The natural beauty in Vietnam ranges from long-stretching mountain ridges, ever-extending fields, deep blue beaches, serene rivers, and many more scenic rural views. It’s perfect for taking a stroll and gazing at the world’s wonders, right? Riding a bicycle in Vietnam and immersing yourself in the majestic view is an even better experience. Despite being jam-packed with traffic most of the time, the city’s bustling streets can be pretty fun to zip and roam around the everyday lives of the people here. So here is our list of 15 places for cycling in Vietnam for you to consider.
Best Places for Cycling in Central Vietnam
Da Lat City is positioned on the Langbiang Plateau of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Many cyclists ride to the base of Langbiang Mountain and continue along the wood trails to Victory Lake (Ho Chien Thang) and Valley of Love (Thung Lung Tinh Yeu). In addition, there is some possibility of passing by waterfalls en route too. Cool mountain air, stunning sights, and magnificent woods trails make this Central Highlands heaven for mountain bikers. An astonishing blend of ascents, descents, and single tracks reveals the stupendous pine forests, fantastic coffee plantations, and beautiful mountains.
A small, charming, quaint town with a UNESCO World Heritage Status, Hoi An Old Town is excellent for an easygoing ride. Rent a bike (at only around US$ 3 per day) and behold the exquisite ancient houses. A further ride will reveal the superb countryside and a glimpse of the real Vietnam. Catching the sights of a paddy field would mean that you have found what you are looking for. You should wake up early to catch the sun and the city’s charm.
Cham Island is a pristine island around 18 km seaward from Hoi An. The island has vibrant biodiversity and is acknowledged by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reverse. Firstly, you can leisurely ride around the beautiful coastal lines to see the encompassing seascape and the greenery. A second option is to go deeper into the woods, into the island, for an exciting forest adventure ride. There are also some fishing villages here to visit.
Hai Van Pass
With Hue as the starting point and Da Nang as the goal, Hai Van Pass stands between them as a tempting challenge. Staggering vistas, transcending mountains, and amazing ascents and descents prove this is a ride for the absolute thrill seekers and experienced riders. It is an 11 km climb at a 7% angle for quite a bit. This isn’t a ride for the fearful. What makes it worth all the trouble? Well, it is for those beautiful scenes of the exquisite coastline and the thrilling descent down to the ocean, all breathtaking from start to finish.
You can use the Reunification Express to get to Hue. From here on, bicycle riders can ride to explore either the North or the South. Or you can just ride around the majestic city of Hue. It is a captivating city, the former capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, where many Nguyen Emperor Tombs also sit. Here, you can just leisurely ride around at a nice slow pace and immerse yourself in the deep history of Hue. Along with the romantic Perfume River, you will catch sights of Hue’s historical buildings.
Kick back in the blues of the sea and the brilliant sands of Vietnam’s arguably best shoreline on a relaxed ride, and then afterward, gulp down a huge glass of beer to finish everything off. This is the spirit of Nha Trang – unadulterated refreshment for the soul, eyes, and stomach. You can ride down here from Da Lat.
Best Places for Cycling in North Vietnam
Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is on an island in northern Vietnam and east of Hai Phong. This island is the biggest in Halong Bay and occupies a vast area of 354 sq km. A cycling voyage through Cat Ba National Park will give you a great chance to see a variety of plants and animals, some of which are native to Vietnam. There is no shortage of secluded beaches, dancing waterfalls, caverns, mountains by limestone, and staggering valleys waiting to be discovered.
Moc Chau is a small, tranquil town in Son La Province of Northern Vietnam. The place is slowly becoming a desirable destination among traveling enthusiasts thanks to its vast lush green tea plantations, spreading all across hill after hill. Amid spring, exquisitely beautiful wildflowers bloom wherever they are amid the drifting fog. Take a ride here to enjoy the lusciousness of the tea plants and the exciting colors of the flowers.
Tucked away in a valley northwest of Hanoi, Mai Chau is simply untouched by Hanoi’s noises, hustle, and bustle. Rich rice paddies encompass tranquil farming villages, giving marvelous scenes of rural life. From a bicycle, obviously, with the breeze through your hair, this is a stimulating and pleasing approach to witnessing the magnificence and grandness of a simpler Vietnam.
Hanoi is also a wonderful place to have a bicycle trip. Some places perfect for cycling in Hanoi are Phan Dinh Phung Street, Hoang Dieu Street, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, West Lake, Sword Lake, Old Quarter, and Kim Ma Street. Be ready to immerse yourself in the unique feel of Hanoi, an ancient and culture-rich city.
Best Places for Cycling in South Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City
If you can explore Ho Chi Minh City on a motorcycle, you can also explore Ho Chi Minh City on a bicycle. Some famous locations in District 1 near one another, like Saigon Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Independence Palace, and Saigon Central Post Office, are great ideas to include on your cycling track. Still, you should stay safe in the 2-wheel lane. And if you want a quieter area to pedal around, District 2 will offer you more open, clean, and not-so-busy roads, friendly for riders like the Thao Dien or Xuan Thuy areas. Or you can bring your bicycles to the city’s rear areas like Cu Chi or Binh Chanh, Can Gio, and start cycling around these places for the more dirt road feeling.
Read more about Cycling in Ho Chi Minh City
Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park is situated in South Vietnam, around 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh. It is home to various leisure trails, botanical gardens, and decades-old trees. Hence, Cat Tien is the perfect place for mountain biking and ecotourism. The long journey of cycling among the verdant woods and taking in the untainted nature breeze will refresh your mind and body. And did we mention that there is a crocodile lake in Cat Tien for you to sightsee?
Pedaling through this breathtaking and fairly distinctive Vietnamese land and waterscape is a high note for some. A terrific labyrinth of waterways with floating markets, pagodas, peaceful countryside, and charming little country roads make this a fantastic ride. You can drop by the floating markets or pedal around the rice paddies while inspecting local farmers’ produce, like rice and exotic fruits.
Vung Tau is another coastal trail where you can pedal and enjoy beautiful ocean sights. With about 30km of concrete road along the beaches, the trail at Vung Tau can be one of the best places for cycling in Vietnam. You can bring your bike from Ho Chi Minh City on the speedboat to Vung Tau and start pedaling or hire one at the hotels – they have options for standard bikes or tandems.
Find speedboat tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau:
Our Tips for Cycling in Vietnam
- The tropical weather in Vietnam is perfect for cycling. But make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothes.
- Due to the unexpected rain, pack a small poncho with you on the ride as well.
- Wearing helmets for cycling is not mandatory in Vietnam, but it is very much recommended, especially if you’re going long distances.
- Roads in Vietnam do not prioritize bicycles. Even on a two-wheel lane, you’re also “competing” with hundreds of motorbikes from every direction. Keep some distance from the surrounding vehicles.
- Off-road cycling in Vietnam sounds inviting, but there are also dangers underlying. Most off-the-beaten-path roads have many trucks and containers frequenting. Make sure you’re not in their blind spots.
- The mountainous roads are incredibly captivating, but they are also known to be accident-prone. If possible, always cycle in pairs or groups.
Summary of 15 Best Places for Cycling in Vietnam
There are more than just these 15 places to have a fantastic bicycle trip in Vietnam. But we hope our suggestions serve you well in your research for an exciting travel plan. Remember, cycling can be a very taxing sports activity. So take good care of yourself, bring enough supplies, and travel with friends for safety. We hope to see you cruising down the alluring roads of Vietnam soon.