Ho Chi Minh Trail Bike Ride: Hanoi to Hoi An 10 Days

Explore Vietnam’s beauty on our Ho Chi Minh Trail bike ride! Discover the stunning landscapes from Hanoi to Hoi An. Experience the thrill of cycling through lush valleys, picturesque villages, and historic sites. Join our Ho Chi Minh Trail bike tour for an unforgettable adventure.


Explore Vietnam’s beauty on our Ho Chi Minh Trail bike ride! Discover the stunning landscapes from Hanoi to Hoi An. Experience the thrill of cycling through lush valleys, picturesque villages, and historic sites. Join our Ho Chi Minh Trail bike tour for an unforgettable adventure.

Over the next ten days, we’ll pedal our way through diverse terrains, from lush valleys to historic trails, and even coastal roads with stunning vistas. Our journey will take us from the bustling streets of Hanoi to the tranquil beauty of Mai Chau, through remote mountain ranges, past war relics, and into the enchanting world of Phong Nha National Park. We’ll explore caves, pass through charming villages, and learn about the fascinating history of Vietnam.

This adventure is more than just a cycling trip; it’s a cultural immersion, a chance to meet locals, and an opportunity to witness Vietnam’s stunning natural beauty up close. So fasten your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready for an incredible exploration of Vietnam’s hidden treasures. Your readers are in for a treat, and you’re in for an unforgettable experience!



Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau.

The Vietnam Cycling team will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi. We’ll start our journey to Mai Chau early in the morning, and the drive is simply breathtaking. From the summit of Cun Mountain, you can take in the panoramic view of Mai Chau’s lush green valley with its charming stilt houses dotting the landscape. We’ll have an early lunch at Poom Coong village before we embark on our cycling adventure. We’ll ride on a combination of well-maintained single-track paths and undulating rough jeep trails, taking us to the Thai village of Cun Pheo. Along the way, you’ll be treated to remarkable views as we pass through villages, hot springs, suspension bridges, and picturesque rice paddies. We’ll spend the night in Mai Chau.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Yen Cat.

We’ll kick off the day early to beat the heat. Our journey will lead us away from the river, taking us through a range of mountains stretching from Mai Chau to Cuc Phuong to Hoa Lu. You’ll have ample opportunities for stunning photos with the ever-present and majestic Karst limestone cliffs and abundant lush vegetation. Although we’ll be on a paved road, the terrain can be a bit challenging due to its rolling nature. At Ngoc Lac, we’ll board a bus to transfer to Nhu Xuan, giving our tired legs a rest. We’ll spend the night in a local hotel in Nhu Xuan.

Day 3: Yen Cat – Vinh.

Today, our ride will take us on the newly constructed two-lane Ho Chi Minh Highway. Despite light traffic, this road provides a smooth and fast cycling experience. For those who prefer it, there’s also the older gravel highway that meanders alongside the new one, offering plenty of exploration opportunities. A must-see along the route is the birthplace of President Ho Chi Minh in Kim Lien village. This province has a history of producing charismatic revolutionary leaders; not only was Ho Chi Minh born here, but also Phan Boi Chau, another fervent anti-colonialist. From Kim Lien, we’ll likely transfer to Vinh city by bus or car.

Day 4: Vinh – Huong Khe.

After breakfast, our shuttle will take us back to the Ho Chi Minh Highway. We’ll disembark at Pho Chau, where our cycling adventure begins. Today’s roads wind their way through lush jungles and picturesque villages nestled in the shadow of the historic Truong Son Mountain range. By day’s end, we’ll reach Huong Khe, a remote town in Nghe An province. We’ll spend the night in a standard guesthouse.

Day 5: Huong Khe – Phong Nha National Park.

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll continue our journey on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. From Huong Khe, the mountains rise majestically, and the road winds along the hillsides. The scenery is breathtaking, and the road peaceful. We’ll cycle up to 80km and then transfer to Phong Nha National Park. The park is home to one of Vietnam’s most spectacular caves, which was formed around 250 million years ago and served as a hospital and ammunition depot during the war. The entrance still bears the marks of aircraft attacks. There are ongoing community projects with Flora and Fauna International, and you may have the opportunity to visit village initiatives and learn more about the forests. We’ll spend the night in a standard National Park Guest House.

Day 6: Phong Nha National Park – Dong Hoi.

After breakfast, we’ll visit the magnificent Phong Nha cave by boat and explore the cavern, passing by ancient Cham ruins. The stalactites and stalagmites here are awe-inspiring. Exploring the cave typically takes a few hours, after which we’ll return to the hotel. We’ll then hop back on our bikes and head toward the charming town of Dong Hoi.

