Tour de Vietnam: Cycling Central Vietnam

This post was last updated on August 6th, 2014

Cycling Vietnam has toyed with my emotions. It’s been a while since travel made me feel such intense highs and dramatic lows, but Vietnam (or really cycling) has reminded me just how much of an emotional rollercoaster I am. In case you didn’t know, biking is freaking hard. Especially when you decide to lug along virtually everything you own, on unpaved mountain roads with no civilization in sight.  It’s amazing, don’t get me wrong, and I am falling in love with the country and its people. But cycling? Not so sure how I feel about it yet. I can tell you my body is not in the least pleased though.


Despite the lows, the emotional, adrenaline-pumped highs have been remarkable; I might even say they’ve made every exhausting pedal worth it.


Join us on our Tour de Vietnam through Central Vietnam:

 Tour de Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Trail Lake

Tour de Vietnam Cycling Central Vietnam

Cycling Central Vietnam!

Fishing Boats Vietnam

China Beach Da Nang Vietnam

China Beach in Da Nang. Perfect place to relax before another day on the road.

Da Nang City Vietnam

Da Nang at sunset

Marble Mountains Da Nang Vietnam

Marble Mountains

Huyen Khong Buddhist grotto Vietnam

Giant Buddha carved into a cave!

A Cruising Couple Chatting with Local Vietnamese Children

Making friends with some local kids during a water break

Soccer Game Vietnam

Highway in Vietnam

Google maps said this was a “highway”…..

Tour de Vietnam bridge crossing

Tour de Vietnam Cycling Central Vietnam mountains

Ho Chi Minh Trail Cycling Central Vietnam

Finally on the Ho Chi Minh Trail!

So what do you think? Would these views motivate you enough to get spinning?


Discover even more from Vietnam:

Halong Bay, Vietnam: Is It Worth It?                  On Being Open to New Possibilities

Through the Eyes of a Veteran:                           Tour de Vietnam: Cycling Northern
A Tour of the DMZ                                                Vietnam

An Unexpectedly Wonderful Town                    4 Reasons to Love Dong Hoi

Navigating Hue’s Ancient Past                            Hoi An For Non-Shoppers

Our Most Terrifying Moment Cycling                A Pinterest Inspired Hoi An 
Vietnam and the Kindness that Saved                Shopping Spree   
Us From It

Tour de Vietnam: Cycling Southern                   The Best Reason to Visit Vietnam

An Introduction to Vietnamese                           The Ultimate Guide to Cycling
Cuisine                                                                    Vietnam



    • The public transport in Vietnam is actually really convenient. There have been a couple times we have been tempted to throw our bikes on a bus and hitch a ride :-p

  1. Yes! The pictures are just lovely, and make me want to fly to Vietnam and buy a bike right now! Actually…is that what you did, or did you have bikes with you in Taiwan that you transported to Vietnam?
    Sam recently posted…Travel Diary: 2013, Week 35My Profile

    • I’m glad we were able to tempt you! We actually bought our bikes in Hanoi after we arrived. We had only done a three day tour on rented bikes in Taiwan before this so we are still pretty new at it. The bikes have held up well so far though! Wish I could say the same for my knees :-p

    • Cycling has really made our Vietnam experience sooo much more rewarding and memorable. I imagine cycling Chile would be beautiful as well!

    • Thanks! :-) I’m not sure we realized what we were getting ourselves into when we first decided to do the whole length of the country :-p It has by far been one of the most demanding adventures we have attempted. These views are the perfect reminder of why we decided to do this trip in the first place. I hope you get the chance to do it for yourself, even if it is a small portion :-)

  2. Awesome photos! I think biking is a really fantastic way to see a country. I’ve done short trips, but I’d definitely love to do a longer cross-country trip like this. It’s a little intimidating, but I think it would be so worth it!
    Jessica recently posted…Sunday Snapshot: Trekking in the HimalayasMy Profile

    • We definitely feel we have had so many experiences we may not have had doing the trip via motorbike or bus. Plus you can eat as much food as you want and don’t have to worry about it! :-p

  3. I love your photos! It does make me want to visit, but I don’t think I have the energy to cycle. Actually, I am sure I don’t have the energy, especially after reading this post. I have pinned several of your photos.
    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes recently posted…Our Visit To Arlington National CemeteryMy Profile

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos. :-) Thanks for the pins!

