Cycle tour central Vietnam's best highlights
Cycle and tour fascinating central Vietnam and it's awe-inspiring limestone cave formations that truly are a wonder to behold. Bike touring this region on a guided trip allows for a much deeper appreciation of the otherworldly landscapes both above and below ground.
This bike tour begins in Hoi An and ends in Phong Nha.
Vietnam offers cyclists a host of remarkable cycling options. Now Grasshopper is proud to extend our central coast biking route from the historic capital of Hue to the cave center of Phong Nha. From historic monuments to small fishing villages and countless rice fields, we see all the beauty and experience the history of the centre of Vietnam. We cross the river boundary of the former DMZ and explore a remarkable underground city from the war era. We cycle a little-visited stretch of coast lined with casuarina pine before descending into the Bong Lai valley outside Phong Nha. Our final day features a private tour of one of the most impressive caves in the region. Join us for this exploration of citadels, countryside and caves as we introduce you to the wonders of Phong Nha.
6 days duration
205 km distance
E-Bike option: $220
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
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Quality, well maintained GT mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with full hydraulic brakes, hybrid tyres for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and comfortable saddles are also provided, with a women's specific version available.
Simple to use and a pleasure to ride the Trek Conduit+ pedal-assist bike expands touring possibilities for all riders, and anything that enables people to explore more of the world by bike is a great thing in our books! Find out more about our E-Bikes here.
Always striving to deliver a premium tour experience Grasshopper Adventures are the first (and currently only) to offer pedal-assist e-bikes as a tour option in Southeast Asia. An upgrade can be purchased for this trip, availability is limited and on a first-in basis. After making your online booking our support team will follow-up requesting your bicycle preference (E-bike or regular). Available from March 2018
The hotels we use are a great, and sometimes unexpected, part of this tour. In the larger cities and established tourist centres we use stylish and supremely comfortable hotels and resorts, while in the smaller and more out of the way areas we stay in the best available accommodation, which is often simple yet always well run, clean and comes with air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
The international profile of Vietnamese food has increased over the last two decades with very good reason. A cuisine that has evolved with the culture and landscape of Vietnam provides for an astounding level of variety from south to north. Each town and city has its own subtle twist on iconic dishes and some of their own creations. Our leaders are passionate about their food and look forward to taking you on a culinary adventure in unison with your cycling adventure. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
2 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
This tour is 100% operated by Grasshopper Adventures. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our fleet of over 300 bikes. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Grasshopper quality.
for Land of Karsts & Caves
Pick-up in Hoi An, Cycle to Hue
Your tour starts with a morning pick up from your hotel in Hoi An, we'll then have a short drive to our launching point at Red Beach in Danang. Enjoying a strong Vietnamese coffee to get you ready for the day ahead, your guide will lead a bike fitting and tour briefing and then we'll hit the road.
Our scenic day of cycling from Danang starts near the base of the iconic Hai Van Pass, a 10km long climb along a winding road with a gradient averaging 5.8%. At the top we enjoy amazing views over the coast before we take the thrilling descent into the charming beachside town of Lang Co.
Lunch Today will be at a small, local, delicious noodle soup shop, we then continue cycling small back roads near the sea and pass many traditional cemeteries. This is considered a desirable place for burial with the ocean and mountain backdrop. In addition to graves, there are a number of memorials for those who, in attempting to flee after the fall of Southern Vietnam, were taken by the ocean. Relatives who resettled in other countries have since returned to construct these memorials. There are a few small hills adjacent to the largest salt-water lagoon in Vietnam but the riding is mainly on flat roads.
At the end of the ride we will transfer into Hue by van, avoiding the congestion on the edge of town, and directly to our hotel.
Hue Day Ride
One of Vietnam's most beautiful and historic cities, Hue does not get anywhere near the tourist attention it deserves. The city centre and countryside are an historic showcase of culture and architecture.
Our biking today takes us to many of the important historic sites of the city - from the Tombs of ancient rulers to the remnants of the stunning Citadel. Before lunch we’ll relax on a lovely small boat heading back to Hue on the Perfume River.
The ride today includes a bit of up and down through the city and countryside. Early afternoon we’ll arrive back to our beautiful hotel where’s there’s time to enjoy the pool or the on-site spa.
Cycle the DMZ and Transfer to Phong Nha
We hop in the van this morning to make up some time heading towards the former border line between North and South Vietnam.
Near the DMZ we set up the bikes and head off to explore this area of significance during the American & Vietnamese war. The bridge across the Ben Hai River marks the former dividing line between North & South. We continue on a scenic route along the coast now showcasing dramatic bluffs to the small village of Vinh Moc. During the war, villagers here created an elaborate tunnel system where commerce and life thrived underground as battles raged along the DMZ.
