A real exploration of Vietnam - the trip of a life time

Motorbiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Complete Challenge

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Hanoi - Mai Chau valley - Pu Luong nature reserve - Tan Ky - President Ho Chi Minh homeland - Phong Nha - Hue - Hoi An - Phuoc Son - Buon Ma Thuot - Kon Tum - Dalat - Mui Ne - Ho Chi Minh City
15-day trip with 11-day motorcycling
Motorcycling grading: Moderate to challenging. View grading definition here
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This motorcycling trip leads you from North to South Vietnam on the entire Ho Chi Minh Trail the legend in our wartime, now offers amazing scenery and awesome riding experience. The ride starts up at Mai Chau valley and keep follow this less traffic trail passing famous Phong Nha cave and well-known DMZ including Ben Hai bridge, Dong Ha to reach to two World Heritages of Hue and Hoi an. We will ride along beautiful plantation of Central Highland with many historical sites in Vietnam American war before enjoying a cool retreat in Dalat. Take the fantastic ride on the most beautiful trail in South Vietnam to Mui ne, immerse in the beach here before ending up at the bustling Sai gon.

 

Tour Highlights
  • Riding along the entire Ho Chi Minh trail
  • Awesome nature of Mai Chau, Pu Luong, Phong nha cave
  • DMZ are with historical stories and relics
  • Beautiful plantation in Central highland
  • Beach breaks at Hoi an and Mui Ne are true relax.
  • Dalat cool retreat
 

Motorbiking the Ho Chi Minh Trail - Complete Challenge route map

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi - Mai Chau
Day 3: Mai Chau – Pu Luong Nature reserve – Tan Ky ( 280 km)
Day 4: Tan Ky - Phong Nha ( 290 km)
Day 5: Phong Nha – Hue, former citadel ~ 285km
Day 6: Hue – Hoi An  ~ 175km
Day 7: Free time in Hoi An - a day off
Day 8: Hoi An – Phuoc Son ~ 150km
Day 9: Phuoc Son – Kon Tum ~ 190km
Day 10:  Kon Tum – Buon Me Thuot ~ 240km
Day 11: Buon Ma Thuot – Lak Lake – Dalat  ~ 200km
Day 12: Da Lat touring around
Day 13: Da Lat – Mui Ne – 250 km
Day 14: Mui Ne – Sai Gon – 180 km
Day 15: Sai gon departure

PRICE (Per person)
Valid to 31st December 2016

Affordable option: 125CC commuter Future Neo

1 person: US$ 2840
2 persons: US$ 1810
3-4 persons: US$ 1515
5-6 persons: US$ 1280

Single surcharge:  US$ 265

Best option: 250CC dirt motorbike

1 person: US$ 3790
2 persons: US$ 2510
3-4 persons: US$ 2140
5-6 persons: US$ 1840

Single surcharge:  US$ 265

  • Semi-automatic gear Honda 125 CC
  • Best Rated Hotel Accommodations
  • Unlimited Mileage
  • Helmets for the driver and passenger
  • Daily breakfast
  • Other meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Homestay permission
  • Professional English speaking tour leaders
  • Water & Snacks on driving days
  • First-aid kit
  • National Park and other Entrance Fees
  • Preparation and Orientation
  • All taxes, fees, and environmental surcharges

Exclusion:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa process and stamp
  • Transportation between hotel and location (restrictions may apply at certain locations)
  • Tips
  • Gasoline average US$ 10 per day
  • Personal motorbike protection gears
  • Others not mentioned
  • Mechanic and support truck at 140$/group/day

Surcharge for:

  • Dirtbike:

    o   Honda XR 150CC: US$ 16/day
    o   Honda XR 250CC: US$ 29/day
    o   Honda XR 400 CC: US$ 40/day

  • Support truck : approx US$ 140 per day

Note: These prices are subject to change without prior notice.

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Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

Active Travel ASIA tour guide will welcome you at the airport. On the way of the transfer to Hanoi downtown, our guide will introduce shortly about our country and show you how traffic in Vietnam looks like. After checking in your room, we are delighted to invite you for a welcome dinner in a fine restaurant with Vietnamese cuisine.
Summary:
Transfer by private car:  40 km
Meals:   Welcome dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Mai Chau

