This all-inclusive tour is an epic ride from the peaks of the Central Highlands to the peaks of the Northern Highlands where the changes in landscape, culture, cuisine, and the roads are noticeable by the day. This adventure offers a visual feast as we ride along roads that wind through the mountains, pass through the smallest of villages in remote areas, and into farming towns. It gives the rider a chance to experience the ‘real Vietnam’ while providing opportunities to test their own riding skills both on sealed and unsealed roads, and along single tracks.
*ask about options to extend the ride to the northern border of Vietnam over a 10 day adventure.
The Ho Chi Minh Highway: The section we ride over two days is arguably one of the best motorcycle roads in the world. Each day is 200+ km of twists and turns, sweeping corners and hairpins along a sealed road in great condition. Most of the ride has us surrounded by dense jungle as far as the eye can see as we climb and descend mountains through various national parks.
Hamburger Hill: For those interested in war history we pass by the memorial erected for the Battle of Hamburger Hill. In May of 1969 a 10 day battle took place for Hill 937 which resulted in high casualties on both sides. The Americans captured the site, only to abandon it soon after resulting in controversy within the American public.
Khe Sanh Combat Base: Khe Sanh Combat Base is the site of the bloodiest battle during the Vietnam War, a battle that lasted nearly five months. It is now home to a museum and various aircraft including both the Huey and the Chinook.
Ke Bang National Park – Phong Nha: Home to the largest cave in the world, Son Doong Cave, the area is also great for riding some off-road tracks of varying levels with river crossings. Also an area loved by photographers throughout the year for the landscape, and to capture the locals farming the fields.
Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th century. It is also the resting place of the first emperor of Vietnam, Dinh Tien Hoang. Known globally for its picturesque landscape of Limestone Mountains jutting from the valley floor it provides a great backdrop while on the road.
Mai Chau: The road to Mai Chau involves steep climbs to reach mountain top villages full of people who seem to line the path and wave as we ride pass. Although this happens throughout Vietnam, it is more noticeable on this day than other places.
Who this tour is for
Anybody and everybody. This is the perfect adventure for both the beginner, or experienced rider. It suits those with off-road experience, or those without. Each day the route is adjusted by the hour to suit your riding style.
If you’re a beginner, the amount of track riding done won’t bother you. If you’re experienced, we’ll find something to challenge you along the way. Regardless of experience it’s never a race. The beauty of riding in Vietnam is only seen when riding at a safe pace that allows you to see the small things going on in the background.
Ride too fast, and you won’t see the goats strapped to the back of the bike. The family standing on the side of the road waving hello to the foreign face. Or the herd of cows around the corner.
Danang to Prao
Leaving Da Nang we have the option to ride to the peak of the Hai Van Pass made famous in the ‘Top Gear Vietnam’ (3:50) special many years ago before continuing on to Prao; or visit Hoi An get a Banh Mi (baguette) from the famous and aptly named ‘Madam Khan the Banh Mi Queen’. The ride itself is an easy 150 km that finishes in the mountains near the Laos border. The contrast between the coastal city environments in the morning to our destination won’t go unnoticed.
Prao to Khe Sanh
The day’s ride is along roads of great condition with long sections that are virtually free of any signs of life until we get closer to our destination of Khe Sanh. To get into the town of Khe Sanh we ride through nearby villages that are postcard perfect. Taking the opportunity to stop for a drink at one of them we are most likely to make a few friends as they check out our bikes and us with the curiosity given to the few strange faces that pass through.
Khe Sanh is where the bloodiest battle during the Vietnam war took place lasting over three months. The history books record the event differently with both sides still to this day claiming victory.
Khe Sanh to Phong Nha
Leaving early in the morning we take time to out to visit the Khe Sanh army base before continuing on the Ho Chi Minh road into the mountains.
This is without a doubt one of the best riding days available in Vietnam for any rider. It is a long day at 250 km, but unique in the fact that the majority of the ride is along roads of good condition that wind through the central highlands in the most sparsely populated part of the country. For the best part of the day, we are unlikely to see other riders, cars, trucks, or other signs of life.
Rest - Phong Nha
Phong Nha is a beautiful area to explore. From the caves to the surrounding rice fields, or simply taking a load off at ‘the Pub with Cold Beer’ which is located in a small village nearby the town centre. Here we can go for short rides and explore the local village, then return to hammocks and a cold beer. Famous for its roasted chicken, which if you like, you can catch yourself.
Taking the day off helps prepare riders for the journey by overnight train to Ninh Binh, and the following day in the saddle. It also gives us a chance to wash some clothes and freshen up in general.
Ninh Binh to Mai Chau
Arriving in the town of Ninh Binh by overnight train, we collect the bikes, and change at a local hotel while having breakfast and prepping for the day ahead. The train takes us 300 km north of Phong Nha where the geographical formations are noticeably different and quite stunning. Cultural differences can also be seen and heard with the people speaking a different dialect and mild differences in fashion.
The days ride has us climb to elevations of above 1,500 metres throughout the day before descending into the valley of Mai Chau for the night. Along the way we pass terraced rice fields, make what feels like a vertical climb as we zigzag a mountainside, and pass through villages where almost all of the dwellings are built using giant bamboo and palm trees.
Mai Chau to Phu Yen
The day ahead is short in distance at 140 km but will be long in time due to the road tightly winding through the mountains as we again climb a ridge before descending to the ferry to cross the Black River. Once across the river we ride the road that hugs its banks until we enter the farming town of Phu Yen.
Phu Yen is a bustling little town where the old and modern ways of life seem to mix in a strange harmony to the outsider’s eye. A place where the latest model BMW might pull up at the traffic lights alongside a horse and cart. Neither driver thinking anything of it as they wait for the light to change to green.
Phu Yen to Ha Noi
Another day of stark contrasts in environments as we close the tour with a ride back into Vietnam’s capital city, Ha Noi. The morning has us riding roads that we share with farm animals; by midday the roads improve in surface, become wider, and become more populated.
We arrive in Ha Noi in the afternoon to ride for a short time amongst the mayhem of city traffic. Although it feels a touch overwhelming at the time, it becomes a highlight for many adventure riders.
- Prices are in USD
- This is an all-inclusive tour
- The standard bike for the tour is the Honda XR 150
|Riders||Daily Price XR 150|
- English Speaking Guide
- All Accommodation
- All Meals & Drinks
- All Fares & Fees
- Honda XR150 & Fuel
- HJC IS-33 Helmet
- Armored Riding Jacket
- Hydration Backpack
- Wet Weather Gear
- Dry Bag for Luggage
- Police Fines
- Vehicle Damage
- Health Insurance
- Liability Insurance
nation 7 - motorcycle adventures
is an Australian tour company with years of experience in the motorbike tour industry.
Tarrin first rode across Vietnam from Hanoi to Saigon in 2006. He then returned each following year to explore the country further before migrating to Vietnam in 2011. He has toured solo around Australia, through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and through parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Japan.
His passion for motorcycles, adventure riding, and a love of Vietnam led him to establish nation 7 – motorcycle adventures in 2016. His years of experience riding throughout Vietnam, coupled with the local knowledge of his team, has provided nation 7 with an abundant resource of mapped roads, tracks, and trails to be able to build an adventure suited to any riders style.