Ride the Vietnam Ocean Road - Epic Itinerary
If you’re looking to ride through some of Vietnam’s most dramatic landscapes, then this cycling route has got you covered. The terrain is varied, the coastal views are plentiful, the locals are friendly – plus the food is delicious!
This epic cycle route will showcase the best of coastal Vietnam, from the historic cities of Hue and Hoi An to the industrious fishing ports and charming seaside villages. Ride over scenic mountain passes, cross fertile plains and cruise past sweeping beaches. Minimal traffic and a network of rural back roads will ensure you an enjoyable and photogenic ride.
Take a look at the many ways Grasshopper Self-guided tours go the extra mile.
Self-guided bike tour running in the Hanoi - Saigon direction along the coast of Vietnam
Arrive in Hue
Your tour will commence in the tranquil city of Hue, a former seat of Imperial power in Vietnam. A Grasshopper Self-guided representative will meet with you at your hotel to conduct a briefing on the road and travel conditions in Vietnam, deliver your equipment and explain how to use the technology. You will then have the afternoon free to get comfortable with the Lynskey Cooper titanium bike as you explore the atmospheric Perfume River, the colonial French buildings and crumbling Citadel walls of this historic city.
Cycle Hue to Lang Co
Once you pass the outskirts of Hue you will ride along country roads with few other vehicles. Farmers’ huts and rice fields will give way to fishing cottages and sand dunes as the ocean comes into view. You will then encounter some rolling hills as you weave in and out of the coastline throughout the day, but there’ll be no shortage of delicious Vietnamese restaurants and food stalls to stop and refuel. Your ride today will conclude in Lang Co, a charming beachside town located on a slim peninsula between a lagoon and the ocean. Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop and you’ll seldom encounter other travellers here aside from local Vietnamese families.
Cycle Lang Co to Hoi An
Today will involve a somewhat challenging but scenic climb along the Hai Van Pass, a mountain roadway that offers picturesque views over the lagoon and coastline below. You can expect to enjoy a quiet road with a relaxed gradient, as the majority of the traffic will pass through a tunnel. The descent down the other side will take you along the coastline into the ancient trade town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a melting-pot of various architectural styles throughout history.
Cycle My Son
Today you will ride a loop from Hoi An to the enchanting My Son, a set of ruins of Hindu tower-temples located within a mountainous valley. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, My Son was discovered by French archaeologists in the 19th century and was once the primary religious and intellectual centre of the kingdom of Champa. You’ll ride across the river and through scenic countryside, along back roads that are hidden from most tourist routes and accessible only by bike. You will pass family farms and small villages full of curious locals, before returning to spend the evening in the beautiful Hoi An.
A welcome rest day will allow you to prepare for the ride ahead and provide an opportunity to explore the beauty of this ancient town. There’s a diverse mix of architecture to enjoy, both contemporary and traditional food to dine on, or you can take a short ride to the nearby beach.
Cycle Hoi An to Quang Ngai
As you depart Hoi An you'll likely pass some of the market vendors bringing in produce from the surrounding farms. You’ll then cross the river, before taking a gravel road through an assortment of small fishing villages along the coast. The next part of the route involves riding along Highway 1. Whilst you can expect to encounter some traffic, the well-made road should ensure you a smooth ride. En route to Quang Ngai you will pass the sobering but poignant Son My Memorial, site of the My Lai Massacre – one of the most horrific crimes committed by the U.S. Army against civilians during the Vietnam War. At the memorial site there is an assembly of sculptures constructed in memory of the victims, plus a war history museum and a photograph gallery. From here you’ll continue to the university town of Quang Ngai to spend the evening.
Cycle Quang Ngai to Tam Quan
Today is potentially one of the best days of the tour, as you break from the coast for part of the route and cycle through the hinterland. You will ride across rickety bridges and along canal paths, passing friendly locals hard at work out in the fields. The route is an intricate set of forks and bends, but the Self-guided app and the notes provided will ensure you stay on track. You will return to the coastline for the final leg of your journey and cycle towards Tam Quan, a coastal town where a cosy, off the beaten path hotel awaits.
Cycle Tam Quan to Bai Xep
Today provides some great views of the coastline as you climb a few steep but short hills. In the early part of the day villages are sparse, but the latter part of the ride will showcase some modern day Vietnamese engineering as you cycle over a giant bridge spanning a vast lagoon, delivering you into the coastal city of Quy Nhon. Quy Nhon sits on a headland with grand boulevards that are ideal for strolling and a harbour packed with colourful squid boats. You will then have a short ride to your beachfront accommodation in Bai Xep, an authentic Vietnamese fishing village bordered by mountainous jungle.
Train to Nha Trang
After lunch today you will board the train for a leisurely and scenic journey along the coast. Sit back and relax as you traverse beaches, villages, rice fields and mountains. You can expect the majority of your fellow passengers to be Vietnamese, so you can strike up a conversation with some locals in the buffet car. By early evening you will arrive Nha Trang, a vibrant seaside resort town with an impressive promenade, a sweeping beach and an array of dining options for you to enjoy.
Cycle Nha Trang to Dalat
Your journey today begins on somewhat busy but flat roads, through rice fields and sugarcane plantations. You’ll then turn away from the coast and ride some rolling hills, where the momentum from your descent will help propel you up the next gradient. Eventually you will begin an uphill climb as you ascend the Khanh Vinh pass. Whilst challenging, the mountainous scenery and views of the forested valleys will help mitigate any fatigue – and then you can enjoy the descent! The next part of the route involves some more rolling hills, through coffee plantations and rural villages. You’ll eventually reach the town of Dalat, where you’ll continue onwards to an upscale resort for a well-deserved rest.
Pack Up Day
At the conclusion of your tour in Dalat, a Grasshopper representative will meet you at your hotel and take receipt of the equipment. If you are ready to leave, there are daily flights to Hoh Chi Minh city or Grasshopper Self-guided can assist with booking further accommodation or transport if required.
What's the Riding Like?
Some hilly terrain
7-8 days riding
This trip involves some hill climbs and covers quite some distance with a few long days in the saddle, so it is recommended for fit riders looking for a rewarding adventure. The majority of the route is on paved back roads with minimal traffic and the occasional dirt road.