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Cycling Vietnam

14 days
from
1 525 €
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4.8 / 5 from 233 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
MOV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
5–18
Min age:
16

Experience the real Vietnam by bike

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.

Highlights

  • Take a cycling holiday through Vietnam’s most scenic landscapes
  • Savour mouth-watering cuisine
  • Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Relax in charming Hoi An
  • Cruise among the limestone formations of Halong Bay
  • Overnight on a tropical island

Key information

  • 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 generally flat with some undulation and the exception of Dalat and the Hai Van Pass
  • Group normally 5 to 18, plus local leaders

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 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

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - hotel nights only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 100% tarmac

Day by day breakdown
Day 230.0km/18.0miles
Day 350.0km/31.0miles
Day 460.0km/37.0miles
Day 5100.0km/62.0miles
Day 790.0km/55.0miles
Day 850.0km/31.0miles
Day 1080.0km/49.0miles
Day 1125.0km/15.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Saigon
to
Hanoi
  • Day 1

    Start Saigon

    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 and are highly recommended.

    This evening there will be a welcome briefing with you leader followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
    Huong sen Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Transfer out of the city; cycle to the Cu Chi tunnels

    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. 
    Huong sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Cycle towards the coast and drive to Mui Ne

    After an early breakfast we head out of Saigon by bus and then start cycling towards the coast. 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 finishing our ride in time for lunch. We then transfer approx. 3 hours to Mui Ne, a tranquil white sand beach where we can witness our first sunset over the South China Sea. We spend approx. 4-5 hours on the bus today. 

    Sea Links Beach Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Cycle to Dalat in the Central Highlands

    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. 
    Sammy Hotel Dalat or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Cycle through Bidoup N.P.; to the coast and boat transfer to Whale Island

    Today's ride is predominantly undulating and approximately 30km 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. CToday you can cycle up to 100km according to preference.
    Whale Island Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Drive to beautiful Dai Lanh Beach; coastal ride to Quy Nhon

    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). 
    Seagull Quy Nhon Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Further coastal ride stopping en route at sand dunes; then transfer to Hoi An

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Sightseeing in Hoi An; free afternoon

    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 Viet Cong) sanctuaries.

    Also nearby is China beach, a famous US R & R spot in the war, and Da Nang, 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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Ride over the spectacular Hai Van Pass; cycle and drive on to Hue

    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.
    Park View Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Explore Hue and surroundings by bike and boat; overnight train to Hanoi

    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. We then 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 protests 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 in 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. 
    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Arrive Hanoi; drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise/kayak among spectacular limestone formations

    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 approximate 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. We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.
    Overnight Boat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Further cruising in Halong Bay; return to Hanoi

    Visit Me Cung cave and enjoy further time to cruise the many islands of Halong Bay. We then 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.

    Lenid Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Hanoi

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Hanoi after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Angkor Wat Extension (from Siem Reap)

Code: XOV

'Discovered' enmeshed in the Cambodian jungle in 1860, Angkor, the ancient capital of the powerful Khmer empire, is one of the finest archaeological sites in the world, and not one to be missed. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, the wonderfully preserved sprawling complex of temples and palaces is on a par with any great monument of the world with magnificent towers, sculptures and bas‐reliefs. During this four-night extension you will also see all the key sites of Phnom Penh, a fascinating city undergoing a huge amount of change. You will travel between the sites in a private car or minibus, depending on how many people take part in the extension, accompanied by an English‐speaking local guide. In the evenings, you will be free to enjoy the town. This trip extension is offered before the start of the MOV trip so you can do it at the beginning and then fly to Vietnam to start the cycling trip. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

 

Essential Info

Visas

Vietnam

A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2021. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see here or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.

Vaccinations

Vietnam

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 1 dinner are included.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, 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 specialised 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 - fresh fruit, nuts, biscuits and local snacks are all provided from the snacking kitty along with even homemade lemonade if the season is right!

Weather

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually between 28ºC and 34ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and the south: the south up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December to April and then a rainy season from May to November when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between. Hanoi is cool in autumn, and even gets chilly between November and February (with a drizzly rain).

There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; it is quite pleasant at any time of year, though due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will ever be perfect for the entire duration of any trip.

