More information coming soon
Our Tours in Vietnam
LabRat Run 2022: Route 279 - Dien Bien Phu to Halong Bay
Dates: September 2022
LabRat Runs have quickly become a PaintedRoads tradition. A group of easygoing and adventurous regulars, the 'Rats annually sate their appetite for adventure by joining the inaugural running of a PaintedRoads adventure tour. The Trans Vietnam tour was first inspected by Phong and David, on a motorbike, back in a time when the world was open and travel was easy. Since then, the tour has sat on the back boiler, awaiting some semblance of normality to return. With the route being but a hazy memory in a pair of minds dulled by time, it seems the only decent thing to do is take a look at it with the 'Rats.
The Vietnamese had, by the 1970s, suffered more than their fair share of bother with the unwanted interference of other nations. So when the Chinese crossed their northern border without invitation in 1979, the war-weary nation wasted no time defending its newfound sovereignty. The North Vietnamese Army was arguably more aware than any other military on Earth of the importance of keeping military supply lines open, and so, in February '79 military engineers set about building a supply road tracing their northernmost border - a road that was aptly named 2/79.
And like the wonderful Ho Chi Minh Trail road that follows the border with Lao, QL279 is a mountain road, little used by motorised traffic but kept in good condition due to its strategic importance.
A well maintained rural road through stunning mountain scenery, bereft of traffic and leading from one side of a nation to the other - what is there for a cyclist not to like?
We begin our ride in Dien Bien Phu, the site of the battle that finally bought French colonial power to an end in Indo-China, and saw the rise of Communism in Southeast Asia. Our journey ends an unforgettable 900 kilometres later with a relaxing cruise on the UNESCO World Heritage Ha Long Bay.
Total Days: 16 | Cycling Days: 10 | Difficulty: 7/10 | Daily Average: 92km | See more information, dates & prices »
Cycling An Enchanted Landscape
Dates: March 2021
Tiers of rice terraces fading seemingly to infinity as they drop away through a vast valley, karst pinnacles like those from a Chinese water painting, minority people whose way of life and dress is little touched by the outside influences of the global village most of us inhabit; North East Vietnam as such is possibly the most stunning destination in South East Asia for a cycling holiday, and this tour is all about adventure. From Hanoi in the north of Vietnam, we first transfer to within a few kilometres of the Chinese border from where we set out by bicycle to explore a region overwhelmed with natural splendour. The cycling is on small, quiet roads with challenging climbs and breathtaking descents. Our exploration of this part of Vietnam follows valley floors, climbs through karst hills and past rice fields, crosses spectacular mountain passes and explores wonderful plateaus. If you desire a bicycle touring adventure through a Vietnam little visited by outsiders then The Painted Roads North East Vietnam cycle tour could well be for you.
Note that this holiday includes an optional extension to include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay. See below for details.
Total Days: 13 | Cycling Days: 8 | Difficulty: 7/10 | Daily Average: 80km | See more information, dates & prices »
Cycling Central Vietnam
Dates: November 2022
Extending south of Hanoi is the Annamite Mountain Range, known in Vietnamese as Truong Son. During the Vietnam War, a series of supply routes through the dense jungle of these mountains were used to move troops and supplies to support the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong in their war against South Vietnam and the United States. This series of trails ran not only through Vietnam, but also through neighbouring Laos, and soon became known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Some thirty years after the war came to an end a series of roads following the route of these trails were finally linked together and sealed and, rather appropriately dubbed, The Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Named after the leader who led the nation to liberty from colonial rule, this relatively new and oft times amazingly deserted route provides a wonderful conduit for the adventurous cyclist to explore a beautiful and regularly deserted region of Vietnam seldom visited by Western travellers. A highly recommended tour if you're keen to enjoy a cycling holiday off the beaten track.
Note that this tour includes an optional extension to include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay. See below for details.
Total Days: 14 | Cycling Days: 11 | Difficulty: 7/10 | Daily Average: 92km | See more information, dates & prices »
Cycling Southern Vietnam
Dates: No dates available at this time.
This is a fascinating ride through the labyrinthine network of waterways and accompanying tracks, trails, and paths that cover an area from Cambodia to the South China Sea, offering fine relaxed cycling and insight into lives not normally seen.
When we set out to explore the Mekong Delta Region we were looking for a cycling tour with a laid back attitude, little climbing, and comfortable accommodation. We had little idea as we left behind the teeming traffic of Saigon that we would find all of these attributes and so much more in a unique maze of inland waterways the size of Belgium. Inaccessible to those not prepared to put a little effort into their exploration this is a region that can only properly be explored by boat, by foot, or upon two wheels. If you are looking for a cycling holiday light of hills and full of the excitement of exploring a region seldom visited this could be just the adventure for you
Total Days: 13 | Cycling Days: 9 | Difficulty: 6/10 | Daily Average: 65km | See more information, dates & prices »