Being greeted again by our motorcycling tour guide at the hotel. You will have some time to get familiar with the bikes while our guide brief about the program, Vietnamese laws, and safety guide.
Start riding up to the famous Mai Chau valley that is about 170km from Hanoi. The road is paved but twisting around mountains and you are expected to climb up then down several passes. One of the most notable passes is Thung Khe where you can stop to watch over a local fair of Muong ethics. You can even try some local products if interested. 
Before arriving in Mai Chau about 7km, there is a flagpole where you will have an overview to Mai Chau valley with vast terrace fields dotted by lovely, tiny stilted houses. That is the great chance for photos.
We reach to Mai Chau then check in our homestay. Leaving your things and bikes at the house, we take a short walk into the Thai village whose costume is the most charming and beautiful. You can join dinner with the host, taste the local wine if you are fancy. Our suggestion for wrapping this day is a music performance by local artists (expenses excluded). You can join and... sing and.... dance. That’s so much fun.
Overnight in a stilt house of the Thai people.
Summary:
Distance:  170 km
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Homestay in Mai Chau village

Day 3: Mai Chau – Pu Luong Nature reserve – Tan Ky ( 280 km)

Breakfast at the homestay then we say goodbye to our nice host. After 15km driving on national road No15, we reach to a bamboo chopstick making factory then take a turn into a small road to pass Pu Luong Nature Reserve. “Pù Luông” in Thai ethnic language is “big mountain” then you can definitely expect for awesome twisting, up and down hill ride along beautiful terrace fields, stilt houses by Thai and Muong people. After that, we will ride along Ma River to Ngoc Lac where we meet the first part of Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Stop en route for lunch after 30km commencing ride on Ho Chi Minh trail.
After lunch, we are into a nice ride for about 130km to Tan Ky Town. Our road is fantastic with the views of rubber plantations and especially the 370000ha grass farm – the biggest in Asia by TH True Milk Company, at 40km prior to Tan Ky town. We arrive in Tan Ky, check in the hotel and overnight.
Summary:
Distance:  280 km
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in Tan Ky

Day 4: Tan Ky - Phong Nha ( 290 km)

Today is a day for historical and wartime stories. Breakfast at a local shop, we start our motorbikes to Do Luong with en route stop at Truong Bon – a strategic intersection for North to South logistic. The next stop is the highlight of the day when we visit President Ho Chi Minh homeland to admire his humble family and his great life. 
Stop for lunch after taking a turn to road No1 – that is parallel with Ho Chi Minh trail with heavier traffic - and passing Ben Thuy bridge about 10km.
After that, we keep our riding along National road No1 for more 15km and turn right to get back to Ho Chi Minh trail again. We will visit Dong Loc intersection where the story of 10 volunteer girls sacrificed their youth heroically is admired by next generations ever. Then we keep our motorbikes along Ho Chi Minh trail passing Huong Khe, Tan Ap etc. to Phong Nha. On the way, we may take some stops at tea, rubber plantations. 
Check in hotel in Phong Nha and relax.
Summary:
Distance:  290 km
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in Phong Nha

Day 5: Phong Nha – Hue, former citadel ~ 285km

Getting up in early morning to prepare for long journey today. Following breakfast, we embark our today tour by a motorized boat to explore the famous Nature World Heritage Site of Phong Nha cave. 
After 2 hours boating and caving discovery, we continue our motorcycle tour to Hue. On the way, having a short stop at Truong Son National Cemetery to pay respect to the soldiers who fought and died on the trail during the American War. Keep our wheels riding to Dong Ha Town by passing Ben Tat Bridge, built by the VC over the Ben Hai River.  Lunch in local restaurant before we head back to Hue – the Culture World Heritage site - in the late afternoon. Check in the hotel, dinner on your own.
Summary:
Distance: 285 km.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 6: Hue – Hoi An  ~ 175km

Breakfast at hotel then we continue our journey.
In the morning, we will spend time to visit Imperial City to visit the impressive Royal Palace and other beautiful royal buildings.
Lunch in local restaurant then we drive to Hoi An via Da Nang. Instead of taking highway along coastline with a tunnel under mountain, we will conquer the most stunning pass of Vietnam – Hai Van. From the top of Hai Van Pass you can see one side is Hue and one side is Danang city with the breathtaking combination of ocean, mountains and cloud (Hai means “ocean”, Van mean “cloud”)
Upon arrival in Hoian Town we check in hotel and free time to enjoy dinner after relaxing. Dinner on your own in Hoi An town.
Summary: 
Distance: 175 km.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch. 

Day 7: Free time in Hoi An - a day off

Breakfast at hotel, today we will spend your own time to explore small beautiful Hoi An town.
We suggest this day is an easy walk along beautiful ancient streets and enjoy coffee at love, tranquility café shop.
Summary:
Transfer: N.A
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An.

