Out on the open road surrounded by verdant greenery, the faint sound of birds, followed by motorbikes. This sounds like Vietnam.
Vietnam cycling tours will take you through endless rice paddies, allow you to tap into local life and see parts of the country that are otherwise missed. Travelling Vietnam by bike will expose you to experiences that will have you head over heels for the country. While behind grazing from the handlebars you will interact with locals as they invite you into their homes, and learn about life as a farmer in the countryside, as many are in Vietnam.
With over 3,000 kilometres of coastline and borders with Cambodia, Laos, and China, there are cycling routes for all ages and abilities. Whether you are looking to cycle through the quaint streets of Hoi An for the day, take a Hanoi bike tour or you want to conquer the whole country pushing two wheels, it is possible!
Before millions of motorbikes took over Vietnam, the only way to explore the country was by bicycle. When discovering the ancient streets of cities like Hue and Hoi An, it feels only natural to opt for pedals instead of engines, taking things as slow-paced as locals do. While motorbikes now dominate the region, you’ll find that the further into the countryside you go, the more things go back to basics.
Grab your helmet and go! Vietnam bike tours are unlike any other.
Tour Styles for Biking in Vietnam
There are many options for Vietnam bicycle tours. It is possible to rent bicycles in almost every city which poses a much more leisurely and healthy alternative to getting taxis.
You’ll also find that opting for two wheels is more of a culturally immersive experience; locals shout hello to tell you they like your bicycle and street vendors pull up theirs, with baskets filled with ingredients, ready for their next customer.
For those who are looking to go on a Vietnam cycling trip, your options are dependent on weather conditions and your physical fitness. For those looking for a real challenge, you could tackle the famous Vietnam bike ride from north to south or vice versa. Backpackers often do this over a month on a motorbike, so cycling will take much longer.
Short Tours by Bicycle
Explore the cities and countryside of Vietnam in an alternative way by renting a bicycle for your self-guided trip or hire a guide to take you. Here’s a rundown of tours from the north to the south of Vietnam;
Hanoi by Cyclo
A more relaxed approach to a bicycle tour in Hanoi; a popular way to get around the Old Quarter is to hop on a cyclo, a three-wheeled bicycle taxi, often pushed by an older man. Your guide and cyclist will give you a tour local-style as they recount their personal stories and introduce you to the 1000-year-old city in their own way.
Slow down and let the chaos move around you on this exciting alternative to a Hanoi cycling tour. Cyclos have been in the city for decades and were a popular taxi service before motorbikes populated the country.
The quintessential Vietnam bike trip. If you don’t cycle around rice paddies, have you really been to Vietnam?
Cycling in Sapa will take you through valleys to tribal villages for a culturally immersive experience. Taking your time to cycle, you’ll find friendly locals saying hello and hoping to show off their English skills by asking you a few questions. Of all the self-guided cycling in Vietnam, Sapa is the most beautiful.
Cycling in Hue
The sleepy former capital of Hue is incredibly flat, making it perfect to cycle around. When in the city, you’ll find that the tourist area is very far from the ancient citadel, connected by the Perfume River. When you pair this with the Central Vietnam heat, a bicycle is the only answer.
A Hue bicycle tour will take you through the citadel that was once the administrative and military stronghold of the country. It is estimated that 80 percent of Hue city was destroyed during the Vietnam-American War; while on your Hue cycling tour, your guide will show you the main sites of the citadel. Many parts of the citadel have been rebuilt. However, you will see buildings that were bombed and left in ruins, as well as bullet holes in the walls.
Bicycle Tour in Hoi An
The most famous city in Vietnam, Hoi An is rapidly becoming one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. As a more traditional countryside location, cycling in Hoi An is part of the quaint package deal that the city presents.
A bicycle tour in Hoi An is often self-guided; there are bicycles for rent in almost every hotel and homestay. From the homestay, you can cycle between the yellow and blue townhouses that are now tailors and restaurants and out into the rice paddies that will take you to the beach.
The roads in Hoi An are flat; however, the weather is often incredibly humid, so it is best to go early in the morning.
Riding Levels for Your Vietnam Bike Trip
Cycling trips can be adjusted to meet your capabilities; however, there are a few extra things to consider before arranging your trip.
Difficulties of Cycling in Vietnam
Vietnam enjoys a tropical climate that can pose a challenge when travelling in Vietnam by bike. The country is prone to tropical storms that cause flooding and landslides every year.
In the northern and central regions, the hot season is from May to October when temperatures soar, and electrical storms are frequent. The exact timing for the beginning of summer fluctuates year to year, so it is best to contact one of our Local Suppliers before booking your Vietnam bike trip.
Southern Vietnam is hot year-round, and the rainy season lasts from April to October with heavy rain for an hour or two a day. From July to September, you can expect floods.
