There’s no better country to take on a cycling adventure than Vietnam. With two main cities – one in the north (Hanoi) and one in the south (Ho Chi Minh City) – cyclists typically ride between the two, taking in the majority of the country as they go, and leaving only one big decision to be made – which route to take. No matter where you choose to start, be sure to explore all the things to do in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi before setting off again.
There are just two main roads that run the length of the country, and both provide for quite different adventures. The Ho Chi Minh Highway is a favorite amongst keen cyclists, providing stunning views (some of the best you’ll find in Vietnam) and many off the beaten path destinations. However, with it’s position inland, it cuts through many hills, and offers a far limited number of villages to rest, requiring quite a bit more effort from a cyclist than the coast bound Highway One.
As the alternative, Highway One provides plenty of places to stop as it passes through a number of top destinations – Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Hoi An to name a few – as it sneaks it’s way through central Vietnam. It also provides greater opportunity for getting off the main road, with more development bordering it. However, as it is the main road across the country, it is constantly full of other vehicles that often put a cyclist at the bottom of their list of things to worry about.
With either route, a cyclist will cover about 2,000km, with the best time to take it on being from February to May. As long as you can ride a bike and you can push yourself to keep going, you’ll be able to achieve this adventure – it’s one for everybody. At the end, you’ll have cycled across the length of a country, seen many stunning views, spent many evenings in small villages with just the local communities and seen the best parts of a country that you’d otherwise have only glimpsed through a window.
Caitlin, A Girl Abroad