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Holidays

Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North

Vietnam
2 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Jul, Oct, Nov, Dec

17 days from

US$4,795

without flights
Cycle
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Experience Vietnam in all its glory on this cycling holiday from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi

Trip Code: SHMB
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North

Highlights
  • Bustling Ho Chi Minh City (AKA Saigon) and historic Hanoi
  • Free day to enjoy the beach or take a junk boat ride at Nha Trang
  • Cycle across the Hai Van Pass and descend to the old capital of Hue
  • Take a cruise on the Perfume River and at iconic Halong Bay
  • Hoi An and the contrasting historical sites of My Son and My Lai

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 16
  • 14 days biking
  • 787 kilometres
  • 80% surfaced road - 100% vehicle supported
  • Max altitude - 2000 metres
  • Join In Saigon, End in Hanoi

Accommodation & Meals
  • 16 Breakfasts
  • 13 Lunches
  • 13 Dinners
  • 14 nights Hotel
  • 1 nights Lodge
  • 1 nights Sleeper Train
Overview

Between the contrasting cosmopolitan cities of Saigon and Hanoi, Vietnam boasts spectacular beaches, forest dappled mountains and a wealth of modern and ancient history. Our cycling adventure begins in the vibrant city of Saigon, better known as Ho Chi Minh City. Despite the vibrant bustle, Saigon's timeless temples sit peacefully amongst modern architecture and traditional street vendors. Heading out of the city we visit the famous ‘Cu-Chi Tunnels', where the North Vietnam Army resided in a subterranean world, tormenting their enemies for many years.


The following day we take a short domestic flight to the charming hill town of Dalat. Over the next two days we seek out quiet country lanes and tackle the Hon Giao Pass (2062m) before enjoying a rest day on the soft sands of Nha Trang Bay, famous for its junk boat journeys. Combining a balance of private vehicle transfers and cycling, we continue northwards as we ride through friendly Viet villages and take in stunning coastal views. The ancient UNESCO trading port of Hoi-An, with its delicious cuisine and colourful market vendors, is worthy of a two night stopover and a visit to the nearby My-Son Cham ruins. With our cycling legs in good shape, we ride onwards to the historic Nguyen Dynasty town of Hue via the sensational Hai Van Pass and explore the banks of the Perfume River. An overnight train then transports us northwards to Ninh Binh and from here we use a mix of boat and bicycle to experience the best of northern Vietnam. Cycling across Cat-Ba Island is followed by an unforgettable day of cruising as we discover the limestone pinnacles of the UNESCO listed Halong Bay. Whilst our final night in sophisticated Hanoi provides a show-stopping ending to this Vietnamese cycling adventure.

Is this holiday for you?

ADVENTURE CYCLING. Riding on a combination of quiet rural coastal roads, country lanes and well-defined village trails, this is superb cycling experience. The riding on this holiday is not technical and is suitable for fit weekend, leisure riders. Starting out with some easier rides, we have a couple of 100km days which experienced riders usually find sufficiently challenging. But the emphasis on …

ADVENTURE CYCLING. Riding on a combination of quiet rural coastal roads, country lanes and well-defined village trails, this is superb cycling experience. The riding on this holiday is not technical and is suitable for fit weekend, leisure riders. Starting out with some easier rides, we have a couple of 100km days which experienced riders usually find sufficiently challenging. But the emphasis on this holiday is to soak up the experience of Vietnam with the support vehicle always on hand to help out if needed. You can cycle as much or as little as you like. A suitable hire bike is provided locally and included in the cost of the holiday.

Why KE?

Created with our Vietnamese cycling partners, we include more cycling days, more meals and see more of Vietnam than other cycling operators.

