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Ho Chi Minh Trails Biking Tour from Hanoi - Hoi An - 12 days / 11 nights

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Tour: Vietnam Biking Tours
Duration: 12 Days
Descriptions: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Pu Luong - Ngoc Lac - Vinh - Huong Khe - Phong Nha - Khe Sanh - Aluoi - Hue - Hoi An - M...

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You will travel through remote areas where Westerners are still a rarity. You will take in the beautiful limestone mountains of the Truong Son Mountain Range

The system developed into an intricate maze of 18-foot (5.5 m) wide dirt roads (paved with gravel and corduroyed in some areas), foot and bicycle paths, and truck parks. There were numerous supply bunkers, storage areas, barracks, hospitals, and command and control facilities. All of this was concealed from aerial observation by an intricate system of natural and man-made camouflage that was constantly expanded and replaced. By 1973, trucks could drive the entire length of the trail without emerging from the canopy except to ford streams or cross them on crude bridges built beneath the surface of the water.

The popular conception of the logistical arrangements on the trail sometimes bordered on the romantic. The image of barefoot hordes pushing heavily-loaded bicycles, driving oxcarts, or acting as human pack animals, moving hundreds of tons of supplies in this manner was quickly supplanted by trucks (especially Soviet, Chinese, or Eastern Bloc models), which quickly replaced the human as the main method of supply transportation. As early as December 1961, the 3rd Truck Transportation Group of PAVN's General Rear Services Department had become the first motor transport unit fielded by the North Vietnamese to work the trail and the use of motor transport quickly escalated.

As you follow the route once used by North Vietnamese soldiers on their way to war, you will travel through remote areas where Westerners are still a rarity. You will take in the beautiful limestone mountains of the Truong Son Mountain Range. Visit historical sites dating back to the 15th, the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Phong Nha National Park. For war buffs, it will be possible to visit the site of the US combat base at Khe Sanh, where one of the most famous battles of the war took place. This is a challenging adventure with basic accommodation, but providing a unique insight into remote Vietnam.

Day 1
Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong (25km cycling) (B,L)
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Day 2
Pu Luong – Ngoc Lac (70km cycling) (B,L)
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Day 3
Ngoc Lac – Kim Lien - Vinh (60km cycling) (B,L)
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Day 4
Vinh – Huong Khe (80km cycling) (B,L) (G)
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Day 5
Huong Khe – Phong Nha (80km cycling) (B,L)
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Day 6
Phong Nha – Camlo – Khe Sanh (80km cycling) (B, L) (G)
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Day 7
Khe Sanh – Aluoi (65km cycling) (B, L) (G)
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Day 8
Aluoi – Hue (60km cycling) (B, L) (G)
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Day 9
Hue (no cycling) (B) (G)
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Day 10
Hue – Hoi An (100km cycling) (B, L) (G)
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Day 11
Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (100km cycling) (B, L) (G)
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Day 12
Hoi An – Da Nang (Departure) (B) (G)
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TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong (25km cycling) (B,L)
Head to Mai Chau before taking a ride on an old supply route of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, along a spectacular and undulating river valley towards Hoi Xuan and Pu Luong. Overnight in Pu Luong Nature Reserve homestay.

Day 2 : Pu Luong – Ngoc Lac (70km cycling) (B,L)
Leave Pu Luong behind and ride on a more undulating terrain route, with tarmac all the way, to Ngoc Lac. Overnight in Ngoc Lac.

Day 3: Ngoc Lac – Kim Lien - Vinh (60km cycling) (B,L)
Ride on the newly built two- lane Ho Chi Minh Highway to Kim Lien the birthplace of president Ho Chi Minh, before driving out of the mountains to Vinh. Overnight in Vinh- close to the beach.

Day 4: Vinh – Huong Khe (80km cycling) (B,L) (G)
Drive back up onto the Ho Chi Minh Highway and cycle along the increasingly mountainous highways to Huong Khe. Overnight in Huong Khe

Day 5: Huong Khe – Phong Nha (80km cycling) (B,L)
Ride from Huong Khe to Phong Nha, on the tranquil Ho Chi Minh Trail, with mountains rising and roads winding up, down and along the hillsides. Overnight in Phong Nha.

Day 6: Phong Nha – Camlo – Khe Sanh (80km cycling) (B, L) (G)
Take a smoother cycling on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Cam Lo before transferring to Khe Sanh near the Laos border. Overnight in Khe Sanh.

Day 7: Khe Sanh – Aluoi (65km cycling) (B, L) (G)
Ride through spectacular scenery to Khe Sanh combat base, and head to Aluoi along the traffic- free but more undulating terrain of the southern part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Overnight in Aluoi.

Day 8: Aluoi – Hue (60km cycling) (B, L) (G)
Ride cut across the trail to Hue, due to the bad roads south of Aluoi. Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Hue (no cycling) (B) (G)
Rest day with a sightseeing trip within Hue: Forbidden Purple City/ Boat ride along the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue.

