Experience the diversity of Vietnam by traveling on two wheels. Starting in the cool highlands of Da Lat, you'll descend to the coast and pedal north, between the turquoise sea and verdant hills. Comfortable hotels and breaks from cycling mean you'll never get too worn out on this 11-day part-guided itinerary. You'll also spend a couple of days exploring the ancient sites of Hoi An city, then top off your trip with a cruise on tranquil Lan Ha Bay.


  • See Vietnam's coast, highlands, and villages as you cycle
  • Discover the ancient heritage of UNESCO-protected Hoi An
  • Cruise overnight around islet-specked Lan Ha Bay
  • Mingle with locals on a scenic train journey through the hills

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Fly to Da Lat, Day Ride Da Lat
Day 2 Cycle to Nha Trang Nha Trang
Day 3 Catch the Train to Quy Nhon Quy Nhon
Day 4 Cycle to Tam Quan Tam Quan
Day 5 Cycle to Quang Ngai Quang Ngai
Day 6 Cycle to Tam Ky Tam Ky
Day 7 Cycle to Hoi An Hoi An
Day 8 Free Day in Hoi An Hoi An
Day 9 Lan Ha Bay Cruise, Bright Cave Lan Ha Bay
Day 10 Lan Ha Bay Cruise, Tra Bau Village Hanoi
Day 11 Depart Hanoi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Da Lat, Day Ride

A golden sunset over the Central Highlands and Da Lat

Welcome to Vietnam! Start the day with a morning flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the Central Highlands city of Da Lat. Da Lat was popular with the French during colonial times, thanks to the cool climate at this lofty altitude of around 4,921 feet (1,500 m). Since then it has become a favorite with middle-class Saigon residents for the same reason.

Wrapped by romantic scenery of hills, pine forests, blossom trees, orchards, and coffee plantations, Dalat could be made to explore on two wheels. Meet your friendly guide and pick up your bikes, before setting off on a relatively short warm-up ride. With many spa hotels in this area, you could choose to get a massage before your first big bike ride tomorrow.

Cycling distance: 15.5 miles (25 km) 

Day 2: Cycle to Nha Trang

An easy, downhill cycle leads to Nha Trang Beach

Feel a joyful breeze as you pick up speed on a long descent today. Biking from the highlands to the coast along quiet country roads, this route has a couple of upward gradients but primarily drops down. As the weather gets more tropical and the landscape turns to jungle, look out for macaque and langur monkeys. You'll also take the road through the Khanh Vinh Pass, where you can pause to take in the scenery of mountains and waterfalls.

Hop in the car for part of the journey, to ensure you arrive in the resort town of Nha Trang before sunset. Unwind on its crescent beach, then toast the end of the day with a glass of craft beer from one of the many brewpubs along the shore.

Cycling distance: 46.6 miles (75 km)

Day 3: Catch the Train to Quy Nhon

Soothe tired muscles in the mineral baths at a Nha Trang mud spa

The morning is yours to relax or explore Nha Trang. Swim in your hotel's pool, go paddleboarding or jet skiing in the turquoise sea, or experience a Nha Trang mud bath. The mineral-rich clay earth here has therapeutic and skin-healing benefits. There's a whole industry around it—so soothe your aching muscles in one of the town's four mud-wallowing sites. Simply rinse off after in mineral baths.

After lunch, board the train for a 4.5-hour journey up the coast. It's a more leisurely ride than traveling by road, allowing you to enjoy the verdant scenery in comfort. The train is also the preferred method of transportation for locals, and the buffet car is a great place to strike up a conversation. Arrive in the hill-backed coastal city of Quy Nhon in the early evening, then transfer to your hotel and enjoy the town. 

Day 4: Cycle to Tam Quan

Cycle along the scenic coast today toward Quy Nhon
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It's back on your bikes today, to begin the coastal section of your cycling trip. You'll leave Quy Nhon on a quiet back road along the sand-dune peninsula. The route meanders along a quiet back road, delivering knockout views over the bay and up the mountains.

The turquoise sea will remain in sight for most of this journey. As you undulate along the well-maintained road, you might just encounter friendly villagers waving and cheering you on. At the end of the long day, give your legs a short rest with a car transfer to the tiny village of Tam Quan, where you'll eat a well-earned dinner and spend the night.

Cycling distance: 46.6 miles (75 km)

Day 5: Cycle to Quang Ngai

Biking through the peaceful countryside
Pass over several bridges on today's ride

Spend the morning riding along the coast, before turning inland for a change of scenery. This route features lush green hillsides and quaint villages, where you'll see farmers tending to their rice fields and water buffalo. It's also a watery landscape, so you'll pass over several bridges as you crisscross rivers. Your home for the night is the small city of Quang Ngai. Here, you'll stay at a comfortable hotel, with a view of the Tra River and An Mountain.

