We’ll head down the coast past the Marble Mountains and along the beaches of Hoi An. Leaving the coast, we can see the mountains ahead as we slowly climb through small villages and rice farming areas.
The rice farming turns to acacia tree plantations and later to jungle as we head further up the hills
In the dense jungle we’ll find waterfalls and stop for a local-style lunch in a remote hill tribe town.
The road from here is only a few years old and we’ll often have it all to ourselves as we climb up to about 1800m. We’ll catch amazing views of untouched jungle as we ride through small ethnic minority hill tribe villages.
We’ll come to Dak To with time to pose for a photo on the army tanks in the town square and finish the day with a ride along the runway at the old US Airbase.
As always, a cold beer awaits us at the hotel!
Dak To to Thanh My
We’ll start by heading out through the small hill tribe villages, taking the small roads and seeing the most rural areas.
Today’s ride will be through one of central Vietnam’s most beautiful valleys. Few people know about this route as it’s been open to foreigners for just a few years.
With dense jungle, hill tribe villages and stepped rice paddy terraces, this area is like a small version of Sapa.
We’ll stop for lunch in the middle of the valley with some local tribespeople where we can see the rare types of ginseng being collected, dried and sent off to the richer Vietnamese areas.
Afterward, we’ll come out of the valley to meet with the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Later, we’ll pass the impressive Ba Hoang waterfall, where the Cham Princess is said to have escaped the Vietnamese into Laos.
Finally, a short ride into the sleepy town of Thanh My brings us to our hotel, where we can get a cold beer.
Thanh My to Lao Bao
The day starts with a ride north on the historic Ho Chi Minh Trail with sweeping bends through jungle-covered valleys and high mountains.
Next, we’ll have a local style lunch in the A Shau Valley near the notorious Hamburger Hill, and then follow the curves and mountain passes down towards the coast.
Still following the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we’ll pass by reservoirs and rivers and small stilt house villages of the local tribespeople. As we enter the former DMZ area we can follow the historic Route 9 further up the mountains and towards the Laos border gate where we’ll have a quick stop for a photo on an abandoned tank and then continue to Lao Bao.
We can visit the local market in Lao Baowhere all sorts of ‘questionable’ items are to be found making their way across the border.
A cold beer awaits us at the hotel!
Lao Bao to Phong Nha
We can start the day with a visit to the Khe Sanh combat base. The longest battle of all the wars in Vietnam took place here and we can see tanks, helicopters, and planes still sitting on the runway as well as a small museum. Next, we’ll join the Ho Chi Minh Trail West road. One of the best roads in Asia for bikers, this road should be on everyone’s bucket list.
We’ll ride through the coffee plantations and climb an 1100 meter mountain pass in untouched jungle. In the seemingly endless mountains and jungle we’ll find small wooden stilt house villages where the tribes live a peaceful traditional style.
As we come to the start of the giant limestone Karst formation mountains we can stop for lunch in a small hill tribe town before more mountains, more views, and more amazing riding are to come. Finally, we’ll enter Phong Nha National Park, a UNESCO Heritage area of natural beauty, where we’ll follow the historic Victory Road down to the river and finish at the hotel.
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Mountain and DMZ Adventure Loop
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