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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Grand Tour of Vietnam

  • Arrival
  • 1/4/2023
  • Departure
  • 1/20/2023
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Warner Griswold
  • Tour Company
  • Spice Roads
  • Starting Location
  • Hanoi
  • Finishing Location
  • Saigon
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4600
  • Deposit
  • $2000
  • Number of Riders
  • 3 (min. 10 /max. 25)
  • Space Available
  • 19
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 3

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

VIETNAM has just opened their borders to foreign visitors!

 OVERVIEW: Our 18-day/17-night biking sojourn through Vietnam takes us from Hanoi in the north to Saigon in the south through this mysterious, but strikingly beautiful country. You will see first-hand the contrast between the north and the south not only in the landscapes but its people, food and weather. We’ll see the stunning mountains of the north and wonders of Ha Long bay before heading south and crossing the DMZ area to the beaches, and the historical city of Hue and central Vietnam. The highlight of which is the melting pot of architecture in the well-preserved 15th-century trading port of Hoi An.  Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City (to give it its official name), and probably one of the most recognizable cities in Southeast Asia is our end-point to the fascinating journey through this wonderful country.

The tour cost includes nearly all meals -- breakfast, lunch, dinner -- each day, full support, including RidewGPS routes, maps, GPX files, and front/rear support vehicles with bike racks, snacks, water, guides, BAC Happy Hours. The tour is limited to 25 participants who can reasonably expect to cycle the entire distance.  If 16 or more riders signup, Spice Roads will reduce the price per person by $200.

For those wishing to book a solo supplement, rental bikes or additional services e.g. extra hotel nights – please contact Suwalee (suwalee@spiceroads.com). This will be invoiced and due for payment approximately 30 days before the trip starts.

RIDE RATING: 2B - We will cycle ~515 miles in ten cycling days and climb ~17,000 feet. Based on average daily distance and climbing, this is a 2B ride. Day 14; is the hardest day with 62 miles and 3,264’.  We have arranged days off to fuel recovery, taking into account that January, while peak season in Vietnam, is not our prime training season. The day-to-day Itinerary has each day's mileage and climbing in detail below.  Unfortunately on this ride tandems cannot be accommodated.

WEATHER: January is the ideal time and peak season to visit Vietnam.  In Hanoi, the January temperatures average 68/57F with 74% humidity, and Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City 89/72F with 66% humidity.  We will be covering much of the country and venturing across ecosystems so prepare for the worst and hope for the best, meaning pack a good waterproof jacket for the jungle areas and a warmer sweater for the higher elevation hotels -- and plenty of sunscreen for the beaches.  

DAY TO DAY ITINERARY

B=Breakfast    L=Lunch    D =Dinner

DAY 1 (Wed 04 Jan) - HANOI ARRIVAL

Upon your arrival at Hanoi (Noi Bai) International Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel.  Rest of the day is free to explore or just relax at the hotel and get adjusted to your new time zone.

Lodging: The Chi Boutique Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals: (-/-/D)

DAY 2 (Thu 05 Jan) - HANOI 

Free day to explore Hanoi. As your hotel is in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, you are in an ideal spot to head out and explore on your own. The Old Quarter is a great place to walk around and soak up Hanoi of old. A guide will be on hand for a bike fitting session (for those who have rented bikes) and bike assembly (for those bringing their bikes), please allow time for this. We will meet again in the evening for a trip briefing, happy hour, and a welcome dinner. 

Ride: No ride.

Transfer: No Transfer

Lodging: The Chi Boutique Hotel (Superior Room)

Meals: (B/-/D)

DAY 3 (Fri 06 Jan) - HANOI - MAI CHAU 

We leave the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and transfer just outside the city to start our riding. We cycle along small roads passing many Hmong, Dao and Thai villages many with spectacular views of lush vegetation and green rice paddies. We start easy, there will be some rolling climbs, but nothing too steep. Depending on how your legs feel, we can have a short transfer to Mai Chau.

