Cycling Vietnam: From Pristine Beaches to the Heart of the Mekong Delta

“In Vietnam, every pedal stroke reveals a symphony of beauty — from lush landscapes to vibrant streets; cycling becomes the melody of discovery.”

The irresistible call of two wheels beckoned me once again, prompting my third cycling adventure to Vietnam. Having explored the enchanting routes from Hanoi to Danang in November 2022 and Danang to Ho Chi Minh in March 2023, I found myself drawn anew to the magnetic charm of this beautiful country.

Upon arriving in the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh on October 13, 2023, my plan was to explore the surrounding areas before venturing into the mystical realms of Cambodia. Choosing the scenic coastal roads from Nha Trang to Vung Tau, I faced the challenge of braving relentless 35+ degree Celsius temperatures. Despite the heat, the journey unfolded as a delightful ride, with pristine beaches, lively fishing villages, and hidden gems like traditional craft villages, ancient temples, and beautiful churches seamlessly transforming the challenging ride into an enjoyable exploration, revealing Vietnam’s diverse wonders with every pedal stroke.

Back in Ho Chi Minh City, my friend Thai, who owns the popular cycling holiday adventure company, Mr. Biker Saigon, suggested an enticing detour through the magical Mekong Delta. As I cycled through, the Delta unfolded before me like a living canvas, showcasing a rich cultural tapestry intricately woven with sprawling fruit farms, vibrant floating markets, and the warm hospitality of the locals, offering a deep connection with the heart and soul of Vietnam.

This blog post aims to serve as a guide, providing fellow adventurers with helpful information into routes, sights, and accommodations that can elevate your own cycling experience. May your wheels carry you through the vibrant tapestry of Vietnam, leaving you with memories of a cycling adventure like no other. Safe travels!


#1: October 15 – Sights of Saigon

I set out to explore the vibrant city of Saigon, having set up my cycle. Being a Sunday, the streets were quieter compared to the bustling weekdays, allowing for a more leisurely ride. As I traversed the city, I made sure to visit its iconic landmarks, such as the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral, the historic Independence Palace, and the modern Bitexco Financial Tower. Along the way, I took a moment to drop off some postcards at the Saigon Central Post Office, passed by the grandeur of the Opera House, and indulged in souvenir shopping at the bustling Ben Thanh Market. I also paused at Huyen Si Church to admire its serene beauty before continuing my journey.

Following the meandering banks of the Saigon River, I enjoyed breathtaking views of the city skyline. At Ho Chi Minh City Hall Park, I encountered a group of college students conducting a tourism survey. Engaging with them provided me with valuable insights into the city’s charm from a local perspective.

Distance: 21.01 km
Time: 2:20:39
Elev Gain: 55 m
Stay: Quy Hung Hotel, Saigon


#2: October 19 – Saigon Bus Station

To begin my cycling adventure, my original plan was to take a bus to Dalat and start my journey from there. However, there were no available buses that day, so I purchased a ticket to Nha Trang instead. With the bus station situated outside the city, I had to ride a distance of 10 km to reach the station.

Distance: 10.95 km
Time: 48:31
Elev Gain: 3 m
Stay: Quy Hung Hotel, Saigon


#3: October 20 – Nha Trang

The bus journey to Nha Trang took around 9 hours. Departing from the Saigon station at 7 pm, it made a couple of stops along the way before finally reaching Nha Trang at 4 in the morning. As it was still dark upon arrival, I decided to wait until sunrise before cycling into the city. Unfortunately, the Summer Hotel, where I had previously stayed in March, was closed for repairs. Consequently, I checked into an adjacent hotel instead.

Distance: 8.34 km
Time: 35:58
Elev Gain: 15 m
Stay: Homey Hotel, Nha Trang


#4: October 24 – Nha Trang to Ninh Hải

After spending a couple of days in Nha Trang, exploring attractions like the VinPearl Wonder amusement park and the Aquarium Institute, I began my journey southward back towards Saigon. Around 30 kilometers into my trip, I passed by the Cam Ranh Airport, where I met a local Vietnamese cyclist on his way home. Together, we cycled for a while.

