Our unique biking trip in northern Vietnam takes place against a backdrop of endless lush green paddy fields and irregular tree-covered limestone mountains. Get a fleeting insight into the traditional lives and exotic landscapes of North Vietnam.
What to Expect
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive at Hanoi International Airport. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel downtown Hanoi. The remainder of day is free at leisure to explore Hanoi by yourself. In the evening we will take a welcome dinner at local restaurant with Vietnamese delicacies. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour & Night train to to Lao Cai
After breakfast we will begin our city tour of Hanoi. At first, we will visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the ?Uncle Ho? house. After that we head to the unique One Stilt Pagoda, which date from one thousand year ago. Continue to the Hanoi?s famous Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam founded in 1070. The highlight of this cultural, historical site is the garden of stelae where you find 82 stone stelae bearing names, places of birth and achievements of men who received doctorates in each triennial examination from 1442; each stelae sits on a stone tortoise. Lunch in local restaurant before heading to the Old Quarter for a relaxing cyclo tour through the ancient part of Hanoi.
After the cyclo tour we will drive to the Museum of Ethnology, which is quite away from the central Hanoi. It features a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam and its diverse tribal people. On our trip we will meet some tribal groups ? now it is time to learn about them.
Drive back to hotel to take shower. Free time until we get on the night train to Lao Cai around 10pm. Cyclo is three wheeled rickshaws, operated by pedal-power, with a seat attached to the front.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa - Biking Ban Ho Village - Sapa
Once we arrive in Lao Cai we get a transfer around 1hr to our hotel in Sapa. After checking in, freshening up and a light breakfast we will get our bikes together with a wonderful day’s biking though the Sapa Valley. At first on a dirt road then on single-track path. We will descent to Ban Ho village, home to Tay people. We will bike beside the main river, on a fast undulating route to Nam Toong, a village of Red Dzao people. Picnic lunch on the way before continuing to My Son, a village populated by Xafo people, one of the smallest ethnic group in Vietnam. We return to Sapa by a jeep ride. Dine at local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Sapa - Suoi Ho Village - Ban Khoang Village - Ta Giang Phin Village - Ban Seo Village - Lao Cai
After breakfast in the hotel we will begin the ride around 8.30am, directly from Sapa and straight away we are flying along on a 38km stretch involving a challenging climb at first and then a spectacular, fast flowing downhill to join a remote jeep track. We will meet up for picnic lunch at lower downhill. The jeep track climbs at first then provide a fast descent before we hit a short section of paved road that leads to Lao Cai Town. This is a long and challenging day with one short section where we might have to carry our bikes. Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
Day 5: Lao Cai - Trung Do Village
After breakfast in the hotel we have few hour in the morning for shopping. We will begin the ride around 10am, directly from Lao Cai and straight away we are flying along on a 38km stretch involving some small climbs at first and then a spectacular, fast flowing downhill all the way into Lao Cai town. Lunch before we begin our ride in the afternoon, 55km to Trung Do, a beautiful village of Tay people located on the bank of Chay River. From Lao Cai to Trung Do we take a short ride along the Chinese border before jumping into road 70 for about 2hrs. The last 10km we ride on beautiful country road and bumpy dirt path to reach Trung Do Village. Tonight we will stay overnight with a Tay family. While we enjoy our pre-dinner drink with the family, our local guide will cook a great dinner for us. Dinner and overnight in the local house.
Day 6: Trung Do Village - Coc Ly - Bac Ha
Early rising for breakfast and goodbye the hosts to board a long boat and transfer for around 1.5 hr along a stunning Yangtse-style river ride, though a high cliff gorge. The boat trip takes us to Coc Ly where the Dao, Tay and H?mong people gather for a market day on Tuesday every week.
We will begin our ride in Coc Ly and we will cover 60km of remote jeep track and challenging climb. At first we ride on a bumpy jeep track along the Chay River and then we turn off the road onto a steep climb up to Bac Ha. There is always an option to take the support bus if you do not feel like riding. Late lunch in our hotel in Bac Ha. The remainder of the day is free at leisure or take a relaxing ride for around 1.5 hr around the quiet town of Bac Ha through some tribal villages and a visit to the palace of H?mong King. Dine in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
* It would be great if we could plan our trip to get to Coc Ly market on Tuesday. The market is so primitive and colorful.
