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Cycling Vietnam

14 days
from
$1,855 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 210 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
MOV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–18

Experience the real Vietnam by bike

We ride from vibrant Saigon in the south to the chaotic capital of Hanoi in the north on this two week cycling tour, travelling on tarmac roads through colourful fishing villages, folding rice terraces and mountains cloaked in jungle. The vast shoreline of white sandy beaches is ours to discover along the way, with time to swim in the sea on a tropical island retreat. Stopping off at the ancient trading port of Hoi An, home to temples and wooden merchant houses, we delve into the peacefulness of rural Vietnam before ascending the Hai Van Pass, riding along twisting coastal roads that lead to remarkable views of the misty forest below.

Highlights

  • Take a cycling holiday through Vietnam’s most scenic landscapes
  • Savour mouth-watering cuisine
  • Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Relax in charming Hoi An
  • Cruise among the limestone formations of Halong Bay
  • Overnight on a tropical island

Key information

  • 11 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night boat, 1 night sleeper train
  • 9 days cycling (including 1 optional ride) with 90% vehicle support
  • Roads nearly all good tarmac
  • The route is generally flat with some undulation and the exception of Dalat and the Hai Van Pass
  • Group normally 5 to 18, plus local leaders

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - hotel nights only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 100% tarmac

Day by day breakdown
Day 230.0km/18.0miles
Day 350.0km/31.0miles
Day 460.0km/37.0miles
Day 5100.0km/62.0miles
Day 790.0km/55.0miles
Day 850.0km/31.0miles
Day 1080.0km/49.0miles
Day 1125.0km/15.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Saigon
to
Hanoi
  • Day 1

    Start Saigon

    Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon, is an exciting and absorbing city where bicycles battle with lorries and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, Saigon is now a bustling free market city where anything goes. The Ben Thanh Market and Notre Dame Cathedral are within easy walking distance and are highly recommended.

    This evening there will be a welcome briefing with you leader followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
    Huong sen Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Transfer out of the city; cycle to the Cu Chi tunnels

    This morning we drive out of the city, before riding to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This offers a great introduction to cycling in Vietnam and a chance to fine-tune the bikes. The tunnels were Viet Cong sanctuaries, used by the guerrillas as living quarters and escape routes. The network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of tunnels. Some parts have been widened for tourists, but the tunnels were originally very narrow and it is still necessary to crawl on hands and knees. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine!

    If you prefer not to visit the tunnels you can have an unguided free day in Saigon. Places of interest include: the Emperor of Jade and Giac Lam pagodas, the former Presidential Palace (now the Reunification Hall), Ben Thanh market and the War Remnants Museum. 
    Huong sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Cycle towards the coast and drive to Mui Ne

    After an early breakfast we head out of Saigon by bus and then start cycling towards the coast. We hit the backroads and head through tropical fruit and rubber plantations also passing some small fishing villages as we make our way closer to the coast finishing our ride in time for lunch. We then transfer approx. 3 hours to Mui Ne, a tranquil white sand beach where we can witness our first sunset over the South China Sea. We spend approx. 4-5 hours on the bus today. 

    Sea Links Beach Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Cycle to Dalat in the Central Highlands

    We cycle towards Dalat; the route is undulating with occasional climbs. Along the way we pass coffee and tea plantations as well as flower gardens and pine forests as we reach higher altitude. We rejoin the bus before the road climbs steeply to the mountain town of Dalat. We spend approx 3.5 hours on the bus today.

