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Cycling Vietnam

Enjoy the best of Vietnam on two wheels



At a glance

* 11 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night boat, 1 night sleeper train
* 9 days cycling (including 1 optional ride) with 90% vehicle support
* Roads nearly all good tarmac
* The route is flat with the exception of Dalat and the Hai Van Pass
* Group normally 5 to 18, plus local leaders

Enjoy the best of Vietnam on two wheels

We ride from vibrant Saigon in the south to the chaotic capital of Hanoi in
the north on this two week cycling tour, travelling on tarmac roads through
colourful fishing villages, folding rice terraces and mountains cloaked in
jungle. The vast shoreline of white sandy beaches is ours to discover along
the way, with time to swim in the sea on a tropical island retreat. Stopping
off at the ancient trading port of Hoi An, home to temples and wooden
merchant houses, we delve into the peacefulness of rural Vietnam before
ascending the Hai Van Pass, riding along twisting coastal roads that lead to
remarkable views of the misty forest below.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mov.jpg?t=1DhVBt

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts, 10 lunches, 1 dinner
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Arrival & departure transfers
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 1 dinner are included.

 Thanks to Vietnams tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range
of mountain, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings
and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines
in the world that still packs a punch with delicious fresh and fiery
flavours. Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole
myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all
play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is
felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh
Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup).
Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five
elements) meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty
and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national
beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a
real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is
served on most street corners in the North out of large plastic jugs that are
perfect for sharing.

Food is cheap in Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you
wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarians are
well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary
requests. Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialised
products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or
non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary
items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some ‘cycling snacks’
with you from home if you have high energy bars or gels that you like to use
during a ride. For those who wish to contribute a kitty is normally arranged
(see extra expenses) – fresh fruit, nuts, biscuits and local snacks are all
provided from the snacking kitty along with soft drinks and even homemade
lemonade if the season is right!

Start destination: Saigon

End destination: Hanoi

Cycling profile

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon, is an exciting and
absorbing city where bicycles battle with lorries and temples stand defiantly
alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, Saigon is now a
bustling free market city where anything goes. The Ben Thanh Market and Notre
Dame Cathedral are within easy walking distance from our hotel and are highly
recommended.
*Huong sen Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

This morning we drive out of the city, before riding to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
This offers a great introduction to cycling in Vietnam and a chance to
fine-tune the bikes. The tunnels were Viet Cong sanctuaries, used by the
guerrillas as living quarters and escape routes. The network covers 3 levels
and approximately 240km of tunnels. Some parts have been widened for
tourists, but the tunnels were originally very narrow and it is still
necessary to crawl on hands and knees. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay
outside in the sunshine! If you prefer not to visit the tunnels you can have
an unguided free day in Saigon. Places of interest include: the Emperor of
Jade and Giac Lam pagodas, the former Presidential Palace (now the
Reunification Hall), Ben Thanh market and the War Remnants Museum. Cycle
approx. 30km
* Huong sen Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 3

After an early breakfast we head out of Saigon by bus and start cycling
towards Mui Ne on the coast. We spend approx 4-5 hours on the bus today. We
hit the backroads and head through tropical fruit and rubber plantations also
passing some small fishing villages as we make our way closer to the coast.
We finish the ride in Mui Ne, a tranquil white sand beach where we can
witness our first sunset over the South China Sea. Cycle approx. 50km.
*Sea Links Beach Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

We cycle towards Dalat; the route is undulating with occasional climbs. Along
the way we pass coffee and tea plantations as well as flower gardens and pine
forests as we reach higher altitude. We rejoin the bus before the road climbs
steeply to the mountain town of Dalat. We spend approx 3.5 hours on the bus
today. Dalat is a pleasant hill station, formerly known as Le Petit Paris,
and has been described as the most beautiful town in Vietnam. It was favoured
by the French for its climate, and is now a popular honeymoon resort for the
Vietnamese. Cycle approx. 60km.
*Sammy Hotel Dalat or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

