HO CHI MINH TRAIL MOTORCYCLE TOURING
Trip code: VNMOR14
Trip starts from: Hanoi
Trip ends in ; Saigon
(18 days/ 17 nights)
Day 1: Hanoi City Tour
Full day to discover the pearl of South-East Asia: Hanoi. With
charming streets lined with dozens of old trees, beautiful
lakes, colonial architecture and countless interesting
monuments, this city will impress you with its lively
characteristics. We begin our city-trip at the Restored Sword
Lake, famous for the legend of the tortoise and the sword of
15th century. After the bombardment of this lake by the
Americans in 1968, the huge turtle was killed and the little
pagoda in the water is the final resting place of this legendary
animal. We will continue our way with a visit to the Temple of
Literature, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples. This
temple used to be Vietnam's first university, founded in 1076,
to teach Confucianism in Vietnam. After this historical site,
you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the house of Uncle
Ho who lives forever in the heart of every Vietnamese. We will
also visit Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple - from those
you will learn more about Buddhism and Taoism in Vietnam. We
finish our city-tour by participating in an one-hour ride in a
traditional cyclo around Hanoi's old quarter. After dinner in a
local restaurant, we visit the famous water puppet show.
Day 2: Hanoi - Mai Chau
Heading out of Hanoi on road number 6 to Mai Chau, and idyllic
valley populated by mainly White Thai ethnic people. Visiting
Mai Chau, you have a chance to enjoy folk songs and traditional
colourful culture of White Thai in Mai Chau. The scenery of the
arrival to Mai Chau is characterized with beautiful limestone
mountains and colourful hill tribes who can be seen and visited
on the way. We also have an opportunity en route to learn about
the culture of the rice-cultivating inhabitants in the Red River
valley and Da River down stream. After lunch, we have the whole
afternoon free to climb up to the top of Thung Nhuoi pass. From
the top of the pass there is a beautiful view of Mai Chau
valley, often engulfed by clouds but still a sight to be
enjoyed. After visiting this wonderful site, we drop down to
explore more of the area of White Thai people.
In the evening, we can enjoy a local dinner and overnight in a
beautiful village at the edge of a river. After dinner, you can
spend the evening sitting together around a fire and join in a
Thai traditional music show. In their traditional attire,
typical of their culture, Thai women invite visitors to
participate in the Xoe dance. To the rhythmical and ebullient
music, the hosts and guests will dance for hours hand-in-hand.
When they get tired, they stop for a while to drink special
sticky rice liquor called "ruou can". Visitors who participate
in the Xoe dance once, especially by the light of a fire at
night are likely to remember it forever.
Day 3: Mai Chau - Huong Khe
Follow the route No 15 passing Pu Luong Nature Reserve, we meet
Ho Chi Minh Highway at Cam Thuy then heading south to Huong Khe.
Day 4: Huong Khe - Phong Nha
Continue to visit Dong Loc intersection, during the anti-US war,
Dong Loc was the main junction of the supply lines from the
North to Ho Chi Minh Trail. US aircraft concentrated a great
numbers of bomb and ammunitions in repeated efforts to destroy
the junction and the surrounding areas. This section of road was
undergone of 2,057 bombardments. Ten young female volunteers,
aged from 17 to 20 was assigned to maintain the road and kept it
open to traffic. Despite repeated heavy bombardments of the road
by US air force, they stayed at their post, using only shovels
and hoes to level bomb craters. Tragically, they all were killed
during an air attack of the road on July 24, 1968. There is a
monument right at the placed they were killed.
We head southwest to follow this famous historical trail along
the Laotian border to Phong Nha National Park, the latest
Natural World Heritage Site of Vietnam.
Day 5: Phong Nha - Khe Sanh
After visiting Phong Nha caves by boat we keep riding along the
Laotian border on the western lines of the trail to visit Khe
Sanh, one of the most fierce battlefields in the Vietnam War.
Day 6: Khe Sanh - DMZ - Cua Tung
DMZ - The Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam was
established in April 1954 as a result of the Geneva Conference
ending the war between the Viet Minh and the French. The DMZ in
Vietnam is on the 17th parallel. In reality, the DMZ extended
about a mile on either side of the Ben Hai River and west to
east from the Laotian border to the South China Sea. This was
one of the fiercest battles for the local people during the
American War in Vietnam. Hundreds of locals were killed while
trying to swim to the other banks to join their familes.
Follow the route No 9 to visit Darkrong, Lang Vey, Camp Carol,
Truong Son Nation Cemetery where more than 10,000 Vietnamese
soldiers died, most unknown when US troops occupied the area
during the US war.
Continue to visit Hien Luong Bridge on Ben Hai River.
