Northern Routes

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  1. 9 Great Northern Motorbike Routes in Vietnam

    Riding the Great North: 9 Motorbike Routes

    Northern Vietnam offers some of the best motorbiking opportunities anywhere in the world. In the north, the mountains are higher, the passes are loftier, and the scenery is more majestic than anywhere else in the country….

  2. The Northeast Loop

    The Northeast by Motorbike: 5 Routes & Loops

    A bucolic corner of Vietnam, the Northeast is a garden of rice fields, forests, lakes & rivers ambling through limestone corridors. This guide focuses on 5 motorbike loops on meandering back-roads & freshly-sealed highways through three provinces: Cao Bang, Lang Son & Bac Kan…

  3. Ha Giang Extreme North Motorbike Loop, northern Vietnam

    Ha Giang Extreme North Motorbike Loop

    Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northern-most province, is home to a mythical landscape of conical limestone peaks & craterous valleys. Over the years, it has gained an almost legendary status among travellers. This motorbike loop is perhaps the most thrilling road trip in the country…

  4. Sapa to Sin Ho Scenic Motorbike Loop, Vietnam

    Sapa-Sin Ho Scenic Motorbike Loop

    Sapa and Sin Ho are two towns high up on the slopes of the Tonkinese Alps. They are connected by lofty mountain passes, offering grand scenery on a scale not seen anywhere else in Vietnam. This is an ideal scenic loop by motorbike…

  5. Sapa to Ha Giang by motorbike on borders & back-roads, Vietnam

    Borders & Back-Roads: Sapa to Ha Giang by Motorbike

    Connecting two of the most mountainous provinces in Vietnam, this motorbike route straddles the Chinese border, passing through some of the remotest parts of the country…

  6. The Limestone Loop, Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam

    The Limestone Loop: Motorbike Guide

    Thanh Hoa is a province of limestone pinnacles, rivers & rice paddies. Quiet roads meander through steep valleys cloaked in bamboo forests, & mountain passes twist skyward toward remote Lao border crossings. This motorbike loop is easily accessible from Hanoi, but travels through remote & beautiful landscapes….

  7. Ha Giang-Ba Be Lake-Cao Bang, road trip, Vietnam

    High Roads: Ha Giang→Ba Be Lake→Cao Bang | 3 Routes

    The roads between the northern provinces of Ha Giang & Cao Bang travel through some of the most spectacular & remote regions of Vietnam. Here are three highly scenic (but not always easy) motorbike routes linking Ha Giang, Ba Be Lake & Cao Bang….

  8. Sapa-Y Ty Scenic Motorbike Loop, Vietnam

    Sapa-Y Ty Scenic Motorbike Loop

    Sapa’s dramatic mountainous landscape continues north of town, via Y Ty Village, all the way to the Chinese border. Several small roads penetrate deep into steep, terraced valleys & climb high above ferocious rivers creating a scenic loop….

  9. The Extreme Northwest Motorbike Loop, Lai Chau & Dien Bien, Vietnam

    The Extreme Northwest Loop: Motorbike Guide

    Straddling the Chinese & Lao borders, the extreme northwest of Vietnam is one of the least travelled & most remote regions of the entire country. Mountain roads carve a circuitous course between Lao Cai, Sapa, and Dien Bien Phu, running perilously close to the infamous Golden Triangle….

  10. Rice harvest, Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam

    The Harvest Route: Mù Cang Chải

    Every year, between September & October, the terraced rice fields of Mù Cang Chải, a rural district in northern Vietnam, put on a luminous show of picturesque harvest colours. I spectacular road runs through this region: I call it ‘The Harvest Route’….

  11. The Northeast Motorbike Loop, Vietnam

    VIDEO: The Northeast Motorbike Loop

    One of my favourite corners of Vietnam, this is my film of riding the Northeast Loop by motorbike…

Coastal Routes

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  1. The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Dong Hoi

    The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

    Thanks to new coastal roads, it’s now possible to ride from Saigon to Hoi An, and beyond to Dong Hoi, following the coast all the way & avoiding the busy main artery of Highway 1 for the vast majority of the route. This is a salty, sunny, sandy & scenic road trip….