Today’s ride is predominantly downhill through pine forests and paddy fields
as we descend nearly 1,500m travelling through the Bidoup Ba National Park.
This area is home to rare pine forests as well as small villages inhabited by
the ethnic minority people of the central highlands. Once we arrive at the
coast, we head by bus (approx. 1.5 hours) to the coast near Nha Trang before
boarding a boat to our tropical island retreat of Whale Island for the next
two nights. Cycle up to 100km according to preference.
*Whale Island Resort or similar, Basic Hotel*

Day 6

Having a rest from the bikes today we get the opportunity to really relax and
unwind. We will join a boat trip in the morning for a spot of snorkelling and
swimming in the turquoise sea before a seafood lunch is served. In the
afternoon there is the option to visit a local fishing village, see the Whale
temple or walk around the island to the viewpoint for a 360 degree view of
the stunning mountainous coastline and the surrounding coves and white sand
beaches.
*Whale Island Resort or similar, Basic Hotel*

Day 7

We set off early in the morning and ride to the beautiful fishing village of
Dai Lanh. A short transfer out of town past the Po Nagar Cham towers brings
us to a high point and from here today’s ride is predominantly flat. The
beautiful beach at Dai Lanh is a perfect place to stop for a swim (if road
conditions and time permit) and lunch before continuing by bus around the
spectacular coastal cliff road towards the town of Tuy Hoa and on to Quy
Nhon. (Approx. 4 hours in the bus today). Cycle up to 90km. according to
preference.
*Seagull Quy Nhon Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

Leaving Quy Nhon we travel through a new economic zone over the Thi Nai
Peninsula and Nhon Hoi Bridge, the longest sea bridge in Vietnam. Getting off
our bikes we will visit a market, where its not unusual to be pulled aside
for a photo as this part of the country does not see many western tourists.
The coast line features secluded bays, sand dunes and beaches with colourful
fishing boats bobbing on the South China Sea. We will cycle until we arrive
at Phu Ly and then drive to Hoi An. If time permits, we will cycle the last
12km once we turn off Highway 1 into Hoi An.
Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam dating back to the
mid-sixteenth Century is now a living museum, with attractive wooden
merchant’s houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese
and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to
wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market. We spend two nights in
Hoi An which is also a fantastic place to buy local art or have some clothes
tailor-made for you. Its best to bring a picture or a sample of what you want
made. Approx. 6 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 50km.
*Hoian River Green Boutique or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

This morning we take a guided walking tour of Hoi An to explore some of the
structures of historical significance in the Old Town, including bridges,
temples, wells and houses. Those less interested in architecture can cycle
the 5km to the lovely Cua Dai beach or cycle to the Marble Mountains, which
are 19km from town. These five marble hills, formerly islands, contain many
caves, some of which were used as Buddhist (and Vietcong) sanctuaries. Also
nearby is China beach, a famous US R & R spot in the war, and Danang where
there is a Cham Museum, which despite being in poor condition, is very
interesting. It is also possible to visit My Son, one of the most important
Cham temple sites in Vietnam where Cham kings were buried as early as the
fourth century. Although wartime bombing has destroyed much of the site,
there are a number of interesting stone towers and sanctuaries.
*Hoian River Green Boutique or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10

Today we turn north again for the drive/cycle to Hue. The route traverses
over the spectacular Hai Van Pass – the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’. The views
are stunning though those who prefer to avoid the 580m climb can always take
a lift in the support vehicle. Once at the top it will all seem worth it as
you plummet back to the ocean, then continue through small villages and
timeless rural scenes to the outskirts of Hue, from where we transfer to our
city centre hotel. Approx 2.5 hours in the bus today. Cycle approx. 80km.
*Cherish Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 11

Hue is often claimed to be the cultural and historic centre of Vietnam and
there is plenty to see. We take a guided tour of the city and surrounding
tombs. The most memorable site is the citadel, with walls six miles in
length: inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins, and the remains of
the Forbidden Purple City, where only the emperor and his eunuchs and
concubines were allowed. Then we take a boat along the Perfume River to the
elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors, who ruled Vietnam from Hue. Tu Duc’s
Tomb is very elaborate and set in beautiful gardens. Along the way we will
visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government
protest in the early 1960s and it houses the Austin car that transported a
monk, Thich Quang Duc, to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself as a protest
against the president. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in
newspapers all around the world. In the afternoon we will board the
Reunification Express for the overnight ride to Hanoi, 600km to the north.
Cycle approx. 25km.
*Overnight Train*

