Four different options to get you started with driving the South of Vietnam. These routes are designed for starting and finishing in Ho Chi Minh city. The following routes show off both Vietnam’s Highland routes and Coastal routes, with excellent tropical and hot conditions all year round! It is possible to return motorbikes in Nha Trang city using the bus upon request, or continue up toward Da Nang. (Trains cost around $50, and we charge a $10 pickup fee).
Once you decide on a route, visit our page on renting a motorbike in Vietnam.
Saigon Motorbike Loop Information
- The descriptions of these routes build on each other. Start by reading the 2 / 3 day loop and then continue building with the extras
- The coast can be driven quickly (by removing a day), or slowly (by adding a day).
- Due to the above point, start inland and finish with coast. Clockwise driving.
- The coast has accommodation everywhere, inland does not. There is more flexibility on random stops for the coastal drive.
- The following routes do not consider time for tourist activities. This is “on road” time
The 2 or 3 day Purple Route
The shortest loop that truly incorporates roads worth driving. Leaving and entering Ho Chi Minh takes time. This route includes the beautiful Cat Tien National Park. Takes us on a remote mountain road that connects the highlands of Bao Loc back down to the coast, and back up to HCM on the quietest route back into the city.
- Easy city exit
- Experience both inland and some coast
Day 1: Head out of Ho Chi Minh and towards Cat Tien. To properly exit HCM can take around 2 hours. A quick and simple exit puts us on a nice drive along Dong Nai River.
Day 2: From Cat Tien we head towards the QL55B which meanders down the hillside until we hit the coast. A favorite road among travelers and often perceived as one of the best roads to drive in the entire country.
Day 3: The coast back to Ho Chi Minh; there is no pleasurable way to do this drive.
Coastal Accommodation: There really are resorts all along the coast, so it isn’t worth trying to recommend anything specific. Load up Google Maps and type in “hotel” or use Agoda / Booking.com. There is accommodation for all budgets.
Day 4 optional: Visit Dambri waterfall and witness one of the biggest waterfalls in Vietnam. A tourist trap of over-developed theme park style concrete. However an elevator ride down to this amazing waterfall is worth the detour. This can be done in 1 or 2 hours and connects to Bao Loc. A place known to expats as one of the most underrated cities in the country!
We have not experienced this at Tigit Motorbikes, but Vietnam coracle is recommending La Nga River. The full blog article suggests waterfalls to see and places to stay.
Cat Tien Accommodation: Cat Tien is a pleasant place. A remote area and off the tourist trail but a rapidly growing tourist area. We recommend Green Bamboo Lodge and Green Hope Lodge.
Bao Loc Accommodation: Many cheap options in Bao Loc.
The 4 day Green Route
This route contains one of the best roads in the country, the DT725 connecting Cat Tien and Da Lat. Da Lat is a mountain city where the altitude is high enough for temperatures to significantly drop. The climb both up and down to Da Lat is an impressive one. This loop is the shortest drive that includes two well-known tourist destinations, Da Lat and Mui Ne. A four to five-day drive, but in reality with tours thrown in, this drive needs a few days extra.
- Contains one of the best highland roads in the country
- The shortest route that experiences tourist towns
Da Lat accommodation: There are literally thousands of choices for all budgets in Da Lat. Though Tigit Jon always stays at Mo Farm (outside of Dalat)
The 4 or 5 day Orange Route
This is the closest route to Ho Chi Minh that has proper coastal driving. Not just proper coastal driving, but the best coastal driving in the country. Perhaps, even some of the best in the world. Descending steeply down from Da Lat to the coast through amazing farmland, and ready to set us up for a spectacular drive along cliff edges overlooking the ocean.
- The best coastal driving in the country
- The Extremes of mountains and coast all within one day.
A five-day loop if we are casual with time and decide to stop in Phan Rang, which is an up-and-coming tourist area.
A four-day loop if we push from Da Lat as far down the coast as we can possibly get. Ideally, reaching at least Mui Ne for our final day back into the city.
The 5 or 6 day Black Route
The Da Lat to Nha Trang QL27C is a favorite among travelers. An amazing pass connecting the mountain city of Da Lat, to the party coastal city of Nha Trang.
With this additional Nha Trang drive, it is fair to say that we have experienced the best of what the South of Vietnam has to offer!
