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Motorbiking on Historical Trails of North West

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Hanoi - Mai Chau - Son La - Dien Bien Phu - Sapa - Hanoi 
7-day trip with 5-day motorcycling
Motorcycling grade: Moderate to Challenging. View grading definition here
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Discover Vietnam’s rugged and scenic northwest and its people first hand. By taking to the roads and riding from the capital Hanoi to the remote area of the northwest we can see life as it truly is for the Vietnamese. The perfect itinerary and the support crew ensure you get the most out of the trip in terms of comfort, enjoyment and adventure. Along the way we encounter dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas as the rural population goes about its business. Highlights include the terraced valleys of Sapa, challenging roads, stunning scenery and many different colorful minority groups.

 

Tour Highlights
  • Stunning scenery
  • Challenging roads
  • Stunning Pha Din Pass and Tram Ton Pass
  • Terraced valley of Sapa
  • Colorful ethnic minorities

Motorbiking on Historical Trails of North West route map

ITINEARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La
Day 3: Son La – Dien Bien Phu
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu – Tam Duong
Day 5: Tam Duong – Sapa
Day 6: Night train to Hanoi
Day 7: Arrive in Hanoi. Tour finishes.

PRICE (Per person)
Valid to 31st December, 2014

1 person: US$ 2305
2 persons: US$ 1265
3-4 persons:  US$ 945
5-6 persons:  US$ 690

Single surcharge:  US$ 90

Inclusion:

  • One-way train ticket Laocai - Hanoi (AC, soft sleeper) 
  • Honda (or Yamaha) 125CC (semi-automatic gear)
  • Helmet
  • English speaking guide
  • Mechanic (only for group from 6 passengers)
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary (based on twin shared)
  • Homestay permission
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Water & Snacks
  • First-aid kit
  • Entrance fees & Sightseeing fees

Exclusion:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Air-ticket
  • Tips
  • Gasoline on tour (average US$ 10 per day)
  • Personal expenses (beverage, excluded meals - 10$ per person per meal, souvenirs,...) 

Surcharge for:

  • Dirtbike:
     
       o  Honda XR 150CC: US$ 16/day
       o  Honda XR 250CC: US$ 29/day
       o  Honda XR 400CC: US$ 40/day

  • Support truck : approx US$ 95 per day.

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

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Day 1: Hanoi ride to Mai Chau

Leave Hanoi around 8.30am. We ride our motorcycles west to Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. We will ride on road No6 passing expansive rice paddies and scenic villages. We will have a stop for refreshment before tackling 70km of undulating road with great view of mountains and valley. Lunch on the way. Then  we continue to Mai Chau. We ride straight to Pom Coong, a peaceful village of White Thai ethnic minority where we spend our night in a traditional stilt-house of a Thai family.

Summary
Riding: ~ 150km
Meals: Lunch
Accommodation: Home-stay

Day 2: Ride up to Son La

Breakfast at the home-stay before we embark on a beautiful ride up north to Son La. The road is in good condition and the scenery is stunning. We may take frequent stops to visit minority villages of H’mong, Black Thai,… or to take photos. Lunch will be in local restaurant en route. The highlight of our ride today could be the tea plantations in Moc Chau Plateau, where you find the best green tea in Vietnam grown along the roads on hillsides. We reach Son La in the afternoon. Overnight in Son La.

Summary
Riding: ~ 187km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel 

Day 3: Descend valley of Dien Bien Phu

It is true to say “the further you go up north the faster your heart rates”. Today the ride is greater with more winding road, longer passes, more colorful minority groups and more stunning scenery. Like yesterday, we may have interesting stops to visit villages and take photos. Lunch en route in local restaurant. The highlight of today ride could be the impressive pass of Pha Din.

