The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Dong Hoi

The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

First published January 2018 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

This post was last updated 6 years ago. Please check the comments section for possible updates, or read more on my Updates & Accuracy page.


Saigon to Hoi An is one of the most popular long-distance road trips in Vietnam. There are several fantastic routes (of which I have no particular favourite) between these two destinations. But most people find themselves deciding between a mountainous (western) route, or a coastal (eastern route). Of the latter, there are two commonly held misconceptions: 1. that you must take Highway 1 (QL1A) most of the way; 2. that it’s a busy and not very scenic route. Thanks to new coast roads and small back-roads, neither of these are true. You can now ride from Saigon to Hoi An (and beyond, to Hue and Dong Hoi) along the coast on generally quiet and scenic roads, with a total distance of 1,425km: only 350km of which are on Highway 1. What’s more, even the sections that are on Highway 1, happen to be some of the most scenic stretches of the entire south-north main artery. At the right time of year, this coastal route is a highly satisfying, salty, sunny, sandy, scenic, and feel-good ride.

Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

Take the coastal route from Saigon to Hoi An & Dong Hoi: a 1,425km ride, only 350km on Highway 1

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  • Total Distance: 1,425km
  • Duration: 4-10 days
  • Route: coast roads (avoiding Highway 1) from Saigon to Hoi An & beyond [MAP]
  • Road Conditions: new highways, back-roads, some rough patches, light traffic
  • Scenery: empty beaches, arid coastal stretches, fishing villages, beach towns


Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

The Coast Road passes dozens of great beaches & stays off busy highways as much as possible


As with all the motorbike guides on this website, the main focus of this coastal route is to stay on good, scenic roads as much as possible, and to avoid horrible, busy highways. Obviously, this means it’s not the most direct or the fastest way from Saigon to Hoi An and beyond. When it comes to deciding which route you want to take between these two destinations, it will depend on a number of factors, such as the duration of your stay, time of year, your preference of scenery, and the purpose of your trip. Personally, I don’t have a favourite route, but if you’re looking for sun, sea and sand, the following coastal route is definitely the one for you. The best time of year is between March and October, when there’s a lot of sun and sporadic tropical downpours. The southern dry season (November-May) is also good, although conditions can get cooler, wetter and grayer anywhere north of Nha Trang from November to March. You could spend as little as 4 days to as many as 10 days riding this route, depending on how often you want to stop and how many hours you’re prepared to spend in the saddle each day.

Selected Resources What’s this?
Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

New coastal routes & old back-roads make it possible to stay close to the ocean & avoid Highway 1

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Note that this is not a full guide: rather it is a detailed, annotated route map followed by a short image gallery illustrating the kind of roads and scenery along this coastal route. The map below shows the entire 1,425km route from Saigon to Hoi An and Dong Hoi (only 350km of which is on Highway 1). I’ve included map markers for major towns along the way (the red pins), good beaches (the blue parasols), several accommodation options which I have reviewed (the orange beds), and specific sections of road (the green motorcycles). The majority of these map markers contain links to other Vietnam Coracle guides for more details: If you click on a map marker, a dialogue box will open which contains a link to one of my guides, or a section of one of my guides, which will have more information about that particular place, or accommodation, or section of the route.

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The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Dong Hoi | 1,425km

View  in a LARGER MAP

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The following images are all taken along the coastal route between Saigon and Dong Hoi as outlined in the map above. Read the captions below the images to find out exactly where they were taken.

Mui Dinh coast road, Ca Na to Phan Rang, Vietnam

View of the Mui Dinh Coast Road snaking along the arid, rocky cliffs between Ca Na & Phan Rang

Bai Mon Beach, Vung Ro Bay, Vietnam

View from the road of Mon Beach, just south of Tuy Hoa city, in Phu Yen Province

Mui Dinh Cape, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam

Taking in the sand dunes in Vietnam’s desert, just south of Phan Rang on the Dragon’s Graveyard Road

Fishing canoe, Quang Nam coast, near Hoi An, Vietnam

A fishing canoe on the long empty beaches of Quang Nam Province, just south of Hoi An

View from the Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

View from the Hai Van Pass between Danang & Hue, one of the most famous stretches of coast road

Relaxing on Ke Ga Beach, Vietnam

Relaxing on a beach near Ke Ga lighthouse, on the Ocean Road between Saigon and Mui Ne

Dai Lanh Beach, Vietnam

View from the road of Dai Lanh Beach between Nha Trang & Tuy Hoa, in Khanh Hoa Province