Choosing to commit to long coastal drives will keep this route down to five days. A casual drive along the coast will change this to 6 days.
- The QL27 Da Lat to Nha Trang pass, a favorite among travelers
- Nha Trang city and all the party life that goes with it
Nha Trang accommodation: There are millions of choices in Nha Trang for all budgets. To get you started and in the mood for a party, a cheap but not disgusting hostel is Tabalo Hostel.
Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat by motorbike
Ho Chi Minh to Cat Tien
Ho Chi Minh to Cat Tien is the shortest drive out of Ho Chi Minh and probably the most pleasant. It doesn’t take long to get to the city of Bien Hoa, where we can turn off the main highways and onto the river of the DT 768. From here, it is smooth sailing to Cat Tien, and we can now consider ourselves out of Ho Chi Minh and on a relatively pleasant little road.
Experienced off-road riders can attempt the DT761 through Cat Tien, but we highly recommend against this unless having considerable experience in off-roading. It isn’t easy, and we an offroad motorbike tour catering to this journey.
Cat Tien to Da Lat
The DT 725 is a stunning drive. Keen drivers can attempt to throw in “Dambri waterfall,” but most people should be aiming to leave Cat Tien early with the hope of enough time to do Elephant waterfall on the way into Da Lat. This is a full and wonderful day of driving on spectacular meandering mountain roads.
Ho Chi Minh to Ho Tram
Not the most pleasant drive and around 4 hours of Highway. Tigit Jon always stays in Ho Tram Boutique Resort and Spa. Ho Tram in general is a place to get pretty fancy hotels!
We have a great two-day adventure tour to Lagi and back.
La Gi to Da Lat via Bao Loc and the QL55B
The QL55B is often a favorite road in the entire country for travelers. After the Ql55B it is possible to visit some of Dalat’s waterfalls on the way into the city.
Mui Ne to Da Lat via the QL28B
Mui Ne to Da Lat is a short drive of 4/5 hours along the amazing QL28B. This is a calm day and easy day. Ho Chi Minh to La Gi, La Gi to Mui Ne, Mui Ne to Da Lat is the gentle and easy way to get from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat by breaking the drives into small pieces. For the casual traveler, this is probably a great option!
Mui Ne to Da Lat via Phan Rang
Mui Ne to Da Lat via Phan Rang throws in the best coastal drives that Vietnam has to offer. This is a stunning drive with roads going right out onto the seafront. It is a big drive that can be broken into smaller sections by stopping at the coast’s resorts. For the coastal drivers out there, this is the route for you!
Da Lat to Nha Trang by Motorbike
Da Lat to Nha Trang has two main routes: the short mountain route and the other is the coastal drive. Both excellent choices!
However, the Da Lat to Nha Trang mountain route is the popular choice and often shadows over the coastal road. Unknown to most travelers is that this section of coast is what Vietnam is famous for and is the country’s best coastal drive!
Da Lat to Nha Trang via the mountain route
The most direct motorbike route for Da Lat to Nha Trang is the mountain route on the QL27C. Another road that is often said to be the favorite road for travelers in Vietnam.
Around 5 hours of driving, this is a relaxed and comfortable drive with ample opportunities to take in the beauty. The transition from the mountain city of Da Lat to the beach party town of Nha Trang is a big transition in a small space of time. With a short but beautiful drive connecting these two cities, the change in scenery is enough to blow most people away.
Da Lat to Nha Trang via the coastal route
Da Lat to Nha Trang via the coastal route is more for the motorbike enthusiast and longer. Not many people realize, but this is the coast section that has made Vietnam famous for coastal motorbike driving. Most travelers accidentally skip this section out, thinking that the coastal drive is between Ho Chi Minh and Mui Nui. This is incorrect, and the real coastal drive is between Mui Ne and Nha Trang.
The best part is the area around Vuon Quoc Gia Nu Chua national park. However, if you want to get the maximum coast possible, throw in the loop down below Phan Rang.
Ho Chi Minh motorbike loops timings
With a short space of time, it is possible to drive some of the best roads in Vietnam. To make the South even more attractive is the consistent tropical heat. There is no bad time to travel the South of Vietnam by motorbike.
A minimum of two days is needed to experience some of the countryside. Once you decide a route, head over and choose a motorbike.
If you find any roads or attractions that should be included. Please comment below so other readers can enjoy more of Vietnam!