Top to Bottom
Ride the entire length of the country.
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Vietnam Motorcycle Tour Map - 18 Day Top to Bottom - Rentabike Vietnam - White


Hanoi to HCMC
18 Days, 17 Nights
2200 km
Pillions Welcome


The definitive Vietnam motorcycle tour. Experience the stepped rice fields and karst mountainscapes of the north, before heading south along some gorgeous coastline all the way to Ho Chi Minh City. National parks, UNESO World Heritage sites and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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4 riders
view of a trail in ha giang
90 km
4 hours + (6 hour bus ride)
Sa Pa Valley
We get out of Hanoi early but we take a private VIP minibus up to Bao Ha where we pick up our bikes. From here, it is only a short hop up to Sa Pa taking the back road and not the main road. This means we needn’t negotiate the Ha Noi traffic and that we get an easy day learning how the bikes feel. We stay in a small homestay in a village overnight and feast on a hearty family meal washed down with a drop of firewater.
terraced rice paddies in Mu Cang Chai
180 km
6 hours
Fansipan Mountain; O Quy Ho Pass; rice terracing
Today we skirt around Fansipan and then head down the Hoang Lien Son Range into the Mu Cang Chai valley. Our first obstacle is the O Quy Ho Pass, which is a long descent down and then we get into the beautiful rice terracing of Mu Cang Chai. This is where we learn the pace and how we wish to drive. We stay in a small homestay some way out of town, which is quiet and peaceful.
some beautiful rice fields in Mu Cang Chai
160 km
6 hours
rice terracing; Tram Tau Valley; Ta Xua Nature Reserve
We stay on the QL32, which takes us around the Ta Xua Nature Reserve and on to Phu Yen. If weather permits, we can take a rugged off-road route. Otherwise, it is on the main road, which is relatively quiet up here in the hills but is a great road to drive. We stay in a small mini-hotel in town, which becomes our base.
the honda crf250 is the perfect bike for the job.
50 km
4 hours
Ta Xua Nature Reserve; Ta Xua back roads
There is not much to do in Phu Yen but our hotel is a comfortable one and there are plenty of food options. The reason we hang out here is that there are plenty of small track loops that we can take for a day trip. We can even head up to Ta Xua to get a look at the dinosaur spine and the ancient tea forest.
jose giving our guide directions
200 km
7 hours
Black River Valley; Van Yen ferry crossing; Chieng Hoa Waterfall; Pu Luong Nature Reserve
We should be quite well-rested and ready for a good drive today. We take the road down to the Black River, where we need to get a ferry and we can usually take the smaller roads over the hills to get to here. Then, we need to climb up the Moc Chau Plateau and again we can get off into the hills to do this. We can take the old highway 4 and quickly be in Mai Chau. However, we do not stop here in this very touristic area; we head further down to Pu Luong where we can find a quieter and more secluded place to stay. This is a small family-run homestay with great food and firewater.
parked up looking out over Go Lao Waterfall
210 km
7 hours
Ho Chi Minh Trail
This is one of our longest days but it is not a difficult one. We head out of the nature reserve and then dead South along the QL15. we can take a couple of detours on smaller roads, time permitting but this is very much a day of getting to our destination. We end up in the tiny town of Tan Ky which is the start of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Our hotel is the biggest in town, very easy to find, and we eat in local restaurants on the roadside. Note: The food is good and clean.
a quick break on the dirt trail in ha giang
260 km
6 hours
Ho Chi Minh Trail
We are now on the HCM Highway proper and things start to get more spectacular. It is a very long run down to Phong Nha so we have to be up and at ‘em early. So, an early breakfast and it is on the road toute suite. We follow the highway along the border with Laos and then around lunchtime we head a little West, more into the hills. There are lots of switchbacks as the road winds its way through the hills and this makes for great driving.
lying in hammocks in Pu Luong Holiday
various caves, lakes and back roads; chilling in Phong Nha
After a few long days in the saddle, it is time for a welcome break. There are plenty of alternatives here in Phong Nha and you can choose from visiting the caves, zip-lining, taking a boat on the river, or just lounging around in the sun. Remember, to get some washing done.
