Day 1: Arrive Hanoi. You will be met on arrival and transfered to the hotel. There is no itinerary planned for today but we will meet at night for a quick briefing before heading out for an evening dinner at one of Hanoi's fine Vietnamese restaurants.
Day 2: Depart Hanoi - Hue. Today we have the entire day to relax and see the sights of Hanoi. In the evening we catch the Reunification Express train to Hue.
Day 3: Hue. We arrive in Hue in the morning and meet with our crew. Here we fitted to our bicycles and equipment. In the afternoon we take a short ride to Tu Duc's tomb.
Day 4: Hue - Hoi An. The morning is spent sightseeing on our bikes around Hue. Time permitting, we will visit the Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda. We then bus to Da Nang before cycling on to the World Heritage town of Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An. A free day to explore this fascinating riverside town. Hoi An is a charming, quaint fishing town that can easily be explored on foot (or bicycle). Some of its many attractions include the Chinese Assembly Halls, built between the 17th & 19th centuries for the large Chinese merchant population. Also worth visiting are the ancient ancestral homes, some of which have been occupied by the same family for 15 generations. Hoi An is also famed for its tailor shops. This stems from the time when the town was a major stop along the Silk Road. The beautiful Cua Dai beach is 4km from town and makes for a great cycle destination.
Day 6: Hoi An - Quy Nhon. We bus to Quang Ngai before cycling 10 km into the district of Song My (or the better known hamlet of My Lai). Here we will visit a memorial for the villagers who died in during the War. The My Lai site is in a small rural settlement, surrounded by simple thatched huts, quilted rice paddies and farmers with conical hats going about their day to day routines. After visiting the memorial and museum we ride back to our bus and then drive to Qui Nhon.
Day 7: Quy Nhon - Pleiku (via An Khe). A more challenging day as we head inland off Highway 1 and tackle the uphill road on Highway 19. We will part-cycle this, over a distance of 186 km before reaching Pleiku (altitude 785 m). Pleiku is located in the Truong Son Mountain range (running through the length of the country) which is home to some of Vietnam's 54 hill-tribe minority groups, known as Montagnards (French collective name for "mountain people"). The town has a distinctive Russian architectural influence from Russian aid workers after the war.
Day 8: Pleiku - Buon Ma Thuot. Today's part- cycle is on an excellent road, Highway 14, taking in 197 km of undulating and scenic uplands. We pass by coffee plantations and national parks on our way to the largest town in the Western Highlands, and the capital of Dac Lac Province.
Day 9: Buon Ma Thuot - Nha Trang. Today part-cycle covers 194 km on Highway 28 and whilst undulating is mostly downhill towards the coast and Nha Trang. We may see wild elephants as we pass through more minority hamlets on our way to the kilometers of untouched beaches, great climate and islands to explore which have made Nha Trang a popular Vietnamese resort. The accommodation for the next 2 nights is situated high on the headland overlooking the islands and equipped with its own private beach. The atmosphere almost resembles that of a palatial villa in Tuscany it is no wonder that it was a preferred summer respite for Bao Dai, Vietnam's last ruling monarch.
Day 10: Nha Trang. A cycle-free day to enjoy the clear blue waters and relaxed ambiance of Nha Trang. We take a local boat to one of the nearby islands to visit a beautiful beach where you may relax, swim, enjoy a cool beer or indulge in a massage. Then after returning to Nha Trang, the afternoon is free to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 11: Nha Trang - Dalat. We begin today driving a short distance before continuing on bike for the next 95 km to Phan Rang. The cycling is excellent, made easier by the strong tail winds and well maintained roads. After lunch we then start the bus ride to Dalat where you will be rewarded with superb views over the delta and the South China Sea. Dalat is situated at a height of 1500 meters and has a pleasant cool climate.
Day 12: Dalat. Dalat is set in the mountain region north of Ho Chi Minh City and is a renowned retreat for poets and artists. The town features French provincial villas and lush green hills. This morning we'll visit King Bao Dai's Summer Palace and experience some of the spectacular vantage points around Dalat's hilly countryside. Close to our hotel there are a number of small French style cafes which boast the best coffee in Vietnam and are a good place to relax and watch the passing parade. This afternoon can be spent relaxing, exploring the lake area or seeking out some of the impressive French architecture throughout the town.
Day 13: Dalat - Ho Chi Minh City by support vehicle. After breakfast we drive south east for 7 hours (approximative 350 km) to Ho Chi Minh City. On the way we pass small hamlets as well as tea, coffee cashew nut, rubber and tobacco plantations.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels. This morning, we travel to the remarkable Cu Chi tunnels, home to 5,000 VC troops during the War. In the afternoon, we walk through the heart of the city pass some of Ho Chi Minh's famous sites, the French colonial Town Hall, the Rex Hotel, Notre Dame Cathedral, the former U.S. embassy, the President's Palace (also known as the Reunification Palace) and make an optional visit to the War Crimes Museum. Tonight we join our Vietnamese guide for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 15: Depart Ho Chi Minh City. Trip will conclude after breakfast.
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Asia Vietnam Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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