BIKE HIRE NOW INCLUDED AND E-BIKES AVAILABLE

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Itinerary

Your holiday starts at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Airport transfers are not provided - there is a safe and reliable taxi service from Saigon's Tan Son Nhat Airport. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to explore this bustling city. In the evening the guide will take the group to dinner at the splendid Temple Club Restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

Rested and ready for riding, we avoid the morning traffic by taking a private transfer a little way out of the city and begin our exploratory day ride to the famous Cu-Chu Tunnels. Although well known as the primary base for the North Vietnam Army (NVA), during the American War, the tunnels were dug out over a period of 25 years starting in the late 1940’s during the Vietnamese War of Independence from the French. In the 1960’s, during the American War, the tunnels expanded over a distance of 250km and became an elaborate underground world from which the NVA and Viet Cong troops would torment their American opponents. After our visit we head back to Saigon by bus and with time permitting, visit the macabre museum of war crimes in Saigon. Returning to our accommodation, the rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish. Approximately 3 hours transfers in total today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

2 hrs cycling

Distance

25 KM

After an early start to the domestic airport, we board the short (50-minute) flight to the charming central highlands hill-station of Dalat. Quite the contrast to Saigon, Dalat has charmed many visitors over the years, including French who nicknamed it ‘Le Petit Paris’ as they flocked here to escape the searing Saigon summer temperatures. With a fresh climate, the cool air of Dalat is the perfect place to stretch our legs and begin our day ride. Set against the forest dappled hilltops our circular route out of Dalat winds its way past picturesque French-colonial churches, market stalls and country village life as we head onto Dalat’s backroads. Enjoying near-enough traffic free cycling, we can appreciate the far reaching views across the highlands, which include Mount Langbian. According to legend, Langbian is named after two young lovers from opposing tribes who were not allowed to marry. Riding back to Dalat in the late afternoon, you are free to kick back and relax the laid-back town atmosphere before meeting again for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

350 M

Descent

350 M

Time

3 hrs cycling

Distance

35 KM

Cycling from the hotel, we start with a picturesque ride via the lakes of Xuan Hong and Than Tro, located in the heart of Vietnam’s premier agricultural regions. As we ride, our route passes through colourful flower plantations, tea, coffee beans and terraces of fruits and vegetables. With our legs warmed up we turn our attention to our challenge of the day as we take the steady cycle up and over the stunning Hon Giao Pass (2062m). Said to be one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Vietnam, the pass links lush highlands with paradise like coastal resorts. Flanked by emerald green fields, homes of the Raglai people dot the countryside as we ride into the atmospheric mist atop of the pass. Having accomplished Hon Giao, to reach Nha Trang in good time, we transfer by private vehicle to our hotel accommdatoin.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

700 M

Descent

2150 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs cycling

Distance

100 KM

The sweeping sandy crescent beach and turquoise waters of Nha Trang deserve a least a day of appreciation! In such a beautiful setting it is quiet acceptable to chill out and take a day of R&R. With a number of tropical islands in the distance and the junk boats goings about their daily business, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s finest beach destinations and there are plenty of swimming opportunities in the clear waters of the bay. In the evening, there is plenty of opportunity to explore this lively town and sample local cuisine in one of the many excellent bars and restaurants.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

After morning sea views and breakfast, we cycle 15 kilometres out of Nha Trang where we board our private vehicle. Transferring to the traditional fishing village of Vung Ro we have plenty of time to take advantage of the quiet beach at Dai Lanh and see the fishermen returning with their morning catch. Back in the saddle we ride rolling roads along the Ba Dia Mountain to reach our lunch spot. After lunch we start again with a private transfer to the quiet town of My Thanh. Cycling the last stretch of the day to Tuy Hoa through rice paddies and friendly villages on quiet country lanes is a delightful way to round off our day’s ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs cycling

Distance

85 KM

A real day of rural riding today! We start by cycling on a remote and peaceful road running parallel to the railway. As we progress, the terrain rolls gently as we pass through Viet village settlements. As we appreciate gorgeous views across the highlands, the rice paddies is a hive of activity as we see conical hats bobbing around and animals wandering the farmland - including the iconic pot bellied pig! As our ride meets the highway, we transfer a short distance to the resort of Quinhon.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

260 M

Descent

260 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs cycling

Distance

70 KM

Today we follow the coastal road to Tra O Lagoon, the largest wetland in Binh Dinh Province and also a principal food source for the locals. While rolling we also take in the sea breeze and spot tranquil fishing villages lined along the coastline. After lunch at a local restaurant, the ride continues to Highway 1 and Quy Nhon, where we board our transport for the 3-hour transfer to our overnight hotel in Quang Ngai.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

