As a passionate rider with several years of experience, I’ve had the privilege of exploring many thrilling roads across the globe. However, the rides I’ve experienced in Vietnam hold a special place in my heart. This Southeast Asian gem is packed with scenic routes that will cater to all levels of motorcyclists, offering an exceptional blend of bustling cities, quaint villages, expansive rice fields, dense jungles, and jaw-dropping coastal lines. Here, I want to share with you the best motorcycle routes I’ve discovered in Vietnam. Let’s dive right in.
The 7 Best Motorcycle Routes In Vietnam
1. Ho Chi Minh Trail
The historic Ho Chi Minh Trail is an absolute must for anyone looking for an epic Vietnamese adventure. Stretching over 1,200 miles, the trail cuts through the heart of the country, from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Expect breathtaking mountainous landscapes, charming hill-tribe villages, and an incredible sense of history. Don’t forget to plan plenty of breaks for soaking in the beautiful scenery and sampling local cuisine.
2. Hai Van Pass
Featured on the popular TV show ‘Top Gear’, the Hai Van Pass is undoubtedly one of the most stunning routes in Vietnam. This 13-mile journey takes you along the coastline between Hue and Da Nang, offering panoramic views of the South China Sea and lush surrounding mountains. The bends are plentiful and exciting, making the ride even more thrilling. Remember to have your camera ready!
3. The Hoang Lien Son Pass
For those seeking rugged terrain and a challenge, the Hoang Lien Son Pass in Northern Vietnam is an excellent choice. Riding from Lao Cai to Sapa, you’ll face steep climbs and twisty roads, but the views from Vietnam’s highest road pass are absolutely worth it. The endless sea of terraced rice fields and the distant peak of Mount Fansipan are sights that will stay with you forever.
4. The Cat Ba Island Loop
Cat Ba Island, located in the famed Ha Long Bay, offers a 15-mile loop that takes you through the heart of the island. From pristine beaches and lush jungles to steep mountain roads, the route promises an enchanting variety of landscapes. Exploring the National Park in the middle of the island is a must-do, along with a stop to enjoy the local seafood delicacies.
5. Nha Trang to Da Lat
Riding from the beach city of Nha Trang to the cooler mountainous region of Da Lat, you’ll experience a transition from seaside landscapes to misty mountain views. The 85-mile ride is filled with beautiful vistas, coffee plantations, and waterfalls. A visit to the famous “Crazy House” in Da Lat is highly recommended.
6. Phong Nha to Khe Sanh
For history buffs and adventurous souls alike, the 120-mile route from Phong Nha to Khe Sanh is an excellent choice. This ride traverses a region deeply scarred by the Vietnam War, passing through the famous DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). Highlights include the astounding Phong Nha Caves, the Hien Luong Bridge, and the Khe Sanh Combat Base.
7. Mekong Delta Loop
The Mekong Delta Loop, a 125-mile route starting and ending in Can Tho, offers a unique perspective on the daily life of Vietnam’s rural areas. Exploring the waterways, fruit orchards, and bustling floating markets of the Mekong Delta is an experience you won’t forget. The ride isn’t particularly challenging, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a more laid-back adventure.
Each route presents its own unique challenges and rewards, but all are guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable motorcycling experience. Before hitting the road, ensure you’re prepared for Vietnam’s chaotic traffic and unpredictable weather. Patience, attention, and respect for the local rules of the road are all key to a safe and enjoyable ride.
Vietnam is a country that’s built for motorcycling. Its varied terrain, fascinating history, and vibrant culture create an unrivaled backdrop for two-wheeled adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, these routes promise to offer an unparalleled journey into the heart and soul of Vietnam. So, fellow riders, gear up, rev your engines, and get ready for the ride of your life!