Oai, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Thanh Oai, Thach That, Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa.
History of Hanoi
In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Hanoi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Chinese domination.
In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theater of many fateful events.
Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen to the north, Vinh Phuc and Ha Tay provinces to the west and south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east and south-east.
How to get to Hanoi?
Hanoi is 93km from Ninh Binh, 102km from Haiphong, 153km from Thanh Hoa, 151km from Halong, 474km from Dien Bien Phu, 658km from Hue, 763km from Danang, and 1,710km from Ho Chi Minh City.
Noi Bai International Airport, over 35km from the city center, is one of the biggest airports of the country with various international and domestic routes. There are domestic flights from Hanoi to Da Nang, Dien Bien, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang and international flights to many countries in over the world.
Hanoi Railway Station is Vietnam’s main railway station. It is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every province in Vietnam.
When to go cycling in Hanoi?
Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.20C (73.70F) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.20C (62.90F), but can go down to 80C (46.40F). The average temperature in summer is 29.20C (84.60F), but can reach up to 390C (102.20F).
The best time of the year for biking in Hanoi is probably October through February when the rainy season finishes and the weather is cooler. If you take a bike tour in May, it is very hot during the day – around 35°C and sometimes up to 40°C at the hottest time of the day. You should get up early and bike in the morning. The hottest time of the day seems to be between 1pm and 3pm so you can find an outdoor cafe and lie on a hammock, take a nap and ride a few more hours in the late afternoon.
What to explore on your bike tour in Hanoi?
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Hanoi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Taking a Hanoi bicycle tour offers the chance to explore downtown Hanoi with its famous travel sites such as the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum…
Hanoi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake…, which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy. We at Vietnam Cycling run a 3 hour bike ride in early morning around Hoan Kiem Lake, and Hanoi West Lake.
Join us on a Hanoi cycling day tour to discover many traditional handicrafts villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk…
Cycling routes Hanoi
Cycling from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
Cycling from Hanoi to Mai Chau
Cycling from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Cycling from Hanoi to Sapa
Cycling from Hanoi to Luang Prabang
Hanoi cycling tours
Here we’ve compiled all of the popular cycling spots in and around Hanoi, covered by our great selection of exciting Hanoi cycling tours. Terrain and highlights vary: from biking at a leisurely pace through countryside villages in suburban Hanoi, to riding over undulating topography of hillside neighborhoods, all of which reward you with breathtaking vistas usually inaccessible by car.
Our bike tours suit all level of ages and skills, from kids, teens to elderly people and from the beginner to the most advanced of riders as the tracks are mostly flat. Children’s bike and baby/child seats are also available. A wide range of cycling tracks are available for you. Not only rural villages and rice paddies, we offer you more… off-road paths, secret village’s back roads, dense plantations and bamboo forest are just a few of them. Our routes are also flexible and can accommodate any level of experiences. From the easiest to the most challenging are available depending on your requests and preferences.
11 Day Trip Vietnam North to SouthRead more
13 Day Itinerary Vietnam North to SouthRead more
7 Days Biking Vietnam North West HighlandsRead more
Bat Trang Hanoi Cycling, Cooking Day Tour$ 109 – $ 153 Select options
Bike Tour Northern Vietnam 6 DaysRead more
Biking Hanoi Handicraft Villages 1 Day$ 77 – $ 122 Select options
Read more: Hanoi cycling tours
Additional questions about cycling in Hanoi?
Do you have any questions about bicycle touring in Hanoi that you want to ask us? Is there anything you think I should discuss about cycling around Hanoi that we left out… that we should include in future updates to this article? Leave a comment below with your questions and we’ll write you back with a response just as soon as we possibly can.