Ride: 50 km or 31 miles +750m/-600 m or +2460/-1970

Transfer: 3 hours/way

Lodging: Mai Chau Ecolodge (Deluxe Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 4 (Sat 07 Jan) - Mai CHAU- CUC PHUONG NATIONAL PARK - NINH BINH

After breakfast, we will transfer to Ninh Binh province, passing several local villages cycling the peaceful back roads on the way to Cuc Phuong National Park. Before breaking for lunch, we will explore the park by bike, enjoying the various flora and fauna. In the afternoon we visit the park museum, the botanical gardens, and stroll around the endangered primate rescue centre. Afterwards, we have a short transfer followed by a walk to the Bong ranger station. From here, we continue to trek along the shorter loop trail to see the 1000-year-old Oaktree. On the way, we may be able to hear and see a variety of birds including the Eared Pitta, Silver Pheasant, and Red-collared Woodpecker. Then transfer to Ninh Binh.

Ride: 83 km or 51 miles +657m/-722 m or +2155 ft /-2369 ft

Transfer: 1.5 hours

Lodging: Esmeralda  Resort (Superior Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 5 (Sun 08 Jan) - NINH BINH - LAN HA BAY

At 08:00, we will transfer to Hai Phong to discover Lan Ha - Ha Long Bay from Hai Phong. Arrival in Hai Phong at noontime. 

12h15: Transfer by tender to your cruise boat.

12h30: We welcome our guests onboard for check-in, enjoy a welcome drink, receive cruise briefing and safety instructions.

13h00: Cruise to Da Chong islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. Buffet Lunch will be available while passing via the islets of the Con Vit area. These amazing limestone karst formations are impressive as they rise out of the sea.

14h15: Arrive at Gia Luan, then onto Trung Trang cave by Cruise bus on Cat Ba island which is located in the middle of Cat Ba National Park with Kim Giao forest around the cave.

Trung Trang Valley is the largest valley on Cat Ba Island. The valley covers an area of approximately 300 hectares, has a depth of 10m to 30m and is around 15km in the middle of Cat Ba National Park. Trung Trang Cave measures 300m lengthwise through the mountains. The cave has many stalactites that take on various shapes that will awe and inspire visitors.

17h00: Arrive in the less populated area at Tra Bau, located in Lan Ha Bay. You will have time to enjoy a swim in the cool green emerald water.

17h45: Catch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. After you will have the chance to join a traditional cooking class. Our chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnamese dishes.  

Option: Massage service available. Please book with Cruise Manager directly (please see massage menu)

19h30: Sumptuous Candlelight Deluxe Dinner Set Menu is served. 

21h30: Enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck

Option: Massage service available. Please book with Cruise Manager directly (please see massage menu)

Ride: N/A

Transfer: 4 hours

Lodging: Orchid Cruise/Azalea Cruise (Suite Balcony) - Shared Cruise

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 6 (Sun 09 Jan) - LAN HA BAY -  HANOI 

06h15: Rise early to witness the bay at its very best, Tai Chi session also available on the sundeck.  

07h45: Enjoy kayaking at Frog lake to discover the hidden charm of Lan Ha Bay.

09h30: Time for checking out.

10h00: While cruising back you can enjoy a delightful brunch on deck.

10h30: Tea Ceremony is served at the restaurant. You will learn how to enjoy Vietnamese tea and Vietnamese culture at this ceremony. 

11h35: Return to the quayside and disembark. 

14h30: Back to Hanoi and drop off at the hotel. Afternoon free to enjoy Hanoi. 

Ride: N/A

Transfer: 4 hours

Lodging: The Chi Boutique (Superior Room)

Meals: (Brunch/-/D)

DAY 7 (Mon 10 Jan) - HANOI - HUE 

After breakfast, we will take a short flight to Hue. After landing in Hue, the former capital, we visit the Citadel, which encompasses the Imperial and Forbidden Purple City. 

