Bike, Hike & Kayak Vietnam

enquire now 12 Days From NZD $3,190 pp twinshare
Small group
Terms & Conditions apply

This is an all-encompassing active journey through some of Vietnam’s most scenic highlights. It begins with arrival in the capital Hanoi, before an adventurous exploration of Cat Ba Island on foot and Lan Ha Bay by kayak. You will have time to soak up the atmosphere of the picturesque countryside by bike and discover the charming ancient imperial capital of Hue. Sample the gourmet food delights of charming Hoi An before heading to the South to explore the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels by cycle.

Trip highlights

  • Cycling the colourful streets of Hanoi
  • Hike in picturesque Cat Ba National Park
  • Experience historic Hoi An by kayak and on foot
  • Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
  • Experience the charm, countryside and cuisine of Hue by bike
  • Eye-opening wartime history at the Cu Chi tunnels
  • Cycle & boat in the famous Mekong Delta region


Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam

If you’re flying into Hanoi today you will be met by your driver outside Gate A1 as you exit the arrivals hall. Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign. If you cannot find the sign, please call the emergency number provided. You will have time to relax at your hotel and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. The capital of Vietnam is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, full of culture, history and the engaging contradictions of a rapidly developing and deeply traditional society. In the late afternoon we will have a group meeting being held in the hotel foyer (time indicated in your final documents). Afterwards, we head out on a nice stroll passing by the Ly Thai To square (the founder of Hanoi) and along the Hoan Kiem Lake to the vibrant old quarter. We have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant and dine on several iconic dishes of North Vietnam, before returning to the hotel. Overnight: Hong Ha Hotel or similar

Day 2 Hanoi sightseeing and urban cycle

We dedicate our morning to visiting the essentials of Hanoi. We begin with the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university (opened in 1070), which is now a temple dedicated to Confucius. Dedicated to to Confucius, sages and scholars, the Temple is a fine example of the ancient architectural styles of several dynasties. We then go get our bikes, and hit the lively streets of the capital. The ride is about 20 kilometres, taking us around the large Ho Tay Lake, through the flowers and trees along the Red River and onto the so-called Banana Island. We will have a break enroute to sample some delicious street food. The tour ends with a ride along the beautiful and iconic Long Bien Bridge. We drop the bikes at the storage and transfer back to the hotel. Remainder of the day is at your leisure. Cycling: ~20km Overnight: Hong Ha Hotel or similar Note: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum opens in the morning only and closes on Mondays & Fridays and the whole months of September & October for annual maintenance. Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts is closed on Monday & Friday afternoons. Most of Hanoi’s museums also close on Mondays, except the Museum of Vietnam Women & Museum of Vietnam Fine Arts.

Day 3 To Cat Ba Island, afternoon hike

After an early breakfast, we drive around 2 hours to the coast and catch a 20 minute ferry to Cat Ba Island. After lunch, we hike across the dense jungle of Cat Ba National Park. Today’s hike involves ascending and descending three peaks. We will be in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset of Viet Hai village – a secluded hamlet tucked away between the sea and the forest. Check into our rooms in a local guesthouse, and relax before dinner. Hiking: ~9km; 3-4hrs Overnight: Lan Homestay or similar

Day 4 Kayak in Lan Ha Bay

We depart from our guesthouse on a 5km bicycle ride to the coast where our boat awaits. Hop onboard, and cruise to the remotest parts of the Halong archipelago in the bay of Lan Ha. The day is devoted to cruising and kayaking. We will make a stop at a floating house, and eventually at a nice little sandy beach for a swim and some sunbathing. Lunch will be cooked and served on the boat. In the late afternoon, we cruise back to Cat Ba Island, and transfer to our hotel. Remainder of the evening is at your leisure. Kayaking: flexible Overnight: Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa or similar

Day 5 Return to Hanoi, night train to Hue

We drive to the pier to catch a ferry back to the mainland. Enroute to Hanoi, we will visit the impressive Hospital Cave. We should arrive in Hanoi in the mid-afternoon for a late lunch and farewell drink with your Northern Vietnam guide at a typical bia hoi – kind of beer garden serving simple food and fresh beer from the keg. Afterwards, you will have some time at a guesthouse near the train station to refresh and rest before we head to the train station. The night train has long been a staple in long distance travel in Vietnam and to visit without experiencing this as the locals do is definitely missing out. After trundling through the Tam Diep Mountain range of the north we pass through the Annamite range of central Vietnam before reaching our destination, Hue. Driving: 150km Overnight: Soft sleeper 4-berth cabin with A/C