320 M

Descent

320 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs cycling

Distance

70 KM

This morning we head to the interesting and ancient Thien An Pagoda as we make our way to the war memorial site of the My Lai massacre. Sadly, My Lai was to become one of the most tragic and shocking events of the Vietnam War. After our tour of the museum we drive for around 1.5 hours to the start of today’s ride. Our ride today leads us through the countryside of Quang Ngai as we enjoy Vietnamese rural roads and village encounters. On reaching Ha Lam, we take another short vehicle hop to the ancient trading port of Hoi-An. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Hoi-An was one of South East Asia’s most significant trading ports and still retains the charms of an ancient architectural influences from Japan, China and even Portugal. With over 844 structures of historical significance, the streets of this UNESCO listed town are a delight to explore.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

300 M

Descent

300 M

Time

4 hrs cycling

Distance

50 KM

This morning we have a short transfer to avoid the highway before starting the ride to My Son, the ancient centre of the Cham Civilization dating back to the 4th century. We then cycle along scenic country backroads flanked by rice paddies, eucalyptus plantations and relaxing villages. Later the road stretches away from the coast, offering stunning views of the ocean as we head to My Son, once Champa’s most important city. After lunch we spend the afternoon visiting the site, and although many of the temples were destroyed by heavy bombing, enough have survived the war to impress most visitors. After the historical tour, we take the bus back to Hoi An. The rest of the day is free to explore sites such as the famous Japanese Covered Bridge or kick back and relax on the nearby beach.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Ascent

250 M

Descent

250 M

Time

4 hrs cycling

Distance

54 KM

Leaving the delights of Hoi-An, today we take on the historic Hai Van Pass (496m). With our legs in good shape, Hai Van is a steady climb, traversing the Annamite Range, with spectacular views across the South China Sea. Historically, the pass created a border between the kingdoms of Champa and Dai Viet. Nowadays the Hai Van has gained a reputation for its breathtaking beauty, with its lush green hillsides contrasting with the calm and colbalt-blue sea. The ride up Hai Van is well and truly worth it as we are rewarded with a superb stretch of downhill to the coast. In the afternoon we continue our coastal ride northwards to the town of Hue, the old capital of the Ngu Yen Dynasty where we overnight at a hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

800 M

Time

7 - 8 hrs cycling

Distance

100 KM

Today, by bike and boat, we explore the rich history left behind by the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. We start by cycling directly from our hotel along the An Cuu (Perfume) River and head up to the tombs of Khai Dinh, the 12th king of the Nguyen Dynasty, which were built between 1920 and 1931. After our visit, we continue to bike on a quiet route to Vong Canh hill, which is just 43 metres high, but is the best place to catch a panoramic view of the Perfume River. We finish the ride today at the seven-storey Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest religious building in Vietnam. Built in 1601, it has become the symbol of the city and you'll want to get a photo with the marble turtle! We then walk to the boat pier close to the pagoda to take a cruise on the Perfume River back to Hue. After refreshing ourselves and packing up we have a dinner at a local restaurant before boarding an overnight train to Ninh Binh.

Accommodation

Sleeper Train

Meals

B L D

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

3 hrs cycling

Distance

30 KM

We arrive in Ninh Binh around 10 am (arrival time may vary). Following a short transfer to the local restaurant for washing up, bike fitting (we have new fleet of bikes in the north) and an early lunch, we start cycling through a spectacular landscape. Limestone mountains tower over a blanket of rice paddies on our route to the ancient city of Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. After touring the temples here we continue to Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam's first and largest natural reserve. One of the key projects at Cuc Phoung is the conservation of primates such as the Delacour langur and the Cat Ba langur at the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. After a short visit and tour of the centre, we’ll learn more about these cheeky primates before heading off to our accommodation for the night.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

