Motorbike tours in Vietnam 2023 will be a must-have experience for any Vietnam discovery-loving soul. In particular, the Ho Chi Minh trail motorbike tour is one of the trips to discover, immerse in beautiful nature, and relive the country’s history.
In the last months of 2022, my friend and I temporarily put aside the hustle and bustle of work and rewarded ourselves with a long trip on a motorbike.
We headed south on an 11-day itinerary that took us through rustic villages with mountains and forests, many war remnants with colorful ethnic minirity tribes in the North, and riding motorbikes along the coast running parallel to the Ho Chi Minh trail.
The best time to ride motorbike in Vietnam is in spring, so plan soon to capture the best of nature.
Motorbike Tours In Vietnam 2023: Conquer Ho Chi Minh Trail
Our 11-day Ho Chi Minh motorbike tour is full of adrenaline-filled routes across half of the country. During the biking trip, we went through closed, smooth roads and challenging roads. It is refreshing for any racers, including me. Let’s discover more about this itinerary together!
Day 1: Hanoi to Thac Ba Lake Motorbike Tour – 180km
On the 1st day of our motorcycle trip in Vietnam, we were given a brief introduction to the motorbike tour itinerary. At nearly 9:00 am, we started riding to our first stop – Thac Ba lake.
It is one of Vietnam’s three largest manufactured lakes and was built in 1970 as a part of the hydropower plant project on Chay river. Considered “Ha Long of the Northwest”, Thac Ba Lake has been recognized as a national historical and scenic relic.
We got here around 4.00 pm. Afterward, we had an hour of leisure time on Thac Ba lake. I still remember the feeling of enjoying the fresh air amid the immense and magnificent Thac Ba Lake. It seemed that all the fatigue in life had disappeared.
We stayed overnight in the hospitable house of the Dao people, ending our first day of the Northern Vietnam motorbike tours.
Day 2: Thac Ba Lake to Sapa Motorcycle Trip – 210km
After breakfast, we continued riding along Thac Ba lake and contemplated the stunning gift of nature. Along this road, we can see massive scenery of mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and rice fields.
We stopped in Pho Rang town for lunch, blended with the taste of sweet fruits, wine aroma, and the aroma of pure rice of Pho Rang town. After that, our motorbike crew rode to SaPa and rested near the Vietnam-China border to take a panoramic view of this nation from Vietnam.
Around 4.30 pm, we arrived in Sapa. We stayed at a Sapa hotel and didn’t forget to explore this romantic and dreamy town before we started a new trip the next day.
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Day 3: Riding Motorbike From Sapa to Than Uyen – 110km
We spent a morning going around Sapa valley, visiting quiet villages and getting immersed in the daily life of the locals. I learned a lot about the ethnic culture and admired the majestic scenery of Muong Hoa valley.
In the afternoon, we continued riding to Than Uyen, another journey highlight. The ideal route for me on the 3rd day is the O Quy Ho pass.
This pass is among the longest and most spectacular passes in North Vietnam. It was refreshing to pass the challenging route of the pass and enjoy the majestic beauty of the mountains and forests.
We arrived in Phan Uyen around 5.00 pm and relaxed in a lovely hotel.
Day 4: Than Uyen – Mu Cang Chai – Phu Yen Motorbike Tour – 220km
On the 4th day of the tour, our motorbike journey continued towards Mu Cang Chai as well as Phu Yen at around 8:30 am. To arrive at Mu Cang Chai, our motorbike crew passed through back roads and winding trails.
It was impressive with Mu Cang Chai’s stunning view of the rice terraces in Northwest Vietnam. Fortunately, my friend and I chose the right time for the upcoming rice crop.
We had beautiful photos of Mu Cang Chai’s rice terraces. Then, we spent time visiting the quiet villages of the hill tribes and talking to the locals here.
Phu Yen was our last destination on the 4th-day. We spent the night here before heading to new routes tomorrow.
Day 5: Phu Yen to Mai Chau Motorcycle Tour – 150km
After breakfast, we departed from Phu Yen and went to Mai Chau, giving me impressive experiences on the motorbike tour Vietnam.
When getting out of town, we continued along the Da River – among the largest rivers in northern Vietnam. This trip along the Da River is one of the most exciting parts of our adventure because of its poetic wild beauty.
