Nature-centered cycling tours a rising new trend

By Lan Huong   July 11, 2021 | 05:00 pm GMT+7
Nature-centered cycling tours a rising new trend
Visitors cycle through paddy rice fields in Ninh Binh Province. Photo courtesy of Amica Travel.
With traditional sightseeing tours suspended due to new Covid wave, exploring nature-friendly destinations near Hanoi on bike are worth a try.

A two-day-one-night itinerary is open every Saturday and Sunday and guides cycling enthusiasts through limestone landscapes in Ninh Binh, around 60 kilometers from Hanoi and dubbed 'Ha Long Bay on land', given the limestone mountains that rise out of its paddy fields.

Along the way, visitors will cycle through peaceful villages in Hoa Lu, formerly the ancient Dinh Dynasty (968-980) capital, limestone caves in UNESCO-recognized Trang An Landscape Complex and yellow rice fields in Tam Coc (Three grottoes).

Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is seen from above. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Trang.

Trang An is seen from above. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Trang.

Unlike other areas in Vietnam, Tam Coc only has one rice crop per year due to the rise in the river’s water level during the monsoon, making farming on its banks impossible. Between May and July are the busiest rice harvesting months in Tam Coc and the beauty of ripened rice paddies stretching along both sides of Ngo Dong River, glistening in the summer sun, is a heavenly sight.

The average travel distance per day is 25 kilometers, suitable for those wishing to enjoy outdoor activities but fear large crowds amid the complicated development of the pandemic. Accompanying visitors are one tour guide and bicycle repair staff.

The tour costs VND2.5 million ($108.69) per person, including a night at a three-star hotel. From Hanoi, visitors will be driven by bus to Ninh Binh in about two hours and 30 minutes before starting their cycling journey.

Family cycling tour at Cuc Phuong-Tam Coc

For families with young children, a tour of two days and one night to go explore Cuc Phuong National Park and Tam Coc would be an ideal choice with a shorter route. The average travel distance per day is nine kilometers and children can ride on their own or sit behind their parents on a bicycle.

Participants will cycle through primeval forests inside Cuc Phuong, Vietnam's first national park, located in the Tam Diep mountain range of Ninh Binh Province.

A foreign tourist cycles inside Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh Province, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An.

A foreign tourist cycles inside Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh Province, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Vy An.

The national park covers a 22,408-hectare tropical rain forest. It is the natural habitat of 300 species of birds, 110 species of reptiles and amphibians, 65 species of fish, nearly 2,000 species of insects and 117 species of mammals. Available tourist activities include primary forest trekking, ecotourism, and wildlife viewing tours at night.

Leaving Cuc Phuong, bikers will continue their journey across majestic natural landscapes taking in Trang An, Tam Coc and Am Tien Cave. Don't forget to visit Thai Vi Temple where Tran Dynasty kings are revered with burning incense.

The tour costs VND2.5 million per adult and VND1.8 million a child, including a night at a three-star hotel.

Cycling tour around Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh

For those wishing to go further and explore more, a three-day-two-night cycling tour to discover tourist attractions in Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh provinces should be considered.

The tour allows bikers to cycle through deserted roads located deep in the heart of Trang An Complex, rice fields, fishing villages, or traditional craft villages in Ninh Binh before visiting ancient churches in Nam Dinh, the former heartland of Catholicism and home to one of the largest populations of Catholics in the country.

Trung Linh church, one of the oldest in Nam Dinh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Viet Anh.

Trung Linh church, one of the oldest in Nam Dinh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Viet Anh.

The tour costs VND4.5 million per person, including two night stays.

All cycling tours are limited to only 20 guests to ensure pandemic prevention measures while those joining the tour are required to submit health declarations before their trips.

Hanoi cycling tour

Cycling around Hanoi's old streets is much recommended by foreign travel bloggers. A three-hour bike tour that costs VND200,000 per person provides travelers an opportunity to visit popular attractions and historical sites across the capital like Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, Hoa Lo Prison and ancient pagodas.

Those new to cycling can choose to take a one-hour tour to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter for VND100,000 per person.

 
 
go to top