    Dalat is a pleasant hill station, formerly known as Le Petit Paris, and has been described as the most beautiful town in Vietnam. It was favoured by the French for its climate, and is now a popular honeymoon resort for the Vietnamese. 
    Sammy Hotel Dalat or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Cycle through Bidoup N.P.; to the coast and boat transfer to Whale Island

    Today's ride is predominantly undulating and approximately 30km downhill through pine forests and paddy fields as we descend nearly 1,500m travelling through the Bidoup Ba National Park. This area is home to rare pine forests as well as small villages inhabited by the ethnic minority people of the central highlands. Once we arrive at the coast, we head by bus (approx. 1.5 hours) to the coast near Nha Trang before boarding a boat to our tropical island retreat of Whale Island for the next two nights. CToday you can cycle up to 100km according to preference.
    Whale Island Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

    Having a rest from the bikes today we get the opportunity to really relax and unwind. We will join a boat trip in the morning for a spot of snorkelling and swimming in the turquoise sea before a seafood lunch is served. In the afternoon there is the option to visit a local fishing village, see the Whale temple or walk around the island to the viewpoint for a 360 degree view of the stunning mountainous coastline and the surrounding coves and white sand beaches.
    Whale Island Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Drive to beautiful Dai Lanh Beach; coastal ride to Quy Nhon

    We set off early in the morning and ride to the beautiful fishing village of Dai Lanh. A short transfer out of town past the Po Nagar Cham towers brings us to a high point and from here today's ride is predominantly flat. The beautiful beach at Dai Lanh is a perfect place to stop for a swim (if road conditions and time permit) and lunch before continuing by bus around the spectacular coastal cliff road towards the town of Tuy Hoa and on to Quy Nhon. (Approx. 4 hours in the bus today). 
    Seagull Quy Nhon Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Further coastal ride stopping en route at sand dunes; then transfer to Hoi An

    Leaving Quy Nhon we travel through a new economic zone over the Thi Nai Peninsula and Nhon Hoi Bridge, the longest sea bridge in Vietnam. Getting off our bikes we will visit a market, where its not unusual to be pulled aside for a photo as this part of the country does not see many western tourists. The coast line features secluded bays, sand dunes and beaches with colourful fishing boats bobbing on the South China Sea. We will cycle until we arrive at Phu Ly and then drive to Hoi An. If time permits, we will cycle the last 12km once we turn off Highway 1 into Hoi An.

    Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam dating back to the mid-sixteenth Century is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market. We spend two nights in Hoi An which is also a fantastic place to buy local art or have some clothes tailor-made for you. Its best to bring a picture or a sample of what you want made. Approx. 6 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 50km.
    Hoian River Green Boutique or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Sightseeing in Hoi An; free afternoon

    This morning we take a guided walking tour of Hoi An to explore some of the structures of historical significance in the Old Town, including bridges, temples, wells and houses. Those less interested in architecture can cycle the 5km to the lovely Cua Dai beach or cycle to the Marble Mountains, which are 19km from town. These five marble hills, formerly islands, contain many caves, some of which were used as Buddhist (and Viet Cong) sanctuaries.

    Also nearby is China beach, a famous US R & R spot in the war, and Da Nang, where there is a Cham Museum, which despite being in poor condition, is very interesting. It is also possible to visit My Son, one of the most important Cham temple sites in Vietnam where Cham kings were buried as early as the fourth century. Although wartime bombing has destroyed much of the site, there are a number of interesting stone towers and sanctuaries.
    Hoian River Green Boutique or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Ride over the spectacular Hai Van Pass; cycle and drive on to Hue

    Today we turn north again for the drive/cycle to Hue. The route traverses over the spectacular Hai Van Pass - the 'Pass of the Ocean Clouds'. The views are stunning though those who prefer to avoid the 580m climb can always take a lift in the support vehicle. Once at the top it will all seem worth it as you plummet back to the ocean, then continue through small villages and timeless rural scenes to the outskirts of Hue, from where we transfer to our city centre hotel. Approx 2.5 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 80km.
    Cherish Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Explore Hue and surroundings by bike and boat; overnight train to Hanoi

