Vietnam small group cycling holiday

“There’s a real team spirit to this group cycling holiday that will teach you as much about Vietnamese local life as it will show you the country’s exceptional natural beauty.”

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) | Cu Chi Tunnels | Mui Ne | Dalat | Central Highlands | Bidoup National Park | Nha Trang | Snorkeling at Dai Lanh Beach | Coastal ride to Quy Nhon | Hoi An | Hoi An Old Quarter | Hai Van Pass | Hue | Overnight train to Hanoi | Hanoi | Temple of Literature | Hoa Lo Prison

Description of Vietnam small group cycling holiday

This two week cycling holiday in Vietnam invites you to become part of a small group pedalling north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and Halong Bay with average daily distances of 70kms combining with overnight journeys by train and boat to create an authentic travelling experience.

Throughout the holiday you’ll be cycling past quintessential Southeast Asian scenery with some of Vietnam’s best bicycle routes providing safe passage against a naturally beautiful backdrop.

Wide, snaking coastline and beaches combine with forest-covered mountain slopes and early morning paddy fields to offer opportunities to find out more about rural lifestyles as you bond and make friends within your group to encourage active days and social evenings.

Time to relax on a tropical island will be just as memorable as visits to the historic towns of Hoi An and Hue with a cruise around the limestone monoliths of Halong Bay providing an apt opportunity to rest and reflect on what will surely be an unforgettable adventure to truly savour.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Our top tip:
Take padded shorts and some chamois cream: cycling plus humidity does not a comfortable bottom make.
Trip type:
Small group tour. 4-16 adults (min. age 16) with a tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate. Avg. daily distance 43 miles.
Accomm:
11 nights hotel, 1 night boat, 1 night sleeper train.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Meals:
All breakfasts, 10 lunches, 1 dinner.
Included:
Accommodation, all transport and listed activities, tour leader, flights and transfers (if booked).
Vouchers
Accepted
“In Vietnam any problem can be solved by being happy and smiling. It makes the local people laugh.”

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend 11 nights in a variety of comfortable hotels and one night on a houseboat. This combination of locally run accommodation contributes directly to the community as staff are from the area and food is grown and sold locally. Many of these places also have environmental policies which reduce waste, water usage and energy expenditure. Where meals are not provided, your guide will be able to point out several smaller restaurants, cafes and markets, like in Hanoi old quarter, Hoi An market or Ben Thanh. There are some weird and wonderful regional specialties to try with plenty of fresh produce available in most areas. Meals consist mainly of rice, vegetables and frilled or stir fried meat. The staple dish is ‘Pho’, which is a noodle broth with veg and meat. You can buy it from roadside stalls very cheaply, as well as the more established restuarants you will be visiting during the trip.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Optional activities include swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, so these are equally eco-friendly. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to purchase traditional gifts and crafts. Also, by sightseeing and visiting cultural sites (like the Emperor of Jade and Giac Lam pagodas, the War Remnants Museum, Hue citadel, the Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison) our entrance fees go towards upkeep of these important sites.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft & Culture:
We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this is not only a way to directly benefit the locals but it is also hugely fascinating and enjoyable for travellers. For example, in Mekong, we visit a lot of these small businesses and factories which sell handmade coconut sweets, rice paper, soya bean sauce, popped rice and popcorn amongst other things. There is also the option to see a traditional folk dancing or water puppet show at Hanoi. This encourages local customs to continue and creates employment opportunities. In Hoi An, we also stop by a shop called ‘Reaching Out’, which sells gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. Our leaders and guides have been trained in responsible travel and actively encourage our suppliers, drivers, and other members of our team to respect the environment, protect the culture and support the local economy. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.

Charity:
In Hanoi, we encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to groups of 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment whilst they are being trained. Many of the 400+ graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

2 Reviews of Vietnam small group cycling holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
1
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0
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Reviewed on 10 Dec 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Excellent food!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We spent a bit too much time in the bus. Ask about transfer times before booking.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We ate at local restaurants, which was good. All the driving and boat riding
probably not good for the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 13 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Climbing the Hai Van pass. We all made it to the top and were supported throughout by our guide Danh who gave us cold drinks and cheered us on. The food was also great and we were treated to genuine local cuisine, all delicious.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take more money than recommend, especially if you want to take presents home or drink wine with you evening meal. Some people couldn't get money out of the ATMs so tell your bank that you are going to Vietnam. You don't really need US dollars, just take Vietnamese money out. Don't take any energy bars, the support truck carries fresh fruit, nuts and snacks. Nobody ate their energy bars. You need to be fairly fit for this trip so if you haven't cycled for a long time, get out on your bike for at least 6 rides of about 20 - 30 km to strengthen your legs. Definitely take a padded saddle cover, a few people who didn't suffered from saddle chafing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We ate at small, local "family" restaurants and our trips such as the boat ride and
Halong Bay supported local tourism. Cycling is the best way to travel and has little environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an excellent holiday. We were lucky to be in a group where everyone got on so well. The person that made it work so smoothly was our guide Danh. He was fantastic, full of energy and enthusiasm and kept us informed of everything we had to do. He guided us across tricky traffic and kept watch over us when cycling. He worked so hard and thought of so many little things to enhance the trip. He took us to a small cafe to try "egg coffee" which we all thought would be disgusting but was in fact delicious. He was funny and told jokes and I think the whole group felt a huge amount of affection for him.

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