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11 Days Adventurous Loop Guided Motorcycle Tour in Northwest Vietnam

Pom Coọng, tt. Mai Châu, Mai Châu, Hòa Bình, Vietnam

Spectacular Vietnam Motorcycle Tour

This motorcycle adventure is a great chance to experience firsthand the local ethnic minorities and their hospitable atmosphere. The central north is more remote. With many weekly markets, it offers a chance to explore their wonderful culture and all places around this eye-catching area. It has stunning splendid natural scenery and cultural sights and attractions. See colorfully dressed ethnic people and get to know their different traditions in this tour.

Key information

  • Terrain: mix of asphalt and off-road
  • Bike: rental bike (Honda XR150)
  • Total mileage: approximately 1550 kilometers / 963 miles
  • Daily rides: approximately 130 to 220 kilometers / 81 to 137 miles
  • Riding gear: included: rain gear, helmets, motorbike jacket
  • Meals: 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches, and 10 dinners

Meet the guides

Tran Khac
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Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Honda XR150 motorbike rental
  • Tour of the H'mong King's Palace
  • Cruise on Ba Be Lake and trek to Dau Dang Waterfall
  • Shopping at the colorful Bac Ha Market
  • Visit to the Black Thai villages
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • English-speaking guide

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


10 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Airport transfer available:
Noi Bai International Airport (US$26 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
08:00
Check-out Time:
17:00

Have a great first night at Chu Nam's homestay in Mai Chau.

Be comfortable at a homestay in Son La for your second night.

Spend your third night at a hotel in Than Uyen.

Have the memorable stay at Holiday Sapa Hotel in Sapa on your fourth night.

Enjoy your fifth night at Huyen An Hotel in Xin Man.

Be at the comforts of Chu Doan's homestay in Ha Giang on your sixth night.

Relax on the seventh night at Lam Tung Hotel in Dong Van.

Stay at Song Gam Hotel in Bao Lac for the eighth night.

Get the most of your last two nights at Mr. Linh's homestay.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi to Mai Chau (160 kilometers / 99 miles / 4 hours)

Once out of the Red River Delta, which brims with traditional farming activity, you will pass through limestone monoliths and into foothills populated by the Muong people. You will head straight at the main range before breaching a high and beautiful forested pass, which descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau, where you will spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house in Pom Coong village

Day 2: Mai Chau to Son La (180 kilometers / 112 miles / 6 hours)

On a good road looking high over distant mountains, you will head up into a forested region populated by H'mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after, you will follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market.

Day 3: Son La to Than Uyen: (160 kilometers / 99 miles / 6 hours)

After breakfast, you will keep riding on road 6 to Tuan Giao with a beautiful and stunning landscape. Along the way, stop to visit a Black Thai village on an off-the-beaten track where you will ride through a dark cave to get there. Have lunch in Tuan Giao. You will then turn to the road 279 to Than Uyen. You will have a great experience of driving while riding up the steep winding passes through the forests and terraced rice fields along the road. Enjoy a short break on the Pa Uon Bridge to take in the surrounding landscape.

Day 4: Than Uyen to Sapa (130 kilometers / 81 miles / 4 hours)

The road follows the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and winds through tea plantations and rice terraces as it hugs the Nam Ma River. This stunning valley is dotted with Tay, Dzao, and H'mong hill tribe villages. Ride over the 1,900-meter Tram Ton Pass to Sa Pa located in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son Mountains. Arrive Sapa in the afternoon.

Day 5: Sapa to Bac Ha to Xi Man (160 kilometers / 99 miles / 5 hours )

After breakfast, you will ride down to Lao Cai. It is the center of Lao Cai province, which is next to the international border with China, where important trading in the north happens. Have a short break at the border before you head to Bac Ha town. Bac Ha is well known for the century-old colorful market and real mountainous people, including the Dzao and the Flower H'Mong. The market only opens on Sunday morning.

You will then continue up north to Ximan via a small trail that has a deep, impressive scenery while riding through a forest. Take a short break at Lao Chai village on top of the mountain to have a look at the overview of Chay river, which is high up and hidden in the clouds. There are particularly interesting tracks in this area, including one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Vietnam.

Day 6: Xi Man to Ha Giang (150 kilometers / 93 miles / 6 hours)

Breakfast will be served at a local restaurant near your hotel. You will visit a local market in the morning, where you will have the chance to meet minority groups, such as the Dzao, Nung, and Flower H'mong. Do not forget to take some memorable pictures and buy some souvenirs.

The roads go through some mountain passes, but there are lots of tortuous roads, which give a great opportunity to test your riding skills. After lunch in Tan Quang, the last 50 kilometers to Ha Giang become of ease on road 2. If time permits, you can visit Thanh Ha to relax and enjoy the hot springs.

Day 7: Ha Giang to Dong Van (150 kilometers / 93 miles / 6 hours)

After obtaining a visit permit at the immigration office in Ha Giang, you will then continue your trip exploring through the area of Quang Ba, Yen Minh, and Dong Van, which is famous for pictures opportunities of the natural, impressive, and magnificent landscape. The local people living there are dedicated to working long hard hours but overcoming all difficulties on rocky farmland in a harsh environment. They are very friendly and outgoing people and live a happy life without the modern day necessities.