Today we explore by bicycle and boat the rich history left behind by the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. We start by cycling directly from our hotel along the An Cuu (Perfume) River and head up to the tombs of Khai Dinh, the 12th king of the Nguyen dynasty, which was built from 1920-to 1931. After our visit, we continue to bike on a quiet route to Vong Canh hill, which is just 43 m high but is the best place to catch a panoramic view of the Perfume River. Today, we finish the ride at the seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest religious building in Vietnam. Built-in 1601, it has become the symbol of the city, and be sure to get a photo with the marble turtle! We then walk to the boat pier nearby the pagoda to take a cruise on the Perfume River back to Hue 

Ride: 28 km or 17 miles +154 m /-134 m or +506 ft/-440 ft

Transfer: 1 hour

Lodging: Eldorado Boutique (Deluxe Balcony)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 8 (Tue 10 Jan) - HUE - HOI AN 

Today marks one of the most intense rides of the trip, with the grand Hai Van Pass, Vietnam's highest mountain road. Starting just outside of Hue, follow the picturesque and very narrow peninsular road from Thuan An beach to Vinh Loc, continuing to Lang Co beach - one of the nicest beaches in Vietnam. Reward the morning's hard work with a swim at Lang Co Beach and lunch. We then transfer to Hoi An to avoid the (big) climb over - Hai Van Pass. We can see the breathtaking views as we drive over the pass and have a chance to stop at the viewpoint at the top. It is then a short way to Hoi An, a delightful old trading town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Ride: 77 km or 48 miles +402m /-410 m or +1319 ft/-1344 ft

Transfer: 1.5 hours

Lodging: Siesta Hoi An Resort (Deluxe)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 9 (Wed 11 Jan) - MYSON -HOLYLAND

This morning we have a short transfer to avoid the highway and start riding to My Son, the ancient centre of the Cham Civilization dating back to the 4th century. We then cycle along scenic country back roads flanked by rice paddies, eucalyptus plantations and relaxing villages. Later the road stretches away from the coast, offering stunning views of the ocean as we head to My Son, Champa's most important city. After lunch, we spend the afternoon visiting the site, and although many of the temples were destroyed from heavy bombing, enough has survived the war to impress most visitors. After the historical tour, we take the bus back to Hoi An. Dinner is your choice.

Ride: 47 km or 29 miles +133m/-105m or +437 ft/-346 ft

Transfer: 2 hours (1 hour each way)

Lodging: Siesta Hoi An Resort (Deluxe)

Meals: (B/L/-)

DAY 10 (Thu 12 Jan) - HOI AN - QUANG NGAI

We have a pleasant ride from Hoi An until reaching Tam Thanh in the morning. Enjoy the beautiful beach there then have lunch. In the afternoon, we transfer to My Lai, the site of one of the worst massacres of the American War, as it is known in Vietnam. We have a small climb up to an old temple before we will visit the memorial and have a guided tour of the site and museum then transfer to the hotel.

Ride: 71 km or 44 miles +338 m /-334 m or +1110 ft /-1129 ft

Transfer: 1.5 hours

Lodging: Coco Land River Beach (Deluxe Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 11 (Fri 13 Jan) - QUANG NGAI - QUY NHON         

Today we leave early for the journey to Qui Nhon, the capital city of Binh Dinh Province, an American port and supply centre during the Vietnam War and refuge for thousands of Vietnamese fleeing the bombing of the countryside. We first transfer about 2.5 hours to Binh Duong then cycle toward Quy Nhon. This is one of the best riding days, with a rolling coastline through rice paddy fields, salt-making flats, fishing villages and mountainous areas. Later a short transfer to your hotel in Quy Nhon.

Ride: 63 km or 39 miles +367 m /-391 m or +1205 ft /-1283 ft

Transfer: 1.5 hours

Lodging: Avani (Deluxe room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 12 (Sat 14 Jan) - QUY NHON - TUY HOA 

We transfer out of town to avoid the main highway. We start riding at Dieu Tri along a remote but well-surfaced road running alongside the railway. The terrain is gently rolling, with beautiful views of the foothills of the highlands. We pass a mix of tribal and Viet villages. Ubiquitous potbellied pigs and barefoot children trot across your trail. Eventually, we loop back to the main highway with a small climb and descent to finish the ride. We then transfer approx 1 hour to Tuy Hoa.

