One of the great attractions of Vietnam is it’s cuisine so be prepared to reward yourself after all the exercise and experience seafood heaven as we pass through fishing communities! Our days in the central highlands show us a side of the country less known to visitors and the enthusiastic welcomes from local people are a real highlight. From small, rural communities, to the high up hill tribes, to the beaches and then bustling Saigon, this adventure is one of true contrasts in culture. We welcome anyone who can ride a bike, has a sense of exploration and loves indulging themselves with good food and scenery.
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi. We arrive in Hanoi in the evening, after a flight from Australia. Your Intrepid leader will meet you in the arrivals hall. We will transfer by private bus to our hotel which is centrally located in the old quarter of Hanoi. We will have a late dinner with a trip briefing and general introduction to the challenge that lies ahead. Includes: (D). Accommodation: 4* hotel.
Day 2: Reunification Express to Hue (overnight). Morning tour of Hanoi with visits to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Uncle Ho’s house and the Temple of Literature. Lunch at KOTO’s which is a restaurant run by orphans who have received a vocational training in hospitality. Wonderful food and an inspiring charity. Free afternoon to further explore the old quarter and buy some food for the overnight train journey. We will meet later afternoon back at the hotel and transfer to the train station to catch the Reunification Express to Hue. Includes: (B). Accommodation: Overnight on train in 4 berth compartment.
Day 3: Hue - start of cycle challenge. We arrive early morning and transfer to our hotel for breakfast. We then have a bike fitting with a safety briefing before setting off for a gentle ride around the historic city of Hue. We visit the old Imperial Citadel which is enclosed within 7 meter high walls. We then cycle narrow roads following the Perfume River to visit the famed Thien Mu Pagoda. After lunch we cycle out to one of the Nguyen dynasty tombs before returning late afternoon to our hotel. Distance cycled approx. 40 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: Vi Da Hotel.
Day 4: Cycle to Hoi An. Our journey through Vietnam gets off to a spectacular start as we tackle the Hai Van (sea cloud) pass which winds it’s way through mountains by the sea. The Hai Van pass also marks a climactic change and the weather is decidedly warmer on the southern side. We cycle to the approaches of Danang where we will board a coach to take us for the last leg of the journey into Hoi An. Distance cycled approx. 65 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: Hoai Thanh Hotel.
Day 5: Hoi An (Free day). There are so many options to explore this hidden back water gem which is now a UNESCO heritage site with its crumbling colonial architecture. In the morning we will visit an orphanage sponsored by the Lifestart Foundation. It was founded by Karen Leonard who will be on this challenge where the main aim is to help orphans, street kids and families in Vietnam to become self sufficient. Later that day kick back and enjoy this wonderful place to rest for a day, with its excellent restaurants, colonial architecture, art galleries, curio shops, skilled tailors and a nearby beach. Includes: (B). Accommodation: Hoai Thanh Hotel.
Day 6: Cycle to Quang Ngai. It is sad to leave Hoi An behind as we have an early start. Our route will take us inland through rural areas and passing a landscape of paddy fields where women hard at work will always have time to wave and smile. We will cycle to the village of My Lai where horrific atrocities were committed by an American platoon back in 1969 which then became a turning point in the Vietnam war. We visit the memorial and pay our respects before continuing to our hotel. Distance cycled options upto 70 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: Petro Song Tra Hotel.
Day 7: Cycle to Kon Tum. Just south of Quang Ngai we cycle along the quiet back roads and start our climb into the Central Highlands past "montagnard" villages with locals dressed in traditional costumes. This area was also the scene of fierce fighting and major battles during the Vietnam War. We will drive part of this route according to how the group manages today's distance. Remember there is always a support vehicle. Distance cycled options up to 110 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: Dakbla Hotel.
Day 8: Cycle to Pleiku. A shorter day after the hill climb yesterday with a chance to visit the nearby "montagnard" villages, Kon Tum prison and the local orphanage. Kon Tum is a sleepy and friendly town with its terraces of shop houses left over from the French era. Our cycling today will be a mixture of exploring the quiet back roads and chatting with the local ethnic minorities. Overnight in Pleiku. Distance cycled approx. 46 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Cycle to An Khe. Today is a long day but we will be riding through an area rarely ridden by bike. There will be a few hilly sections that pass through beautiful forested areas and small villages. In the second part of the day the road flattens out on it’s way to An Khe, a small town that you’ve probably never heard of! Staying in these kinds of rarely visited towns is a real Vietnam experience! Distance cycled approx. 95 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: An Khe Hotel.
Day 10: Cycle to Quy Nhon. Our final day of riding has a couple of final hills to get over before descending to the coastal city of Quy Nhon. We stay right across the road from the beach in a great hotel - a fitting way to celebrate the end of this challenge. Distance cycled approx. 76km. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Accommodation: Saigon Quy Nhon Hotel.
Day 11: Quy Nhon and flight to Saigon. The morning will be yours to enjoy the town, hang out on the beach, visit the Ngyugen Nga Center (for kids with disabilities) or just wander the streets of this friendly town. In the afternoon we take a short flight to big crazy Saigon and our final night celebration. Includes: (B), (D). Accommodation: 4* hotel.
Day 12: Saigon. Spend your last morning exploring the city and endless sights which include the Saigon River waterfront, lively markets and shopping boulevards, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and for war buffs the Revolutionary museum. You can depart at any time today or extend your stay on in Vietnam. Includes: (B).
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Asia Vietnam Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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