    Hue is often claimed to be the cultural and historic centre of Vietnam and there is plenty to see. We take a guided tour of the city and surrounding tombs. The most memorable site is the citadel, with walls six miles in length: inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins, and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, where only the emperor and his eunuchs and concubines were allowed. We then take a boat along the Perfume River to the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors, who ruled Vietnam from Hue. Tu Duc's Tomb is very elaborate and set in beautiful gardens. Along the way we will visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government protests in the early 1960s and it houses the Austin car that transported a monk, Thich Quang Duc, to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself in protest against the president. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in newspapers all around the world. In the afternoon we will board the Reunification Express for the overnight ride to Hanoi, 600km to the north. 
    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Arrive Hanoi; drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise/kayak among spectacular limestone formations

    We usually arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and stop for a local breakfast and a stretch of the legs, before we are met by our bus for an approximate 4 hour drive to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with around 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery, stopping to kayak in the sea allowing us to get to places inaccessible by boat (weather permitting) and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. There may even be the chance to try a spot of fishing from the boat too.  
    Overnight Boat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Further cruising in Halong Bay; return to Hanoi

    Visit Me Cung cave and enjoy further time to cruise the many islands of Halong Bay. We then return to Hanoi late afternoon. This charming city contains many beautiful old buildings and the atmosphere is completely different from that in Saigon in the south, mainly due to the much more conservative nature of the North Vietnamese. Also, unlike its industrial counterpart, the centre of Hanoi has a faded charm with broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period as well as some attractive lakes and pagodas. In the evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets.

    May De Ville Old Quarter Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Hanoi

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Hanoi after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Angkor Wat Extension (from Siem Reap)

Code: XOV

'Discovered' enmeshed in the Cambodian jungle in 1860, Angkor, the ancient capital of the powerful Khmer empire, is one of the finest archaeological sites in the world, and not one to be missed. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, the wonderfully preserved sprawling complex of temples and palaces is on a par with any great monument of the world with magnificent towers, sculptures and bas‐reliefs. During this four-night extension you will also see all the key sites of Phnom Penh, a fascinating city undergoing a huge amount of change. You will travel between the sites in a private car or minibus, depending on how many people take part in the extension, accompanied by an English‐speaking local guide. In the evenings, you will be free to enjoy the town. This trip extension is offered before the start of the MOV trip so you can do it at the beginning and then fly to Vietnam to start the cycling trip. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

 

Essential Info

Visas

Vietnam

A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2021. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see here or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.

Vaccinations

Vietnam

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 1 dinner are included.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious, fresh and fiery flavours.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup).

Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements); meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is served on most street corners in the North out of large plastic jugs that are perfect for sharing.

Food is cheap in Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home.

You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home if you have high energy bars or gels that you like to use during a ride.

For those who wish to contribute, a kitty is normally arranged - fresh fruit, nuts, biscuits and local snacks are all provided from the snacking kitty along with even homemade lemonade if the season is right!

Weather

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually between 28ºC and 34ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and the south: the south up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December to April and then a rainy season from May to November when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between. Hanoi is cool in autumn, and even gets chilly between November and February (with a drizzly rain).

There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; it is quite pleasant at any time of year, though due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will ever be perfect for the entire duration of any trip.

Please be aware that the boat trip on Halong Bay can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur all year round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Boat trips on Halong Bay are governed by the local authorities who are authorised to make such appropriate safety decisions. If your Halong Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion on Halong Bay for your group, or less likely, the need to re-arrange the itinerary if it is not possible at all to go out on Halong Bay. Whilst this is not a frequent occurrence, our local team and leaders are well equipped to handle such situations and have long offered appropriate options to groups in the instances where this may occur.

If you go to Cambodia for the Angkor Wat extension, the weather will be hot and humid all year round. The dry season is late October to May and the monsoon is normally between May and October; though there is an obvious transitional time between those settled periods.

The dry season is as it sounds, with hot days and generally clear skies, though you can expect the odd shower. The monsoon is characterised by short, sharp bursts of rain and is generally overcast all day though this does not detract from the enjoyment of the place; you just need to take an umbrella or buy a cheap local poncho!

Hanoi

Saigon

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 3- Moderate and classified Road.

