All About this Tour
The Red River and its tributaries have created a fertile land filled with history and pictureque nature. Cycle on the dyke of the Red River through local villages, ancient temples and endless green fields of rice.
Suitability: The daily distances are not too long and the terrain is gentle so this trip is suitable for most people, but it’s advisable to have a modicum of fitness to enjoy the riding!
Biking Conditions: This trip is a mixture of hard-packed dirt trails and tarmac. An air-conditioned bus travels behind the group to support us and participants can cycle as much or as little as they like and still enjoy the same views as the rest of the group.
A day exploring the countryside and local artisans. We have a short transfer out of the city to avoid traffic and start with a lovely ride on a dyke along the Red River, a perfect quiet place to get used to cycling in Vietnam. Our first stop will be Bat Trang, known for handmade ceramics. The pottery is quite varied and interesting. We then cycle south into the heart of the delta passing through many traditional villages and rice fields. We will have a two hour transfer to lunch in Tam Coc. In the afternoon it's back on the bikes to ride a bit off road amongst karst cliffs to a small pier. We board a boat for a leisurely cruise on the Ngo Dong River, and float through three natural caves, the largest of which is 125 m long. Sit back, relax, see rural Vietnam from a different perspective and take in the dramatic limestone karst jutting out from the green rice fields. We disembark and cycle back through the karst cliffs to visit Thai Vi Temple, one of the oldest temples in Vietnam, built in the 13th Century.
We start cycling from our hotel in Tam Coc for a flat ride to the town of Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of the Dinh and Ly dynasties. The route is stunning as you pass green rice fields amongst karst mountains. After a stop to visit Dinh Le Temple, built in the shape of a Chinese character in the 17th Century, we continue pedaling along the Hoang Long River through some impressive landscape. The first 35 kms are flat and then we'll have some small climbs up to the park, but they are all short. After the lunch at entry of national park, we continue cycling to the center of the park and then have the option to transfer or cycle the 20 kms back to our overnight accommodation in the park.
This morning you will have the opportunity to explore Vietnam's first national park and hopefully sight one of the 97 species of mammals said to inhabit the park. We visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Center where a wide variety of native monkeys and gibbons, including critically endangered langurs were saved from wildlife smugglers and are being rehabilitated to return to the wild. Continue cycling from the park to Chi Ne, a small peaceful town on the banks of the Boi River. Here we have lunch before we head back to Hanoi. The drive will take one and a half hours and we should arrive by late afternoon.
The bikes you will be riding are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes and Shimano components and front suspension. The mountain bike is included in the tour.
You also have an option to hire an electric bike (or an E-Bike) for the price listed in the tour pricing section. We have 2 sizes available: S = 155 cm - 170 cm and M = 171cm - 180 cm. The E-Bikes are GIANT brand with SHIMANO Alivio1,9 speed, disc brakes, and adjustable suspension fork.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
For 46 nationalities – including Australians, Canadians and Americans – an e-visa can be obtained. This must be applied for and received before departure for Vietnam. The fee for the e-visa is US$25 and then the visa is issued on arrival at international airports for another fee. Note that the e-visa takes 3-5 working days to process and you must submit a scanned copy of a photo and of your passport when applying. Print the approval letter to present upon arrival in Vietnam to acquire your visa. Nationalities not on the electronic visa list can obtain a pre-approved entry visa online before arrival in Vietnam for a fee, however, the visa is still issued on arrival at international airports.
A visa for Vietnam can also be obtained from any embassy worldwide, here's a list of locations. A tourist visa is valid for a single 30 day stay. You must specify your arrival date when applying for a visa and it is from this date that the 30 days will be calculated. When picking up your visa check to be sure the dates match your travel plans and that it is stamped directly into your passport as it will not be accepted if it is stapled in or loose.
Recommended vaccinations are typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days. Vietnam is a malarial area and you will need to take anti-malarial tablets. Please speak to your doctor for the most up to date information.
While Vietnam is mostly warm and humid, there are no good or bad seasons to visit Vietnam. Each region experiences its own climate changes. The north is hot and humid with high rainfall from May to October and cooler from November to April. Central Vietnam is hot and dry between January and August with rains flowing in during September to November. Southern Vietnam is mostly hot and dry from November to April and wet season between May and October with the highest rainfall in June-August.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are Vietnamese food and features noodles, rice curries and soups. Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and we make sure you sample as much variety as possible. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit, and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere in Vietnam but is NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide, we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.
The official national currency is the Vietnam dong (d), but the US dollar is widely accepted in tourist centers. However, in smaller towns and villages the dong is preferred. ATMs are available in all major tourist destinations and big cities. Vietcombank has the best network with a single withdrawal limit of 2,000,000d (about US$125). Most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam, but the US dollar is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing US$100 will make you an instant millionaire! You cannot legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into US dollars on departure.
If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions
From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.
Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.
On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.
For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.
International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.
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The information in this document is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, however, we will always do our best to adhere to this original itinerary