Wooden fishing boats, Cua Viet Beach, near Hue, Vietnam

Wooden fishing boats drawn up on the sand on the long, empty beaches between Hue & Dong Hoi

Vung Ro Bay, Vietnam

View from the Ca Pass of the fabulous Vung Ro Bay in south-central Vietnam

Beach in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam

View from the road of Xuan Hai Beach, just south of Quy Nhon on the central coast

Hon Gom Sandbar, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam

The long, empty sands of Hon Gom Sandbar, in Khanh Hoa Province, north of Nha Trang

Floating fish farms on Vung Ro Bay, Vietnam

Floating fish farms & fishing boats on the turquoise waters of Vung Ro Bay

Me and my motorbike on My Canh Beach, Dong Hoi, Vietnam

Me and my motorbike, Stavros, celebrating our arrival at My Canh Beach, in Dong Hoi

View from the Nui Chua Coast Road, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Checking the view in the mirror on the Nui Chua Coast Road, between Phan Rang & Cam Ranh

Coast road north of Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam

An empty stretch of coast road just north of Quy Nhon city, in Binh Dinh Province

Empty beaches near Dong Hoi, Vietnam

More empty beaches on the coastal back-roads between Hue & Dong Hoi, on the central coast

Colourfully painted fishing coracles near Tam Ky, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Colourfully painted fishing coracles on the long sandy beaches south of Hoi An, Quang Nam Province

Lang Co Beach, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam

View from the Hai Van Pass of Lang Co Beach, in Thua Thien Hue Province

Empty coast road north of Quy Nhon, Vietnam

A long, straight section of empty coast road between Quy Nhon & Quang Ngai, on the central coast

The top of the Nui Chua Coast Road, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Stopping to take in the views of Cam Ranh Bay at the top of the Nui Chua Coast Road

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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.

  1. kate werner says:
    July 16, 2023 at 10:30 AM

    could this be done in a car as well? my husband and i are considering a trip from saigon to hanoi but would be more comfortable in a vehicle. any insight or thoughts? recommendations?

    1. Tom says:
      July 17, 2023 at 10:05 AM

      Hi Kate,

      Yes, you could do this route in a car. However, foreigners aren’t allowed to drive cars in Vietnam without a local license, so you would need to hire a car and driver.



  2. Maikel Lybaert says:
    May 22, 2023 at 12:35 PM


    Planning a possible coastal trip this summer (with bicycle not motorbike). Is there a reason why between Chau me and Quang Ngai the QL1A is followed a while? I was considering to take the bridge near the mouth of the Tra Khuc river (going N to S) and from there on stay in between QL1A and the coast. Seems like the road is not as direct and might have to go a bit ‘zig-zagging’ between villages and bridges because of the rivers but might be more pleasant than the QL1A? Or is there some reason to avoid this area? Is Quang Ngai in itself a worthy detour? If so, it’s still a relatively short ride up and back down the river to stay the night for example…

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Tom says:
      May 23, 2023 at 7:57 AM

      Hi Maikel,

      Yes, I think that’s a good idea and try to avoid the QL1A for that stretch. The reason the route in my map goes on QL1A for that short section is because, at the time of writing, the bridge across the Tra Khuc River wasn’t completed 🙂

      There’s no need to take a detour off the coast to go to Quang Ngai if you don’t have to.



      1. Maikel Lybaert says:
        May 23, 2023 at 8:59 AM

        Thanks Tom,

        I have another question. Near the finish (or start of the route depending which way you go) the route goes before Vung Tau inland via Ba Ria and Phu My to Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve not yet been to any of those places but was wondering how is the stretch going into Ho Chi Minh City? In my case i would most likely arriving there during the day when traffic is at it’s worst since i’d be going North to South. I have been in Can Gio though (i have been there for work and used it as a docking for a boat). From what i remember it’s not the most charming of places but it’s small and afterwards are quiet roads surrounded by fields and mangrove-like forest until crossing the river. On the downside it offers very little facilities on the way. I was wondering if you think it might be a more scenic and relaxed option to take the ferry from Vung Tau to Can Gio and cycle back to the city via there, and hopefully postpone as much as possible the busy traffic 🙂 Since my ultimate goal is going into Cambodia i even considered taking the ferry straight from Vung Tau to the Mekong Delta and surpass HCMC completely but i have so many memories of the place my heart won’t allow it :p

        1. Tom says:
          May 24, 2023 at 3:16 AM

          Hi Maikel,

          Yes, if you’re on a bicycle, you don’t need to go inland at all: you have a number of options: put your bicycle on the boat from Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh (see this guide); or put your bicycle on the boat to Can Gio (see this guide); then, from Can Gio you can either continue to Ho Chi Minh or take the Can Giuoc ferry across to the Mekong Delta (see this guide) and bypass Ho Chi Minh completely.



