VIETNAM BIKING ADVENTURE

Vietnam is a country of stunning and diverse geography, with towering mountains, a picturesque coastline, endless green rice fields, and a rich history. This classic bike tour takes in all of those features, from the bustling metropolis of Saigon, to remote rice paddies and chicken farms, to picturesque old port towns.  Every day is a new adventure as we wind our way north toward Hanoi. Along the way, we delve deep into Vietnam’s history at the My Son Ruins, explore the massive underground cave systems at Phong Nha, and enjoy world-class seaside cuisine at the port town of Hoi An.

This tour is designed to be attainable for anyone who cycles recreationally or as a commuter. Each day is perfectly paced for you to enjoy some of Vietnam’s best cycling, while still having time to relax and experience the local culture. Local and Lead Professional Western Guides, and a dedicated support vehicle, will be with you for every mile.

SUMMARY

TRIP TYPE: Cycling

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate

TRIP LENGTH: 11 days/10 nights

SPACES AVAILABLE: 12

TRIP COST: From $5,600/person

DATES

August 4 – 14, 2018

Custom Dates Available

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tour Vietnam’s picturesque coastline and endless green countryside by bike
  • Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture as you explore cities and small traditional towns such as Hoi An and Hue
  • Explore the stunning and otherworldly Phong Nha Caves

MEDIA

TEASER VIDEO:

TREK TIPS: COMING SOON!

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Saigon, Vietnam

  • International arrivals to Saigon, Vietnam (SGN)
  • A WWTrek representative will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel
  • Trip briefing and walking tour of Saigon
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Overnight: Hotel Des Artes, M-Gallery
  • Meals included: D

Day 2: Transfer to Chu Lai; Country Cycle to Tam Ky (30 mi)

  • Morning flight to Chu Lai
  • Bike fitting and set-up
  • Rural, coastal ride across multiple inlets past a beautiful lagoon
  • End with a short ferry to Tam Hai Island
  • Overnight: Le Domain de Tam Hai Resort
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 3: Cycle and Boat to Hoi An (50mi)

  • Ride dirt roads through sleepy fishing villages
  • See tranquil rural Vietnam
  • Short ferry to Hoi An
  • Overnight: Anantara Hotel
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 4: Cycle Tour of My Son Ruins (30mi)

  • Tour the beautiful My Son ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Return to Hoi An to continue exploring this beautiful town
  • Optional Hoi An “Bike and Bites” food tour
  • Overnight: Anantara Hotel
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 5: Explore Hoi An

  • Free day to enjoy Hoi An, a UNESCO world heritage listed town
  • Optional morning ride of the town and the surrounding countryside
  • Overnight: Anantara Hotel
  • Meals included: B **

** Recommended dining options for lunch and dinner

Day 6: Cycle to Hue via Hai Van Pass (60 mi)

  • Cycle the scenic Hai Van Mountain pass
  • The most challenging day of the tour, featuring a sustained climb followed by beautiful ocean views and a thrilling descent down from the pass
  • Transferr into Hue by van to avoid busy traffic at the edge of the town
  • Overnight: Le Residence
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 7: Hue Historical City Tour (25mi)

  • Cycling tour of Hue, one of Vietnam’s most beautiful and historic cities
  • Before lunch, relax on a lovely small boat heading back to Hue on the Perfume River
  • The ride today includes a bit of up and down through the city and countryside
  • Arrive back to our hotel with plenty of time to enjoy the pool or the on-site spa
  • Overnight: Le Residence
  • Meals included: B/L **

** Recomended dining options for dinner

Day 8: Cycle to Phong Nha; DMZ Tour (45mi)

  • Transfer north towards the former border line between North and South Vietnam.
  • Near the DMZ, set off by bike to explore this area that was of significance during the American & Vietnamese war.
  • Afternoon transfer by van to Phong Nha, the “Land of Karsts and Caves.”
  • Stay at the beautiful, remote Chay Lap farm stay.
  • Overnight: Chay Lap Farmstay
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 9: Phong Nha Trekking and Cave Exploration

