A self-guided bike tour along Vietnam's coast.
With varied terrain to keep the ride interesting, quiet back roads through charming village communities, ancient towns and bustling cities, all within sight of the beach - As far as amazing riding goes, it's hard to beat the coast of Vietnam.
Interested in how Grasshopper Self-guided bike tours work? See our introduction video below or read more about self-guided tours in detail.
This classic cycle route will introduce you to the cultural, scenic and culinary tour de force that is coastal Vietnam. You will explore the rich history and diverse architecture of Hue and Hoi An, ride through seaside villages past bustling fishing ports and cruise the fertile coastal plains. With minimal traffic plus friendly and inquisitive locals at every turn, this is a ride to truly savour and enjoy.
Like the itinerary but short on time? Contact our Travel Experience team directly for a bespoke itinerary that fits your needs.
10 days duration
634 km distance
Difficulty: Somewhat challenging
Solo rider option: $850
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
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Our dedicated Grasshopper Self-guided Adventures app combines navigating technology with visual and audio descriptions of points of interest along your routes, and can be hosted on all Android and iOS devices. The app contains your detailed tour route, podcasts with background information on the regions you will pass through, plus an audio commentary describing points of interest along the way. It also provides dining suggestions along your routes as well in destination locations, with translated menu recommendations. Furthermore, it will provide a and voiced glossaries of common phrases and words, which you can use to find rapport with locals.
On request we can provide iPads if you don’t wish to use your own mobile device.
Grasshopper Self-guided tours are run with our reliable fleet of all-purpose hybrids and mountain bikes, but depending on availability, and for additional fee, our Premium Self-guided offering in Vietnam includes TREK Conduit + e-bike.
TREK e-bike can give you the extra juice with three levels of pedal assist if you want to approach your tour a little more leisurely. All our e-bikes are of the highest quality, fitted with dependable all-weather hydraulic disc brakes and are as lovingly maintained as our regular bike fleet. Read more about our e-bikes.
Upgrade availability is limited, after making your online booking our support team will follow-up requesting your bicycle preference (TREK e-bike or regular).
We choose hotels not just based on star ratings, but for their character, comfort, charm and their ability to work with us to make your journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Self Guided gives us booking flexibility that we don’t usually have with large group tours, so this offer is expanded with some really unique venues. In prominent locations or cities, we generally use hotels in the 3-4 star range. In the minor towns we use the best available accommodation. At the bare minimum you can expect air conditioning, a private bathroom and a comfortable bed.
Exclusively to self-guided tours our bikes come fitted with top of the range GPS navigation units. These biking computers have remarkable customisation capabilities and can easily be ported with all major biking software, such as Strava, RidewithGPS or Kamoot, for all fans of cycling data. Never fear if you are not technically minded, as we've made them accessible to all riders. The device will be customised for you and we will upload the most accurate maps and routes. Furthermore, you will be well briefed on putting it to good use. You can download a free companion app and play around with its setup, download results of a day’s ride, or set yourself daily workout goals.
Before you ride out on your Self-guided adventure, you will be given a set of essential tools to handle all of possible minor repairs, or you can turn to local mechanics for help. However, in an unlikely event of a breakdown you just need to reach out to our representative who will either talk you through basic repairs or organize support in your location, or will help you handle transfer to your destination.
On request, and for additional fee, we provide a premium transfer service, to pick you up anywhere on the road, if you feel you can’t make it to your ride’s destination.
We provide the technology, travel planning and attention to detail so that you can just focus on enjoying the ride. You'll have your pick of great places to eat plus endless opportunities for local interaction as you cycle through regional communities. This is true independent touring without the hassle. It will take you to places you'd never reach any other way and allow you to explore new locations at your own pace.
We provide secure luggage transfers between each of your hotels. This way you can enjoy the ride knowing that when you arrive, your bags will already be waiting in your room. We will also call ahead to ensure that everything is ready for your arrival.
for Ride the Vietnam Ocean Road self-guided bike tour
Arrive in Hue
You will commence your tour in the historic city of Hue, the last seat of Imperial power in Vietnam. A Grasshopper Self-guided representative will meet with you at your hotel to deliver your equipment, conduct a briefing on the road and travel conditions in Vietnam and explain how to use the technology provided. You will then have the remainder of the day free to try out your new wheels and explore this tranquil city with its crumbling citadel walls, the atmospheric Perfume River and colonial French architecture.
Cycle Hue to Lang Co
Once you clear the city limits you will find yourself on country roads with only the occasional vehicle. Rice fields will give way to low sand dunes and farmers’ homes begin to transition into fishing cottages as the ocean finally comes into view. You’ll then enjoy some rolling hills weaving in and out of the coastline throughout the day, there will also be plenty of delicious Vietnamese food along the way to fuel your ride. Lang Co sits on a slim, sandy peninsula between a lagoon and the ocean with a dramatic mountain backdrop. You can expect to encounter very few other people here aside from local Vietnamese families.
