Itinerary: 4WD Tour Vietnam - 8 Days Self - Drive 4x4 Tour On The Historical Ho Chi Minh Trails
Day 1: Hanoi – Phu Yen. 170km.
Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains, we pass through endless limestone karts scenery as we travel up to the Northeast region, the extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. We drive on the mixture of good roads and small village dirt tracks. Arrive in Phu Yen in late afternoon, overnight at hotel, dinner in town.
Day 2: Phu Yen – Mai Chau. 170km.
Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains, we pass through endless limestone kart scenery as we travel up to the Northwestern region, the extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. There are many small roads that lead into the mountains around Mai Chau, so we’ll take the chance to drive out to the isolated H’mong, Dao and Thai villages on a mixture of small paved road and off-road tracks. Arrive in Mai Chau by 4.00PM. Diner and overnight in a stilt house in Mai Chau village.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Tan Ky, 250 km.
Say goodbye to the family, we drive today on a small, spectacular paved trail along the beautiful Ma river until Cam Thuy 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 in a hotel.
Day 4: Tan Ky – Phong Nha, 280 km,
Drive on the Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau where we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument.
Continue the way to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the biggest and also the most beautiful National Park and cave in Vietnam and Indochina, it’s 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. Diner and overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Phong Nha – Khe Sanh, 220 km,
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.
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 drive on the National Road No1 to 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.
Hue is the former imperial capital of feudal Vietnam and is a perfect place to relax after our driving to date. Take a boat cruise along the Perfume River to visit the tombs of the former Emperors Minh Mang and Tu Duc or visit the remains of the Imperial Citadel, which was largely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Overnight in Hue.
Day 8: Hue – Hoi An, 160 km,
Join 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. Arrive in Hoi An in the after noon. Tou ends.