Gazing over the mountains near Du Gia on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop

101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

First published September 2021 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

INTRODUCTION | CONTENTS | MAP | IMAGES

For me, a multi-week independent motorbike road trip in Vietnam is one of the most enjoyable, rewarding, exhilarating and memorable travel experiences available anywhere in the world today. I consider motorbike road trips the ultimate expression of freedom, travel and adventure. At a time when travel in Vietnam isn’t possible due to restrictions aimed at controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve compiled a gallery of 101 images intended to inspire a motorbike road trip when travel reopens. I want to remind myself – and everybody else – what’s waiting on the other side of the pandemic. For those in lock-down, I want these images to provide escape – an opportunity to travel vicariously from your room; and for those whose travel plans to Vietnam have been thwarted by the pandemic, I want these images to instill a deeper desire to make that trip happen when restrictions are lifted. Vietnam offers some of the best road trips by motorbike anywhere in the world. Here’s to the open road.


101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

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101 IMAGES TO INSPIRE A ROAD TRIP


Every image in the gallery below includes a caption with links for more information. I’ve also embedded an interactive road trip map which has all my motorbike guides, resources, information and videos marked on it. For more ideas and inspiration for road trips in Vietnam, browse the dozens of guides in my Motorbike Archives or take a look at the Related Posts at the bottom of this page. I hope we’ll all be able to ride Vietnam again soon:

CONTENTS:


*Please Support Vietnam Coracle: I never receive payment for anything I write: all my content is free to read & independently financed. There’s no sponsored content whatsoever. If you like this guide, please consider supporting the work I do. See my Support Page for details. Thank you, Tom


101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

MAP:

All My Motorbike Guides, Resources, Information & Videos

[Click a map icon, then click the link in the description]

 

View in a LARGER MAP


*Road Safety & Disclaimer: Riding a motorbike in Vietnam – or anywhere in the world – has its dangers. I would hope & expect anyone who chooses to pursue a self-drive road trip based on the information on this website does so with care, respect & due diligence. I encourage careful riding & adherence to road rules, but I am not responsible for the legality or manner in which you ride, nor any negative consequences which may result from your decision to ride a motorbike in Vietnam: you do so at your own risk. Read more >

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101 IMAGES:

View: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-70 | 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-101


Images 1-10

1. Riding the Dragons’ Graveyard Coast Road, between Ca Na & Phan Rang, on the south-central coast

Riding into the limestone karsts on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
2. Riding into the limestone karsts on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Dirt tracks into the pine forests near Dalat,  searching for a campsite, Central Highlands
3. Searching for a campsite on dirt tracks into the forests off the Pine Tree Road, Central Highlands

Top of the pass on the Nui Chua Coast Road, between Phan Rang & Cam Ranh, south-central coast
4. Top of the pass on the Nui Chua Coast Road, between Phan Rang & Cam Ranh, south-central coast

A goat path into the jungles on Cat Ba Island, northeast coast
5. A goat path into the jungle on Cat Ba Island in Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

Into the Geo-Park on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop, northern Vietnam
6. Into the Karst Plateau Geo-Park on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop, northern Vietnam

Relaxing on the deserted Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam
7. Relaxing on the deserted Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam

At the entrance to a Khmer temple in Tra Vinh, on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Mekong Delta
8. At the entrance to a Khmer temple in Tra Vinh, on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Mekong Delta

Misty mountains between Cao Bang & Bac Kan provinces on Road QL3, northern Vietnam
9. Misty mountains between Cao Bang & Bac Kan provinces on Road QL3, northern Vietnam

Red dirt roads on Phu Quoc Island, southwest coast
10. Red dirt roads on Phu Quoc Island, southwest coast

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Images 11-20

Stopping for a swim on Hon Gom Sandbar, south-central coast
11. Stopping for a swim on Hon Gom Sandbar, south-central coast

Through coffee plantations on the Back-Roads to Dalat, Central Highlands
12. Through coffee plantations on the Back-Roads to Dalat, Central Highlands

After disembarking the boat of the beautiful Con Dao Islands, southeast coast
13. After disembarking the boat on the beautiful Con Dao Islands, southeast coast

Stunning scenery on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains
14. Stunning scenery on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains

Riding off the train from Saigon to Phan Thiet, south-central coast
15. Riding off the train from Saigon to Phan Thiet, south-central coast

Riding through karst scenery on the Mau Son Mountain Loop, northern Vietnam
16. Riding through karst scenery on the Mau Son Mountain Loop, northern Vietnam

