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Cycling in Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour

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Cycling in Ho Chi Minh Trail Tour

offered by supplier M15545 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 15 people
Destination(s): Vietnam  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1820 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1820 US Dollar (USD)

Your Itinerary:

Option 1

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi. Arriving in Hanoi, you will clear customs and immigration. Leaving the airport, you will be met by your guide, holding a sign with your name on it. He will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of day is free to wash up and rest. In the evening we will attend the famous Water Puppet Show, with its introduction to Vietnamese history and mythology. At night, you will have a welcome dinner with local delights. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi-Phu Yen. Ride to Phu Yen on country road with a stop in Son Tay. On November 20-21, 1970, a joint force composed of USAF Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 50 miles from Hanoi. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there. The assault troops, in six ARRS helicopters accompanied by two C-130 aircraft, flew 640 km to Son Tay from bases in Thailand. U.S. Navy pilots made a diversionary raid while 116 USAF and Navy aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers flew refueling, surface-to-air missile suppression, fighter cover, close air support, early warning, communications support and reconnaissance missions. There was no prisoners found in camp.

After lunch, ride on the winding mountain road to Phu Yen to take in some of the best mountain views in Northwest Vietnam and overnight in Hoang Gia Hotel. Includes: (L), (D).

Day 3: Phu Yen-Mai Chau. There are many small roads that lead into the mountains around Mai Chau so we'll take the chance to ride out to isolated H'mong, Dao and Thai villages. We will take on the challenge of an old road built by the French army and spend the afternoon exploring nearby villages. Overnight in a Thai ethnicity stilt house in Mai Chau. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4: Mai Chau-Tan Ky. Ride on a small, spectacular and paved trail along the Ma river until Cam Thuy town where we stop for lunch. Hit the Ho Chi Minh trail (now a newly built highway) all the way to Tan Ky town where we spend the night in a hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 5: Tan Ky-Phong Nha. Ride on Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau where we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument which is in fact the real starting point of our HCM Trail ride. Ride all the way to Phong Nha-Ke Bang, the biggest and also the most beautiful cave in Vietnam and Indochina and is now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park's karst landscape is extremely complex with many geographic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 km of caves and underground rivers. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 6: Phong Nha-Dong Hoi. Boating and exploring World Heritage site of Phong Nha where local civilians and military sheltered from incessant bombing during wartime. Then we drive down to the coastal town of Dong Hoi, which was heavily shelled by US warships during the war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 7: Dong Hoi-Khe Sanh. We strike south through foothills which were once sprayed heavily by Agent Orange towards the former DMZ. There is still much evidence of bombing on the mountain sides and from time to time we will see remnants of the original Trail. We take in the Vinh Moc tunnel, the famous Hien Luong Bridge (former demarcation line between North and South Vietnam, the Truong Son Cemetery and finally Khe Sanh (former US Marine base). Overnight in Khe Sanh. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 8: Khe Sanh-Hue. In the morning we head south over the Da Krong Bridge (built by the Cubans in 1973) into the infamous A Shau valley, an area of intense wartime activity. Passing Hamburger Hill and mountains still barren due to the extended effects of Agent Orange, we arrive at A Luoi, where there are many Bru Van hill tribe people. Then, cruising through green back country down the steep Me Oi Pass, we continue on to the beautiful city of Hue which lies along the banks of the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 9: Hue-Hoi An. See the Forbidden Citadel in the morning. Join the National Highway 1 and head up the Hai Van Pass (Cloudy Pass) before the World Heritage site of Hoi An, a major trading center in SE Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Overnight in Hoi An. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 10: Hoi An. Whole morning exploring the old town of Hoi An. Afternoon at the Cua Dai beach, about 6 km from the old town. The former harbor town of the Champa people at the estuary of the Thu Bon river was an important Vietnamese trading center in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled down. During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. During the French colonial period (1883-1945), it was called Faifo. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the "Japanese Bridge", it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th-17th century). The bridge (Chua Cau) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.