450 M

Descent

300 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs cycling

Distance

60 KM

The enchanting and mystical atmosphere of Cuc Phoung provides a unique day of riding as we cycle through pineapple plantations, agricultural terraces and thick forest that is home to some of Vietnam’s rarest plant and animal life. Located across two limestone mountain ranges, Cuc Phuong is also home to the Muong minority people. Making up a third of Vietnam’s population, the Muong people are well known for their friendliness and continue to maintain many traditions which have been handed down by their ancestors. During our ride we may have time to stop and meet local Muong communities as our route passes through several villages. Having enjoyed a rural day of riding we take a bus hop to Haipong, one of Vietnam’s major ports where we check into our accommodation. Approximately 3 hours transfers in total today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

400 M

Descent

400 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs cycling

Distance

60 KM

This northern region of Vietnam is very much about getting out and exploring the extensive number of islands which are peppered across Halong Bay. Today we catch a ferry across to the largest of the Cat Ba Archipelago, Cat Ba Island. Riding across this island, its natural beauty and habitat encompasses some of the most diverse environments. From tropical limestone forests through to willow swamp forests, Cat Ba is also home to endangered Cat Ba langur. Stopping at the seafront town for lunch we hang up our pedals for the day and enjoy a free afternoon on this heavenly island.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

2 hrs cycling

Distance

26 KM

We start the morning with a ride through the lanes of Cat Ba as we roll out to meet our cruise boat for the day. Having caught a few glimpses of the 3000 limestone islands of Halong Bay yesterday, today we take the water and spend a truly memorable day cruising amongst the islands and islets of this world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Draped in dense vegetation the rugged beauty of Halong Bay is a mesmerising experience. Sailing across Halong Bay, we discover secret beaches, hidden grottos as we navigate through a seascape of conical peaks that make up the one of the world's most iconic bays. As our day on the water draws to a close we head back to harbour and transfer to Asia’s most chic city, Hanoi. Sophisticated, atmospheric we come together for our celebratory evening meal in one of Hanoi’s many restaurants. Approximately 3 hours transfers in total today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

100 M

Descent

100 M

Time

2 hrs cycling

Distance

22 KM

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Depending on your flight departure time, you may have time to explore Hanoi. Airport transfers are not provided - there is a safe and reliable taxi service to Hanoi Airport and we recommend that you arrange your transfer with the assistance of the hotel reception desk. Journey time is around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Meals

B
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • An experienced local English-speaking cycling bike guide
  • All land transport as described
  • One or more support vehicles and drivers
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Bike hire

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Saigon and Hanoi airport transfers
  • Tips for the local crew and drivers
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

The group will meet at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Airport transfers on arrival and departure are not provided, because there are reliable taxi services both in Ho Chi Minh City and in Hanoi which provide the most cost-effective way of getting from the airport to the group hotel and vice versa.

Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts are included along with 14 lunches and 11 dinners

Please refer to the itinerary in the trip dossier for details of which days meals are not included. There is a wide choice of dining options in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City. Food is not expensive in Vietnam but there are several high end restaurants specifically for tourists. You should budget £2 - £5 per meal or up to £15 for the more expensive restaurants.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. You should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Start practising your chopstick technique now, as there are no knives and forks on this trip! Vietnamese cuisine is fresh and flavoursome. Typically a selection of many dishes of varying flavours are served together, and everyone takes a little of each. A typical meal will include Pho (noodle soup), spring rolls, spiced beef and pork dishes, fish in chilli, tomato served with tofu, stir-fried vegetables and rice, with fresh fruit for dessert. As per the custom for most of the region, food is rarely served in courses and is often served all at once for all to share. Vietnamese cuisine is wholesome and filling for our days in the saddle!

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this trip the group will spend 15 nights in various hotels and resorts of a good standard, as well as having 1 night on the sleeper train from Hue to Ninh Binh. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis, (except for the night on the train - where it is 4-share). If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single room occupancy can be arranged for all nights on payment of the single supplement charge.