Motocamping in the Da Nhim pine forests, Central Highlands
17. Motocamping in the Da Nhim pine forests, Central Highlands

A suspension bridge on the Long Dai River, Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam
18. A suspension bridge on the Long Dai River, Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam

The vast swathes of empty beach on the Tomb Rider Route, between Hue & Dong Hoi, Central Vietnam
19. The vast swathes of empty beach on the Tomb Rider Route, between Hue & Dong Hoi, Central Vietnam

Loaded up on the Mountains in the Mekong Loop, Mekong Delta
20. Loaded up on the Mountains in the Mekong Loop, Mekong Delta

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Images 21-30

Descending from the top of the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam
21. Descending from the top of the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam

Stopping for photos at the top of the Vi O Lac Pass on The Classic Route, Central Vietnam
22. Stopping for photos at the top of the Vi O Lac Pass on The Classic Route, Central Vietnam

Into the mountains on the Borders & Back-Roads route between Sapa & Ha Giang, northern Vietnam
23. Into the mountains on the Borders & Back-Roads route between Sapa & Ha Giang, northern Vietnam

Motocamping in the pine forests outside Dalat, Central Highlands
24. Motocamping in the pine forests outside Dalat, Central Highlands

The famous Ma Pi Leng Pass at dusk, Ha Giang, northern Vietnam
25. The famous Ma Pi Leng Pass at dusk, Ha Giang, northern Vietnam

Looking between limestone karsts on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast
26. Looking between limestone karsts on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

Taking a wooden 'bike ferry' on the Bridges & Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
27. Taking a wooden ‘bike ferry’ on the Bridges & Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Always check your mirrors, especially on the Nui Chua Coast Road, south-central coast
28. Always check your mirrors, especially on the Nui Chua Coast Road, south-central coast

No one else around on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam
29. No one else around on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam

On the Sand Dune Highway through Vietnam's desert, south-central coast
30. On the Sand Dune Highway through Vietnam’s desert, south-central coast

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Images 31-40

Scouting for campsites on dirt paths along the banks of the La Nga River, Central Highlands
31. Scouting for campsites on dirt paths along the banks of the La Nga River, Central Highlands

The gorgeous Long Dai River Valley, location of the Only Hotel on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam
32. The gorgeous Long Dai River Valley, location of the Only Hotel on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam

Deep in the mountains on the Extreme Northwest Loop
33. Deep in the mountains on the Extreme Northwest Loop

Unloading the motorbike from the ferry to Con Son, southeast coast
34. Unloading the motorbike from the ferry to Con Son Island, southeast coast

Wonderful riding on the open roads of the Dak Nong Geopark Loop, Central Highlands
35. Wonderful riding on the open roads of the Dak Nong Geopark Loop, Central Highlands

rough road into the trees, motocamping on the Cho Mo River, Central Highlands
36. rough road into the trees, motocamping on the Cho Mo River, Central Highlands

Endless mountains on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop, northern Vietnam
37. Endless mountains on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop, northern Vietnam

Lights in the night on the streets of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) on the Midnight Loop
38. Lights in the night on the streets of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) on the Midnight Motorbike Loop

Between limestone pillars on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam
39. Between limestone pillars on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam

Traversing the northwest mountains, Tram Ton Pass (or O Quy Ho) is the highest in Vietnam
40. Traversing the northwest mountains, Tram Ton Pass (or O Quy Ho) is the highest in Vietnam

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Images 41-50

Crossing a suspension bridge on the Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
41. Crossing a suspension bridge on the Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

In the sand drifts on the Dragons' Graveyard Route, south-central coast
42. In the sand drifts on the Dragons’ Graveyard Route, south-central coast

skirting the forests & mountains on the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam
43. skirting the forests & mountains on the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam

exceptional scenery on the Quay Son River on the Ban Gioc Waterfall Loop, northeast Vietnam
44. exceptional scenery on the Quay Son River on the Ban Gioc Waterfall Loop, northeast Vietnam

Ploughing a straight line through the Central Highlands on the Truong Son Dong Road
45. Ploughing a straight line through the Central Highlands on the Truong Son Dong Road

Gazing across the valley outside Xin Man on the Borders & Back-Roads Loop, northern Vietnam
46. Gazing across the valley outside Xin Man on the Borders & Back-Roads Loop, northern Vietnam

Riding over the sands to an empty beach on the Dragons' Graveyard Road, south-central coast
47. Riding over the sands to an empty beach on the Dragons’ Graveyard Road, south-central coast

