Cycling the Ho Chi Minh Road provides travellers with an unparalleled look into everyday life in Vietnam. But travelling the route via bicycle is not an easy feat due to the road’s poor conditions and hilly terrain.
However, if you have a sense of adventure, the ruggedness is part of the route’s charm. Largely untouched by tourism and development, the Ho Chi Minh Road cuts through some of Vietnam’s most scenic vistas, including powerful waterfalls, dramatic mountains, lush rice fields and colourful villages yet to appear in any guidebook.
Cycling the Ho Chi Minh Road
Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation in rural Vietnam. It’s not uncommon to have groups of schoolchildren accompanying cyclists on the road, reaching out for a ‘high-five’ and cheering them along.
The Dray Sap Falls are part of a popular group of waterfalls in the Central Highlands. Many foreign tourists have yet to discover the falls, though it is a popular spot with vacationing Vietnamese.
With no tourists to clamber on its back, this happy elephant munches on grass. Historically, elephants held major significance both culturally and religiously, though today they are critically endangered in Vietnam.
A snapshot from the Lo Xo Pass. The mountain roads are steep, but the stunning view from the top makes the intense ride worth it.
A local man drives an ox cart through his village, donning the traditional conical Vietnamese hat to shelter him from the sun. Though Vietnam is modernizing quickly, old ways of life still dominate in rural areas.
This dragon-dancing troupe gives a roadside performance during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Boys practice for years to master the necessary acrobatic and musical skills required to make the dragon come to life.
Roadside construction is a common sight in Vietnam as the country strives to build its infrastructure and development.
This young man proudly smokes pure tobacco from his bamboo pipe.
Makeshift markets pop up in every village along the Ho Chi Minh Road, where supermarkets are a rare occurrence. This woman reads the newspaper while business is slow.
These rural students take a break from their academics for a quick game of soccer. The local Zebu cow keeps the grass trimmed for them.
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