Great biking across northern Vietnam 
West to East Biking Exploration (Back to Tour list)

Hanoi - Sapa - Ban Ho - Trung Do - Bac Ha - Xi Man - Ha Giang - Bac Me - Ba Be - Hanoi
11-day tour with 7-day biking
Biking grade: Challenging

Our unique biking trip in northern Vietnam takes place against a backdrop of endless lush green paddy fields and irregular tree-covered limestone mountains. Providing a fleeting insight into the traditional lives, friendly tribes and exotic landscapes of north-west and north-east Vietnam, our trip also delivers surprisingly good riding across the mountainous area of northern Vietnam. There are technical sections, easy hills, huge flowing descents and some glorious singletracks.

Highlights
  • Colorful tribes
  • Stunning scenery
  • Glorious single tracks of Sapa and Bac Ha
  • Homestay among friendly tribesmen

West to East Biking Exploration route map

ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Day 2: City tour and overnight train to Lao Cai
Day 3: Transfer to Sapa/riding to Tram Ton & Binh Lu
Day 4: Descend Lao Cai
Day 5: Drive/bike to Bac Ha
Day 6: Bike/drive to Hoang Su Phi
Day 7: Bike to Viet Lam/transfer to Ha Giang
Day 8: Bike to Bac Me
Day 9: Bike to Ba Be Lake
Day 10: Cruise on the lake/drive back to Hanoi
Day 11: Departure

PRICE (Per person)
Valid to 30th September 2014

2 persons:    
3-4 persons:
5-6 persons:
7-8 persons:
From 9 persons:     price on request
Single Supplement: 


Inclusion:

  • Support vehicles
  • One-way train ticket Hanoi - Laocai (AC, soft sleeper) 
  • English or French speaking guide
  • High-end Mountain bike
  • Helmet & biking gloves
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Hotels (Twin shared room)
  • Homestay permission
  • Boat in Ba Be
  • First-aid kit
  • Water & Snacks
  • Entrance and Sightseeing fees

Exclusion:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

Note: These prices are subject to change without prior notice.

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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 yourself. In the evening we will take a welcome dinner at local restaurant with Vietnamese delicacies. Overnight in Hanoi.

Summary
Transfer:   50 mins
Accommodation:  Hotel in Hanoi
Meals:    Welcome dinner with Vietnamese cuisine in local restaurant

Day 2: Hanoi city tour & Night train 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.

Summary
City tour:   Full day city tour
Accommodation:  AC soft sleeper cabin
Meals:    Breakfast, Lunch
 
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa - Biking Tram Ton & Binh Lu - Sapa

The train stops at Lao Cai Station in early morning. Transfer 1 hour by van to Sapa Town. Upon arrival Sapa, have breakfast and relax until 9.00 am. Our support vehicle will take you and bikes uphill to the Silver Waterfall, where we will start wonderful day pedaling up to Heaven Gate (Tram Ton Pass), the highest stretch of road in Vietnam.
 
At first we will bike hard (3km climbing) over the stunning Tram Ton Pass to experience the great views of the Hoang Lien Valley before a free-wheeling 26km downhill to visit the Black Hmong village of Chu Va, where you can enjoy a swim in the river & walk around in the village and explore the local way of living before lunch.
 
Afternoon, you will continue descent to Binh Lu Junction to visit the local market. From Binh Lu we continue cycling 1 hour to a remote village inhabited by the Coin Dao minority. Back to Sapa. Evening, have a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Sapa.
 
Summary
Biking: 46km/descend 20km, ascend 10km 
Activity: Free swimming in the river & visit villages on foot.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Local guide: Yes
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa - Ta Van Village - Taphin Valley - Sapa.

Morning, after breakfast, we will cycle directly from your hotel in Sapa and downhill 20km into Muong Hoa Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys of the area. Pedaling on a dirt trail which sneaks through rice paddy terraces and villages, we arrive at Lao Chai Village of Black H’mong people and stop by a local house as well as enjoy excellent views over huge rice paddy terraces. Then continue downhill to visit Ta Van Village of Dzay people. Back to Sapa by vehicle for lunch.
 
Afternoon, check out & gear up for our bike ride out of Sapa town towards the Ta Phin valley, winding our way through another Black Hmong hill tribe village in Ma Tra. This is a small village nested in Ta Phin Valley, which was once the most famous opium poppy field in the area. Now the area is famous for vegetable and rice fields. We continue cycling on winding village roads amidst rice terraces to a village of the Red Dzao ethnic minority. Visit the Ta Phin cave. Then vehicle will take us to back to Sapa Town for check in & dinner. Overnight in Sapa.