          1. Maikel Lybaert says:
            May 24, 2023 at 8:57 AM

            Hi Tom,

            Thanks for the reply. On Google Maps there seems to be marked a direct line between Vung Tau and Long An as well, but maybe not accurate. It seems that the Vung Tau – Can Gio guide is not working. i also find it when searching on the website but it doesn’t open.

            1. Tom says:
              May 29, 2023 at 7:23 AM

              Hi Maikel,

              Sorry about that – it should be fixed now. Please try again.

              As for other ferry routes marked on Google Maps, they may be correct, but they may not be: you still can’t rely 100% on Google Maps in Vietnam.

              Anyway, the Can Giouc ferry goes to Long An Province, too.



              1. Maikel Lybaert says:
                June 15, 2023 at 2:11 PM

                Hi Tom,

                Another question: Do you have experience riding further north all the way to Hanoi? There’s one obvious route going via HCM-highway, but since i’m with the bicycle i was considering taking a slightly more direct route and one with slightly more accommodation options (as far as i can tell on google maps). i was thinking from:

                – Dong Hoi direction of Phong Nha, cutting through to QL12A, follow to Dong Le, and then follow AH131 to Ky Anh
                – Ky Anh take back roads passing several artificial lakes along a road DT21/DT70 which doesn’t seem entirely marked yet on maps. Ending up at around Duc Tho
                – Duc Tho go mostly via QL15 to Tan Ky (or perhaps take some back roads as there seems to be many options) and via DT 15 to Thai Hoa
                – Thai Hoa via Ben Sung to Trieu Son – Thieu Hoa to Vinh Loc.
                – Vinh Loc via Cuc Phuong or Ninh Binh to Duc Khé where there are some nice pagoda’s and back to Hanoi

                Have you experience on (some of) these stretches? Or am i wasting my time looking into these areas and should i just take my chance on the HCM-road because the scenery will be a lot better?


                1. Tom says:
                  June 16, 2023 at 9:42 AM

                  Hi Maikel,

                  I would go to Phong Nha and join the Ho Chi Minh Road from there: it’s a good road and nice landscape. If you want to make it a bit shorter, you could take QL15 for the stretch between near Ha Tinh and Tan Ky. There are accommodation options on the Ho Chi Minh Road: sometimes hotels, sometimes local guest houses called nhà nghỉ.



  3. Marcus Gillespie says:
    April 3, 2023 at 3:11 AM

    Hey Tom,

    Coracle is a great resource, thanks
    We are taking the fast boat to Vung Tau from Saigon.
    Looking to rent motorbikes for a trip up the coast to Hoi An. Do you have any recommendations on one way motorbike rental?
    Aloha, Marcus

    1. Tom says:
      April 4, 2023 at 1:29 AM

      Hi Marcus,

      You can probably find motorbikes to rent in Vung Tau in some of the expat bars, such as Belly’s and Ned Kelly’s. However, I doubt they do one-way rental. It’s probably a better idea to rent from one of the bigger companies that I mention on this page instead: you can either pick your bike up in Saigon and take the Can Gio ferry to Vung Tau, or maybe the rental company can arrange to transport the bike to Vung Tau for an extra fee.



  4. Adam says:
    May 3, 2022 at 3:29 AM

    Hey Tom,

    Used the weekend past to get some riding in again. Saigon > Phan Thiet > Cam Ranh > Quy Nhon

    Using your map and red lines where possible – Was a police trap setup at ‘Gelex Ninh Thuan’ (solar farm) before the sand dunes after Mui Dinh Ecopark.

    Claimed I was speeding, which I was not. Asked for proof, they couldn’t provide it and asked for 300k bribe which I did not pay as I have full documents and was not speeding. They were pulling in every single bike while I was stopped there.

    1. Tom says:
      May 4, 2022 at 2:09 AM

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the update. If you were riding there over the recent holiday (anytime between 29 April to 3 May) the police may have been out because of the increase in traffic and speeders during that time. I rode through there twice just a month ago and didn’t see any police.