As I continued my journey, I encountered various attractions along the route, each leaving a lasting impression. Among them were poignant reminders of history, including a monument monument erected in 2009, in honor of Vietnamese-Soviet military cooperation and the haunting ruins of a former French Benedictine monastery. I also discovered the serene beauty of the Xuan Ninh Parish Church, a large park dedicated to the memory of Ho Chi Minh, and the solemn Martyrs Cemetery. Further along my route, I encountered the Hoa Lai tower ruins, remnants of the Cham dynasty that once ruled this region in the 8th and 9th centuries.

With approximately 100 kilometers of cycling behind me and the sun setting, I decided to find a hotel for the evening, bringing an eventful day to a close.

During my journey, I experienced a heartwarming moment in Ninh Hải when a little girl, symbolizing Vietnamese generosity, offered me a donut as she hopped off her mother’s motorbike. It was a simple yet touching gesture that spoke volumes about the kindness of the locals.

Distance: 100.25 km
Time: 7:24:38
Elev Gain: 305 m
Stay: Homey Hotel, Nha Trang and Huong Ngoc Hotel, Ninh Hải


#5: October 25 – Ninh Hải to Ninh Phước

After a refreshing night’s rest, I set out to explore the nearby Hon Thien village, where the walls of houses were adorned with colorful paintings and murals, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Along the way, I paused to capture the beauty of the Parish Churches of Ho Diem, Go Thao, and Go Den.

Continuing my journey towards Ninh Phước, I took a detour to visit the ancient brick temple remains of the Po Klong Garai towers, dating back 800 years. Situated atop Trau hill in Phan Rang – Thap Cham city, this architectural gem from the Champa kingdom boasts three towers named Cong (Gate), Lua (Fire), and Chinh (Main), accessible via a daunting climb up hundreds of stairs.

In the nearby Bau Truc pottery village, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to purchase a couple of souvenirs. Further along my route, I paused to pay my respects at a couple of Martyrs Cemeteries, solemn places built to honor the Heroes and Martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice for the peace and prosperity of the country.

In Vietnam, one of the advantages of cycling, besides the excellent roads, is the availability of clean restrooms at petrol stations, which are provided free of charge.

Distance: 64.38 km
Time: 6:23:14
Elev Gain: 174 m
Stay: Huong Ngoc Hotel, Ninh Hải and Cà Ná Bay Resort, Ninh Phước


#6: October 26 – Ninh Phước to Phan Ri Cửa

As I left the resort and cycled along the picturesque coastline, the unmistakable smell of fish sauce filled my senses. Here, the factories are renowned for their production of fish sauce, a staple ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. Utilizing traditional methods passed down through generations, these factories ferment anchovies and other seafood into a rich, savory condiment. The process involves carefully layering fish and salt in large wooden barrels, allowing them to ferment and mature over several months or even years.

During my journey, I had the opportunity to observe a couple of coral nurseries and locals drying their harvested paddy on the roadside. I also made stops to visit a few Buddhist pagodas and the Vĩnh Hảo Church, built in 1932, featuring a unique blend of French and Vietnamese architectural elements.

Distance: 57.47 km
Time: 4:16:50
Elev Gain: 172 m
Stay: Cà Ná Bay Resort, Ninh Phước and Flora Hotel, Phan Ri Cửa


#7: October 27 – Phan Ri Cửa to Mũi Né

Leaving the hotel, I pedaled past the bustling local fish market, where fishermen were busy unloading their fresh catch. Following a serene route along a coastal road, flanked by the tranquil blue waters of the sea on one side and expansive stretches of white sand dunes on the other, I found myself approximately 25 kilometers into my ride when disaster struck at Bau Trang. The pedal of my bicycle unexpectedly broke off from the crank, leaving me stranded. Despite attempting various juggad, I couldn’t fix it. Determined to continue, I resorted to pedaling with just my left foot.

After covering about 3 kilometers, two helpful boys working at the nearby entertainment park came to my rescue. They skillfully welded the pedal back into place, providing a temporary solution. With heartfelt gratitude, I resumed my journey, eventually reaching Mui Ne after a strenuous struggle.