Please be aware that the boat trip on Halong Bay can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur all year round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Boat trips on Halong Bay are governed by the local authorities who are authorised to make such appropriate safety decisions. If your Halong Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion on Halong Bay for your group, or less likely, the need to re-arrange the itinerary if it is not possible at all to go out on Halong Bay. Whilst this is not a frequent occurrence, our local team and leaders are well equipped to handle such situations and have long offered appropriate options to groups in the instances where this may occur.

If you go to Cambodia for the Angkor Wat extension, the weather will be hot and humid all year round. The dry season is late October to May and the monsoon is normally between May and October; though there is an obvious transitional time between those settled periods.

The dry season is as it sounds, with hot days and generally clear skies, though you can expect the odd shower. The monsoon is characterised by short, sharp bursts of rain and is generally overcast all day though this does not detract from the enjoyment of the place; you just need to take an umbrella or buy a cheap local poncho!

Hanoi

Saigon

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 3- Moderate and classified Road.

9 days cycling (including 1 optional ride), average 70km/day (43 miles), 90% vehicle support.

Terrain and Route:
Road surfaces are mostly on good tarmac. The route is generally flat with some undulation and the exception of Dalat and the Hai Van Pass Vietnam can be hot and humid, but rests and water are readily available. You should be comfortable riding in traffic on occasions. This is a busy trip but anyone not wanting to cycle all day can use the support vehicle.

Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Boat & Sleeper Train

11 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night boat with twin share cabins, 1 night sleeper train, soft-bed berths.

The accommodation on this trip is mostly in good quality hotels (mostly 3-4 star), and all nights are en-suite except the train.

During this trip we spend one night on the sleeper train, this being the best way to travel long distances with the locals. The journey between Hue and Hanoi is quite comfortable although despite being first class, it is still quite basic. You will be in a 4 man cabin, (occasionally 6 depending on season) and bedding is provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local people who are not part of your group. Most trains have a dining carriage but people generally stock up on snacks before the journey.

On the boat in Halong Bay, we stay in en-suite twin cabins.

Our overnight spot on Whale Island is regarded as an absolute highlight for many, however, it is basic. You will stay in bamboo thatched bungalows each with mosquito nets, fans and en-suite bathrooms. The simplicity of island life and this overnight spot really makes it idyllic but you should be prepared for it to be a bit different to the hotels used for the rest of the trip. 

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

 Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for nights spent in hotels during the trip. Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
015 407 558
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed February 2019
    Virginia Morris

    A cycle trip to remember

    This amazing trip has earnt its place as one of the top Exodus cycling adventures. In a fortnight you cover the whole country by bike, bus and train. We combined this trip with the Indochina and Angkor Wat trip so had already cycled from Bangkok to Saigon in the previous fortnight and were acclimatised to the time zone, heat and general chaos of the streets of south east Asia. its a shock to share the roads with so many motorbikes, cars, trucks and people but somehow everyone finds their place. Don't do this trip if you don't like traffic and are looking for peace and tranquillity. We had only a few cycling days through country backwaters but these were outstanding in their beauty. Mostly we cycled busy roads and at a pace which didn't allow for much contemplation. It's a fascinating itinerary with some fabulous stops along the way such as Whale Island, Hoi-An and Halong Bay. I recommend a few extra days in Saigon at the start and also Hanoi at the end as there is much to see and do in both cities. The bikes are mountain bikes so the mileage can seem long at times and the hills tough. That said, I never felt tempted by the bus until the very last day which I skipped to enjoy sightseeing in Hue without sweat. The hotels are all first class and the accommodation on Whale Island and Halong Bay very charming. The overnight train is an 'experience'. Food is fabulous of course and the cycle snacks really amazing especially the home made lemonade. No need to bring anything extra except maybe a bag of muesli (I am a gluten free person and was very well provided for with rice cakes, nuts and fruit at every stop). Our leader was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and great fun. He did push the pace above that stated in the trip notes but we all coped and enjoyed the challenges of the passes and the 'undulating' landscape. The history of Vietnam is gruesome and complex. Meeting the people now and seeing the progress is inspirational. Our photos are awesome and we are looking forward to booking our next adventure. Many thanks Exodus and Tri our leader, for this fabulous cycling holiday. We totally recommend putting the 2 trips together if you have the time and funds available. It's totally worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the high pass and then sailing down the other side

