Join us for our popular Tet tour, welcoming in the Vietnamese new year while pedaling through the scenic country roads along Vietnam's central and southern coasts — as many past traveler's have said — the experience of a lifetime.
Our Tet tour takes the overall route that we have ridden since 1994, along the scenic coast from Hue to Nha Trang, then climbing up into the Central Highlands through picturesque pine forests around Dalat and finally ending in busy Saigon. This itinerary features moderate riding distances, although still covering over 600 miles by Saigon for mor ambituous riders (two support vans allow you to ride as much or as little as you'd like).
Featuring all of Vietnam's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, highlights off the bike also include quality time in Hanoi, the political and cultural capital of Vietnam with picturesque French-era villas and tree-lined boulevards; Hue, the Imperial capital where we'll ride through the scenic countryside to explore the royal tombs. We'll also celebrate New Year's Day in typically everyone's favorite place — Hoi An — one of the rare places in Vietnam where you'll find genuine Vietnamese architecture. The Old Quarter, though heavily influenced by Chinese styles and lined with French row houses, still has vestiges of native architecture. Much of the country was destroyed during wars, but Hoi An survived, even through the traumatic 1960s and 1970s. Typically a favorite stop. In the south, we'll pause in Nha Trang, Vietnam's "Waikiki," staying at the exclusive Ana Mandara Resort for two nights. In the Central Highlands, we'll glimpse Vietnam's most unique and some say unusual city, Dalat. Set among the pine forests it resembles no other place in the country. Finally, we'll reach the thriving economic center of Vietnam, Saigon. A city under rapid change, we'll get to see the last of "old" Saigon before the skyscrapers go up.
We'll ride hard (or have the option to), but evenings will be spent in Vietnam's finest hotels ensuring a good night's rest, including the Hanoi Metropole, Victoria Hoi An Resort, the incomparable Ana Mandara in Nha Trang, restored Sofitel Palace in Dalat, and the Caravelle in central Saigon overlooking the opera house.
In Catfish and Mandela, Andrew Pham wrote: "the Vietnamese are a skinny people obsessed with food." Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential and Cook's Tour) found Vietnam so compelling that he is moving there. Indeed, Vietnam has incredible cuisine, and we'll expose you to the best in each region, from Hanoi's French-Vietnamese, Bun Bo Hue, Cao Lau soup in Hoi An, fresh seafood in Nha Trang, and Saigon's wonderful nouveau cuisine.
As any traveler will tell you, the destination is definitely important, but the guide is the icing on the cake. Le Van Sinh co-authors Lonely Planet's Vietnam guide and has been a source for Moon, Fodors, and other guides. Viet Nguyen is a longtime favorite of travelers and has over ten years experience looking after our cyclists like an old friend.
Note: we encourage you to arrive early for an optional 3-day kayaking trip on Halong Bay, the indisputable geographic highlight of Vietnam. About two-thirds of our group makes this side trip. We also offer a 3-day, 2-night excursion to neighboring Cambodia to explore by foot the magnificent Khmer temples of Angkor — the greatest complex of ruins in Asia and simply astonishing up close.
Patrick Morris, Todd Hanson, Le Van Sinh, and Willard Ford have been leaders of the Tet tour since 1994 and and between them, have lead over 100 trips in Vietnam, more than any other guides in the country. Email them directly for questions about this trip and others. [STAFF LINK]
2012 Special Year of the Dragon Tour!
Plan early to join for our special Tet edition of the Year of the Dragon, the most important year on the lunar zodiac. Email us for an information sheet on this trip: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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