Day 12

We usually arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and stop for a local
breakfast and a stretch of the legs, before we are met by our bus for an
approximately 4 hour drive to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly
beautiful sights in South East Asia with around 3000 limestone peaks rising
directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst
scenery, stopping to kayak in the sea allowing us to get to places
inaccessible by boat (weather permitting) and enjoy a seafood lunch on
board. There may even be the chance to try a spot of fishing from the boat
too.  
* Overnight Boat*

Day 13

Visit Me Cung cave and enjoy further time to cruise the many islands of
Halong Bay. Return to Hanoi late afternoon. This charming city contains many
beautiful old buildings and the atmosphere is completely different from that
in Saigon in the south, mainly due to the much more conservative nature of
the North Vietnamese. Also, unlike its industrial counterpart,
the centre of Hanoi has a faded charm with broad tree-lined avenues dating
from the French period as well as some attractive lakes and pagodas. In the
evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famous water
puppets.

*May De Ville Old Quarter Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14

**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-03-042018-03-17

Trip code: MOV180304

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Price: €1775

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Customer Feedback

Cycle Vietnam

Summary:
While it’s ostensibly a cycling holiday, there was much more to the trip
than that. My highlights:
– snorkelling off Whale Island
– the cycling descent from Da Lat, we descended from over 5,000ft to sea
level in only a couple of miles
– cycling through Hoi An and Hué
– kayaking in Ha Long Bay
– the food, it was invariably fantastic
– the hotels which were far more luxurious than we had envisaged
– Cu Chi tunnels
– War Remnants museum in Saigon – very harrowing
– cycling up and down the Hai Van pass
– children in the villages and small towns shouting and waving at us
The whole trip was just one massive and immense experience – unforgettable.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
I couldn’t single anything out, I loved all of it. It’s an amazing
country to visit. We always felt like we were on a great adventure, which
sounds corny, but it was just such an inspirational and fascinating
experience.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Loc, our guide, was first class, a top man in every way. Tan, Truong and Ly,
our cycle support crew were fabulous, they couldn’t do enough for us.
Don’t bother bringing snacks for the cycling days, your support crew will
NOT let you go hungry!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t be nervous about the cycling, it’s really not too hard if you’re
reasonably fit. Take part in everything, embrace it all.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
We had only one down moment – saying goodbye to our faithful bikes and
support crew!

Read full review

Inspirational Vietnam

Summary:
This trip is wonderful and is up there as one of my best holidays, ever. It
is suited for people that are willing to go with the flow – we were lucky
that all 18 of us were of similar ability, like-minded and happy to have a
go. You need to have reached a base level of fitness and be comfortable with
road traffic but most of the cycling is on country roads, with some hills and
breath-taking scenery. The trip is structured to gradually build up your
fitness and miles so by the end, I felt I was achieving far more than I had
ever expected.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
It was all inspirational, but the highlight was cycling up the Hai Van Pass,
then down, past exotic beaches and lagoons. The Vietnamese are so welcoming
and all ages shout “Hello” as you cycle pass.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Long Li, our guide was fantastic at keeping the energy levels high. His
sense of humour, encouragement, attentiveness, even during meal times meant
that we couldn’t have been in better hands. His historical knowledge meant
that all the visits came alive. Even losing my luggage on the way there,
between Kuala Lumpur and HCMC didn’t spoil the holiday as Long contacted
the airline and ensured that it was delivered to the hotel just a few hours
later. He organised the best karaoke on the overnight train to Hanoi which
will go down as an epic evening.
Also Sow, our driver was always there with coconut sweets, fresh water melon,
fresh mango, nuts, dried fruit and many other luxuries, and the fresh cold
lime juice hit the spot every time. Len, our truck driver and Suel our
sweeper/back stop, were so supportive and even ran around re-filling our
water bottles during our breaks !

