Itinerary: Guided Motorcycle Tours Through Vietnam - 10 Days On The National Road
Day 1. Ha Noi – Ha Long.
Day 2. Ha Long – Ninh Binh.
Day 3. Ninh Binh – Tan Ky.
Day 4. Tan Ky – Phong Nha.
Day 5. Phong Nha – Khe Sanh.
Day 6. Khe Sanh – Hue.
Day 7. Hue – Hoi An
Day 8. Hoi An.
Day 9. Hoi An – Quy Nhon.
Day 10. Quy Nhon – Nha Trang
Day 1: Ha Noi – Ha Long : 170 km. 4hr ride. B,D.
Depart from hotel then take 4 hr ride by taking a busy traffic road going though the Red River Delta. You arrive in Ha long about lunch time, check-in on a traditional woodern Junk , After lunch, we cruise to the inside of magical landscape of Dinh Huong island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island, Binh Phong mountain, Sung Sot Cave, Round over Titov Beach. Enjoy sunset on the top of the Titov mountain or you take a bamboo row boat to discover a water tunnels with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board Junk, enjoy dinner on boat.
Day 2 : Ha Long – Ninh Binh : 180 km 4 hr ride. B,D.
Rise to the sound of the ocean coming to life for another lovely day. Before breakfast, you may have an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, we cruise to the Bai Tho Mountain in the other beautiful Bai Tu Long Bay and we cruise back to the Halong dock. Lunch on boat before checkout is at 11:45. Boat arrive at harbor by 12:00. Leaving Halong then take the road no 18 to Hai phong, from Haiphong, you continue to go across the Red River Delta by taking the road no 10. Many stops en route to take photos of the rice fieds and meet the local people. Dinner and night at the hotel.
Day 3 : Ninh Binh – Tan Ky : 230 km 6 hr ride.B,D.
Ride on a small, spectacular and paved trail until Ngoc Lac town where we stop for lunch. Hit the Ho Chi Minh trail (now a newly built highway) all the way to Tan Ky town where we spend the night at a mini hotel.
Day 4, Tan Ky – Phong Nha. 300km. B,L,D.
Ride on Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau where we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument which is in fact the real starting point of our HCM Trail ride.
Ride all the way to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the biggest and also the most beautiful cave in Vietnam and Indochina and is now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geographic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 km of caves and underground rivers. Lunch on route, dinner and overnight in Phong Nha.
Day 5: Phong Nha – Khe Sanh, 220 km, 7 hr ride.
We strike south through foothills which were once sprayed heavily by Agent Orange towards the former DMZ. There is still much evidence of bombing on the mountain sides and from time to time we will see remnants of the original Trail. We take in the famous Western Ho Chi Minh Trail until Khe Sanh (former US Marine base). Diner and overnight at hotel in Khe Sanh.
Day 6: Khe Sanh – Vinh Moc Tunnel – Hue, 200 km, 7 hr ride.
In the morning we head south over the Da Krong Bridge (built by the Cubans in 1973) into the infamous A Shau valley, an area of intense wartime activity. Passing Carol Hill and mountains still barren due to the extended effects of Agent Orange, we towards the former DMZ, the famous Hien Luong Bridge (former demarcation line between North and South Vietnam and finally at Vinh Moc tunnel, we continue the ride on the National road No1to the beautiful city of Hue which lies along the banks of the Perfume River. Diner and overnight in Hue.
Vinh Moc (Vịnh Mốc) is a tunnel complex in Quang Tri, Vietnam. During the Vietnam War it was strategically located on the border of North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The tunnels were built to shelter people from the intense bombing of Son Trung and Son Ha communes in Vinh Linh county of Quang Tri Province in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. The American forces believed the villagers of Vinh Moc were supplying food and armaments to the North Vietnemese garrison on the island of Con Co which was in turn hindering the American bombers on their way to bomb Hanoi. The idea was to force the villagers of Vinh Moc to leave the area but as is typical in Vietnam there was nowhere else to go. The villagers initially dug the tunnels to move their village 10 metres underground but the American forces designed bombs that burrowed down 10 metres. Eventually against these odds, the villagers moved the village to a depth of 30 metres. It was constructed in several stages beginning in 1966 and used until early 1972. The complex grew to include wells, kitchens, rooms for each family and spaces for healthcare. Around 60 families lived in the tunnels; as many as 17 children were born inside the tunnels.
The tunnels were a success and no villagers lost their lives. The only direct hit was from a bomb that failed to explode; the resulting hole was utilized as a ventilation shaft.
Day 7: Hue – Hoi An, 160 km, 5 hr ride.
Hue is the former imperial capital of feudal Vietnam and is a perfect place to visit. Take a ride along the Perfume River to visit the tombs of the former Emperors Minh Mang, visit the remains of the Imperial Citadel, which was largely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968. After lunch in Hue, we depart for Hoi An by Joining the National Highway 1 and head up the Hai Van Pass (Cloudy Pass) before the World Heritage site of Hoi An, a major trading centre in SE Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Diner and overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An
Whole morning exploring the old town of Hoi An. Afternoon at the Cua Dai beach or free time until 18.00PM. Cooking class in the everning.
The former harbour town of the Champa people at the estuary of the Thu Bon river was an important Vietnamese trading centre in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled down. During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. During the French colonial period (1883 – 1945), it was called Faifo. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the “Japanese Bridge”, it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th – 17th century). The bridge (Chua Cau) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
The town is known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, and by similar names in Portuguese and Dutch. A number of theories have been put forth as to the origin of this name. Some scholars have suggested that it comes from the word “Hai pho” meaning “sea town”, while others have said that it seems more likely to simply be a shortening of Hoi An pho, “the town of Hoi An”, to “Hoi pho” which became “Faifo”.
In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, whose buildings display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.
Today, Hoi An is still a small city, but it attracts a fair number of tourists, also being a well established place on the backpacker trail. Many visit for the numerous art and craft shops and tailors, who produce made-to-measure clothes for a fraction of the western price. Diner, Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An – Quy Nhon, 300 km, 8 hr ride.
Join the National Highway 1 and head down the beautiful coastal line of Vietnam until Quy Nhon. Traffic is somewhat easier to handle than the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Diner and overnight in a beach front hotel.
Day 10: Quy Nhon – Nha Trang, 200 km, 6 hr ride.
Another day filled up with beautiful coast line views. Upon arrive in Nha Trang, we ride to the train station of Nha Trang, here we will say goodbye to the bikes and the tour guide, the bikes will be transported by train back to Ha Noi. Motorcycle trip ends. You will stay in Nha Trang for relaxing or take the night train or flight to Sai Gon.