      Thanks again,


  5. robbie says:
    June 17, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    Hi Tom
    great post 🙂
    i am thinking of starting in danang late october and travelling to hmc do you think its achievable in 8 nights stopping at the following places
    kontum 2 nights
    pleiku 1 night
    buon ma thout 1 night
    nha trang 2 nights
    dalat 2 nights
    thanks and keep up the great posts.

    1. Tom says:
      June 19, 2020 at 7:50 AM

      Hi Robbie,

      Sorry for the slow reply.

      Yes, that itinerary is possible. Your first day from Danang to Kon Tum is a long ride (around 300km) so it will take you the best part of a day. Most of the other days are very doable.

      I hope you enjoy the ride,


      1. Robbie says:
        June 19, 2020 at 1:15 PM

        Hi Tom
        thanks for the reply i didn’t realize it was so far to Kontum from Danang i will break it up and stay somewhere between the two, if you have done that route any suggestions will be much appreciated thanks for your help.

        1. Robbie says:
          June 19, 2020 at 1:39 PM

          Hi tom
          this will be my first time in Vietnam i’m wondering what will be the most scenic and exciting ride, i can either go from Hanoi to Nha trang or Danang to hmc , what would you advise i have approximately 11 days to ride.
          thanks again Robbie.

          1. Tom says:
            June 21, 2020 at 11:18 AM

            Hi Robbie,

            I think Danang to HCMC is a good option. The only problem with that is you miss out the Western Ho Chi Minh Road (see section 5 of this guide) which is extraordinary.

            If I were you I would start in Danang and ride up to Thanh My on QL14B, then join the Truong Son Dong Road all the way to M’drak, then go down to Nha Trang on QL26 and DT8, and then take the coast road all the way down to Phan Rang (make sure you take the coast road, not Highway 1), then take QL27 & 20 up to Dalat, then take one of the Dalat Back Roads down to Saigon.

            I hope this helps,


            1. Robbie says:
              June 22, 2020 at 10:31 AM

              Hi Tom
              That is brilliant thank you so much for your help, i will book my rooms and motorcycle hire through the links in your site so hopefully you will get some reward, thanks again stay safe

              1. Tom says:
                June 22, 2020 at 10:42 AM

                Thanks, Robbie. I appreciate that.


        2. Tom says:
          June 21, 2020 at 11:09 AM

          Hi Robbie,

          For more details about the route see sections 2 & 3 of my Ho Chi Minh Road Guide, which covers much of your ride between Danang and Buon Ma Thuot. You might also be interested in the Truong Son Dong Road which runs parallel to the Ho Chi Minh Road as an alternative route.


  6. Ollie says:
    February 22, 2020 at 1:17 PM

    Hi tom,
    Me and friends right now are in Ninh Binh and are wondering which is the best route south and where to go next such as Vinh. We travelled in the QL14 and was wondering if there are whiter roads from Ninh Binh south.

    1. Tom says:
      February 23, 2020 at 1:30 AM

      Hi Ollie,

      I would suggest cutting due west from Ninh Binh back into the mountains, then joining QL15 (the Ho Chi Minh Road) going south. This is a much nicer ride than staying on the coast in that region. For more details see sections 6, 7, 8 of this guide.

      You could go to Vinh, but again I think it’s nicer to stay in the mountains in that region – there are local hotels and guest houses along the Ho Chi Minh Road, some of them are marked in my guide.

      I hope this helps,


  7. Neil Murdoch says:
    January 28, 2020 at 9:55 AM

    This is gold mate……its clear you’ve put your heart n soul into this site…
    Im off on a central highlands n Phong Nha motorbike trip next month…
    Ive planned everything from the info you have provided…..just hope its not all rain,rain,rain!!
    Thx for a superb guide Tom……happy Tet..

    1. Tom says:
      January 29, 2020 at 7:04 AM

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks! I hope your road trip goes according to plan and that the weather isn’t a problem 🙂

      Good luck,


  8. Lizzie says:
    December 30, 2019 at 6:42 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Me and my boyfriend are in Da Nang and will fly to Nha Trang on 2nd Jan where we will have 5/6 days with a motorbike (automatic) to get to HCMC.

    Do you happened have tips on motorbike rental near the airport? We’re flying on Cam Ranh airport and want to hand in the bike in HCMC.

    We want to take only the necessary on the bike as we are sharing one together so we would like to send our bags ahead to HCMC. Any help on this would be appreciated as it seems very easy to arrange in some places but we’ve had no luck yet in Da Nang.

    We plan on doing max 100 kilometers a day, on average how long does it take to ride that distance along the coast?