Cycle Lang Co to Hoi An
Today you will have a challenging but scenic climb up the Hai Van Pass. A well-made road snakes its way up the mountain, offering views over the ocean and lagoon below. The majority of traffic goes through an alternative tunnel, so you can expect to enjoy a quiet road with a relaxed gradient. The descent down the other side is of equal distance and will lead you along a coastal road into Hoi An, an ancient trade town that has withstood regular floods and multiple wars to remain wonderfully intact and charming as ever.
Cycle My Son
Today you will have a loop ride that takes you from historic Hoi An to the enchanting My Son ruins, a cluster of ancient remains of Hindu tower-temples set amidst a leafy jungle valley. Once the primary intellectual and religious centre of the kingdom of Champa, My Son was discovered by French archaeologists in the 19th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cycle route will take you across rivers and through picturesque countryside, along rural back roads accessible only by bike and hidden from most tourist routes. Passing small villages and rice fields, inquisitive locals will greet you along the way, it will be a day of smiles, history and tranquillity, before returning to lovely Hoi An for the evening.
Rest Day in Hoi An
A day of rest will help prepare you for the riding ahead and allow you to explore the rich history and diverse architecture of this ancient town. There’s an excellent mix of modern and traditional food to enjoy, plus the beach is just a short ride away.
Cycle Hoi An to Tam Ky
As you leave Hoi An, you'll likely see many of the market vendors bringing in their produce from the surrounding farms. Today's ride takes a gravel road through a collection of small fishing villages on another peninsula, where fish are farmed in ponds and ocean-winds whip around the homes dotted along the shoreline. With a push from the sea breeze you continue south towards the next stop, Tam Ky, the capital city of Quảng Nam Province where a delightful hotel and your friendly Vietnamese hosts await.
Cycle Tam Ky to Quang Ngai
Today is one of the few days where you will need to spend some of your ride along a major road. Whilst you can expect to encounter more traffic, the road is very well made and the ride will be smooth. You’ll pass through some manufacturing districts before returning to small coastal roads and quaint villages, where seafood is pulled straight from the ocean and cooked for lunch.
Once your belly is full, you have a short distance remaining to the university town of Quang Nai and the comforts of your hotel. Along the way you pass the solemn but poignant Son My Memorial, the site of one of the most infamous crimes committed by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War – the My Lai Massacre. The memorial site contains a war history museum, gallery and an assembly of sculptures constructed in memory of the multiple civilian victims.
Cycle Quang Ngai to Tam Quan
Arguably one of the best days of the bike tour, today you’ll leave the coast for part of the ride, enjoying some cycling through the hinterland. The route is an intricate set of turns, forks and bends; but the Self-guided app and notes will keep you on track. Expect to ride along canal paths and across rickety bridges, passing plenty of friendly locals working in the fields. For the final leg of the journey you return to the coastline, cycling towards the town of Tam Quan, where you’ll spend the night at a cosy and comfortable beachfront hotel that is well and truly off the beaten path.
Cycle Tam Quan to Bai Xep
The coastline today provides some great scenery, as you encounter a couple of steep, but relatively short hill climbs. Villages are quite sparse in the early part of the day, but the latter part of the ride showcases some modern-day Vietnamese engineering, passing over an immense bridge spanning a huge lagoon, delivering you into the city of Quy Nhon. Quy Nhon is a prosperous coastal city that sits on a headland with a harbour full of colourful squid boats. It is then just a short ride to your accommodation on the beachfront of Bai Xep, a traditional fishing village surrounded by lush mountains.
Pack Up Day
Should you wish to relax in Quy Nhon, a Grasshopper representative will meet you at your hotel and take receipt of the equipment. Alternatively, if you are ready to leave there are daily flights from Quy Nhon airport to Ho Chi Minh city. If you wish to travel further south to Nha Trang then a vehicle can be arranged to take you to this dynamic seaside resort town approximately 3 hours away. If required, the Grasshopper Self-guided team can assist with booking further accommodation or transport for you.
What's the Riding Like?
Some Hilly Terrain
8 days riding
Whilst there are a few days on this bike tour with manageable rolling hills, this route is achievable for anyone who cycles regularly as a commuter or recreationally. Most of the ride will be on well-made roads with minimal traffic, or rural back-roads that are off the beaten path.
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.
Solo Rider & Single Room Options...
When do these apply?
Solo rider? Self-guided bike tours cater perfectly to the solo cyclist who wants to explore at their own pace. If you wish to tour like this please include the Solo Rider Option when completing your booking.
Like a little privacy? If you like the privacy of your own room or are travelling as a group with an odd number of adults (prices are based on twin share rooms) please select the Single Room Option for each private room required.
Single room charges do not apply to those selecting the Solo Rider option.
Why the extra cost? Our carefully calculated pricing is based on twin share rooms and a minimum of two people. Fixed operating costs and hotel pricing require these surcharges.
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