Khe Sanh - Phong Nha

Distance: 230 kms

This is not a huge day distance wise but will take longer than you think. With an early start you’ll get it done comfortably at a relaxed pace though. This stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Road is quite simply a must do experience in this country. Mostly a raked concrete surface with plenty of grip but hard on tyre’s and challenging in places if riding spiritedly. Landslides are common through here so be mindful of sand or clay on corners. My favourite ride day between Danang and Hanoi.

There’s a good Banh Mi lady just down the hill from Green Hotel. Doesn’t hurt to grab a second one to take with you. Not a lot of culinary options on offer today. The other tags are either accommodation options or places of interest.

These days there is fuel available about half way but as always a good idea to fill before you leave and take water. Not too much in the way of services through much of this.

(A) The US Military Combat Base. Opens at 7.30am and is well worth a look for the modest entry fee. Quite a bit to learn there if you want to commit the time.

(B & C) are nice swim spots well located for rest stops.

(D) a good photo stop.

(E) one of few accommodation options if you wanted to break it up.

(F) another photo stop and

(G) a higher end accommodation option in the village on the river.

Phong Nha township on the banks of the Son River is part of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The area has developed in recent years as a popular tourist destination. Even with the interruption of Covid a popular destination for domestic travelers, locals and expats alike.

Attractions include numerous caves to explore. Phong Nha Cave is a leisurely river cruise through caves under the mountains and Paradise Cave, a little more traditional dry cave is cheap and readily accessible. At the high end Hang Son Doong is reportedly the world’s largest cave with its own very unique ecosystem and a four day commitment far from cheap to explore.

Also of note the limestone and bauxite monoliths rising from a vast floodplain where the land sections in the making of King Kong were filmed makes part of a great motorcycling day loop.

(H) Is my go to out of town on the plain. Well appointed comfortable ensuite hotel rooms to pool villas with a well stocked bar, great pool and an extensive menu.

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