HOW TO TAKE A HO CHI MINH TRAIL MOTORBIKE TOURS?
If you are bored with tall buildings and beaches, why not try going to the mountains? The Ho Chi Minh trail motorcycle tours might be the trip you are looking for. With the majestic beauty of nature, the friendliness of people, you will surely be satisfied with it.
Then, how to start this trip? Don’t worry. The following article will help you.
Ho Chi Minh Trail Motorbike Tours: Overview
There are many documents written about this trail’s historical value. It was a lifeline in the war that started in 1959. Currently, the Ho Chi Minh trail is an important road connecting the North and South of Vietnam.
The Ho Chi Minh Trail is a combination of mountains, forests, and rivers. The turquoise rivers, lush tropical jungle create a beautiful picture of nature.
With a total length of more than 17,000 km, stretching through many provinces, this is also the settlement of many ethnic groups. When coming to this place, tourists have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and experience the life of the indigenous people. You will learn more about their customs and traditions.
This trail is an important tourist route that Vietnam is focusing on exploiting as it comes with a system of historical relics, majestic natural landscapes, and unique cultural features. It is also an attractive journey for those who love to explore and experience, especially by motorbike.
Ho Chi Minh Trail Motorcycle Tour From Hanoi To Hoi An
There are many tours you can consider. Each will last a different period. We’ll review the average trip and the locations you will reach.
On those first days of the tour, you should wander around Hanoi, a capital with many years of culture.
Next, you get to visit the Mai Chau valley of the Hoa Binh province, which is 180 kilometers away from Hanoi. This valley is famous for its pure beauty carrying its mysterious charm. The place is resided by several ethnic minorities, most of which are Thai people.
Leaving Mai Chau, you’ll be heading to Vinh city. During your time there, you should try different local dishes, explore fishing markets, and visit some historical sites.
There are also some beaches near Vinh that you should see, such as Cua Hoi, Cua Hien, and Cua Lo.
When you’re ready to say goodbye to Vinh, drive 15 kilometers from there to visit Ho Chi Minh President’s hometown, the Sen village.
After that, continue your trip 160 km from there until you reach the hottest location of Ha Tinh, Huong Khe.
210 km from Huong Khe is one of the most famous locations of Vietnam, Phong Nha Ke Bang. UNESCO has recognized it as a world-class natural heritage. You get to view those beautiful caves and historical places and participate in rural mountain biking or forest trekking there.
Ready to move on to the next location? Dong Hoi of the Quang Binh province will be the next place welcoming you on this tour. This place was once called Petit Paris by the French as it is full of colorful roses all the time.
Next, we’ll be visiting a historical province of Vietnam, Quang Tri province, where you will want to focus on Khe Sanh and A Luoi. Those interested in history would want to discover this place, which was heavily bombed during wartime.
Only 240 km away from A Luoi is Vietnam’s ancient city of Hoi An. Many people refer to this place as a living museum that exhibits urban lifestyle and architecture. It’s no exaggeration saying this city preserves a traditional town of East Asia thoughtfully and intactly.
People would end their Ho Chi Minh Trail motorbike tour at Hoi An (about 9 days from the start). Still, if you’re an experienced traveler and would like to spend more time, you can continue exploring the trail to the South of Vietnam.
How To Take A Ho Chi Minh Trail Motorcycle Tour?
Although being one of the key routes for tourism development, this motorcycle tour is quite new to many people. Even professional travelers need to prepare well before the trip. Here are a few tips if you’re contemplating conquering this route:
1. Choose Your Route
This tour is not a single tourist destination. Rather, it is a long journey that runs through many different lands from the Hanoi capital to Saigon. It includes many types of terrain such as tracks, roads, bicycle tracks, footpaths, waterways, etc.
Many years ago, some sections of this route were challenging for amateur motocrossers. Nevertheless, the introduction of a new highway has made this journey a lot easier. If you are new to motorcycle tours, this highway will be an ideal choice. You can complete your exploration without leaving the border of Vietnam.
On the other hand, if you are experienced and passionate about rough, unspoiled routes, then the ordinary trail through Laos and Cambodia is the one for you. Yet, do not forget to use GPS maps and regular maps when traveling in all three countries.
2. Guided Or Solo?
Currently, experience tourism has become an attractive business there in Vietnam. The proof is the rapidly increasing number of tour companies with extremely professional guides.
A top tour guide is someone with great courage and experience in many fields. They can be a first aid officer, historian, motor mechanic, even a living map. You may have planned the perfect trip for your trip, but the unexpected can still happen. This is when you need someone to lead. A good guide is also someone who shows you where to take the best photos – something machines cannot do.
Still, it’s entirely up to you whether to go on a tour, as a group or alone. A solo trip is also fun, but make sure you can afford to tackle everything on the road.
3. Choose A Suitable Motorcycle
In Vietnam, you can ride a motorbike under 50cc without a license. This engine is too weak for long trips like the Ho Chi Minh trail tour. So, you need to have a legal Vietnamese driver’s license or an International Driver’s license to be eligible to travel on the road. Otherwise, you will be disqualified, and insurance will not pay in the event of an accident.
About the type of motorcycle, the 150 cc – 250 cc engine is enough for a domestic trip. The speed limit in Vietnam is 40km/h (city) and 60km/h (highway), so renting a motorbike is not necessary. Here, there are a few popular brands like Honda dirtbike such as Honda XR150cc, Honda CRF250L and Yamaha dirtbike WR250L
4. Avoid The Rainy Season
The central provinces and the Central Highlands of Vietnam have quite complicated weather. From April to October is the time when the monsoon is very active. It caused many heavy spots of rain and seriously affected the provinces here. If you want a safe and smooth ride, it’s better that you don’t start at this point.
More about the best time to travel Vietnam on motorbike at our FAQs!
5. Prepare Your Kit Thoroughly
Ho Chi Minh trail is a long route and contains many unexpected situations. For example, finding a place to stay at night might be challenging if you are far from town. If you are injured, you or your crew will have to take care of yourself because the medical facilities are located in the town.
Therefore, do not forget to bring all the most necessary items to respond to any situation promptly. Examples include a first aid kit, a kit, and a spare tire if your car blows out.
You also need to have a local sim card of any major network operator in Vietnam in your backpack. Make sure you can make calls, use 3G/4G, or use translation apps if your Vietnamese is not good.
Be prepared with a little extra fuel like a water bottle filled with gasoline. Please don’t underestimate this; it can be a savior to help you not get stuck in the forest when the car runs out of gas.
Out of everything, water and food are the most important. Prepare carefully for these two things before the trip. When you’re in the middle of the jungle, isn’t a delicious sandwich more appealing than a wild banana tree?
6. Be Aware Of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
It is estimated that Vietnam suffered about 15 million tons of enemy bombs during wartime. Although demining work has been carried out for a long time, some bombs have not been found. If you go to distant lands, be careful.
Ho Chi Minh trail motorcycle tours are a great idea for those who love to ride on two-wheelers. If you are one of them, why not come here and experience it? It certainly won’t let you down, but don’t forget to prepare well before you depart. Hope you have a good trip.
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