Today's ride: 52.8 miles (85 km) 

Day 6: Cycle to Tam Ky

Meet mat weavers at work as you cycle along the coast

Start the day by reflecting at one of Vietnam's most sobering sites, the My Lai Massacre Memorial. In 1968 US soldiers slaughtered 504 innocent Vietnamese villagers on the site, changing the American public opinion of the American-Vietnam War and altering the course of history. 

From here, you'll continue cycling along the coast. This is the longest stretch of your bike ride, but you'll stop along the way to visit a rice paper maker and a mat weaver. It's an insight into a traditional way of life: both are traditional forms of village industry that are becoming less common in cities. Once you arrive in Tam Ky, you'll dine on fresh seafood and stay the evening. 

Cycling distance: 60 miles (96 km) 

Day 7: Cycle to Hoi An

A beautiful trail along the water
Set off through fishing villages and quiet roads to reach Hoi An

Experience food shopping the traditional Vietnamese way this morning, at a market selling fish straight from the South China Sea. As you browse their produce on display in baskets, the vendors will be more than happy to pose for photos—a moment of true off-the-beaten-path Vietnam.

Next, continue riding along dirt roads through sleepy fishing villages, where friendly faces often pop out to greet foreign visitors. You'll then hop off the bikes, and onto a boat to reach Hoi An city and its UNESCO-listed Ancient Town. History meets natural beauty here, as Hoi An is also blessed with several nearby beaches of varying atmospheres. So relax and order a fresh coconut to sip on, as you unwind after the bike ride.

Cycling distance: 34 miles (55 km)

Day 8: Free Day in Hoi An

The Hoi An harbor
 Hoi An's harbor comes alive at nightfall

Spend today exploring Hoi An independently. See its exquisite ancient architecture, including red-gold Chinese temples, an ornate Japanese bridge, Vietnamese merchant houses, and French stores. Wander along the waterfront, passing boats bobbing on the water and local fishermen hauling in the day's catch. 

Take some time to relax in a café and try a robust Vietnamese drip coffee. Then, stroll through the vibrant markets to pick up tropical fruit and sample a bowl of herby pho (noodle soup). If you want to get some more cycling under your belt, cycle into the countryside around Hoi An to visit swaying rice fields dotted with farming villages. Or, you could always pedal back to the beach!

Day 9: Lan Ha Bay Cruise, Bright Cave

Lan Ha Bay is dotted with remarkable karst islands

To start the trip finale of a cruise, fly to Hai Phong and transfer to the nearby pier. You'll board a ship around noon to set off around Lan Ha Bay. Enjoy a welcome drink and lunch as you drift between the limestone towers covered in lush greenery. By comparison with busy Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay maintains a more serene atmosphere. 

In the afternoon, transfer to a bamboo boat to visit Bright Cave, a peaceful lake surrounded by vegetation and high stone cliffs, where you can swim in the emerald water. Return to the ship to watch the sunset on the top deck, before hitting the happy hour drinks, or taking advantage of the onboard spa treatments. Dinner will be served on the top deck, so you can enjoy the starry sky as you eat. After, socialize with new friends and crew members and try your hand at nighttime squid fishing. Or if you prefer a restful evening, head to your cabin to take in the views from your private balcony. 

Day 10: Lan Ha Bay Cruise, Tra Bau Village

Take in the incredible sunset views from the ship
Sunrise views from the ship

Rise early (optionally!) to start the day with a tai chi session on the top deck, then take in the fresh air and peaceful views of the bay. You'll then use the ship as a springboard to explore the area. Kayak over to the community of Tra Bau, to learn about their traditional fishing techniques. It's also a chance to meet local families and witness everyday life on the bay. Later in the morning, join a cooking demonstration and enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch before disembarking the ship at noon. Finally, transfer to Hanoi in a limousine shuttle bus. 

Day 11: Depart Hanoi

Hanoi city center at night
Hanoi city center at night

Today you bid farewell to Vietnam, but your memories will last a lifetime. Transfer to Hanoi Airport to connect with your flight home or onward adventure. Safe travels! 

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Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Vietnam? Check out these other Vietnam itineraries, explore more ways to spend 11 days in Vietnam, and discover the best time to visit Vietnam.

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Map of Cycle the Highlands & Coast of Vietnam - 11 Days
Map of Cycle the Highlands & Coast of Vietnam - 11 Days