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

Northern Vietnam Motorcycle Tour - 10 Days

Visited places: Hanoi, Bac Kan, Ba Be National Park, Thai Nguyen, Ha Giang, Sapa, Bac Ha, Yen Bai, Lai Chau
Tour Activity/Theme: Adventure, Motorcycling, National Park, Ecotourism, Ethnic village, Sublime nature, Homestay, Bucolic countryside, Off the beaten track, Mountains, Plateau

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...Muong Lo Valley, Yen Bai Vietnam

While we travel mostly on paved roads which are more or less quiet with traffic in the countryside, we 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.Bac Ha Sunday Market

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)Scenic mountains at Xin Man, Ha Giang

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;

Detailed Itinerary

Day1 ( Thursday ) Ha Noi – Nghia Lo (192km)/Afternoon Ethnic Village Tour (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We leave Hanoi and head further into the green countryside with green rice paddies 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.
Overnight at Nghia Lo.

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

Day2 ( Friday ) Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai (100km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today 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.
Overnight at Mu Cang Chai.

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

Day3 ( Saturday ) Mu Cang Chai – Than Uyen – Sa Pa (140km) (B)A Red Dzao lady in Sapa
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Sapa.

Day4 ( Sunday ) Sa Pa – Bac Ha Market (100km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Bac Ha.

Day5 ( Monday ) Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi (90km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Hoang Su Phi.

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

Day6 ( Tuesday ) Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang City – Quan Ba (140km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Quan Ba.

Day7 ( Wednesday ) Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Dong Van (100km) (B)Ma Pi Leng Pass, Meo Vac, Ha Giang
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Dong Van.

Day8 ( Thursday ) Dong Van – Lung Cu – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac (80km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.
Overnight at Meo Vac.

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

Day9 ( Friday ) Meo Vac – Bao Lam – Bac Me – Na Hang - Ba Be (180km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We leave the ethereal world of the karst plateau and descend the mountains into Cao 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.
Overnight at Ba Be National Park.

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

Day10 ( Saturday ) Ba Be – Cho Don – Dinh Hoa – Thai Nguyen – Ha Noi (220km) (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
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.