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6 Days Vintage Northwest Vietnam Off-Road Guided Motorbike Tour via Mai Chau and Sapa

Mai Chau, Vietnam

Exciting Motorcycle Tour in Vietnam

This vintage Northwest Vietnam motorbike from Hanoi to Mai Chau, Phu Yen, Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, and Thac Ba Lake is rather short but sweet. There is like no other as you will be rewarded with the beautiful scenery, friendly people, delicious food, unique colorful culture, serene boat trips, beautiful countryside, amazing valleys, peaceful villages, and exceptional welcome. Come and join it!

Key information

  • Terrain: mix of asphalt and off-road
  • Bike: rental bike (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki models)
  • Mileage: 1040 kilometers / 646 miles
  • Daily rides: 110 - 210 kilometers / 68 - 130 miles
  • Riding gear: included: helmet
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • Admire the natural beauty of Sapa
  • Enjoy an amazing mountain view during the trip
  • Navigate your bike through the challenging Mu Cang Chai massif
  • Service of a guide and motorcycle rental included
  • Experience a boat ride on Thac Ba Lake
  • 5 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: French
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Accommodation

Vietnam Motorbiketour endeavors 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, all the while striving to keep the cost affordable. Your trip will stay in a range of hotels / 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 from your home country.

Rooms are en-suite and either twin- or triple-share, depending on what you have booked. 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 officially request a double room with Vietnam Motorbiketour. Vietnam Motorbiketour never presumes that two people traveling together are a couple, even if you share the same surname, unless informed otherwise.

Program

Day 1: Hanoi to Mai Chau (170 kilometers / 106 miles)

This short Vietnam motorbike tour to northwest starts with a beautiful ride to Mai Chau from outskirts of Hanoi at around 8 a.m. You will ride away from the busy traffic by taking some narrow and small country roads. After lunch, you will have an enjoyable motorcycle ride on forgotten French road No 6.

That’s a small and winding road along the Black River. It offers the view like Ha Long Bay. After crossing Thung Khe pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in North Vietnam, you will hit the road down to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau, which is home to the white Thai people who live in houses on stilts. Dinner and overnight in Mai Chau.

Day 2: Mai Chau to Phu Yen (160 kilometers / 99 miles)

The motorcycle ride to Phu Yen is quite easy. It offers a lot of stops for pictures of an amazing mountain view. You can start the day with an easy walk around the village or be lazy with waking up café. After saying goodbye to the Thai people, you ride up to the direction of Moc Chau.

Lunch is after the beautiful Hua Tat pass and then after lunch, turn to the less-traveled Road 43 that leads to the Da River. After crossing the reservoir of Da River at Van Yen ferry, you ride on a beautiful winding road until Phu Yen where you stay overnight. Dinner and stay in Phu Yen.

  • Meals: Lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Guest-house

Day 3: Phu Yen to Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai) (210 kilometers / 130 miles)

In the morning, you keep motorbiking across Lung Lo pass before head up on Road 32. During the First Indochina War, the 15 kilometer-long Lung Lo Pass, used by the Vietnamese resistance force to transport weapons, goods, and food.

During the Dien Bien Phu campaign of 1954, it 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 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 in a hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: Mu Cang Chai to Sapa (Lao Cai) (110 kilometers / 68 miles)

You motorbike straight toward the main Fansipan Mountain range. There is also the option for a very challenging back route which takes 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, the views look out over the main range for miles and miles, before you descend to the mountainous Sa Pa Valley. Sa Pa is located in Lao Cai Province, north-west Vietnam, and 350 kilometers north-west of Hanoi, close to the border with China. Sapa is famous both for its fine, rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity.

The French used to consider Sapa as the summer capital of Northern Vietnam in the early decades of the 20th century. Its 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!

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Day 5: Sapa to Vu Linh village (Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai) (210 kilometers / 130 miles)

Get on the road, take a half-day ride to Dao friends’ village of Vu Linh, which by the side of Thac Ba Lake, the biggest man-made lake in Vietnam. This artificial lake has an area of 23,400 ha and 1,331 islands and hills with diverse ecological environments.

The water in the lake is blue and clear and imprinted with the reflections of the surrounding ancient forest. The thousands of hills and islands feature caves such as the Hum, Cau Cuoi and Bach Xa.

After lunch, you take the boat ride, stop by an island for swimming and discover the particularities of this area: the way villagers paddle their boats, the exotic and odd animals living around, the quiet and peaceful beauty of this huge lake, the lifestyle of the Dao among the thousands of islets.

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

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Homestay

Day 6: Vu Linh to Hanoi (180 kilometers / 112 miles)

After breakfast, you ride 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 dike, 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. Harvest time here is a sea of activity.

Crossing the Black River by a bridge, you pass Vu Linh Motorbike tours to Hanoi through Son Tay and then return to Hanoi on the highway. You should be back to Hanoi before rush-hour (4 p.m.) because traffic’s getting busier and busier.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate, advanced

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

Motorcycles available for this tour

Each rider will ride semi-automatic motorbikes Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki 110cc or Honda Future X/Neo 125cc or Fully automatic motorbikes Nouvo/Airblade 125cc or manual motorbike Honda 125cc. Other motorbike options are available with extra cost:

  • Surcharge for riding a manual motorbike Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki 150cc will be 20 USD per day per person
  • Surcharge for riding a manual motorbike Honda 250cc will be 30 USD per day per person

Location

Set in an idyllic valley, hemmed in by hills, the Mai Chau area is a world away from Hanoi’s hustle. The small town of Mai Chau itself is unappealing, but just outside the patchwork of rice fields rolls out, speckled by tiny Thai villages where visitors doss down for the night in traditional stilt houses and wake up to a rural soundtrack defined by gurgling irrigation streams and birdsong.

Food

Meals, as stated in the itinerary, are included in the price. Breakfasts are usually included every day in the hotel (except on the first morning). They are usually "continental breakfasts," which are typical in most countries. A typical breakfast 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 courses. 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, Vietnam Motorbiketour will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise them when you book or make a note by email before you set out.

Please be aware that although Vietnam Motorbiketour will do everything in their power to arrange it, they cannot guarantee that every restaurant they use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Asia. They also cannot cater to tastes or dislikes, as most of the included evening meals feature a set menu.

The following meals are included:

  • 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

  • Motorbike(s)
  • Helmet(s)
  • Driving gears
  • Gasoline on tour
  • English or French speaking guide
  • Mechanic (only for a group from 6 passengers)
  • 5 nights accommodation as indicated in the itinerary (based on twin or/and triple shared)
  • Homestay permission
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Air-ticket
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Damages to motorbikes

How to get there

Recommended Airports

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 7 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
6 days / 5 nights
from --
Pricing information

There will be a surcharge for Lunar New Year period from January 22 to 30, 2020.

  • Room is based on double occupancy. You can have the room for yourself with an extra cost of 120 USD.
  • Please note that rates fluctuate depending on the booking time.

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