Vietnam's narrow waistline may be short in girth, but is loaded with possibilities. Discover the grand tombs of the Nguyen kings as well as the Imperial Citadel in Hue, before cycling the infamous Hai Van Pass, commonly regarded as the best coastal road in the world. Finally, reveal the UNESCO listed town of Hoi An and nearby ruins of My Son.
Hue is one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam and served as its political capital from 1802 to 1945 under the rule of the 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. To this day the city remains one of Vietnam's most important cultural, religious and educational centers. Hue was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 and attracts visitors from around the world.
Today, we cycle from the hotel to explore some of Hue’s most important cultural sites. The first stop is at the Imperial Citadel, which is modeled after the Forbidden City in China. While much of this site was destroyed during the Tet Offensive, visitors can still gain a clear understanding of how the royal family lived in the peak of their rule. After exploring the ruins the tour continues with a cruise along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, before returning to the saddle for a bike ride to the Minh Mang Mausoleum. Guests then make one more loop across the Perfume River back to Hue, via the mausoleum and another stop in Khai Dinh. Overnight in Hue.
- Romance Hue Hotel
- Eldora Hotel Hue
Imperial Citadel, Perfume River Cruise
This morning, cycle through the countryside around Hue, traveling along back roads to visit the traditional village of Phuoc Tich. The route passes through many untouched villages (including the Catholic village, bamboo village, incense village and more) and local markets.
Many homes in Phuoc Tich date back 200 years and incorporate Feng Shui design elements. Enjoy a traditional lunch with Uncle Ho Van Te and learn more about the history of the village. In the afternoon, transfer back Hue and enjoy a royal dinner. Overnight in Hue.
Leave Hue for Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries where the architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. The scenic route passes through the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the “Hai Van Pass”.
Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. In the afternoon, hop on a bicycle for a country loop around Hoi An. Starting from Hoi An city center, the ride heads out along backroads into the countryside, passing through peaceful villages and vegetable farms. Guests can stop at a pagoda, have a cup of tea and possibly even talk to the local monks. They can also choose to join the local farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed.
Continue by crossing to Cam Thanh islet and discover how locals turn coconut leaves into natural thatched roofs for their houses. Keep cycling along Thu Bon River to the fishing village until sunset – a special moment of the day. There is no better place to see this than beside a coconut palm plantation on the Thu Bon River. Along the way, take a chance to paddle in a local basket boat known as a “thung chai”. Overnight in Hoi An.
- Vinh Hung 1 Heritage Hotel
- Ancient House Hoi An
Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, Cam Thanh Islet
After another night in Hoi An, the next morning starts with a bicycle ride out of town to My Son. The ride is worth the effort in itself and is arguably one of the best rides of the trip. Guests are driven out of town to avoid the highway before cycling along scenic country roads surrounded by rice paddies, through eucalyptus forests and passing many scenic villages. The road climbs away from the coast that gives guests the opportunity to see the view from the mountain top.
Along the way, the road cuts though a gorge to the lush jungle alongside the Song Tranh River, before guests arrive in My Son, which was once the Champa Kingdom’s main religious complex. Although many of the temples were destroyed during the war, there is still enough of the archaeological site left to impress most visitors. Have lunch before spending the afternoon visiting the site. In the afternoon, transfer back to Hoi An by bus. Spend the rest of the day wandering around and enjoying the charm of Hoi An’s old quarter or relaxing at hotel.
The town was known as Faifo to early western traders and was one of Southeast Asia’s major trading ports during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was an important port-of-call for Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese traders and the architecture reflects its cosmopolitan past. More than anywhere in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of the past. There are more than 844 structures of historical significance in the town. Overnight in Hoi An.
My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Old Quarter
Guests are free leisure until the times comes to transfer to Da Nang Airport for their onward flight.
MORE TOURS HERE