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Ride the entire length of the country.
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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
sunset in Sapa, North Vietnam
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; Ta Xua Valley
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.
Ta Xua Lu Tre Homestay-looking North towards the dinosaur spine
50 km
4 hours
Dinosaur Spine; Ta Xua Mountain
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.
the road to Pu Luong overlooking Tien Son
200 km
7 hours
Chieng Waterfall; Pu luong Nature Reserve; Van Yen ferry crossing
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.
take the time to find some gorgeous swimming spots between Phong Nha & Pheo
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.
two tourists kayaking on Ba Be Lake
chilling in Phong Nha; various caves, lakes and back roads
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; 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.