Distance: 53.13 km
Time: 5:26:13
Elev Gain: 363 m
Stay: Flora Hotel, Phan Ri Cửa and Van Nguyen Minihouse Resort, Mũi Né


#8: October 28 – Mũi Né to Phan Thiết

My plan was to reach Phan Thiết to replace and fit a new crank and pedal. However, shortly after leaving the hotel, I met a local mechanic who did an amazing job repairing the pedal. This resolved the issue, and I didn’t encounter any further problems during the journey. In Mui Ne, a popular seaside tourist destination in Vietnam, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a restaurant named GOA. The ride along the coastline was scenic, with fishing boats and coracles dotting the landscape.

Distance: 27.39 km
Time: 2:39:48
Elev Gain: 90 m
Stay: Van Nguyen Minihouse Resort, Mũi Né and Huy Dat, Phan Thiết


#9: October 29 – Phan Thiết to Tân Tiến

Leaving Phan Thiết, I made several stops to explore notable landmarks and attractions. My first stops included the Victory Monument and the park, home to statues honoring General Tran Hung Dao, Yet Kieu, and Da Tuong. Cycling further, I explored the serene beauty of the Binh Quang Ni Pagoda and the Vinh Thuy Church. As I pedaled along the pristine beaches of Phan Thiết, I couldn’t help but notice the bustling construction of several five-star hotels. Dragon fruit farms dotted the landscape, enhancing the scenic route.

Deciding to take a detour, I made my way to the Ke Ga Lighthouse, a historic landmark constructed in 1897 by the French architect Snavat. towering at an impressive height of 65 meters above sea level, with a granite lamp tower reaching 35 meters, this lighthouse is a testament to Vietnam’s maritime history. Unfortunately, due to high tides, I couldn’t get close to the lighthouse.

Continuing my journey, I paused to capture the enchanting sight of the pink Church of Cua Can Parish, its beauty accentuated by the soft glow of the setting sun.

I was touched by an act of kindness from two local boys who stopped to offer me a couple of cans of energy drink. Their gesture exemplified the warmth and hospitality of the Vietnamese people.

Distance: 65.11 km
Time: 5:48:45
Elev Gain: 244 m
Stay: Huy Dat, Phan Thiết and Lagi Beach Hotel, Tân Tiến


#10: October 30 – Tân Tiến to Hồ Tràm

The journey began on a high note as a lad stopped to offer a refreshing bottle of iced tea. Along the route, I encountered stunning churches dotting the landscape, each adding to the scenic charm. Moreover, it was delightful to interact with numerous cheerful children who eagerly posed for photographs, adding a touch of joy to the ride.

Distance: 67.85 km
Time: 5:41:20
Elev Gain: 237 m
Stay: Lagi Beach Hotel, Tân Tiến and Golden Hotel, Ho Tram


#11: October 31 – Hồ Tràm to Vũng Tàu

After a restful night, I departed from the hotel, eager to start a new day of riding. Along the way, I couldn’t resist stopping to admire the vibrant marine murals painted on the walls leading to the beachfront. During my ride, I made several stops to visit various attractions, each offering its own unique charm. However, two magnificent religious sites truly stood out.

The first was the Buu Lam Tu Pagoda, boasting a splendid main hall adorned with a golden Buddha and a ceiling embossed with intricate gold designs. Surrounded by a serene lotus lake, the pagoda exuded a sense of tranquility and spirituality. Dominating the landscape was a towering, three-faced Lady Buddha statue, crafted from marble and radiating grandeur.

Upon arriving in Ba Ria, my attention was drawn to the towering spires of a church looming in the distance. Venturing down a narrow lane off the highway, I discovered the magnificent Phuoc Hung Church. Its construction, which began in February 2020, was completed and dedicated in December 2022.

The architecture of Phuoc Hung Church was truly awe-inspiring, seamlessly blending traditional Vietnamese elements with European influences. Its facade boasted two tall steeples intricately adorned with detailed embellishments. Stepping inside, I was greeted by the warmth of wooden interiors, adorned with exquisite altars and statues, further enhancing the church’s divine atmosphere.

The last 15 or so kilometers to Vũng Tàu, a beautiful coastal city, were smooth, prompting me to decide to rest for a couple of days here.