Day 8: Hoi An – Phuoc Son ~ 150km

Say goodbye to this charming town, we start our motorbikes to Phuoc Son. Following toward to National Road No1 and take a 15km riding on this road, we turn right to the World Culture Heritage – My Son Holy land. This was once capital of Cham Pa Kingdom with the unique architecture and hiding inside the relics many mysteries.
Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.
We continue the ride on our motorbikes on Highway 14 E, along the bank of Thu Bon River to reach in Phuoc Son in the late afternoon. On the way of riding, you may meet many manmade lakes for hydroelectric plants. Overnight in mini hotel or hostel in Phuoc Son.
Summary:
Distance: 150 km.
Accommodation: Hotel in Phuoc Son.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Phuoc Son – Kon Tum ~ 190km

This day is a bit of a bumpy section of the Highway 14 toward Kon Tum – a province on Central Highland of Vietnam – that is the home of many ethnics with unique culture feature.
While driving over Lo Xo Pass, we make several stops along the way to meet De and Trieng minorities, who live along the Dak Po Ko river. Along the river are many amazing hanging bridges, built by the local people.  Lunch will be in Tan Canh. Then we visit a village of Se Dang and passing one of the key towns which once were battle sites of the Vietnam War – Dak To and outpost Charlie. 
Arrive in Kon Tum, we can visit the Catholic Church and the orphanage, based behind the Catholic Church in town and run by a group of French nuns. If time permits, you can also visit a beautiful Bahnar village near town.  
Summary:
Distance:  190 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Kon Tum 
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10:  Kon Tum – Buon Me Thuot ~ 240km

The new Ho Chi Minh Highway was built on the old trail, but from Kon Tum to Daklak, the historic HCM trail (Highway 14C), runs parallel to Highway 14 linking Kon Tum, Pleiku, and Buon Me Thuot. 
We will continue riding Highway 14 today, finding that traffic is busier than usual. Lunch will be in Pleiku.  From here, we ride along the Tun River and up over a pass.  Along the way, there are vast coffee plantations and the stilt houses of the Central Highland’s largest ethnic group, Gia Rai. Eventually, we will cross the Nha Rong and down into Buon Me Thuot, the provincial capital of Dac Lac Province.
At night we can stop by the beer parlors or sample the local coffee grown in the region. Coffee in Vietnam Central Highland is believe one of the best over the world. Even though the tastes for Vietnamese is rather stronger, just taste it and enjoy its bittersweet on your tongue. Overnight in hotel there. 
Summary:
Distance:  240 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Buon Ma Thuot
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Buon Ma Thuot – Lak Lake – Dalat  ~ 200km

This morning, we drive to Lak Lake on Rte. 27, a small paved road with poor surfacing and quite busy.  Here we can have a break for refreshment and troll around the by the lake. There are said to be about 31 different ethnic groups in Dac Lac, each with their own traditional dress and customs.  Some of the villages are known for elephant hunting and taming, some for weaving and other arts.  
After lunch in Lak Lake, we continue on to Da Lat.  The road is narrow, winding, but not busy.  We have three passes to cross – Krong No, Chuoi, and Phu Son. The drive itself is quite beautiful and lined with dense forests.  Late in the afternoon, we will arrive in the hill town of Da Lat.  Overnight in Dalat. 
Summary:
Distance:  200 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Da Lat 
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Da Lat touring around

Following breakfast at hotel, we can spend a little time for the highlights of Dalat. Today is depending very much on your interest then we can manage accordingly. The suggestions are various from relaxing city tour with the best highlights of highland city to another adventure types such as: biking, cannoning, rock climbing or hiking.
Depending on your choice of tour, the time to back to hotel can be around 2.30PM to 5PM. 
Summary:
Distance: upto your interest
Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 13: Da Lat – Mui Ne – 250 km

Wake up in early morning for the sound and sense of highland town. Prepare for this long day with full breakfast at your hotel. Don’t forget to enjoy delicious coffee – the specialties of this area.
Start our bikes for the last part of our journey – riding to Mui Ne. We can make stop on the way for lunch or beautiful waterfalls. Arrive in Mui Ne in the afternoon. Check in the hotel, dinner on your own.
Summary:
Distance: 250km
Accommodation: Hotel in Sai Gon.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 14: Mui Ne – Sai Gon – 180 km

Breakfast at hotel then head to Sai Gon to complete the wonderful tour. Lunch on route. Check in the hotel in the afternoon and free time for your dinner.
Tonight is the time to explore the biggest and busies hub of Vietnam and celebrating our challenging completion. Beer, nightclub and bar are the great option to wrap your adventure in Vietnam with an awesome night out. Overnight in Sai gon
Summary:
Riding: 180 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Sai gon

Day 15: Sai gon departure

Free time or explore the city with its best highlights before getting reading for the flight back to your home country. Our guide will escort you to the airport for the onward flight back to your home country or connecting to the next destination.
Our services for North to South Vietnam on Motorbikes end here.
Summary:
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Not available
 

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