Beautiful Ride from Ha Noi to Hoi An

Motorcycling Ho Chi Minh Trail - Half Challenge

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11-day trip with 7-day motorcycling
Motorcycling grade: Moderate. View grading definition here.
Good to know - Vietnam motorcycling tours FAQs
Places to visit: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Vinh - Huong Khe - Phong Nha - Dong Hoi - Dong Ha - Khe Sanh - A Luoi - Hoi An - Da Nang

The legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail was the supply line used by North Vietnam to link North and South Vietnam during the American War. Soldiers, ammunition, weapons and supplies were carried by hand, bicycle and truck for hundreds of kilometers through the otherwise impenetrable jungle that covered Vietnam’s mountainous border with Laos. A testimony to the ingenuity, fortitude and commitment of the northern Vietnamese, the trail slipped from use at the end of the war and was taken back by the jungle. Recent road work that follow original sections of the trail have changed this.
Besides incredible driving, deep in the Vietnamese countryside, this ride takes in the charming ancient trading town of Hoian, Khe Sanh battle site and DMZ. We also take time to stay overnight in a traditional Thai hill tribe and visit to some tribal villages on the way.

Tour Highlights
  • Beautiful natural scenery
  • Historical sites
  • Charming ancient town of Hoian
  • Just you, no others travelers
  • All inclusive

Motorcycling Ho Chi Minh Trail - Half Challenge  route map


Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Day 2: City tour of Hanoi
Day 3: Ride to Mai Chau
Day 4: Head south to Vinh
Day 5: ride to Huong Khe
Day 6: ride to Phong Nha - Dong Hoi
Day 7: Ride to Dong Ha
Day 8: Head west to Khe Sanh/ride to Aluoi
Day 9: Long ride to Hoian
Day 10: free in Hoian
Day 11: Da Nang for departure

TOUR PRICE (Per person)
Valid to 31st Dec, 2017

Affordable option: 125CC commuter
Group of 1 rider: US$ 1,715
Group of 2 riders: US$ 1,010
Group of 3-4 riders: US$ 840
Group of 5-6 riders: US$ 705
Single supplement: US$ 200

Best option: 250CC dirt motorbike
Group of 1 rider: US$ 3,465
Group of 2 riders: US$ 1,900
Group of 3-4 riders: US$ 1,445
Group of 5-6 riders: US$ 1,075
Single supplement: US$ 200


- Motorbike rentals
- Best Rated rooms (twin shared)
- Unlimited Mileage
- Helmets for riders
- Daily breakfast
- Other meals as indicated
- Homestay permission
- English speaking tour guide
- Boat trips
- Water & Snacks on driving days
- First-aid kit
- National Park  & Entrance Fees
- Preparation and Orientation
- Taxes and services charges


- Travel insurance
- Visa process and stamp
- Domestic air-tickets
- Tips and gratitude
- Gasoline average US$ 10/day/bike
- Transportation between hotel and pick-up location
- Personal motorbike protection gears
- Others not mentioned
- Mechanic and Support truck 115$/day/group
- Upgrade 400 CC: US$ 40/day/bike



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Day 01: Arrival in Hanoi

Our Vietnam adventure tour guide will wait, holding a sign with your name on it and welcome you at the airport. He will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of day is free to wash up and rest.
In the evening we will attend the famous  Water Puppet Show, with its introduction to Vietnamese history and mythology.  At night, you will have a  welcome dinner with local delights.  Overnight in Hanoi.
Transfer: 50min
Hotel: Hanoi
Meal: Welcome dinner

Day 02: Hanoi city tour - no motorbiking

After breakfast, we will begin our city tour of Hanoi. At first, we visit  Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the  “Uncle Ho” house. After that, we head to the unique  One Stilt Pagoda, which dates from one thousand years ago. 
Continue to the Hanoi’s famous  Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam founded in 1070. The highlight of this cultural, historical site is the garden of stelae where you find 82 stone stelae bearing names, places of birth and achievements of men who received doctorates in each triennial examination from 1442; each stele sits on a stone tortoise.
Lunch in local restaurant before heading to the  Old Quarter for a relaxing cyclo tour through the ancient part of Hanoi. Perhaps the most interesting area you will visit is the Old Quarter.  Here many tiny streets join to sell a huge diversity of products.  In the old days, each street bore the name of the product sold – “Shoe Street,” “Noodle Street,” and the like. Today, the streets sometimes sell a variety of items, but often the names are accurate.  The Old Quarter also houses some of the most interesting art galleries and fashion houses.  
 After the cyclo tour, we will drive to the  Museum of Ethnology, which is quite away from the central Hanoi. It features a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam and its diverse tribal people. On our trip we will meet some tribal groups – now it is time to learn about them. Overnight in Hanoi.
Sightseeing: full day
Hotel: Hanoi
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 03: Hanoi – Mai Chau ~ 170km/106miles

In the morning we take our very first ride to the  Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum on the outskirts of Hanoi (if support truck requested, we will take a taxi while the truck transfer bikes there in advance). The museum is a great place to learn about the historic trail which we will ride on. After the visit to the museum, we will jump on our motor vehicles and spend some time to get familiar with the bikes.
Now, let’s begin our adventure. We will ride on  Highway 6 passing extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads punctuated by limestone karst scenery.
After a light lunch in  Hoa Binh Town, the capital of Hoa Binh Province, we cross two short mountain passes then descent to the mountain valley settlement of  Mai Chau. Overnight in a stilt house of the Thai people. 
Distance: 170km
Home-stay: village in Mai Chau
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 04: Mai Chau – Tan Ky in Nghe An ~ 270km/168miles

