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11 Days Breathtaking Northern Vietnam Guided Motorbike Tour

Mai Châu, Hòa Bình, Northwest, Vietnam

Guided Vietnam Motorbike Tour

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in Vietnam

Explore the stunning landscapes of Vietnam with this 11-day motorbike tour! This best-selling tour allows you to travel across several of famous Vietnam's travel destinations such as Mai Chau Valley, Than Uyen, Sapa, Hoang Su Phi, and Xin Man. In this tour, you will have a rare chance to see spectacular sites like local markets, high mountains, steep passes, scenic villages of the hilltribes. With experienced off-road riders to guide you, this tour is a perfect choice to release your stress!

Key information

  • Bike: rental
  • Terrain: mix of tarmac, gravels, curves, steep passes, muddy, rocky, and off-road
  • Mileage: 1610 kilometers / 1000.5 miles
  • Daily rides: 110 - 240 kilometers / 68 - 149 miles
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 9 dinners

Highlights

  • Ride via Thung Khe
  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Boat excursion on Ba Be Lake
  • Amazing view of the Mu Cang Chai massif
  • Discover a ‘real’ Montagnard village
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Motorbike rental

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


10 riding days
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will be accommodated in homestays and hotels.

Program

Day 1: Ha Noi to Mai Chau (Hoa Binh), 160 kilometers / 99.5 miles

You will start the motorbike tour by leaving Hanoi on dike roads to avoid the heavy traffic around 09:00. You will ride your motorbikes west to Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. You will motorcycle on Highway 6, passing extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads punctuated by limestone karst scenery.

After a light lunch in Hoa Binh Province, you will cross Thung Khe, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in North Vietnam before descending to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. After dinner, you will join a performance, where you can dance and share a range of special liquors (rice wine) with the locals. You will stay overnight in a house-on-stilts of the Thai people.

Day 2: Mai Chau to Phu Yen (Son La) - off-road motorcycle tour to tribal villages, 140 kilometers / 87 miles

Mai Chau is one of the closest places to Hanoi where you can experience a ‘real’ Montagnard village. In the morning, you will take a short walk around the village to discover local life. Life in the countryside starts early, so there is a wealth of activity by sunrise.

The Thai women are masterful weavers who ensure that there is plenty of traditional-style clothing to buy in the village center. You will see women weaving on looms under or inside their houses in the village. You can buy some handmade traditional-style clothing, knife or crossbow.

After breakfast in the homestay, you will say goodbye to the villagers and leave Mai Chau at around 10:00. You will ride from Mai Chau to the direction of Moc Chau, where you will have lunch. This highland town produces some of Vietnam’s best tea and is a good place to stock up. The surrounding area is also home to several ethnic minorities, including Green H’mong, Dzao, Thai, and Muong.

Moc Chau boasts a pioneering dairy industry that started in the late 1970s with Australian (and later, United Nation) assistance. The dairy provides Hanoi with such delectable luxuries such as fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk, and little tooth-rotting bars called “Banh sua”.

After lunch, you will turn to the less traveled Road 43 that leads to Da River, crossing the reservoir of Da River at Van Yen ferry. Then, you will ride on a beautiful winding secondary road until Phu Yen where you will stay in a basic guesthouse.

Day 3: Phu Yen to Than Uyen (Lai Chau), 210 kilometers / 130.5 miles

In the morning, you will keep motorbiking across Lung Lo pass before heading up on Road 32. During the first Indochina war, the 15 kilometer-long Lung Lo Pass, used by the Vietnamese resistance force to transport weapons, goods, and food during the Dien Bien Phu campaign of 1954, was heavily bombed by the French in order to sever the front lines from the rear.

Lung Lo Pass, situated in the northern province of Yen Bai, was also recognized as a national heritage by the ministry. After lunch, you will ride through the Mu Cang Chai massif, almost as high as the Fansipan. From the top, it offers one of the most beautiful views of North Vietnam. The ride is challenging but very rewarding. You will stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 4: Than Uyen to Sapa - off-road riding to villages, 110 kilometers / 68 miles

You will motorbike straight toward the main Fansipan Mountain range. There is also the option for a very challenging back route which takes us through several river crossings. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally, we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass).

Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2.000 meters, the views look out over the main range for miles and miles, before you descend to the mountainous Sapa valley. Sapa is located in Lao Cai Province, northwest Vietnam, and 350 kilometers northwest of Hanoi, close to the border with China.

Sapa is famous both for its fine rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity. French used to consider Sapa as the summer capital of Northern Vietnam in the early decades of the 20th century. Its naturally gifted beauty keeps attracting more and more people to spend their vacation there since then. Particularly, the place is the foremost choice for honeymoon couples. You will stay overnight in a hotel.

Day 5: Sapa to Bac Ha (Lao Cai), 120 kilometers / 74.5 miles

You will motorcycle down from Sapa to Lao Cai City and then have a coffee stop on the bank of Nam Thi River, which is a Vietnam - China border. You will enjoy your coffee while taking the view to China.

You will head to Road 70 before turning to Bac Ha on Road 153. Long touted as the weekend alternative to Sapa, this small highland town doesn’t have the same dramatic location of its more illustrious neighbor, but it is calmer on Saturday. It fills up to a choking point on Sunday morning, when visitors flood in to see the Flower H’mong at the Bac Ha Market (morning market).

Compared with Sapa, the tourism is still in its infancy and during the week, the town has a deserted feel. Bac Ha is a good base to explore the surrounding highlands. Around 900 meters above the sea level, it is noticeably warmer than Sapa.