Summary
Biking: 45km/descend 40km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Local guide: Yes
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.

 
Day 5: Lao Cai - Phong Hai - Coc Ly - Bac Ha

Early rising for breakfast and load our bikes on support vehicle for 1-hr transfer to the village of Phong Hai. Our ridding begins on a good hardpack track along the side of a quiet road. Climbing gently then descending steeply to the small village of Coc Ly.  Take a boat trip on Chay River, a beautiful river with stunning mountain gorge. The boat trip is followed by a ride on riverbank single-track and an alpine road climb to the quiet town of Bac Ha. Picnic lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.

Summary
Boat trip:  1.5 hr
Biking:   41 km/descend 14 km/ascend 15 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Support vehicle: Van

Day 6: Bac Ha - Lung Phin - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi

After breakfast in hotel we drive 10 km west to Lung Phin where we start climbing toward Xin Man. Today we will bike across one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam. At first we tackle a steady climb for 1 hr and then hitting the tarmac for a fast descent into the quiet town of Xin Man. Lunch in Xin Man before starting the afternoon ride. The riding in the afternoon takes us down to a bridge over the upstream of Chay River and for the next 40 km we cycle along a quiet road that gently climbs and follow the river to the town of Hoang Su Phi. We will stay overnight in the only hotel in town

Summary
Transfer:  9 km from Bac Ha to Lung Phin
Biking:   88 km/descend 16 km/ascend 14 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoang Su Phi
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Support vehicle: Van

Day 7: Hoang Su Phi - Cao Banh - Vi Xuyen - Ha Giang

This is one of the most challenging biking days of the trip. Leaving Hoang Su Phi early morning, there are 6 km downhill before we turn off onto a remote track leading though mountains. On this part our support vehicle will not be able to follow us and continue on the main mountain road to Viet Lam, where we will meet up later this day. However, we still have the emergency back up for water, lunch and first-aid, as we ride through the mountains. The ride highlight today is a long descent punctuated with waterfall and switchbacks, which flows seamlessly into some sinuous riverside single track making for fantastic riding. Eventually we emerge onto rough tarmac and climb before finally dropping down again to the hot springs of Viet Lam, where we can ease our aching muscles. Refreshed, we transfer the final 20 miles along Highway 2 to the busy district capital of Ha Giang. Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.

Summary
Transfer:   45 km from Viet Lam to Ha Giang
Biking:   58 km/descend 19 km/ascend 14 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Giang
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Support vehicle: Van (or Motorbike depending on the condition of the road)

Day 8: Ha Giang - Bac Me

Today the ride is mostly road based. At first we tackle 12 km gentle climbs and then it is an undulating, idyllic route through friendly villages and paddy fields, surrounded by jagged limestone hills. Light lunch en route and we will reach the small town of Bac Me early afternoon. The rest of the day, we can explore this litter town and its surroundings or relax with a cold beer in local bars. Dinner and overnight in Bac Me.

Summary
Biking:   55 km/descend 20 km/ascend 12 km
Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Me
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Support vehicle: Van

Day 9: Bac Me - Duong An - Yen Hoa - Da Vi - Dau Dang - Boat trip to Ba Be National Park

Just outside Bac Me, we cross the Gam River and leave the main road to follow a small track cross-country off-road all the way to Ba Be. Our support vehicle will not be able to follow us on this route and travel along way to meet us in Ba Be National Park. Depending to the condition of the track we will have an emergency jeep or motorbike for water, food and first-aid. The ride involves three climbs, crossing a succession of river valleys, but is rideable all the way. At the village of Dan Dong, we will be transferred into traditional long boats for a relaxing 1.5-hr ride along the beautiful Nang River and cross the lake into the stunning Ba Be National Park. The park is centered on the country’s largest natural lake which is surrounded by limestone cliffs, waterfalls, caves and abundant of wildlife. We will have dinner and spend our night in a traditional house of Tay minority.

Summary
Boat trip:  1.5 hr
Biking:   82 km/descend 18 km/ascend 22 km
Accommodation: Home stay
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Support vehicle: Van or Motorbike(s)

Day 10: Ba Be - 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. After 1.5-hr interesting boat trip reach Cho Ra Town for lunch. Drive 5 hrs back to Hanoi with a lunch stop on the way. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.

Summary
Boat trip:  1.5 hr
Transfer:   190 km from Cho Ra to Hanoi
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Departure

Breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight home. Trip concludes

Summary
Transfer:  50 mins from hotel to the airport
Meals:  Breakfast

Note on client safety
We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety


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