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10 Days Unforgettable Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour

Thrilling Motorbike Tours Vietnam

Enjoy this thrilling motorbike tour as you pass through scenic routes of North Vietnam. You will get a wonderful opportunity to do a homestay with local people and enjoy their ethnic hospitality. Ride through the valleys and nature's pathway to know the diverse cultures and traditions from northwest to northeast of this beautiful land. Take a boat trip on Vietnam's biggest natural lake, meet the local communities, and savor some authentic drinks as you take the adventures by your stride!

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Ride through the Mu Cang Chai Massif
  • Explore the ancient streets in Dong Van town
  • Walk around a real Montagnard village in Mai Chau
  • 125 cc manual Honda, Yamaha, or Suzuki bike rental available
  • Marvel cultural and natural diversity on scenic rides
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • 9 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


10 riding days in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 8
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Accommodation

You will be staying in various accommodations that include homestays and comfortable hotels. You will be staying at Hong Long or a similar hotel at Phu Yen, at Hoan Quan Hotel in Than Uyen, at Sapa Unique Hotel in Sapa, at Truong Xuan Hotel in Ha Giang, at Lam Tung Hotel in Dong Van, and at Thuy Duong or a similar hotel in Bao Lac. The accommodation will be on twin or double shared basis.

Vietnam Motorbiketour has endeavored to select a combination of good quality hotels that reflect the character of the local area, as well as being as centrally located as possible while striving to keep the cost affordable. You will stay in a range of hotels and guesthouses with standardized quality. Please be aware that some hotel rooms, especially those in major urban centers or older cities, may be smaller than what you are used to in other parts of the world.

Standards and ratings may also be different to your home country. If you are a solo traveler, you will always be sharing a room with someone of the same sex. Otherwise, you can pay a supplement to possess a single room. If you are traveling as a couple and would prefer to have a double bed, please ensure to inform Vietnam Motorbiketour at the time of booking.

Vietnam Motorbiketour Itinerary

You will be touring through North Vietnam to explore the natural beauty of high mountains, hospitable ethnic minorities, typical cultures, and traditions.

Overview

  • Bike: rental bike
  • Terrain: mix of asphalt and off-road
  • Daily rides: 110 - 240 kilometers / 68 - 149 miles
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 7 dinners

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

You will start your motorbike tour by leaving Hanoi on dyke roads to avoid the heavy traffic, at around 9:00 a.m. You will drive your motorbikes towards the west in directions of Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. You will ride on highway six 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 and then descent 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. Overnight stay will be a homestay with Thai people.

Day 2: Mai Chau to Phu Yen (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 here 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 a cross-bow.

After breakfast in your homestay, you will wave goodbye to villagers and leave Mai Chau at around 10:00 a.m. 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 with assistance from the United Nations. The dairy provides Hanoi with fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk, and little tooth-rotting bars called “Banh sua”.

After lunch, you will turn to the less traveled Road 43 leading to the Da River where you will be crossing the reservoir of Da River on Van Yen ferry and will then continue to 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 (210 kilometers / 130 miles)

In the morning, you will continue motorbiking across Lung Lo Pass before heading up on Road 32. During the first Indochina War, the 15 kilometers long Lung Lo Pass, used by the Vietnamese resistance forces 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. Overnight stay will be at a standard hotel.

Day 4: Than Uyen to Sapa (110 kilometers / 68 miles)

You will motorbike straight toward the main Fansipan Mountain range. There is also the option of taking a very challenging back route which will take you through several river crossings. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally, you 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, you will enjoy the views looking out over the main range for miles and miles, before descending to the mountainous Sapa Valley. Sapa is located in Lao Cai Province, northwest Vietnam, and 350 kilometer northwest of Hanoi, close to the border with China.

Sapa is famous both for its fine rugged scenery and its rich cultural diversity. French used to consider Sapa as the summer capital of North Vietnam in the early decades of the 20th century. It's 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! Overnight stay will be at a standard hotel.

Day 5: Sapa to Bac Ha (120 kilometers / 75 miles)

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

Next, 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 when Saturday comes.

It fills up to a choking point on Sunday morning, when visitors flood in to meet the Flower H’mong at the morning market. Compared with Sapa, tourism is still in its infancy here 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 sea level, it is noticeably warmer than Sapa.

Bac Ha is well known for manufacturing its 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 will find this particular moonshine, there is an entire area devoted to it at the Sunday market. Overnight stay will be a homestay at one of the local homes.

