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Spend your days riding through some of the world's most picturesque scenery. Ride your own bike out into the wilderness on one of the North Vietnam motorbike tours of a lifetime. You'll visit Ha Giang by the Chinese border and world famous Sapa. The scenery of this tour is truly jaw dropping and the region is rarely visited by tourists. You'll have plenty of winding mountain roads all to yourself.
During this tour, you will be staying at different accommodations. You will spend eight nights in basic to three-star hotels and two nights in a homestay. Traveling way into the countryside means you will not always be staying in complete comfort.
Upon your arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), look for a driver who will be waiting for you with a sign bearing your name. The journey from the airport to your hotel will take approximately one hour and is an entertaining experience full of chaotic traffic, hectic architecture, and overloaded motorbikes. Your afternoon is free to enjoy Hanoi or you could take an optional Hanoi City Tour (half day). This evening, you will gather together for a welcome dinner and a pre-trip briefing.
At 9:00 a.m., you will depart from Hanoi by bus to avoid the traffic and take the car only highway to just past Thai Nguyen. The journey by bus is around 120 kilometers / 75 miles. There, you will meet up with your bikes, which have been transported on a truck earlier in the morning. You will have lunch there before continuing by motorbike.
The ride takes you on busy country roads through many villages to the peaceful Ba Be National Park. This area is richly forested and features striking limestone scenery and Vietnam’s largest natural lake. Tonight, you will enjoy the hospitality of the Tay minority at a stilt house homestay in Pac Ngoi Village.
After having breakfast, you will take an easy walk to the shore of the lake and board a long boat for a relaxing tour on the beautiful lake to admire the tranquil scenery. Back to the homestay, you will pack up and jump on the bikes for a short journey out of the park to stop for lunch in a nearby village.
Then, it is on the bikes again for a day of picturesque riding through lush greenery, local villages, and mountain roads to Cao Bang, the capital of the province bearing the same name and which has a rich history dating back to the third century. The province has had a dramatic history of ancient legends, revolution, and turbulence and in 1979, the city was entirely demolished by the Chinese.
Leaving Cao Bang behind, you will head through some seriously gorgeous karst scenery that gives you a sensational contrast to the lush farmlands. This is truly iconic Vietnamese scenery and takes you past a gigantic statue of Ho Chi Minh and numerous communist inspired billboards. There is a range of ethnic minorities in this region including the H’mong, King, Tay, and Dzao and most have maintained their culture untouched by the outside world.
Today’s roads are exciting so you will rise early to depart before breakfast for a short, but thrilling ride up through the Ma Pi Leng Pass, regarded as the most beautiful pass in Vietnam, stopping for jaw-dropping photos of the surrounds. The road runs on the sides of black limestone mountains, which are typical features of Dong Van Plateau.
You will stop for a local breakfast of delicious pho in the village of Dong Van and take a time to wander and enjoy the excellent local coffee served in the many charming cafes. You will continue your scenic journey, which winds its way through harsh mountain landscape where hardy minority families diligently farm the unyielding land and then down to the lushly contrasting valleys with cool rivers and sweet smelling crops.
Today requires an early start for the long and exciting journey ahead. The route will be determined by the current condition of the road and the weather. This region is prone to landslides and challenging roadworks. Bac Ha is a rural district of Lao Cai Province in the Northeast region of Vietnam. It is the capital of the region of the Flower Hmong, one of the 54 minorities of Vietnam and of the six groups of Hmong people
An easy day of riding today and you will stop for coffee in Lai Cai, where you can gaze across the river to China. Then it is a fun 59-kilometer ride up a steep windy road to the mountain retreat of Sapa, on top of the Tonkinese Alps, where the temperatures are cooler.
Sapa is a former French hill station and is perched on the spine of a beautiful mountain range. It is a popular resort town and will be full of tourists enjoying the stunning scenery. Tonight is free for everyone and usually, people take a break from Vietnamese food and munch out on hamburgers and french fries.
With a free morning to relax or explore, you will check out of the hotel at midday and enjoy a lunch together before riding out of Sapa. A relaxing and picturesque ride takes you down from the cooler air of Sapa into a valley of winding roads and past terraces of rice fields with plenty of time for photos.
With a great day of mountain riding ahead, you will set off after breakfast to enjoy the quality of the roads and outstanding scenery. Overnight in the famous town of Dien Bien Phu, the site of the French’s dramatic defeat against Ho Chi Minh in 1954. You will arrive in time for a visit to the museum for those interested in Vietnam’s fascinating war history against the French.
Before you hit the road, there is time to climb to the top of the nearby A1 Hill, the site of Vietnam’s most famous victory against the French. This is an interesting war history site where you can see the well-preserved trenches and enjoy a panoramic view of Dien Bien Phu, which puts into perspective the incredible feat of the Vietnamese to beat the French.
More mountain scenery is ahead in the province of Son La where 80% of this area is covered by mountains. Enjoy lush rice crop fields, great roads, and local villages. The province is co-inhabited by various ethnic groups; the Xa, H’Mong, Dao, Muong, Kinh, Kh’Mu, Tay, and Thai.
Today’s ride takes you to an isolated minority hill tribe haven nestled between towering cliffs in an idyllic rural valley of lush greenery and terraced fields of rice paddies. Tonight, you will enjoy the hospitality of the Thai minority in a traditional stilt home. This is a great opportunity to sample some local rice wine with the owners of the home. To decline a drink would be impolite!
With rice wine foggy heads, you will wave goodbye to your hosts and begin an adrenaline-rushing ride up the mountain and through a stunning scenic pass. Once down the mountain, you will ride a further 100 kilometers to the meeting point, where you will put the bikes on the truck and climb aboard the bus where you can relax for the remainder of the journey into Hanoi. Tonight, you will enjoy a farewell dinner with the guests’ choice of pizza and pasta or Vietnamese.
Free time at your leisure to transfer to airport.
This tour isn't for first-time motorbike riders. You'll need to have ridden a bike before, hold a valid international license, and make sure you know how to handle a four-stroke bike.
The conditions of the road will vary, but all will be on bitumen unless the road is under repair. Roads will be an exciting mix of winding mountain roads, sweeping bends through rice fields, busy highways, and roads through local villages.
This motorcycle tour in Vietnam will cover the north part of the country including Hanoi, Ba Be, Cao Bang, Meo Vac, Ha Giang, Sapa, Lai Chau, Dien Bien Phu, Son La, and Mai Chau.
The price of this tour includes all meals. Restaurants along the route will also be basic with toilet facilities being clean but may be squat toilets. The only alcohol available in the countryside is beer, rice wine, and cheap vodka, but table wine and spirits can be transported in the bus. Soft drinks are limited to Coke and Sprite so if tonic or soda is required, then this should also be brought on the bus.
Noi Bai International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi. Transfer from and to the airport is included. Wide Eyed Tours will pick you up from the airport.