The town is known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, and by similar names in Portuguese and Dutch. A number of theories have been put forth as to the origin of this name. Some scholars have suggested that it comes from the word "Hai pho" meaning "sea town", while others have said that it seems more likely to simply be a shortening of Hoi An pho, "the town of Hoi An", to "Hoi pho" which became "Faifo". In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, whose buildings display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.

Today, Hoi An is still a small city, but it attracts a fair number of tourists, also being a well established place on the backpacker trail. Many visit for the numerous art and craft shops and tailors, who produce made-to-measure clothes for a fraction of the western price. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 11: Hoi An-Kon Tum. We strike back up to the mountains, rejoining the Trail at Phuoc Son (also known as Kham Duc). From there we head up the towering Lo So Pass, passing through remote areas thinly populated by peoples of the Ba Na ethnicity. Edging close to the border with Laos, where a number of Trail arteries crossed over in Laos, we continue on to Kon Tum. Overnight in Kon Tum.

Day 12: Kon Tum-Buon Ma Thuot. In the morning we head south through the Central Highlands, passing Pleiku and the Ia Drang valley battlefield, before continuing onto Buon Ma Thuot (also known as Buon Me Thuot), the city where northern forces launched their final assault on the then Saigon. Buon Ma Thuot produces most and best coffee products in Vietnam. Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot.

Day 13: Buon Ma Thuot-Nha Trang. We take an easy drive back down off the Tay Son highlands towards the coast, arriving at Highway 1 some 30 km north of Nha Trang. Taking in this scenic coastal stretch past turquoise waters and scarlet fishing boats, we arrive in the bright lights of Nha Trang and its relaxing holiday options. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 14: Nha Trang (relax). A free day by the beach before gathering for a seafood feast to recount our adventure and toast the Ho Chi Minh Trail. There are two options: Return to Hanoi on train or by air or go down South on your own.

Day 15: Departure. Free until time to be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Option 2