Day 7: Dong Hoi – Khe Sanh.

For a brief detour from the Ho Chi Minh highway, we’ll drive approximately 100km along a flat stretch of Highway 1 to visit the Vinh Moc Tunnels. These 2.8km tunnels served as a refuge for the Vietnamese during heavy bombardments by American troops during the Vietnam War. Just 30km from Dong Ha, we’ll resume our cycling journey across the DMZ, better known as the 17th Parallel. The road is mostly flat and perfect for cruising. Along the way, you’ll pass by remnants from the war, ultimately reaching the Vietnam/Laos border town of Khe Sanh, where some of the most intense battles of the war took place. We’ll spend the night in a hotel in Khe Sanh.

Day 8: Khe Sanh – A Luoi.

After exploring Khe Sanh, we’ll begin our ride on H9 to Dakrong Bridge, then turn onto the southern section of the HCM Trail. This will lead us into the mountains along a remote and extraordinary road to the small town of A Luoi. The route takes us through dense forests and stunning landscapes. A Luoi is home to various ethnic minorities and is known for the historic Hamburger Hill.

Day 9: A Luoi – Hue.

Following breakfast, we’ll leave the HCM Trail for good and cycle 60km to reach Hue. The ride is relatively easy as the terrain is mostly flat. You’ll pass through charming villages, lush jungles, and alongside rivers. Our ride concludes at Bach Ho Bridge, and we’ll take a short bus ride for the last 12km into Hue.

Day 10: Hue – Hai Van Pass – Hoi An.

Today, we head south to Hoi An, crossing the famous Hai Van Pass, often called the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds.’ Our journey will take us via Lang Co Beach, where we’ll conquer a couple of 2km climbs before enjoying a thrilling descent covering 20 kilometers. Upon reaching Da Nang, we’ll wrap up the cycling portion of our adventure and switch to a comfortable vehicle for a 60-minute transfer to Hoi An.

Ho Chi Minh Trail bike tours

Vietnam Cycling is a local bike tour operator housing an experienced team of biking guide, bike mechanic, driver, cycling tour consultant and bicycle specialists. We can create a unique, custom-designed independent itinerary that is fully adapted to your needs, whether you are traveling solo, with family and friends, or as a group. The itinerary above is only a sample that can be re-designed to better fit your needs and/or budget. Please click here to let us know what you are interested in adding or excluding to customize a selected itinerary or to design a completely new program just for you.

Additional Information

Depart from

End at

Hoi An, Quang Nam

Activity level


Upon request


Places to visit

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Travel style

Trip duration


English-speaking guide, Some snacks provided during the ride, Support truck


Accommodation, Beverage, Bike hire, Boat trips, Drinks at mealtimes, Flight tickets, Meals, Personal expenditure, Sightseeing entrance fees, Tips, Travel insurance


Tours and services may not be available on public holidays, or may be available at an additional surcharge.

Pick-up location

Most of our trips begin from our bike garage (both private and group tours), so transportation from your hotel to our bike shop (or v.v) is not included in the quote. We can arrange the service (with extra charge), and reservation needs to be made in advance.


Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary prior to travel. If you have any queries, please contact us.

Please note that while we operate successful cycling holidays in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.


Negotiating prices is a common practice in Vietnam, particularly in open-air markets, street shops, and rural areas. However, we are not good at bargaining and do not prefer this practice. Instead, we focus our time and efforts on tour arrangements, and our prices are fixed.


Depending on the type of the bicycle tour as well as the proposed option, the following services may be included in the trip price.

  • English-speaking guide.
  • Transportation.
  • Bike hire.
  • Lunch.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees.
  • Some snacks and bottled water provided while cycling.

Please bear in mind Vietnam Cycling specializes in tailor-made trips, so the price varies depending on the size of your group, date of tour as well as other details. Please contact us for more details.


Unless required most of the following services are not included in the tour price.

  • Visa.
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation.
  • Bicycle rental (option).
  • Bike mechanic (option).
  • Meals (option).
  • Drinks.
  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.


Visitors are required to have a valid visa to Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors.


The official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in Vietnam. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the two largest networks with a limit a single withdraw limit. Most major currencies can be exchanged in Vietnam, but the USD is the most preferred. The exchange rate 1 USD = 23,280 VND. Please visit local bank’s website for updated information.


Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons – the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.

Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam. The north Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with temperature in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry. The best time visit Vietnam is spring (February – April) or Autumn (late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppressive from May to the early September.


Wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Our tour guide often carry first aid kit while riding. Please follow your guide while biking, and much attention is required while you cross streets.

Difficulty levels

To assist you visualize how our bike trip is difficult, we have graded our Vietnam cycling tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging. We group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, and vehicle support.


Involves cycling for up to two to three hours a day at easy pace and usually, less than 3 days in duration. The cycling distances is around 15 – 30 km per day. There are likely to be no steep and sustained descents as well as demand for technical riding. We will normally ride on flat roads. Suitable for bikers who enjoy occasional weekend riding on trails at home. Push bikes are sometimes used for these itineraries.


Involves biking for up to six hours a day at a steady pace and are usually between three to five days in duration. The cycling distance is about 35 – 55 km per day. Sometimes it can be long flat rides or medium ride with few up and downhill climbs. The support vehicle will not always be available. We will need a good level of fitness. We use either mountain bikes or road bikes for these itineraries.


Involves biking in mountainous areas with big climbs for up to seven or eight hours a day and usually more than a week in duration. Cycling distance is about 60 – 80 km per day. There will be steep and sustained ascents and descents. The support vehicle will not always be available. These trips will provide a real sustained workout even for fit and experienced mountain bikers.


When cycling we mostly stay in small hotel, guesthouse or homestay. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail. In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four star hotels (price option).

Camping is not available on cycling tours in Vietnam unless it is required and this should be booked months in advance. Camping is only available in a limited number of places such as Cat Ba island beach, Cuc Phuong national park…Please see the details on the quote.

Tour guide

Most of our tour guides speak English. Some other speak French. Few speak other language such as German, Russian, Spanish. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling. Our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding.

Bike mechanic

We arrange a bike mechanic only for large groups or when it is required (with surcharge). When there is no mechanic, our guide will take care of problem which may occur during the bike ride.


Depending on the nature of the tour, our cycle journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections. We often use mini bus or bus for transfer and back up (guided tours).

  • 1 – 2 travelers: we use minivan to support and carry bikes. Sometimes we use a car for passengers and a truck for transport of the bikes.
  • 3 – 6 people: we use one minivan for passengers and one truck for the bikes.
  • 7 – 12 people: we use one bus (coach) for passengers and one truck for the bikes.

We provide bike rental and truck for self-guided bike tours.

We sometimes use local push-bikes (single-speed bicycles) where possible or when it is required. In this case, our cars will be arranged as follows.

  • 1 – 2 passengers (with a tour guide): 4 seat car.
  • 3 – 6 passengers (with a tour guide): 15/16 seat minivan.
  • 7 – 12 passengers (with a tour guide): 29 seat coach/bus.

Bikes repairs

Basic spares and tools kit are generally carried by our guide or bike mechanic or on the support vehicle, although we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem.

Food and drinks

All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner), are included in the tour price. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food. Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking. Beverage and alcoholic drinks are not included at mealtime or in restaurants.

Snacks and water

When we transfer, ride by minibus (no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you in the car/van. When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water (summer) plus fresh tropical fruits, soft drinks are also available in the car/van. Please take a look at the “Inclusions” section on our our service proposal to see whether the service is included in the price. Please note drinks are not included at mealtime or in restaurant.


Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for traveling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.

What you take will naturally depend upon where you are traveling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.


  • 2 pairs of riding shorts
  • 2 riding jerseys (quick-dry)
  • 2 pairs of quick dry socks for cycling
  • Comfortable shoes for biking and walking
  • Riding gloves
  • 2-3 t-shirts or casual shirts
  • Trousers or jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of casual socks for non-cycling activities
  • 3-5 sets of underwear (quick-dry)
  • Cool-weather jacket or rain jacket
  • Extra layers and gloves for cooler season or climate (thin, thermal, water-wicking)
  • Bathing suit
  • Sandals


  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Razor
  • Hair brush
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Passport, wallet and ID
  • Health insurance card
  • Travel insurance card
  • Cash and/or credit cards
  • Camera (with spare battery)
  • Plastic bags (for dirty laundry, wet clothes)
  • Electronic chargers (for camera, e-reader, cell phone)
  • Adaptors or convertors


Tipping for good services is always appreciated. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for.

We recommend about 4-6 USD/traveler/day for the tour guide, about 2-3 USD/traveler/day for the driver (or the mechanic). Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality, the length and the difficulty of your trip.


Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.

Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

Need further information? Check our FAQ page here or contact us.


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