  • Full day cave exploration, with an approximately one-hour trek
  • See Phong Nha’s world famous cave system, with miles of underground limestone wonders
  • Overnight: Chay Lap Farmstay
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 10: Transfer to Hanoi

  • Morning flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capitol
  • Hanoi walking tour, to explore the city’s constant clash of new and old and its delicious, plentiful food.
  • Celebration Dinner
  • Overnight: Hotel de l’Opera, Hanoi
  • Meals included: B/L/D

Day 11: Departure from Hanoi

  • Today, we say our goodbyes in Hanoi. There are no activities planned for today
  • For guests wishing to extend their tours, add-on adventures, including the world-famous Halong Bay, are available
  • Meals included: B

MEET YOUR GUIDE

Each one of our tours is led by a highly experienced and medically certified World Wide Trekking guide. Ed Chauner is our cycling guide; with over 30 years experience racing road bikes and mountain bikes, and an extensive background of teaching and guiding, Ed is the perfect person to ensure that you have a world-class cycling experience in Vietnam.

Learn more about Ed:

Meet Your Guide – Ed Chauner

HUMAN OUTREACH PROJECT IN VIETNAM

One of World Wide Trekking’s founding principles is giving back to the places we travel. Through our sister non-profit, Human Outreach Project, we are making a difference in lives around the globe, and connecting trekkers with voluntourism opportunities in local communities. We have a number of diverse projects around the world that WWTrek guests can get involved with.

Although we don’t have projects in this part of the world, there are always opportunities to get involved and find a meaningful way to engage with the local community. We would love to talk to you about custom voluntourism and humanitarian opportunities that you can incorporate into your WWTrek trip. The find out more, go to HumanOutreachProject.org or contact us.

TRAVEL NOTES

THE CYCLING:

Apart from a couple of days that are just short of 60 miles, and a climb over Hai Van Pass, the riding on this tour is achievable for anyone who rides regularly as a commuter or recreationally on the weekends. Most of the roads are paved back roads with minimal traffic. We encounter only a couple of dirt roads and these are not hard riding at all. There are often sea breezes to keep the temperature comfortable.

THE BIKES:

Top quality, well maintained Merida mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with hybrid tires for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and a comfortable saddle are also provided, with a women’s specific version available.

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO VISIT:

Though weather will vary somewhat from region to region, Vietnam is generally humid and hot, 80°F or higher throughout the year. November to February are the coolest months, but this is also the peak tourist season.  June to October is the rainy season; many people try to avoid the rains, but actually the wet season can be a great time to travel to Vietnam. The fields turn green with young rice, the rivers are flowing, and the heat is replaced with fresh clear air. During the rainy season, rain comes short and heavy in bursts during the late afternoon and at night, which can actually come as a welcome relief while you are riding.

ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES:

This trip begins in Saigon, Vietnam, and ends in Hanoi, Vietnam. You will fly into Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), in Saigon, and fly out of Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi.

*Many guests prefer to arrive before, or leave after, the scheduled itinerary. We can help you make arrangements. Additional charges for early arrival, transportation, lodging, meals, and activities will apply.

RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS:

International airfares are not included in program pricing. There are many flight options. Our travel expert, Danny Genung at Harr Travel is more than happy to help you with all of your travel arrangements from the U.S. to Vietnam. You can reach him at danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117.

The benefit of using a travel agent is in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, we do not recommend using them, due to instability in the itineraries. We also recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

CUSTOMS, VISA, AND IMMIGRATION:

U.S. Citizens are required to obtain a visa in advance of travel to Vietnam. If you are arriving in Vietnam through an international airport, there is an online application process, which will allow you to receive a “visa on arrival” at the airport in Vietnam. Contact us for details and assistance obtaining your visa prior to your trip.

You will need a passport valid for more than six months after your trip. Make two copies of your passport. Leave one at home and bring the other with you in case of an emergency. Ensure you provide a color copy of your passport to WWTrek 90-days prior to your departure date. Always carry two extra passport photos when you travel.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

Our accommodations range from five star hotels and resorts to cozy family guesthouses. At the larger resorts, you will experience a high quality of service, world class dining, and comfy beds. Expect a night or two at a local homestay, or a family-run inn. Accommodations are usually one of the highlights of our tours, so rest easy knowing that no matter where you go, we are creating a truly unique and memorable experience for you, with your comfort foremost in our minds.