You will have a short break at an information coffee shop where you can climb up a set of stairs to take in a spectacular viewpoint of Quang Ba. After lunch at Yen Minh town, you will visit Pho Bang, which was built many centuries ago and features multi-story houses made of clay bricks and tiled roofs.

In the area, visit the infamous Vuong Palace of the H'mong family of high rank during French colonial rule, Vuong Chi Sinh, who was purported to be the H'mong King in Vietnam. This palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. Then you will arrive in Dong Van.

Day 8: Dong Van to Meo Vac to Bao Lac (120 kilometers / 75 miles / 4 hours)

Climb over the Ma Pi Leng Pass, from which you can see and enjoy beautiful scenery overlooking the Nho Que River before going down to Meo Vac. You will cross the wild regions of the mythical province of Ha Giang. Stop for the night at Bao Lac, the ethnic crossroad of northeast Vietnam. Many other ethnic groups on the two sides of the border meet at the market every Sunday.

Day 9: Bao Lac to Ba Be (120 kilometers / 75 miles / 4 hours)

Ride a few passes from where you can dominate the area. The road is easy but has many curves. You can stop a lot. Altogether, stop for drinks and food. It should be an eight-hour journey. You will spend the night in the traditional stilt house of the Tay minority people.

Day 10: Ba Be Lake

Enjoy easy boating on the lake and river. Go to the market if you arrive during the day. Stop at the beautiful waterfall. The house of Ong Pirate, the chef of Dau Dang waterfall, is where you will enjoy dinner. Down the waterfall, you could visit the village and a small school. You will stay in the stilt house of forest guards.

Day 11: Ba Be Lake to Hanoi (220 kilometers / 137 miles / 7 hours)

On the last day of the tour, enjoy an easy ride of 220 kilometers through Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, and Vinh Yen provinces on a small road with little traffic. You will arrive Hanoi around 5:00 p.m.

Skill level

Intermediate

  • can ride for three to four hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Guides

Tran Khac Cuong

Location

This motorcycle tour will cover various destinations, including Hanoi, Mai Chau, Son La, Than Uyen, Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Bao La, and Ba Be Lake.

Sapa

Every year, thousands of people flock to Sapa to experience the remarkable scenery and discover the amazing cultural diversity of its many villages. Today, Sapa is an overwhelming vista that reminds you of the greatness of nature.

The vivid green mountains climb high into the dramatic skies before cascading down the other side, the balconies of rice paddies forming hypnotizing patterns all the way down to the valleys. However, the peace and serenity that you feel when drinking in the fresh mountain air has only been reestablished in the recent years.

The H’mong and Dao ethnic communities had settled among the peaks and troughs but were disturbed by the French invasion from the late 1880s onwards. From 1881, Lao Cai was placed under the authority of the French colonial military, and they began their development of the area.

One of the biggest developments was the military sanitarium which was erected. The fresh mountain air was thought to have a wealth of health benefits. More and more French villas were built, and Sapa was established as a hillside station. These impressive buildings and villas did not, however, stand the test of time as the majority of them were destroyed in the American-Vietnamese War.

It was in the 1960s that new inhabitants started to migrate from the surrounding areas to set up homes in Sapa. It was not until 1993 that Sapa opened its doors to tourism, and since then, it has undergone rapid development. Sapa Town has changed to suit the ever-expanding tourism industry with many local people earning their main income from restaurants, cafes, homestays and the local markets. The town itself has a whole range of restaurants and places to stay to suit all budgets and preferences.

The real magic lies a short walk out from the main town as you journey through the rolling hills and valleys meeting the people that live, work, and farm on these stunning lands. It is easy to see why Sapa is one of the most popular trekking areas of Vietnam.Each year, people trek over the rolling countryside to remote villages where they can stay in a local homestay to get a first-hand look at the rich history and traditions of each community.

Another big draw is Fansipan Mountain. Also known as the “Roof of Indochina,” this peak stands at an impressive 3,413 meter high, with its head often shrouded in a cloak of clouds. Whether you are here for the trekking or the cultural discovery, the fresh mountain air, incredible scenery, and rich heritage will surely be a refreshing experience.

Food

During this tour, all meals will be provided, except for breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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

  • Honda XR150 motorbike rental
  • All petrol (gasoline)
  • Rain gear and helmets
  • Motorbike jacket
  • Boat trip
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 10 dinners
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • All entrance fees and permits to visit the frontier area

What's not included

  • Visa to Vietnam
  • Any other transportation not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tip for guide
  • Other personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

  • Please book your flight to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Airport transfer is available at an additional cost of 26 USD.
Airport: Noi Bai International Airport Airport transfer available: Noi Bai International Airport (US$26 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

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.
11 days / 10 nights
from --
Pricing information

The tour is priced at 1,078 USD per person for groups of seven and 1,052 USD for groups of eight.

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