9 days cycling (including 1 optional ride), average 70km/day (43 miles), 90% vehicle support.

Terrain and Route:
Road surfaces are mostly on good tarmac. The route is generally flat with some undulation and the exception of Dalat and the Hai Van Pass Vietnam can be hot and humid, but rests and water are readily available. You should be comfortable riding in traffic on occasions. This is a busy trip but anyone not wanting to cycle all day can use the support vehicle.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Boat & Sleeper Train

11 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night boat with twin share cabins, 1 night sleeper train, soft-bed berths.

The accommodation on this trip is mostly in good quality hotels (mostly 3-4 star), and all nights are en-suite except the train.

During this trip we spend one night on the sleeper train, this being the best way to travel long distances with the locals. The journey between Hue and Hanoi is quite comfortable although despite being first class, it is still quite basic. You will be in a 4 man cabin, (occasionally 6 depending on season) and bedding is provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local people who are not part of your group. Most trains have a dining carriage but people generally stock up on snacks before the journey.

On the boat in Halong Bay, we stay in en-suite twin cabins.

Our overnight spot on Whale Island is regarded as an absolute highlight for many, however, it is basic. You will stay in bamboo thatched bungalows each with mosquito nets, fans and en-suite bathrooms. The simplicity of island life and this overnight spot really makes it idyllic but you should be prepared for it to be a bit different to the hotels used for the rest of the trip. 

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

 Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for nights spent in hotels during the trip. Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Jackie Woodroffe

    Fantastic trip

    This was the most amazing holiday and a fantastic way to see and learn about Vietnam

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group Leader Lam's " Story Times" told us about what to do expect for that days cycle , information about where we were going and history about the country . Thank you

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lam was incredible and made the trip so enjoyable. He got to know all of us very quickly and had our dietary requirements catered for

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you read the trip notes to ensure you take everything with you. I took my own saddle which I definitely recommend

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Most of the cycling is in the first 10 days. The days start early usually by 7am and you reach the hotel by 4.30pm. C The hotels are a very high standard and the food is amazing
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Peter Brook

    The best way to see the Real Vietnam.Bicycle.

    Tour Leader : Mr Linh Vo. Trip Code: MOV181014. Linh & his Exodus team; Tour Bur driver, Support truck driver & Bicycle mechanic were striving to ensure our tour group of 18 riders all had an exceptional Vietnam Holiday cycling holiday. Their efforts were appreciated and ALL group members had a wonderful Vietnam Experience. The cycling program was just right (moderate) for the cross section of the group.We saw the "Real Vietnam" from the bicycle saddle along back roads , as well as by bus,boat & train.The organization & running of this trip was exceptional. Full credit to Linh & his team for their efforts,I feel they went above & beyond simply,"just following the Itinerary". They made sure we had a little "extra' of the real Vietnam experience. Linh's stories,songs and History lessons were all greatly anticipated by our group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 30 klm downhill section from the Dalat Pass to the coast plus the 10 klm uphill section of the Hai Van pass .ie just getting to the top! (made more difficult due to the hot & humid weather conditions) Also, Linh arranged a "Home Stay" dinner with a Local Vietnamese family which was an outstanding experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mr Linh Vo was a fantastic tour Leader & a credit to your (Exodus) Company.I would give him 12/10.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're intending to cycle Vietnam,extra training to allow for the hot & humid weather would help.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip to all who may be interested in a Vietnam holiday.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Ruth Bass

