When deciding on the route you will take on your travels from Hanoi you have 3 options. You can travel south to Ho Chi Minh, you can travel around the north in a loop and return to Hanoi or you can do the whole of Vietnam by doing the northern loop and then heading to Ho Chi Minh.
The time that you have to travel will largely dictate where you can reach on each of these routes so we have give a simple break down below. It is much better to come to the shop and speak to us so that we can better give you advice about where you can go based on your time and driving ability and go into details about the route.
1 week – Hanoi – Mai Chau – Nghia Lo – Sapa – Yen Bai – Hanoi
1 1/2 weeks – Hanoi – Mai Chau – (Nghia Lo/ Yen Bai) – Sapa – Lao Cai – Ha Giang – Tuyen Quang – Hanoi
Either Nghia Lo or Yen Bai
2 weeks or more – Hanoi – Mai Chau – (Nghia Lo/ Yen Bai) – Sapa – Lao Cai – Ha Giang – Bao Lac – Cao Bang – Lang Son – Hanoi
Either Nghia Lo or Yen Bai
2 weeks – Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ninh Binh – Vinh – Phong NHA – Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – NHA Trang – (Da Lat or Mui Ne) – Ho Chi Minh
Either Da Lat or Mui Ne
2 1/2 weeks – Hanoi – (Ha Long Bay/ Mai Chau) – Ninh Binh – Vinh – Phong NHA – Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – NHA Trang – (Da La or Mui Ne) – Ho Chi Minh
2 of either Ha Long Bay/ Mai Chau, Da Lat or Mui Ne
3 weeks or more – Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Ninh Binh – Mai Chau – Vinh – Phong NHA – Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – NHA Trang – Da Lat – Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh
Ninh Binh or Mai Chau to Phong NHA
Travelling from Ninh Binh or Mai Chau to Phong NHA takes 2 days via bike. On the routes above we have listen Vinh as a stop between but this doesn’t have to be the case. These are a few options for travel between here.
Option 1 is take the bus and skip Vinh, Vinh isn’t the nicest city to visit so you won’t miss out by skipping this. The drive is really good so it is only recommended to skip this section on bus if you are short on time. (Taking the train isn’t a good option because the train doesn’t go direct to Phong NHA.)
Option 2 is to take the coastal road through Vinh, Vinh is half way so a good place to sleep. The road is busier with buses and trucks so not ideal to drive but it isn’t too long to not a big problem. If you are new too bikes and the bike isn’t too good then this is the safer road to travel as if you have any problem you will find help very quickly.
Option 3 is to go inland. The is the best option so long as you have a reliable bike or are an experienced drive. The scenery is much better and unlike from Hoi An to NHA Trang if there is a problem there will be people passing by. If you do go this way then instead of sleeping in Vinh you will sleep in the same area but inland, you will find plenty of places to sleep so you can just stop when you are level with Vinh.
Hoi An – NHA Trang
It is important to note that between Hoi An and NHA Trang there is 4 travel options.
The first 2 are via bus and train which you can take your bike on. These are much quicker and as between these 2 cities there is a lot less to see if you are short on time or just dont want to do this ride then these are better options.
The third option is to go via the coast, the coastal road will take 2 days. It isn’t as nice to drive as there is just highway and lots of buses and trucks but it is quicker than going inland and safer because if you do have any problems there are more mechanics and people to help you out.
The fourth option is to go inland, this takes at least 3 days, the views are much better, the people friendlier and roads less busier. The problem is if you have problems you will be further from help and it takes long so if you are short on time or if you have been having lots of problems with the bike then it isn’t a good idea.
Whole of Vietnam
In travelling the whole of Vietnam you can easily choose one of the northern loop routes first then one of the southern routes which fits into your time frame.
It is recommended that you spend time doing both of the northern loop and the southern route as they give a different perspective of Vietnam so if you have a month then at least 1 week in the north and 2 weeks or more in the south is a good option but to really plan a journey it is best to come and speak to us at the shop and we can give you advise in person.