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to bring snacks along. Leave space in your suitcase for shopping. Think about getting a tailor made item or two in Hoi An.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    DIRCEU BARBANO

    Amazing Vietnam

    I believe that for many people the Vietnam is totally different what they think. This happened with me. Vietnam was a bucolic place in my mind when in the reality is a place where people are in permanent movement across cities and small villages. There are amazing landscapes and warm receptions everywhere you arrive. Every second worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are a lot of memorable moments during the trip. The down hill from Dalat and the happy new year in Hoi An were unforgettable. The landscape in Halong Bay is unic. Also, the interaction with the group and local team was perfect.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Chi Nguyen is a efficient and skillful professional. He was able to establish a high degree of interaction with the group and he has always paid close attention to necessities of each person.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the trip and interact with people and places.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No.
  • Reviewed February 2019

    Superb Cycling Adventure and more

    What a trip! We cycled from Saigon to Hue in warm sunny weather with a fantastic Vietnamese Crew headed up by ‘Chi’ who not only looked after us but also imparted a wealth of information on his country along the way. Then via train and bus to Hanoi and Halong Bay. Hotels were excellent, roads were generally good, most of the riding was flat or gently undulating, with two days of more serious climbing and excellent descents. The food was tasty, plentiful and generally inexpensive and the fruit at roadside rest stops was varied and truly gorgeous. But the highlight was the lovely and friendly Vietnamese people who shout ‘Hello’ at you about 100 times a day as you cycle past (mainly children of course). Things to be aware of are the number of scooters - sometimes with families of 4 or even 5 riding together, the apparent lack of any road rules or enforcement, the number of horns being used (generally as a friendly warning it should be said) and finally the amount of general waste on the roadsides (and floating at Halong Bay). But to the Vietnamese who have suffered decades of strife and wars agains western colonial powers, this is seen as a temporary and low priority issue as they try to rebuild their country and improve the standard of living. Vietnam is a communist country but unlike Cuba commerce is encouraged and major investment is visible for all to see. This is a great trip - do it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing my infrequent cycling wife of 62 climb up the Hai Van pass just behind men in their 50s. Personally Hoi An on New Years Eve was fantastic

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chi really couldn’t have done anything better - capable, professional, knowledgable, humourous and an all round top bloke! All his recommended eating places were excellent too

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the minor negatives that you will experience in a developing country like Vietnam. And read up/watch documentaries about the Vietnam War. Check out weather profiles - we had hot, dry and sunny weather in late January/early February.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Michael Barrett

