10+ How To Ride To Mu Cang Chai – A Detailed Guideline

how to ride to mu cang chai 2


Mu Cang Chai is recognized as the land of the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam. Many tourists, especially foreigners, head to this place to admire the beauty of this land. 

It is inevitable that many might struggle to find a way to reach Mu Cang Chai by motorbike and which route to take. If you are in the same situation, consider our instructions on how to ride to Mu Cang Chai. 

How To Get To Mu Cang Chai 

This article provides all info about the route map from starting points such as Hanoi, Sa Pa, Dien Bien, and Ta Xua to Mu Cang Chai

If you start your journey from Hanoi, you will ride either through the QL 32 or QL 08. In general, this route is easy to take. Some places to stop during the journey include Son Tay, Hoa Lac, Ba Vi, and Thanh Thuy. 

How To Ride To Mu Cang Chai
Beautiful step of rice terrace paddle field in sunset and dawn at Mam Xoi hill, Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam. Mu Cang Chai is beautiful in nature place in Vietnam, Southeast Asia. Travel concept. Aerial view

If you drive the motorcycle from Sapa to Dien Bien, you will pass through famous destinations such as O Quy Ho Pass Heaven’s Gate,  Dien Bien Phu, or Pa Union Bridge. 

Finally, the route from Ta Xua to Mu Cang Chai can pose challenges for people, especially in bad weather conditions. This route could be the most highlights of motorbike tours in Vietnam.

Route Map 

Direct Route: From Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

You have two options to get out of Ha Noi: the CT08 and the QL32. Depending on your location, you can pick the route that lets you get out of the city more easily and quickly. 

Taking QL32

This route is smooth but boring until you reach the Son Tay area. If you like traveling more quietly, choose to go through Ba Vi and then cross Dong Quang bridge. 

Another way to reach the final destination is to head further on the QL32 and pass the Trung Ha bridge. This route will be shorter but sometimes congested. 

how to ride to mu cang chai 3
MU CANG CHAI, VIETNAM, SEPT 20: H’mong ethnic minority children on September 20, 2014 in Mucangchai, Vietnam. H’mong is the 8th largest ethnic group in Vietnam.

Taking CT08

The CT08 might be quiet at first, but it is quieter when you take the side road. After passing Hoa Lac, this road becomes scenic and quiet. This route is longer than taking QL32, but it is relaxing to travel on. 

Places to stop 

You can stop at some locations such as Son Tay, Hoa Lac, Ba Vi, or Thanh Thuy to relax or have a drink. Nevertheless, these stops allow you to recharge the battery instead of going sightseeing. 

On the way to Mu Cang Chai, there are some other places you love to see. Firstly, you can visit the tea trees after Thanh Son. There are refreshment stalls nearby a large tea tree field that is ideal for stopping for soft drinks, water, and coconut. 

Nghia Lo is another fascinating destination for lunch. There are many local restaurants where you can stop for lunch. Additionally, there are many beautiful homestays to discover. 

how to ride to mu cang chai 4
Riding on the top of Ta Xua Dinosaur Spine

Route From The North: Sapa/ Dien Bien 

A motorbike trip from the North: Sapa or Dien Bien takes people longer to travel to Mu Cang Chai, but it is more enjoyable. If you have time, it is worth trying this route. 

From Sa Pa 

You can approach Mu Cang Chai both by QL32 or QL4b. Two routes are easy to ride and awesome to drive along. You will go down to O Quy Ho Pass from Sapa, then stop at Silver Waterfall. Besides, it is great to see Hoang Lien Son on the left of the road. 

how to ride to mu cang chai 5
Ta Xua is a famous mountain range in northern Vietnam. All year round, the mountain rises above the clouds creating cloud inversions

From Dien Bien 

After leaving the AH13 from Dien Bien Phu, you move on a quieter road. On both sides of the roads, you will see beautiful scenery. When in real H’mong territory, you can learn what peaceful country life is! 

how to ride to mu cang chai 6
Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam July 31, 2014: Two women Lu ethnic cargo by force of the head.

Next, you will drive through QL 129, an easy and scenic road like QL 32. 

Places To Stop

With the suggested route, you can stop by at any destination you want. There are not many attractions until you reach the dam at Ban Chat. You can stumble upon basic roadside stalls where you can buy some drinks or food. 

As long as you are not in a hurry to get to Mu Cang Chai, you can stay at a hotel. 

Route From Ta Xua 

Riding from Ta Xua to Mu Cang Chai is not so easy, especially for beginners. It does require not only good physical health but also certain riding experiences.

how to ride to mu cang chai 7
MU CANG CHAI, VIETNAM, MAY 30: Unidentified H’mong ethnic minority children on May 30, 2014 in Mucangchai, Vietnam. H’mong is the 8th largest ethnic group in Vietnam.

You should check the weather conditions before you start the journey. It is one of the ways to ensure your safety. 

The Challenging Route

The first route from Tram Tau to Nghia Lo is quite difficult to ride as it is prone to landslides. The road will be more difficult to travel in the wet weather. 

Make sure your motorbike has good clearance; it would help a lot. A powerful engine like XP150 or more is the wise choice for riding this route. 

Despite the difficulties on the road, you will have good opportunities to visit interesting places such as Tram Tau hot springs or scenic landscapes. 

The second way is to travel through Son La to Mu Cang Chai. After riding through Son La, you will get to hot springs where you can bathe and relax after a long day. 

There are also nice homestays and bungalows with wonderful views over the valley for people who want to stay overnight. 

After that, you will return to the QL32 to reach the destination. QL32 is much easier to ride than the AH13, but AH13 can offer travelers more impressive views. This route is one of the most popular for Vietnam off-road motorcycle tours.

how to ride to mu cang chai 8
Off-road riding in northwest Vietnam

Places To Stop

When you decide to take this route, the most important thing you should consider is to prepare for good physical health and driving skills to deal with unexpected situations. 

As the route is difficult to travel, it is advisable to stop as you wish. Several spots are suitable for relaxing and resting along the way. 

how to ride to mu cang chai 9
Ta Xua is a famous mountain range in northern Vietnam. All year round, the mountain rises above the clouds creating cloud inversions.


In short, this article offers the best guide on how to ride to Mu Cang Chai from four starting points: Hanoi, Sa Pa, Dien Bien, and Ta Xua. Hopefully, this article brings you useful information for your motorbike ride to Mu Cang Chai.

Check out what riders have said about Vietnam Motorbike Tours on Tripadvisor!