Say goodbye to the villagers we then head south on a beautiful winding road which follows the banks of the  Ma River. After some hours riding on the undulating quiet road, we join the new Ho Chi Minh Highway. This newly carved route leads us due south, through remote back country, not far from the Laos border. Lunch will be on the way with local foods. In the afternoon we cut eastward towards the coast and stay overnight in the peaceful city of  Tan Ky, which is close to where Ho Chi Minh was born. Overnight in hotel.
Distance: 270km
Hotel in Tan Ky
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 05: Tan Ky – Huong Khe ~ 160km/99miles

This morning we head inland towards the Laos border after 40min riding we can reach the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in  Kim Lien Village. The place is truly a shrine to the Vietnamese and visited by few westerners.  
After paying respects to Uncle Ho, we head to the HCM Highway via Thanh Chuong District.  You cross the  Lam River on the  Ro Bridge and then drive primarily on the beautiful new highway of Ho Chi Minh.  Lunch break in Pho Chau Town, a tiny town about 40km from Thanh Chuong.
After lunch, we continue on the quiet highway to  Dong Loc Intersection, (main junction for supply lines during the war) which is widely regarded in Vietnamese eyes as the beginning of Ho Chi Minh Trail. We then pass through the remote back country, close to the border, as the scenery steadily becomes dominated by karst limestone rock formations. We will reach our overnight spot,  Huong Khe Town, around 5 pm. Overnight in a mini hotel. 
Distance: 160km
Hotel: Huong Khe Town
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 06: Huong Khe – Phong Nha – Dong Hoi (Quang Binh) ~ 210km/130miles

Today’s ride is a very quiet section of the new highway. En route, you will come to  Khe Ve Intersection and  Pheo – the very first branch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail into Laos.
Continuing on from Pheo, we will arrive in  Phong Nha around noon. After lunch in local restaurant, we board a dragon boat to explore the famous  Nature World Heritage Site of Phong Nha cave.
After the exploration of Phong Nha, we ride 30km eastward to the coastal town of  Dong Hoi, our today’s overnight spot. Overnight in hotel.
Distance: 210km
Hotel: Dong Hoi Town
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 07: Dong Hoi – Dong Ha (Quang Tri) ~ 180km/112miles

Today’s ride is also on the new, quiet highway.  Along the way, we will have a short stop at  Truong Son National Cemetery to pay respect to the soldiers who fought and died on the trail during the American War. After here we head to  Dong Ha Town passing  Ben Tat Bridge, built by the VC over the  Ben Hai River. 
Arriving in Dong Ha, we will check into the hotel, and have some lunch.  In the afternoon, we ride to the mystic  Vinh Moc Tunnel and the famous  DMZ site,  Doc Mieu fire base, and the historic  Hien Luong Bridge.
Overnight in Dong Ha.
Distance: 100km in the morning & 80km in the afternoon
Hotel: Dong Ha Town
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 08: Dong Ha – Khe Sanh – A Luoi (Hue) ~ 200km/124miles

Continuing west on  Highway 9, we will climb into the Truong Son foothills. About 16km from Khe Sanh is the  Dakrong Bridge and the road turns winding and narrow.  A bit further, we will come to  Huong Hoa, once known as  Khe Sanh Base, which was established as a forward base by General Westmoreland near Laos to secure Highway 9.  About 3km from Khe Sanh is Ta Con Airbase.
Lunch in Khe Sanh and then head out across the famous Dakrong River Bridge on Rte. 14  near the town of Ta Rut, we will stop for a visit with the  Pa Co people and a walk through their village. 
From Ta Rut, you head over scenic Pe Ke Pass and then down to  A Luoi for the night.  Overnight in a simple guesthouse.
Distance: 200km
Hotel: guesthouse in A Luoi Town
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 09: A Luoi – Hien – Thanh My – Hoi An ~ 220km/137miles

Today’s riding is the best riding of the whole route. For the first 110km, we cross one of the longest and most stunning passes on the new and quiet road, through the stunning scenery of primitive forests backed by the imposing Truong Son mountain range. There are also two long tunnels and very little traffic. The next 68km from  Hien to  Thanh My are on the good road with some gentle climbs. Lunch on the way in a local restaurant. The last 40km of the day are on an older, bumpier road all the way from  Ai Nghia to the charming ancient town of  Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Distance: 220km
Hotel: Hoi An Town
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Hoi An – a day off

Hoi An, nestled on the banks of the Thu Bon River.  Before the river silted up, Hoi An was one of the most important trading ports in Southeast Asia and a center for East-West exchange and trade. The rooftops of Hoi An retain a magical old world Oriental feel and are a favorite subject for Vietnamese artists.  In the early 1980s, Hoi An’s ancient quarters and historical monuments came under the protection and restoration efforts of UNESCO and the Polish government. 
You will spend the day visiting the town of Hoi An on your own. Overnight in Hoi An.
Hotel: Hoi An Town
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11: Hoi an Departure

Our guide and driver are at your disposal until we transfer you to the Danang airport for your flight home or connect to another adventure in Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar with ActiveTravel.Asia. End of services
Transfer: 1 hr
Meal: Breakfast.
Note on client safety
We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety.