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Cycle and Discover the Highlights of Central Vietnam

Hanoi – PhongNha – Hue - Hoi An – My Son
Including Flights, Hotels, Airport Transfers,
Cycling and food & Sightseeing experience

from £2,315 pp

Period of Travel 14 Mar –17 Dec 2020

Based on 2 people sharing

CENTRAL VIETNAM CYCLING EXPERIENCE

Total Cycling Distance approx. 335 Kilometres -
Average daily Cycling Distance approx. 42 Kilometres.

Our 14-day tour cycling tour of Central Vietnam’soffers’ extraordinary landscapes, from the national park of PhongNha, the coastal area, the cultural city of Hue, the serene Tam Giang lagoon and the stunning Hai Van Pass. The tour is designed for amateur cyclists who are passionate about exploring and who love to be on the move. More than just an active experience, it also gives travellers the unique opportunity of learning from Vietnam’s local people, as well as discovering the country’s mesmerizing culture and fascinating history.

From groups, couple or single cyclists, you can fully engage with your surroundings and really immerse yourself in a destination.

Set Departure Dates (Prices From)

  • Depart UK
  • Depart Danang
  • Twin/Double
  • Single
  • Vietnam Central 03
  • Sat 14 March
  • Thur 26 March
  • £ 2,315
  • £ 2,525
  • Vietnam Central 04
  • Sat 19 April
  • Thur 30 April
  • £ 2,355
  • £ 2,570
  • Vietnam Central 05
  • Sat 9 May
  • Thur 21 May
  • £ 2,235
  • £ 2,450
  • Vietnam Central 06
  • Sun 6 Dec
  • Thur 17 Dec
  • £ 2,325
  • £ 2,535

What's Included:

  • International Flights from UK to Hanoi and Dang to UK
  • All Airport Taxes
  • Return Airport Transfer
  • 11 Nights’ Accommodation including Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Bikes and helmets on cycling days
  • All transfers as per the Itinerary
  • Sightseeing and excursion as per the Itinerary

What’s Not Included:

  • Visa fees (as required)
  • Tips &Expenses of a personal nature.
  • Personal Travel Insurance

The Itinerary

Day 1

Depart UK

Depart UK for your overnight flight to Hanoi

Day 2

Arrival Hanoi

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be transferred to the hotel. In the evening, the guide will meet you in the hotel lobby, and you will then head off to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner.

Day 3

Hanoi - Dong Hoi

On the second day, enjoy a sight-seeing excursion around Hanoi. In the morning, you will begin your full day of discovery of the capital at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - a tribute to the architecture of the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow, his traditional stilt house and the One-Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th century. Later on, you will visit the Ethnology Museum. Created in November 1997 at the Francophonie Summit, it is both a research centre and a public museum featuring the 54 ethnic groups found across Vietnam.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu in Vietnamese), situated in the place once known as the first university of Vietnam. Built in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the university was first opened for princes and mandarins exclusively. With its ancient courtyards, altars and roofs, Van Mieu is a very fine example of Vietnamese architecture. Then, continue your way to the Old Quarter and the surroundings of Hoan Kiem Lake.

In the evening, have dinner in a local restaurant before heading to the railway station for the night train to Dong Hoi.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight on the train (non-private 4-berth soft-sleeper cabin)

Day 4

Arrival in Dong Hoi - Phong Nha

Upon arrival at Doi Hoi station, you will meet the guide and driver for transfer to your hotel in Phong Nha. The early check-in room is included – have breakfast at the hotel and refresh before starting the trip.

At 10:30, the guide will meet the group in the hotel lobby for a trip briefing. You will then travel deep into the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the Paradise Cave. Climb uphill to the entrance, then take another easy walk following a wooden walkway about 1 kilometer underground to visit Paradise Cave - a feast for the eyes and soul.

Afterwards you will take a drive to a local restaurant for refreshments and to taste their specialty: roasted chicken and veggies. After lunch, you will continue to Chay Village. From here, you will hike through surrounding villages, cross the Chay River and trek to the Wine Cave – here the Viet Cong made wine during the war time. It also served as a bomb shelter for local people hiding from the bomb raids during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, this cave still symbolizes love and peace.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at hotel in Phong Nha

Day 5

Phong Nha

On day 4 you will enjoy a cycling tour into the villages of Phong Nha to experience the local lifestyle and culture. The tour takes you along Son River to reach the villages of Bong Lai Valley. Here you will have the opportunity to join in local farming activities in the rice paddies or peanut fields or learn how Vietnamese-style popcorn is made. You will be cycling on unpaved roads and paths, crossing many rice fields. After some uphill climbing, descend into Bong Lai Valley where you will be visiting a local farm run by a Viet Cong veteran couple. Learn how they farm green peppers and other vegetables, and enjoy the seasonal fruits on their farm.