One of Bac Ha’s main industries is the manufacture of alcoholic home brews (rice wine, cassava wine, and corn liquor). The corn hooch produced by the Flower H’mong is so potent it can ignite. Bac Ha is the only place in Vietnam where you’ll find this particular moonshine. There’s an entire area devoted to it at the Sunday market. You will stay overnight in Bac Ha.

Day 6: Bac Ha to Ha Giang City, 200 kilometers / 124 miles

After breakfast, you will take a motor ride on the track to Xin Man and Hoang Su Phi on many small back roads with scenic mountain views. Xin Man is right on the border between Vietnam and China. It is, as of this writing, well hidden and completely surrounded by wild mountains and forests. There’s a single road from Xin Man to Hoang Su Phi. Hoang Su Phi is among the most untouched area of Ha Giang Province in Vietnam. The area was separated from the mainstream society until very recently.

Passing Hoang Su Phi, you will be charmed by the pristine beauty of the wild mountains and the authentic culture of the local ethnic groups which include the Nung, the Flower H’mong, the Tay, and the Ha Nhi people. After lunch, you will join the main road that heads up to Ha Giang City, where you stop for the night and apply for a permit.

Day 7: Ha Giang to Dong Van (Ha Giang), 160 kilometers / 99.5 miles

After getting the permit for motorbike tour in the border areas at Ha Giang’s immigration police, you will ride on small challenging (but incredibly beautiful) mountain roads on the land of colorful mountain hill-tribes. You will motorcycle up the Ma Pi Leng Pass. It is yet another amazing place, with cloudy mountain ranges and the poetic Nho Que River winding off in the distance.

It is really difficult to find the exact words to describe Ma Pi Leng Pass. Located between Dong Van and Meo Vac, near the northernmost tip of Vietnam, it is a painting of astonishing beauty and magnificence that captures the eyes of all viewers and nature lovers.

You will ride on a zig-zag track until reaching Vuong family’s residence, 14 kilometers before Dong Van. Vuong Family was considered as the king of the Hmong People in Dong Van, Ha Giang. Their residence was built in the scenic valley of Sa Phin with Chinese architecture. The whole house was built out of wood and rock only. The rocks for the buildings were imported from China. Vuong family's residence is a masterpiece of men's work in the valley of the heavenly beautiful Sa Phin.

This is a remote area and you can meet the hardworking local people. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage to live in the rocks. When you reach Dong Van Town, you will have some extra time to wander the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago.

Day 8: Dong Van to Bao Lac, 120 kilometers / 74.5 miles

The motorbike ride in the morning will still wind along the Rock Plateau. After breakfast, you will enjoy slowly Vietnam motorbike tour on some beautiful mountain passes until Meo Vac where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you will motorcycle down a hill along the river and see the different mountain view (less rocky and more green). You will arrive in Bao Lac town at 17:00 and stay overnight at a hotel there.

Day 9: Bao Lac to Ba Be Lake - off-road motorbike tour, 150 kilometers / 93 miles

To save time for the boat trip in Ba Be lake, you should start the day earlier. So after breakfast, you will start riding at around 08:00. This day is the best time for off-road Vietnam motorbike tour. Just after 20 kilometers from Bao Lac, you will turn to the narrow and bumpy road with a breathtaking view of terraced rice paddies. You will have to cross few rivers instead of riding on some bamboo bridges.

You will finish the memorable riding day with a lunch in the peaceful village of the Tay people nearby Ba Be Lake. The afternoon is time for relaxing on one of the most beautiful and biggest natural lakes in Vietnam.

Day 10: Ba Be Lake to Hanoi, 240 kilometers / 149 miles

You will stay off the main road for as long as possible. You will head back towards the Red River Delta, passing through areas inhabited by Hmong, Dao, Tay, and Nung minority peoples. The way back to Hanoi is a mixture of both challenging track and glorious sealed road. The great Vietnam motorbike tour to Ha Giang will end safely in Hanoi before rush hours. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Hanoi.

Day 11: Hanoi

This is the end of the motorbike tour.

Intermediate

  • Can ride for 3-4 hours
  • Average riding experience
  • Little assistance required
  • Comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • Average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Steep ascents and descents

Advanced

  • Can ride for 5-6 hours
  • Extensive riding experience
  • Assistance on demand (if required)
  • Experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • Comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Included excursions

  • Boat trip on Ba Be Lake
  • Exploration and short walks around Mai Chau

Location

This tour will take you to explore famous destinations in Vietnam including Mai Chau, Phu Yen, Than Uyen, Sapa, Bac Ha, Hoang Su Phi, Xin Man, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, and Ba Be Lake.

Food

9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 9 dinners will be served for you during the tour.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 9 dinners
  • 10 lunches
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Boat trip on Ba Be Lake
  • Coffee and fruits on tour
  • Driving gears
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Gasoline on tour
  • Government taxes
  • Helmets
  • Homestay permission
  • Mechanic (only for groups of 6 passengers)
  • Motorbike rental (Honda or Yamaha 110cc or 125cc)

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
11 days / 10 nights
from --
Pricing information

There will be a surcharge if you want book a tour during the Lunar New Year period from January 22 to 29, 2020.

  • The surcharge for manual dirt bikes of 150cc and 250cc is 18 USD / bike / day and 30 USD / bike / day respectively.
  • The supplement for those who want to stay in single rooms throughout the trip in a group of two is 190 USD per person.
  • Bigger groups (more than 2) can be accommodated. Kindly send an inquiry mentioning how many persons you are for an accurate price offer.

 

Tour information

Please note that this tour is offered on a private basis. It caters to a single rider or to a private group, providing a personal tour guide in either case.

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