    Unforgettable trip, perfect in every detail

    We are just home from our best Exodus holiday yet. They have all been great but this one stands out for the truly faultless organisation from start to finish with a perfectly designed itinerary taking in so much scenery, culture and of course wonderful cycling. Our group really gelled and had so much fun - new friends for life. The days were action packed and all the extra things laid on for us were memorable. Hotels were all good and meals, drinks etc amazing value - you won't spend much on this trip. Praise goes to our amazing guide Linh Vo and his exceptional team - they truly made the trip special.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling against the clock along the coast at sunset to catch the boat to Whale Island, making it up the Hai Van pass in extreme heat and humidity, cruising in Halong Bay and generally taking in Vietnamese rural life as we pedalled through the countryside. Also truly special was the evening with a local family who cooked us about 8 courses, chatted with us and entertained us with music, including a song sung by their 5 year old grand daughter.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Special praise goes to our amazing guide Linh Vo - so experienced, knowledgable and attentive he shared his fascinating personal and family life story and against various odds cycled for the national team. A lovely guy who worked tirelessly to organise us, meet our every need and keep us safe and well prepared. We gained so much insight into Vietnamese culture, society, family life and the history and politics too but always in an approachable manner - he regularly entertained us with interesting stories, jokes and even songs. We always felt safe with him in traffic and he was on the ball at all times ensuring no one was left behind. He even dished out pushes up the passes to those in need of one! We especially loved that he organised home cooked food to help local families and took us to unusual spots not seen by many such as the most flamboyant cemetry we have ever seen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, we took too many clothes, no need to take snacks as the guides source a lovely variety, no need for a head torch a phone will do. Take only day-long suncream - the humidity will sweat off anything else. If you want any clothes copied or made in Hoi An take pictures or a sample with you as you won't have long to decide on options. Stay on in Hanoi if you can to soak up the mad, noisy, colourful and fascinating old quarter. Above all else, just go!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Michael Wood

    Cycling Vietnam - Amazing experience never to be forgotten!

    A packed itinerary taking in the full length of Vietnam by bicycle, bus, train and boat. Fantastic group of new friends supported by a great leader and support staff made this a truly magical two weeks that we will never forget. We are already planning our return trip with Exodus for 2020.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way the group bonded and joined together to make sure everyone completed the cycling days with support from the more capable cyclists and the Exodus team.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our team leader, Linh Vo, made the trip. His honest and knowledgeable insights into Vietnam's history, culture, social and political issues together with his endless enthusiasm, humour and organisation skills meant that we learned so much about the country and its people during our 2 weeks with him. Linh went out of his way to make sure we all got the most out of our holiday and was available to answer any questions or concerns we had. He took us to some fantastic local restaurants, arranged for us to eat with local families and made sure we had plenty of snacks and drinks during the cycling days. We will be keeping in touch with Linh as he became someone we consider to be a friend as well as our guide and we hope to meet up with him in the future on another Exodus trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too many clothes with you, you will only need half of what you think you will need. We packed fairly light compared to others in the group and still only wore about half of what we packed. Take it easy on the long cycle days as the heat and humidity will test even the strongest of cyclists.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great introduction to Asia which has only fuelled our desire to get back again in the future.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Rahim Sadrudin

    Simply incredible!

    I honestly cannot fault anything of this trip. It was an experience I will never forget, and although apprehensive while on the flight to Ho Chi Min city, I was at ease as soon as I met our Tour Guide, Long Le, and the rest of the cycling group. All extremely interesting, kind and fun people. The cycling was perfectly manageable with bus option available throughout the day. The scenery, the food, the landscapes and villages we cycled through, the additional activities (snorkelling, kayaking, cooking, water puppet show) were all 10/10. Moreover, Long and his support crew were enthusiastic , hard working, patient, friendly, thoughtful and above all made everyone feel happy and comfortable. If you are in two minds about this trip, just book it. Don't think twice as you will not regret it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1) Cycling through the villages where local people would great us as we went by. 2) Cycling up the Hai Van Pass 3) Snorkelling of the coast of Whale island 4) Exploring Halong Bay by kayak 5) Spending time with incredible group of people
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Karen Sanderson

    Amazing holiday ! Fantastic leader and support team

    Amazing holiday, excellent cycling just at the right level to be a rewarding challenge, extremely well organised, leader Long Le and his support team were 100%. Beautiful country with outstanding scenery and excellent food and accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be the Hai Van pass but just as enjoyable cycling through the local villages and paddy fields.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was called Long Le who was quite a character ! He had an excellent knowledge, was there 24 hours a day and along with his support team we couldn't have asked for a better leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I took my own saddle and pedals , which were quickly changed for me by our expert bike mechanic Lee.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sharon Dickinson

