Full North Vietnam Motorcycle Tour – 15 Days
Vietnam is a long country which can be divided into 3 different parts: South, Central and North Vietnam. The oldest and the most traditional part is the Northern Vietnam. There are also three different parts in the North of Vietnam: they are the Northwest, Northeast and the Delta region (Red River Delta). Both Northeast and Northwest of Vietnam are mountainous areas where you can see plenty of ethnic people with colorful culture and where you can see the different beauties of the mountain, rice terrace or the Rock plateau…and you can also find easily the imposing mountain passes which can give you a great chance to have a memorable Vietnam motorbike tour. This 15 Day Motorcycle Trip in North Vietnam offers a full view of the beauty and culture in Northwest and Northeast Vietnam.
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Pick up at the hotel at 8:00 AM then transfer to the launch place in the western part of Hanoi. Start the Hanoi motorbike tour to Mai Chau at around 9:00 AM. Get on the bikes and it takes 45 minutes ride to get to closer to the countryside then we will slow down to ride on the back countryside roads to Hoa Binh city. After lunch in Hoa Binh, we will have a great ride through some spectacular roads through some villages of the hill tribes and enjoyable motorcycle ride a long the Da river. This is the highlight of the first day tour in North Vietnam. We’ll be in Mai Chau at 5 pm. Home stay with the interesting Thai people.
After saying goodbye to the host, we keep motorcycle touring up North Vietnam to Moc Chau where is known as the cool and green plateau in Vietnam where we have lunch. After lunch, we’ll ride motorbike all the way down and down from the level of 1000 meters above the sea to the foot of the mountain where we have to cross the Da river by a ferry to another side of the mountain. Before getting closer the town of Phu Yen, let’s enjoy a great motorbike ride along the river, it’s a beautiful ride between the big river and the mountain. It’s one of the best part of this 15 day Vietnam motorcycle tour. We arrive the town at 5:00 pm and end the 2nd day at the hotel.
Day 3: Phu Yen – Son La: 180 Km
It’s an easy motorbike ride to Son La, the ride in the morning is on the winding mountain passes, crossing many rustic villages of the Thai, Tay and the Muong people who plant a lot of corn, sugarcane and green tea instead of rice that make the mountain green all the you go by. After the easy but joyful motorbike trip on the winding passes we will have lunch and then join the smooth road to Son La, we can do some stops at some local colorful markets to feel the local tradition and learn more about the local culture, Arrive the city about 4:00 pm, get off the bike then take a short walk to the Son La prison where the French kept the famous Vietnamese political prisoners. The visit help you to learn more about the Indochina war/French war when the North Vietnam take an important part for the French. This must be the highlight of the motorbike tour in Northern Vietnam.
Day 4: Son La – Muong Lay: 190 km
It’s another long ride with plenty of visits and stops for pictures. The ride today could be one of the greatest day of this Northern Vietnam motorbike tour, it offers both on-road and off-road motorbike ride, the view of mountain is changeable after each kilometer. Especially we will cross one of the longest and hardest mountain passes in North of Vietnam – the Pha Din pass. We arrive the hotel in Muong Lay and finish the great motorbike riding day in North Vietnam in late afternoon.
Day 5: Muong Lay – Sin Ho – Lai Chau: 160 km
After saying good bye the little lovely town of Muong Lay, we’ll be back on the bike then keep enjoying the motorbike touring in North Vietnam. Right after the town, the motorcycle ride along the Da river will surely make you awake because of the amazing view between the limestone mountain and water. After the ride along the river, we’ll head all the way up and up to Sin Ho town, the town is located at the level of 1500 m above the sea level, you can imagine how beautiful view you can see on the way to Sin Ho. In addition, we can take some visits to the villages of the Dao, Thai or the Lu people and luckily if you come to the right day, you can see the colorful market of the local hill tribes at the town. After lunch in Sin Ho, we’ll drop all the way down to Lai Chau. It’s a short ride but it could be one of the best motorbike tours in Vietnam. End the day at the hotel in town.
Day 6: Lai Chau – Sapa: 130 Km
Start the motorbike tour to Sapa at around 9:00 when the mist is surely gone so that we today can have the most enjoyable motorbike ride and get the best view of the O Qui Ho pass – one of 4 longest and most beautiful passes in North Vietnam. We’ll arrive Sapa at lunch time, in the after soon you can make your choice to have a short walk around sapa or take a short motorcycle tour along the beautiful valley of Muong Hoa in Sapa to see more beautiful view of rice terrace fields or visits more villages of the Dao and H’mong people. Stay at hotel in town or do home stay with the Zay people in Ta Van village.
Day 7: Sapa Motorcycle Ride To Xin Man: 180 km
After saying goodbye to Sapa, back on the bikes then head all the way down to Lao Cai, we can choose to ride on smooth road to Lao Cai with a nice view of rice terrace fields or ride on the back, bumpy roads via some villages of the H’mong and Dzao people. Any of the choices, you’ll have great view of the mountain because the ride is from Sapa – at the level of 1600 m above the sea. After great short motorbike tour from Sapa, we’ll have a break at the border gate to China nearby Lao Cai to have hot coffee and have a look at China from Vietnam. After Lao Cai, we keep touring by motorbike in North Vietnam, -crossing some mountain passes, back countryside roads to Xin Man – a quiet town we stay tonight. We stay in a little peaceful guesthouse and safe energy for the next great motorcycle ride to HaGiang.
