This 8 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorbike tour is a good trip to experience the Ho Chi Minh Trail/Road. In 8 days, we ride from Hanoi to Mai Chau before heading down to Hoi An. In fact, we take you on both the new Ho Chi Minh road and the old trail and trace back this historical route. Let us be your guide and explore this trail on two wheels!
Below is a video clip from one of off-road motorcycle tours on the historical HCM Trail. In case you want to watch more videos please check our YouTube channel.
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau (200 km, 6 hours riding)
This is our first day of the 8 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorcycle tour. Before starting, we will have a briefing so you understand how Vietnamese traffic works. In addition, our guide will explain how to get out of town safely.
Leave Hanoi at the West end of the city, just one straight road and three traffic lights. This is much better than riding through the city centre with about forty traffic lights to Highway 6. This road takes us to Son Tay along the Red river, then turn left at Trung Ha bridge and ride on the new road all the way to Hoa Binh.
Once out of the Red River Delta, which brims with traditional farming activity, we pass through limestone monoliths and into foothills populated by Muong people. We head straight at the main range before breaching a high and beautiful forested pass, which descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau where we spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house in Poom Coong village.
The valley of Mai Chau lies between two rivers; the Da River and the Ma River that makes it very fertile and rich in varied landscapes, medium mountains, forest, lake, rivers, and infinitude of small footpaths and offer many possibilities of a trek. In the valley of Mai Chau and its surroundings, you meet different ethnic people such as Muong, white Thai, H’Mong (live in the hill slopes), and Dao at the markets or in their villages during trekking, boating or while riding.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Tan Ky (290 km, 9 hours riding)
Ride on a small, spectacular and paved trail along the Ma river until Cam Thuy town where we stop for lunch. Then hit the Ho Chi Minh trail (now a newly built highway) all the way to Tan Ky town where we spend the night in a hotel.
Day 3: Tan Ky – Phong Nha (280 km, 8 hours riding)
This is, in fact, the most demanding day of this 7 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail by motorbike.
First, ride on Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau. Then we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument. In fact, this is the real starting point of our HCM Trail ride.
Then ride all the way to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the biggest and also the most beautiful cave in Vietnam and Indochina and is now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geographic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 km of caves and underground rivers.
Day 4: Phong Nha – Dong Hoi (60 km, 2 hours riding)
Boating and exploring World Heritage site of Phong Nha where local civilians and military sheltered from incessant bombing during wartime. Then we drive down to the coastal town of Dong Hoi. In fact, this place was heavily shelled by US warships during the Vietnam-America war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi.
Day 5: Dong Hoi – Khe Sanh (200 km, 6 hours riding)
We strike south through foothills which were once sprayed heavily by Agent Orange towards the former DMZ. There is still much evidence of bombing on the mountain sides. From time to time we will see remnants of the original Trail. We take in the Vinh Moc tunnel, the famous Hien Luong Bridge (former demarcation line between North and South Vietnam, the Truong Son Cemetery and finally Khe Sanh (former US Marine base). Overnight in Khe Sanh.
Day 6: Khe Sanh – Hue (180 km, 7 hours riding)
In the morning we head south over the Da Krong Bridge (built by the Cubans in 1973) into the infamous A Shau Valley, an area of intense wartime activity. Passing Hamburger Hill and mountains still barren due to the extended effects of Agent Orange, we arrive at A Luoi, where there are many Bru Van hill tribe people. Then, cruising through green back country down the steep Me Oi Pass. Finally, we continue on to the beautiful city of Hue which lies along the banks of the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue – Hoi An (145 km, 5 hours riding)
See the Forbidden Citadel in the morning. Next, join the National Highway 1. Then head up the Hai Van Pass (Cloudy Pass) before arriving at the World Heritage site of Hoi An, a major trading centre in SE Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An. Farewell lunch
Those who wish can ride up to My Khe beach, where US marines first landed, otherwise enjoy a free day to explore Hoi An by foot or by motorbike taxi. With fine wining and dining (including a range of Hoi An specialties), impressive architecture, fantastic tailoring, endless shopping, and a glorious beach, there is no shortage of activities to indulge in. After lunch, we will say goodbye and our guide flies back to Hanoi from Danang. End 8 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorbike ride.
There are two options at the end of this 8 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail: Return to Hanoi by train or by air or go down South on your own.
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