Crossing a canal on a narrow concrete bridge on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Mekong Delta
48. Crossing a canal on a narrow concrete bridge on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Mekong Delta

Approaching 'butterfly valley' in the jungles of inland Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast
49. Approaching ‘butterfly valley’ in the jungles of inland Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

Winding into coffee bushes on the Back-Roads to Dalat, Central Highlands
50. Winding into coffee bushes on the Back-Roads to Dalat, Central Highlands

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Images 51-60

Remote scenic roads on the China Border Crawl Loop, northeast Vietnam
51. Remote scenic roads on the China Border Crawl Loop, northeast Vietnam

Crossing an iron bridge over the Dong Nai River on the Dak Nong Geo-Park Loop, Central Highlands
52. Crossing an iron bridge over the Dong Nai River on the Dak Nong Geo-Park Loop, Central Highlands

View from the top of the famous Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam
53. View from the top of the famous Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam

Rickety wooden bridge leading to a pagoda on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast
54. Rickety wooden bridge leading to a pagoda on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

Road beneath an extinct volcano in Phu Yen Province, central coast
55. Road beneath an extinct volcano in Phu Yen Province, central coast

Motocamping in the Central Highlands on a Tet Lunar New Year road trip
56. Motocamping in the Central Highlands on a Tet Lunar New Year road trip

Great riding roads near the Lao border on the Limestone Loop, northwest Vietnam
57. Great riding roads near the Lao border on the Limestone Loop, northwest Vietnam

Climbing on mountain roads in Ha Giang on the Borders & Back-Roads Loop, northern Vietnam
58. Climbing on mountain roads in Ha Giang on the Borders & Back-Roads Loop, northern Vietnam

Pontoon bridge at a river crossing on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
59. Pontoon bridge at a river crossing on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Riding the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop
60. Gazing over the mountains near Du Gia on the legendary Ha Giang Extreme North Loop

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Images 61-70

Arch of trees on the Caves & Country Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
61. Arch of trees on the Caves & Country Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

A forest of limestone karst on the Dong Van Plateau, Ha Giang Extreme North Loop
62. A forest of limestone karsts on the Dong Van Plateau, Ha Giang Extreme North Loop

Getting some exercise on the long central stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Road
63. Getting some exercise on the long central stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Road

Next to a colossal reclining Buddha on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Tra Vinh, Mekong Delta
64. Next to a colossal reclining Buddha on the Temple-Hopping Loop, Tra Vinh, Mekong Delta

Steep lane up into the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai on the Harvest Route, northwest mountains
65. Steep lane up into the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai on the Harvest Route, northwest mountains

Motocamping in the Central Highlands during the dry season
66. Motocamping in the Central Highlands during the dry season

Doesn't get better than this: Western Ho Chi Minh Road through Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Central Vietnam
67. Doesn’t get better than this: Western Ho Chi Minh Road through Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Loading my motorbike onto the train from Hai Phong to Hanoi, northern Vietnam
68. Loading my motorbike onto the train from Hai Phong to Hanoi, northern Vietnam

Deep into the remote borderlands on the Extreme Northwest Loop
69. Deep into the remote borderlands on the Extreme Northwest Loop

Soaking up the sun, sea & sand on the Coast Road
70. Soaking up the sun, sea & sand on the Coast Road

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Images 71-80

Top-of-the-world feeling on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains
71. Top-of-the-world feeling on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains

Curl roads & contours on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop
72. Curling roads & contours on the Ha Giang Extreme North Loop

Dune riding on the Dragons' Graveyard Coast Road, south-central coast
73. Dune riding on the Dragons’ Graveyard Coast Road, south-central coast

Road to Dien Bien Phu, the famous Pha Din Pass
74. Road to Dien Bien Phu, the famous Pha Din Pass

Inland on plank bridges & pathways, Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay
75. Inland on plank bridges & pathways, Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

Winding along the coast on the Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Central Vietnam
76. Winding along the coast on the Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Central Vietnam

Looking over the desert & sea on the Dragons' Graveyard, south-central coast
77. Looking over the desert & sea on the Dragons’ Graveyard, south-central coast

The Ngoan Muc Pass cutting through the forests on the Tet Classic Route, south-central Vietnam
78. The Ngoan Muc Pass cutting through the forests on the Tet Classic Route, south-central Vietnam

Taking in the views on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam
79. Taking in the views on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam

Motocamping in the pine forests of Da Nhin, Central Highlands
80. Motocamping in the pine forests of Da Nhim, Central Highlands