Later in the day we will hop back in the van for the drive to Phong Nha. The flat coastal countryside quickly gives way to rolling hills and the impressive sight of karsts, the small abrupt mountains for which the region is known.
Tonight is the first of three at the beautiful, remote Chay Lap farm stay. There’s time for a cold beer or a glass of wine, and enough light to capture what will be the first of many memorable photographs of this region.
Cycling Phong Nha National Park & Region
After breakfast this morning we’ll head out for an exploratory ride up and through the Phong Nha valley. Our route takes us along the old Ho Chi Minh trail.
There are a couple of steep climbs through the Phong Nha National Park, but after Hai Van Pass you’ll be well prepared. The support van is always ready to assist just in case.
Following a snack and rest stop we descend down to the town of Phong Nha for lunch. We continue to wind through the beautiful valley, taking a local ferry to cross the river and make it back to Chay Lap by late afternoon.
Phong Nha Cave Exploring
Today is about below ground, not above. Cave exploring is the main reason more and more visitors flock to the region. While on your tour, your Grasshopper guide will discuss cave options and make recommendations based on your physical ability and interest. Our preferred full day cave exploration requires an hour’s trekking. All the caves are stunning. Also, weather conditions above ground may dictate which caves we explore underground.
Dong Hoi Airport/Train
Breakfast at our lodge & farmstay is followed by a transfer to the airport or train depot in Dong Hoi. From the airport here you can fly north to Hanoi, south to Ho Chi Minh City or travel by train to Hue and DaNang.
What's the Riding Like?
Some hilly terrain
4 days riding
Apart from one reasonably steep climb (Hai Van Pass) the riding is achievable for anyone who rides occasionally as a commuter or recreationally on the weekends. Most of the roads are paved back roads and concrete pathways with minimal traffic. There are often sea breezes to keep the temperature down a little. Hai Van Pass is a sustained climb of 10km with a lovely descent of the same length immediately after. The gradient is not overly steep, and once you find a rhythm, it is actually an enjoyable ride with some great views. There are a few other small hills, but we always return to sea level, so the up is a nice trade-off for the down. There is a support vehicle on hand at all times so if you need a break or a lift up the hill just jump in the van and relax.
Being 1650km from north to south Vietnam's seasons vary across the country, making it a year round destination. This also means that you will probably encounter some rain if you are travelling extensively, regardless of your month of travel.
Northern Vietnam (Hanoi & Ha Giang) is cold in the winter months (Nov-Mar), and can be damp and misty, although there are also beautifully sunny days at this time of year.
The central region (Hoi An, Hue & Nha Trang) is wettest from September to December with occasional typhoons, which can occasionally disrupt travel.
The south experiences the regular Southeast Asian monsoon between June and October, with dry sunny weather from November to April. December and January are the coolest months with temperatures rising during April and May leading to the onset of the rains.
Extend Your Stay
The rapidly expanding city of Saigon is an exciting place. If you wish to arrive a day earlier there are at least a couple of activities such as a motor scooter tour that are worth considering. Should you require accommodation, please let us know and we can arrange this, or you can find a huge range of hotels online through our friends at agoda.com:
> Find hotels in Saigon
Halong Bay is a popular extension to this tour. If you wish to do this we can assist you to arrange this. Please inquire at the time of booking. If you are planning to stay longer in Hanoi, we can book you extra nights in our finish hotel or you can find a huge range of hotels online through our friends at agoda.com:
> Find hotels in Hanoi
While in Saigon you might also be interested in our cycling day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
> Find out more about our Cu Chi Tunnels Boat & Bike Day Tour
Create Your Own Date
Don't see the date for this tour to suite your schedule? No problem - create your own date. Chose the dates that you would like to travel and as long as you are happy to open the tour to other people joining we will charge the standard tour price - no markups!
1. You must have booked and paid your deposit for travel dates that are at least 3 months in the future. This just gives us time to promote the trip and find other people to join you.
2. Create Your Own Date for this tour applies for bookings of two or more people only. If you are a solo traveller we can do our best to get a group for the dates you choose but we cannot guarantee standard pricing until we achieve a minimum of 2 people.
3. This offer is subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule.
What our guests tell us...
Don't take our word for it, listen to what guests say about our tours!
The 6 day Land of Karst & Caves, and a 3 day Mekong Delta tour. The tours are very well organised with great itineraries. The guides are great and make sure you have everything you need. The accommodation choices were also very good.
Had a fantastic time with Grasshopper Tours on the bike tour of Land of Karsts & Caves in Vietnam. Everything was wonderful and we saw parts of Vietnam that we never would have experienced without the tour.
Video testimony from other tours...
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