    cycling vietnam

    Cycling In Vietnam-12-26th January-Michael Barrett It was my first view of Asia,Ian and Sandra taught me how to walk across a street with a few hundred motorcycles hurtling towards us,a leap of faith I guess and I’m still standing as the song goes.An assortment of fellow travellers from Australia,America Puert Rico,Canada and the Uk assembled on the first night to express their hopes for the trip to our genial Vietnamese host LD who explained the ground rules and structure of the trip.My attention had been drawn by 2 friends who had completed the trip and my mind on Vietnam as a place was largely a blank canvas , I had been keen to avoid any programmes such as Top gear to prevent any Clarkson like judgements. Comfortable accommodation and a support crew of vehicles and guides explained how to operate our sturdy mountain bikes.New to this type of tour I was keen not to be left behind and set off with the same vigour as a young Wayne Rooney ,but the first day was reasonably easy , a chance to stretch and ease off the jet lag which didn’t thankfully afflict me.A trip to the Chui Chui tunnels was an early reminder of the war that had blighted this country in the 1950’s and 60’s with French and American bombardment of this strikingly beautiful country.Gliding through small villages we couldn’t help but notice the open hearted nature of the schoolchildren who hurtled hello’s with great excitement as our pelaton crossed their homes, The tunnels were a timely reminder of the resourcefulness of a guerrilla army faced with a mighty enemy ,but the difficulty with which I crawled down the tunnel after our Vietnamese guide made me thankful this was a holiday and not warfare as my chance of survival would have been below zero. The first few days were reasonably warm and the carefully arranged stops with the welcome site of our support buses and healthy sustenance from fruit and drinks enabled us to continue our progress from Saigon(Ho Che Minh) towards the eventual target of Hanoi.Evening meals were a chance to relax after a days cycling and mingle with a vast array of personalities all willing to engage .Any special events such as birthdays were accommodated, Whale island being a decent spot and even the loss of an iphone only served to show what a decent gang of people I was travelling with. As we travelled further north rain became part of our days and my bandana decided it was time to change my hair from blonde(maybe grey?) to purple much to the joy of my fellow cyclists .Even damp days were transformed by sun and lunch among local people that our guides arranged, eating great local food with local people was a personal highlight along with cycling off road among the rice fields and observing the marvellous flexibility and postures of women shaped by years of hard work(sorry, can’t stop thinking like a physiotherapist) I had trepidations as a single guy travelling but the nature of the group meant all characters were accommodated even people with my off the wall sense of humour.I guess the masochistic nature of cycling the beautiful Hoi van pass (we believe it is? ) in heavy rain and mist created a team ethos and a determination to finish which strips us all of cool and pretension.I even remember keeping pace with our Vietnamese guide a racing cyclist as my legs became more powerful and my clothes soaked in rain.I remember when he put the back burners on and had to stop when water buffaloes blocked our path, thank god for water buffaloes I said or maybe expletive deleted. On a long trip the guide needs to be able to raise flagging energy levels and the long night train journey from Hue to Hanoi was my first introduction to Kareoke and believe it or not gin and tonic.Thank you LD for your rendition of Delilah which will always remind me of Vietnam, and Katie Bush came from somewhere , and I even gave a fair rendition of the Mountains of Mourne or maybe not, and even some pogues, albeit with teeth Andrew . Well onto Hailoon bay a lovely tranquil place but the journey to it demonstrated a country in transition from a largely agrarian society to a more industrial society with its attendant effects on the environment.Hanoi appeared to be swathed in smog and I was thankful our trip had taken us through more idyllic unspoilt places.My last memory before the flight back was a taxi ride with a young man who seemed willing to take every available risk ,I decided it was best to shut my eyes and we arrived at departures thank god. Flashing memories of being hugged by a saleswoman in Hoi ann to try to effect a sale and the sight of disabled victims of agent orange ,could not counteract the positive energy gleaned by this journey of enlightenment through modern day Vietnam on a bicycle.My last day in Hanoi and a walk around the lake was welcomley(is there such a word?) interrupted by parents keen to get their young offspring talking English to me, their politeness and desire to learn truly humbling. I need to read up on this country . Thanks everyone for making this a memorable trip and I’ve booked my trip to Italy in May, so Ciao for Niao Mike

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many intertwine and built up as we took in the nature of the war and then observing the energy and optimism of the young children that welcomed us as we cycled through their villages.The importance of education was transparent when I was asked to speak English with young children in Hanoi by their parents

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellant,

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    bring some waterproofs and gloves and aerated cycling shoes are a good buy .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    not really
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Michael Barrett

