VeloAsia

Tour Details
Blackstone Family
Road Bicycling with Support
15 Days/14 Nights
Intermediate Cycling
90% Good Condition Paved Roads
Maximum Group Size: N/A

Tour Dates:
April 12 to 26, 2008

Vietnam Cycling Slideshow

         

Apr 12

Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Arrive Hanoi, the cultural and political capital of Vietnam, which has slumbered unchanged since the sixties. Step back in time on the French-built, tree-lined boulevards and old quarter, which has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. Meet escort at Noi Bai Airport and transfer to central hotel on Hoan Kiem Lake. Orientation dinner with escort in the lake area. Accommodation at the Zephyr on Hoan Kiem Lake. (B,D)

AirlineCathay Pacific Flight 6727 Arriving 7:00 PM
Hong Ngoc, 34 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem Lake, Tel: (84-4) 3828-5053
OSCAT/AEA, 31 Hai Ba Trung, Tel: (84-4) 934 0666 (Medical coverage included in your tour)
Vietnam Dining Guide (pdf)

         

Apr 13

Hanoi
Halong Bay

Today, sightseeing at Hanoi's more interesting landmarks, rising at dawn to wander the morning markets before driving to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where "Uncle Ho" lies in state and the nearby centuries-old Temple of Literature.

Afterwards, breaking for lunch featuring Cha Ca, a delicious 5th-generation turmeric grilled fish dish, at Cha Ca Va Long before venturing out on foot in the central lake area to explore the busy Old Quarter's shops, galleries, markets, historic sights, and pausing to visit a local family in their traditional "tube" house. In the afternoon, we'll enjoy an activity becoming popular with the Vietnamese, although we recommend it as our favorite jet lag cure -- an herbal soak, steam bath and sauna, followed by massage. In the evening, delightful water puppets theater — a performance art unique to Vietnam, before dining at one of the capital's fantastic local restaurants.

         

Apr 14

Hanoi to Hue
Halong Bay
After an early morning flight, arrive in the ancient Imperial Capital of Hue. Sleepy Hue, Vietnam's most tranquil city remains largely unchanged by economic expansion in the south. After bicycle setup, we'll venture out onto the boulevards along the Perfume River, pedaling through the Imperial Citadel — memorable to most Americans from the vicious, month-long fighting that took place here during the 1968 Tet offensive. We'll also visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Vietnam's most important Buddhist monument. Time permitting, afternoon spin outside of Hue to visit two of the finest examples of Imperial architecture, the Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal Tombs. Afterwards, option to return to Hue by traditional dragon boat while the crew demonstrates preparation of Hue specialties, such as Banh Xeo — a Vietnamese crepe. Accommodation: Pilgrimage Village.
         

Apr 15
82 m

Hue to Hoi An
Halong Bay
An epic ride along one of the most beautiful coastal settings in the world, passing emerald green rice fields fronting blue lagoons and over the Hai Van Pass affording dramatic views of the sweeping bay around Danang. We'll pause at Lang Co Lagoon for a seafood lunch before conquering the six-mile Hai Van, then continue onto Hoi An, a quaint town that is typically everyone's favorite stop. Dinner at the vibrant Miss Ly's where we'll share cooking duties in the chaotic kitchen. Accommodation at the Central Hoi An Hotel at 7 Tran Phu Street.
         

Apr 5

Hoi An
Halong Bay
After breakfast, exploration of charming Hoi An by foot. After lunch of traditional Cao Lao pork soup, we'll ride up the coast along country roads to Marble Mountain, climbing up to its serene grottos and temples. Afterwards, a swim at nearby China Beach, a famous "R&R" area during the war, followed by cycling back to Hoi An. Afternoon activities include boating on the Thu Bon river fronting Hoi An before a dinner cooking demonstration by one of Hoi An's fabulous chefs.
         

Apr 6

Hoi An
Free at leisure in Vietnam's most popular town.
         

Apr 7
52 m


Hoi An to Phuoc Son
After breakfast, ride or shuttle outside the busier traffic around Hoi An. Ascending on quiet, country road into the mountains of the central highlands, passing through green hills, jungle forest and sparse villages. Challenging climbs until picnic lunch. After lunch, rolling hills and lush scenery all the way to small, picturesque town of Phuoc Son, set in a mountain valley near a cascading river. The area is also home to many hilltribes. Overnight at local guesthouse.
         