Day 6 Cycle in Hue

The train arrives at about 9am. Hue is a cradle of culture and the last imperial capital of Vietnam. This morning we visit the major landmark of Hue’s heritage, the Imperial Citadel. It offers us an interesting insight into Hue’s recent feudality and helps us to understand the changes which occurred in just a few decades in Vietnam. Today involves a leisurely bicycle ride with a number of stops to explore the Citadel, enjoy the viewpoints, and venture into secret passages. Afterwards, we head nearby to an ancient village that used to be the residential area of the Mandarins of the Emperors. We will have a light lunch in a local home made of the famous banh of Hue, which are different varieties of rice dumplings. Then we drop off the bikes and go visit the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. It is a vast complex including its last summer residence, hidden in the pine tree hills of the Perfume River. If the weather is nice, upon exit we will go enjoy a nice sunset from the top of the hills. We end the day with a transfer to the hotel. Cycling: ~10km / mostly flat roads Overnight: Romance Hotel or similar

Day 7 Drive to Cam Thanh, kayak to Hoi An

This morning we transfer South to the ancient town of Hoi An. You will drive up the scenic Hai Van Pass and reach Danang on the other side for a slightly late lunch. We continue another 30 kilometres in the afternoon to the nipa palm mangroves of Cam Thanh, located on the Thu Bon River between the old town of Hoi An and the sea. Here we hop in our kayaks and start paddling towards Hoi An. Unveil the old town as you kayak along its riverfront, and disembark and continue on foot to our hotel. Hoi An is an ancient port town extremely well preserved with narrow streets and lots of food options that you will be free to explore in the evening. Overnight: Vinh Hung Old Town Hotel or similar

Day 8 Hoi An walking tour

We start our walk in enchanting Hoi An meandering through the beautiful streets and narrow alleys, which are bordered by ancient yellow-walled houses. We reach a local market where you can explore the colourful stalls, and the variety of foods and souvenirs on offer. Try some local delicacies before we venture further into the town. The guide will show you various places of interest and will also arrange some spontaneous food tastings as we walk. Culinary delights are all on the menu today. Afterwards we return back to the hotel. The afternoon is free at leisure for you to enjoy the beach or to explore the town further. Hiking: ~4km Overnight: Vinh Hung Old Town Hotel or similar

Day 9 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we transfer by car to Da Nang Airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh, we drive to the hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name, Saigon is the largest city in the Vietnam. Modern with a huge density of people and some truly crazy traffic which follows its own rules. This city is not the place for cycling and so in the afternoon we will walk, a gentle stroll around the city centre to unveil some very well preserved colonial buildings that give the city an interesting contrasting atmosphere. Overnight: Emm Hotel or similar

Day 10 Cycle to Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning we transfer by bus to Hoc Mon Town. From here we commence our 20km ride through rubber plantations and rice fields to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels were of significant importance to the Viet Cong forces during the Vietnam/American war. Visiting the tunnels we learn about the history of the site and also have the opportunity to explore some of the expansive underground system ourselves. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant before hopping back on the bus and transferring back to Ho Chi Minh City. Remainder of the day is at your leisure. Cycling: ~20km / sealed road / flat Overnight: Emm Hotel or similar

Day 11 Mekong Delta cycling and boating, drive to Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, we drive out of the city to reach a less travelled region of the Mekong Delta, about 30 kilometres from the mouth of the mighty river. We hop on our private boat to explore and learn more about the daily life as we navigate the Mekong. In the afternoon, we hop on our bikes and cycle narrow pathways. We continue across orchards and transfer onto a small sampan to explore a thick mangrove. Afterwards, we drive back to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Remainder of the day is at your leisure. Cycling: ~10km / sealed road / flat Overnight: Emm Hotel or similar

Day 12 In Ho Chi Minh City, trip concludes

The day is free at your leisure until your transfer to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your outbound flight. Trip concludes. We wish you a pleasant flight.


  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Airport transfers (day 1 & 12 only)
  • Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh flight
  • Accommodation on twin share basis
  • Services of a bilingual guide
  • Private vehicles
  • Kayaking equipment including life jackets
  • Modern bikes and support vehicle on cycling days
  • Site entry and national park fees
  • Medical kit



Images courtesy of World Expeditions