Day 7: Bac Ha - Xin Man
Breakfast in the hotel and begin our ride directly from our hotel. Today we will bike across one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam. At first we tackle a steady climb of 6km on good paved road but then turn into short section of jeep track. After around 3-hr riding we will have a picnic lunch wherever we find good for that. After lunch we continue riding to Xin Man, a small and busy town near Chinese border. Xin Man is around 75 km from Bac Ha and the biking in the afternoon is not less challenging than the one in the morning. We will climb for the first hour or so up to a plateau at 2500m, where we have fantastic view before hitting rough paved road for a steady descent into Xin Man. During the biking we will have regular stop for break, snack and taking photo. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 8: Xin Man - Hoang Shu Phi - Ha Giang
Today we take a gentle ride covering 90km from Xin Man to Viet Quang Town. The ride takes us down to a bridge over the main river and for the next 40km we ride along a quiet road that gently climbs and follows the river upstream to Hoang Shu Phi, a quiet town at 1000m. Have a break in town for snack and refreshment then continue with downhill quiet road 60km to Viet Quang. We will have a late light lunch in Viet Quang Town then take a bus transfer to Ha Giang Town, the capital of Ha Giang Province which is the final frontier in northern Vietnam, a lunar landscape of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops. Dinner and overnight in Ha Giang Town.
Day 9: Ha Giang - Bac Me - Bao Lac
Today the ride is mostly road based. At first we tackle 12 km climbs and then it is an undulating, idyllic route through friendly villages and paddy fields, surrounded by jagged limestone hills. Around noon time we will reach Bac Me Town where we will have lunch in local restaurant. After lunch we will continue riding to Bao Lac. The long and gentle section in the afternoon can be done partly by biking and partly by driving. We may ride around 35km on quiet road then take a drive to Bao Lac Town where we stay overnight in a simple guest house. Dinner in town.
Day 10: Bao Lac - Tinh Tuc - Ba Be Lake
Having a relaxing breakfast and then we leave the town around 9am. Today we will enjoy the last ride of our trip. We start with a climb 6km, followed by an undulating quiet road though scenic villages. We will have snack break on the way and have late light lunch in the small town of Nguyen Binh. After the lunch we will take a relaxing drive to Ba Be National Park. We will stay overnight in the beautiful village of Pac Ngoi, which is home to Tay people who live on Ba Be Lake in stilt house. Our hosts will cook us a great dinner and we will have a great time talking with the friendly hosts.
Day 11: Ba Be Lake - Cho Ra - Hanoi
Today we have a relaxing and peaceful day. After the breakfast we say goodbye to the hosts and take a short walk through the village. We will board a long boat for a fantastic boat trip on the stunning Ba Be Lake. This lake is one of the country?s largest natural lake, surrounded by limestone cliffs, waterfall, caves and an abundance of wildlife. The interesting boat trip lasts around 1.5hr and we will ride along the Nang River to reach Cho Ra Town. Drive 5hr back to Hanoi with a lunch stop on the way. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.
Day 12: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight home. Trip ends.
- English Speaking tour leader (other languages upon requests)
- All accommodations base on twin-share at hotel, guesthouse and Home stay.etc…
- Meals detailed in the itinerary (B = Breakfast , L = Lunches ,D = Dinners)
- A/C transfers and transportation.
- Boat trip mention in itinerary
- Sightseeing excursions as outlined in itinerary
- Train Ticket from Hanoi to Lao Cai
- Pump, bike tools, helmet, spares tubes.
- Spare bike * Mineral water drinking.
- Seasonal fruits.
What's Not Included
- International airfares
- Travel insurance and bike helmet (compulsory)
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
- Mineral water beyond that supplied
- Single Supplement
- Optional excursions
- Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
- Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills
- Mountain bicycle (Bike Hire US$15/per day)
- Visa fees
- Departure taxes
- Tipping for guiding