Ride: 70 km or 43.5 miles +371 m /-359 m or +1216 ft /-1179 ft

Transfer: 1 hour

Lodging: Rosa Alba Resort (Studio Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 13 (Sun 15 Jan) - UY HOA - NHA TRANG 

This morning, we ride from our hotel and after 20 km the riding is very beautiful, with encroaching mountains on both sides and a network of lush rice fields in the valley. We ride 4 km up over a pass and down to the stunning Dai Lanh Beach where we stop for refreshments and a swim - pack your swimsuit into your day pack. We then transfer the rest way to Nha Trang.

Ride: 40 km or 26 miles +289 m /-281 m or +948 ft /- 920 ft

Transfer: 2 hours

Lodging: Novotel Hotel (Garden View)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 14 (Mon16 Jan) - NHA TRANG - PHAN RANG 

We transfer 1 hour to Cam Ranh town, enjoying breathtaking scenery and pristine nature. Brilliant scenery and emerald water on crystal sand beaches are never far when riding one of the best cycling routes in Vietnam as we ride to Ninh Chu beach.

Ride: 100 km or 62.5 miles +995 m /-996 m or +3264 ft /3267 ft

Transfer: 1 hour

Lodging: TTC Premium Resort (Garden View)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 15 (Tue 17 Jan) - PHAN RANG - PHAN THIET 

Another amazing day is waiting for us ahead, and after breakfast, we set our way to the southeast the scenery today is picturesque and unspoiled to the beach at Phan Thiet. This ride takes us through the Golden dunes with their constantly changing shapes, making it a must-see stop.

 Ride: 87 km or 54 miles +573 m /-580 m or +1881 ft /-1904 ft

Transfer: 1.5 hours

Lodging: Victoria Resort (Garden View Bungalow)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 16 (Wed 18 Jan) - PHAN THIET - HO CHI MINH CITY 

Depart after breakfast straight from the hotel. Ride a pleasant coastal road to La Gi then transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Today's ride is in stark contrast to the previous cycling, with dunes and desertscapes being the distinguishing feature of the day.

Ride: 84 km or 52 miles +293 m /-301 m or +962 ft /-997 ft

Transfer:2.5 hours

Lodging: Sky Gem Boutique (Executive Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 17 (Thu 19 Jan) - CU CHI TUNNELS 

Today we transfer a short distance out of bustling Saigon and start riding to the haunting Cu Chi Tunnels, which the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) used during the Indochina War as their stronghold and torture site of foreign POWs for decades. After witnessing the war's devastating consequences, we return to Saigon by bus just in time for a visit to the notorious Museum of War Crimes. We enjoy a farewell dinner at a restaurant in the city.

Ride: 28 km or 18 miles +95m /-78 m or +311 ft /-255 ft

Transfer:1.5 hours (each way)

Lodging: Sky Gem Boutique (Executive Room)

Meals: (B/L/D)

DAY 18 (Fri 20 Jan) - DEPARTURE

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.   

Ride: - km

Meals:(B/-/-)

Total Ride: 829 km / 515 miles

LOGISTICS 

Arrival date is Wednesday January 4, 2023 starting in Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN), and ends in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City (SGN). The tour begins in the afternoon of January 5th, with a trip briefing and 5:30 PM Happy Hour followed by dinner.  Spice Roads will discuss the following day’s schedule. 

You should fly into Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN) International Airport.  Spice Roads will provide transfers to our starting hotel – Chi Boutique Hotel.  The morning of our last day - Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City - Spice Roads will transfer us to the Saigon airport. If you plan to arrive early, SpiceRoads can assist with pre-tour hotel bookings. 

