North Vietnam Motorbike Tours – 13 Amazing Days
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Let's admit it; North Vietnam has some of the most epic and rugged mountain riding on this planet. As a motorbike lover, the North Vietnam motorbike tours are a dream that I have wanted to do for so many years. Recently, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come and visit Vietnam, so I booked a guided motorbike tour immediately.
With breathtaking vistas, awesome food, and amazing people, an off-road motorbike tour of North Vietnam has been a trip worth visiting. So, what's on my trip with my fellows? Find out more details through the article below.
North Vietnam Motorbike Tours - Highlights
This 13-day Off-road Vietnam motorbike tour is considered one of the most extensive and amazing Northern Vietnam motorbike tours ever. It gives me and my friends a unique opportunity to enjoy the amazing beauty of Northern Vietnam, which includes numerous stunning mountain passes, hospitable locals, and magnificent scenery. Here are the full itineraries:
Day 1: Ha Noi - Mai Chau (Hoa Binh) Motorbike Tour: 160km
After leaving the busy metropolis behind, our group embarked on this journey. We traveled west to Mai Chau, a region with lovely scenery and a Thai ethnic population.
Our motorcycle drove along Highway 6, passing through a sea of rice fields with tree-lined roads cutting through that sporadically provide views of limestone karst.
After a quick meal in Hoa Binh, we traveled across Thung Khe, one of Northern Vietnam's most picturesque passes, and then descended to the town of Mai Chau.
On our first night here, we enjoyed traditional Thai Xoe Dances and socialized with the locals while savoring a unique selection of wines. After that, we returned to the homestay with a nice sleep.
Day 2: Mai Chau - Phu Yen (Son La) Motorcycle Tour: 140km
Waking up in the fresh mountain air, we had a light breakfast and headed to Phu Yen (Son La), where we had lunch. This highland village is a fantastic spot to stock up on tea because it produces some of Vietnam's best varieties. Furthermore, Moc Chau is well known for delivering dairy products to Hanoi, including fresh, sweet condensed milk, etc.
After lunch, we veered onto Road 43, used the Van Yen ferry to cross the Da River, and then traveled the lovely winding road to Phu Yen, where we stayed in a simple motel with warm shower and wifi.
Day 3: Phu Yen - Son La City Motorbike Tour: 160km
Over day 3, our crew continued the motorcycle tour on the largely deserted Road 37 and entered the highlands, where many black Thai people lived and worked in the vast terraced rice fields.
The meandering route provided a wonderful opportunity to observe rural life as it passed by several Thai villages and farmland. We winded through rolling hills to the sugar cane growing lands on the cooler Son La plateau.
We had lunch at Son La before visiting the Son La Former Prison & Museum. It is one of the most well-known historical sites, and the moniker "Hell on Earth" is used to describe the terrified brutality of French colonists toward Vietnamese inmates there. When we viewed inside space, we all felt horrified by French violence. But to our surprise, all the natives there showed us a patriotic, proud, and courageous sensation, along with nostalgia and grief.
At night, we stayed in Son La city and finished a long day with many emotions.
Day 4: Son La - Than Uyen (Lai Chau) Motorbike Tour: 180km
We started a fresh day, and Than Uyen (Lai Chau) was our destination for day 4. Driving one little village after another, we got a small taste of rural life. We saw women sowing rice seedlings and children caring for buffaloes, men pulling the buffalo, and youngsters walking to school. Aren’t these things only in movies? So amazing!
Kissing goodbye to those movie-like sceneries, we reached the first leg of the extremely lengthy and treacherous Pha Din pass. There are twisting stretches of the pass road that embrace the humble stilt dwellings of a local community, as well as lonely areas in the center of gorgeous and poetic mountains. After passing the pass, we had lunch at Tuan Giao.
Next, we continued on the lonely, winding road until we arrived in Than Uyen, Lai Chau Province, where we spent the night.
Day 5: Than Uyen to Sapa (Lao Cai) Motorcycle Tour: 110km
To begin day 5 on our motorcycle journey, the crew took me to Sapa.
In this off-road motorbike tour of North Vietnam, if Than Uyen town is an unspoiled, raw place, then Sapa is far more well-known among travelers and adventure lovers.
Our ride passed over Tram Ton - O Quy Ho pass, one of the longest and the best-looking mountain passes in northern Vietnam.
During the ride, we could sense the excitement of the high altitude, the sun, the wind, and the clean air, as well as Hoang Lien's mountains and forests.
After we crossed into Lao Cai at an elevation of nearly 2,000 meters, we arrived at our hotel in Sapa. Today could be one of the best motorcycle tours in Vietnam.
