Book a tour: North Vietnam Motorcycle Tours: Hanoi To Ba Be – 15 Day

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Only 250km from the capital, Ba Be Lake offers a trip where we can discover authentic cultures and dramatic landscapes at the same time.
Explore the best the country's north has to offer during these 15 days of biking adventures through rivers, rainforests, valleys, hills, and plateaus.
Additionally, the North Vietnam Motorcycle Tours are topped with amazing local food and warm hospitality from the locals.
Learn more about the detailed itinerary of this fantastic trip from Hanoi to Ba Be lake below.

Tour Highlights

  • Admire the sweeping views above the clouds from Ma Pi Leng - one of the most breathtaking mountains in Vietnam.
  • Visit Ba Be Lake, which in fact comprises three lakes rimmed by limestone peaks.
  • Explore Vietnam's dazzling ethnic diversity by stopping by local rural markets held by ethnic minority people.
  • Take in unique cuisine and genuine hospitality at local guesthouses and homestays. Tuberous snails, bamboo shoots, San Tuyet tea, buffalo meat, and warm corn are a must for every visitor.


Day 1: Hanoi To Mai Chau valley

Motorcycles with engine sizes between 150cc and 250cc are recommended for this off-road tour. On the first day, we head to Mai Chau by using the shortest route, which goes past Xuan Mai, Luong Son, Hoa Binh, and Muong Khen.

We leave the capital, Hanoi, after breakfast. There are some stops along our route where we can take a rest and buy souvenirs while enjoying some coffee or boiling corn.

We reach Mai Chau, our destination when the late afternoon sun can still caress our back. We end our first day by checking in our homestay and getting ready for dinner.

Day 1: Hanoi To Mai Chau valley
Off-road Mai Chau motorcycle ride

Day 2: Mai Chau To Phu Yen

We say goodbye to our lovely host and continue our motorbike trip, reaching Moc Chau before noon. This stunning plateau will take your breath away with its never-ending lush green on the Northwest's highland.

We have some local specialties like smoked meat and tea for lunch. After the meal, our road takes a dramatic elevation change, from more than 1km above the sea to the base of the mountain.

After taking a ferry crossing the Da Rivier, we take a peaceful ride along its bank on the other side. Expect the exquisite natural and sweeping curves between the mountains and river. This is among the most impressive highlights of our Vietnam motorcycle tours.

Day 2: Mai Chau To Phu Yen
Taking the ferry ride to Phu Yen

Day 3: Phu Yen To Son La

When the morning comes, we pick up our bikes and are off to the legendary mountain passes in northern Vietnam. 

We admire the rustic charm of Muong, Tay, and Thai minorities by traversing their small villages, where green tea, sugarcane, and corn plantations on terraced fields are a common sight.

Our smooth ride to Son La continues briefly after lunch. For those looking for authentic culture and traditions, be sure to stop at a local market that we can find along the way.

Our bikes can shut off their engines around 4 PM when we reach Son La. We can expand our excursion further and take a short walk to the notorious Son La former prison, now also a museum.

Always a great addition to our trip, it shows us the darkest chapters of French colonialism and its brutality to Vietnamese people.

Day 3: Phu Yen To Son La
Son La Motorcycle Tour

Day 4: Son La To Muong Lay

Day 4: Son La To Muong Lay
Lai Chau Motorcycle Tour

This day is filled with scenic forests and mountains along the beautiful ride. Pha Din Pass, one of the four greatest peaks of the Northwest region, lies on this windy route, which is known for its hairpin bends and locky landscapes.

Riding to Muong Lay, where we spend the night, is an eye-opening and adventurous experience. Bikers can explore the spectacular beauty of nature, where thick clouds hang over the mountainscape.

Day 5: Muong Lay - Sin Ho - Lai Chau

Day 5: Muong Lay - Sin Ho - Lai Chau
Landscapes in Lai Chau province, Northwest Vietnam.

We wake up and say hello to another huge day when we have another chance to enjoy the remarkable view along the Da River.

Today we climbed at a steady pace upwards to Sin Ho, a town situated more than 1,000m above sea level. The road is sandwiched between a crystal clear river and marvelous limestone mountains.

Sin Ho is home to Lu, Thai, and Dao ethnic people. Reaching the local villages, we can have a good view of their little houses, whose roofs look like small red dots among the vast green.

After having a lunch break here, we descend gradually to Lai Chau, where we conclude the day. One of the great motorcycle tours in Vietnam!

Day 6: Lai Chau To Sapa

The magical sunset on O Quy Ho mountain pass before sunset. O Quy Ho Mountain Pass (Sapa, Vietnam) is Vietnam's longest mountain pass!

The motorcycle trip will be more enjoyable if we take a mid-morning start when the mist has already disappeared and leaves us with a clear sky.

The fourth-day trip introduced us to one of the four great peaks in the region. Today we have the chance to meet and conquer another example of its epic grandeur - O Quy Ho Pass.

After this 50-km dangerous mountain road, we're already within the boundaries of Sapa. A perfect schedule would take us there right before lunchtime.

The city is the base for exploring the surrounding villages of people of ethnic minorities. They give us plenty of opportunities to take photos of their picturesque terraced fields.