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

After breakfast, you will ride on the track to Xin Man and Hoang Su Phi passing many small back roads with scenic mountain views. Xin Man is right on the border between Vietnam and China. It is well hidden and completely surrounded by wild mountains and forests. There is a single road from Xin Man to Hoang Su Phi.

Hoang Su Phi is among the most untouched area of Ha Giang Province of 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 heading up to Ha Giang City, where you will stop for the night and apply for a permit. Overnight stay will be in a standard hotel.

Day 7: Ha Giang to Dong Van (160 kilometers / 99 miles)

After getting the permit for motorbike tour in border areas from Giang’s immigration police, you will ride on the challenging but incredibly beautiful mountain roads on the land of colorful mountain hill-tribes. Next, you will motorcycle up the Ma Pi Leng Pass, a 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 nature's painting of astonishing beauty and magnificence that captures the eyes of all viewers and nature lovers. Ride on a zig-zag track until you reach Vuong family’s residence, 14 kilometers before Dong Van.

The Vuong family was considered 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 residence is a masterpiece of man work in the valley of heavenly beauty of Sa Phin.

This is a remote area and you can meet the hard-working local people here. It is inspiring to see how they survive living in the rocks. When you reach Dong Van town you will have some extra time to explore the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes made of clay bricks and tiles roofs, built centuries ago. Overnight stay will be in a standard hotel.

Day 8: Dong Van to Bao Lac (110 kilometers / 68 miles)

Your motorbike ride in the morning will still be winding along the Rock Plateau. After breakfast, you will enjoy a slow motorbike tour on some beautiful mountain passes until Meo Vac where you will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, you will drive down the hill along the river and enjoy different mountain views (less rocky and more green).

You will arrive in Bao Lac town at around 05:00 p.m. Overnight stay will be in a standard hotel.

Day 9: Bao Lac to Ba Be Lake (150 kilometers / 93 miles)

You will have an early start to your day to save time for your boat ride in Ba Be and will start riding at around 08:00 a.m., post your breakfast. Today you will experience the best of Vietnam's offroads. Just after 20 kilometers from Bao Lac, you will turn towards a narrow and bumpy road with breathtaking views of terrace rice paddies.

You will finish this memorable riding day with lunch in a peaceful village of the Tay people nearby Ba be lake, followed by a time to relax on one of the most beautiful and biggest natural lake in Vietnam in the afternoon!

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

Staying 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 people.

You will ride through a challenging yet glorious sealed road all the way back to Hanoi. Your tour to Ha Giang will end safely in Hanoi before rush hours.

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

You will experience a boat ride on the Ba Be Lake during this trip.

Location

During the tour you will be driving through Hanoi, Mai Chau, Phu Yen, Than Uyen, Sapa, Bac Ha, Hoang Su Phi, Xin Man, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Bao Lac, and Ba Be Lake.

Food

During the tour you will be served daily delicious meals, as indicated in the itinerary. You will relish local food consisting chicken, pork, beef, eggs, vegetables, and tofu. Breakfasts are included every day in the hotel (except on the first morning). They are usually continental breakfasts and may consist of cereals with milk or yogurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese, and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea, or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in Asia, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well.

Included evening meals are in local restaurants or accommodation places and are either two or three-course meal. In most cases, table water is provided with the meals, and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense.

If you have any dietary requirements please inform Vietnam Motorbiketour, at the time of booking, who we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs, but please be aware that although they will do everything to arrange these, they cannot guarantee that every restaurant you visit will be able to cater to all dietary needs.

They also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of the included evening meals feature a set menu.

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)

  • Appreciate the beautiful landscape
  • Buy souvenirs like handmade traditional-style clothing, knife, or a cross-bow
  • Enjoy riding through a land of pristine beauty and diverse culture
  • Know about the authentic culture of the local ethnic groups
  • Stock Vietnam’s best tea at Moc Chau
  • Taste alcoholic home brews in Bac Ha
  • Visit the dairy industry in Moc Chau

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • 9 lunches
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Driving gears
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees
  • Fruits and coffee on tour
  • Gasoline on tour
  • Helmet
  • Homestay permission
  • Motorbike rental

What's not included

  • Drinks

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

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

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
10 days / 9 nights
from --
Pricing information

There will be a surcharge for Lunar New Year period from 15 February to 20 February, 2018 when the services might be limited. Vietnam Motorbiketour does not recommend riding during this period.

 

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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