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
It is a very busy trip and there is a lot of packing and unpacking so travel
lighter than I did ! There are opportunities to do laundry. If you’d like
more time in HCMC or Hanoi, it’s worth having 1-2 days extra at the
beginning or the end. The weather is changeable so you need both
T-shirts/shorts as well as a wet weather jacket. It can also be cool so you
need a sweatshirt and long trousers. Some people brought their own saddle
but I found just a gel cover was sufficient. It was useful to have a small
handlebar bag and to learn to take photos on the move as there is not a lot
of time for stopping.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Overall, the trip was a joy from beginning to end.

Read full review

Cycling Vietnam

Summary:
This trip exceeded all expectations. It is a very busy trip but the
organisation and planning is exceptional. Everything happened on time and
exactly as described in the trip notes. Our trip was full and had an
interesting balance of 16 ladies and 2 gentlemen! The group was delightful
and gelled immediately and our cycling abilities were of a similar standard.
The cycling was excellent and was planned to prepare us for the final day
ascent of the Hai Van Pass. I was slightly nervous before the trip wondering
whether I was fit and enough and would I be lagging behind. It turns out we
all had similar fears but they were ill founded. Each day the cycling was
either longer or mote challenging so building up our confidence and fitness.
We are all delighted to make the 100k day – despite a full on coastal head
wind all day.
Our leader Long and his support team were exceptional. Every 15-20 k we were
meet with wonderful snacks and fresh fruit and whilst we grazed they filled
up our water bottles.
Vietnam is a fascinating country and you really do get to see so much of it
and learn so much about its history. The people are very friendly and
welcoming. Hotels were much better than expected .

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Reaching the peak of the Hai Van pass after an hours grind. We are felt
pretty emotional as we had all supported and encouraged each other on this
challenge,

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Fantastic!. Long was amazing from start to finish. How he kept up his
constant enthusiasm and energy over 14 days I do not know. Nothing was too
much trouble. Every meal he always checked that we were happy with our
choices, often served us and would be in the kitchen checking everything.
His knowledge of the country and its history was superb. He organised karoke
and a party on the overnight train journey and always was keen to ensure we
were having a good time.
I left some jewellery behind on Whale island and he saw to its safe return
to me in Hanoi.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
This is a very full on trip so don’t expect much downtime.
Travel light ( I didn’t!) as there is a lot of unpacking and repacking – most
nights. Travel pillow is usefully on the bus . Travel soap and portable
washing line are useful.

Take a small handlebar bag for carrying suncream, jacket and toilet paper.
Tailors in Hoi An are superb so do take some clothes you may wish to have
copied.
Look into your own flights. The Malaysian Airlines route is long and slightly
out of the way.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Just book it! Amazing experience

Read full review

Cycling Vietnam

Summary:
Our group of 18 was expertly looked after by the leader and support team. At
the end of each day we looked forward to the meals proposed by the leader and
all were excellent. The trip gave a good insight into rural and urban
Vietnamese life and the leader was very knowledgeable about the many cultural
sights on the trip.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
A highlight was an 18 mile downhill ride in the Central Highlands from Dalat
travelling through the National Park with dense woodland and many cascading
waterfalls.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The leader was very passionate about Vietnam and had a great sense of humour
which kept the whole group fully engaged throughout the trip. He was very
knowledgeable about the historic sites and cultural places along the route
and in the cities. Nothing was too much trouble and he was available to us at
all times. His menu selections for our meals including our ‘optional’ meals,
which everyone took, were outstanding

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
It can rain – heavily – but it is warm!