    cycling vietnam

    Cycling In Vietnam-12-26th January-Michael Barrett It was my first view of Asia,Ian and Sandra taught me how to walk across a street with a few hundred motorcycles hurtling towards us,a leap of faith I guess and I’m still standing as the song goes.An assortment of fellow travellers from Australia,America Puert Rico,Canada and the Uk assembled on the first night to express their hopes for the trip to our genial Vietnamese host LD who explained the ground rules and structure of the trip.My attention had been drawn by 2 friends who had completed the trip and my mind on Vietnam as a place was largely a blank canvas , I had been keen to avoid any programmes such as Top gear to prevent any Clarkson like judgements. Comfortable accommodation and a support crew of vehicles and guides explained how to operate our sturdy mountain bikes.New to this type of tour I was keen not to be left behind and set off with the same vigour as a young Wayne Rooney ,but the first day was reasonably easy , a chance to stretch and ease off the jet lag which didn’t thankfully afflict me.A trip to the Chui Chui tunnels was an early reminder of the war that had blighted this country in the 1950’s and 60’s with French and American bombardment of this strikingly beautiful country.Gliding through small villages we couldn’t help but notice the open hearted nature of the schoolchildren who hurtled hello’s with great excitement as our pelaton crossed their homes, The tunnels were a timely reminder of the resourcefulness of a guerrilla army faced with a mighty enemy ,but the difficulty with which I crawled down the tunnel after our Vietnamese guide made me thankful this was a holiday and not warfare as my chance of survival would have been below zero. The first few days were reasonably warm and the carefully arranged stops with the welcome site of our support buses and healthy sustenance from fruit and drinks enabled us to continue our progress from Saigon(Ho Che Minh) towards the eventual target of Hanoi.Evening meals were a chance to relax after a days cycling and mingle with a vast array of personalities all willing to engage .Any special events such as birthdays were accommodated, Whale island being a decent spot and even the loss of an iphone only served to show what a decent gang of people I was travelling with. As we travelled further north rain became part of our days and my bandana decided it was time to change my hair from blonde(maybe grey?) to purple much to the joy of my fellow cyclists .Even damp days were transformed by sun and lunch among local people that our guides arranged, eating great local food with local people was a personal highlight along with cycling off road among the rice fields and observing the marvellous flexibility and postures of women shaped by years of hard work(sorry, can’t stop thinking like a physiotherapist) I had trepidations as a single guy travelling but the nature of the group meant all characters were accommodated even people with my off the wall sense of humour.I guess the masochistic nature of cycling the beautiful Hoi van pass (we believe it is? ) in heavy rain and mist created a team ethos and a determination to finish which strips us all of cool and pretension.I even remember keeping pace with our Vietnamese guide a racing cyclist as my legs became more powerful and my clothes soaked in rain.I remember when he put the back burners on and had to stop when water buffaloes blocked our path, thank god for water buffaloes I said or maybe expletive deleted. On a long trip the guide needs to be able to raise flagging energy levels and the long night train journey from Hue to Hanoi was my first introduction to Kareoke and believe it or not gin and tonic.Thank you LD for your rendition of Delilah which will always remind me of Vietnam, and Katie Bush came from somewhere , and I even gave a fair rendition of the Mountains of Mourne or maybe not, and even some pogues, albeit with teeth Andrew . Well onto Hailoon bay a lovely tranquil place but the journey to it demonstrated a country in transition from a largely agrarian society to a more industrial society with its attendant effects on the environment.Hanoi appeared to be swathed in smog and I was thankful our trip had taken us through more idyllic unspoilt places.My last memory before the flight back was a taxi ride with a young man who seemed willing to take every available risk ,I decided it was best to shut my eyes and we arrived at departures thank god. Flashing memories of being hugged by a saleswoman in Hoi ann to try to effect a sale and the sight of disabled victims of agent orange ,could not counteract the positive energy gleaned by this journey of enlightenment through modern day Vietnam on a bicycle.My last day in Hanoi and a walk around the lake was welcomley(is there such a word?) interrupted by parents keen to keen to get their young offspring talking English to me, their politeness and desire to learn truly humbling. I need to read up on this country . Thanks everyone for making this a memorable trip and I’ve booked my trip to Italy in May, so Ciao for Niao

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    probably climbing Hoi van Pass in rain with all the team spirit engendered in group

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A great boost having LD as our guide who had ability to explain Vietnamese history and at the same time ensure an energetic and rewarding bike journey ,through rice fields and among the fisherman he was able to act as a conduit for the group.His energy was unflagging when tiredness kicked in.On a long trip he managed to maintain everyones enthusiasm and among those who had done other trips they were unanimous that he was at the top of the tree.I must get a karaoke machine

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really just follow exodus advice and maybe add a couple more look rights and left when crossing the road in saigon and Hanoi

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Vajrin (aka Adam) Malin

    Vietnam Cycling

    Good overall.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Managing traffic in some busy spots through towns!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Positive: Good. Very friendly. Very frank and sensible about describing the country. Areas for improvement: Good give more choice about eating out in some places. For example, Dalat was fabulous but the hotel was a 10 min taxi ride. He said eat in the hotel or go out to eat with group. Tour around Hoi An should be less shopping and more history. Fine to show the shops but not dwell to allow people to buy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've blogged the trip - https://cyclingvietnam2019vajrin.blogspot.com/2019/01/day-1-saigon.html
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Kate Ferguson

