This 9 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorbike tour is our most popular tour down this trail/road. It shows you a bit of Northern Vietnam before you head down South. In reality, North Vietnam is more scenic than the Southern part of mountain scenery. On the other hand, Southern Vietnam has better beaches. In addition, the Southern part is more diverse in culture, food, and people.
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.
ITINERARY IN DETAILS
Day 1: Hanoi – Phu Yen (165 km, ~6 hours riding)
This is the first day of our 9 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail through Vietnam. We head out of Hanoi and then ride to Phu Yen on the country road with a stop in Son Tay.
On November 20-21, 1970, a joint force composed of USAF Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 50 miles from Hanoi. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there. The assault troops, in six ARRS helicopters accompanied by two C-130 air crafts, flew 640km to Son Tay from bases in Thailand. U.S. Navy pilots made a diversionary raid while 116 USAF and Navy aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers flew refueling, surface-to-air missile suppression, fighter cover, close air support, early warning, communications support, and reconnaissance missions. Surprisingly, there were no prisoners in the camp.
After lunch, ride on the winding mountain road to Phu Yen to take in some of the best mountain views in Northwest Vietnam. Overnighting in a hotel.
Day 2: Phu Yen – Mai Chau (145 km, 5 hours riding)
There are many small roads that lead into the mountains around Mai Chau so we’ll take the chance to ride out to isolated H’mong, Dao and Thai villages. In fact, we will take on the challenge of an old road built by the French army and spend the afternoon exploring nearby villages. Overnight in a Thai ethnicity stilt house in Mai Chau.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Tan Ky (290 km, 9 hours riding)
Today is probably the most demanding day of this 9 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail. Ride on a small, spectacular and paved trail along the Ma river until Cam Thuy. This is the place where we stop for lunch. 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 4: Tan Ky – Phong Nha (280 km, 8 hours riding)
First, ride on Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau where we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument which is, in fact, 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 5: 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. This place was heavily shelled by US warships during the war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi.
Day 6: 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 and 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 7: 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 8: Hue – Hoi An (145 km, 5 hours riding)
See the Forbidden Citadel in the morning. Join the National Highway 1 and head up the Hai Van Pass (Cloudy Pass) before 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 9 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail motorbike ride.
There are two options at the end of this 9 Days Ho Chi Minh Trail: Return to Hanoi by train or by air or go down South on your own.
More Ho Chi Minh Trail Motorcycle Tour Itineraries
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