What to expect
Spend two weeks exploring Vietnam’s tropical islands, lush landscapes and spellbinding cities, travelling by bike, boat, plane & bus. As you wind your way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll pedal past rice paddies and stop for long, refreshing swims during gentle daily cycle rides.
Your fortnight begins with a boat trip around the jungle-clad islands and limestone pinnacles of Bai Tu Long and Ha Long Bay. Sleeping and eating on an authentic ‘junk’, you’ll cycle on shady island paths and kayak around caves and cliffs. Continuing south through Hoi An, you’ll visit the imperial river city of Huế before flying south to Hồ Chí Minh City and the Mekong Delta – a watery world of wildlife-rich mangroves and floating markets. For an optional four-day extension, you could hop over the border into Cambodia to cycle around the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat.
At a glance
- Lush rice paddies, floating markets and karst pinnacles of Ha Long Bay
- Spellbinding cities of Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City
- Travel through the Mekong Delta and add on an optional three night tour to Angkor Wat
- Gentle cycling terrain and short distances that are suitable for all levels
Day 1 (Sun):
Arrive in Hanoi
Meet the shuttle bus at Hanoi Airport and transfer to your hotel in the city’s old town – one of the best-preserved in Southeast Asia. If time, join a city stroll before eating dinner with the group and experiencing an authentic water puppet theatre (dinner included).
Please note: The exact route is subject to change, due to weather conditions.
Day 2 (Mon):
Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
20 miles (32 km)
Take the shuttle bus towards Ninh Binh then cycle to Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam, passing rice paddies. After you explore this amazing historical citadel you will continue to Tam Coc through spectacular landscapes, stopping to admire pagodas. End the day with a trip on the Tam Coc River in a traditional rowing boat, then spend the night in your hotel in Tam Coc. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 3 (Tue):
Tam Coc - Ha Long Bay
After breakfast, transfer to Ha Long City to board the junk. Eat lunch while cruising through the karst rock formations of Ha Long Bay. In the afternoon, visit one of the many caves then climb to a viewpoint overlooking the bay. Spend the night at anchor onboard. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 4 (Wed):
Tra Ban Island - Bai Tu Long Bay
16 miles (25km)
A morning cruise to unspoilt Tra Ban Island. Go ashore to cycle across the island, past rice fields and water buffaloes. After a relaxed picnic lunch, return to the junk and travel to Bai Tu Long Bay where you'll spend the night onboard. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 5 (Thu):
Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay (kayak day)
Disembark the junk and take a transfer boat to Lan Ha Bay. In the morning, an introductory kayak lesson, then a guided tour through the lagoons and islands. Stop on a quiet beach for a picnic lunch and continue by kayak through floating villages to Cat Ba Island. Short road transfer to the beachfront hotel. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 6 (Fri):
Cat Ba Island - Viet Hai Village
12.5 miles (20km)
Take a one-hour boat ride to a small jetty, then cycle through a national park to the minority village of Việt Hải. Continue on foot through a protected old-growth forest, and climb the island’s highest peak. Cycle back to the boat and set sail back to Cat Ba City. Overnight in a hotel. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 7 (Sat):
Cat Ba Island – Hai Phong– Hoi An (rest day)
After breakfast, take a boat and shuttle bus to the airport in Hai Phong. Fly to Da Nang and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. In the afternoon, explore Hoi An’s picturesque old town (breakfast & lunch included).
Day 8 (Sun):
11 miles (17 km)
Enjoy a morning cycle to the farming village of Tra Que. Named after a spicy vegetable used by the locals, you’ll have a chance to taste this village speciality before strolling through Hoi An’s old town or relaxing on Cua Dai beach (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 9 (Mon):
Hoi An – Hue
25/28 miles (40/45 km)
Enjoy a free morning in Hoi An before checking out of your hotel and cycling to Hue. A shuttle will take you up to Cloud Pass – the weather line between North and South Vietnam . After a short break on Lang Co Beach, continue by bike or bus along the stunning coastline to Hue. (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 10 (Tue):
14 miles (23 km)
Take a full day to explore the old imperial city of Hue by bike and on foot. Visit Dong Ba Market and follow the Perfume River to the historic trading town of Bao Vinh. En route, visit a citadel that was once used by Nguyen-Dynasty emperors. Explore the city’s intriguing alleyways after lunch, or visit its famous temples and pagodas (Breakfast & lunch included).