  2. The Hai Van Pass: Motorbike Guide

    One of the most famous roads in Vietnam, the Hai Van Pass weaves around a mountainous stretch of coastline in Central Vietnam, linking Danang & Hue

  3. Nui Chua Coast Road, Motorbike Guide, Vietnam

    The Nui Chua Coast Road: Phan Rang to Cam Ranh

    Nui Chua is a beautiful promontory jutting into the ocean between Phan Rang City & Cam Ranh Bay, on Vietnam’s south-central coast. A spectacular coast road has opened up access to its superb beaches, forests, rivers & fishing villages….

  4. Mũi Dinh Promontory

    Dragons’ Graveyard Coast Road: Phan Rang to Ca Na

    A new coast road has opened access to an arid, wild, windswept, boulder-strewn & cactus-studded section of coastline. People say this is where dragons’ came to die, and the earth scorched itself in grief….

  5. Hoi An-Danang-Hue by Motorbike

    Hoi An→Danang→Hue by Motorbike: 3 Routes & Loops

    There are now four different routes between these three cities in Central Vietnam. Each route has something different to offer: choose between The Coast, The River, The Mountains, or The Tunnel…..

  6. The Road to Liên Hương

    The Sand Dune Highway: Mui Ne to Ca Na

    Get off the beaten track from Mui Ne with this short, scenic, easily navigable and rewarding road trip. Excellent coast roads lead between Mui Ne, Phan Ri Cua, Lien Huong and Ca Na, passing some great coastal scenery…

  7. Son Tra Peninsular, Danang, Vietnam

    Son Tra Peninsula, Danang | Motorbike Guide

    A rugged headland at the northern tip of Danang’s municipal beach, Son Tra offers mountains & forests, cliffs & coves, wildlife & centuries-old banyan trees, lofty mountain passes with majestic views & sandy beaches untainted by concrete high-rises….

  8. The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne, Vietnam

    The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne

    The scenic route between Saigon and Mui Ne, the Ocean Road is an easy, feel-good road trip, with a great balance of off-the-beaten-track experiences & creature comforts. Ride it in a day or linger for a week soaking up all it has to offer…

  9. Tomb Rider: Hue to Dong Hoi on Back-Roads by motorbike, Vietnam

    Tomb Rider: Hue to Dong Hoi on Back-Roads

    Covering nearly 200km of completely empty beach, coastal back-roads lead from the old imperial capital of Hue to the beach city of Dong Hoi. Scattered with thousands of traditional-style tombs, this coastal region is rarely explored by foreign visitors…

  10. The Twin Passes: Cổ Mã & Cả

    Historically, four great passes have divided what is now Vietnam. These occur at the four points along the coast where spurs from the Truong Son Mountain Range spread eastwards to the sea. Of these, my favourites are the ‘twin passes’….

  11. The Golden Loop, Central Vietnam by Motorbike

    The Golden Loop: Central Vietnam by Motorbike

    Many people choose to travel by motorbike between Hoi An and Hue, via the scenic Hai Van Pass. The popularity of this route is largely thanks to the 2008 Top Gear Vietnam Special episode. But there is an extension of this road trip which takes the ride, quite literally, to another level. I call it The Golden Loop…

  12. Camping the Ocean Road: Saigon to Nha Trang

    Camping the Ocean Road: Saigon to Nha Trang

    Pitch your tent under a coconut palm just metres from the surf & enjoy Vietnam’s south coast sleeping in the open air: This is my guide to camping on the beaches along the Ocean Road from Saigon to Nha Trang….

South-to-North Routes

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  1. Saigon to Hanoi by motorbike: 5 Suggested Routes

    Saigon to Hanoi by Motorbike: 5 Suggested Routes

    Thinking about riding the length of Vietnam by motorbike? Here are 5 great routes between Saigon and Hanoi, each one specifically designed to suit the needs of different travellers, based on scenery and time frame among other things….

  2. The Ho Chi Minh Road, Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh Road: Motorbike Guide

    Stretching almost 2,000km along the mountainous spine of Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh Road is fast becoming famous as one of the finest motorbike rides in Asia. Now fully paved from Saigon all the way to Hanoi, this is my updated and extended guide to the entire Ho Chi Minh Road….

