Marred by the American war in the 1960’s-70’s, Vietnam has bounced back and become one of the world's top cycling destinations. Still visibly delineated by north and south, Vietnam is a world that's both ancient, with its ruined temples and vast jungles, and modern, with its bustling metropolitan cities and beach resorts. The north features multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the cultural center of old Hanoi, while Ha Long Bay has one of the most iconic coastal images of Southeast Asia. Sa Pa in the far north is worth a visit as it sits amongst rice terraces and at the base of the tallest peak in all of Indochina - Fansipan.
Halfway down Vietnam lies cherished Hoi An where the old city center sits unchanged for millennia with its boardwalks and old world charm. The DMZ lies not too far from Hoi An and is a must for any cyclist to explore and learn about the legacy of the American war before setting off to the beach resorts in Nha Trang. Some of the world's largest caves are in Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Central Vietnam and make for an easy bicycle trip to go explore.
Da Lat is the center for mountain bike tours in Vietnam as the once French built resort town sits amongst some of the best singletrack trails in all of Asia. The roads around Da Lat are perfect for cycling as they swoop and climb in and out of the highlands, through remote villages and past pristine lakes. The southern capital, Ho Chi Minh City, projects Vietnam's modern side and bright future, as the upscale city resembles Singapore more than it does Hanoi.
The pancake-flat Mekong River Delta is a stark contrast to the mountainous Vietnam to the north; it is flooded with rice paddies as far as the eye can see. Cycling the mighty Mekong River will take you through several countries in Indochina. It is one of the longest and most biologically diverse rivers in the world. Vietnam truly is a cyclist's paradise with its beautiful beaches, diverse and iconic landscape, and truly genuine people. Make sure to say “Hello” as you pass people by on your trip in Vietnam.