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Ho Chi Minh trail motorcycle touring
 

Tour's name: HO CHI MINH TRAIL MOTORCYCLE TOURING
Trip code: VNMOR14
Trip starts from: Hanoi
Trip ends in
; Saigon
Motorbikes | Riding manual
(18 days/ 17 nights)

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 15th century. After the bombardment of this lake by the Americans in 1968, the huge turtle was killed and the little pagoda in the water is the final resting place of this legendary animal. We will 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 an 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

Heading out of Hanoi on road number 6 to Mai Chau, and 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 with 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, often engulfed by clouds 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 passing Pu Luong Nature Reserve, we meet Ho Chi Minh Highway at Cam Thuy then heading south to Huong Khe.

Day 4: Huong Khe - Phong Nha

Continue to visit Dong Loc intersection, during the anti-US war, Dong Loc was the main junction of the supply lines from the North to Ho Chi Minh Trail. US aircraft concentrated a great numbers of bomb and ammunitions in repeated efforts to destroy the junction and the surrounding areas. 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 of the road on July 24, 1968. 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, the latest 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, one of the most fierce battlefields in the Vietnam War.

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 to join their familes.

Follow the route No 9 to visit Darkrong, Lang Vey, Camp Carol, Truong Son Nation Cemetery where more than 10,000 Vietnamese soldiers died, most unknown when US troops occupied the area during the US war.

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. 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.

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 known as the political and cultural centre of the Feudal State of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. 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…

No riding today, just relax.

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 China Beach, where US marines first landed in Indochina and then continue riding along the coach down South to Hoi An.

Day 11: Hoi An

Full day exploring the World Culture Heritage site of Hoi An, the old town, a unique combination of architectural monuments of various forms: residential house, assembly hall, communal house, pagoda, shrine, temple, water well, bridge, wharf, market...has been preserved intact. Hoi An is a good example of a symbolic oriental city in the Middle Age, so wonderful with its aged and traditionally maintained habits and customs. The town is now an excellent model of a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.

Day 12: Hoi An - Kon Tum

Departure to Kontum via Pleiku.. Lunch en route. Kon Tum is the largest plateau of the Central Highlands, ~800 meters above sea level. The majority of the local inhabitants are made up mainly from the Ba Na, then the Kinh, the Gia Rai people. Arriving late in the evening.

Day 13: Kon Tum

In the morning, a city tour: Wooden church, Pleitenghia Village (Ba Na people) & Kon ho Ngor Village (Rongao people). Lunch at the local restaurant in Kon Tum Town.

In the afternoon, short trek to Konkotu village to enjoy the landscape of countryside, and 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

Leaving Kon Tum for Buon Ma Thuot, we stop at Nhon Hoa Village for an elephant ride (optional, you pay if you ride) exploring the jungles in the proximity of Ia Drang Valley.

Day 15: Buon Ma Thuot - Da Lat

Ride to Da Lat on a wildly road over many mountain passes.

Day 16: Da Lat

Dalat is known as 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 railways station though the vegetable garden. Discover the big central market.

Day 17: Da Lat - Mui Ne

One more day continue with great riding through Ngoan Muc passes then down hill to Phan Rang, where we make a stop to visit Cham towers before riding along the coach to Mui Ne.

Swimming and relax in Mui Ne beach.

Day 18: Mui Ne - Saigon

The last day of our riding on a good road but crazy traffic in to Ho Chi Minh, end trip in Ho Chi Minh City.

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