I’ve biked my way through Europe and am ready for something more adventurous. Can you suggest an affordable, culturally rich itinerary in an up-and-coming destination? —Travis Schoenleber, Boston, Mass.
The Destination: For an experience that hits the right balance between value and culture, we recommend Vietnam, where you’ll have intimate access to local communities, markets, temples, and regional cuisine.
Outfitters: VBT Bicycling & Walking Vacations (11 nights from $2,695) has an easygoing 110-mile route that starts in Hanoi and winds through the ancient capital of Hué. Pedalers Pub & Grille (13 nights from $3,095) offers a moderate course (about 36 miles per day) through the striking landscape of Mai Châu; you’ll stop to sample delicacies along the way. If you have a larger budget and crave the creature comforts of luxury hotels, a trip from Backroads (eight nights from $5,398) covers Hanoi and Da Nang and crosses into Cambodia, while an itinerary from Butterfield & Robinson (eight nights from $6,795) includes cycling the farmland near Hoi An and dinner with royal descendants in Hué.
Packing Essentials: Biking gloves; a hat; sunglasses; bug repellent; low-cut walking or hiking shoes; a day pack.
When to Go: Jan.–March, Nov.–Dec.
Getting There: Most itineraries start in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Fly into Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) or Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), respectively.
Vaccines/Medicine: Hepatitis A and B and typhoid, plus antimalarials in some rural destinations. Visit cdc.gov/travel for more.