    Your blog has been an amazing help btw your insights and passion really helped us plan our Vietnam adventure!


    1. Tom says:
      December 30, 2019 at 1:32 PM

      Hi Lizzie,

      I don’t personally know of a bike rental place near the airport – and I think it’s unlikely there is one near there that meets your needs. You will probably have to find one in Nha Trang instead. Most of the things you mention should be possible, but only with one of the more reputable of the motorbike rental companies. Take a look at the companies I recommend on this page. But bear in mind that they usually need advanced notice before arranging the things that you want them to do.

      100km a day should be fine – it should only take 2-3 hours to ride that distance, but that doesn’t include stops.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Lizzie says:
        December 31, 2019 at 5:04 AM

        Thanks for your swift reply!

  9. Terri and Bob says:
    September 5, 2019 at 8:53 AM

    Hi Tom, my husband and I have 3 months in Vietnam beginning the end of November. We are bicyclists and wanting nightly accommodations (no camping). We are drawn mostly to the mountains and low traffic routes. What itinerary would you suggest? Which roads to avoid? Your blog is amazing, but how to choose???? Thank you for any help!!

    1. Tom says:
      September 7, 2019 at 12:13 PM

      Hi Terri & Bod,

      Well, there are lots of routes to choose from in the mountains. If you’re planning on riding the length of the country then I suggest you take a look at this page.

      You can use the Ho Chi Minh Road the whole way, which stays in the mountain – just make sure to stay at this hotel between Khe Sanh and Phong Nha.

      Or, for the southern section of the Ho Chi Minh Road you could ride the Truong Son Dong Road instead, and then link it with the Back Roads to Dalat

      Bear in mind that at that time of year, the weather anywhere north of Danang (or even Nha Trang) is likely to deteriorate.

      In the north, there are loads of great mountain routes which you can browse here.

      3 months gives you plenty of time, but if you stay in the mountains, some of the riding will be very tough and fairly slow.

      In even fairly small towns, there’s usually at least one local guest house like these.

      I hope this helps,


  10. Melissa says:
    April 13, 2019 at 2:42 AM

    How long do you recommend for a motortrip from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh, mainstops: Dalat, Nha Trang and Mui ne? We were thinking about 3 weeks?


    1. Tom says:
      April 13, 2019 at 5:59 AM

      Hi Melissa,

      Yes, 3 weeks is plenty of time.


  11. Simon says:
    January 6, 2019 at 6:27 AM

    Hi Tom

    Driving down from Nha Trang to Mui Ne in a few weeks. Was wondering what your opinion was of the two short 25-30KM stints on QL1A? Between Cam Ranh and Binh Lap and just after Phan Rang.

    Also do you think we would have any issues getting our bikes on the train from Phan Thiet to Saigon a few days before Tet? I assume the reverse might be a problem but wasn’t sure on motorbike traffic returning to Saigon. We’ve anticipated there might be an issue and can take an extra day if necessary to fully drive back along the coastal road but would prefer taking the train.



    1. Tom says:
      January 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      Hi Simon,

      Those two sections of Highway 1 are fine: Cam Ranh to the Binh Lap turn off is a good road surface and only takes about 30 minutes. The same goes for the section between Ca Na and Lien Huong (between Phan Rang and Ca Na is the Dragon’s Graveyard Road, which is sublime). If you’re worried about traffic, you can try to time it so that you hit the Highway 1 sections at lunchtime – when most of the trucks and buses stop for food.

      Yes, good question: it’s definitely worth planning that extra day in just in case you can’t get your bikes on the Phan Thiet-Saigon train. Also, I always try to book my book on that train at the station in Phan Thiet the day before I travel, just to be safe.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Simon says:
        January 9, 2019 at 7:19 AM

        Thanks Tom, hoping to do Binh Lap to Phan Thiet in one day ideally hit the station before the beach!

        1. Tom says:
          January 9, 2019 at 8:18 AM

          Hi Simon,

          Yes, that’s possible, but it’s a full (and fantastic) day’s ride.


  12. Jaipal Singh Goud says:
    December 26, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    Hey Tom,

    Great write up. I’ve just got a simple query.

    Do you this route from HCMC -> Hoi An can be completed in 8 days?
    Would it be possible to include a quick detour to Dalat from Phan Thiet and then continue on the route again.
    Also, it’s two of us. Would you recommend a XR 150 or a Blade 110 for this route?

    Thanks a ton again! 😀

    1. Tom says:
      December 26, 2018 at 10:29 AM

      Hi Jaipal,

      You don’t need more than a Blade for this route, but the XR is a bigger, better bike, but it’s also more expensive.

