When people plan cycling trips in Asia, they usually pick China as their main destination, perhaps with some shorter rides in countries such as Laos or Cambodia. However, Vietnam is also a great destination for cyclists, and is more popular with cyclists who want to plan their own tour, rather than going with a group. Here are a few reasons why you should plan a cycling trip to Vietnam, and how to get organised:
1. It’s backpacker heaven
Unless you’re a hardcore cyclist who plans to sleep in a tent after a hard day on your bike; you are going to want to book a bed at some point. Because Vietnam is so popular with backpackers, most areas have very reasonable hostels and hotels available. Ideal if you just want to rest your head for a few hours.
2. It’s easy going
The South of Vietnam is an especially flat area, but most of the country is pretty easy for cyclists to navigate. Most routes can take you down rural back roads, and popular trips for adventurous cyclists include:
- Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi – 500 – 540 km
- Ho Chi Minh to PhuQuoc Island – 100 – 130 km
- Historical Ho Chi Minh Highway – 650-720 km
- Hoian to Nha Trang – 300 – 340 km
- Vung Tao to Danang – Over 900 km
Although these distances seem large for a beginner, they can be done at your own pace, and could be spread out over several days. Read more: 6 cities in Vietnam should discover by bike.
3. Minimal equipment is needed
The best months to cycle in Vietnam are October through February, as these are outside the rainy season, and the weather is a little cooler than usual. This, combined with the flat terrain, means you don’t need to pack bulky winter clothing, just some light jerseys, shorts, and waterproofs. Look at companies such as Cycle Clothing, as they stock clothing for all kinds of climates, and offer advice on the most comfortable options for your trip.
4. It’s cheap
When you’re on a cycling trip, you probably won’t be set on stopping at fancy restaurants or staying in five star hotels, therefore Vietnam can be a very budget conscious destination. Food is delicious, healthy, and cheap, with plenty of options to fuel you for even the longest day on your bike. There’s also a lot of street food stalls, meaning you can make a quick stop for a snack.
5. It’s beautiful
Cyclists get a unique perspective on a country, as they can take their time to enjoy the view, rather than whizzing past in a car. That’s why Vietnam is so popular; there’s a little bit of everything. Whether it’s the vast rice fields in the north, or the bustling cities in the South, there are plenty of attractions to see, and you’ll no doubt want to plan for lots of unscheduled stops.
6. The locals are friendly
Off the beaten track, you may find yourself met with curiosity, but in general Vietnamese people are known to be extremely friendly and hospitable to tourists. This is always good for those who plan to travel alone, or who want to visit areas where tourists are rare, and although it’s unlikely you’ll have any emergencies, it’s good to know that there are people there to help.
If you’ve been wanting a challenging, yet fun cycle trip, consider Vietnam for your next destination. It’s the kind of country where you’re bound to come back with beautiful photos, as well as great memories, and the possibilities for independent travellers or groups are endless.
Georgia Warren is a freelance writer from Cycle Clothing, a company that provides high-quality yet budget-friendly cycle clothing by sourcing directly from manufacturers. More information can be found by visiting