Pha Pin means Heaven-Earth, and according to local legend, it was the frontier between Heaven and Earth. Pha Din is some 1,000m above sea-level. Climbing and descending the slopes with their many bends and deep gorges is really an unforgettable experience. We reach Dien Bien Phu in the afternoon. Upon arrival we cound ride around to explore the town. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Important Update 2015: The way from Dien Bien to Tam Duong is under construction that can result in very hard driving experience. We suggest new rout for this day: Day 03: Son La – Mu Cang Chai valley - overnight in Mu Cang Chai (about 200km riding). This original program is suitable for very experienced riders with special interests in history

Summary
Riding: ~ 170km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: Riding along Nam Na River to Tam Duong

After breakfast we will start our 225 km ride along stunning gorges and Nam Na River. On the way we will have interesting stops to visit H’mong and Dzao villages. Lunch in Lai Chau. We would reach Tam Duong around 4.30 pm. Overnight in hotel in Tam Duong Town.

Important Update 2015: The way from Dien Bien to Tam Duong is under construction that can result in very hard driving experience. We suggest new routs for this day: Day 04: Mu Cang Chai – Tam Duong (about 125km riding). The original program is suitable for very experienced riders with special interests in history

Summary
Riding: ~ 225km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:  Hotel

Day 5: Motorcycling to Tram Ton – Binh Lu – Tam Duong - Sapa

The ride today is the highlight of the whole trip. We visit Tam Duong townlet. The area sees few tourists, so expect plenty of curious faces and smiling children shouting 'Hello!' as you stop to meet the locals along the way. Drive along the sometimes rocky road meanders along the base of the mountain range past old growth forest and through the villages of Thai, H'mong and Lu ethnic minorities. This part is a turning off main road to add a moderate challenge to your adventure. You will find Binh Lu Junction – one of the most picturesque and inspiring valleys in the North Vietnam.
After admiring Binh Lu valleys, we glide up to through the fresh air to Tram Ton pass to experience the great views of Hoang Lien Valley that about 60km away. Spend time to explore the giant of Fan Si Pan Peak in Hoang Lien Son range. We continue our drive to Sapa and arrive the town late afternoon. Overnight in Sapa.

Note: The weekend market (Sunday market) in Tam Duong is very interesting with lots of colorful ethnic minorities. If this day is Sunday the market will be included in the program and we would reach Sapa around 3pm.

Summary
Riding: ~ 160km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:  Hotel

Day 6: Motorbiking into Sapa villages – Night train to Hanoi

Breakfast in the hotel. After having breakfast at a local restaurant, we leave Sapa at about 08.30 am by motorbike and traveling southwards of Sapa along a narrow and bumpy tarmac. The first 16 km of the road ride offers spectacular landscapes of Hoang Lien mountain range, Fansipan peak as well as marvelous terraced rice fields of the Muong Hoa valley. Enjoy several photo stops on the way before taking half an hour walk around Hoa Su Pan, a small hamlet of the Black Hmong, paying visiting to local homes and meeting peoples doing their everyday works.
Continue the trip along the road further south to Muong Bo valley of Thanh Phu Commune. Enjoy another walk for an hour along the large village path, paying visiting to several homes of the Tay people who live in spacious houses built on stilts, witnessing their daily life and experiencing their hospitality. Lunch break in a local home in open air on the grass, depending on weather.
Take a short drive after lunch along the rocky road to My Son and spend half an hour to explore this charming village of the Xa Pho ethnic, whose population is only more than 6 thousands peoples, for a brief understanding of their unique culture and customs.
Then process further for 10km to Nam Cang Commune for visiting a beautiful and prosperous village of the Red Zao people in Nam Than village. This portion of the road ride offers beautiful scenery of the Nam Sai valley.
Leave Nam Cang in mid afternoon and driving for an hour along the same way back to Sapa.  Take a rest for a while then we ride to Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi.

Summary
Distance: 100km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:  Night train (AC, soft sleeper cabin)

Day 7: Arrive in Hanoi

Arrival in Hanoi early in the morning (5am). Tour finishes.

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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