Distance: 61.71 km
Time: 5:11:03
Elev Gain: 96 m
Stay: Golden Hotel, Ho Tram and The Coast Hotel, Vung Tau


#12: November 3 – Vũng Tàu Ferry Pier

I spent a few days in Vung Tau exploring some of the city’s prominent attractions. The awe-inspiring Christ the King statue, which is the largest of its kind in Asia, was located near the hotel. To reach the statue atop Tao Phung mountain, I had to climb 812 steps from the foot of the mountain. Then, a spiraling staircase inside the statue led me to a viewing point near the statue’s face, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Additionally, I explored other notable landmarks, including the iconic lighthouse and the Robert Taylor Museum of Worldwide Arms.

My next destination was Ho Chi Minh City, and I had several transportation options to consider. I contemplated cycling back or taking a bus, but ultimately, I opted for a scenic boat ride departing from the Ferry Pier. Choosing the Greenline Highspeed catamaran, I embarked on a comfortable journey. The boat had spacious interiors with nice seating, providing ample comfort throughout the voyage. As we cruised along, I enjoyed the entertainment provided by the Just for Laughs series playing on the large television screen. The journey to HCMC lasted around two hours, offering a refreshing and unique perspective of the region’s landscapes.

Distance: 4.38 km
Time: 29:08
Elev Gain: 9 m
Stay: The Coast Hotel, Vung Tau


#13: November 3 – HCM City

After disembarking at the HCM City jetty, I took a short ride back to the hotel. This time, I decided to stay at a hotel located close to Bui Vien Walking Street.

Distance: 3.42 km
Time: 25:49
Elev Gain: 4 m
Stay: Lan Anh Hotel, HCMC


#14: November 5 – HCM City to Mỹ Thọ

My initial plan was to embark on a cycling adventure to Cambodia via the Moc Bai / Bavet Border. However, with a week still remaining on my visa and upon the recommendation of a friend, I decided to explore the enchanting landscapes of the Mekong Delta.

As I pedaled away from the bustling streets of HCM City, I found myself traversing through a quaint town adorned with rows of shops and garages selling industrial equipment. It wasn’t until approximately 15 kilometers into my journey that I realized I had forgotten to activate my Strava, leaving a portion of my distance unrecorded.

During my journey, one of the most captivating moments was my visit to the Phap Dan Pagoda in Ben Luc. The pagoda’s magnificent two-story structure, coupled with its grand staircase adorned with statues of Arhats, stood as a testament to craftsmanship. The temple’s roof, embellished with intricate golden dragon patterns set against a lush green backdrop, exuded a serene spiritual aura.

Continuing along the route, I paused to admire the Victory Monument in Long An. These towering monuments, nestled within a serene park, served as poignant reminders of the resilience and determination of the local populace during the tumultuous resistance war.

As I journeyed on, I visited the Tan An parish Church, a newly constructed edifice dedicated and inaugurated in the year 2000.

Upon my arrival in Mỹ Thọ, weary from the day’s ride, I decided to check into a cozy hotel. Before settling in, I took a moment to visit a Buddhist pagoda situated opposite the hotel, adding to the richness of my experience.

Distance: 56.02 km
Time: 4:52:55
Elev Gain: 41 m
Stay: Lan Anh Hotel, HCMC and The World Hotel, Mỹ Thọ


#15: November 6 – Mỹ Thọ to Trà Vinh

Today’s journey began with a visit to the famous Vĩnh Tràng Temple. Constructed in 1849, Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda showcases a magnificent fusion of architectural styles, incorporating elements from Vietnamese, Khmer, Chinese, and European influences. Over the years, the pagoda has undergone multiple renovations, resulting in its impressive appearance today. Featuring ornate structures, intricate carvings, colorful mosaics, and beautiful gardens housing three immense Buddha statues — the standing Buddha, the Laughing Buddha, and the reclining Buddha — the pagoda’s triple-arched entrance gate is adorned with countless skillfully crafted ceramics and porcelain pieces, adding to its allure.

Along the way, I stopped to explore the Mau Than Tet Monument and had the chance to admire two cathedrals boasting eye-catching architecture. Nestled along the river, the Thu Khoa Huan Monument commemorates the nationalist leader, a pivotal figure in the resistance against French colonial rule, standing as an enduring symbol of Vietnamese patriotism and defiance against foreign dominance.

As I ventured further into the Mekong Delta, its fertile terrain, nurtured by the mighty Mekong River, sustains a diverse array of crops, including rice, fruits, vegetables, and aquaculture. The rich alluvial soil, deposited over centuries of seasonal flooding, creates an ideal environment for agriculture. The bounty of the Mekong Delta not only sustains the local population but also significantly contributes to Vietnam’s agricultural output, making it a vital region for food production in the country.

