Cycling Ha Giang North East of Vietnam 14 days

from $2,040.00

Cycle the remote mountains of Vietnam

Cycling north east Vietnam is arranged in the north eastern Vietnam taking to such travel destinations as Ba Be National park, Bac Kan province, Na Hang, Tuyen Quang province, Bac Me, Cao Bang, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Ha Giang province. Begin your cycling adventure with a car transfer from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, driving uphill to Bac Kan province where you will make the first stop in Ba Be National..

  • Reviews 1 Review
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Join Group Cycling, Mountain Cycling, Off-road Cycling
    • Activity Level Extreme
      7/8
    • Group Size Small Group
      16
    All about the Cycling Ha Giang North East of Vietnam 14 days.

    Cycling north east Vietnam is arranged in the north eastern Vietnam taking to such travel destinations as Ba Be National park, Bac Kan province, Na Hang, Tuyen Quang province, Bac Me, Cao Bang, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Ha Giang province. Begin your cycling adventure with a car transfer from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, driving uphill to Bac Kan province where you will make the first stop in Ba Be National. Start cycling on paved roads leading to the park before checking into a local stilt house for overnight. The next day, cycling is more challenging as you bike up and downhill; You also take off-roads biking trails to visit remote hilltribe villages on the way; Meeting up with local friendly people including the Tay, the Dzao, the Nung offers a real life experience. The other highlights of this 14-day biking tour is the Dong Van and Meo Vac markets. If you arrive in Dong Van or Meo Vac on Saturday, you have the opportunity to visit the local market is only open on Sunday morning. These are the biggest markets in the area. The mountain biking tour is provided with experienced English-speaking tour guide, support vehicle, mountain bikes.

    The remote mountains of northeast Vietnam encapsulate every element of a superb bike ride; challenging climbs and fantastic descents are rewarded with breath-taking views and an extremely warm welcome from the hospitable locals. We start our journey passing through verdant rice paddies and lake-flanked National Parks before pedalling through the spectacular karst limestone scenery of Ha Giang. A recent addition to the UNESCO list, this mountainous province is recognised for its high peaks and deep canyons which make for an entirely unique landscape.

    This area is also one of the last few places where traditional hilltribe life reigns strong; nearly 90% of the population are ethnic minorities, traditional subsistence farming is the mainstay of most and the colourful attire of many of the inhabitants signals the cultural diversity of the area. This insight into remote Vietnam is for many the absolute highlight but time spent in fascinating Hanoi and a cruise around the islands of Halong Bay is definitely the perfect reward after 10 days of challenging cycling.

    The 14-day cycling north east Vietnam will take you to the less travelled places of Ha Giang and Lao Cai provinces. The cycling trip begins with a overnight train trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai where you start your adventure holiday with a visit to the Bac Ha market, is open on Sunday morning only. You cycle up and downhill, using single tracks and dirt roads biking trails to enjoy the wild beauty of nature and to experience the rich ethnic culture. Taking this cycling adventure tour, you have the opportunity to cycle through the remotest hilltribe villages including Ta Cu Ty village, Nam Dan village, Khau Rom village, Nam Choong village, Ho Thau village, Nam Son village, Nam Khoa village. Most of the nights are spent at local home (homestay) offering the real life experience.

    Ha Giang Vietnam

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    Highlights

    • Traffic-free roads in remote North-east Vietnam
    • Cycle through the UNESCO site of Ha Giang
    • Meet and learn about many traditional hilltribes
    • Exhilarating descents and tough climbs
    • Cruise among the limestone formations of Halong Bay

    Key information

    • 11 nights hotels, 1 night boat and 1 night homestay
    • 10 days cycling (including 1 half day ride) with full vehicle support
    • 80% tarmac, 20% dirt roads
    • Some long ascents and descents
    • Group normally 5 to 12, plus local leaders
    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

    English speaking cycling guide (other languages upon requests)
    Accommodations are based on double/ twin occupancy
    Meals details in itineraries (B= breakfast, L = lunches, D = dinners)
    A/C transfer/ and transportation
    Van or bus supported during the cycling times.
    Truck supported for the group size from 6 and above.
    Sightseeing excursions as outlined itineraries
    Bike tour pump, bike tools, spares tubes, spare bikes
    First aid kit
    Cold water box, small fresh towel.
    Mineral water for drinking
    Fruit and snack for cycling days

    Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.

    International airfare
    Travel insurance
    Items of personal nature
    Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in meals
    Mountain Bike Hire
    Mineral water beyond that supplied
    Optional excursions

    1. Day 1 Arrive Hanoi

      Begin your adventure in Hanoi, a city where an unstoppable energy thrives alongside traditional Vietnamese culture and a colonial charm permeates the broad tree-lines boulevards, most noticeably from the faded French architecture. The leader will of course be on hand to point the group in all the right directions, so whether you’re buying baguettes and inexpensive coffee from the grand doorways of a past era, drifting alongside Hoan Kiem Lake or roaming the animated streets, Hanoi offers a delicious first taste of Vietnamese culture. Even crossing one of many manic roads serves as a memorable experience! In the evening, we offer a welcome briefing and an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

      Comfortable Hotel

    2. Day 2 Hanoi; warm up ride around West Lake on outskirts of the city

      We’ll transfer a very short distance to the outskirts of Hanoi and get set up on our bikes before heading out on our warm-up ride of Tay Ho/West Lake. Now very much the most fashionable of addresses in Hanoi, our ride provides a glimpse into modern and traditional Vietnamese life as fishermen patiently wait for a catch and luxury rooftop restaurants compete for space. There are numerous temples scattered around the shore and you’re likely to pass couples in swan boats, wedding parties in full swing and many coffee shops serving world-renowned Vietnamese coffee – certainly good for sweeping away any jetlagged cobwebs! Cycle approx. 30km.