    Awesome Vietnam

    If you are thinking of doing this trip then go ahead and book it. It’s amazing and you will love it. If you are worried about not being fit enough for this trip you don’t have to worry as you can climb on the air conditioned bus, recline the seat and watch the world go by. The bus is never too far away. You will see some beautiful scenery, eat some amazing food, cycle some challenging “undulations”, swim in beautiful warm seas and travel on some of the county’s most chaotic roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling the spectacular Hai Van Pass with stunning views. If you have a go pro then this would be the time to use it. It was hard work but I was so pleased I did it. It took about an hour to climb the 10k steep hill. Hoi An old town on day 9 was one of my favourite places to visit with the river, temples and shops. If you like tailored clothing you can have a suit made in a day here. Some members of the group had suits made and they were of outstanding quality and craftsmanship. Whale Island was also beautiful and peaceful and a welcome rest and recuperation destination.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were so lucky to have Long Le. He was so friendly right from the moment when we met at the airport. He was so professional, organised, knowledgeable, hard working, kind and thoughtful. He made sure everybody was safe and happy at all times. He found the best establishments to eat and drink and I trusted him and his team completely. His knowledge of his country was incredible and he always encouraged you to ask questions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a large tub of chamois cream, it will become your friend as you will be cycling solidly for nine days in the heat and rain and by the end of the holiday the bike will feel like part of you. I recommend “udderly smooth” you can purchase it from Amazon for £8.99. A handlebar bag would be a good idea as I took a bum bag and it just got in the way when signalling to fellow cyclists behind you. Most people took their own saddles and gel covers for their seats. Lee, the bike mechanic will fit it all for you. I also took an “ass saver” mud guard for the back of the bike to prevent mud splashes on rainy days. You can pack it easily in your luggage as it’s lightweight and it comes as a flat piece of plastic that you shape and fit under your saddle with no brackets. You can buy it from Amazon for about £5. A good pair of padded gel sorts and gloves are essential as your hands and ass get quite sore after a few hours on the bike. A good waterproof high SPF sun screen as it’s a pain having to re-apply it at each stop. The sun can get unbearable at times and you can burn very easily. Incognito insect repellent is excellent and works well too, you will need it every day whilst cycling. I recommend taking a comfortable pillow for the long bus journeys so you can catch up on much needed sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The local cuisine was the highlight of this trip for me. Try not to be too afraid to eat at the markets and street food vendors. I tasted the most incredible food and at a fraction of the cost. I had never eaten Vietnamese food before as we don’t have a large Vietnamese community where I live in Norfolk. The group was a mix of like minded, interesting people of all ages, the youngest being 28 and the oldest being 71 and all fitness levels. We made some good friends on this trip and have kept in touch.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Susan Munro

    Smooth, easy, organised

    Long Le was the rock star of tour guides. Ably supported by a team of drivers and bike mechanic, Long Le was charming, funny, intelligent and informative. I’m a bit of an anxious traveller but I felt 100% looked after and supported during the entirety of our journey. Long Le was great at bringing our group together to enjoy shared experiences. We started as strangers and ended as friends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling up Hai Van Pass. I had almost not even tried but with support from Long Le, bike mechanic Lee and drivers Tan and Trin I knew that I could give it a crack and they would be there if I failed -but I succeeded and it felt great!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the chance to observe other tour guides along the way and in the cities we visited which emphasised to me that we had lucked out with the A team and an exceptional group leader in Long Le

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring your swim goggles-there are beautiful pools at every stop. Don’t be scared to bring your own peddles and other gear-bike mechanic will install and remove for you and super quick.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Now that I have been in one Exodus cycle tour I will definitely be doing more.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Alison Radevsky