Read full review

Fantastic Vietnam

Summary:
Brilliant trip from start to finish, loved every minute and would recommend
to anyone.
Chi our guide was a fountain of local knowledge (not bad on Karaoke either
btw) and the rest of the team, Li, Chun and Tang were great support, always
on hand to help with the bikes or share out fresh fruit and drinks on our
stops.
Vietnam was incredible, everyday a real adventure from the Cu Chi Tunnels, to
the amazing scenery at Halong Bay. Along the way we enjoyed the tranquillity
of Whale Island versus the madness of Saigon and Hanoi, the picturesque towns
of Dalat, Hoi An and Hue and an overnight train that gave a taste of daily
life for regular folk in Vietnam.
The itinerary was generally very busy, most days starting at 6.30am for
breakfast but was so well organised that there was no time wasted and the odd
couple of hours were nicely taken up with a massage or a cool beer.
We were blessed with a lovely group of people and my friend Wack who
entertained us non stop.
I have great memories of the people, the places, the scenery, the food, the
fun and cycling 10km up the Hai Van Pass, this was one trip that will live
long in the memory and be very hard to surpass!!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
There were many great moments on our trip but the most inspirational and
humbling for me was the spirit of the Vietnamese people, from happy smiling
school kids shouting hello as we cycled through their villages to the hard
working people in the fields planting rice or ploughing fields with Water
Buffalo always managing a smile or a wave.
It made me appreciate what I take for granted in my comfortable life.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Chi was fantastic, great knowledge, answered every question that was put to
him, managed all aspects of the trip perfectly, great restaurant
recommendations and good fun to be with.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take a shoulder bag for the overnight stops or change of clothes for the
longer bus trips after cycling when main luggage isn’t accessible.
Try the local tailors in Hoi An, amazing quality and very reasonable.
Take your own food on the overnight train, the canteen gets very busy.
Use taxis in Saigon and Hanoi even for short distances, they’re cheap and
it’s safer than walking (crossing roads).
Take a book for the coach rides.

Read full review

What a fantastic experience, led by a wonderful guide!

Summary:
This was our first organised cycling holiday, recommended by friends who had
been to Cuba with Exodus. One of us is a regular road cyclist, the other
spent 8 months wondering why she’d signed up for a cycling holiday and
endeavouring to get cycle fit through spin classes. Both of us loved it. Our
group of 18 plus our fabulous four support team (Lam, Y, Long and Tan –
apologies for spelling) got along from the start and made the trip
interesting, challenging, varied and thoroughly enjoyable.

Lam was endlessly encouraging and confident in our ability – even when some
of us weren’t! He is the perfect cycle leader who also knows his country so
well and his pride and enthusiasm in it shone through. The whole trip was
really well organised, despite the itinerary having to be slightly amended
due to a recent typhoon, and all the lunch stops and recommended evening
restaurants provided excellent local cooking and great value. Y sorted out
any mechanical issues quickly and Tan and Long were a welcome sight with
their smiles and waves at every snack/drinks refuelling stop or tricky
junction!

Along with the cycling, we made many stops – scheduled and unscheduled – to
experience and understand local culture, everything from peppercorns, rubber,
coffee and dragon fruit farms to water buffalo, ducks, temples, war memorials
and museums.

The weather was mixed, and we did get very wet on a couple of days but Lam
organised local (very cheap) laundry whenever possible which let us get our
wet and dirty clothes clean and dry.

All in all, It was a truly rewarding fortnight which showed the diversity
from the south to the north and the friendliness of the Vietnamese people
throughout.

We would definitely recommend and are planning our next trip with Exodus.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Completing all the cycling including the Hai Van pass; the 30k downhill; Ha
long Bay was a bonus – great cruise and food – loved Hoi Ann – the wildlife ,
the friendly reception we got in some of the remoter villages was also
brilliant and Hanoi was fascinating. Wished we could have stayed a little
longer

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Lam is an absolute credit to Exodus. He works extremely hard to make sure
everyone was ok and his planning was meticulous – right down to where the
‘happy bush’ was at each rest stop. He was always cheerful and managed to
reach the right balance of keeping us close when road or traffic conditions
required and letting us go at our own pace whenever he could. His research
for lunch and evening meal destinations was always sound and great value and
he really felt like one of the team

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Book this trip, you won’t regret it.
Good to very good hotels, comfortable beds, great way to experience Vietnam
for moderate to experienced cyclists.
Great shopping in Hoi Ann and Hanoi, leave space in your suitcase or buy
another like we did!

