13 Day Motorbike Tour Ho Chi Minh Trail

The legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail was the supply line used by North Vietnam to link North and South Vietnam during the American War. Soldiers, ammunition, weapons and supplies were carried by hand, on bicycle and truck for hundreds of kilometres through the otherwise impenetrable jungle that covered Vietnam’s mountainous border with Laos. A testimony to the ingenuity, fortitude and commitment of the North Vietnamese, the Trail slipped from use at the end of the war and was taken back by the jungle. Recent road works that follow original sections of the Trail have changed this. This ride takes in the former imperial capital of Hue, the ancient trading town of Hoi An, Khe Sanh battlefield, the infamous A Shaw valley, My Khe beach, Vietnamese war museums and the DMZ. We also take time to stay overnight in a traditional Thai hill tribe village and visit the former Imperial Tombs of Hue. Take this one off chance to be among the first to traverse the Ho Chi Minh Trail! This is a moderate level trip, designed for bikers or experienced riders.

Destinations: Hanoi – Phu Yen – Mai Chau – Tan Ky – Phong Nha – Dong Hoi – Khe Sanh – Hue – Hoi An – Kon Tum – Buon Ma Thuot – Nha Trang.

View your motorcycle route here!

vietnam motorbike tours
Day 01: Hanoi motorbike tour to Phu Yen.
Day 02: Phu Yen motorbike tour to Mai Chau.
Day 03: Mai Chau motorbike tour to Tan Ky.
Day 04: Tan Ky motorbike tour to Phong Nha.
Day 05: Phong Nha motorbike tour to Dong Hoi.
Day 06: Dong Hoi motorbike tour to Khe Sanh.
Day 07: Khe Sanh motorbike tour to Hue.
Day 08: Hue motorbike tour to Hoi An.
Day 09: Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An motorbike tour to Kon Tum.
Day 11: Kon Tum motorbike tour to Buon Ma Thuot.
Day 12: Buon Ma Thuot motorbike tour to Nha Trang.
Day 13: Nha Trang. Tour ends

Day 1: Hanoi – Phu Yen (165 km – , L, D ) Hotel stay

Ride to Phu Yen on country road with a stop in Son Tay. On November 20-21, 1970, a joint force composed of USAF Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 50 miles from Hanoi. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there. The assault troops, in six ARRS helicopters accompanied by two C-130 aircraft, flew 640km to Son Tay from bases in Thailand. U.S. Navy pilots made a diversionary raid while 116 USAF and Navy aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers flew refueling, surface-to-air missile suppression, fighter cover, close air support, early warning, communications support and reconnaissance missions. There was no prisoners found in camp.

After lunch, ride on the winding mountain road to Phu Yen to take in some of the best mountain views in Northwest Vietnam. Overnighting in a hotel.

Day 2: Phu Yen – Mai Chau (145 km – B, L, D ) Home stay

There are many small roads that lead into the mountains around Mai Chau so we’ll take the chance to ride out to isolated H’mong, Dao and Thai villages. We will take on the challenge of an old road built by the French army and spend the afternoon exploring nearby villages. Overnight in a Thai ethnicity stilt house in Mai Chau.

Day 3: Mai Chau – Tan Ky (290 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

Ride on a small, spectacular and paved trail along the Ma river until Cam Thuy town where we stop for lunch. Hit the Ho Chi Minh trail (now a newly built highway) all the way to Tan Ky town where we spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Tan Ky – Phong Nha (280 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

Ride on Ho Chi Minh Highway until Pho Chau where we stop to visit the HCM Trail victory monument which is in fact the real starting point of our HCM Trail ride.

Ride all the way to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, the biggest and also the most beautiful cave in Vietnam and Indochina and is now a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geographic features of considerable significance. The vast area, extending to the border of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, contains spectacular formations including 65 km of caves and underground rivers.

Day 5: Phong Nha – Dong Hoi (60 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

Boating and exploring World Heritage site of Phong Nha where local civilians and military sheltered from incessant bombing during wartime. Then we drive down to the coastal town of Dong Hoi, which was heavily shelled by US warships during the war. At a hotel over looking the beach, we can take in some sunbathing by the beach. Overnight in Dong Hoi.

Day 6: Dong Hoi – Khe Sanh (200 km – B, L , D ) Hotel stay

We strike south through foothills which were once sprayed heavily by Agent Orange towards the former DMZ. There is still much evidence of bombing on the mountain sides and from time to time we will see remnants of the original Trail. We take in the Vinh Moc tunnel, the famous Hien Luong Bridge (former demarcation line between North and South Vietnam, the Truong Son Cemetery and finally Khe Sanh (former US Marine base). Overnight in Khe Sanh.

Day 7: Khe Sanh – Hue (180 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

In the morning we head south over the Da Krong Bridge (built by the Cubans in 1973) into the infamous A Shau valley, an area of intense wartime activity. Passing Hamburger Hill and mountains still barren due to the extended effects of Agent Orange, we arrive at A Luoi, where there are many Bru Van hill tribe people. Then, cruising through green back country down the steep Me Oi Pass, we continue on to the beautiful city of Hue which lies along the banks of the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue.

Day 8: Hue – Hoi An (145 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay
See the Forbidden Citadel in the morning. Join the National Highway 1 and head up the Hai Van Pass (Cloudy Pass) before the World Heritage site of Hoi An, a major trading centre in SE Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Overnight in Hoi An. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Hoi An. Sightseeing day. Hotel stay

Those who wish can ride up to My Khe beach, where US marines first landed, otherwise enjoy a free day to explore Hoi An by foot or by motorbike taxi. With fine wining and dining (including a range of Hoi An specialties), impressive architecture, fantastic tailoring, endless shopping, and a glorious beach, there is no shortage of activities to indulge in. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Hoi An – Kon Tum ( 290 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay
We strike back up to the mountains, rejoining the Trail at Phuoc Son (also known as Kham Duc). From there we head up the towering Lo So Pass, passing through remote areas thinly populated by people of the Ba Na ethnicity. Edging close to the border with Laos, where a number of Trail arteries crossed over in Laos, we continue on to Kon Tum.

Overnight in Kon Tum.

Day 11: Kon Tum – Buon Ma Thuot ( 240 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

In the morning we head south through the Central Highlands, passing Pleiku and the Ia Drang valley battlefield, before continuing onto Buon Ma Thuot (also known as Buon Me Thuot), the city where northern forces launched their final assault on the then Saigon. Buon Ma Thuot produces most and best coffee products in Vietnam.

Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot.

Day 12: Buon Ma Thuot – Nha Trang ( 190 km – B, L, D ) Hotel stay

We take an easy drive back down off the Tay Son highlands towards the coast, arriving at Highway 1 some 30 km north of Nha Trang. Taking in this scenic coastal stretch past turquoise waters and scarlet fishing boats, we arrive in the bright lights of Nha Trang and its relaxing holiday options.

Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 13: Nha Trang (relax – B, L )

A free day by the beach before gathering for a seafood feast to recount our adventure and toast the Ho Chi Minh Trail. There are two options: Return to Hanoi on train or by air or go down South on your own. Finish your unforgettable motorcycle tours Vietnam arranged by Offroad Indochina – Vietnam Motorbike Tour Asia.