Vietnam is increasingly popular as a tourist destination, especially among cyclists. A prime spot to pedal is along National Highway 1, which runs from the narrow, S-shaped country's northern reaches near Hanoi, along the South China Sea coastline and down to its southern tip around Ho Chi Minh City. Despite its length (about 1,000 miles, or 1,609 kilometers), it's the most popular cycling route in the country. Riders enjoy prime views of the sea, of course, plus glimpses of pine mountains, lush rice fields and numerous quaint towns [source: Lonely Planet].
Obviously, you can't cycle 1,000 miles in a day. So if you've only got 24 hours, head to Ninh Binh, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of Hanoi. Right on Highway 1, the town sits amidst exceptionally pretty countryside, and the riding's relatively flat, too. Or sign on with a touring company like Phat Tire Ventures, which will shuttle you uphill to Dalat in the Central Highlands, about 186 miles (300 kilometers) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Once there, you'll basically point your bike back down the road and coast down, enjoying the area's famous pine-forested hills, pristine lakes and jungle-blanketed valleys [sources: Lane, Phat Tire Ventures].