In the mist and cold at night in the mountains, we went for a walk and enjoyed the scenery of Sapa Lake, immersing ourselves in the night space here.
Day 6: Sapa to Remote Villages Motorbike Tour: 40km
This is another incredible motorbike ride in North Vietnam - a short route to remote villages in Sapa. It's quite peaceful and pleasant in Sapa in the morning. After breakfast, we strolled around the Sapa market to participate in and experience the Hmong, Giay, Tay, and Red Dao markets.
Then we decided to go to Thac Bac. Nature has bestowed a lyrical, wild, endearing, and majestic beauty on this place. We ate lunch here before heading back to Sapa.
For the rest of the day, we visited the villages of the indigenous people. The lush cornfields, terraced rice fields, the small homes, and the locals' long-standing traditional way of life are all combined to produce a stunning natural image of the Northwest landscape.
Day 7: Sapa to Bac Ha (Lao Cai) Motorbike Tour: 120 km
We rode our motorcycles from Sapa to Lao Cai and then had a cafe along the Nam Thi River bank, which is the China-Vietnam border, to enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the view. Afterward, we traveled to Road 70 before turning onto Road 153 to reach Bac Ha.
On weekends, hordes of residents from the nearby hill tribes walk to the Bac Ha Sunday market to buy and trade food, livestock, clothes, and household goods. Here, we also bought some bracelets, bronze earrings, and fine carvings to take as Vietnam souvenirs for my friends.
Day 8: Bac Ha - Ha Giang City Motorbike Tour: 200 km
After breakfast, we headed to Xin Man and Hoang Su Phi over numerous tiny side roads with lovely mountain vistas.
As we passed through Hoang Su Phi, we were mesmerized by the untamed mountains' beauty and the genuine cultures of the Nung, Flower Hmong, Tay, and Ha Nhi people, among other local ethnic groups. We took the main road up to Ha Giang city after lunch, where we stayed for the night.
After riding all day, we came together and had a warm family dinner with delectable delis from Ha Giang people.
Day 9: Ha Giang to Dong Van Motorcycle Tour: 160 km
Through the ninth day, we traveled on narrow, difficult, and wonderfully scenic mountain roads home to numerous vibrant mountain hill tribes.
Ma Pi Leng pass, situated between Meo Vac and Dong Van, close to the northernmost point of Vietnam, is a painting of astounding charm and magnificence that immediately catches our eyes.
Rode on a zig-zag path, we reached the Vuong family's home. It is an artificial marvel in the valley of the exquisite beauty of Sa Phin.
Day 10: Dong Van to Bao Lac (Cao Bang) Motorbike Tour: 80 km
On this day, we rode through the intact areas of the legendary province of Ha Giang, and Meo Vac is one of them. The majority of the terrain in this area is located on the Dong Van rock plateau, more than 1,000 meters above sea level.
Numerous ethnic minorities, including the H'mong, Kinh, Tay, and Dao, live there. Most ethnic communities have preserved their native cultures. At the ethnic crossroads of Northeast Vietnam, Bao Lac, we made a nighttime stop.
Day 11: Bao Lac to Ba Be National Park (Bac Kan) Motorcycle Tour: 140 km
This ride from Bao Lac to Ba Be is one of the most incredible routes to experience in the northern loop of Vietnam.
Ba Be National Park is a vast bio-reserve area that embraces the only freshwater karst lake in the world and various endangered species of animals and plants.
It covers over 23,000 hectares with stunning waterfalls, wide rivers, valleys, lakes, and caves surrounded by high peaks. Because of its beauty, Ba Be is frequently referred to as "Halong Bay on land."
Entering Bac Ngoi village, situated inside Ba Be National Park, we stayed in Tay's family's home, which showed a lovely and serene view of Ba Be Lake.
Day 12: Boat Ride on Ba Be Lake And Na Khan Motorbike Tour (Bac Kan): 80 km
On a half-day boat trip across the lake to the opposite shore, we visited Dau Dang Waterfall on the Nang River. Before returning to the homestay in the late afternoon, we had lunch in a village close to the Dau Dang waterfall.
We rode across the countryside for the rest of the day to Na Khan. This Nung's village was the last stop on the journey when we shared meals and home with locals.
Day 13: Na Khan to Hanoi Motorbike Tour: 160 km
Leaving Na Khan, our 13-day adventure of off-road motorbiking had come to an end. To avoid the busy road in the afternoon, we tore along serene villages and rice fields in the early morning.
We ended our North Vietnam motorbike tours full of joy and memories. Though there were some hard days, every single moment was worth it. Every few seconds we drive, we just want to stop and capture what we see. So, let the adventure begin and make your 2022 the best of your life!
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