After lunch, you will cycle back to the town to explore the impressive Phong Nha water cave. After 45 minutes of cycling, you will arrive at the boat landing in Phong Nha National Park. A boat ride up a scenic river leads to a gaping maw in the mountain. The motor cuts off, the roof is drawn back, and you are paddled into a surrealistic wonderland. Columns and stalactites of many colors capture the eye one after the other, remarkably resembling giant flowers and mushrooms. There are also some walks to visit Fairy Grotto.

After the visit, travel back to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at hotel

Easia Level: 1 (Moderate)

Distance and duration of cycling: Up to 30 kilometers – 3 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: Mix of paved road and off-road trails

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support / 1-hour boat trip

Day 6

Phong Nha - Hue

After breakfast and check-out, you will depart from Phong Nha. You will travel for 1hr 30min to the starting point of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which the Viet Cong started to construct in May 1959. The Ho Chi Minh original trail facilitated the movement of soldiers and war supplies from North Vietnam to battlefields in South Vietnam.

Next, visit the National War Cemetery – home to over 10,000 soldiers killed during the war along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Pedal along the country roads through the rubber plantations and stop for a break under the shade of the rubber trees. Then cycle onwards to the 17th Parallel - Ben Hai River, the demilitarized zone of Vietnam from 1954 to 1972. You will continue on more uphills and downhills on a single road, through the pepper plantations taking you to Vinh Moc tunnel complex – known as the legendary "Underground City" during the American War in Vietnam. Local people stayed underground for nearly 2,000 days without sunlight in order to remain in their homeland. 17 children were born during this time, all of them underground. Explore the historic tunnels and enjoy the beautiful sea view upon exit.

Enjoy lunch at the seaside restaurant at Cua Tung beach, then travel to Hue in the late afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at hotel

Easia Level: 2 (Difficult)

Distance and duration of cycling: 45 - 55 kilometers – 5 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: Paved roads

Transportation duration: Full-day vehicle support – 3hr 45min

Day 7

A day cycling in Hue

In the morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel and give you a short briefing. The day’s journey will start with a cycle to the Imperial Citadel. Following a tour of the Citadel, start pedaling towards Phu Mong Village, a former mandarin's village distinguished by its beautiful architecture. Then, continue the ride under the cool shade of the trees towards an ancient garden house called Xuan Vien Tieu Cung. Here, you will be welcomed by a local family and share a cup of green tea and fresh fruits from their garden. After saying farewell to your hosts, your journey will take you to the towering Thien Mu Pagoda. After a one-hour visit, cross the river on a local ferry before cycling towards Thuy Bieu Village, where you can admire Hue's absolutely superb landscapes, from the rice fields to the fruit trees, and vegetable gardens. Upon arriving at a quaint local house, enjoy a well-deserved lunch and a relaxing foot bath before heading out again.

In the afternoon, the majestic scenes of the Perfume River will enchant you as you cruise along its banks. After the journey, you will make your way to a craft village, where you will learn more about making incense and traditional hats, until it's time to pedal onwards to Tu Duc Tomb. After visiting the tomb, continue on to a local lagoon to enjoy a tour of an authentic fishing village, where you can see a fishing farm and enjoy the sunset at a local restaurant. At the end of the day, you will be taken back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Easia Level: 2 (Difficult)

Distance and duration of cycling: 45 kilometers – 5 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: A mix between paved roads and dirt roads

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support

Option 1: Transport back from the Lagoon to Hue – 15 kilometers – 20 minutes

Option 2: Possible to reduce the cycling tour to 30 kilometers with return transport from Hue to the Lagoon – 30 kilometers – 40 minutes

Day 8

Hue - Tam Giang Lagoon - Hue

In the morning, you will head to the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia, Tam Giang Lagoon. Located 25 kilometers from Hue, Tam Giang has a pristine and serene beauty that has always attracted visitors to its waters. Along your journey, you will be able to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of the Vietnamese countryside while you stop near a beach where white sand and turquoise waters await you. Following this refreshing break, return to Tam Giang Lagoon and head to a village to meet a local family, before exploring the village itself. Next, after embarking on a boat ride, you can participate in a small net fishing session with the locals and learn about this novel fishing technique.

Finally, you will stop for a lunch of one of the region's specialties, served in a local house. At the end of the ride, return to Hue by private vehicle and enjoy some free time to relax or set out and explore the ancient capital of Vietnam.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Easia Level: 2 (Difficult)

Distance and duration of cycling: 35 kilometers – 2 to 3 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: Flat, easy to ride

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support – transport from Tam Giang Lagoon to Hue - 35 kilometers – 1 hour

Day 9

Hue - Lang Co

On this day you will set out cycling directly from the hotel along the village road from Ngoc Anh to the village of Vinh Ve, where the Chuon Lagoon region of the famous Tam Giang Lagoon is located. The old village draws visitors in with its beautiful, traditional architecture and the old pavilions' sophisticated patterns and lovely carvings of dragons. Later, make a stop at the Vinh Ve Museum to gain a deeper understanding of the locals' way of life.

