Those looking for a motorbike tours of Vietnam experience need look no further than Vietnam. A destination made famous by its tumultuous history, amazingly varied landscapes, incredible food and beautiful people. Motorbike tours of Vietnam have been operating for over 10 years now. During this time you have explored the length and breadth of the country, going places largely left untouched by tourism.
If you are constantly looking for new exciting roads to ride, finding the less travelled areas to take you away from the tourist crowds. For those looking for a true Asia adventure, who want to see the real Vietnam, the motorbike tours of Vietnam are just the experience for you. No matter if you would like to ride the motorbike yourself, or marvel at the landscape from the passenger seat of a jeep, we have just the tour for you. A word of warning though, once you have tasted what rural Vietnam has to offer you will want to come back, again and again, and again.
CENTRAL MOTORBIKE TOURS OF VIETNAM
The sheer variety of landscapes is truly mind-boggling. A one day tour can see you driving through paddy filled coastal floodplains one minute and mountainous rainforests the next. In addition to the natural wonders of this country, the rich cultural history of Central Vietnam provides a large number of man-made wonders to fill your eyes. From a humble farming hamlet to decaying battle sites and ancient ruins that have stood silent and strong throughout the ages.
Hoi An – It has been an important port since the 15th century when traders from China, Japan, India, and Holland established shop houses on the banks of the Thu Bon river. The influence of these traders, and the French colonialists who followed, is still evident in the town’s architecture, cuisine and the importance of the river in the lives of local residents.
The town’s famous covered bridge was built by Japanese traders, who believed its construction would slay a dragon that had its head in India, heart in Hoi An and its tail in Japan, and was responsible for earthquakes in Japan.
As the Thu Bon River began to silt up in the 19th century, the port was gradually overshadowed by nearby Da Nang. The town miraculously survived the ravages of the American War, and its remarkably preserved shop houses were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
The town is attracting travelers from around the world, who are drawn to the town’s famous architecture, fine dining and high-class tailors.
Marble mountain – Between our base in Hoi An and the booming port city of Danang lies Marble Mountain and My Khe Beach. Known to the Vietnamese as Non Nuoc, which literally means “Our Country”, it was nicknamed China Beach by American GIs on R&R. This long stretch of beach offers views to the mountainous headlands North of Danang and the Cham Islands to the east. Just behind the beach, five rocky outcrops known as Marble Mountain have long been sacred to the Vietnamese and still serve as Buddhist temples.
Hue – originally rose to prominence as the capital of the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which dominated much of southern Vietnam from the 17th to the 19th century. In 1775 when Trinh Sam captured it, it was known as Phú Xuân. In 1802, Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (later Emperor Gia Long) succeeded in establishing his control over the whole of Vietnam, thereby making Huế the national capital.
Huế continued to be the capital until 1945, when Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated and a Communist government was established in Hà Nội (Hanoi), in the north. While Bảo Đại was briefly proclaimed “Head of State” with the help of the returning French colonialists in 1949 (although not with recognition from the Communists and the full acceptance of the Vietnamese people), his new capital was Sài Gòn (Saigon), in the south.
Phong Nha – is a sleepy little town with absolutely stunning scenery all around. Famous for its caves and declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2003, the town has seen a lot of change. It’s still sleepy and rural, though it now has an ATM and you can get pizza! The highlight however is the Phong Nha Khe Bang National Park, home to thousands of limestone caves (many yet to be discovered). The caves are the oldest in Asia, and archaeologists have dated them at around 400 million years old.
The park is still tightly controlled by the military who closely guard access. The water in the rivers around the caves is so blue it’s scary and the caves are absolutely breathtaking in size and magnitude.
WHEN TO RIDE
The weather in Central Vietnam can be a temperamental beast and you can expect varying amounts of rain and sunshine throughout the year, especially in the highlands.
Having said that though, probably the best time to travel to Hoi An, Hue and their surrounds is between the months of mid-January and late-August. During this time the weather tends to be quite dry and the temperatures average in the early 30s. The wet season rolls in late September and generally the months of October through to mid-December are rather damp with lowland flooding not uncommon.
Temperatures can get quite chilly in late December and early January so if you’re planning to travel or come on a Motorbike Tours of Vietnam with us then, make sure you pack a few warm clothes. Mid-April to end of July are usually the hottest months with temperatures reaching the 40s. Occasional thunderstorms are common in the afternoon.
NORTH MOTORBIKE TOURS OF VIETNAM
The rugged north of Vietnam is a land full of mountains, rice paddies and remote villages, far removed from the bustling city life of Da Nang or Hoi Chi Minh City and cherished by biker communities all over the world. Places like Sapa, Dien Bien Phu, Dong Van and Ha Giang offer stunning green views for miles into the distance whilst the villagers come from ethnic minority groups that reveal the diversity of Vietnamese culture.
