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11 Days The Karst Rider Northern Vietnam Guided Motorcycle Tour

Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi, Vietnam

Guided Vietnam Motorcycle Tour

Venture along some of the best broken-roads and optional easy enduro trails in Northern Vietnam. Discover an impressive vastness of mountain ranges, high peaks and remote villages, experience the adventure of this wonderful country all from the saddle of your bike. The RAMS Karst Rider Vietnam Tour follows the Chinese border along trails made by generations of Vietnamese villagers crossing forests, streams, and mountains in order to survive. Stunning passes, roads cut into the mountains and huge drops make this ride spectacular and literally breath-taking. Enduro motorcycles, jaw-dropping scenery, and warm culture that you will love.

Key information

  • Terrain: 70% mix of smooth / broken road, ​30% easy trails (optional)
  • Bike: rental bike (Kawasaki KLX 250, Honda CRF 250L, Honda CRF Rally suitable for pillion passengers, Kawasaki KLX 150 with reduced seat height)
  • Riding gear not included
  • Mileage: 1,400 kilometers / 870 miles
  • Daily rides: 80 - 180 kilometers / 50 - 112 miles
  • Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner included unless otherwise specified

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Explore the vibrant city of Hanoi
  • Riding on the spectacular Sapa Pass
  • Venturing in the amazing Ba Be National Park
  • Service of a medic, mechanic, and support vehicle
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Motorcycle rental

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Styles


8 riding days
The maximum participants in the group is 12
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
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Accommodation

RAMS Adventures tries and books the best accommodation they can, however, they also try and give you the best experience in the most beautiful places. Every overnight stay will be clean, have laundered bed linen, Wi-Fi and en suite facilities with exception to the train.

Program

Day 1, October 3: Arrival in Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and is known for its centuries-old architecture. You stay in the chaotic Old Quarter of the city with its quirky tall buildings and street traders the pace of life will amaze you. Tonight you will go to the Minsk Bar to meet the team and to enjoy our first beer and then jump on the overnight train to Lao Cai.

Day 2, October 4: Hanoi to Lao Cai aboard the night train

After breakfast, the day is your own. Check out the downed B52 Bomber in the lake, the War Museum or the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You will meet late afternoon to check out the bikes before they get loaded onto the night train. After dinner, you also board the train and bed down for the night. Arrive at Lao Cai the next morning around 6:30 a.m.

Day 3, October 5: Lao Cai to Sapa Village (120 kilometers / 75 miles)

Time to get on the bikes and start the adventure. You ride out of Lao Cai and soon turn off on to the mountain trails. Small broken roads and stone paths take you high with your first chance to see the scale of the surrounding landscape. Lunch at Ta Van, but check out the minority hill tribe people.

View the Sapa pass, a ribbon of tarmac draped over the mountains with incredible switchbacks and elevation changes and then ride it. Tonight you stay in Sapa Village, a small trading post with many markets and tourist shops to explore.

Day 4, October 6: Sapa Village to Xi Man (180 kilometers / 112 miles)

As you head down the mountain tracks from Sapa you again return to Lao Cai for lunch at the Chinese trading post and border crossing. Small pushbikes laden with goods come into the town from China to trade at the local markets. You leave Lao Cai along the river border on single broken roads as you ride into back into the hills.

Day 5, October 7: Xi Man to Ha Giang (160 kilometers / 99 miles)

Today is the day of waterfalls, switchbacks, and long drops. Roads are a great mix of smooth tarmac, broken trails and hill tracks to the town of Ha Giang. Here we yout to ride through the hotel on your bikes, a great opportunity for a photo but remember no wheelies in reception.

Day 6, October 8: Ha Giang to Dong Van (165 kilometers / 103 miles)

Huge peaks shadow your ride as you wind your way through endless valleys along the river to Dong Van. Tonight you sample the Vietnamese hot pot, which involves a noodle soup, some raw ingredients, and a small cooker on the table, great fun with plenty of rice wine. Chúc sức khoẻ (cheers)!

Day 7, October 9: Dong Van to Bao Lac (80 kilometers / 50 miles)

Each of you will buy the inner line permits that allow you to enter the next province. You may notice the mountains start to change shape, huge limestone boulders seem to have some symmetry to each other as you weave around their bases, stunning. Today you will ride the famous Sky Road goat track but only for those who have a head for heights.

Day 8, October 10: Bao Lac to Ban Gioc (220 kilometers / 137 miles)

After breakfast, it's straight on the bikes and into a small off-road section which takes you through some tiny bamboo villages. The villagers are always welcoming to strangers with a cup of hot green tea and maybe a glass of rice wine, my advice is stick to the tea. Great trails give way to the daddy of all waterfalls at Ban Gioc on the Chinese border. Tonight you sleep overlooking the falls.