This motorbike tour to HaGiang is one of the big days of the full Northern Vietnam Tour by Motorbike, right after starting the ride, we’ll try the difficult off-road motorbike ride to Hoang Su Phi where is famous for beautiful terrace rice fields and bumpy rugged roads. The last 30 km to Ha Giang is an easy motorbike ride on the smooth road. We’ll be at the hotel in Ha Giang at 5:00 pm.
Day 9: Ha Giang – Dong Van: 150 km
The motorbike ride form Ha Giang to Dong Van is one of the best parts of this motorcycle tour in Vietnam, the ride offers one of the most beautiful view of mountains in North Vietnam, the imposing view of the rock plateau won’t disappoint any motorcyclists, we can stop to take picture every meters of the way, beside we can take some visits to visit some of the local hill tribes such as The Lo Lo or Hmong people to learn more about their culture and the difficulties of their lifetime. We will end the enjoyable Ha Giang – Northern Vietnam motorbike ride at the guest house in Dong Van at 5:00 pm.
After breakfast in Dong Van, we can have a walk around the town to see colorful market if you come at the weekends or visit some interesting ancient houses those were built around 200 years ago. Resume the Northern Vietnam motorbike ride at around 9:30 am to Dong Van, the ride in the morning is still on the famous Rock plateau or the Dong Van Global Geo-Park; especially we’ll cross the Ma Pi Leng pass – one of the longest and most beautiful passes in North Vietnam. The motorbike ride in the afternoon to Bao Lac is almost down hill along the Nho Que and Gam river. The beautiful day ends at the hotel on the river bank of the Bao Lac town at 4:30 pm.
Day 11: Bao Lac – Quang Uyen: 170 km
After breakfast, back on the bikes then start the motorcycle ride to Cao Bang – Northeast Vietnam. The ride is almost on the mountain passes up and down crossing many villages of the ethnic people. Lunch is in Cao Bang town, after lunch we continue the Vietnam motorbike ride heading up to the North of the country, getting closer and closer to Chinese border. We’ll end the day at 5:00 pm at Quang Uyen town – the quiet town surrounded by some rustic villages of the Tay and Nung people where you can choose to stay in a guest house or stay with a local ethic people in a stilt house.
It’s another highlight of this 15 day motorcycle ride in Vietnam. After getting out of Quang Uyen town, we’ll ride straight up to the North to the border between Vietnam and China where we take a visit to the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam – Ban Gioc waterfall. After lunch at the fall, we’ll try some of-road ride nearby the waterfall, taking picture of amazing scenery or have a swim in a natural pool with the fresh water from the Ban Gioc waterfall. Saying goodbye to the Ban Gioc waterfall, we’ll have a motorbike ride on another beautiful road back Cao Bang city where we have a relaxing night in a hotel. The motorbike ride from the fall to Cao Bang offers a great mountain view, the road is not so steep but quiet and different from the roads we did ride on before. It is for sure one of the best part of this motorcycle tour in Vietnam.
Day 13: Cao Bang – Ba Be: 150 km
It’s an easy and relaxing day of the tour. After breakfast in Hotel, getting back on the bike and continue the motorbike ride in North Vietnam to Ba Be lake, the ride is almost on the smooth road until close to the lake, we have to slow down to ride on the narrow, bumpy road and enjoying the scenery of the National park. We’ll stop at the peaceful village of the Tay people to have lunch. After lunch, we’ll take a short walk to the pier nearby to have a short boat tour on the Ba Be lake – one of the biggest natural lake in Vietnam. After a long motorbike tour in Vietnam the relaxing time on the lake is wonderful. You can also have a swim on the lake. After a joyful day, we will have a warm dinner and stay at the village of hill tribe who live nearby the lake.
Day 14: Ba Be National Park – Thac Ba Lake: 160 km
After breakfast with the Tay family, we’ll have an enjoyable motorbike trip to Thac Ba lake on almost the small back roads. It’s another short and relaxing motorbike ride of this 15 day Vietnam motorcycle tour. We’ll be at the peaceful village of the Dzao people at around 3:00 pm, leave all the bikes in the village then take a boat ride around the largest man-made lake in Vietnam – Thac Ba lake. With nearly 3000 islands and emerald water, Thac Ba lake is know as Halong bay in land. It’s surely another highlights of the this Northern Vietnam motorcycle ride. End the day at around 5:00 pm then spend the last night of the tour with interesting Dzao people.
Day 15 Thac Ba – Hanoi: 180 km
Ending the North Vietnam tour by motorbikes with the short off-road motorbike ride through the villages nearby the lakes, we’ll try to be away from the busy roads as long as possible. After getting down close to Hanoi we’ll ride on the winding dike road along the Red river to get back to Hanoi. We will end the great 15 day Vietnam motorcycle ride at 4:00 pm in Hanoi.