The trip will be led by an experienced local English-speaking cycling guide and there will also be one or more support vehicles and drivers. During our visits to some of the historical sites and Halong Bay we will be joined by extra guides and appropriate crew.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Approximately $250 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including tips to local staff (You can expect to pay $100 to $120 for tips). If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). It is not necessary to obtain local currency (Vietnamese Dong) prior to travelling. Money can be changed most easily at the airport or at banks in Saigon. The group hotel will be able to make small exchanges only. There are ATMs in Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An and Hanoi that accept foreign credit and debit cards. We recommend that you carry your travel money in US dollars cash rather than travellers cheques. US dollars are acceptable for exchange in Saigon and Hanoi and can be used to pay directly for goods and services in Vietnam.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and to your support crews and drivers. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your support crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. It is best to tip as a group and it is useful to have a group pool for this. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of $100 to $120 for tipping. The local guide should also be tipped if he or she has provided good service. $20 per person is not unreasonable for this.

Bike hire is included in the cost of the holiday. Our local agent has access to Trek 4500 bikes in a full range of sizes. They are good quality and well maintained bikes with Shimano components, suspension forks and disc brakes. Spare parts (tubes, tyre, chains etc.) are carried in the support vehicle along with a tool kit and track pump. The guide will also carry some spares and tools for fixing punctures etc. The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. If you prefer to use spd or clip-in pedals, you will need to bring these with you, along with your regular cycling shoes and cleats. Another item which you might choose to take with you on the holiday is your saddle. The hire bikes have standard saddles and anyone requiring more comfort, or a women-specific saddle, should consider taking their own. You should take your own EN1078 compliant cycling helmet, as the locally available helmets do not necessarily meet this standard - which we require. E-bikes are also available and can be reserved at a supplementary cost of $395. Please let us know if you would like a regular bike or an e-bike and let us have your height - we will make sure that a suitable bike is reserved for you. The additional cost of an e-bike can be paid directly to our local agent via a link that we will provide.

 

Throughout this trip we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. At times there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group, with the support vehicle and cycling leader out of sight. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

You should travel with one main item of luggage such as a robust holdall, as well as a small day pack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack. The day pack can be used to carry valuable items such as cameras and GPS devices whilst travelling and will also carry your day-ride essentials during the rides. Baggage allowance on the internal flight is likely to be 20kgs check-in and 5kgs cabin baggage. On your international flights, the baggage allowance will depend on the airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Vietnam

British Citizen passport holders do not need a visa for durations of stay up to and including 45 days for tourism and transit.

For information about multiple entry visas, longer stays or different nationalities please contact the relevant embassy. The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK is in London.

 

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

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 and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk

 

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong.

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

Vietnam has a tropical climate with two distinct monsoon seasons. From May to September the country is dominated by the south monsoon winds and from October to April, the north monsoon is dominant with northerly to northeasterly winds affecting the country. There is a transition period between each monsoon season when winds are light and variable. Vietnam's single rainy season occurs during the south monsoon with June, July and August the wettest months. At this time daytime temperatures are typically in the range of 25 - 30 degrees Celsius. During the north monsoon, northern Vietnam has cloudy days with occasional light rain, while southern Vietnam tends to be dry and sunny. Temperatures during this period are in the range of 25 - 30 degrees Celsius in the south and 15 - 20 degrees Celsius in the north with the occasonal chilly night. Frost and some snow may occur on the highest mountains in the north for a few days a year. During September to January coastal areas can be affected by typhoons in the South China Sea bringing short-lived tropical stoms.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Lonely Planet. Vietnam

  • Rough Guide. Vietnam

  • Vietnam Pocket Guide. Insight Guides

  • Vietnam Handbook. Footprint Handbooks

  • Vietnamese Phrasebook. Rough Guides

  • Hill Tribes Phrasebook. Lonely Planet

  • Vietnam: A History. Stanley Karnow

Vietnam North and South. Reise Know-How

Reise Know-How Verlag produce a 1:600.000 scale map over two double-sided sheets, Vietnam North and Vietnam South. The maps show road networks and driving distances and symbols highlight places of interest, archaeological remains, temples and museums, viewpoints etc.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

For this holiday you will need your usual cycling clothing, including shoes, cycling gloves and helmet (which must be worn at all times when cycling).

