Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi Motorcycle Route
Below is our entire ride we took on our one-month Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi Motorcycle route. I have included a list and a short description of our top 10 destinations, activities, and roads in Vietnam. This list can also be found on the map below. To view a larger version of the map click here.
Top 10 Sights Vietnam (in order from South to North)
- Đà Lạt and Langbiang Mountain
- This was one of my favorite cities in Vietnam. Situated up in the mountains, it’s easy to believe you are nestled in a small European village. For a fun activity hike to the top of Langbiang Mountain. Don’t take the Jeep tour, hike up to the summit. The hike is cheaper and much more rewarding.
- Dac Let Secret Beach
- To gain access to this beach there is a drainage ditch (looks like a dried up river bed) follow that until it appears to end. This will be about 20 meters in. Take a left walk along the boulders and you will barely be able to make out a path. Follow this down to the beach.
- Uninhabited White Sand Beach
- This entire stretch of beach is wide open. You will find only a select few fisherman here and zero tourists. For the first 50 meters out from the beach, the ocean is 4 feet deep. This makes it the perfect place to swim and relax. There is a small amount of trash on the beach, but none in the water. It is a very small amount, not nearly enough to be distracting. The trash appeared to be washed up from the ocean, not discarded by beach users. It is very easy to find an open plot of sand to lay down and relax for days on end.
- Eat at Bale Well in Hoi An
- This was some of the best street food we had in Vietnam. Although it is not the cheapest by street food standards (150,000 dong), it is worth every dong. The staff with continue to bring you food until you are full. In the simplest non-Vietnamese description, this is a make your own spring roll restaurant. You are given sautéed bbq pork, small spring rolls, and veggies to wrap in rice paper and dip in a sweet soybean sauce.
- Drive on the Ho Chi Minh Highway from Khe Sanh to Phong Nha
- This is one of the greatest drives on the entire trip. Make sure to bring extra gas and food with you as there is literally one small village you drive through on the entire stretch of road. Beautiful dense jungles coat the limestone cliffs. Rivers flow throughout the entire journey. This is not a road to miss.
- Paradise Cave – Động Thiên Đường
- This beautiful cave is the largest dry cave in the world. It costs 250,000 dong at the entrance and is 15,000 dong for motorcycle parking. It is worth every penny. The lighting is not tacky and helps you appreciate the detail of the cave. Go in the late afternoon to avoid crowds.
- Rent Kayaks on Cat Ba Island
- Rent kayaks and paddle around the islands east of Cat Ba. To rent the kayaks it cost 150,000 dong plus an additional 40,000 dong for the national park fee. Drive to this point and there are numerous places to rent from. The one we used was on the floating houses 10 meters from the shore.
- Ban Gioc Waterfall
- Accessed by a 2-hour motorcycle ride, this is the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen. It’s not the height of the waterfall that makes this standout, but width and shape of it. It is a two tiered waterfall with numerous places where water is falling off the cliffs. There are few tourists on the Vietnam side. If it’s warm outside, you can climb to the top of the falls and find small pools to swim in. The currents are not very strong but make sure to take caution while swimming.
- Drive from Ha Giang to Coc Pai
- This road is another top drive in Vietnam. Green rice paddies terraced into steep mountain hillsides makes this truly an unforgettable drive. Although you don’t need to stop in Coc Pai, this drive is not worth skipping.