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Images 81-90

Exploring the northeast mountains on the Bac Can Criss-Cross Loop
81. Exploring the northeast mountains on the Bac Can Criss-Cross Loop

The open road on the River Route between Hoi An, Danang & Hue, Central Vietnam
82. The open road on the River Route between Hoi An, Danang & Hue in Central Vietnam

Riding south to north on Uncle Ho's Road
83. Riding south to north on Uncle Ho’s Road

Motocamping on the La Nga River, south-central Vietnam
84. Motocamping on the La Nga River, south-central Vietnam

Beach views from the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam
85. Beach views from the Hai Van Pass, Central Vietnam

Dirt roads towards the Khanh Vinh Tributaries to find wild campsites, south-central Vietnam
86. Dirt roads towards the Khanh Vinh Tributaries to find wild campsites, south-central Vietnam

Twisting roads toward China on the remote Extreme Northwest Loop
87. Twisting roads toward China on the remote Extreme Northwest Loop

Sublime scenery & back-roads on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
88. Sublime scenery & back-roads on the King Kong Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Sunset over the East Sea on the Coastal Loop, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Central Vietnam
89. Sunset over the East Sea on the Coastal Loop, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Central Vietnam

Beneath the soaring limestone pillars inland on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast
90. Beneath the soaring limestone pillars inland on Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay, northeast coast

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Images 91-101

Across the river & into the trees, motocamping on the Khanh Vinh Tributaries, south-central Vietnam
91. Across the river & into the trees, motocamping on the Khanh Vinh Tributaries, south-central Vietnam

Threading through the jungle, the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam
92. Threading through the jungle, the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam

One of dozens of river crossings on the Bridges & Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
93. One of dozens of river crossings on the Bridges & Back-Roads Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Another road, another limestone pillar on the Karst Plateau, Ha Giang Extreme North Loop
94. Another road, another limestone pillar on the Karst Plateau, Ha Giang Extreme North Loop

Ploughing through memorable landscapes on the Caves & Country Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam
95. Ploughing through memorable landscapes on the Caves & Country Loop, Phong Nha, Central Vietnam

Wooden log bridge over a brook, motocamping in the Da Nhim pine forests, Central Highlands
96. Wooden log bridge over a brook, motocamping in the Da Nhim pine forests, Central Highlands

Jaw-dropping scenery on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains
97. Jaw-dropping scenery on the Sin Ho Loop, northwest mountains

Fully loaded for a south to north ride on Uncles Ho's Road, Central Vietnam
98. Fully loaded for a south to north ride on Uncle Ho’s Road, Central Vietnam

Motorbiking the coast roads, Ly Son Island, Vietnam
99. Riding along the rim of an extinct volcano on Ly Son Island, central coast

Point & go: freedom of the road on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam
100. Point & go: freedom of the road on the Ho Chi Minh West is Best Loop, Central Vietnam

Dream-like: riding the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Central Vietnam
101. Dream-like: stopping for a break on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road

*Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: all my content is free & independent. I’ve written this article because I want to: I like road trips in Vietnam & I want my readers to know about them. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements.

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Leave a Comment

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

8 Comments
  1. Martin says:
    September 11, 2021 at 1:56 AM

    Wow, your motorbike has really been living the life. What an inspiring set of photos. Keep well.

    1. Tom says:
      September 11, 2021 at 2:36 AM

      Thanks, Martin. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      Best,

      Tom

  2. darryl learhinan says:
    September 5, 2021 at 10:04 AM

    well done,poor ol Stavros needs a retirement package,has done well,i will be buying one when i am over next,all your contributions are excellent ,very enjoyable to look at,cheers

    1. Tom says:
      September 6, 2021 at 4:09 AM

      Thanks, Darryl.

      Haha, yes you’re right, Stavros does deserve a break 🙂

      Tom

  3. dave says:
    September 5, 2021 at 6:53 AM

    wow, great photos but depressed after looking at them because most of us cannot travel because of covid

    1. Tom says:
      September 6, 2021 at 4:08 AM

      Thanks, Dave.

      Yes, I know, but when the pandemic’s over, this is what we can look forward to 🙂

      Tom

  4. Selu says:
    September 5, 2021 at 3:23 AM

    A beautiful compilation to remind us why we chose to stay in Vietnam when all this pandemic started.
    Thanks for sharing, Tom

    1. Tom says:
      September 5, 2021 at 5:12 AM

      Hi Selu,

      Thanks, I’m glad you like this collection of images and that you’ve stayed in Vietnam during the pandemic – I hope we’ll all be able to explore the country again soon.

      Tom