This 10-Day Northern Vietnam offroad motorbike tour is the most perfect way to explore Mai Chau, Than Uyen, Sapa, Bac Ha, Dong Van, Bao Lac, and Ba Be lake before finishing the tour in Hanoi. There is no better way to get immersed in the outstanding beauty of the regions and colourful local cultures.
Start our motorbike tour by leaving Hanoi on dyke roads to avoid the heavy traffic around 9 am, we ride our motorbikes west to Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. We will motorcycle on Highway 6 passing extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads punctuated by limestone karst scenery.
After a light lunch in Hoa Binh Province, we cross Thung Khe, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in North Vietnam then descent to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. After dinner we join performance, where you can dance and share a range of special liquors (rice wine) with the locals. Overnight in a house-on-stilts of the Thai people.
Distance: 160 km
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Mai Chau Motorcycle Tours to Phu Yen (Son La) – Offroad Motorcycle Tours to Tribal Villages
Mai Chau is one of the closest places to Hanoi where you can experience a ‘real’ Montagnard village. In the morning we take a short walk around village to discover local life. Life in the side starts early so by sunrise there is a wealth of activity. The Thai women are masterful weavers who ensure that there is plenty of traditional-style clothing to buy in the village centre. You will see women weaving on looms under or inside their houses in the village We can buy some handmade traditional-style clothing, knife or cross-bow.
After breakfast in home-stay, we say goodbye to villagers and leave Mai Chau around 10 am. We ride from Mai Chau to the direction of Moc Chau, where we have lunch. This highland town produces some of Vietnam’s best tea and is a good place to stock up. The surrounding area is also home to several ethnic minorities, including Green H’mong, Dzao, Thai and Muong. Moc Chau boasts a pioneering dairy industry that started in the late 1970s with Australian (and, later, UN) assistance. The dairy provides Hanoi with such delectable iuxur us as fresh milk, sweetened condensed milk and little tooth-rotting bars called “Banh sua”.
After lunch, we turn to the less travelled Road 43 leading to the Da River, crossing the reservoir of Da river at Van Yen ferry, then ride on a beautiful winding secondary road until Phu Yen where we stay in a basic guest-house.
Distance: 140 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Phu Yen Motorcycle Tours to Than Uyen (Lai Chau)
In the morning, we keep motorbiking across Lung Lo pass before head up on Road 32 .
During the First Indochina War, the 15km-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 recognised as a national heritage by the ministry. After lunch, we 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.
We motorbike straight toward the main Fansipan Mountain range. There is also the option for a very challenging back route which takes us through several river crossings. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass).
Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2,000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Sa Pa is located in Lao Cai Province, north-west Vietnam, and 350 km 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!
Overnight in Hotel.
Distance: 110 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Sapa Motorcycle Tour to Bac Ha (Lao Cai)
Motorcycle 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 to China.
Head to Road 70 before turn to Bac Ha on Road 153. Long touted as the weekend alternative to Sapa, this small highland town doesn’t have the same dramatic location of its more il-lustrious neighbour, but it is calmer when Saturday comes. It fills up to choking point on Sunday morning, when visitors flood in to meet the Flower H’mong at theSapa Motorbike Tour to Bac Ha Market – morning market. Compared with Sapa, tourism is still in its infancy here and during the week the town has a deserted feel. Bac Ha is a good base to explore the surrounding highlands. Around 900m above sea level, it is noticeably warmer than Sapa.
One of Bac Ha’s main industries is she manufacture of alcoholic home brews (rice wine, cassava wine and corn liquor). The corn hooch produced by the Flower H’mong is so potent it can ignite! Bac Ha is the only place in Vietnam where you’ll find this particular moonshine; there’s an entire area devoted to it at the Sunday market.
Overnight in Bac Ha.
Distance: 120 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Bac Ha Motorcycle Tours to Ha Giang City
After breakfast, we take a motor ride on the track to Xin Man and Hoang Su Phi on many small; back roads with scenic mountain views. Xin Man is right on the border between Vietnam and China. It is, as of this writing, well hidden and completely surrounded by wild mountains and forests.
There’s a single road from Xin Man to Hoang Su Phi. Hoang Su Phi is among the most untouched area of Ha Giang Province of Vietnam. The area was separated from the mainstream society until very recently. Passing Hoang Su Phi, we will be charmed by the pristine beauty of the wild mountains and the authentic culture of the local ethnic groups which include: the Nung, the Flower H’mong, the Tay and the Ha Nhi People…After lunch, join the main road heading up to Ha Giang City, where we stop for the night and apply for a permit.
Distance: 200 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Ha Giang Motorcycle Tours to Dong Van (Ha Giang)
After getting the permit for motorbike tour in border areas at Ha Giang’s Immigration Police, we ride on small challenging mountain roads (but incredibly beautiful) on the land of colorful mountain hill-tribes.
Motorcycle up the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Here is yet another amazing place, with cloudy mountain ranges and the poetic Nho Que river winding off in the distance.
