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Top to Bottom | 18 Days

the view of Woman's Island from the Christ of Vung Tau

Tour Info

This is a fantastic ride that takes you the length of the country. We have listed 18 days for this but you might like to take out or add in a few days as it may seem a little rushed or a little slow or as if you are missing out on things. There is so much to see, do and experience and we travel through so many distinct regions that there is never a dull moment. We get to experience colonial war sites, Vietnam war sites, highlands, lowlands, a huge range of ethnic people and their regional foods and cultures. You may think you are going to see it all and even though you will see a lot there will be plenty that draws you back for another tour.



sunset in Sapa, North Vietnam

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. 

the O Quy Ho mountain pass near Sapa

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. 

terraced rice fields in Northern Vietnam

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. 

looking west to the sunset in ta xua lu tre homestay

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.

arriving in 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

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. 

take the time to find some gorgeous swimming spots between Phong Nha & Pheo

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. 

two tourists kayaking on Ba Be Lake

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

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. 

looking through windows in Hue, Vietnam's old capital

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

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.

view over Ky Co Beach

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. 

the beautiful Ky Co Beach

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 rigors of touring and the perfect way to replenish ourselves.

the picturesque bay of Nhon Hai 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

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.

fall asleep to the sound of the ocean at Nhon Hai Beach Hostel

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.

Back Beach in Vung Tau

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

Our final leg of the ride and, unfortunately, we head in to the heavily congested Saigonese traffic. We need to pay attention and re-acquaint ourselves with this level of traffic in order to keep safe. It isn’t so far, but we take it slowly so that we can be careful and get back in one piece. We will have plenty of time to get to our hotel and then be ready for our farewell dinner.



The cost of motorcycle rental for the duration of your tour is included. Each rider on your tour can choose any of our three bikes:

  • Honda CRF 250
  • Honda XR 150
  • Honda Future 125


See above section for images and specifications.

Your motorcycle is 3rd party insured. This is a legal requirement here in Vietnam, and protects you in the event that you injure another road user.

Additionally, we are responsible in the event your motorcycle breaks down or suffers a mechanical failure. However, if you damage your motorcycle by crashing it or through general misuse, you will be responsible for repair costs.

Naturally, you are also responsible for your own travel and medical insurance.

All the fuel you need for the duration of the trip is provided.

Your breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided and will be a mixture of European and Vietnamese food. Soft drinks and water are also provided and guides keep them stocked up at all times.

  • Breakfast will be in your homestay or hotel and will generally be a mix of fried eggs and bread, noodles, pancakes and sticky rice, accompanied by fruit and coffee. 
  • Lunch will be in roadside restaurants (small eateries offering clean and delicious local food), or we’ll stop for picnics (sandwiches with cold cuts and cheese) when appropriate.
  • Dinner will be in your hotel or homestay and will usually be a family cooked meal with a range of meat and vegetable dishes with some local specialties (all of which will be washed down with local fire water if requested!)


Vegetarian and vegan options may be limited in the countryside, but we always do our best to cater to our riders’ dietary requirements.

Beer in the evening is not included, but it’s cheap and in plentiful supply.

You will have one Western tour leader who will also act as translator, mechanic and route master. Larger groups will also be accompanied by an English speaking Vietnamese mechanic.

Your guide and support staff are all trained in first aid, and will be carrying first aid equipment.

We will arrange your visa invitation letter free of charge.

(Please note, though, that you will need to collect this take this to immigration yourself and pay a stamping fee of about $25 to receive your visa.)

We take it on ourselves to offer a covid guarantee. We offer a full refund/rescheduling of your tour should you be unable to fly due to having covid. All we ask is that you provide us with photo copies of a failed covid test taken less than 3 days prior to your flight departure date.

For every rider and pillion on the tour we donate 10 usd per day to our favourite charity: Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. You can read more about the great work they do and why we’ve supported them for for so long here.

At the beginning and end of your tour, we’ll be happy to arrange transportation to and from the airport for you!


You are able to hire a support vehicle that will allow follow your group you to stow extra luggage that you do not want to carry on the bike, this is especially useful if you plan to take a pillion.

We will also have an extra pair of hands to help with the tour and back up in case of sickness / break down. we often put a spare bike on this vehicle. the charge fo rthis is 150$ per day, fuel included.

As stated above, accommodation is provided on a twin sharing basis. If you wish to have a single room we can arrange this at a small extra cost.

You can purchase this to exempt you from liability for any damage caused by accidents caused by you or a third party vehicle. we will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle but not the third party. This is only 20usd per day per bike extra.

Vietnam Motorcycle Tour Map - 18 Day Top to Bottom - Rentabike Vietnam
4 riders