Ha Noi to Da Nang – The Famous Ho Chi Minh Road

Ha Noi to Da Nang – The Famous Ho Chi Minh Road
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5 – 7  days on the Famous Ho Chi Minh road

Written by a Vietnamese Tour guide and lightly edited by Tigit Jon. Keeping natural language.

This route is the continuation of 7 days Ha Giang Loop and 7 days North West.

To combine those 2 routes with this one, we recommend going anti-clockwise; which means you will go to the North East – Ha Giang Loop – North West. The reason for that is that you will end up in Pu Luong on the last day before heading to the famous Ho Chi Minh road.

Day 1: Ha Noi – Pu Luong ~ 190 km

You will find another replacement for Pu Luong is Ninh Binh but in my eyes, if you are short on time Pu Luong will be a better suit for riders. If not, you can go to Ninh Binh on day 1 and Pu Luong on day 2 (take the route drive around Cuc Phuong National Park).

Pu Luong is famous because of its rice fields. It is the very beginning of “yellow” step paddies if your vacation is in September, and after that, it is filled with plum blossom.

It is a similar day 1 of North West by motorcycle.

The alternative to Pu Luong is Mai Chau, which has the same scenery from my perspective, but Pu Luong is a bit quieter compared with Mai Chau. Also, Pu Luong is 40 km away from Mai Chau, so it will be shorter on the second day of this trip.

Lunch:  Banh My – Ban Bakery & Tea
Bun Cha Mai Chau
Dinner: Pu Luong La Fumée Restaurant

Hotel: Pu Luong Happy Home (~ 30 USD per night).
Another upgrade is Pu Luong Paradise Resort (50 USD per night).

Pu Luong - Valley view
Pu Luong – Valley view

Day 2: Pu Luong – Vinh ~ 280km

Now is the time to start your journey on the Ho Chi Minh road.

Actually, there is nothing much to write about this day besides the scenery. You will encounter a couple of cars and trucks on this day and the reason we chose to stop in Vinh is because there are no soft mattress along the Ho Chi Minh road.

This part of Ho Chi Minh road is different from the rest because you will not see that many houses or buildings along the way, besides all the fields which are filled with green.

Breakfast: At the Hotel.
Lunch: Khanh Thanh Restaurant (Vietnamese meal for drivers).
Dinner: The American Steak Restaurant

Hotel: Muong Thanh Thanh Nien Vinh (~30USD per night).

Rice paddies along the way
 “Truong Bon” Monument

Day 3: Vinh – Phong Nha ~ 240km

On this day, you will leave all the cities and busy roads behind and find your way to nature.
Along the ride, you will see that the people, the cars, and the trucks continuously disappear, and you will find the pleasure of driving without any distractions from external factors.

The type of terrain, the way it looks, the color, etc. Everything changes since you are one step from the center of Viet Nam.

Besides, Phong Nha has many caves, so there are some proper tours exploring the area. You can take 1-2 or maybe 3 rest days in this area to relax and also do some tourist activities.

Breakfast: Preferably at the hotel.
Lunch: Cuong Nhi Restaurant (typical Driver’s lunch)
Dinner: The Villas (Western Cuisine)

Hotel: Son Doong Bungalow (35 USD per night).
Lucky Homestay (25USD per night).

Lake View
In the middle of  the Nature
Friendly Encounter
River View

Day 4: Phong Nha – Khe Sanh ~ 240 km

First, please fill up the tank before you drive. There are only 2 gas stations on this road, and you will not want to be concerned about the fuel.

But the good side is that this is the best drive on the Ho Chi Minh Road. You will drive along the Phong Nha arboretum, and you will find shade under all the trees. And the most interesting thing is that there are endless Moths on the driveway hanging and guiding you through this area.

You will find yourself alone on this road, and then the driver and the bike become one. You will be surrounded by nature, animals, and, of course, the beauty of it. You become a Lone Ranger.

Funny story: Some of our customers even decided to drive this road once more because they had a really great time.

Breakfast: At the hotel.
Lunch: Thu’s Restaurant – Pho, Noodle, Fried Rice.
Dinner: At the hotel.

Hotel: Khe Sanh Luxury Hotel (30 USD per night).

Somewhere along the Road
“Ta Con” Airport
“Ta Con” Airport

Day 5: Khe Sanh – Hue ~ 230km

On this day, you have some alternatives. You can go to Hue via the coastal route or go straight to Da Nang on the mountain route. Both are great and offer different experiences.

On the coastal side, you can visit museums and Vinh Moc tunnels, have some seafood, and enjoy the ocean view after a couple of days filled with mountains.
It is Tigit’s recommendation to stay on the mountain route thought, and we prefer it to the famous Hai Van Pass.

Breakfast: At the Hotel.
Lunch: Hoa’s Restaurant – Seafood
Dinner: You can find a lot of great food in Hue both Western and Eastern styles.
These are some Hue specials:
Quan Cam – Best Bun Bo Hue in town.
Chan Restaurant– Fine Vietnamese cuisine.
Coffe Muoi – Best Salt Coffee in town.

Hotel: For our tour: La Paix Hue (~ 40 USD per night).
Millennium Hue Hotel (~ 35 USD per night).

“Tu Hieu” Pagoda
“Hien Luong” Bridge

Day 6: Hue – Hoi An ~ 130km

This day will be short on drive, so you can a bit of time to enjoy Hoi An’s old town. All the stores close quite early, around 8:30 p.m., so you will have to be in the old town at around 6-7 or maybe even 5 p.m. to feel the vibe.

During day time, you can visit Bay Mau Coconut Forest boat tour ~ 100.000 VND per person. During nighttime, you do have the option to be on a boat and float along the Thu Bon River, and you can also place a lantern on the river and have a wish (it is the tradition of the local people on the 15th of each month on Lunar Calendar but because of tourism, they now do it everyday!).

Breakfast: At the Hotel.
Lunch: Madam Khanh – 2nd famous Banh My shop in Hoi An
Dinner: You can also find great food in Hoi An in both Western and Eastern styles.
Hong Phuc II Restaurant – Best pizza in town

Hotel: It depends on where you want to stay, but I always prefer a quiet area. So this recommendation is quite far away from the old town, you can take a cab to the old town (around 100.000 VND one way).
Another upside of this hotel is that the hidden An Bang beach is just across the road.
Phuc Hung Riverside Villa

“Cua Viet” Bridge
Hai Van Pass

Day 7: Hoi An – Da Nang (30km).

Just 30km and you can do it in an hour.
Along the way, you can visit the Marble Mountains – You can visit Buddhist sculptures inside a cave and also they depict the 18 floors of hell inside the Am Phu Cave.

The Entrance of “Am Phu” Cave – Source Google


Inside “Am Phu” Cave – Source Google

After that, it will be a short drive around the Son Tra Peninsula.

Breakfast: At hotel.
Lunch: My Quang Co Sau

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