Bike Wear

  • Cycling helmet (the EN1078 safety standard is a requirement)

  • Cycling shoes

  • Daypack or mountain bike-specific hydration pack (e.g. Camelbak)

  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres water capacity

  • Padded (baggy) cycling shorts

  • Long leg cycling trousers or leg warmers

  • Base-layer – short sleeve cycling tops

  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling tops

  • Fleece jacket or jumper

  • Lightweight windproof gilet

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Regular biking gloves

  • Buff

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun cream (inc. total bloc for lips/nose)

  • Camera

Other Stuff

  • Travel and off-the-bike clothing and footwear

  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Swimwear

  • Basic First Aid kit and personal medication

  • Insect repellant

  • Chamois cream (e.g. Assos/Ozone)

  • Water purification tablets

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Spares

You do not need to bring any tools or spares. The hire bikes are provided in good condition and a supply of spares is carried. You may be asked to pay directly for any spares used, especially in the case of crash damage or damage by mis-use.

Repairs

Your bike guide and his local team will take care of all bike repairs and general maintenance.

 

Hydration and Energy Snacks

You should take suitable water bottle(s) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic) or a hydration pack and you should also consider taking a small supply of the gels, power bars or sports drink mix that you would normally use on a ride at home.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your equipment.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 2 reviews

Discover Vietnam from south to north on a bike - an amazing experience ★★★★★

Before I left, I knew that I was going to like it .... I actually loved it ! This was my first cycling holiday, and I will no doubts have many more holidays similar to this (although I think it is going to be difficult to ever be as good as that one !). Cycling is a great way to discover a country, and has been really good to cover the full length of Vietnam from south to north, on back roads, enabling us to have an insight of the authentic life of the Vietnamese people. I will always remember t he little kids voices screaming "hello" from the back of their houses as we were passing by, or the smiles on the people faces when we were going through countryside villages. This trip is quite challenging and you should come prepared to some serious cycling in very hot temperatures - or you always have the option of the air conditioned van ;-) ! The trip is very well balanced, with the longer and more challenging rides at the beginning, easing up as the time goes when you become a little bit tired. The days off the bike are welcomed and ideally located too. Everything is done for you to enjoy the experience and well thought - from the choice of the hotels, the transports (like taking a plane from Hanoi to Dalat to avoid wasting too much time in the van) and the food your eating, the days were you are free for your dinner so you can have western food for example. There is a good balance between time on the bike and time to rest and the itinerary is great to be challenging but yet achievable to enjoy like a holiday. Last but not least, our guide Tuan was absolutely top star. He is a wealth of knowledge and was able to answer all our questions with humour and authenticity. He has been able to adapt to our small number and our expectations. He proposed us slight changes to the programme to be able to squeeze more fun in - which was greatly appreciated. He seemed truly and honestly pleased to show us his country and opened up on every subject. The driver in the south - Djun was great too, always waiting for us at the next stop with our favourite drink or fruit (which was different for all of us !). In summary, I greatly appreciated : - the format of a cycling holiday that was perfectly planned - the way it was organised : not too much, but not too few, with enough rest but also action, and the possibility to see the main cultural highlights - the tour guide - the comfort of the hotels - the great food : very varied from street food to high end restaurants I can only recommend it to anyone willing to see Vietnam for the first time off the beaten tracks, associating sport with cultural discovery :-)
By Sophie from London | 12 April 2016

Fantastic experience, loved every minute. ★★★★★

If you are a cyclist and have the time and the money to do this trip then DO IT! My husband and I had a brilliant time. Viet Nam was great, the guides were knowledgeable and helpful, the people we met along the way were lovely and the food was delicious and plentiful. The other people on the trip were fun and we now have some very special memories of our holiday. We spent 23 million Dong between us which makes me laugh but is in reality a very reasonable amount (approx £700) considering the amo unt of beer we consumed, the souvenirs we bought along the way and the tipping of the guides and drivers. Highlights for us were the madness of cycling in scooter traffic, having made to measure clothing tailored in Hoi An, visiting temples and palaces, learning about the history and then food, food food! Tips: If you do this trip I would pack light to have room for souvenirs and all the hotels did laundry very cheaply along the way. Also, we packed inner tubes etc as per the KE equipment list but none of it was needed - the company provided back up at all times and all spares. (New bikes were used for half the trip and were 29ers so the 26" tubes we took would be no use anyway). This was our first trip with KE and we would definitely book with them again. Everything was very well organised and considering everything that was included in the price we felt it was value for money.
By Diane from LINLITHGOW | 02 December 2015

