Successively occupied by China, Russia, France, Japan, and the United States, Vietnam has had its share of foreign interference. But today, with war on the back burner, the Vietnamese are focused on rocketing into the future. In this new era of confident self-determination the atmosphere is one of palpable optimism, despite frequent reminders of Vietnam's war-torn history. Fortunately for the traveller, Vietnam's traditional charms have not yet been eclipsed. Although noisy motorbikes continue to replace bicycles at an alarming rate, the former Communist stronghold of Hanoi has maintains its narrow-laned charm, while the melting, limestone pinnacles of Halong Bay are as otherworldly as ever. From the ancient neighbourhoods of Hoi An to the vast Mekong Delta, the country offers an astonishing variety of scenery. Whether your fascination is wartime relics or beaches and rice paddies, see Vietnam now, because every year it seems Vietnam reinvents itself.
Vietnam Hike, Bike & Kayak (AVHB)
Perfect for the active adventurer, this trip will have you hiking, biking, and paddling through the best of Vietnam. Kayak through Halong Bay’s towering limestone karsts, trek the Mai Chau area, and cycle through small towns for an authentic taste of Vietnam. When you’re not pedalling or paddling, you'll visit the country's cultural highlights like the Cu Chi Tunnels and Emperor's Tomb, or overnight at a local family’s homestay. Whether by bike or on foot, this tour will keep you grounded in Vietnam's intriguing culture.
Highlights: Kayak through limestone karsts in Halong Bay, trek in the hills of Mai Chau, cycle through unspoiled countryside, enjoy the frenetic energy of Ho Chi Minh City, visit the tailors and beaches of Hoi An, wander the vibrant streets of Hanoi
Indochina Cycle (AVIC)
Many visitors to Southeast Asia spend much of their time rushing around clogged city streets. Break free and see the region from a bicycle seat on this 12-day trip. You'll roll past the temples of stunning Angkor Wat, cruise around Phnom Penh, and ride between the jungle, mangrove forests, and beaches of Ream National Park. It's perfect for pedal-pushers of all levels looking to explore less well-known regions at a leisurely pace. Consider this an introduction to the joys of Southeast Asia and cycling.
Highlights: Cycle around the ruins of the Khmer Empire at Angkor Wat, keep an eye out for rare bird life in Ream National Park, bike out along the Mekong River to a village homestay.