HEALTH & SAFETY:

Our stringent commitment to safety means you have access to our medically certified guides before and throughout your trip. Our staff also carries emergency medical equipment such as satellite phones and medical kits.

No specific vaccinations are required for travel to Vietnam, but we recommend you visit your local travel clinic at least a month before your trip to make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shot, Typhoid, and Hep A.

Helpful over the counter medications include Imodium Ad, throat lozenges, ibuprofen, eye drops, muscle rub (Tiger Balm), knee braces, and any other personal medications you may need.

For more information, feel free to contact Dr. Levy, our medical advisor at 801.943.0264.

OUR TEAM:

World Wide Trekking boasts an extensive support crew for all of our groups ranging from 8 to 12 people. At headquarters in Salt Lake City, our staff is dedicated to helping you every step of the way. If you’re planning your trip and have a question about how to train or what bike you will be riding on the tour, our Adventure Specialist is just a phone call away.

We provide medically certified, English-speaking Western guides for all of our adventures. Additionally, you have access to a local operations manager and a plethora of local professionals to aid the group on your ride, including bike mechanics, a support vehicle, and anything else you might need.

GRATUITIES:

As in many parts of the world, gratuities are a symbol of a job well done. In addition to recognizing service people such as taxi drivers, restaurant and hotel personnel, we also acknowledge our staff with a gratuity.

You should plan to tip any service person that helps you, 10% for taxi drivers and restaurant staff is the norm. Check to see that a gratuity is not already included in the bill. Remember, if tipping in US dollars, when calculating the exchange rate; be careful not to tip too much. As you know, tipping is your option, and a reflection of the quality of service you receive.

Trekking Staff: At the trails-end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented as we say our goodbyes.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE:

You will have the opportunity to exchange money after your WWTrek guide escorts you from the airport. You can easily exchange money in Saigon, and in the smaller towns we visit. Exchange money as you go using your credit card or cash for your personal expenses during the ride. Typically, our guests spend about $1,000 for various personal expenses, souvenirs, and incidentals.

GENERAL INFORMATION

COUNTRY:

Vietnam is a popular South-East Asian destination that offers modern luxury mixed with old-world charm. Rich with culture and history, the country provides a multitude of natural beauty, well-preserved traditions, and picturesque villages.

POPULATION:

95.3 million

TIME ZONE:

Vietnam time is 7 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

CAPITAL CITY:

Hanoi, Vietnam

PEOPLE:

Vietnamese culture and people are a mix of diverse influences, including Chinese, Indian, and Mongol ancestors from north and east Asia. The country also has many indigenous groups of Thai and Hmong ethnicity, who still have settlements in the remote mountain regions. Wherever you go in Vietnam, the people have a reputation as being friendly and cheerful, with a culture that is very welcoming to guests.

LANGUAGE:

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam, and is the native language of over 75 million people. It is a tonal language that is part of the Austroasiatic language group, and is closely related to Cambodia’s official language, Khmer. Vietnamese was previously written with modified Chinese characters, but currently uses a derivation of the Latin alphabet.

CULTURE & RELIGION:

Vietnam’s culture has roots and influences as far back as the Bronze Age, to the Dong Son, a people skilled in rice farming, fishing, and sailing. A period of over 1,000 year of Chinese rule, ending in the 10th century AD, left a strong mark on the language, religion, and culture of Vietnam. From the late 1800s until the 1950s, Vietnam was part of French Indochina, and French colonial influence can still be seen throughout the country, in architecture, design, and imported French words.

Buddhism is Vietnam’s main religion, with 20,000 pagodas across the country. However, Vietnam’s religion shows the same diverse influences as other aspects of the country’s culture. Ancestor worship has long been central to traditional Vietnamese beliefs, and many Vietnamese also practice aspects of Confucianism and Taoism. Catholicism has also grown in popularity over the past couple of centuries.

MONEY:

Vietnam’s currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). USD are also accepted as currency in Saigon and Hanoi, but prices tend to be more expensive in USD than in VND.