BICYCLE RENTALS - Bicycle rentals are available directly through SpiceRoads and are $240-$475. $240 for a hybrid, $450 for a road aluminum, $590 for an E-bike. For bike rentals, contact - Kittisak (Sun) kittisak@spiceroads.com. All of the roads are on tarmac, and it is suggested you bring your road or hybrid bikes. IF you rent, you should bring your own clip pedals, shoes, cleats and helmets. Bringing your own bike:  If you bring your own bike, be sure it is a road or hybrid bike and it is in good mechanical order with all parts necessary to maintain it during the ride. Bike boxes will be transferred from Hanoi to Saigon. The cycle guides are trained in basic bike mechanics and first aid.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS NEEDED! You must have a passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months after your scheduled return. You must have one (1) blank VISA pages in your passport. For residents of the USA using a USA passport, a visa is required to visit Vietnam. US citizens flying into Vietnam can pick up their Vietnam visa upon arrival at one of Vietnam’s international airports.  However, to streamline the process, Americans traveling to Vietnam should complete their Vietnam visa application online before the trip.  https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn/united-states-citizens/

For non-USA residents, you will need to research the visa requirement and obtain the appropriate visa for your country of residence prior to departure.

COST & ADMINISTRATION - The cost is $4,600 per person double occupancy plus the $100 BAC fee. The second payment of $1,500 is due August 31, 2022, and the final payment of $1,100 is due October 31, 2022.  The price includes 17 nights lodging, 17 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 15 dinners, 2 English speaking guides, support vehicles, RidewithGPS routes, BAC Happy Hour refreshments, cycling jersey, transport to and from the airport on first and last day, drinks and snacks while cycling. Happy Hour drinks each night - A glass of house wine or a beer, or a premium fruit. The tour price does not include:

non-refundable BAC ride registration fee

cost of optional activities

alcoholic drinks at included meals

bicycle rental

Air travel

Visa to Vietnam

Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary

Tips for guides, drivers, hotel’s porters

Early check-in or late check out

Travel Insurance

Any services not mentioned in the itinerary

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY - If space allows, a limited number of solo rooms may be available. The solo supplement is $1,050. For solo rooms, contact - Kittisak (Sun) kittisak@spiceroads.com to make payment arrangements by October 31, 2022.  It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until (October 31 2022) to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee of 3.7%) or pay the ($1,050) solo supplement and stay on the ride. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.

CANCELLATION POLICY - The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance. 

For cancellations that go unfilled and without a replacement, the Spice Roads policy applies and is as follows:

Number of days prior to trip start, cancellation fee per person, if not replaced:

90+ days Administration expenses incurred*

45-89 days $1,185

15-44 days $2,765

0-14 days $3,950

*Bank fees and any tour costs incurred by the company as a result of the cancelation.

SIGN-UP To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit ($2,000 plus the $100 BAC fee) by credit card. ONCE YOU HAVE SIGNED THE RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM AND YOUR DEPOSIT HAS BEEN PROCESSED, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions should contact the Ride Director Warner Griswold (775-843-3960) or by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

COVID STATEMENT: All participants must be fully vaccinated including booster shots if applicable and will present vaccination documentation for viewing by Ride Leader. If we still have a Covid 19 risk, we will follow all the necessary rules, and change activities as needed to remain Covid compliant, and can keep the tour as safe as possible. We will invite participants to a Zoom meeting approximately 90 days prior to the tour start date to finalize our COVID protocols. You may be asked to wear PPE in public, maintain social distance in public and limit social gathering in public according to the country’s/province’s mandate. Currently a negative PCR test (72 hours prior) or a negative rapid monitored test (24 hour) before departure.

Here is info on what the situation is at the moment in Vietnam - https://vietnam.travel/things-to-do/information-travellers-novel-coronavirus-vietnam

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well-trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions. 

 It appears COVID-19 travel insurance is required to visit Vietnam. The insurance expense is nominal, but the policy size requirement varied when researched.

Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. BAC maintains a policy that provides coverage for expenses related to medical emergencies and repatriation when members are on tours outside the US and their home country. The policy ceases to be applicable if a member makes a personal deviation (e.g., makes a side trip not related to the planned BAC tour.  The insurance has limits on expenses covered for family members and only applies for 45 days following departure from home. None of the policies maintained by BAC will cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date. 


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