Khe Sanh Combat Base by Paul Mannix
230 km
6 hours
Ho Chi Minh Trail; war remnants in Khe Sanh Combat Base
We continue along the HCM Highway through the hills and it is more of the same. However, it doesn’t seem to get tiresome. The road winds through virgin forest and gets quite remote at times. We have enough fuel and a good mechanic so we are not concerned by this at all. You will see small hamlets occasionally and a few friendly children. Other than this, we are quite alone. At last. Khe Sanh is littered with military history and with luck we will have a little time to visit one or two places.
a tourist entering the temple in Hue
175 km
5 hours
Ho Chi Minh Trail; Walking Street in Hue
It isn’t too difficult to get to Hue from Khe Sanh so we can have a lie-in or, better still, sneak in a quick visit to another military site of interest. We have a choice of routes to get to Hue: more HCM Highway or over to National Highway 1. Everyone chooses the road through the hills :) so we have more of the winding, rising and falling alongside the beautiful scenery. Sounds good. Hue is very civilized and we stay in a lovely boutique hotel here. Easy days.
Lang Co Bay, on the Hai Van Pass
150 km
5 hours
Lang Co Beach; Hai Van Pass; Hoi Ancient Town
There are three possible options for the route today, but, again, we know that everyone will choose to take the Hai Van pass because of its history and its wonderful views over the East Sea. It is not far, so we have plenty of time to stop off for selfies and snacks and to generally enjoy the ride. To top that off, we then find ourselves in Hoi An, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam; for good reason.
the beautiful Ky Co Beach
320 km
7 hours
beach road along the coast; hotel in a quiet bay
This is a huge day of over 250km so we need to get on the road early. We hightail it down the highway along the coast with little time for stopping. We can certainly break this up and you should consider adding in a day here. We do end up in Quy Nhon, which is a great small town n the coast. Our hotel is on the beach in a secluded cove so the long drive will seem worth it. Tomorrow is the reward.
view over Ky Co Beach
relaxing on the beach; Ky Co Bay
A well-deserved rest day spent in no better place. We can hang out on the beach and do beach things or take a stroll around the local village. This day is a departure from the rigours of touring and the perfect way to replenish ourselves.
the picturesque bay of Nhon Hai beach resort
80 km
3 hours
coastal road; beach resort
This is a short hop to Tuy Hoa, which is another small coastal town. These areas are quite sleepy so it is a pleasure cruise between them and it gives us a little more time to take in the scenery and have fun. The coastal road is a welcome change to the mountains and adds a little variety.
the wonderful ocean view at the Nhon Hai Beach Resort
130 km
4 hours
coastal road; beach resort
We follow the coastal road again and head for Nha Trang, which is very built up and bustling. There are many lovely beaches on the route and we can stop off for a seafood lunch and a swim, if it gets hot. Our accommodation in Nha Trang is more upscale and so is the nightlife.
My Khe Beach, Da Nang
220 km
6 hours
coastal road; beach resort
A fairly long drive today along the coastal road so we need to make an early start. We will see more of the same beaches and resorts. We make a point of stopping at Cam Ranh Bay to get some stunning photos and then it is off down South to get to Phan Thiet.
two friendly boys in thuong duong ha giang
130 km
4 hours
coastal road; beach resort
Phan Thiet is a beach resort that is well known for kite surfing and we’ll see plenty of action here as we head further south along the coast. The ride is not so far and not so difficult so we have plenty of time to take a few detours or stop off for refreshments. We will get to Vung Tau nice and early and this will ensure we can have an early beer.
Greenlines Ferry DP between HCMC and Vung Tau
100 km
4 hours