After visiting the museum, rural paths and the river will lead you through golden paddy fields, which stretch out to the Chuon Lagoon. Take a relaxing break at a local house, before embarking on a short cruise on a local ferry. Disembark, weave through village paths and narrow roads and head to Tu Hien Beach for lunch. After lunch, you will continue cycling another 15 kilometers before reaching the support vehicle; you can ride back in the vehicle or continue cycling back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Easia Level: 3 (Challenging)

Distance and duration of cycling: 65 kilometers – 4 to 5 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: Flat, easy to ride

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support – 13 kilometers – 30 minutes

Day 10

Lang Co - Hai Van Pass - Hoi An

Depending on where your hotel is, you will either start the day with a short van ride or a brief bicycle ride to Lap An Lagoon. Cycling around Lap An Lagoon will be a thrilling experience as you start pedalling hard through the Hai Van Pass. This pass was praised by BBC’s Top Gear as the most beautiful coastal mountain road in the world, and justifiably so! Starting your ascent along zigzagging paths that offer stunning views of jungles, waterfalls, and beaches, you will eventually reach the summit of the Hai Van Pass. Take a well-earned break at the small coffee shop on the top of the hill and enjoy the magnificent views. Then, you will have the choice to keep cycling to Hoi An, or to take the support vehicle at any time once you start riding down the Hai Van Pass to Hoi An.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Easia Level: 3 (Challenging)

Distance and duration of cycling: 30 kilometers – 4 hours

Difference in elevation: +496 meters – 11 kilometers with an ascent gradient between 8-10%

Terrain: Good road, high ascent

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support – 60-kilometer trip to Hoi An after lunch – 1 to 1hr 30min

Day 11

Hoi An

During the morning, take a leisurely ride along Hoi An's main road. After a while, you will arrive at Hoi An's Old Town, where cars are now prohibited, so you can enjoy the seemingly timeless atmosphere of the district. Riding your bicycle through the Old Town's tiny alleys, you will be able to explore both the culture and lifestyle of Hoi An that escapes many tourists. Continue riding ahead to a small village that is surrounded by areca trees. Take a break here and try some delicious, grilled seafood and coconut rice paper at a welcoming, local house. After some tasty delights, head over the bridge to the other side of the Thu Bon River, where you will visit Dong Binh, a mat weaving village, where you can truly immerse yourself in the region's pastoral tranquility. From there, you will continue on to the carpenter's village to have a look at their beautiful wooden furniture, before boarding a local ferry to head back towards the old town and to reach Tra Que Village. This charming little village is famous for its diversity of fresh herbs and vegetables, all of which grow in picturesque fields where the local coconut trees sway gently in the wind. Pay a visit to a local host in Tra Que, rest in private and relax with a foot massage while enjoying a lovely local meal full of aromatic local produce.

Finally, return to the town after lunch, perhaps resting for a while at the hotel before sightseeing in Hoi An's Old Town.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel

Easia Level: 2 (Difficult)

Distance and duration of cycling: 35 kilometers – 3 hours

Difference in elevation: None

Terrain: Flat, easy to ride

Transportation: Road transport maximum 30 minutes, depending on the hotel location

Day 12

Hoi An - My Son - Hoi An

On your second last day, set out on Hoi An's characteristically narrow streets before reaching a small pier, where you will take a local ferry to cross the river. At your first stop, you will meet a local craftsman and get a closer look at the beautiful wooden furniture he creates. After this visit and some more cycling, you will have the opportunity to stop in a local house and try your hand at rice paper making, a delightful, authentic experience that seems simple, but requires some talent! After you make and eat your delicious snack, continue on the main road for few minutes before heading off to completely immerse yourself in the rural countryside.

After a lunch break, you will visit the My Son sanctuary: the most important Cham archaeological site in central Vietnam. Dating back to the 4th and up to the 13th centuries, the 70-building complex demonstrates that the Cham civilization was contemporary and in line with the Khmer civilization. This makes My Son comparable to sites like Angkor in Cambodia, Borobudur in Indonesia, and Bagan in Myanmar.

After exploring the sanctuary, ride back in the van to Hoi An and your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Easia Level: 2 (Difficult)

Distance and duration of cycling: 40 kilometers - 4 hours

Difference in elevation: 0 to +30 meters

Terrain: Mainly paved roads, with some off-road paths through local villages

Transportation: Full-day vehicle support

Transport back to the hotel at the end of the visit (40 kilometers – 1 hour)

Note: Possible to cycle back to the hotel for another 40 kilometers, but via the same road

Day 13

Departure Danang Airport

On your last day you will have breakfast at the hotel, check out and transfer to Danang airport for onward flight to the UK

Day 14

Arrive UK

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