Day 9, October 11: Ban Gioc to Ba-Be Lake (180 kilometers / 112 miles)

Following an early start on the bikes, you head along the border, following the river you soon head back into the hills for more mountain trails. On arrival at Ba-Be, you jump on a small boat and explore the tiny bays, waterfalls, and caves around the lake. The accommodation is basic but wait until the morning, you will have a treat with the sun rising over the lake.

Day 10, October 12: Ba-Be Lake to Hanoi (160 kilometers / 99 miles)

Back on the bikes for one last time as you try and “sneak” back into Hanoi using some of the best back roads in Vietnam. You will ride through tiny villages until you hit the traffic of Hanoi, now there’s an experience. Tonight you say goodbye to your new Vietnamese friends.

Day 11, October 13: Leave Hanoi

This is the end of the tour. You will return home with beautiful memories.

Riding mechanics

All tours have a team of mechanics who will ride with the group to allow maximum time on the bikes. Each evening the bikes are then worked on the ensure they are in tip top condition for the next days ride.

Medical team

All tours have a British medical team riding on the trip traveling with you, so any medical assistance required is given immediately with no delays - 24 hours a day.

Road conditions

Some broken road sections in mainly smooth tarmac road. Optional sections of trail riding if required.

Riding difficulty

Easy road with broken sections with some road riding. Suitable for novice riders and seasoned confident riders with experience.

Motorcycles available for this tour

Honda or Kawasaki 250cc Enduro style bike as standard or you can upgrade your machine to fit.

Skill levels required for this tour: beginner, intermediate

Beginner

  • Can ride for two to three hours
  • Minimal riding experience
  • Assistance required
  • Comfortable with curves and leans
  • Basic experience with unsurfaced roads
  • Short distance ascents and descents

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

Location

Hanoi

Hanoi is a vibrant full-on city that has to be explored. Stay in the Old Quarter of the town where you can sample the street traders' food and night market or visit the downed B52 American Bomber in the middle of one of the cities lakes.

Overnight sleeper train to the Chinese border

That evening you will catch an overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai in the northwest province of Vietnam, unload the bikes and following breakfast we hit the trails and head into the mountains.

Sa Pa

In unsurpassed natural surroundings, visit cultural sights of great importance and watch the ethnic villagers fill the air with their traditions and colorful outfits as they wave and smile as you pass through. Marvel at the mountain passes and look down the valleys toward the Chinese Boarder as you traverse each road cut into the rocks. Weave through the endless tracks as you climb to the sky through the clouds in search of the next amazing landscape.

Ba-Be National Park

Explore Vietnam's largest national park where you find nestled in the rainforest the magnificent lake of Ba-Be with its waterfalls and cave network make it a must for any visitor. Get wonderful views and amazing photos across the province from the top Ba-Be tower or head across the lake to the An Ma temple.

Ban Gioc Waterfalls

The waterfalls probably hang on a wall in a Chinese takeaway near you however seeing and hearing the falls up close is something that stays will you forever.

Food

The cuisine in Vietnam will always be fresh, fragrant and full of flavor. Vietnamese food is often rice or noodles but often has an accompaniment of fresh vegetables, pork, fish or chicken and you add the heat with optional chillis on the table.

The food is often placed in the middle of the table. You are given small bowls and chopsticks and you help yourself. The Vietnamese thinking is they never want to see their guests go hungry so they will keep bringing out the dishes until everyone has stopped eating.

Rarely do you see a menu in Vietnam, it is usually what they have they will bring out but don't worry if you have any intolerances to food or any preferences, let RAMS Adventures know upon booking and they will ensure there is appropriate food each evening. Often vegetarian food gets eaten first because it is so tasty.

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

Things to do (optional)

  • Old Quarter, crashed B-52 memorial, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum visit
  • Visit pearl farms in Cat Ba Island

What's included

  • Motorcycle mounted guide(s) and mechanic(s)
  • One or two UK-based medics riding with the group (depending on the size of group)
  • Fuel for the bikes
  • Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner unless otherwise specified
  • 10 nights accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Train tickets to Lao Cai ​
  • Support vehicle(s)
  • Luggage transportation from each accommodation
  • Motorcycle rental and transportation of bikes to start of the event and from the end of the event.
  • Regular wear and tear to the motorcycles of both rider and guide
  • Airport pick-up and drop off, unless arriving/departing independently of the main group
  • Branded tour T-shirt and Buff

What's not included

  • Any alcohol consumed during the course of the tour by the participant
  • Any accident damage caused to a participant's motorcycle while on tour. All accident damage costs must be paid by the participant
  • Expenses incurred that are not listed as part of the itinerary
  • Any airplane flights
  • Medical treatment or evacuation of a participant either as a result of being on tour or not as a result of being on tour
  • Medical or evacuation insurance
  • Cost of transferring deposit money

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% 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 --

Availability

Start: Saturday October 3, 2020
End: Tuesday October 13, 2020

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