An unforgettable ride through some of Vietnam’s most famous cities and countryside.
Take to two wheels and explore northern and central Vietnam by bike. This ten-day cycling trip guides you around some of Vietnam’s celebrated locations, including the well known centres of Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An. You’ll kayak around the limestone karsts of Halong Bay and row through the sublime scenery of Trang An. But you’ll get away from the tourist trails too, with the chance to cycle through rural Vietnam and its picturesque rice terraces and verdant landscape. And for good measure, you’ll return home knowing how to rustle up a fragrant Vietnamese meal.
* All breakfast, six lunches and five dinners are included * Vegetarian food is widely available, however the offering will be similar in most places * There are plenty of opportunities to try Vietnam’s excellent and distinctive food
You’ll arrive in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. We love this busy and full-on place, where scooters precariously weave their way through narrow streets to a continual soundtrack of honking horns. Tonight, you’ll get to know your group at KOTO (Know One, Teach One). This training restaurant for disadvantaged youths serves excellent food and you’ll have the opportunity to try some local flavours as well as dishes from wider south-east Asia.
At dawn, you’ll head to Hoan Kiem Lake for a Tai Chi and Laughing Yoga session. Feeling revitalised, you’ll feast on /pho, /a Vietnamese soup, for breakfast. Next, there’s a walk around the labyrinth streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, stopping to sample egg coffee. There’s /bun cha/ for lunch, a local dish of noodles, broth and meat served alongside some greens. After lunch, you’ll pick up bikes before cycling to Ho Tay, the city’s largest lake, to bike 15 miles around its circumference. The ride provides a glimpse into modern and traditional Vietnamese life as fishermen wait for a catch and luxury rooftop restaurants compete for space. You’ll stop at one of the many cafes to sip on delicious Vietnamese coffee and enjoy the lakeside views. Dinner tonight is at Tam Vi, a restaurant serving traditional northern cuisine. Then it’s on to a popular cocktail bar, Mojito Bar & Lounge, to try their legendary /pho/ cocktail.
Today you’ll leave Hanoi behind, heading an hour-or-so outside of the city to Cho Tia railway station. You’ll cycle through pagoda and temple-filled villages, then join the riverside path beside the Chau Giang River and Day River, one of the four longest rivers in North Vietnam. Today’s 43-mile ride finishes at Thanh Nghi, where a bus transfers you to the hotel in Ninh Binh.
After breakfast, you’ll cycle from the hotel to Trang An in Ninh Binh province for a boating adventure. You’ll spend over two hours journeying through the spectacular scenery along the Sao Khe River, exploring the intriguing limestone caves (and understanding why this area has been granted UNESCO Heritage status). Afterwards, it’s back in the saddle to cycle along the Day River, following its banks to Hai Hau in Nam Dinh. There’s a stop along the way to visit the covered bridge, Pham Phao Church, and a locally celebrated chap who makes beautiful brass instruments. With another 40 miles under your belt today, it’s back to Nam Dinh for a rest.
There’s an exhilarating two-hour ride to start the day, cycling 25 miles from the hotel to Thai Binh before a bus takes you to idyllic Halong Bay. Easily one of the most beautiful sights in south-east Asia, Halong Bay is a captivating place where 3000-odd limestone peaks rise directly from the emerald sea. You’ll cruise amongst this phenomenal karst scenery, stopping to swim and kayak, allowing you to explore places inaccessible by your cruise boat. You’ll sleep onboard overnight in twin-share cabins with en suite facilities. Please be aware that the boat trip on Halong Bay can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip.
After returning to port, you’ll transfer to Noi Bai airport to board the short flight to Hue. There’ll be time to refresh in the hotel before dinner at a local home where you’ll help prepare the evening meal and chat to your host about Vietnamese life. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the centre of Hue to experience its colourful nightlife.
Often considered the cultural and historical centre of Vietnam, there is plenty to see in Hue and a full day of activities lies ahead. You’ll take a morning tour of the city and surrounding tombs, including a visit to the Imperial City of Hue. Although much was lost in the French and American wars, the city is undergoing restoration and reconstruction. It’s a fascinating place to visit and admire the atmospheric emperor’s residence, temples and palaces. After, you’ll explore the Perfume River by boat, passing the renowned Thien Mu Pagoda, an imposing Buddhist temple sitting on a hill. Further on, set among beautiful riverside gardens, lies the Tomb of Tu Doc, an expansive and elaborate royal mausoleum. Lunch is served at the Peaceful Bamboo Village, a centre that provides vocational training for young people with disabilities. Later in the afternoon, you’ll take a cyclo around Hue for a street food experience. You’ll sample an array of food including /Banh Beo, /water fern cakes/, Bun Bo Hue/, a spicy broth and noodles,and salty coffee.
The calories from yesterday’s food fest will serve you well today as you embark on a 52-mile ride. Leaving Hue, you’ll cycle uphill, conquering the Ocean Cloud Pass, a stretch of highway that winds through the Truong Son mountain range with views across the Bay of Da Nang to the south. There will be plenty of breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery before you reach the atmospheric town of Hoi An with its lantern-lit streets, vibrant markets and artisan shops. After dinner, you’ll recover from the long cycle by sipping the best craft beer in town at a local small brewery.
This morning there’s a guided walking tour of Hoi An to explore the historical sights of the Old Town. Alternatively, you can cycle to Cua Dai beach for some downtime, or bike further afield to the Marble Mountains. In the afternoon, you’ll cycle 15 miles to Tra Que Village, famed for its avenues of herbs, so fragrant that you can smell them before you see them. You’ll stop at a C/ao Lau/ noodle maker, a bean sprout grower’s home and the local market. En route you should see water buffaloes and wonderful birdlife. Later, you’ll visit a chef’s house where there’s a cooking demonstration before having a go yourself, learning all about central Vietnamese cuisine, this time.
After breakfast, you’ll part with your faithful bike, ready to return home (and rest your weary legs!).
* All breakfasts, six lunches and five dinners * All accommodation * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader throughout * Arrival and departure transfers
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.
Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.
Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!
When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.
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At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.