Harvesting rice at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai
Harvesting rice at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai

Northern Vietnam Motorcycle Tour - 10 Days

Northern Vietnam Motorcycle Tour is an adventure by motorbike through the most captivating mountains in northern Vietnam for 10 days 9 nights.

The highlights of the trip are the breathtaking mountains in the far-north of Vietnam, the untouched culture of local ethnic minorities and the freedom to ride a motorcycle yourself through the most challenging yet scenic landscapes in the country...

While we travel mostly on paved roads which are more or less quiet with traffic in the countryside, weMuong Lo Valley, Yen Bai Vietnam do also ride on back roads, gravel strewn roads, or trails to visit a village or an attraction. We do have to ride across low-water streams and dried out rivers sometimes. There are many blind curves and deep ravines by the road sides that caution is definitely needed!

The trip can only be done when it is dry and pleasant from December through April. At other times of the year, it is either too hot or too dangerous with landslides. To take part in the trip, you are required to be in good shape, fit, experienced in riding motorcycles in different types of terrain.

On the tour, your daily breakfasts are included, but not other meals. The regions we travel through are very poor and it is expected that the food may not be suitable for some travelers. Accommodations for the trip include clean hotels and guest houses with basic facilities.

On the first day, we leave Hanoi and head further into the green countryside with green rice paddiesA Red Dzao lady in Sapa and tea plantations all the way to Muong Lo Valley, Yen Bai Province. Nghia Lo is home to 17 ethnic groups such as the Thai, Tay, Nung, Hmong, Dzao, Khmu... At Nghia Lo, you can ride further to visit the Black Thai Villages or get relaxed at the hot-spring.

On the second day, the landscape gets wilder with high passes, rugged mountains, terraced rice fields,... There are myriad ethnic villages and surprising encounters should you want to visit. Our destination is Mu Cang Chai, home to the most scenic rice terraces in Vietnam.

On the third day, we ride further into the wild North-West. The first half of the way is with rugged mountains, the second half is with tea plantations. There are many photo opportunities on the way. We have to climb O Quy Ho Pass, one of the most stunning mountain passes in Vietnam before getting into Sapa. The little town of Sapa, a hill station at 1,500m above sea level, is a popular tourist attraction inhabited by 7 ethnic groups.Bac Ha Sunday Market

On the fourth day, we leave Sapa and ride further into Bac Ha Plateau with average elevation of more than 900m above sea level. Bac Ha is home to Hmong, Phu La, Giay, Tay,... We arrive at Bac Ha in time to catch the colorful weekend ethnic market in town. The afternoon is for more ride on the country back roads to different ethnic villages.

On the fifth day, we take on the most challenging tracks on our adventure which are mostly dirt roads and trails. The landscape is no less than spectacular! The region is inhabited by a number of  ethnic groups which are mostly separated from the mainstream society.

On the sixth day, we travel our way amid rice terraces and rivers for the first half of the journey. The road is in fair condition. The second half is to climb uphill. We can stop every now and again to take in the unreal scenery. Our destination is Quan Ba Township, situated amid mountain peaks.Scenic mountains at Xin Man, Ha Giang

On the seventh day, we ride our motorbike amid the fabled world of the karst plateau of Dong Van, listed as a Global Geopark by the UNESCO. You may have seen photos of Dong Van Rock Plateau, but you can only feel its grandeur and magnificence when being there yourself! There are attractions that you don't want to miss today: Sung La Valley, Pho Cao, Pho Bang, Xa Phin Valley with former Vuong Family's Residence.

On the eighth day, we ride more through the rugged mountains of Ha Giang to visit the northernmost region of Vietnam which includes the Lung Cu Flag Tower and the Hmong and Lo Lo communities there. Then we have a couple of hours being mesmerized by the unrivaled beauty of Ma Pi Leng Pass before descending into Meo Vac.

On the ninth day, we leave the ethereal world of the karst plateau and descend the mountains into CaoMa Pi Leng Pass, Meo Vac, Ha Giang Bang and Bac Kan Provinces. There are more forests on the way and a good part of our ride today is along the scenic Gam River. Our destination is Ba Be Lake, surrounded by dense forests and towering mountains.

On the tenth day, we follow the back road from Ba Be National Park to Hanoi via Cho Don and Dinh Hoa. We arrive back in the city in late afternoon concluding the great adventure to the far northern mountains of Vietnam.

Day-to-day Itinerary
Day1    (    Thursday    )    Ha Noi – Nghia Lo (192km)/Afternoon Ethnic Village Tour (B)
Day2    (    Friday        )    Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai (100km) (B)
Day3    (    Saturday    )    Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sa Pa (140km) (B)
Day4    (    Sunday    )    Sa Pa –  Bac Ha Market (100km) (B)
Day5    (    Monday    )    Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi (90km) (B)
Day6    (    Tuesday    )    Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang City – Quan Ba (140km) (B)
Day7    (    Wednesday    )    Quan Ba – Yen Minh –  Dong Van (100km) (B)
Day8    (    Thursday    )    Dong Van – Lung Cu – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac (80km) (B)
Day9    (    Friday        )    Meo Vac – Bao Lam – Bac Me – Na Hang - Ba Be (180km) (B)
Day10    (    Saturday    )    Ba Be – Cho Don – Dinh Hoa – Thai Nguyen – Ha Noi (220km) (B)

Accommodations
Guest houses with basic facilities throughout the adventure.

The tour price includes

  • English-speaking guide;
  • Motorbike as indicated on the tour itinerary;
  • Accommodations in twin-shared rooms as indicated on the tour itinerary;
  • Meals as indicated as indicated on the tour itinerary: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner;
  • All admission fees as indicated on the tour itinerary;

The tour price doesn’t include

  • Insurance of any type;
  • Drinks or personal expenses;
  • Others not specified in the inclusions;

A scenic road at Nam Bung, Van Chan, Yen Bai
A scenic road at Nam Bung, Van Chan, Yen Bai

 

 

Bucolic landscape at La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chai
Bucolic landscape at La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chai

 

 

Rice fields at Muong Kim, Than Uyen, Lai Chau
Rice fields at Muong Kim, Than Uyen, Lai Chau

 

 

A breathtaking view of Xin Man from a high point
A breathtaking view of Xin Man from a high point

 

 

Marvelous golden rice terraces at Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang
Marvelous golden rice terraces at Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang

 

 

Amazing mountains at Hoang Su Phi at dusk
Amazing mountains at Hoang Su Phi at dusk

 

 

Mysterious beauty of Ma Pi Leng Pass, Meo Vac, Ha Giang
Mysterious beauty of Ma Pi Leng Pass, Meo Vac, Ha Giang

 

 

The serene Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan
The serene Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan