HO CHI MINH TRAIL RIDE ON MOTORBIKE
18 days / 17 nights Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride
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HO CHI MINH TRAIL RIDE DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Hanoi City Tour
Full day to discover the pearl of South-East Asia: Hanoi. With charming streets lined with dozens of old trees, beautiful lakes, colonial architecture and countless interesting monuments, this city will impress you with its lively characteristics. We begin our city-trip at the Restored Sword Lake, famous for the legend of the tortoise and the sword of the 15th century. After the bombardment of this lake by the Americans in 1968, the huge turtle was killed. In fact, Ngoc Son temple in the water is the final resting place of this legendary animal.
Then we continue our way with a visit to the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples. This temple used to be Vietnam’s first university, founded in 1076, to teach Confucianism in Vietnam. After this historical site, you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the house of Uncle Ho who lives forever in the heart of every Vietnamese. We will also visit Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple – from those you will learn more about Buddhism and Taoism in Vietnam. We finish our city-tour by participating in a one-hour ride in a traditional cyclo around Hanoi’s old quarter. After dinner in a local restaurant, we visit the famous water puppet show.
Day 2: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Today is the first day of this 18 days Ho Chi Minh Trail ride.
Heading out of Hanoi on road number 6 to Mai Chau, an idyllic valley populated by mainly White Thai ethnic people. Visiting Mai Chau, you have a chance to enjoy folk songs and traditional colourful culture of White Thai in Mai Chau. The scenery of the arrival to Mai Chau is characterized by beautiful limestone mountains and colourful hill tribes who can be seen and visited on the way. We also have an opportunity en route to learn about the culture of the rice-cultivating inhabitants in the Red River Valley and Da River down stream.
After lunch, we have the whole afternoon free to climb up to the top of Thung Nhuoi pass. From the top of the pass, there is a beautiful view of Mai Chau valley. Sometimes it’s too cloudy but still a sight to be enjoyed. After visiting this wonderful site, we drop down to explore more of the area of White Thai people.
In the evening, we can enjoy a local dinner and overnight in a beautiful village at the edge of a river. After dinner, you can spend the evening sitting together around a fire and join in a Thai traditional music show. In their traditional attire, typical of their culture, Thai women invite visitors to participate in the Xoe dance. To the rhythmical and ebullient music, the hosts and guests will dance for hours hand-in-hand. When they get tired, they stop for a while to drink special sticky rice liquor called “ruou can”. Visitors who participate in the Xoe dance once, especially by the light of a fire at night are likely to remember it forever.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Huong Khe
Follow the route No 15 via Pu Luong Nature Reserve, we meet Ho Chi Minh Highway at Cam Thuy. Then head south to Huong Khe.
Day 4: Huong Khe – Phong Nha
Continue to visit Dong Loc intersection. During the American war, Dong Loc was the main junction of the supply lines from the North to Ho Chi Minh Trail. US aircraft concentrated great numbers of bomb and ammunition in repeated efforts to destroy the junction and the surrounding areas. In reality, this section of road was undergone of 2,057 bombardments. Ten young female volunteers, aged from 17 to 20 was assigned to maintain the road and kept it open to traffic. Despite repeated heavy bombardments of the road by US air force, they stayed at their post, using only shovels and hoes to level bomb craters. Tragically, they all were killed during an air attack on the road on July 24, 1968. Currently, there is a monument right at the placed they were killed.
We head southwest to follow this famous historical trail along the Laotian border to Phong Nha National Park. It is a Natural World Heritage Site of Vietnam.
Day 5: Phong Nha – Khe Sanh
After visiting Phong Nha caves by boat we keep riding along the Laotian border on the western lines of the trail to visit Khe Sanh. During the war, it is one of the most fierce battlefields.
Day 6: Khe Sanh – DMZ – Cua Tung
DMZ – The Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam was established in April 1954 as a result of the Geneva Conference ending the war between the Viet Minh and the French. The DMZ in Vietnam is on the 17th parallel. In reality, the DMZ extended about a mile on either side of the Ben Hai River and west to east from the Laotian border to the South China Sea. This was one of the fiercest battles for the local people during the American War in Vietnam. Hundreds of locals were killed while trying to swim to the other banks for family unification.
Follow the route No 9 to visit Darkrong, Lang Vey, Camp Carol, Truong Son Nation Cemetery where more than 10,000 Vietnamese soldiers died during the US war were installed there, most unknown.
Continue to visit Hien Luong Bridge on Ben Hai River.
Day 7: Cua Tung – Hue
In the morning, ride along the coach up North to visit Vinh Moc tunnel. In fact, this tunnel wasn’t setup as army tunnel in Cu Chi. It was a shelter for fishing and farming villagers lived and hidden from the extirpation of American bombardment.
Then we continue our trip to Hue with stops at two other battlefields – Thach Han and Quang Tri Citadel – during the year of 1968 and 1972 respectively.