Day 10: Hue – Hoi An (100km cycling) (B, L) (G)
Ride for climbing uphill to the Hai Van Pass (pass of the mountain clouds), before taking an epic ride (by motorbike) coast down to Danang followed by a ride to Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 11: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (100km cycling) (B, L) (G)
Ride out of Hoi An town to My Son, on scenic country back roads passing paddy fields, villages and through eucalyptus forest and lush jungle along the Song Tranh River. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 12: Hoi An – Da Nang (Departure) (B) (G)
Free at leisure until transfer to Danang for onward flight. Hohidaytoindochina.com would like to thank you so much for your traveling with us. We wish you all the best and hope to arrange your next Vietnam tour. Goodbye and see you again!

END OF SERVICE

Inclusion:
•    All transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
•    Accommodation based on twin/double sharing
•    English speaking guide (Other luaguages on request)
•    Entrance fees to indicated sights and activities as indicated
•    Mountain bike with disk brakes, helmets, gloves and water
•    Meals as indicated in the itinerary
•    Bottled mineral water during touring days

Exclusion:
•    Drinks
•    Other meals
•    Insurance
•    Personal expenses
•    Expenses for any optional tours or activities during free time

If you do not know how to plan your Vietnam tour and Indochina holiday, please read our FAQ's below to get some information or send us an email at info@holidaytoindochina.com and one of our experienced travel consultants will be ready and happy to answer your questions as well as organise your amazing holiday in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and combination.

How to plan my Vietnam tour/Indochina holiday with you?
1. Send us an inquiry by submiting one of our online forms (Click). Tell us as much information as possible. For example;

  • Please tell us how many people will be traveling with you, date of birth, if you have children, please tell us how old is/are the kid(s).
  • Please tell us your preferred hotels, level of hotel (3, 4 or 5 stars), type of hotel, type of room...
  • Please tell us your type of travel, length of travel and activities that you are interested in. For example; Family with kids, Couple's vacation, Honeymoon, Friends, Shopping, Sightseeing, Leisure and Relaxing, Cuisine & Cooking, Kayaking, Caves & Grottoes, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, Minority, Adventure & Discovery...
  • Please tell us where and what you want to visit, if you do not know much about Vietnam, just give us your travel plan and ideas.
  • Most of our tour guide are English speaking tour guides, but if you want another language like French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese... we can always arrange. Please tell us what you do you expect from your guides, for example; you want a guide with sense of humor? Good knowledge in history & culture? Male/Female guide? Talkative/Untalkative? Young/Old guide?
  • Please advise if you want breakfast included only or also Lunch and Dinner, and please let us know if you are a Vegetarian, the food you can eat or cant not, if you want local food in local restautants or western food in tourist restantant...?
  • Actually, you do not have to send us all information, but the more we know, the better we plan your Vietnam tour.

2. After we receive your enquiry, one of our professional Vietnam travel consultants reply and send you the suggested tour itinerary as soon as possible.

3. If you accept the suggested tour itinerary (you may modify it till you are satisfied with), we will calculate the tour cost and send you the tour price. If you accept it, please confirm that you would like to book it.

How to proceed to book Vietnam tour/Indochina holiday with you?

  • When you decide to book your Vietnam tour/Indochina holiday with us, please send us your full name (name on passport) for hotel and domestic flight reservations, and your international flight details (in and out) for airport transfers.

How to pay the deposit and the balance?

  • Deposit: When the booking is completely confirmed, we will send you confirmation details including confirmed itinerary, invoice, voucher. Then you are required to send the deposit which is about 30% of the total tour cost (can be less). You can pay by credit cards (via onepay gateway, pay online), wire/bank transfer, western union. The deposit is used to pay the flight tickets, hotels, train tickets in advance.
  • Balance: You can pay the outstanding balance 2 weeks before your arrival, or you can pay us on your arrival in Vietnam by credit cards, cash (AUD, USD, EUROS, VND...)
  • More about credit card payment via OnePay: ONEPAY - ONLINE PAYMENT GATEWAY (VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX & JCB ACCEPTED)
    Like PayPal, OnePAY is a payment gateway but specialized in Vietnam where the PayPal has not yet reached. This is a perfect and the first payment processor which gains reputation among clients about its efficiency and timely friendly support.

    OnePAY in cooperation with biggest bank in Vietnam - Vietcombank which has been implemented this service among many tour operators in Vietnam.

    OnePAY is approved by MasterCard for this payment collection on the behalf of us. OnePAY uses SSL Verisign® over internet transaction under 3D-Secure program by respective creditcard companies so you are free from worries your card information disclosed. OnePAY payment portal also meets standards of international financial system such as PCI DSS of PCI Security Standards Council, 3D-Secure of Visa, MasterCard and JCB.

Note: Before coming, please make sure you have all travel documents such as; confirmed tour, invoice, flight tickets..., especially the visa to Vietnam and Indochina is done.

What about tipping?