  3. 25 of the Greatest Riding Roads in Vietnam

    25 of the Greatest Riding Roads in Vietnam

    Vietnam has some incredible riding roads: possibly some of the most scenic in the world. Based on my experience of riding around Vietnam for the last decade, I have compiled a list of what I consider some of the greatest riding roads in Vietnam…

  4. Motorbike Chronicles: Diary, Map & Film of a Vietnam Road Trip

    Motorbike Chronicles: Film, Map, Diary

    To provide an opportunity for vicarious travel during this time of self-isolation & travel bans, I’ve republished my film, route map & diary of a two-month road trip across Vietnam…

  5. The Road East of the Long Mountains (Đường Trường Sơn Đông), Vietnam

    The Road East of the Long Mountains (Đường Trường Sơn Đông)

    A romp through the Central Highlands, the Truong Son Dong Road is a ride to be savoured. With mystical overtones & military undercurrents, the name in Vietnamese translates as ‘The Road East of the Long Mountains’. It’s one of the best riding roads in Vietnam…

  6. 23 Differences Travelling South to North Vietnam

    23 Differences from South to North Vietnam

    One of the most interesting aspects of travelling through Vietnam is observing & experiencing the changes that occur from one region to the next. Whether serious or superficial, significant or frivolous, I’ve jotted down some of the differences I notice when travelling south to north…

Recently Published & Updated

  1. The Spring-Hopping Loop, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Spring Hopping Loop | Phu Quoc Island

    Several refreshing streams run cool & clear off the spine of jungled mountains along Phu Quoc Island’s eastern flank, all linked by quiet back-roads…

  2. 101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

    101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

    An independent motorbike road trip in Vietnam is one of the most exhilarating & memorable travel experiences available anywhere in the world today…

  3. Khmer Temple-Hopping Motorbike Loop, Tra Vinh Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

    Khmer Temple-Hopping Motorbike Loop | Tra Vinh

    Connecting over 50 fascinating Khmer Buddhist temples via quiet back-roads through lush scenery in the seldom visited Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, this motorbike loop is rich in culture & off the beaten path…

  4. Phong Nha by Motorbike: 5 Routes & Loops

    Phong Nha by Motorbike: 5 Routes & Loops

    Phong Nha has some of the most sublime landscape in Vietnam. These motorbike routes & loops explore all corners of the area’s extraordinary natural beauty….

  5. Motocamping in south-central Vietnam in the dry season

    Motocamping South-Central Vietnam in the Dry Season

    One of the most rewarding & deeply satisfying travel experiences I’ve had in over a decade of travelling in Vietnam, motocamping (‘motorbike-camping’) is thrilling, challenging, fulfilling & still a fairly niche activity…

  6. Dak Nong Geopark↔Dong Nai River Motorbike Loop

    A meandering road trip in the cool, clear air & vivid ‘HD’ colours of the Western Highlands, the Dak Nong Geopark↔Dong Nai River Motorbike Loop is a sensory route, full of smells, sounds, sights & tastes: coffee blossom, blue skies, damp earth, wood smoke, rain, birdsong, spices & hot cups of locally-grown coffee.

  7. 9 Great Northern Motorbike Routes in Vietnam

    Riding the Great North: 9 Motorbike Routes

    Northern Vietnam offers some of the best motorbiking opportunities anywhere in the world. In the north, the mountains are higher, the passes are loftier, and the scenery is more majestic than anywhere else in the country….

  8. The Road East of the Long Mountains (Đường Trường Sơn Đông), Vietnam

    The Road East of the Long Mountains (Đường Trường Sơn Đông)

    A romp through the Central Highlands, the Truong Son Dong Road is a ride to be savoured. With mystical overtones & military undercurrents, the name in Vietnamese translates as ‘The Road East of the Long Mountains’. It’s one of the best riding roads in Vietnam…

  9. Motorbike Chronicles: Diary, Map & Film of a Vietnam Road Trip

    Motorbike Chronicles: Film, Map, Diary

    To provide an opportunity for vicarious travel during this time of self-isolation & travel bans, I’ve republished my film, route map & diary of a two-month road trip across Vietnam…

Resources

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  1. Weather Guide to Vietnam: When & Where to Go

    Vietnam Weather Guide: When & Where to Go

    Weather is an important consideration when planning a trip to Vietnam. Here’s a month-by-month guide to weather conditions across the nation, including recommendations of where to go (and where to avoid) at different times of year…

  2. Expenses for a motorbike road trip in Vietnam

    Expenses for a Motorbike Road Trip in Vietnam

    When preparing for a motorbike road trip in Vietnam, it’s helpful to know how much to budget for each day on the road. I’ve put together a list of expenses & an estimated daily budget in order to give travellers an idea of how much they can expect to spend…