  4. That’s amazing.

    Are you guys staying at guesthouses overnight or do you camp? And how many miles do you average? How may days are you doing it for?

    Sorry for all the questions lol but its tempting to do myself.
    Bradley recently posted…Cockfighting Sunday In Rural ThailandMy Profile

    • I’m glad we’ve sparked your interest! We planned out a route based on places we wanted to see. We are staying in guesthouses along the way. Our cycling days range from 50-90 km a day. We are actually still making our way South at the moment but the whole trip should take about 6 weeks. We are planning a wrap-up post with all the details when we’ve finished so you’ll hopefully have all the info you need to give it a go yourself. Thanks for commenting! :-)

  5. Very nice. Vietnam has Ben on our radar for some time. Your post makes me want to go right now! Keep on pedaling. :)

    • I hope you get the chance to! It is a beautiful country to explore by bike. Thanks for the encouragement! :-)

  6. Those are some lovely unusua/unexplored pictures of Vietnam. I’m sure the pictures are rewarding for that hardwork and effort! But on a serious note, I would never dare to cycle through a country knowing what bad a cyclist that I am. This post is sure motivating, but I would prefer to rent a motorcycle to make things a bit more easier :)

    • Sometimes we get the feeling a motorcycle would be a better idea too :-p It is a gorgeous area regardless of how you get there :-)

    • We’ve got lots of good stories to share don’t worry :-) I think a trip from Shanghai to Vietnam would be tons of fun!

    • We were lucky to find these bikes after we arrived in Hanoi. There is actually a whole street dedicated to selling just bikes. It has been an adventure for sure :-) thanks for stopping by!

  7. Amazing!! I’m not sure I’m motivated enough for cycling, but these gorgeous photos are just the inspiration I need for a return trip to the country! I love the shot of the cow on the soccer field :-)
    Heather recently posted…Snapshot: Shanghai’s Perilous CartsMy Profile

    • I think it took me until Vietnam to fully understand the term “free range” but there are chickens and cows hanging out everywhere in rural Vietnam. I would have liked to see what the cow would have done if they passed the ball to him. :-p

  8. Biking is quite hard, especially when you’re used to city biking on flat/paved roads heh. Reminds me of when I was a youngin and my parents took me on a bike trail somewhere in Michigan. Man was I bitching the whole time, all I wanted to do was go back to the rental home, veg out and drink coke.

    At least you guys won’t have to worry about traffic much out in the countryside. No crazy buses barrelling at you.
    Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries recently posted…Comment on Five Reasons to Live Abroad by FrankMy Profile

    • The road conditions were by far the most frustrating part of our trip. In some parts you’re better off riding on the dirt next to the road as it’s flatter than the pothole ridden pavement :-p

  9. You certainly show in your article the full experience. We have cycled several long distance routes in Asia too but not yet Vietnam. This write up has re-kindled my determination as it reminded me just how much a memorable adventure doing this really is. In fact I want to go now!! I agree that Asian people are amazingly friendly and helpful. Of all my travels the only country which was not like this was Egypt. A place i am glad i went to but would never go again. However the contrast made me realise just how much it matters when visiting other countries by bicycle that you need to be accepted by the people.

  10. I am a teacher and would like to ride this trip and send videos back to the class. Did you find that you had to know the Vietnamese language to “get along” and make the most of it?

    • Hi Brad, I’m going to cycle from Mui Ne to Hue, roughly 1000km over 12 days, using lonely planets cycling book as a guide. I’m looking at starting the ride early August. I’m going to check a few blogs / sites and see if there is enough people interested, can maybe hire a van and driver to carry gear etc if enough interest. I’ve cycled through a few countries by myself including Thailand, Laos and northern Vietnam but I think some of these roads, particularly hwy 1 would be better in a group. I’m in Sydney, Australia but please reply to my post if you are considering cycling that time of year. Also I can speak Vietnamese (intermediate) taught English there 10 years ago. So we won’t starve. Chao



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