After dinner, enjoy Hue traditional folklore-song on a private boat on Perfume River.
Day 8: Hue
Hue was the political and cultural centre of the Feudal State of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. A boat ride along the Perfume River from where you can appreciate the exuberance of this ancient imperial city. Along the river, you will visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Minh Mang, Tu Duc Tombs etc.
No riding today, just relax. In fact, it is an easy day of this 18 days Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride. However, it’s full of activities.
Day 9: Hue – Da Nang
Ride up the Me Oi pass to A Luoi in order the rejoin the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We will visit many villages of Ta Oi and Co Tu ethnic minority, near Laotian border on the side of a large mountain covered in thick jungle.
In the afternoon ride east direction to Da Nang.
Day 10: Da Nang – Hoi An
Ride until the Non Nuoc Beach, where US marines first landed in Indochina. Then continue riding along the coast down South to Hoi An.
Day 11: Hoi An
Whole morning exploring the old town of Hoi An. Afternoon at the Cua Dai beach, about 6km from the old town. This is probably the most relaxing day of this 15 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail.
About Hoi An
The former harbour town of the Champa people at the estuary of the Thu Bon river was an important Vietnamese trading centre in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled down. During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. During the French colonial period (1883 – 1945), it was called Faifo. Originally Hai Pho was a divided town, because across the “Japanese Bridge”, it used to be the Japanese settlement (16th – 17th century). The Bridge (Chua Cau) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
The town is known to the French and Spanish as Faifo, and by similar names in Portuguese and Dutch. A number of theories have been put forth as to the origin of this name. Some scholars have suggested that it comes from the word “Hai pho” meaning “sea town”, while others have said that it seems more likely to simply be a shortening of Hoi An pho, “the town of Hoi An”, to “Hoi pho” which became “Faifo”.
Present Hoi An
In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, whose buildings display a unique blend of local and foreign influences.
Today, Hoi An is still a small city, but it attracts a fair number of tourists, also being a well-established place on the backpacker trail. Many visits to the numerous art and craft shops and tailors, who produce made-to-measure clothes for a fraction of the western price.
Day 12: Hoi An – Kon Tum
This is another long day on motorbike of this 15 days Ho Chi Minh Trail tour. First, we strike back up to the mountains, then rejoin the Trail at Phuoc Son (also known as Kham Duc). From there we head up the towering Lo So Pass. Then pass through remote areas thinly populated by peoples of the Ba Na ethnicity. Edging close to the border with Laos, where a number of Trail arteries crossed over in Laos, we continue on to Kon Tum.
Overnight in Kon Tum.
Day 13: Kon Tum
In the morning, a city tour: Wooden church, Pleitenghia Village (Ba Na people) & Kon Ho Ngor Village (Rongao people). Then we have lunch at the local restaurant in Kon Tum Town.
In the afternoon, a short trek to Konkotu village to enjoy the landscape of countryside. In addition, we also discover the daily life of Ba Na people. Trekking up to the source of Dak Bla river then get into the wooden boats down the river back to Kon Ko Tu village. Dinner in Rong house where we later enjoy the traditional music and dances around a bonfire. Over night in ‘Rong’ House.
Day 14: Kon Tum – Buon Ma Thuot
In the morning we head south through the Central Highlands, passing Pleiku and the Ia Drang Valley battlefield, before continuing onto Buon Ma Thuot (also known as Buon Me Thuot), the city where northern forces launched their final assault on the then Saigon. Buon Ma Thuot produces most and best coffee products in Vietnam.
Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot.
Day 15: Buon Ma Thuot – Da Lat
Ride to Da Lat on a wild road over many mountain passes. In fact, this portion of the trip is the best about the scenery in Southern Vietnam. It’s one of the best days of this 18 days Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride.
Day 16: Da Lat
Dalat is the city of “eternal spring”. Sights around town include the Thien Vuong Co Sat pagoda, the former Bao Dai residence, the City’s garden, Tuyen Lam Lake. Have a short trip by train at the old railway station through the vegetable garden. We also visit the big central market.
Today is an easy day of the 18 days Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride. We recover and get ready again for the next few days.
Day 17: Da Lat – Mui Ne
One more day continues with great riding through Ngoan Muc passes. Then down a hill to Phan Rang, where we make a stop to visit Cham towers before riding along the coach to Mui Ne.
Swimming and relaxing on Mui Ne beach.
Day 18: Mui Ne – Saigon
The last day of our riding is on a good road. However, traffic is crazy on the way to Ho Chi Minh City. End this 18 days Ho Chi Minh Trail ride before rush hour.
Contact us now to know the current price or to alternatives of this Ho Chi Minh Trail ride.
More Motorbike Tour Itineraries In Vietnam
– Full North Loop Vietnam
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– Middle North Vietnam Motorbike Tour
– North-East Vietnam Motorbike Ride
– North-West Vietnam Loop
– One Day Motorbike Tour
– Women Tours
– Custom Tours