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 2 reviews

Discover Vietnam from south to north on a bike - an amazing experience
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Before I left, I knew that I was going to like it .... I actually loved it ! This was my first cycling holiday, and I will no doubts have many more holidays similar to this (although I think it is going to be difficult to ever be as good as that one !). Cycling is a great way to discover a country, and has been really good to cover the full length of Vietnam from south to north, on back roads, enabling us to have an insight of the authentic life of the Vietnamese people. I will always remember t he little kids voices screaming "hello" from the back of their houses as we were passing by, or the smiles on the people faces when we were going through countryside villages. This trip is quite challenging and you should come prepared to some serious cycling in very hot temperatures - or you always have the option of the air conditioned van ;-) ! The trip is very well balanced, with the longer and more challenging rides at the beginning, easing up as the time goes when you become a little bit tired. The days off the bike are welcomed and ideally located too. Everything is done for you to enjoy the experience and well thought - from the choice of the hotels, the transports (like taking a plane from Hanoi to Dalat to avoid wasting too much time in the van) and the food your eating, the days were you are free for your dinner so you can have western food for example. There is a good balance between time on the bike and time to rest and the itinerary is great to be challenging but yet achievable to enjoy like a holiday. Last but not least, our guide Tuan was absolutely top star. He is a wealth of knowledge and was able to answer all our questions with humour and authenticity. He has been able to adapt to our small number and our expectations. He proposed us slight changes to the programme to be able to squeeze more fun in - which was greatly appreciated. He seemed truly and honestly pleased to show us his country and opened up on every subject. The driver in the south - Djun was great too, always waiting for us at the next stop with our favourite drink or fruit (which was different for all of us !). In summary, I greatly appreciated : - the format of a cycling holiday that was perfectly planned - the way it was organised : not too much, but not too few, with enough rest but also action, and the possibility to see the main cultural highlights - the tour guide - the comfort of the hotels - the great food : very varied from street food to high end restaurants I can only recommend it to anyone willing to see Vietnam for the first time off the beaten tracks, associating sport with cultural discovery :-)
By Sophie from London | 12 April 2016

Fantastic experience, loved every minute.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you are a cyclist and have the time and the money to do this trip then DO IT! My husband and I had a brilliant time. Viet Nam was great, the guides were knowledgeable and helpful, the people we met along the way were lovely and the food was delicious and plentiful. The other people on the trip were fun and we now have some very special memories of our holiday. We spent 23 million Dong between us which makes me laugh but is in reality a very reasonable amount (approx £700) considering the amo unt of beer we consumed, the souvenirs we bought along the way and the tipping of the guides and drivers. Highlights for us were the madness of cycling in scooter traffic, having made to measure clothing tailored in Hoi An, visiting temples and palaces, learning about the history and then food, food food! Tips: If you do this trip I would pack light to have room for souvenirs and all the hotels did laundry very cheaply along the way. Also, we packed inner tubes etc as per the KE equipment list but none of it was needed - the company provided back up at all times and all spares. (New bikes were used for half the trip and were 29ers so the 26" tubes we took would be no use anyway). This was our first trip with KE and we would definitely book with them again. Everything was very well organised and considering everything that was included in the price we felt it was value for money.
By Diane from LINLITHGOW | 02 December 2015

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 6 Oct and ends on Tue 22 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/06/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 3 Nov and ends on Tue 19 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/07/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 15 Dec and ends on Tue 31 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 5 Jan and ends on Tue 21 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 16 Feb and ends on Tue 4 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 16 Mar and ends on Tue 1 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/04/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 13 Jul and ends on Tue 29 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/05/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 5 Oct and ends on Tue 21 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/06/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 2 Nov and ends on Tue 18 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Vietnam South to North
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: SHMB/07/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 14 Dec and ends on Tue 30 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$700
  • Single Supplement Price: US$895 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a sleeper train)
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary starting at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and ending in Hanoi. Airport transfers both on arrival and departure are not provided. Taxis are readily available and low cost.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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