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Beautiful Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour

This Vietnam motorcycle tour to Mai Chau, Phu Yen, and Thac Ba Lake offers you the exceptional chance to see many beautiful mountain passes, breathtaking landscapes, and friendly people with a start from Hanoi to Mai Chau in Hoa Binh, then Phu Yen in Son La and the final destination is Thac Ba Lake in Yen Bai. You will discover the local ethnic people’s culture by staying with them, sharing meals, and enjoying homemade rice wine.

Key information

  • Bike: rental bike (Honda or Yamaha motorbikes)
  • Terrain: a mix of tarmac, gravels, curves, muddy, rocky, and off-road
  • Mileage: 660 kilometers / 410 miles
  • Daily rides: 140 - 180 kilometers / 87 - 112 miles
  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Riding gear: included: Helmet(s) and driving gears


  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Ride to Mai Chau and Phu Yen
  • Walk around the Montagnard village
  • Enjoying a music performance and rice wine
  • Ride along the beautiful Thung Khe mountains
  • An English or French-speaking guide
  • Motorbike rental during the tour
  • 3 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


4 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: French
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Your accommodations will be homestays in Mai Chau and Dao village as well as a guesthouse in Phu Yen. All rooms are twin or / and triple-sharing basis.


Day 1: Hanoi to Mai Chau Valley (Hoa Binh), 160 kilometers / 100 miles

Brief of day one: motorbiking tours to tribal villages - enjoy a music performance + rice wine;

You start your motorbike tour by leaving Hanoi on dyke roads to avoid heavy traffic around 09:00, you ride your motorcycles west to Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. You will ride 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 cross Thung Khe, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in North Vietnam then descent to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. After dinner, you join a performance, where you can dance and share a range of special liquors (rice wine) with the locals. Overnight in a house-on-stilts of the Thai people.

Day 2: Mai Chau to Phu Yen (Son La), 140 kilometers / 87 miles

Off-road motorbike tours to remote tribal villages

Mai Chau is one of the closest places to Hanoi where you can experience a 'real' Montagnard village. In the morning, you take a short walk around the village to discover the local life. The life in the countryside starts early so by sunrise, there is a wealth of activity. 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 say goodbye to the villagers and leave Mai Chau around 10:00. You ride from Mai Chau to the direction of Moc Chau, where you 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 Nations) assistance. The dairy provides Hanoi with such delectable and fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk, and little tooth-rotting bars called Banh sua.

After lunch, you turn to the less traveled Road 43 leading to the Da River, crossing the reservoir of Da River at Van Yen ferry, then ride on a beautiful winding secondary road until Phu Yen, a small mountain town in Son La Province, where you stay in a basic guesthouse.

Day 3: Phu Yen to Vu Linh village (Thac Ba lake, Yen Bai), 180 kilometers / 112 miles

In the morning, you ride across Lung Lo pass before head up on Road 32. During the First Indochina War, the 15 kilometers - 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.

Head up to Ba Khe T-junction, you continue your motorbike tour on a sealed road through renowned tea growing areas, where the hillsides are literally covered in plantations, all the way to the city of Yen Bai which sits on the Red River. From here, it’s a short ride to the Thac Ba Lake, also formed by the construction of hydroelectricity dam in the 1970s. You keep riding to the Dao village of Vu Linh where you stay for the night, enjoying Dao hospitality.

You will have an unforgettable dinner with the hosts, who are really big drinkers and they party every day. The welcome is exceptional and it's hoped that you will survive.

Day 4: Thac Ba back to Hanoi, 180 kilometers / 112 miles

After breakfast, you ride to the southeast on Highway 2 and then branch off to the sleepy town of Phu Tho. You follow the edge of the Red River along the dyke, almost to the point where it merges with the Black River after which they flow together to Hanoi. By now, you are very much in the lowlands of the delta plains and the north's main agricultural areas. The harvest time here is a sea of activity. Crossing the Black River by a bridge, you pass through Son Tay and then return to Hanoi on the highway. You should be back to Hanoi before rush-hour (16:00) because the traffic's getting busier and busier.


  • Can ride for 2-3 hours
  • Minimal riding experience
  • Assistance required
  • Comfortable with curves and leans
  • Basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Short distance ascents and descents


  • 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


  • 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

On day 2, you take a short walk around the Montagnard village to discover the local life.


This tour will take you from Hanoi to Mai Chau, Phu Yen, and Thac Ba Lake in Vietnam. Along the way, you will visit Hoa Binh Province, Lung Lo Pass, Dao village of Vu Linh, and Son Tay.



  • Boating
  • Mountain biking
  • Swimming


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Hammock
  • In-room safe
  • Lake
  • Luggage room / storage
  • River


  • ATM / banking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Internet access
  • Local market
  • Mosquito net


You will be provided with 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners. You will also be served fruits and coffee on 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

Things to do (optional)

  • Dance and share a range of special liquors (rice wine) with locals
  • Enjoy a music performance
  • Shopping in Mai Chau village

What's included

  • 3 nights' accommodation
  • English or French-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees
  • Fruits and coffee on tour
  • Gasoline on tour
  • Helmet(s) and driving gears
  • Homestay permission
  • Honda or Yamaha motorcycle rental
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Mechanic (only for a group starting from 6 passengers)

What's not included

  • Air ticket
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Hanoi - Noi Bai International Airport (HAN).

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
Quality of activity
4 days / 3 nights
from --
Pricing information

There will be a surcharge if you want book a tour during the Lunar New Year period from February 8 to 16, 2021.

  • The supplement for those who book for a group of 2 people but want to stay in single rooms throughout the trip is 30 USD.
  • The surcharge for a manual dirt bike of 150cc is 18 USD per bike per day.
  • The surcharge for a manual dirt bike of 250cc is 30 USD per bike per day.
  • If your group has 3 - 6 people traveling together and riding geared scooters of 110cc or the automatic ones of 125cc and sharing double/twin rooms, the cost for each will just be 435 USD per person and the supplement for those who want to stay at single room is 30 USD / night.


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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