Day 11 (Wed):
Hue – Ho Chi Minh City– Mekong Delta
12 miles (20 km)
Fly to Ho Chí Minh City and transfer to a boat in My Tho – a city in the Mekong Delta. Board the junk and travel along the Mekong towards the town of Cai Be, taking-in the lush river scenes and stopping near Ben Tre town for a short cycle ride. After lunch, visit the green island of Ngu Hiep with its exotic fruits and handicrafts. Spend the evening on the junk, anchored near Cai Be. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 12 (Thu):
Mekong Delta: Cai Be – Vinh Long and Traon islands)
19 miles (30 km)
Cross to Vinh Long island and cycle along palm-shaded paths. Continue by boat to Traon Island for a cycle tour. Eat dinner on the boat, surrounded by the Mekong Delta’s magical evening atmosphere. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 13 (Fri):
Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City (boat day)
Motor to Can Tho (the largest city in the Mekong Delta) and take a small boat to the famous Cai Rang floating market. Continue along small tributaries before leaving the boat and transferring to Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 14 (Sat):
Ho Chi Minh City (rest day)
A memorable place to finish your holiday, Ho Chi Minh City is the hub of modern Vietnam. On a guided city tour, visit the town hall, Notre Dame cathedral and other important sights in this ever-growing megacity. Spend the afternoon at Ben Thanh Market, or anywhere else you wish to explore. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Day 15 (Sun):
Depart from Ho Chi Minh City
Depart for the airport after breakfast (breakfast included), or extend your holiday with the optional three night extension in Cambodia (see below).
Siem Reap 22 miles (35 km)
Fly to Siem Reap (not included), transfer to your hotel and join a guided cycle ride into the surrounding countryside. Explore the floating village of Kompng Phluk and canoe on Tonle Sap Lake. Return to the hotel to relax, have dinner then attend a traditional Apsara dance performance. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Lunch & dinner included)
Day 16 (Mon):
Angkor Wat temple complex
22 miles (35 km) plus two hours on foot
Pedal through the Angkor Wat site, stopping first at Ta Prom Temple, known as the Jungle Temple for the tree roots slowly reclaiming the ruins. Continue to Bayon Temple and many of the smaller temples that make up Angkor Wat. Lunch is a picnic at the central Angkor Wat temple which you'll then explore on foot. Later, enjoy the sunset from Phnom Bakeng. Night in Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch included)
Day 17 (Tue):
Siem Reap area
31 miles (50 km)
Cycle along a quiet road to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, passing temples and monasteries before reaching Rattanak Tey pagoda. Hike up the mountain, stopping for a scenic lunch and a swim in the waterfall. Hike back to your bike and transfer to Siem Reap. (Breakfast & lunch included)
Day 18 (Wed):
Depart from Siem Reap
Enjoy a final breakfast before transferring to the airport.
4 nights on boats & 10 nights in hotels
Vietnamese Junk Garden Bay 2 (Ha Long & Bai Tu Long Bay) It is easy to feel at home on the charming junks. The boat provides 11 elegant furnished guest cabins. All cabins have individually regulated air conditioning. The cabins are located between decks. The large cabin windows guarantee a good view at all times. Each cabin has its own bathroom with shower and WC. Relax on the large sundeck while the boat cruises through the fascinating islands.
Le Cochinchine (Mekong-Delta) One of the largest and most modern ships in the region. Its shape is reminiscent of the traveling barques of the famous river delta in southern Vietnam. The journey of the 27 m long and 6.5 m wide, comfortable wooden boat is protected by the watchful dark eyes on red ground painted on the prow. Three times a day the generously proportioned saloon turns into a dining room with beautifully set tables. The ship has 10 completely wood-paneled double cabins with double or two single beds. Each cabin has a tiled bath with shower and WC. There is, of course, also a large sundeck with padded deckchairs - probably the best place to experience first hand the lively activities in the many tributaries of the Mekong Delta.
- 4 nights on comfortable boats in air conditioned double cabins and 10 nights in very good hotels (3-4 star hotels)
- Full board - apart from 4 days half board (as per itinerary)
- Domestic flights, airport transfers and bikes
- English speaking tour guide and all tours & entrance charges
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2019 dates on sale
- 14 nights - 4 nights on comfortable boats in air conditioned double cabins and 10 nights in very good hotels (at least 3*)
- Board basis: Full board (apart from 4 days of half board as per the itinerary)
- Domestic flights
- Guided bicycle tours, walks and kayak tours
- All city tours and entrance charges to National Parks, museums, etc.
- English speaking guides
- Bike hire (the bikes vary from destination to destination)
- Airport transfers on official arrival and departure day
- International flights
- Angkor Wat - 3 night extension
- Drinks and tips
- Visa (please allow time to organise your visa)
- Cycle helmets
Children must be at least ten years old, and all cyclists must be at least 1.50m (4 ft 11") tall for the bikes.
Bike Hire & Extras
Bike hire included (the bikes will vary in different locations).
How to Get There
Fly to Hanoi
Fly from Hồ Chí Minh
(or fly from Siem Reap if taking the Angkor Wat extension)
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?
Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
Loved it!Helen Roberts, UK, April 2018
Our recent tour to Viet Nam and Cambodia was the best trip we have ever experienced as a bike and boat adventure. The guides were extremely knowledgeable, not only about the ins and outs of our daily outings, but also about the country-side and customs of the places we visited. The overview about this tour that Freedom Trek published was very accurate and very informative. We have had occasion to compare our experience with others who have recently travelled in SE Asia. By comparison, we did so much more and went places not possible without a well-orchestrated itinerary. Well done for offering such a unique and rich tour. We would highly recommend you go!Carol Hunt, Victoria BC, January 2018