Read full review

cycling vietnam

Summary:
We were “blown away” over and over again on the trip. Our guide Lam and the
support team were beyond excellent. They seemed to know what we needed before
we did. Everything was done with a smile and a positive attitude. Over and
over again they were checking our bikes and gear. I am so very very impressed
with them!!! The weather was hot hot hot in some places and torrential rains
in other places. Luckily, no wind. I am coming off from a previous biking
injury (broken back and sacrum) and am also taking medication that inhibits
my physical ability so I usually finished towards or at the end of the group.
I also was not able to finish the Pass however, the guides made every effort
to help me out and let me ride in the bus when needed–with no frowns given.
The bike rides down the two passes were amazing and had me shouting with joy.
The food–excellent. The places Lam had chosen for us to eat were safe for
our foreign stomachs as well as being traditional Vietnamese food and good as
well. The mid ride refreshments perfect–and often. I have such a positive
feel for this trip and the excellent guides. I have been fortunate to have
been on several trips with 3 extended biking trips and this trip with the
guides, scenery, cycling route… was one of the best.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The day I completed the 95 KM day. I have some physical deterrents so I was
super excited that in spite of them, I was able to do it. Also, the descent
from the two passes. Wow, what a ride! Also, the almost comical riding in the
torrential rains with a smile on our faces. The continual “Hello” from the
children. We, being from the US did not know how we would be received and the
positive attitude and embracing by the Vietnamese was a lesson as well as a
humbling experience.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Lam, our leader—oh my gosh! Excellent. Like I mentioned, I have been on
several guided trips and Lam was one of the best I have experienced. Lam was
accompanied by 3 others–Tang, Long, and Y. They anticipated what we would
need before we even knew we needed things. They worked so well together. What
a team.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The weather can be extremely hot as well as humid. I don’t think, unless you
live in similar weather systems, that you can fully prepare for that. Train
and do what you can to prepare but even if you cannot do the hills and
passes, you can still be a part of the adventure. If having to ride in the
bus once or twice gets you to experience this adventure, then “just do it”.
As I get older, I realize that I do not have to be first but to be part of it
is so fulfilling.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
The only hesitation I had with the trip was that there seemed to be several
on the trip that were in extremely good cycling condition. They seemed to
want to push the pace and wanted to be first or near it. Since this was my
first time in Vietnam, I wanted to experience the countryside and it’s people
and stop to take photos, or marvel at something I saw or stop and go back to
take a photo when I passed a school with young students and everyone of them
called out “Hello” to me. Lam, our main guide kept stressing that this was a
holiday but I felt that if I stopped to take the photos I wanted, I would
keep the others back. This was a frustration. This was not Lam’s doing but
more the pressure from many of the other cyclists. I can do the push push
push here at home with just concentrating on the road in front of me and
seeing how hard I can cycle but in a new country, I want to experience that
country–not the push. I don’t know what to suggest to change this… one of
the extremely fit cyclists would turn around and redo some of it. Perhaps
this could be something suggested in situations like this. ???

Read full review

Highlights of vietnam

Summary:
A fun way to see a lot of vietnam

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Some great downhill, giggling children wherever you say hello

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Danh was great fun and worked very hard to make this an enjoyable trip.
I would have never tried egg coffee otherwise

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
It’s a very busy itinerary. There is hardly any time to see Saigon. If you
can, book an extra day or too before and after the trip.
The bikes are good but bringing your own saddle is worth considering.
The traffic can look scary but drivers are very respectful. Don’t hesitate or
break and everything will flow around you.

Read full review

A great trip

Summary:
A great trip overall, which I would recommend. The itinerary was good, the
hotels (with 1 exception) were really good, the trip leader (Le Long) was
fantastic, the bikes and support team were good, the food was good, and
Vietnam is very interesting. However the itinerary is very busy – although
some down time is built in, there were lots of early mornings, and a lot of
cycling time (good) and bus time (not so good), so there was not as much time
for sightseeing and soaking up culture etc. as I would have liked – we rode
past a few places I would love to have stopped an spent time exploring. There
would be no solution to this other than making the trip a couple of days
longer – so I am not complaining at all, just noting the reality – this is
the only reason I give it 4 rather than 5 stars – 4½ would be more
appropriate