  3. Best times of day to ride in/out of Saigon & Hanoi by motorbike, Vietnam

    Best Times of Day to Ride In/Out of Saigon & Hanoi by Motorbike

    Riding a motorbike in/out of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) & Hanoi can be congested & polluted, but some times of the day are better than others…

  4. How to send your motorbike on the train in Vietnam

    How to Send a Motorbike on the Train

    Putting your motorbike on the train is a very convenient option for road-trippers in Vietnam, allowing you to start or end your journey pretty much anywhere along the coast between Saigon & Hanoi. These days, it’s a fairly easy & efficient process…

  5. My Motorbike, Stavros, 200,000km in Vietnam

    My Motorbike, Stavros: 200,000km

    A week ago, my motorbike (known affectionately to me as ‘Stavros’) turned 13 years old & the odometer ticked over to 200,000km….

  6. Thien Thanh Limousine bus, Saigon to Rach Gia, Vietnam

    Beach Bus: Saigon↔Rach Gia Limousine | Passengers & Motorbikes

    Thien Thanh Limousine runs luxury buses between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) & Rach Gia in the Mekong Delta, gateway to Vietnam’s islands in the Gulf of Thailand. This is a great service for passengers & motorbikes…

  7. Saigon to Phan Thiet by Train: Passengers & Motorbikes

    Saigon to Phan Thiet by Train: Passengers & Motorbikes

    The daily, non-stop express train between Saigon & Phan Thiet/Mui Ne is a cheap, easy, fun, fast & efficient way to get from the city to the beach. Put your motorbike on the train with you & let the rails carry your wheels….

  8. 101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

    101 Images to Inspire a Road Trip by Motorbike in Vietnam

    An independent motorbike road trip in Vietnam is one of the most exhilarating & memorable travel experiences available anywhere in the world today…

  9. Fanxipan Express, sleeper train, Hanoi to Lao Cai, Vietnam

    The Fanxipan Express: Hanoi to Lao Cai by Train (Passengers & Motorbikes)

    Rattling through the night from the capital city, along the Red River Valley, and into the northwest mountains surrounding Lao Cai on the Chinese border, the Fanxipan Express is a romantic rail journey that’s cheap, comfortable & easy to organize….

  10. Hanoi→Lang Son→Dong Dang by Train: Passengers & Motorbikes

    A train runs once daily in both directions between Hanoi, Lang Son & Dong Dang, on the Chinese border. Linking Vietnam’s capital with its mountainous northeastern provinces, this is a scenic rail journey & passengers can carry their motorbikes on board

  11. Hanoi to Hai Phong by Train: Passengers & Motorbikes

    The Hanoi↔Hai Phong train is a brilliant option for travellers with motorbikes looking to get from the capital city to Cat Ba Island (or vice-versa), without having to negotiate the horrible highways….

  12. My GIVI Bike Box, Vietnam Coracle

    My GIVI Bike Box

    This is the story of my GIVI bike box, bearer of my baggage on all my road trips. Convenient, secure, durable and stylish, my bike box has allowed me the freedom to go anywhere and see everything, which is what motorbiking is all about….

  13. Maps for a motorbike road trip in Vietnam

    Which Map to Use for a Motorbike Road Trip?

    A good map is essential for an independent motorbike road trip in Vietnam, but no map is 100% reliable. However, by cross-referencing certain printed maps, online maps, local knowledge & online advice, you’re sure to find the best roads & routes.

  14. The Hotel on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road, Vietnam

    The Hotel on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road

    The Western Ho Chi Minh Road is one of the most spectacular & isolated routes in Vietnam. For nearly 240km there is no accommodation. But that’s all changed now, with the opening of the first & only hotel on the Western Ho Chi Minh Road…

  15. Guest houses: nhà nghỉ

    Local Guest Houses: Nhà Nghỉ

    Essential knowledge for the adventurous or budget traveller in Vietnam, ‘nhà nghỉ’ means ‘guest house’ in Vietnamese. However, this form of cheap accommodation often goes unnoticed by foreign travellers & suffers from a bad reputation among local people…

Motorbike Guides Map

This is a map of all my Motorbike Routes. Zoom in, click a marker, then click the link in the description to go directly to the guide.

Open in Google Maps