Ho Chi Minh Highway Cycle Challenge

Cycling

Cycling

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(Excluding flights)

Cycle from Hanoi to Hue covering an impressive 922km in 9 days along the newly-built Ho Chi Minh Highway. The wide, smooth undulating highway is a cyclist’s dream as there is little traffic on the road. Once a small track used only by locals and ponies, the Ho Chi Minh Trail expanded into a seemingly endless number of backwater paths, trails and roads starting in Hanoi and running almost 2 000 km down the length of the country. The trail was used as a strategic transport route to provide access between the North and South Vietnam during the war. 

This cycle challenge will test your physical skills and the well-made, paved road will allow you to take in the surroundings including farms, orchards, spectacular mountains and landscapes as well as tribal villages. Covering some pretty remote and breathtaking places including the UNESCO World Heritage cave system at Phong Nha to Vietnam’s Imperial City in Hue.

Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Hanoi

Your challenge will begin with a pre-trip briefing at the hotel with your local guide followed by a dinner in a nearby restaurant. Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Phu Luong | 70Km

We leave the hotel after breakfast and travel just outside Hanoi city where your cycle challenge really begins. The first day of the challenge starts off easy, passing through many local villages enjoying the stunning views of mountains, valleys and rice paddies along the way. Prepare for a couple of rolling climbs towards the end just before we reach our accommodation for the night in Mai Chau Valley. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Mai Chau - Ngoc Lac | 120Km

Today's ride will take us along the rolling valley of the Song Ma River - a part of the original/main Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was used to carry supplies and ammunition during the war. We will continue on through the stretch of mountains which cover the area from Mai Chau to Cuc Phuong and Hoa Lu. As we cycle closer to Ngoc Lac, where we stay overnight, the route gets more beautiful filled with looming limestone cliffs and lush vegetation. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Ngoc Lac - Thai Hoa | 100Km

To avoid the main road to Lam Son, we will start today with a short transfer. From there we set out on our bikes on the newly-built Ho Chi Minh Highway, which with its wide and very little traffic we'll have virtually to ourselves. The tarmac makes for smooth and fast riding with 360-degree views of the stunning area including fields of coffee, tea and various fruits before arriving in Thai Hoa in the afternoon. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Thai Hoa - Pho Chau | 130km

We continue on the ride along the Ho Chi Minh Highway, winding through lush jungle and beautiful villages laying under the Truong Son mountain range. Take the time to admire the striking landscape and the serene karst formations We reach the remote town of Pho Chau in Nghe province at the end of the day, where we stay at a local guesthouse. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Pho Chau - Phong Nha | 150km

Enjoy the smooth tarmac of the Ho Chi Minh Highway as the mountains rise and the road winds up and down along the hillsides. We cycle through Phong Nha National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage site riddled with hundreds of cave systems - many of extraordinary scale and length - and spectacular underground rivers. The caves were used as a hospital and ammunition depot during the war. Community projects nearby are underway and it may be possible to visit village initiatives creating habitat corridors to help to maintain the forest's ecosystem. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Phong Nha - Dong Hoi | 50Km

We board a boat in the morning to visit the first 600m of the Phong Nha Cave, as a welcome break from our bikes. You will feel as though you are being transported into another world whilst we paddle through illuminated caverns. We then have the option to climb 330 steps up to Tien Son Cave, a dry cave in the mountainside used during the American War as a hospital and ammunition depot. Resume a gentle cycle in the afternoon predominantly on a flat road to the seaside village of Dong Hoi with beautiful white sand beaches stretching 12km. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Dong Hoi - Cam Lo - Khe Sanh | 129Km

The route will take us through Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which was the dividing border between North and South Vietnam, and troops of both governments were barred from 5 km on either side of the border. The road is now quite flat, and we make good time and stop to visit Truong Son Cemetery, a memorial to the tens of thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers who were killed on the DMZ and on Ho Chi Minh Trail. It's just 14 km further to the town of Cam Lo, and here the trail heads across the border into Laos. We then transfer to Khe Sanh, the site of a former US marine base and the in-famous 1968 battle of Khe Sanh (longest battle in Vietnam War), near the Laos border to overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Khe Sanh - A Luoi | 103Km

We'll start the day off with a visit to the Khe Sanh combat base in the morning, where relics of the war are exhibited, and see the airstrip used to transport troops and supplies. Afterwards we will ride through remarkable landscape, mainly downhill, from the Laos border to Dak Rong River. Ride along the river and what was considered the southern part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail enjoying a traffic-free road, the terrain undulates and it's a nice contrast to the flat plains of the previous day's ride. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: A Luoi - Hue | 70km

Enjoy the last few kilometres along the Ho Chi Minh Highway before heading east and down to the coast, riding through the middle of Vietnam for 60 km on backroads before hitting Highway 1, just a few kilometres south of Hue. We'll visit Vietnam's Imperial City, UNESCO World Heritage Site which once served as Vietnam's capital from 1802 to 1945. During the Vietnam War, the Imperial City was heavily damaged, but it is slowly being restored to its former glory. We ride on backroads to our hotel and prepare for a farewell dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Departure

We end the tour, but you may choose to extend your time in Hue, visit Hoi An, or travel to Ho Chi Minh City. Meals: Breakfast

Location

 

Adventure includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Standard road bike (Giant Anyroad 2 with Shimano 9-speed shifting and SRAM disc brakes)
  • Guides
  • Support vehicle
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks and drinks

Doesn't include

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa
  • Airport transfers
  • Trips
  • Personal expenses

Bookings

Making a booking

The deposit for this trip is £198

Your full balance is due 3 months before your trip starts. If you book within 3 months of departure then the full balance is due at the time of booking. If you have any questions please contact our team at info@inspiredescapes.com or call +44 (0) 203 394 0050.

Dates

Price

Sunday 2nd Sep 2018 - Wednesday 12th Sep 2018 £1,834
Travellers: Book/Reserve

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