Apr 8
68 m

Phuoc Son to Kontum
Full-day riding undulating hills and some of the nicest scenery in Vietnam, passing mountain valleys and thick forests adjacent to national parkland. The route also covers sections of the famed Ho Chi Trail. Hilltribe villages dot the landscape and we'll stop for lunch in one. After lunch, continued riding until sunset and transfer to Kontum City, a small highlands town also well known from the war period. Total mileage 85 miles. Accommodation at basic mini-hotel.

         

Apr 9

Kontum to Ban Me Thout

  75 m  

Morning shuttle to Pleiku (one hour), a large scenic central highlands city. Cycling from over the Ham Rong Pass from Pleiku passing many nearby former military bases, including Plei Me and the Ia Drang Valley. After rolling hills, the route settles down to mostly flat road, passing pine forests, tea and coffee plantations, and Montagnard "hilltribe" villages. Late arrival in Ban Me Thout. Total cycling mileage 80 miles (longer option to 106). Accommodation at basic mini-hotel.

 
         

Apr 10

Ban Me Thout to Dalat

  72 m  
Halong Bay
Another long day with several long passes through pretty valleys, countryside, and grueling passes. After breakfast, shuttle up the road for about an hour and a half to beautiful Lak Lake. From here, riding to Dalat over several passes, through forests and past hilltribe long houses. Late afternoon arrive in the jewel of the highlands. Dalat, a former French hillstation with railway station, cathedral, and hundreds of dilapidated villas. Dinner in the city center at Famille Long Hoa. Accommodation Golf 3 Hotel.
 
         

Apr 11

Dalat

  18 m  

A half-day spin to see Dalat's more interesting sites, including monk Vien Thuc’s Pagoda, Bao Dai Palace and the eccentric Valley of Love. Lunch near the central marketplace.
The gem of Vietnam, Dalat was where the French came for relief from the heat of Saigon and hundreds of well-preserved colonial villas cover the hills. Also a center for exotic game hunting — even Teddy Roosevelt had a villa here. Afternoon and evening free to sightsee, rest or partake of the many good restaurants in town.

 
         

Apr 12

Dalat to Phan Thiet

  67 m  
Halong Bay
Departing from Dalat by bus or bicycle, most of the day will be spent descending back down to the coastal plain and the famous sand dunes of Mui Ne on the southern coast. Nearby Phan Thiet is famous for Nouc Mam, or industrial-strength fermented fish sauce, coveted by Vietnamese far and wide. Off the shore, hundreds of colorful fishing boats dot the coastline.

After arrival, enjoy a massage and dip in the ocean or pool. Dinner free to sample one of the many great local seafood restaurants (ask us for recommendations). Overnight at the tranquil Mui Ne Beach Resort. Approximate mileage 67 miles (up to about 106 if cycling from Dalat).

 
         

Apr 13

Phan Thiet to Ho Coc Beach to Saigon

  35 m   After a leisurely breakfast and last swim in the warm South China Sea,  transfer to outside Phan Thiet and begin bicycling along the coast to Ho Coc Beach, where we'll break for lunch.

After lunch, transfer by car 2-3 hours to Saigon, the sprawling commercial capital of Indochina. After time to freshen up, meeting for refreshments before venturing out to explore the wide boulevards in the busy central district. In the evening, escort to one of the city's fabulous restaurants. Accommodation: Grand Hotel

 
         

Apr 14

Saigon

     
Halong Bay
Full-day city tour of vibrant Saigon, visiting historic sites and landmarks, including the Art Deco post office (designed by Eiffel), Reunification Palace, and Ben Thanh Market. After, we'll drive out for lunch in Chinatown, known as Cholon, also exploring the busy Bin Tay market and pagodas. In the afternoon, we'll return to our hotel and have some time for last-minute shopping. In the evening we'll enjoy a farewell dinner at the popular outdoor local restaurant Quan An Ngon, with stalls preparing different dishes live for diners to see. Afterwards, strolling back the central quarter for drinks atop the historic Rex Hotel. (B)
 
         

Apr 15

Depart Saigon
Private car transfer to airport. After farewell with guide, board international flight and depart Vietnam. (B)

Airline Cathay Pacific Flight 793 Departing 7:05 PM

 

* Riding distances, in miles

 


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