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi. Arriving in Hanoi, you will clear customs and immigration. Leaving the airport, you will be met by your guide, holding a sign with your name on it. He will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of day is free to wash up and rest. In the evening we will attend the famous Water Puppet Show, with its introduction to Vietnamese history and mythology. At night, you will have a welcome dinner with local delights. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi-Mai Chau-Biking to Pu Luong (Hang Village). Leave Hanoi at 8 am. We drive southwest to Ma Chau, the gateway to the impressive mountainous area of northern Vietnam. The drive is very nice with stunning view of mountains, valleys, sugarcane farms and rice paddies. We would have a stop en route for refreshment. Upon arrival in Mai Chau we have a lunch stop in Pom Coong, a village of Thai ethnic minority. We will have lunch in a local house. After lunch we embark on a biking on village road to Hin, a village of Thai minority group which is located within Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We will first bike on beautiful tar road through Mai Chau valley before jumping into undulating dirt paths. We reach Hang Village around 5 pm. We will have dinner and overnight in a traditional stilt-house of a Thai family. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 3: Climbing mountain slopes to Hin Village. Today is a tough day with long climb on mix of dirt paths and village roads. In the morning we climb mainly. In the afternoon we enjoy easier ride slightly downhill to Hin, a village of Thai minority. Great mountain view and scenic villages. Lunch in local house en route. Dinner and overnight in Hin village. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4: Downhill ride to Canh Nang Town-Ngoc Lac. After breakfast we say good bye to the villagers and ride toward Ma River passing expansive maize fields. Near the river we would see many water wheels which used by the local to water their farms. We cross the river on bridge and have lunch in Canh Nang town. After lunch we can continue biking along Ma River with the road gets more beautiful the closer you ride to Ngoc Lac with looming karst limestone cliffs and lush vegetation. The route is tarmac all the way, but quite hard riding due to the undulating terrain. Overnight in local hotel Ngoc Lac. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 5: Ngoc Lac-Thai Hoa. Ride for the first time on the newly built two lanes Ho Chi Minh Highway. It hardly warrants two lanes as there is no traffic! The road makes for smooth fast riding, and for those who prefer there is always the old highway dirt and gravel - that weaves around the new highway allowing for plenty of exploring possibilities along the way. Ride to Muc Son, on the banks of River Song Chu. On the outskirts of this small town are the famous Kan Linh historical relics - a pagoda where the first king of the Ly dynasty, Le Thai To, ruled, in 1428. Continue riding on the trail to Yen Cat. The distance covered today is quite long and there will be the chance to transfer some sections by the back-up vehicle to rest weary legs. There are fewer villages today as the route cuts through forests and jungle. Picnic lunch en route. Overnight Thai Hoa guest house. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 6: Thai Hoa-Nghe An. Continue riding the incredible Ho Chi Minh Trail. Have lunch in Lat town. In Kim Lien visit the famous museum and birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in 1890. This province has a reputation for producing charismatic revolutionary leaders; not only Ho Chi Minh but also Phan Boi Chau, another fervent anti colonialist was born here. Overnight in Nghe An Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 7: Nghe An-Khuong Khe. After a relaxing breakfast continues riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The trail is still a dream to ride on. Again there is virtually no traffic. Transfer if tired in the afternoon to Huong Khe for overnight in a local guest house. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 8: Huong Khe-Phong Nha National Park. From Huong Khe the mountains rise and the road winds up, down and along the hillsides. The scenery is spectacular, the road tranquil. Ride up to 80 km then transfer the last few km to Phong Nha National Park. The park contains one of the most spectacular caves in Vietnam; it is a true speleological wonder. Visit the cave by boat then wander through the cavern, past the foundations of ancient Cham ruins. Pause to admire the incredible formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Formed approximately 250 million years ago and during the American war, the North Vietnam army had used Phong Nha cave as a hospital and ammunition depot. The entrance still showing evidence of fighter aircraft attacks. There are community projects underway with Flora and Fauna International and it may be possible to visit village initiatives and learn more about the forests of the National Park. Overnight at the National Park. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 9: Phong Nha-Dong Hoi. Boating and exploring World Heritage site of Phong Nha where local civilians and military sheltered from incessant bombing during wartime. Then we drive down to the coastal town of Dong Hoi, which was heavily shelled by US warships during the war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 10: Dong Hoi-Dong Ha-Vinh Moc-Dong Ha. Today we continue south along Highway 1 using both our bicycles and our support vehicle. We reach the town of Dong Ha where we stay for the night. In reaching Dong Ha we pass through the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), scene of some of the bitterest fighting during the American War. Here we will visit Vinh Moc tunnels to see at first hand how the Viet Cong fought. The stretch of tunnels runs for nearly 3km and have not been altered for the tourists benefit. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 11: Dong Ha-Hue. Today we drive to the former Imperial capital and cultural center of Vietnam, Hue. After all check-in formalities are done, we set out our bike and explore this ancient city. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 12: Hue-Hoi An. Hue was the capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty of emperors from 1802 till 1945. In the morning cycle to the elaborate mausoleums of Emperor Tu Duc and Khai Dinh along the banks of the Perfume River. Leave Hue in the afternoon for the ancient trading port of Hoi An 120 km to the south via the spectacular Pass of Ocean Clouds. Arrive in Hoi An late afternoon and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Hoi An. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 13: Hoi An. Leave Hoi An after breakfast and cycle to the sacred Marble Mountains where caves contain dozens of Buddhist shrines. Stop off at Da Nang to visit the famous China Beach, once a 'rest and recreation' resort for American servicemen. Return to Hoi An for lunch and spend the afternoon discovering the delights of Hoi An's historic town center or perhaps cycle to Cua Dai Beach 5 km away. Overnight in Hoi An. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 14: Hoi An Departure. Today we have free time until transfer to airport for your departure. Includes: (B).

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
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Location: Vietnam
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2006
Client Request Served: 148

M15545 is a professional services company possessing extensive knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics both within Vietnam and across the Asian. We are always putting our clients in focus and our keywords in...

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