HANOI MOTORBIKE TOUR TO PU LUONG NATURE RESERVE VIA MAI CHAU
updated: September 14, 2017
By Minh Hoang
This 4-day Vietnam motorbike tour starting from Hanoi will bring you to Hoa Lu, Tam Coc, Pu Luong, and Mai Chau. Pù Luông Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in Quan Hóa and Bá Thước districts of Thanh Hóa Province. The Tam Cốc (“three caves”) portion is a three-hour excursion by small boat along the Ngô Đồng River, beginning at the village of Van Lam and proceeding through a scenic landscape dominated by rice fields and karst towers. The route includes floating through three natural caves (Hang Cả, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba), the largest of which is 125m long with its ceiling about 2m high above the water. Hoa Lư was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. The area is one of ricefields broken by picturesque limestone mountains, and is approximately 90 km south of Hanoi
Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Mai Chau – Brief Itinerary:
Day 1: Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (-/L/D)
Day 2: Tam Coc Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve (B/L/D)
Day 3: Pu Luong Motorbike Tour to Mai Chau valley (B/L/D)
Day 4: Mai Chau Motorbike Tour to Hanoi (B/L/-)
Day 1: Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Mai Chau: Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (-/L/D)
07:00 am, we’ll start our motorbike tour by riding throughHanoi motorbike tour to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc the city then following the High Way No 1 via some suburb districts of Hanoi like Thuong Tin, Phu Xuyen and Hanam province to get to Ninh Binh
At around 10:30am, we arrive at Hoa Lu Ancient Capital. In 968, Dinh Bo Linh declared himself as the King. Since then Hoa Lu existed as the capital for the next 41 years (968 – 1009), of which 12 years was under the Dinh dynasty – King Dinh Tien Hoang, the country named Dai Co Viet, and 29 years later was under the Le dynasty – King Le Dai Hanh. In 1010, King Ly Thai To moved the capital from Hoa Lu to Thang Long – present day Hanoi.
Hoa Lu became the old citadel. In Hoa Lu there are now 2 temples have been built on the ground of the old royal palace, one is dedicated to King Dinh Tien Hoang, the other is to King Le Dai Hanh. The visit offers a chance to know more about part of feudal dynasties and historical periods in Vietnamese history.
11:30am, we’ll jump on our motorbikes to keep heading to Tam Coc at around 12:00pm. Right here, we’ll have a lunch at a local restaurant being served with goat meat which is famous as the local specialty .
1:30pm, 5 minute-walk to the boat station and start a 2-hour boat trip to visit Tam Coc. Known as “Halong Bay on land”, Tam Coc are three limestone caves stretching along Ngo Dong river. The boat trip is a nice journey along the river with peaceful scenery of limestone mountains, rice paddy and the site of some temples along the way from Hang Ca (first cave) to Hang Hai (second cave) and Hang Ba (third cave).
The rest of time, you’ll be free on your own to explore more local villages around Tam Coc.
overnight at Hotel in Tam Coc
Distance: 150 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Tam Coc
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Mai Chau: Tam Coc Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve (B/L/D)
After having breakfast, you’ll be relaxed a bit before taking another ride to Pu Luong Nature Reserve within a few hours. We then have to take a short boat trip then start a 2 to 3 hour walk through beautiful hill side villages, magnificent rice paddies, seeing hand crafted bamboo water wheels to approach where we’ll be staying tonight. The highlight on this walk is experiencing the beauty of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, the everyday life and culture of the White Thai people. Become a part of local life when we are welcomed as honored guests at a traditional dinner and stay the night.
After having breakfast at a local family, you’ll be at leisure a bit to experience the fresh & quiet atmosphere & daily life of the locals here then jump on the bikes to go straight to Mai Chau valley. En route, you’ll have chances to stop by visit a plenty of authentic villages of the hill tribes and view stunning natural landscapes of streams, forests, mountains.
Upon reaching Mai Chau, we’ll have a lunch and in this afternoon, our guide will take you on another ride to get deeper into other remote villages to learn more about their culture, traditions as well as lifestyles of the people.
Dinner & overnight at the local family in Mai Chau. Homestay
Distance: 100 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Hanoi Motorbike Tour to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Mai Chau: Mai Chau Motorbike Tour to Hanoi (B/L/-)
After breakfast, let’s do a 60km-motor ride around Mai Chau dict on beautiful mountain dirt track and almost empty road before back to home-stay for lunch. And then we say goodbye to villagers and leave Mai Chau around 10 am. We ride back Hanoi by shorter way.
HANOI MOTORBIKE TOUR TO PU LUONG NATURE RESERVE VIA MAI CHAU Rating: 9.8 out of 10 based on 372 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).
Accommodation based on twin or triple sharing at standard hotels or Homestay