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Vietnam is a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is excellent. This new bike tour will provide you with the opportunity to experience it all firsthand.
During the tour, you will spend 12 nights in three-star and four-star boutique inns and resorts. Pedalers Pub & Grille rely on a carefully-vetted network of beautiful full-service accommodations to round out every tour. They choose local, independently owned establishments in prime locations, steering away from forgettable franchises and over-the-top luxury resorts.
You will begin your journey in the country's capital, Hanoi, where you will explore its history and cultural exhibits. Experience the old French Quarter by cyclo (bicycle taxis) and then head out into the country for a couple of days by bike through the dramatic landscapes of Mai Chau and Ninh Binh. A quick flight will take you to central Vietnam, where you will spend several days exploring the beautiful historic cities of Hue and Hoi An.
The final leg switches gears, leaving the land behind for a cruise by junk through the turquoise waters of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will swap your bicycles for sea kayaks to explore the many karst limestone islands. Your junk features all the amenities for comfortable evening accommodations, such as air-conditioned rooms with en-suite facilities. And your sea kayaks will allow you access inside the islands, paddling through caves to their hidden interiors. It is a journey unlike any you have done before.
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel in the old French quarter. Then you will have the rest of the day at your leisure. In the evening, you will dine at the Seasons of Hanoi restaurant.
You will explore Hanoi by van, foot, and cyclo (a pedal-powered taxi). Among your stops is the Museum of Ethnology, with its informative displays about Vietnam's history, culture, and ethnic minorities. You will roll through the historic streets of the French Quarter via cyclo and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show at dinner.
This morning, you will bypass Ha Noi's hectic traffic, shuttling to the quiet town of Man Duc. You will mount your bikes and pedal off into the lush hill country. The landscapes are magnificent, and your cycling will take the easiest route through the mountains, not over them. A short climb at the ride's end will take you into the Mai Chau valley and your lodge sitting at the edge of bright green rice paddies.
After breakfast, you will cycle around the valley a bit, exploring the quaint little villages with their traditional houses and perhaps visiting the local market where the ethnic Tai sells their handmade cloth. You will do another shuttle, as your next destination is too far for a day's ride, then enjoy an late-afternoon spin through the karst scenery surrounding Ninh Binh.
Bike from the hotel to Hoa Lu, the first capital of Vietnam dating back from the eighth century. Visit the temples and climb some hundred steps to the top of a mountain for a great view over "Halong Bay on the rice field." After there, you will bike through an amazing area of Limestone Mountains uprising on rice paddies. After one hour of riding, you will reach Tam Coc. Eat lunch in a local restaurant and then enjoy an interesting rowing boat trip on the river to explore Halong Bay on the rice paddies. Drive back to Ha Noi.
You will take a morning flight to Hue. In the afternoon, cycle the "back roads" loop of Hue through the lush countryside on a mix of footpaths and quiet country lanes. Visit the Imperial Citadel at your leisure. After exploring the ruins of this grand monument to the emperors, ride the back streets along the banks of the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda. Continue to the Ming Manh mausoleum and loop back across the river to Hue via the funerary monument to Khai Dinh.
Begin riding off-the-beaten track for 40 kilometers along a picturesque, narrow peninsular road from Thuan An Beach to Vinh Loc. Hop on a local ferry to cross the estuary of the Perfume River before joining Highway 1. From there, transfer or cycle the first of the day's three hill climbs.
After the first two (moderate) climbs of two to three kilometers each, cruise down to balmy Lang Co Beach for a rest or swim and have lunch before tackling the final hill of the day, the Hai Van Pass or "Pass of Ocean Clouds." With a new tunnel through the mountain diverting highway traffic, the 11 kilometers of this leg will be natural and quiet. The gradient is moderately challenging and the views breathtaking! Transfer the rest of the way to Hoi An, a delightful old trading town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This exceptional tour is a mix of culture and relaxation. The morning is dedicated to the discovery of rural Vietnam. You will cycle from Hoi An and set out to meet the locals and discover daily life in the Vietnamese countryside. After a meal with a local Vietnamese family, you will set out for a five-kilometer cycle ride on an unspoiled beach.
You will cycle along the water's edge on the hard sand, where you might come across local fishermen setting out to sea in their traditional “basket boats” or bringing in their nets. After some time to relax and enjoy a swim, you will set out to cycle the few remaining kilometers to join the mouth of the Thu Bon River where a boat will be waiting to bring you back to Hoi An. You will have free time in the afternoon for relaxing in Hoi An. In the evening, dine in Ancient Faifo Restaurant.
You will say goodbye to Hue and proceed with a short flight to Hanoi. From Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), transfer to the hotel, and the rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Relax and do some shopping if you wish.
After breakfast, depart for Ha Long Bay, a natural wonder of the world and one of Vietnam's five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Over three thousand jagged limestone islands emerge from the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay. Upon arrival at Ha Long city, you will transfer to a traditional deluxe junk for a cruise among the karst islands. The boat is one of the more traditional varieties that sail through the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch on board while the captain heads out for the horizon. Cruise to discover Ha Long Bay with breathtaking scenery and thousands of limestone outcrops. There will be time to enjoy kayaking in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight will be on the junk.
After breakfast, you will transfer to the taxi boat and enjoy a whole day cruise and kayak. Following the boat to cruise to Man's Head Island and Tortoise Island, you will paddle to explore Luon Cave (tunnel cave), a beautiful crater like lagoon encircled by towering cliff which is only accessed via a half-submerged 30-meter tunnel cave.
Paddle to visit Cua Van fishing village. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch then cruise to unusual Ba Ham Lake, another crater-like lagoon in two sections. The afternoon will be spent at Three Peach Beach, a stunning swimming spot. Return to mother junk for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, continue kayaking to explore the wonder of Ha Long Bay. Paddle to Duck Islet and Ba Hang area. Cruise back to Halong city passing Bai Tho Mountain and Chopstick Islet. Enjoy the last delicious lunch on board. Arrive Halong around 12 p.m. then transfer back to Hanoi. The balance of the day is free for your leisure in Hanoi.
Depart Hanoi. Several shuttles will be available back to the airport.
This bike tour will take place in Vietnam, starting and ending in Hanoi. It covers Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu, Hue, Hoi An, and the beautiful Ha Long Bay.
The price includes 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 10 dinners.
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