    Vietnam Cycling 12th January 2019

    The wonderful thing about being on an exodus trip is the feeling of being completely "looked after". Vietnam is a fascinating, beautiful, busy, crazy place - seeing the country and finding all the best bits is all taken care of and the stress of travelling is completely taken away. We had a fantastic group of people and amazingly all got on really well even though we were different ages and from different parts of the world. The combination of exercising, getting out on the bikes, getting to see this beautiful country, eating amazing food, coming into contact with the local people, made a perfect holiday. The cycling was very well planned so that for the dull bits / heavy traffic we were transported on the comfortable air conditioned bus, leaving the fun / interesting bits for the cycling. The support team were always one step ahead, manning every junction so we couldn't get lost and setting up the drinks / snacks table at regular intervals (including the best fresh tropical fruit you've ever tasted!). We packed in an amazing number of things, including exploring the cities, countryside, snorkelling, kayaking, finding out about the history and culture, and lots of eating and drinking, A truly wonderful trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Doing things you wouldn't normally do - e.g. meeting a woman who had worked in the rice paddy fields for over 45 years, and her showing me how to plant rice - getting shoes off and wading out feeling my feet sinking into the mud!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader "LD" was the most wonderful person, we all agreed he made the holiday for all of us - he was constantly smiling, so enthusiastic and his love of his country came across as he fed us bits of information about Vietnam, the people, customs, language and history. He was very knowledgable, and got the balance right re: amount of information. Nothing was too much trouble, he really looked after us and had a great sense of humour. He kept us safe, translated for us and took us on walking tours of the cities to show us around

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a padded seat cover for bike, some travel wash and be prepared for lots of packing and un-packing. There is lots of moving around, it is not a relaxing holiday but an amazing experience
  • Reviewed February 2019
    David Pike

    Great trip

    Fantastic group holiday. Excellent group leader and supporting team of 3. Pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hotels and very good breakfasts. Lunch stops in a variety of town and country settings. Interesting excursions aside from the cycling. Good quality bikes with suspension and disk brakes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoyed the 10k climb up to the Hai Vann pass summit despite getting drenched on the way up and down. Also the Cu Chi tunnels, Whale Island and Halong Bay Cruise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tung was an excellent host and looked after the group well. He worked exceptionally hard and was usually successful in resolving any minor difficulties. Particular mention is necessary for his efforts when our overnight train broke down shortly after leaving Ho Chi Min City. Alternative arrangements had to be made quickly and he successfully guided the group to Hanoi so we were on time for our Halong Bay visit.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Didn’t need my travel kettle as every hotel had a kettle in the room but if you like real tea take some teabags. Lipton tea normally available at breakfast occasionally hot but always very weak but not always in the rooms. It was usually possible to request a jug of fresh milk from reception. In Hoian 9 of the group visited the Hioanian Wine Bar and Restaurant in the top 20 restaurants on Trip-advisor. Ambience, staff and food all excellent. We were offered a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a small appetiser. Great menu of local dishes but I chose an Australian rib-eye steak which was divine. Cost for the main course including a beer and tip was less than £15. Generally cycled on quieter country roads but occasionally in heavy traffic. I would describe the driving as predictably chaotic. Traffic manoeuvres around other cars, motor cycles and scooters and pedestrians regardless of which direction they are going in. Motor cycles and scooters sometimes ignore the rules of the road and frequently go through red lights. Fascinating to watch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Felt the group bonded well and looked out everyone.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Neil herbert

    From Saigon to Hanoi

    In a party of 17 people we were led and supported by 4 incredible Exodus staff. Individually and as a team they way exceeded my expectations. Taking us places we would never have found indepently and taking so much care. We experienced the true Vietnamese way of if life and learned so much. All of the travel arrangements, hotels and cycling was faultless.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably experiencing the extreme friendliness of the local people especially in the south.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Way exceeded expectations. Professional, communicative, hard working, nothing was too much trouble for Lam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Decide on the bike. Exodus supply decent mountain bikes but a lighter gravel, touring or cyclo-cross bike would be even better, but you would have to take your own. Don't be tempted to take a fragile road bike though.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Think about the weather and the seasons and pick the best season.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Terry Lowe

    satisfactory

    A wonderful holiday thanks to very helpful, knowledgable leader Lam and his backup team. Cycles were cleaned frequently, any adjustments requested incorporated immediately. Refreshments available at frequent (necessary) intervals. A five star experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group assembling at top of Hai Van Pass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Lam took great care to keep us informed of any possible problem - road condition, hilly or otherwise route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ask for Lam Nguyen to lead.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A thoroughly enjoyable experience thanks to Exodus.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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