You will get to experience Vietnam in a different way not seen by other tourists. Every day will be a new location, a place that holds some history from recent events or times in the distant past and you will get there on roads that many riders often dream. Much of the way will be on quiet roads that wind through jungle vistas and quiet villages in valleys that seem to go forever.
You will be staying at various accommodations at different hotels. At the end of each day, you will be staying in clean and comfortable shared room accommodation. Hotels will vary in standard but all will offer a comfortable bed, a warm shower, and an opportunity for a cold drink and time to discuss the day's adventure. In Halong Bay, you will be spending the night on a cruise boat.
This is the must do tour of the North West of Vietnam. You ride the winding mountain roads that skirt the border with China and take you through some of the most special scenery this beautiful country has to offer. From lush green jungles to spectacular karst landscapes, from traversing the high mountain passes to witnessing minority groups carving a living from the steep mountainsides. This is a Vietnam that you must see.
On the road, you will meet happy, smiling children as they swarm into and out of schools and even the adults will have a smile and a wave for the group as you pass through their homelands.
The roadways are the links between diverse villages and their householders are shared by locals traversing on foot often with seemingly impossible loads on their backs or motorbikes along with their herds of goats and buffalos, cows, warming themselves in the sunshine, inquisitive pigs investigating the bustle on the roads and the local dingo-lookalike canines seemingly disinterested in most of what is happening.
LBMT will pick you up from airport and take you to your pre-tour accommodation. A welcome dinner is supplied in the evening, along with a comprehensive briefing of the journey. LBMT will also provide a map of your intended journey. This is a great time to meet other riders.
The tour takes the support van from a city center hotel to outer Hanoi to meet and get acquainted with the bikes in a quieter setting and then off you go. The morning is spent in traffic but on wide urban roads. After about 120 kilometers, you stop for a simple but tasty lunch at a local restaurant.
Then, you turn off the main highway and the difference is striking as you suddenly find yourself on country lanes flanked by rice fields. Locals on bicycles, pass by with a cheery wave. You continue in this fashion (with some rest stops) to the shores of beautiful Ba Be Lake where you stop for a photo opportunity, some fun with the grazing buffaloes, and a well earned rest. Then you will go off up into the hills to your hotel.
After breakfast, you take the support bus down to Ba Be Lake where you will spend a couple of hours on a boat trip, savoring the delights of this incredibly beautiful lake (the highest and largest natural lake in Vietnam).
You will visit the Fairy Pond and a pagoda as well as sample some small fried lake fish. Then it’s back to the hotel to restart the tour. Leaving the support bus to find its own way, you head off into small roads known only to the locals. You pass through the spectacular karst scenery, waving to kids and people working the fields, skirting round the buffaloes.
You have some fun crossing a rickety bridge before stopping for a delicious cooked picnic lunch with fruit and soft drinks. In the afternoon, you will face another rickety bridge (with the option to ford the half metre deep stream). All day, you ride on rural roads with magnificent scenery to reach your destination.
This days takes you over the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass with its amazing mountainous scenery and its superb well surfaced winding roads.
You start the day with a walk around the local market, meeting the local H’Mong people and savoring the sights and sounds of the market. Again, you use a lot of small roads found by your local guides, passing through spectacular scenery and rural scenes. On the way, you visit a local village where you give toys (balls, dolls, pencils, and colouring books) to the local children.
You visit a home of some black H’Mong people. You take an excursion to the Lung Cu Flag Tower where after a steep climb, you are rewarded with great views of the scenery and entertaining photo opportunities with tourists from Vietnam and China.
You start the day with a visit again to a much larger local market with livestock, tools, and all the things the local people need. People come from long distances to buy and sell at this market. The day is spent in even more spectacular scenery. You visit a local H’Mong king’s palace and have a picnic lunch again by the remains of an old French fort. You start the day on relatively straight and quick roads before you start to climb with hairpin after hairpin and then back down again.
This day takes you over the misty Xin Man pass. The very high scenery is not so rural, but is still breathtakingly beautiful.
This is a relatively short day, but still chock full of interest. The first stop is Lao Cai. Lao Cai is one of the main borders between Vietnam and China. It isn’t a truck border so ingenious means are used to transport goods between the two countries. There is also a famous pagoda and lots of Chinese tourists.
From there is a short haul to Sa Pa one of the most famous tourist destinations of Vietnam, founded by the French as a place to go and cool off in the Vietnamese summer. The road to Sa Pa passes many spectacular rice terraces. It is a very busy road, very slow moving with many hold-ups as large articulated trucks pass each other on bends. Eventually, you arrive at Sa Pa where you can sample the delights of international restaurants and tourist shops.
You will be passing by the cable car station for Fanzipan mountain. The day will be spent amongst the misty mountain scenery of the mountain ranges at around 1500 meters.
This days sees you descending from the mountains into rural countryside again. You stop to visit typical houses of Black Thai, White Thai H’mong, and Red Dao people. Everywhere you go, the people are friendly, welcoming, and hospitable.
The day will bring a run down through rural countryside to the big sprawling city that is Ha Noi. You have several stops to relax and take in the scenery and enjoy the Vietnamese life.
Depart Hanoi to Ha Long by shuttle bus/car. Find the vessel and check in your cabin. Next, you will start sailing from Bai Tu Long Bay area, feast on a delicious lunch as you cruise among beautiful of islets, take in the charm and tranquility of the lagoon at Luon Cave onboard a traditional rowing boat. Visit Ti Top Island, where you can enjoy swimming, kayaking, or walking up to the summit and admire a fantastic view onto Halong Bay. In the evening, an elegant gala dinner will be served onboard.
After breakfast, explore Surprise Cave (Hang Sung Sot), one of the largest and most famous grottoes in the entire Halong Bay. Arrive back in Ha Long city for disembarkation, where your driver waits to take you back to Hanoi.
Duyen or as most people know her as, JJ (it stands for jam jar, but that's a story you can ask about when you are on tour), is the manager of and, along with her Aussie business partner, co-own Lucky Bastard Motorcycle Tours. After nearly nine years of helping establish and then managing another motorcycle tour business, last year was the perfect time to take the next step and do it for herself. She is proud of her country and there are things she wants to do for riders and places she wants to show them. The best way she could do this was to start her own company.
The motorcycle tour will take place in the north west region of Vietnam.
Lucky Bastard Motorcycle Tours provides a fully inclusive welcome dinner upon your arrival at your designated tour departure location. Daily breakfast, lunch, and evening meal for the whole tour is provided.
All towns will have their own unique aspects whether it is a cultural show performed by one of the many minority peoples, night markets, scenic sunrises, or a game of billiards and pool at the local hall. Take time to enjoy any or all of these and you will begin to experience Vietnam as the locals do.
Noi Bai International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Lucky Bastard Motorcycle Tours will pick you up from the airport.
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