Top challenging biking tour in Vietnam - conquer the North Loop

Biking from West to East North Vietnam

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11-day tour with 7-day biking
Biking grade: Challenging. View grading definition here
Places to visit: Hanoi - Sapa - Ban Ho - Trung Do - Bac Ha - Xi Man - Ha Giang - Bac Me - Ba Be - Hanoi

This is the top challenging adventure tour in Vietnam including cycling activity, culture discovery and homestay. Cycling 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 northwest 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 single tracks.
Tour Highlights
  • Colorful tribes
  • Stunning scenery
  • Best site of Northwest, Sapa
  • Top site of Northeast, Ha Giang
  • Amazing Ba Be Lake
  • Biking from West to East North Vietnam route map


    Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
    Day 2: City tour & train to Lao Cai
    Day 3: Sapa - Bike to Tram Ton & Binh Lu
    Day 4: Biking descend Lao Cai
    Day 5: Driving & biking to Bac Ha
    Day 6: Biking & driving to Hoang Su Phi
    Day 7: Biking to Viet Lam/transfer to Ha Giang
    Day 8: Biking to Bac Me
    Day 9: Biking to Ba Be Lake
    Day 10: Babe - drive back to Hanoi
    Day 11: Hanoi Departure

    TOUR PRICE (Per person)
    Valid to 31st December 2017

    (awesome for professional bikers)

    Group of 1 cyclist: US$ 2,492
    Group of 2 cyclists: US$ 1,490 
    Group of 3-4 cyclists: US$ 1,230
    Group of 5-6 cyclists: US$ 1,130
    Group of 7 cyclist upon request
    Single Supplement:  US$ 145

    (great for most of bikers)

    Group of 1 cyclist: US$ 3375
    Group of 2 cyclists: US$ 1930 
    Group of 3-4 cyclists: US$ 1520
    Group of 5-6 cyclists: US$ 1300
    Group of 7 cyclists on request
    Single Supplement:  US$ 145


    - Support vehicles and mechanic as mentioned
    - One-way train ticket Hanoi - Laocai (AC, soft sleeper) 
    - English 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
    - Service charges & taxes


    - Travel insurance
    - Visa arrangement
    - Tips
    - Personal expenses
    - Others not mentioned




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    Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

    Our Vietnam adventure tour guide meet and your come you 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.
    Transfer:   45 mins 
    Accommodation:  Hotel in Hanoi
    Meals:    Welcome dinner with Vietnamese cuisine in local restaurant

    Day 2: City tour & train to Lao Cai ~ no biking

    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. 
    City tour:   Full day city tour
    Accommodation:  AC soft sleeper cabin 
    Meals:    Breakfast, Lunch

    Day 3: Biking Tram Ton & Binh Lu - Sapa ~ 46km/28miles biking

    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.
    Biking: 46km of which 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: Ta Van - Taphin Village ~ 45km/28miles biking

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

    Day 5: Phong Hai - Coc Ly - Bac Ha ~ 41km/25miles biking

    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 hardback 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.
    Boat trip:  1.5 hr
    Biking:   41 km of which descend 14 km and ascend 15 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 6: Bac Ha - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi ~ 88km/54miles biking

    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
    Transfer:  9 km from Bac Ha to Lung Phin
    Biking:   88 km of which descend 16 km and ascend 14 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hoang Su Phi
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 7: Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang ~ 58km/36miles biking

    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.
    Transfer:   45 km from Viet Lam to Ha Giang
    Biking:   58 km of which descend 19 km and ascend 14 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Giang
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 8: Ha Giang - Bac Me ~ 55km/34miles biking

    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.
    Biking:   55 km of which descend 20 km and ascend 12 km 
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Me
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 9: Bac Me - Dau Dang - Ba Be National Park ~ 82km/51miles biking

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

    Day 10: Ba Be - Cho Ra - Hanoi ~ day off

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

    Day 11: Hanoi Departure

    Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide and driver are at your disposal until we transfer you to the airport for your flight home or connect to another adventures in Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar with ActiveTravel.Asia. Our stunning biking tours to the West part of North Vietnam ends up on your hotel arrival.
    Transfer:  45 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