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Northwestern Vietnam is distinguished by beautiful, impressive mountain ranges that provide scenic mountain views. With a rich cultural diversity, the region has homestay availability that can bring you closer to the local ethnic minorities and enjoy the friendly and cozy atmosphere while being a guest here. Another really great opportunity to explore the culture and areas all around is through the various weekly markets in the remote Central North. With unsurpassed natural surroundings, cultural sights of great importance and ethnic people filling the air with their various traditions and colorful outfits, one thing is for sure, you could never get enough of the Vietnam motorbike tour of the Northwest and Central North!
You will be accommodated in Mai Chau, Son La, Than Uyen, Sapa, Xin Man, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Bao Lac, and Ba Be.
You leave Hanoi and, as you head north, with the Hong Son Lake on your side, you enjoy the magnificent scenery with the beautiful complex of tiny islands, somewhat lost in between the surrounding forests, and limestone mountain peaks that make an idyllic picture-worthy spot.
You continue your trip to the north and ride on a smooth road, meeting more charming landscape on your way. In the afternoon, you arrive at Mai Chau, where you have some time to wander and see more of the city, just before dinnertime. After dinner, you can see firsthand a traditional Thai dance show, until it is time to go to sleep. You spend the night in Thai stilt houses.
Today, you say goodbye to the town of Mai Chau, you continue on this Vietnam motorbike tour and ride the small dirt road. Heading west of the Da River, you go past several caves of much archeological significance, with excellent findings of stone axes and pieces of stripped stone.
Then, it is time to cross the lake to its other side by the local ferry and move on with the rest of the journey. With majestic mountain ranges to your right and the river on your left, the ride is truly breath-taking. Just a quick stop at Bac Yen for a bite and then you head over the wild river bank and continue to the north. You spend the night in a hotel in Son La.
Right after breakfast, you ride Highway 6 and head to Tun Giao. On your way, the scenery remains jaw-dropping, and you stop to visit the village of Black Thai after you have passed through the dark cave. You have lunch at Tuan Giao and then take the 279 Road to Than Uyen.
Riding this steep winding road through the lush forests and magnificent rice terraces are exhilarating. You take a short break at Pa Uon Bridge and allow you some time to get the most of the beauty of the surrounding landscape. You spend the night in a hotel in Than Uyen.
You ride a winding road along the Hoan Lien Son mountain range that takes you through a valley full of tea plantations and rice fields lying gracefully next to the Nam Ma River. The tribe villages of Dzao, H’mong, and Tay sit on the foothills and the Hoang Sien Son Mountains host the Ô Quy Hồ pass with the most heart-stopping panoramic views you can get from over 2,000 meters altitude. At about afternoon, you reach Sapa. You spend the night in a hotel.
You finish your breakfast before you continue on this Vietnam motorbike tour and head down to the center of the Lao Cai province, found next to the borders with China. It is an important place where trade in the North occurs, so you stop for a few here, before you ride to the town of Bac Ha. Bac Ha is popular for its 100-year-old colorful market of the Dzao and Flower H’Mong, among other mountainous ethnic groups. The market is open only on Sunday mornings.
You ride a small trail up with stunning scenery that leads us to Xin Man, up north, and then continue your ride through a forest flushed with the green land. You stop for a while at the Lao Chai village on the mountaintops and be drawn into the enchanting overview of the Chay River that seems as if it goes all the way up in the sky and through the clouds.
The area has many tracks that Go Bamboo Trek finds more than interesting and inviting, which, combined with the amazing natural landscapes, certainly justify its name as one of the most beautiful spots in Vietnam. You spend the night in a hotel.
When you finish eating your breakfast at a local restaurant nearby, you visit the local market, buy souvenirs, take pictures, and mix with the local ethnic minorities (Dzao, Flower H’mong, Nung, etc). Today, you will be testing (and sharpening) your riding skills as the roads that go through the mountain passes are challenging!
Lunchtime finds you in Tan Quang, while the last 50 kilometers to Ha Giang is far more relaxing and easy, as you rejoin Road 2. Depending on the time, you may even manage to enjoy and relax in the hot springs of Thanh Ha. You spend the night in a hotel.
First thing is to obtain a visit permit from the Ha Giang immigration office, to continue your trip to Quang Ba, Dong Van, and Yen Minh regions. They are areas with amazing natural landscape and views of unspoiled surroundings. People living here are used to work hard and long hours, and they always find a way out of problems of any sort, judging by the fact that they have managed to live on rocky farmlands. They are very outgoing and friendly people that do not seek much in life to be happy.
You have a quick break at an info coffee shop, and you could climb up some stairs, to get idyllic views of Quang Ba. You have lunch at Yen Minh, and then visit Pho Bang that was built hundreds of years ago and is home to multi-story clay brick houses with tiled roofs. While in Quang Ba, you can also visit the Vuong Palace, where the high-rank H’mong family of Vietnam’s purported H’mong King (Vuong Chi Sinh) used to live during the French colonial ruling. It is a fine demonstrator of European-Chinese architecture and is a pole of attraction to all architecturally-minded visitors. Your last stop is at Dong Van, where you sleep overnight. You spend the night in a hotel.
Today, you head over the Ma Pi Leng Pass, where you can be carried away by the magnificent landscape overlooking the Nho Que River. Then, you ride down to Meo Vac, and go past the high mountainous mythical regions of Ha Giang, before you reach Bao Lac, where you stop for the day.
Bao Lac is considered a great ethnic crossroad where ethnic groups of all Northeast Vietnam meet. The Sunday market is a great meeting point for many ethnic groups from both sides of the borders. You spend the night in a hotel.
Today, you ride numerous passes and once again challenge your riding skills on the meandering road. However, you can stop many times is needed. In total, the ride will take about 8 hours, including the stops for food and drinks. The night finds you in a Tay community, where you sleep over. You spend the night in traditional stilt houses.
This is the last day of the journey, and you will be heading back to Hanoi. You have an amazing ride ahead today. You take the west side of Ba Be Lake and set out to the south. You go past the city of Thai Nguyen in the northland; the city famous for the high-quality of its tea. Then, you take a break at Tow, to visit the impressive Vietnamese ethnic group museum of cultures and see the colorful exhibitions on display that reflect the lifestyle of the 50 tribes that reside in the hills of Vietnam. Estimated arrival at Hanoi at 17:00. The tour ends.
This tour starts and ends in Hanoi, Vietnam. You will travel to Mai Chau, Son La, Than Uyen, Sapa, Bac Ha, Xin Man, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Bao Lac, and Ba Be.
Noi Bai International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$25 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Go Bamboo Trek will pick you up from the airport, if you send your flight details in advance. Transfers cost 25 USD per person.
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