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The long downhill ride on the 5th day. I loved riding through the markets and
town of Dalat

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Absolutely fantastic – simultaneously very efficient and the life and soul of
the party!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
You might need a few days off after all this activity – especially if you are
prone to jet lag problems if you are traveling from the UK or the US. I would
also suggest getting to Ho Chi Minh City a day or two before the trip starts,
to get over jet lag and also to explore the town a bit (there is no time for
this in the trip itself) – I would recommend a back-of-the-motorbike city
tour, the War Remnants Museum, the cocktail bar at the top of Bitexco Tower,
among other. Vietnamese city traffic (mainly motorbikes) looks absolutely
scary, but is not at all – all the motorbikes just flow around you like a
school of fish, and the (relatively few) cars and trucks are very aware of
2-wheeled traffic and respectful. Everyone is friendly

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
One of our overnight destinations was destroyed by the typhoon that came 2
weeks before our trip – Exodus handled this very well and the alternative
accommodation was great

Read full review

Fabulous cycle tour and bus, train, boat journeys across Vietnam from S to N.

Summary:
Overall, the trip deserves 10/10. Everything was great: the country, the
scenery, the people, the weather, the group, the organisation, the guide and
the support team. Danh, our guide, gets a special mention for his excellent
and informative leadership.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Highlights – Cu Chi tunnels, Hoi An, Halong Bay and cycling through some of
the rural landscapes – rice fields, dense vegetation, water buffalo, and the
villages with local markets.

The war museums in HCMC & Hanoi were poignant and at times disturbing, they
were also heartening, and to me were an essential part of a visit of Vietnam.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Danh, the Happy Buddha, was an excellent guide/leader.
On some trips the guide just steers the ship and perhaps does so quietly in
the background, only there when needed. Not on this trip. This was very much
Danh’s tour. He was very informative in history and culture. He provided lots
of advice for places to eat and his recommendations never disappointed. They
were not the cheapest but they were good.
He ran a kitty his way, which being a generous kitty, was able to supply some
nice surprises (no spoilers).
He explained everything we needed to know, daily. However, we were a large
group of 18no, and sometimes it was difficult to hear in the bus with his
rapid delivery, his accent and the background noise.
Danh and the support team (total 4no) looked after us as cyclists very well
indeed, by seeing us safely across junctions, servicing the bikes, and
providing frequent drink & snack stops.
Danh really did improve my overall Vietnam experience.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The cycling was mainly flat with only a couple of days with ascents. I
wondered how I would cope cycling in the heat (max 37deg) and high humidity
but I’m pleased to say that whilst you’re moving on the bike it is very
pleasant. As soon as you stop, you’re seeking the shade.

The animals, often found meandering on the road…cows, water buffalo,
dogs…all seemed very content and chilled. I didn’t have the rabies jab
before travelling and this was never a worry.

If you like fresh seafood, spicy food, fruit and veg, strong smooth coffee,
you’ll love the local restaurants, cafes and street food. Freshly prepared
eggs for breakfast. Every meal was a joy.

It is generally a very cheap country to eat and drink…though as anywhere
that depends where you go. We paid up to 120,000Dong (£4) for a can of beer
in HCMC and we also paid 4,000Dong (8p) for a glass of fresh beer in Hoi An.
And the fresh beer was the nicest!

Oh yes, the overnight train is an experience, and more comfortable than you
might imagine.

MOV – get it booked, you’ll love it.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Very minor things which could be improved. The private bus was designed for
local people, not the larger westerner, so many of us found the seats a
little uncomfortable. A whole day was spent in Hue before the overnight train
and whilst the visit to the temple/citadel was interesting it was tough
going. An option to cycle in Hue would have been good or less time in Hue if
the programme could be rejigged. I would have happily spent longer in Hoi An,
a magical place.
There is little time in either city at the start/finish of the trip but it
would be difficult to cram any more into the already fast paced agenda. I
added a couple of extra days at each end to explore the cities (HCMC & Hanoi)
and I’m glad I did. I also managed a Mekong Delta tour before the Exodus tour
started, which I’d recommend.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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