We arrived in Mai Chau at around 4:30 pm. We stayed at the house of down-to-earth Thai people and had a hearty dinner and memorable photos.
Day 6: Mai Chau Motorcycle tour to Tan Ky- 270km
The 6th day of our Vietnam motorbike tour headed to Ho Chi Minh Trail and explored central Vietnam by motorcycles. Saying goodbye to our host in Mai Chau, we had an enjoyable motorbike trip to discover the rustic Thai villages and the green rice fields.
Our motorbike crew continued heading to Tan Ky – the starting place of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail. This is the place where the army is concentrated and the starting point for transporting food and supplies to the battlefields in South Vietnam.
Around 5.00 pm, the motorbike tour of Central Vietnam arrived at Tan Ky, and we stayed overnight in a modern hotel.
Day 7: Tan Ky Motorbike Tour To Phong Nha – 280km
Filling up our stomachs with tasty delis there, we rode motorbikes on the historic trail to the South of Vietnam. On this long route, we saw magnificent scenes of the river, mountains, and locals with their daily activities.
Our next destination was Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the most spacious and majestic cave in Vietnam particularly and Indochina generally. We were overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of vast primeval forests and limestone mountain systems stretching widely along the Truong Son range.
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Such a geological structure is called Karst, which can also be seen in Ha Long Bay, but Phong Nha is deemed to be the oldest large karst area in Asia.
With the ideal timing, we camped and had a warm evening. The tents were set on a sandy shore of an immaculate lake where we could plunge in and rest.
Day 8: Phong Nha to Khe Sanh Motorcycle trip – 220km
The following day, we left Phong Nha and went to Khe Sanh. We mostly rode on the trail. This trail is renowned as a hidden route to avoid the US Army bomb, running through Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park.
We rode through the Se Pang heng river, Sa Mu pass, and Lang Ho village, well-known in the American war. Along this road, I learned more about historical stories and saw the monuments and majestic landscapes.
It took almost 10 hours to ride to Khe Sanh. Then we enjoyed a cozy family dinner with the host of the homestay. Our motorbike crew gathered around a table, shared stories with laughter, tried the indigenous rice wine, and sang together with fun.
Day 9: Khe Sanh – Vinh Moc Tunnel – Hue Motorbike Ride – 180km
The next day at dawn, the motorcycle tour headed to Hue. This road brought me many emotions. We crossed Hien Luong Bridge, which drew the line between the North and the South of Vietnam during the American war, the 17th parallel museum, and the Vinh Moc tunnel.
This place is located in a strategic spot and used to be a shelter to protect local people in Son Ha and Son Trung from bombs. The Vinh Moc spectacular tunnel stands as a testament to the endurance, wisdom, and bravery of the local people in their fight for independence.
Arriving in Hue city when the sun kissed the horizon line, we rested at a hotel and relaxed for another exciting day of adventure.
Day 10: Hue Sightseeing Riding Tour
We spent our 10th-day motorbike tour around Hue to get to know the hidden charm behind ancient history. In the morning, we took a boat trip upstream on the romantic Perfume River. A boat tour took us to Ha Khe Hill, and we visited Thien Mu pagoda.
From here, I was driven to admire the beauty of The Hien Garden House. After that, we continued to ride to the suburban area to visit the tombs of Lords and Kings.
When we returned to the hotel, we had a chance to eat distinct dishes from Hue.
Day 11: Hue Motorbike Tour To Hoi An – 170km
Goodbye Hue! We started the last day of the journey with Bun Bo Hue – beef noodles for breakfast. Around 9.00 am, we left Hue and hit the roads to Hoi An.
We followed National Highway 1 to reach Hai Van Pass – the highest pass of the country. Hai Van can be translated to “Sea Clouds,” as you will see its peak is covered in clouds while the foot is lying near the sea.
So, I was amazed and a little fearful when passing through the clouds and seeing the dangerous bends of the road. Many fishing villages unfolded in front of our eyes while we were winding along the coastal road.
We kissed goodbye to the 11-day motorbike tour at about 2.00 pm and flew back to Hanoi. Surely, we will travel to Vietnam by motorbike again.
The motorbike tours have refueled me with tons of valuable memories and experiences. I felt fulfilled because I crossed the most stunning road in Vietnam and conquered half of this S-shaped land.
If you also like the motorbike tours in Vietnam 2023, pick everything up and let your adventure begin!
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