  • The tour guides and drivers expect tips, but it is not mandatory. You can tip more or less, or nothing that depends on the serviced provided. We recommend that you trip the tour guides; US$ 10 - 15  per day anddrivers: US$ 7-10 per day. Tipping at restaurants, tuk tuk, cyclo, taxi..., our tour guides will give you the advice.

Do you offer any discounts?
Yes, we offer discounts for;

  •  Family with kids and children < 12 years old
  •  Disable people
  •  People of old ages (> 65 years old)
  •  Repeated clients who have the second trip with us
  •  Travel in big group of friends, families (the more people, the cheaper the price is)
  •  We offer big discounts in low season (May - September)

Is there any charge if i change my travel dates, tour itinerary, hotels...?

  • We are happy to work on your requests, and will not charge you any money for all extra work. However, if it is too urgent and the date is too close, the hotels or airlines may charge you some money, in this case we will let you know.

What is the latest time that I can make my reservation?

  • We suggest you make reservations at least one month before the departure date. If you decide to travel to Vietnam/Indochina from October to April which is peak season, we recommend that you make the reservations two months (at least one) before your departure date. Late reservations can not be guaranteed for the availability of domestic flights, hotel rooms, etc. However, we can accept urgent booking, just 1-2 days before arrival. Things are possible at Holiday to Indochina.

What about Cancellation policy?

  • In case of cancellation, we will not impose any charges if we are not being charged and possible to get refund from our suppliers but if our suppliers apply charges for cancellation, you will have to pay those charges that apply. Cancellation policies vary, depending upon the type of service, the time of year, and the reason for cancellation. We will pass on to you all details of any cancellation policy with our transparent reply upon demand.

General cancellation charges that applied by travel services in Vietnam and Indochina.

  • Domestic flights: 25% of the fares
  • 3 star hotels, train tickets, no charge if you cancel 3-5 days before your arrival. (FIT)
  • 4 star hotels, 7 - 10 days before your arrival (FIT)
  • 5 stars hotels, 10 - 15 days before your arrival (FIT)

However, in peak season, we may have to pay the hotels one month before your arrival to secure the booking, and in this case, the cancellation policy will be based on the hotels' cancellation plolicies.

Can we get refund?

  • For the unused services, Holiday to Indochina will refund you.

How do I get a visa?

  • Vietnam Visa - For those who would like to avoid the perhaps lengthening visa procedures with their local Vietnam's Embassies, the service of  Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.

Steps to obtain Visa on arrival
a) Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa.

  • 1) Full name on passport (male/female)
  • 2) Passport number
  • 3) Date of birth
  • 4) Nationality
  • 5) Date of arrival
  • 6) Date of issue
  • 7) Date of expire
  • 8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months

b) How long does it take?

  • It will take 2-3 days (Normal process), 01 day (Urgent process) to get the “Visa Approval Letter” which we will send you via mail. What you need is to print it out and take it along to get the stamp at airports/borders

c) Get the stamp

  • Upon arrival, you will need to fill in a certain form with your personal information, get the stamp and visa will be done. For this process, you will need to prepare 02 photos (4*6) and $45 USD each in cash which is stamping fee.

Do our tour guides and drivers have meals with us?

  • The guide and the driver in each destination will dine at the same restaurant as yours. But, they will not join you unless you invite them.

Where can I change our money into Vietnam currency?

  • We advise you to stop in any Vietnamese bank during the tour (Our tour guides will take you to the bank), you can exchange money at your hotel, but the exchange rate is a bit lower than the bank's exchange rate.

Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?

  • Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.

Note: If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.

Do I need to bring my medical record with me?

  • Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event of an emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.

When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?

  • Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.

Private Guide & Transfer
Holiday to Indochina offers private tour packages across Vietnam and Indochina; During the tour, you will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across Indochina. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.

Tour Guide:
Holiday to Indochina does understand that a good tour guide will make your Indochina holiday a beautiful time and tour guides who work with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our culture, lifestyle, knowledge...with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint. All of our tour guides in Vietnam and other Indochina area are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos. If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience

Note: In Sapa or some mountainous areas, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic groups like H'Mong, or Red Dao as they know better than anyone else about their land, culture, customs and habits...

Holiday to Indochina's requirements for a good tour guide:

  •  5 years of experience working as a tour guide
  •  Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
  •  Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
  • Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
  •  Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
  • Clear speech and good hearing.
  • Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
  • Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer
  • Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
  • Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
  • Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
  • If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.

Transportation:
Holiday to Indochina guarantees to offer the best means of transport during your holiday in Vietnam and Indochina. The safety, comfort and security of our customers come first. We use only the latest modern cars, vans, coaches and all our drivers are full time workers, government licensed in the tourism industry with at least 5 years driving experience. We are fully in control of our quality and service as we own our vehicles.

Holiday to Indochina's requirements for a driver:

  • Our drivers must have good driving skills with at least 5 years of experience
  • Our drivers must keep the vehicles clean,
  • Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
  • Our drivers must be friendly, helpful.
  • Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
  • Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained.

 

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