Distance: 80.13 km
Time: 7:14:14
Elev Gain: 263 m
Stay: The World Hotel, Mỹ Thọ and Hotel Ngoc Quy, Trà Vinh


#16: November 7 – Trà Vinh to Cầu Kè

Today’s journey took me through breathtaking vistas of golden rice fields, ready for harvest, and sprawling orange plantations. As I left the hotel, I stopped at a nearby park with a striking monument dedicated to war heroes, setting the tone for the day’s exploration. Along the route, I had the pleasure of visiting several Buddhist pagodas.

Among them, the Samrông Ek Pagoda stood out, situated a short distance from the park. This pagoda is a unique and captivating complex, blending elements of Khmer and Vietnamese design traditions into its distinct architectural style. Adorned with intricate carvings, ornate decorations, and vibrant colors, it creates an atmosphere that is both visually stunning and spiritually uplifting. Inside the towering main hall, which serves as the focal point of the complex, a collection of ancient Buddhist artifacts, statues, and scriptures filled the space.

Upon reaching Cầu Kè, I eventually managed to check into a good hotel after going in circles to find a suitable one.

Distance: 49.64 km
Time: 4:55:28
Elev Gain: 153 m
Stay: Hotel Ngoc Quy, Trà Vinh and Hotel Huynh Ky, Cầu Kè


#17: November 8 – Cầu Kè to Cần Thơ

The 50-kilometer journey to Cần Thơ traversed through the picturesque heart of the Mekong Delta, where expansive farms abound with oranges, pomelos, guavas, dragon fruit, jackfruit, and coconuts. Along the route, I encountered a group of women meticulously cleaning cashew nuts and carefully laying them out for drying. While stopping at a flower farm, a local farmer shared insights into the cultivation of chrysanthemum plants for the upcoming Tet festival.

Upon arriving at Cần Thơ, I embarked on a short ferry ride across the Hau River to reach my hotel.

Distance: 53.05 km
Time: 5:09:20
Elev Gain: 237 m
Stay: Hotel Huynh Ky, Cầu Kè and Hong Son Hotel, Cần Thơ


#18: November 9 – Cần Thơ Bus Station

With the forecast predicting rain later that day and over 100 kilometers of cycling ahead to reach Châu Đốc, coupled with only a couple of days remaining before my Vietnam visa expired, I made the decision to take a bus. The bus station was situated approximately 10 kilometers away from the city and resembled an airport terminal with its spacious and clean layout.

Distance: 11.61 km
Time: 50:58
Elev Gain: 52 m
Stay: Hong Son Hotel, Cần Thơ and Dong Bau Hotel, Châu Đốc


#19: November 9 – Châu Đốc

The bus ride to Châu Đốc took around 4 hours, and rain persisted for most of the journey. The short 5-kilometer ride to the city was also peppered with rain showers.

Distance: 5.01 km
Time: 45:42
Elev Gain: 22 m
Stay: Dong Bao Hotel, Châu Đốc



#20: November 10 – Châu Đốc Ferry Wharf

Time to say “Tạm biệt” to Vietnam and “Suostei” to Cambodia.

I opted for a boat journey to Phnom Penh instead of cycling. The boat departed from Châu Đốc jetty at 7:30 am. An hour and a half later, it made a stop at the Vietnamese Customs border for passengers to acquire their passport exit stamps. A few kilometers away, we had to get off again at the Cambodian Customs border for visa entry procedures, a process that took about an hour to complete. Unlike the spacious comfort of the boat I had previously boarded from Vũng Tàu to HCMC, this one was not as spacious and comfortable.

Please note: Cambodian E-visas are not valid at this border crossing, and one must pay a $30 visa fee at this border office.

Distance: 1.63 km
Time: 15:02
Elev Gain: 8 m
Stay: Dong Bao Hotel, Châu Đốc


I hope this post serves you, fellow adventurers, as a comprehensive guide, offering valuable insights on routes, attractions, and accommodations to enhance your own cycling adventures.

Feel free to email ( or WhatsApp (+91 9822151419) me if you need further information.

Wishing you safe travels ahead!

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