We have the option to either book a hotel room or stay at a homestay in the villages.

Day 7: Sapa To Xin Man

Sapa rice terraces! Best time to ride to Sapa is between second week of September to 1st week of October!

We start our ride in the morning and take one of two routes to Lao Cai. While the first one offers a smoother ride with a great view of terraced fields, the tougher road is more challenging but brimming with villages of Dzao and H'Mong people.

Regardless of our choice, we're always treated to views of magnificent mountain ranges, thanks to the massive 1,600-m vertical elevation of Sapa.

We reach a checkpoint alongside the China-Vietnam border. Here we enjoy tasty sips of hot coffee before carrying on our ride to Xin Man. The tranquil town welcomes us with many little guesthouses - our accommodation for the night.

Day 8: Xiu Man To Ha Giang

Day 8: Xiu Man To Ha Giang
H'mong lady is making clothes in Ha Giang!

Be ready for a big day ahead as this is the most challenging route in the whole motorcycle tour, which daring riders are undoubtedly going to love.

Our road to Ha Giang takes us through Hoang Su Phi near the border, where its iconic terraced fields gently hug the rock slopes and create a variety of smooth lines and colors.

Take the time to enjoy the views and head off to Tay Con Linh, the rooftop of northeastern Vietnam. Steep and bumpy for the most part, the road to the summit can be a nightmare for inexperienced riders, but adventure-loving ones will fall in love with it quickly.

Another 30km of riding, and we reach our hotel in Ha Giang, where we settle in for the night.

Day 9: Ha Giang To Dong Van Plateau

Bamboo rafting in Khau Vai, Ha Giang

One of Vietnam's finest mountain trails, the views of splendid rock plateaus in Ha Giang will be with you forever. It's understandable if our crew wants to make a stop here and there to take in its gorgeous scenery.

Also, we drop by the villages of the H'Mong and Lo Lo people, where we can learn more about their traditions and customs. We finish the day at Dong Van late in the afternoon.

Day 10: Dong Van To Bao Lac

Incredible windy trail riding in Ha Giang


The appetizing breakfast at our guesthouse helps us be ready for a leisure stroll around Dong Van.

For a culture hit, wander the town's lively market (which is held every Sunday), try out Mong people's traditional dishes, and visit some several-century-old houses.

Hop on your bike and begin our next ride to Ma Pi Leng Pass - one of the most dangerous in Vietnam. Though only about 20 kilometers in length, the road offers expansive views over the surrounding karst plateau.

We take a smoother downhill route along the Gam and Nho Que rivers. Our indelible ride ends in the afternoon at one of the waterfront hotels in Bao Lac.

Day 11: Bao Lac To Quang Uyen

Magical sunset on the area near mountain Phong Nam, Cao Bang province, Northeast Vietnam

We head east on the eleventh day with Quang Uyen in Cao Bang Province as our destination.

On our way leaving Ha Giang, we encounter tough trails with fantastic scenery that will make passionate bikers feel rewarded. We stayed for a night in a homestay in one of the Nung and Tay people's tranquil villages. Today could be the most scenic motorcycle rides in Vietnam!

Day 12: Quang Uyen - Ban Gioc Falls - Cao Bang

Day 12: Quang Uyen - Ban Gioc Falls - Cao Bang
Great Ban Gioc water Falls

We head north from Quang Uyen to Ban Gioc fall, a group of fabulous waterfalls straddling right on the border between Vietnam and China.

Rest up and have lunch around their relaxed surroundings. Take the water raft service if you want to fully appreciate them up close.

The beautiful road leaving Ban Gioc takes us to Cao Bang city, where we can have a full night's rest. This final ride is not very steep but quite enjoyable.

Day 13: Cao Bang - Ba Be Lake

Swimming on Ba Be lake, Bac Kan province!

There aren't many places in Vietnam where you can explore three lakes located next to each other, like Ba Be in Bac Kan Province. Be ready to explore its mysterious Grand Island, Tien Pond, and Phuong Cave.

Plenty of homestays are situated around this national park. Surrounded by limestone peaks and dense rainforests, Ba Be has several stops for discovering nearby villages.

Day 14: Ba Be Lake - Thac Ba Lake

Riding through rice paddy fields in northwest Vietnam

Start off our day with a friendly chat with our local hosts about their culture and stories. Bid them a farewell, and we ride on to one of the small villages around Thac Ba, where we can arrange a boat trip around this lake.

With more than 1,300 big and small islands of every size, it's one of the biggest artificial lakes in the whole country. Thac Ba Lake is known as the inland Ha Long Bay, where poetic scenes and crystal clear water can rival any popular attraction. After enjoying all the lake has to offer, we check in at a local homestay.

Day 15: Thac Ba Lake To Hanoi

Boating on Thac Ba lake, Vu Linh

We complete our round trip with a less demanding and rocky route to the capital. This may be our final day, but every rider will treasure the time we've spent on the road, the people we've met, the place we've visited, and every terrific experience we've enjoyed together.


Whether you're there for cultural immersion or simply the views, the Vietnam Motorbike Tours from Hanoi to Ba Be never disappoint. Check out similar trips in the country's north for more options of awe-inspiring scenery. More dates and infos visit us:

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