Before, during and after going on a more extended cycling tour, it is essential to be mindful of your physical health. Eating well and sleeping well are very important – luckily, you’ll have a wealth of Vietnamese dishes to try!
During your trip, it’s essential to rest regularly and give your legs and wrists regular massages to prevent cramping. If you have any problems with your general health, you must consult your physician before cycling.
While short cycles only require a moderate level of fitness, longer trips will require training to ensure you make the most of your cycling experience.
To go on long-distance cycles regularly, you could make conscious but straightforward decisions like ditching your car and cycling to work to train up before biking in Vietnam.
Your cycling holiday in Vietnam will be fully equipped, but you may wish to purchase cycling clothes to make sure that you stay cool while on the road. You could also purchase your own water bottle to protect the environment from single-use plastic and keep you hydrated.
Cycle Tour 1
On this Mekong Delta bike tour, you’ll hop on boats with your bicycle as you cycle between the rice paddies and past mangroves that characterise this region so well.
You’ll visit markets and pagodas and get to know the friendly locals as you stay in a quaint cottage in the heart of the Mekong Delta. A short but sweet three-day trip, this is one of the best Mekong delta cycling trips as it takes you away from the cookie-cutter tours on a bespoke cycling tour of Southern Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam by bike has never been more easy-going as you wind through the coconut groves of the Mekong. With lots of stops to sample products and visit orchards, this Mekong Delta cycling trip is for everyone.
Riding Level for Cycling in the Mekong Delta
This cycling trip requires very little training as the cycling is short on flat terrain with some moderate off-road trails. Although, it is worth noting that the temperatures in the Mekong are high, adding a little challenge to the trip.
Cycle Tour 2
Another trip in the south of Vietnam, this 8-day cycling tour in Vietnam starts in Ho Chi Minh City.
Throughout the week, you’ll have a mix of sightseeing tours that you will either cycle to or be driven to, starting with the very impressive Cu Chi Tunnels. You go down to My Tho on a Mekong Delta cycling tour to explore the countryside and its farms. Then, leave the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City behind and fly to Dalat.
A romantic mountainous city with astound nature and bizarre man made beauty, in Dalat you’ll go on a sightseeing tour around the city and its natural treasures beyond before cycling north. Your cycling trip will show you the beauty of the mountains in Vietnam, and you’ll finish the day at the Valley of Love on the outskirts of the city before cycling back.
From the high mountains of Dalat to the flat plains of the coast, the last part of your trip is in Phan Rang, where you’ll cycle along the beautiful untouched coast to visit Cham temples and become acquainted with the Cham people whose ancestors once ruled this region.
Your tour will finish on the local overnight train back to Ho Chi Minh City; you’ll wake up back in the city.
A week cycling in Vietnam like this trip will sometimes be challenging but ultimately rewarding. This trip involves a gradual build-up as you go from the flat plains of the Mekong Delta to the hills of Dalat and then back to the smooth roads of Phan Rang.
Riding Level for Your Bike Tour from Ho Chi Minh City
With some challenging ascents in Dalat and long rides to Cu Chi and Phan Rang, a moderate to a high level of fitness is required for this trip. In some parts, the terrain can prove to be challenging with uneven terrain and potholes on undeveloped roads.
Cycle Tour 3
Extend your cycling trip and experience two cultures cycling in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Similar to the tour above, you’ll start your cycling trip in Ho Chi Minh City, cycle in the Mekong Delta, fly to Dalat and visit the seaside town of Phan Rang. However, instead of finishing your trip there, you’ll fly to Siem Reap to spend two days cycling between the temples of Angkor Wat.
Your last day on the bike will be a highlight of the trip, as you go a little further away from the tourist trail in Banteay Srei, where there are still temples to be found deep in the jungle. This area offers excellent cycling opportunities with fewer crowds and some off-road trails.
You will finish your trip without a bike as you’ll go on a sightseeing tour in Tonle Sap, where you’ll be introduced to the Cambodian river life before flying to Phnom Penh. In the capital, history will stand before you as you learn about the all too recent story of the country.
Cycling in Vietnam and Cambodia on this trip is a leisurely experience. Your cycling days are broken up with fascinating tours as you visit some of the most iconic sites in both Vietnam and Cambodia, including the Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields.
Riding Level for a Cycling Tour in Vietnam and Cambodia
As an extended leisurely cycling trip, a moderate level of fitness is required; while your cycling days are spaced out, they are still long and sometimes challenging with off-road terrain while cycling in both Vietnam and Cambodia.
Want to Design Your Own Cycling Trip in Vietnam?
Whether you are looking to spend a week in Vietnam or several months, there is a cycling tour for you. At Tripfuser, we have a host of Local Suppliers who are experts in the region and cyclists themselves, who are ready and willing to take you out on the road to see the beauty of Vietnam’s diverse landscapes. With a range of fully customisable tours, you will be able to incorporate as little or as much cycling as you wish to make the dream trip.