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7 Days Cloudy Northwest Vietnam Off-Road Guided Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong, Ta Xua, Mu Cang Chai

Pù Luông Nature Reserve, Vietnam

Motorcycle Tour in Vietnam

Grab the chance to explore authentic Vietnam! This Northwest Vietnam offroad motorbike tour will take you to Pu Luong, Ta Xua, Mu Cang Chai, Y Ty, Sapa, and Thac Ba Lake in which you can both hunt the clouds and enjoy the beautiful landscape of terraced rice fields.

Key information

  • Terrain: off-road
  • Bike: rental bike (Yamaha, Honda, or Suzuki)
  • Mileage: 1020 kilometers / 634 miles
  • Daily rides: 110 - 210 kilometers / 68 - 130 miles
  • Riding gear: not included: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), riding boots, summer gloves, balaclava, goggles
  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Hanoi
  • "Hunt" beautiful and great clouds in Son La
  • admire the view of terraced fields along the trip
  • See villages with bamboo trees, gardens of flowers, paddies and local markets
  • Visit the charming town of Sapa, Thac Ba Lake
  • Service of a guide, bike rental
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 riding days
Airport transfer available:
Noi Bai International Airport (US$50 per person)
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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 Pu Luong - Ba Thuoc (Thanh Hoa)

This morning, after having breakfast at hotel you’ll jump on your iron horse to ride along the dike of Red River where you can have a chance to witness peaceful and green villages with bamboo trees, gardens of flowers, paddies and local markets.

Later on, you’ll turn your way to a very scenic road to get to Quan Son lake which is known as another Halong Bay located to the West of Hanoi. You’ll spend more than one hour here to ride offroad a bit around the lake to see the magnificent beauties of the lake, mountains, islands, and people feeding poultries or catching fishes.

After a short break by the lake, you’ll merge into the Ho Chi Minh trail to ride to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. You'll have lunch at a local restaurant on the way.

En route, you’ll stop by to visit other spectacular destinations with jungles, waterfalls, streams, bridges, and villages of Thai ethnic people.

The Pu Luong limestone landscape is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau in the North to West to Cuc Phuong national park in the South East. It is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces, and breathtaking scenery.

Established in 1999, Pu Luong Nature Reserve is primarily tropical forest. This is also a living place of ethnic Muong and Thai people. Pu Luong means the highest peak of the village, in Thai language.

At around 17:30, you will get to Hieu hamlet located inside the Pu Luong Nature Reserve where you’ll be hosted by the locals with smiles and great foods. Overnight at the local’s village (traditional houses on stilts).

  • Distance: 160 kilometers / 99 miles
  • Meals: Lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Homestay

Day 2: Pu Luong to Bac Yen (Son La) via Mai Chau and Moc Chau

You will be riding to Bac Yen town via Mai Chau with the stopover in Moc Chau and a ferry across the Da River. Ta Xua belonged to Bac Yen district (Son La), is an attractive tourist destination to those who want to “hunt” beautiful and great clouds.

The way to Ta Xua is quite difficult to go, but you will be satisfied with the beautiful landscape here. In the season of the cotton mop, the hillside is covered by the white cotton mops which shine brightly in the sun.

In order to see the torrential clouds, you might have to wake up early, from 5 a.m to both “hunt” the clouds and welcome the sunrise. Stay in a guesthouse.

  • Distance: 160 kilometers / 99 miles
  • Meals: Lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 3: Ta Xua to Mu Cang Chai via Tu Le

In the morning, you keep motorbiking across Lung Lo pass before head up on Road 32. During the First Indochina War, the 15 kilometers-long Lung Lo Pass, used by the Vietnamese resistance force 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 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.

Terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai are beautiful all the year round. Visitors in March are treated to the sight of glittering ponds. Locals transplant rice seedlings from April to May. After that, all hills are covered by an everlasting green. The fields start to turn yellow with ripe rice from early September.

The fields are visible from virtually everywhere in the district as they expand over 2,200 hectares, including around 500 hectares in Che Cu Nha, La Pan Tan, and De Xu Phinh communes. The terraced fields in these villages were recognized as a national heritage in 2007 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Mu Cang Chai is at its most beautiful in September and October when the rice ripens. In addition to the rice ripening season, many tourists like to visit Mu Cang Chai in May and June, when the local farmers irrigate their fields. At that time, the terraced rice fields are like giant mirrors sparkling under the sunlight. Overnight in a hotel.

  • Distance: 210 kilometers / 130 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: Mu Cang Chai to Y Ty via Muong Hum

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).

Located at an altitude of 2000 meters, Y Ty is covered by the clouds and fog all year round and the sun rarely lights enough all day. Y Ty is famous for the zigzag roads, the peaceful valleys, the twinkling terraces under the yellow sun lights, the small simple houses of the ethnic people, the colors of the old jungle, and the clouds in harmony with mountains.

Coming to Y Ty, you drop in on Muong Hum Market. Like other highland markets, the market in Y Ty also brings the cultural colors of the ethnic minority people in the northwest. This market sells all types of handmade products, clothes, jewelry, handicrafts, featured food, fruits, etc.

Furthermore, you should also visit Hong Ngai Hamlet, Sin Chai Hamlet and Lao Chai Hamlet with the special architecture of Mong ethnic people; sightsee the nice impressive road A Lu in the rice harvest, and especially “hunt the clouds” in Y Ty. It’s interesting to sightsee the beautiful sunrise and sunset on the cloudy sea in the early morning and in the early evening. Overnight at a homestay.

Day 5: Y Ty to Sapa via A Lu and Lung Po (Lao Cai)

You will be passing A Lu, Ngai Thau, Amusung where you will witness beautiful terrace rice fields. Get up the Lung Po flag tower overlooking the Red River coming into Vietnam land and the water border. 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.

French used to consider Sapa as 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!

  • Distance: 110 kilometers / 68 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Day 6: Sapa to Thac Ba Lake, Vu Linh (Yen Bai)

Take your motorbikes down from Sapa to Lao Cai City and then have a coffee-stop on the bank of Nam Thi River, which is Vietnam-China border. Enjoy your coffee while taking the view of China. Get on the road, take a ride to Dao 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, 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.

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.

  • Distance: 200 kilometers / 124 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Homestay

Day 7: Vu Linh village (Thac Ba Lake) to Hanoi

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 go 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.

  • Distance: 180 kilometers / 112 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate and 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

This tour takes place in Vietnam. Starting from Hanoi, you will ride to Pu Luong, Bac Yen (Son La), Mu Cang Chai, Y Ty, Sapa, Thac Ba Lake, Vu Linh (Yen Bai), then back to Hanoi.

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

  • 6 nights accommodation at standard hotels or homestay
  • Motorbike(s)
  • Helmet(s)
  • Driving gears
  • Gasoline on tour
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees
  • Boat trip in Thac Ba

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Air-ticket
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Vietnam Motorbiketour can pick you up, if you send your flight details in advance. Round-trip transfers cost 50 USD per person.

Airport: Noi Bai International Airport Airport transfer available: Noi Bai International Airport (US$50 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

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
7 days / 6 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 150 USD.
  • Please note that rates fluctuate depending on the booking time.

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