    Fantastic

    There wasn't one moment when I regretted my decision to join this trip - it was wonderful from start to finish. Fascinating country, warm and welcoming people, superb food, varied and beautiful scenery, interesting culture...... and that's just the place itself. Add to that the excellent organisation, top-notch guide and support staff, slick arrangements, high quality bikes, amazingly good quality accomodation, fun fellow cyclists, can-do positive attitude from everyone, and you have a really brilliant holiday. Well done Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the Hai Van pass - I'd never tackled anything quite so challenging on a bike, particularly in searing heat (the promised Sea Cloud in the name didn't materialise, which meant great views, but a LOT of sweat!). It was quite an emotional experience when I actually made it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chi was absolutely first class. Always smiling, positive, helpful, knowledgeable, flexible, charming, amusing. He simply couldn't have done more to make our trip a success. He knows so much about his country, and was very willing to share it with us, but never bored. And if you mentioned something you'd like to see or learn more about, as if by magic, he made it happen - like stopping by the roadside and asking permission for us all to wander into someone's small-holding to look at the crops because we had asked about tapioca and turmeric. And his team (Sau, Can and Y) were charming and couldn't do enough to make sure we were all looked after, well, safe and happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go! Take a gel saddle and padded shorts. Also a bag for your handlebars to avoid having to carry anything round your waist or on your back, and minimise the sweatiness!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm not entirely sure that the 3 (moderate) out of 10 grading is right. I think I'd probably put it a bit higher, as some of the days are quite long, and although much of the riding is on the flat, there are some considerable "updulations" (a great new word invented by one of the group when the promised undulations seemed to be rather more up than down......!).
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Andrew Oldham

    What a Fantastic Experience

    I signed up for this on a whim, having done the standard Exodus Vietnam trip 5 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed that trip but saw no reason to return. This trip caught my eye as it covers the bit we previously flew over and I was happy with what was repeated. I have enjoyed half day cycling trips on adventure tours but am no great cyclist. Whilst I did some training - a short ride to work most days and a longer ride every couple of weeks - I expected to retreat to the bus on occasions, particularly for uphill stretches. Friends did not think I would be able to cycle 100km..........

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the Hai Van pass having completed every available kilometre of cycling. Whilst I was a physical and emotional wreck on arrival I coul not believe what I had achieved. The cycling is very well structured and each day becomes a little harder so you build up gradually. The 100km day is actually not the toughest day as 30km is downhill from a pass that you have been largely driven up. The support from the Exodus team was superb and a major factor in my achievement- regular refreshment stops (the first hit of the ice cold lemon drink is amazing) with fruit, nuts and biscuits ensured no-one lost weight! The smiles of the staff as they directed us at junctions was great and those at the back had a great time with the engineer. The group was superb with a wide range of ages and everyone supported each other, no matter what their fitness or ability.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Loc was a fantastic leader and he was brilliantly supported by an excellent team. Nothing was too much trouble and he listened to us, informed us, entertained us and organised us superbly. He is clearly an excellent cyclist and an excellent cycling trip leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The scenery and greetings from the locals make this a great trip and a great way of seeing real Vietnam. I booked an extra night at each end to give me more time in the cities. If this is to be your only trip to Vietnam then I would strongly recommend this as there is little time to do normal holiday stuff. The cycling days are long so you won't get much time in places unless you are staying for 2 nights in a place. Some practice beforehand is sensible, especially if you are not a regular exerciser/cyclist, but the support staff are great and if you are struggling they are happy for you to drop out of parts of the route. The island is a great break, all the accomodation was very pleasant (and except for the train had wifi!) and often better than pleasant. Embrace the traffic and enjoy the chaos - they drive steadily and with a lot more respect than UK drivers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes were new and excellent, take a water bottle as the bike had a holder and the staff refilled bottles left on bikes automatically. Having read a previous review I also took a velcro pannier (Decatholon sells them) and my own saddle. ATMS were easy to find but levy a charge whatever card you used.

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