It is really difficult to find the exact words to describe Ma Pi Leng Pass, located between Dong Van and Meo Vac, near the northernmost tip of Vietnam, as a painting of astonishing beauty and magnificence that captures the eyes of all viewers and nature lovers.
Ride on a zig-zag track until reaching Vuong Family’s Residence, 14 kms before Dong Van.
Vuong Family was considered the King of the Hmong People in Dong Van, Ha Giang. Their residence was built in the scenic valley of Sa Phin with Chinese architecture. The whole house was built out of wood and rock only. The rocks for the buildings were imported from China. Vuong Family Residence is a masterpiece of man work in the valley of heavenly beauty of Sa Phin.
This is a remote area and we can meet the hard-working local people here. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage live in the rocks.When we reach Dong Van Town we will have some extra time to wonder the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago.
Distance: 160 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Dong Van Motorcycle Tours to Bao Lac (110 km)
The motorbike ride in the morning is still winding along the Rock Plateau, after breakfast, enjoy slowly Vietnam motorbike tour on some beautiful mountain passes until Meo Vac where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we will motorcycle down hill along the river and see the different mountain view( less rocky and more green). Arrive in Bao Lac town at 5 PM.
To save time for the boat trip in Ba Be lake, We should start the day earlier so after breakfast, we start riding at around 8.am . Today is exactly the best offroad Vietnam motorbike tour. Just after 20km from Bao Lac we turn to narrow and bumpy road with breathtaking view of terrace rice paddies. Especially, we have to cross few rivers instead of rinding on some bamboo bridges. Finishing the memorable riding day with lunch in a peaceful village of the Tay people nearby Ba be lake .
It’s time for relaxing on one of the most beautiful and biggest natural lake in Vietnam in the afternoon.
Day 10: Northern Vietnam Motorbike Tour to Sapa, Ha Giang, Bac Kan: Ba Be Lake Motorbike Ride Back to Hanoi (240 km)
Staying off the main road for as long as possible we head back towards the Red River Delta, passing through areas inhabited by Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung minority peoples. A mixture of both challenging track and glorious sealed road all the way back to Hanoi. the great Vietnam motorbike tour to Ha Giang will end safely in Hanoi before rush hours.
10-DAY VIETNAM OFFROAD MOTORBIKE TOUR Rating: 9.8 out of 10 based on 373 reviews.
* ACCOMMODATION: – We endeavour 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 centres 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 to your home country.
– Rooms are en-suite and either twin- or triple-share, depending on what you have booked. If you are a solo traveller, 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 us. We never presume that two people traveling together are a couple, even if you share the same surname, unless informed otherwise.
* MEALS: – Your included meals are detailed in the ‘More Inclusions’ section of this document.
– Breakfasts are 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 yoghurt, 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 we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent when you book, or make note by email before you set out. But please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Asia. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.
* Ten Tips to Survive Vietnam’s Traffic: + DON’T spend hours waiting to cross the street on foot: that constant tide of traffic won’t stop until late at night, so
+ DO as the Vietnamese do: take the plunge and inch slowly across. Observe the Miracle of the Red Sea, as the traffic parts like magic, flowing smoothly in front of you or behind, meeting up again on the other side.
+ DON’T make any sudden or unpredictable movements: freeze if you have to, but never lunge forward or backward towards the safety of the sidewalk. In fact, you can do just about anything, but do it with conviction!
+ DON’T forget, if you’re riding or driving, to look where you’re going – all the time: if you hit anything in front of you, then it’s your fault.
+ DO give way to any vehicle bigger and noisier than yours. Trucks and buses are particularly dangerous: often old, sometimes unsafe and usually all over the road.
+ DO watch out for unfamiliar obstacles: water buffaloes, rocks of various sizes, broken-down trucks…, people sitting in the road, missing bridges, girls in ao dai cycling five abreast, slow-moving mountains of farm produce, dog fights, impromptu football matches, piles of building materials – and almost no light on anything at night..
+ DON’T hesitate to take evasive action – even if this sometimes means leaving the tarmac or coming to a dead stop.
+ DO try to avoid getting involved in one of the all-too-frequent minor accidents that plague Vietnam’s roads (and the major ones as well, of course), but if you are unlucky,
+ DON’T lose your cool, in spite of the interference of the large and vocal crowd that may gather: try to settle things amicably and swiftly. Sometimes, paying a reasonable amount of money will save you a lot of hassle.
+ DO remember that the only rule is: you’re not allowed to bump into anybody… irrespective of what they did or should have done, or of what the road signs or traffic lights were telling them to do. Some people still seem to think that anything red means forward, comrade
* Tipping for guides & mechanic: Our crews never expect tips themselves and will not ask for any; that’s not what friends do! However, so if you are really satisfied with all of what they did for you, please don’t mind tipping them a bit with a normal norm of US$ 7 – US$ 10/person for a guide per day and US$ 3 – US$ 5/person for a mechanic per day. (just don’t forget Mum’s souvenir).
+ Motorbike(s) (Honda or Yamaha or Kawasaki)
+ Driving gears
+ Gasoline on tour
+ English speaking guide
+ Mechanic (only for group from 6 passengers)
+ Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary (based on twin or/and triple shared)