      You can ride the Coast Road from HCM to Hoi An in 8 days, but it’s a long way and you will need to ride every day. If you add Dalat to the itinerary then you are adding an extra day to the route.

      What might be a good idea is to start the route from Phan Thiet (not HCM) – do this by taking yourself and your bikes on the train from HCM to Phan Thiet. Then you can either head straight up to Dalat on road QL28 or QL28B and down the next day on Road QL27 or QL27C and rejoin the Coast Road from either Phan Rang or Nha Trang respectively, or simply take the Coast Road straight from Phan Thiet.

      To avoid the police on the coast road just out of Mui Ne make sure you read the first few paragraphs and look at the map in this guide.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Jaipal Singh Goud says:
        December 26, 2018 at 10:40 AM

        Hey Tom,

        Thanks for the super fast response. Just a couple of follow up questions.

        1. From Phan Thiet, I can head into Mui Ne and then continue the route to Dalat and then meet back at Nha Trang as you’d recommended. This should be 8 days in total, with about ~150 km (4 Hours) riding everyday?

        2. Would it be possible to camp anywhere on the route that you’ve suggested?

        3. Is there anything “special” I’ll be missing in the train journey from HCMC -> Phan Thiet.

        Thanks for all the help and a Merry Christmas!

        1. Tom says:
          December 26, 2018 at 10:47 AM

          Yes, that’s possible.

          The best parts of the Coast Road are between Mui Ne and Nha Trang, and Tuy Hoa to just north of Quy Nhon, so it doesn’t matter much if you take the train to Phan Thiet and miss the first section.

          For camping take a look at this guide.


  13. anna says:
    May 9, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    Hey Tom,

    We had an INCREDIBLE ride today from Bao Loc to our airbnb which is in between Cam Rahn and Nha Trang (you have to stay here one time, it’s a treehouse for $35 a night and it is amazing!).

    The QL20/QL27 and DT656 were great. The start of DT656 was under contstruction (it was basically a big quarry), so we went along a road adjacent to it. We covered 265ks today. Ryan absolutely loved the descent with switch backs on DT656 and QL20 (I think it was on those).

    Question: Currently looking for accommodation between Quy Nhon and Hoi An. There doesn’t seem to be much at all except for a hotel called Sa Huynh Resort, which has some awful reviews.

    Your guides have helped us so much!

    1. Tom says:
      May 10, 2018 at 1:34 AM

      Hi Anna,

      Great to hear you enjoyed that ride – the ‘quarry section’ of DT656 is just the old road; the new one is the one adjacent to it that you took, but when I mapped that route the new road wasn’t showing on Google Maps so I couldn’t include it 🙂

      I’ve heard of the Treehouse near Cam Ranh – my friend stayed there recently and told me about it. Sounds great, I can’t wait to visit.

      Between Quy Nhon and Hoi An, you can stay at Trung Luong Camping (but that’s not far north of Quy Nhon), but after that there are some hotels at Tam Quan before the Coast Road joins Highway 1, and then Quang Ngai city, and My Khe beach (just east of Quang Ngai), and a few places in and around Tam Ky and Tam Thanh beach – as well as Sa Huynh, of course, which isn’t too bad for a night stop by the beach.

      I hope you enjoy it – I’m jealous: at the beach now, but have to head back to Saigon soon.


    2. Katrina Muirhead says:
      September 9, 2018 at 1:00 PM

      Hi Anna
      We are planning a trip to Vietnam next year. What is the name of your airbnb? (The treehouse)


      1. Tom says:
        September 9, 2018 at 1:06 PM

        Hi Katrina,

        It’s Tony’s Tree House – Google it and it’ll come up.


  14. Noemi Rav says:
    February 26, 2018 at 8:32 PM

    Ps: I mean 18 days minus 3-4 days in Saigon equal 14 days on the road

  15. Noemi Rav says:
    February 26, 2018 at 8:30 PM

    Hi Tom,

    You are ‘responsible’ for 5th trip to Vietnam this summer, first time at that time of year. Your blog pops into my mailbox regularly and the last post was one too many to resist! So, thank you again for sharing your passion.

