When it comes to Cycling in Vietnam, I know very little and that is likely the position you will be in when you come to Vietnam. So here are the main facts.
Everyone in Vietnam rides a motor scooter all the time, sure there are a few people who ride bicycles and a few cars and trucks but there are motor scooters everywhere. Generally they do this really well but the volumes are off the chart and the rules they follow are very hard to follow and easy to admire because it works. But a tourist should just not bother except for Hoi An.
In Hoi An you can ride a bicycle in Old Town. This beautiful area has no motor bikes or cars at certain times of the day so it can be peaceful but its not very big and its crowded.
So you will need to ride in the countryside. We did the easier of the two rides on this page. This is where the bicycle tours go and we saw a lot of those on our ride. I don’t think you need to follow a tour in this area if you take it easy on the roads heading to the edge of the city. At the edge of the city you will follow old concrete paths across the country side and around the lakes and rivers. We really enjoyed it. We rode some very comfy hotel bikes that had very worn out brakes. The next three photos are from our ride around the farms at Hoi An.
Hoi An – Our ride
There are a lot of bicycle tours from Hoi An. Plan them early as the larger longer tours may be booked out. This is the only way you will get a decent cycle and a helmet. The 3+ hour tours leave early so book at the hotel the night before if you are leaving it to the last minute. Find tours here
Here are some photos I took in the Old Town.
Other things to note: No one wears a helmet but you should if you do any city cycling or ride on major roads it Vietnam.
In Vietnam cars drive on the right hand side of the road. This is a major reason not to get too excited about riding in Vietnam.
Weather is important for holidays in Vietnam. Check this carefully before booking the holiday. Also check for popular times for tourists and avoid these. November is a good time by the look of it, we have had great weather and the tourist numbers are moderate.
Having a Sim Card with decent data allowance would have helped following the trail. I survived by downloading the google maps to offline maps on my phone.
Summary. Enjoy Vietnam as a tourist, plan to ride in Hoi An and just do a couple of rides. It was fun.
Note I believe you can ride 20km up and back on the perfect river in Hue. Some Hue cycling ideas here
A reader gave positive review of this tour group
Postcript. Saigon cycling is out of the question. Too many motor bikes