The Best Road Biking Routes in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of Asia’s top destinations for a biking adventure. The Vietnamese have a passion for cycling, and it’s common to see locals riding their bicycles as they visit one place to another. Although it’s a developing country, it’s very safe to explore, and most roads are in good condition, making it one of the best regions for avid cyclists. Skilled bikers can venture towards hills and explore all the beautiful landscapes in the northern highland, while beginners and leisure cyclists can explore the flat regions of the Mekong Delta in the south.
If you’re wondering where to cycle in the country, here are some of the best road biking routes in Vietnam.
1. Saigon to Hanoi
Cycling from Saigon to Hanoi is one of the most adventurous ways to explore Vietnam. While most cyclists prefer the most famous route, Highway 1, there are now several scenic, pleasant, and more adventurous ways to ride your bike between the two major cities, thanks to the government’s road-building programs. Of course, the Classic Route is still worth a try if you haven’t done it yet.
Taking you to a road between the Highlands and the coast, the Classic Route from Saigon to Hanoi will reward you with stunning coastal and mountain views. You’ll start at the scenic coastal roads in the southern and central regions before heading to the rugged limestone karsts of Saigon’s north-central areas. Your journey will take you past popular towns and attractions, including Dalat, dubbed the “City of Eternal Spring,” the ancient city of Hoi An, and the UNESCO-listed city of Ninh Binh.
The second most popular route between Saigon and Hanoi is relatively flat, taking you through coastal areas home to numerous hotels and resorts. If you are a beach person who loves to play in the surf and enjoy the sand between your toes, this is an ideal route. At 2,050 km long, it could take up to three weeks to conquer, depending on your pace.
2. Central Coast
Cycling on the Central Coast of Vietnam offers a fantastic and exhilarating way to explore Vietnam’s stunning landscapes and cultural treasures. You’ll begin in the bustling coastal city of Da Nang before heading to the scenic countryside and charming seaside villages. Capture unforgettable snapshots of Vietnam’s majestic shoreline, challenge yourself to uphill climbs, and discover a side of the country unseen by many.
In most of your journey, you’ll cycle past Vietnam’s iconic sandy shores fringed by coconut trees and marvel at local boats floating along the emerald green waters of the South China Sea. Tackle the famous Hai Van Pas with its scenic twists and turns, rewarding yourself with the incredible views of the Marble Mountains. Bike past Hoi An’s lush paddy fields and experience Vietnamese rural life.
Venture into the scenic backroads snaking through tribal villages before reaching the Hom Gom coastal road. Stop to admire the sparking shores broken up by stunning dunes and rocky promontories jutting into the sea. Finally, arrive at Whale Island, a tranquil spot to unwind and get away from it all. Spend a day or two at a fancy resort for a well-deserved rest.
3. North to South Vietnam
One of the best places to enjoy a cycling holiday in Vietnam is the route from North to South Vietnam. The trail is about 400 kilometres long, starting in Hanoi, the country’s bustling capital city. From Hanoi, you’ll travel towards the south, beginning in Hue, a charming ancient city famous for its majestic temples and imperial citadel. After spending a day exploring Hue’s historical sites, it’s time to move on to the next part of the journey, Hoi An.
Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most famous tourist destinations. The 16th-century trading town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its well-preserved scenic canals, colourful French colonial buildings, and Chinese shophouses and temples. The next destination is My Son, a former Imperial City established during the Cham Dynasty.
From My Son, nature takes its course as you tackle the majestic Marble Mountains on the way to the city of Danang before arriving at the coastal area of Nha Trang, home to some of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches. The final destination is the bustling Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh, the largest city in Vietnam.
4. Hanoi To Luang Prabang
Adventurous cyclists who want to explore two Southeast Asian countries can challenge themselves on a two-week biking adventure from Hanoi in Vietnam to Luang Prabang in Laos. Beginning in Hanoi, you’ll explore the lesser-known areas of Vietnam’s north-western region and marvel at lush valleys and spectacular mountains before tackling Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak.
The Hanoi to Luang Prabang journey will reward you with stunning views and incredible cultural encounters. Prepare yourself for challenging inclines and exhilarating descents as you wind through the majestic hills of Sapa into Vietnam’s highest mountain pass and venture into local tribe villages.
Cycle past the picturesque gorge of Na River and into the surrounding valleys and hills before arriving in the historic Dien Bien Phu, where Viet Minh achieved victory over the French. Continue into the lesser-known Southeast Asian country of Laos to witness the local countryside life and admire the untamed landscapes. Spend overnight at a beautiful guesthouse by the river before finishing your journey in the picturesque city of Luang Prabang.
5. Saigon to Angkor
Another option for those who want to explore two Southeast Asian countries in a biking adventure is the Saigon to Angkor biking route. It begins in the fast-paced city of Saigon and ends in Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to the famous Angkor Wat temple complex.
From Saigon, you’ll cycle to the quieter back roads of the city until you reach the Cu Chi Tunnels before making your way into the Mekong Delta region, dubbed the “rice bowl of Vietnam.” Cycle through the vast wetland expanse of floating markets, stopping by local villages and Khmer pagodas surrounded by scenic rice fields and lush forests.
You’ll cross into Cambodia on a boat and arrive in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital city. After spending a day, you’ll head north towards Siem Reap, home to Angkor Wat.