    Two questions for you: I’ll be in Saigon for 18 days starting early July, renting a scooter and heading north, possibly as a loop coast/inland. I have friends in Hoi An but concerned 14 days (minus the 3-4 days in Saigon) might be too short to push up there and not be constantly on the saddle. Ideally I’d like to ride every couple days and find cool discovery spots in between (food is a big focus).
    – Which itinerary would you recommend to get a taste of coast and inland? (It’s my first time in that central part)
    – is there any significant difference between weather between Saigon and Dalat, and further up between Nha Trang and Hoi An?

    Thanks again!!


    1. Tom says:
      February 27, 2018 at 5:34 AM

      Hi Noemi,

      The weather at that time of year will be quite similar all along the coast: hot and humid with tropical downpours in the afternoons. In Dalat it will be much cooler, particularly in the evenings, but also quite wet.

      14 days is OK, but it’s probably a good idea to put your bike on the train from Saigon to somewhere like Mui Ne or Nha Trang and start there instead (or you can get your rental company to ship in there in advance for you to pick it up). For more about sending your bike on the train from Saigon to Mui Ne this this.

      This would give you time to head up the coastal road outlined on this page from Mui Ne to Quy Nhon, then you could head inland to meet the Ho Chi Minh Road from Plieku or Kon Tum all the way to Kham Duc or Thanh My and then head back down to the coast again for Hoi An. For more about this route see sections 2 & 3 of this guide.

      I hope this helps,


  16. chessie says:
    February 24, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    i only recently learned to drive a motorbike (while traveling in Vietnam, which has quickly become my favorite country, & i can see why you moved here) – your blog is giving me all kinds of good ideas, just wanted to thank you for these posts – & the detailed maps accompanying them. so far my longest trip has only been from Hoi An to Hue (& back to Da Nang a few days later to return the bike – i did travel part of the way up further towards Dong Hoi but didn’t have enough time to do the whole Phong Nha spelunking thing & wanted to save that road for when i do…) & traveling over the Hai Van Pass was magical – can see why everyone waxes poetic over that road, & on my way back to Da Nang i even saw a couple having their wedding photographs taken along one of the “selfie strips” where everyone pulls over to take in the view! i’m hoping to try one of your Saigon-Hanoi routes next time i visit – if i can get a good helmet-cam so i’m not pulling over every 5 minutes to snap photos…
    my favorite bikes rented thus far have been Nouvos – pleasantly surprised to see that’s what you drive – anyway enough fanboy babble from me – keep up the great posts, perhaps i shall see you & Stavros on the road someday!

    1. Tom says:
      February 25, 2018 at 6:28 AM

      Hi Chessie,

      Thanks, it’s really great to hear that you’ve been enjoying my website and that you like Vietnam so much.

      I hope that you get lots more chances to go on road trips all over the country and see even more of what Vietnam has to offer.

      And, yes, perhaps Stavros and I will bump into you one day 🙂


  17. greg says:
    February 10, 2018 at 9:49 PM

    Hi, I love the information you provide and thank you for doing such an excellent job. I am planning on riding from HCM to Hanoi with a friend. We will be renting the Honda Winner 150cc and leaving on Feb 27th with arrival in Hanoi no later than March 8th. We are considering taking a train to Mui Ne and bypassing the ride out of HCM. We have talked with a guide and he recommends we start out trip in Danang. We would like to ride the beach route but want to know if we are pushing it by trying to complete the ride in 10days?? Also what are your feeling about starting in Danang and missing everything south? Aside from us paying the rental fee of the bikes our guide will be charging us $130. US per day per person. Do this sound reasonable. Thank you for your guidance g

    1. Tom says:
      February 12, 2018 at 1:25 AM

      Hi Greg,

      10 days is not really enough to ride from Mui Ne to Hanoi – it’s doable but you will probably need to cover more than 200km each day, which again is doable but not particularly relaxing and especially not if you’re not used to riding in Vietnam.

      The north and the south are very different: in very general terms, the south is more about the beaches and the north is more about the mountains. However, at that time of year the weather will probably still be quite grey and cool north of Danang, whereas as south of Danang it’s good. So take that into consideration when making your decision.

      Perhaps it’s best to start in Nha Trang and head to Danang – most motorbike rental companies should be able to arrange for you to pick up your motorbike in Nha Trang and return it to Hanoi.

      $130 per day is OK. As a yardstick: when I travel with my family and we hire a driver it costs $100 per day, including the driver’s food and accommodation, and gas.