Sapa – This popular tourist town is particularly noted for being home to ethnic minorities such as Hmong, Dao (Yao), Giáy, Pho Lu and Tay as well as for its lush green terraces which roll effortlessly down the hills like a carpet. The cable car to the peak of Mt Fansipan, the so-called ‘roof of Indochina’, is a must-see attraction.
Ha Giang – This trading post on the banks of the river Lo and near the Chinese border is steeped in history and culture and is perhaps best known for being the starting point of the famous motorbike loop named after it, one of the most spectacular in the country.
Mai Chau – Situated 150km from Hanoi, Mai Chau is a pastoral paradise. For miles into the distance all you can see is green between either side of the two giant cliffs that enclose the province. The ethnic Thai villages reveal a less-travelled side of Vietnam that feels utterly disconnected from the rest of the country, indeed the world; it is hard to imagine that in a mere few hours you can be back in the bustling chaos of the city.
WHEN TO RIDE
North Vietnam has a reputation for being cold compared to the rest of the country. And being largely located in the mountainous regions this is what you would expect. However, whilst it is cooler than the rest of the country during the monsoon season of November to March, it is certainly warmer than many places in Europe at this time and during the warm-hot months of April to October, you can expect to see temperatures as high as 35 degrees.
SOUTH MOTORBIKE TOURS OF VIETNAM
If the north of Vietnam is about the mountainous life then the south is more about beaches and sleepy fishing villages by the coast.
The ever-expanding Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of former South Vietnam, is the bustling heart of the south. It just a few hours ride to the laid back town of Mui Ne. From here you can ride up into the mountains until you reach Da Lat – very much the pride and joy of Vietnamese locals who like to honeymoon here. Then it’s onto Nha Trang, a beach city with high-rises and palm trees that makes you feel as if you’re in Miami.
Ho Chi Minh City – once the capital of South Vietnam and still commonly known by its colonial name, Saigon, is a bigger city in terms of population, size and economic activity than Hanoi, despite technically being Vietnam’s second city. Located in the southeast, HCMC has easy access to Cambodia, the Mekong Delta and the coast. Places to see whilst you are here include the Independence Palace, bustling Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and the Municipal Theatre.
Dalat – Revered by locals as the jewel in Vietnam’s crown, this almost literal land of milk and honey (the finest quality milk and wine proudly bear the words ‘made in Dalat’ on their bottles) is located 1,500m above sea level.
There is so much to see here including a stunning cable car ride, countless waterfalls and a crazy house, known for its unique architecture and individually themed rooms. Dalat’s cooler climate makes it a welcome retreat for locals and tourists alike wanting to escape the heat and breath in its cool, misty air.
Nha Trang – located 420 km north of HCMC, is Vietnam’s answer to Miami. Tall buildings – many still under construction – and palm trees devour the coastal roads. With beaches, resorts and scuba diving all a-plenty, it is no wonder this is a paradise for backpackers and tourists from other parts of Asia looking for some laid back time in the sun.
Nha Trang Bay is thought of as of the most beautiful bays in the world. Be sure to visit Po Nagar Tower, built in the time of the Champa Kingdom.
WHEN TO RIDE
South Vietnam is a tropical paradise so expect high temperatures, sometimes reaching as high as 40C. It’s great for those who love feeling the breeze of the sea air as they ride.
There are only two seasons in the south of Vietnam. The rain season (May to November) and the dry season (December to April). The humidity can be as high as 82% whilst there is average ainfall of about 1500-2000mm.
The exception to this is Dalat which is cooler all year round thanks to its position in the ountains.
Our MOTORBIKE TOURS OF VIETNAM pick out the very best trails through the very best scenery, and riding a motorcycle means we can travel far from the beaten track to fully experience this wonderful country. Once you get on your ever-capable motorbike, from that moment the full beauty of the landscape almost overwhelms.
The routes on our motorbike tours of Vietnam have been hand-crafted to take in some incredible trails in remote locations. We’ll balance on slender banks that pass through paddy fields where locals and their water buffalo are tending the crops, we’ll tackle rocky climbs up into the mountains, cruise along sweeping dirt trails and ride alongside cool rivers as the sun slips towards the horizon.
While it may sound rather extreme, the majority of the riding on our motorbike tours of Vietnam will be within reach for even novice off-road riders and our routes can often be split to avoid the more technical sections if needed! Motorbike tours of Vietnam is a joy from sunrise to sunset and it never fails to impress!