Day 7: Cua Tung - Hue
In the morning, ride along the coach up North to visit Vinh Moc
tunnel. This tunnel wasn't setup as army tunnel in Cu Chi. It
was a shelter for fishing and farming villagers lived and hidden
from the extirpation of American bombardment.
We continue our trip to Hue with stops at two other battlefields
- Thach Han and Quang Tri citadel - during the year of 1968 and
After dinner, enjoy Hue traditional folklore-song on a private
boat on Perfume River.
Day 8: Hue
Hue was known as the political and cultural centre of the Feudal
State of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. Boat ride along the
Perfume River from where you can appreciate the exuberance of
this ancient imperial city. Along the river, you will visit
Thien Mu Pagoda, Minh Mang, Tu Duc Tombs…
No riding today, just relax.
Day 9: Hue - Da Nang
Ride up the Me Oi pass to A Luoi in order the rejoin the Ho Chi
Minh Trail. We will visit many villages of Ta Oi and Co Tu
ethnic minority, near Laotian border on the side of a large
mountain covered in thick jungle.
In the afternoon ride east direction to Da Nang.
Day 10: Da Nang - Hoi An
Ride until the China Beach, where US marines first landed in
Indochina and then continue riding along the coach down South to
Day 11: Hoi An
Full day exploring the World Culture Heritage site of Hoi An,
the old town, a unique combination of architectural monuments of
various forms: residential house, assembly hall, communal house,
pagoda, shrine, temple, water well, bridge, wharf, market...has
been preserved intact. Hoi An is a good example of a symbolic
oriental city in the Middle Age, so wonderful with its aged and
traditionally maintained habits and customs. The town is now an
excellent model of a living museum of architecture and urban
Day 12: Hoi An - Kon Tum
Departure to Kontum via Pleiku.. Lunch en route. Kon Tum is the
largest plateau of the Central Highlands, ~800 meters above sea
level. The majority of the local inhabitants are made up mainly
from the Ba Na, then the Kinh, the Gia Rai people. Arriving late
in the evening.
Day 13: Kon Tum
In the morning, a city tour: Wooden church, Pleitenghia Village
(Ba Na people) & Kon ho Ngor Village (Rongao people). Lunch at
the local restaurant in Kon Tum Town.
In the afternoon, short trek to Konkotu village to enjoy the
landscape of countryside, and discover the daily life of Ba Na
people. Trekking up to the source of Dak Bla river then get into
the wooden boats, down the river back to Kon Ko Tu village.
Dinner in Rong house where we later enjoy the traditional music
and dances around a bonfire. Over night in 'Rong' House.
Day 14: Kon Tum - Buon Ma Thuot
Leaving Kon Tum for Buon Ma Thuot, we stop at Nhon Hoa Village
for an elephant ride (optional, you pay if you ride) exploring
the jungles in the proximity of Ia Drang Valley.
Day 15: Buon Ma Thuot - Da Lat
Ride to Da Lat on a wildly road over many mountain passes.
Day 16: Da Lat
Dalat is known as the city of "eternal spring". Sights around
town include the Thien Vuong Co Sat pagoda, the former Bao Dai
residence, the City's garden, Tuyen Lam lake. Have a short trip
by train at the old railways station though the vegetable
garden. Discover the big central market.
Day 17: Da Lat - Mui Ne
One more day continue with great riding through Ngoan Muc passes
then down hill to Phan Rang, where we make a stop to visit Cham
towers before riding along the coach to Mui Ne.
Swimming and relax in Mui Ne beach.
Day 18: Mui Ne - Saigon
The last day of our riding on a good road but crazy traffic in
to Ho Chi Minh, end trip in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Support vehicle (4 pax onward)
- Minsk motorbike
- Gasoline for the ride
- English or French speaking guide
- Hotels & Guesthouse based on twin shared
- Home stay permission
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary , B = Breakfast, L =
Lunch, D = Dinner.
- Water & Snacks
- First-aid kit
- Entrance fees & Sightseeing fees
- Travel insurance
- Visa arrangement
- Air fares
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses
- Services not mentioned in the itinerary
What To Bring?
we suggest for motorcycle touring with these items:
-CLOTHING: rain gloves, Wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season
from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirts, socks & underwear,
long sleeved shirts, turtleneck shirts, extra jeans, a light jacket, leather
chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandanas, sunglasses and goggles.
-PERSONAL ITEMS: original Passport, basic toiletries, emergency cash,
sunscreen and earplugs.
-EMERGENCY ITEMS: a first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical
conditions, list medications, a flashlight, chargers and a duct tape.
-MISCELLANEOUS : a small towel, a bath towel, trash bags, camera and
cargo net...and probably some gifts for children.