      I hope this helps,


      1. Greg Bodnar says:
        February 13, 2018 at 4:55 PM

        Tom, Thank you for your insight. I love reading your blog. It looks like the guide wants to start our trip in Danang and go north. I guess we will forgo the beaches for more mountain scenery. We will also have a more relaxing ride without pushing to many KM a day. If any more questions come up I will definitely contact you. All the best. Ride on !!! Greg

  18. Beatrice A says:
    January 9, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Hi Tom
    First off, I should say that your blog is outstanding! I really appreciate for your detailed and informative share. Your blog has information that I couldn’t find any other websites. Thank you so much 🙂
    I’m visiting Vietnam from 19th of January to 2nd of February, in and out from Da Nang. My initial plan for this trip is scooting around little bit of Vietnam, but no fixed plan regarding where to head. Thanks to you, I could get the dimmest idea of routes I want to take. (Da Nang to Saigon on the coast line, Saigon to Da Nang on the inland route which was suggested from your blog.) As I have 14 days in Vietnam, my plan is to spend 10 days on the road (round trip to Saigon from Da Nang) and spend 2-3 days in Saigon.
    Your blog had all the necessary information I need for this motorbike trip (Even infos about swimming pool! I always check out pools whenever I visit new places. One of the reasons why I want to stay in Saigon for at least 2 days.), but I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind answering.
    First one is about motorbike. The smallest motorbike I rode was a scooter and the biggest motorbike was Honda cb600F. I’m debating over which motorbike I should rent: Honda Blade 110cc or Honda XR 150cc. I feel like 110cc wouldn’t be powerful enough for me, but at the same time I’m not planning to enjoy the speed for this trip. It’s more about enjoying the scenery on the way. In that case, do you think 110cc is sufficient enough for me? (Not to forget, it’s cheaper.)
    Also, it may sound a bit foolish, but I was wondering if it’s safe to go on a motorbike trip on my own. I’m pretty small Korean woman, which I believe puts me in to different position than of yours. I’m not worried about riding motorbike itself as I have done it in Korea, Philippines, Guam, and Amsterdam-Germany/Belgium. I presume going on a motorbike trip in Vietnam would be similar to the one I had in Philippines, but that time I was with friends and I could speak the language. I’m not concerned about big cities like Da Nang or Hanoi, but small towns or remote areas on the way. In your opinion, do you think I should be concerned about overall safety? (In regards of rape, burglary, etc)
    Looking forward to your reply and thank you for taking your time!

    1. Tom says:
      January 12, 2018 at 12:40 PM

      Hi Beatrice,

      Yes, certainly a Honda Blade is sufficient to cover any of the routes that are on my website. However, some people do prefer the XR because of the extra power etc. but it’s definitely not necessary, unless you’re planning to go off-road of course.

      I don’t think you need to be worried about travelling as a solo Korean woman in Vietnam. Vietnam is still a lot safer and more hospitable country to travel in compared to many Western nations. Just take all the normal precautions you would when travelling anywhere else and you should be fine. One difference might be that, because you are Asian, you may get treated a little differently from ‘white travellers’. For example, you will probably be mistaken as Vietnamese occasionally, and people might just assume that you speak the language. This is more likely to happen in remote areas than in more cosmopolitan places where tourists often go.

      I hope this helps,


  19. Sven says:
    January 8, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Hi Tom,
    it is possible to avoid the 25 Km just in front of Tam Ky. There are ferrys that connect Tam Hai island with the mainland. We made this part on july, when we startet from Hoi An via Quang Ngai to ride the road east of the long mountains, wich was fantastic. You can just ride on the ferry and then over the island and go back on the mainland with another very small ferry. Thats very funny.
    Thank you Tom for your great work!!
    Me and my familie and friends made a lot of your suggested tours, north, south, central…. and we loved them all.
    Thanks for your inspiration!

    Best regards Sven

    1. Tom says:
      January 8, 2018 at 3:57 PM

      Hi Sven,

      That’s great! Thanks. I did try to do that last summer, but I was told there weren’t any boats. I’ll definitely persevere next time.

      Thanks for the tip, and it’s great to hear you enjoyed riding around the country last July.


  20. Marie Marange says:
    January 7, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Hi Ton, im going to do the road trip Ha Tien .
    So many things to do . Thank you for your great job . For the last one you’ve posted right now i’m really exited to do it in the future
    We have on your website so many informations and plans and so many ideas ….
    Do you have a road tripto go to Ca Mau ??? Take a flight first and rent scooter . hanks a lot again

    1. Tom says:
      January 7, 2018 at 4:08 PM

      Hi Marie,

      Glad you like the guides.

      Yes, I’ve written a guide to riding to Ca Mau here, but it hasn’t been updated for a while.

      I hope this helps,