      Comfortable Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    3. Day 3 Transfer to Ba Hang; cycle through tea plantations to Thai Nguyen

      Today begins with a 1 hour transfer into the countryside to avoid the Hanoi traffic. We start cycling in Ba Hang and are soon in the countryside passing through quiet roads flanked by rice fields. We pause for lunch at Nui Coc Lake; containing 89 islands mostly inhabited by flocks of storks or mountain goats the lake is also famous for a local legend involving star-crossed lovers that makes it a popular place for Hanoi day-trippers keen to escape the city. We end our day passing through Thai Nguyen tea plantations, famed for green tea production since the appearance of French scientists in 1882. The leader will brief you on the need to pack an overnight bag tonight – in the morning we will leave our main bags on the bus and these will be returned to us after our night at the homestay tomorrow. The bus simply cannot fit on the small paths to the homestay so you will need to pack some walking shoes to compete the last part of the journey tomorrow evening. Cycle approx. 75km.

      Comfortable Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    4. Day 4 Ride through rice paddies and karst cliffs; boat into Ba Be National Park; overnight homestay

      We take a brief 30 minute transfer out of the town this morning and cycle to the small market town of Cho Chu. If the market is on expect to see a wide variety of local delicacies for sale; the ‘wet’ market filled with live animals is best avoided by the squeamish! We continue on through quiet country roads passing by small agricultural holdings; expect to share the road with the odd motorbike transporting cattle, furniture and often full families. Today is undulating with a 15km steady uphill signalling our end to the day. We hop in the bus for a 2.5 hour transfer into the dense rainforest of Ba Be National Park. The plunging valleys of the park are speckled with waterfalls and caves and upon arrival we’ll board a boat for 30 minutes and have a 30 minute walk to our overnight accommodation. We will receive a warm welcome at the lakeside homestay as we meet three generations who live and work here and are keen for you to experience the peace and serenity of their home. Cycle approx. 70km.

      Basic homestay
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

    5. Day 5 Undulating day; Tinh Tuc for lunch; end Bao Lac

      We cycle directly from the homestay this morning. Leaving the lake we immediately climb uphill on an unsurfaced track to reach the road again. We leave Ba Be N.P and cycle through many small village holdings for approx. 45km. We jump on the bus for a couple of hours pausing for lunch at Tinh Tuc village, if we’re lucky seeking out some delicious sticky rice in banana leaves to power us through the afternoon’s riding. Back on our bikes we cycle the remaining 25km to our hotel in Bao Lac on the edge of the Nho Que River. The Black Lolo ethnic group are the main group residing here recognisable by their heavily adorned black clothing and died black teeth. Optional group dinner will be at a local restaurant where we will hopefully try the delicious fried lotus root with pork. Cycle approx. 70km.

      Basic Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    6. Day 6 Cycle next to the turquoise Gam River; pass through traditional Hmong villages; end Mao Vac

      Today marks the start of three consecutive days riding with no transferring. The bus will be available if needed but otherwise we will be cycling from door to door. The first 20km are undulating until we reach the deep turquoise Gam River where locals cruise slowly along on bamboo rafts. We continue to climb and pass three new dam’s signalling the regions use of hydropower – it now generates more than a third of the country’s electricity. We pass through many Hmong villages where households harvest plants used in traditional Chinese medicine. Today is a tough day’s riding; near the end of the day we work our way up an 18km climb but have the roads almost entirely to ourselves and views of the valley serve as a good distraction. We end the day with an exhilarating descent to the spectacular town of Meo Vac enclosed in craggy mountains and on the Chinese border. Cycle approx. 70km.

      Basic Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    7. Day 7 Ride the challenging Ma Pi Leng Pass into UNESCO site Ha Giang Geo Park

      A short ride from the hotel takes us to the start of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, where every hairpin bend presents a new photo opportunity and the view from ‘Heaven’s Gate’ at the top is truly breathtakingly. This high mountain pass was originally carved into the mountain edge by daring locals hanging off the cliffs to create a trade route between villages. Perfect for cycling we can admire the deep canyons with rivers winding through the valleys. We spend the whole day in the Ha Giang Geo Park often cycling above the clouds amongst the towering limestone cliffs. A 20km descent takes us to our overnight spot in Yen Minh. Cycle approx. 70km.

      Basic Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    8. Day 8 Cycle amongst the thousands of limestone pinnacles and the famous 'twin hills' to Ha Giang town

      Continuing through the stunning Dong Van National Park we descend to the bottom of the valley where we will follow the Lo River, its deep turquoise waters surrounded by huge bamboo shoots on each side. Passing through many tiny hamlets we’ll pause at the house of Mrs Mai to learn about the huge role she has had in working with victims of human trafficking, an issue that pervades many of the poorer provinces in Vietnam. We’ll have a chance to visit her textile workshop that supports many women in the area. We’ll next stop for lunch at the town in Quan Ba before working our way up into the mountains again – don’t forgot to look left and marvel at the twin mountains that are entirely identical and steeped in legend and mythology in the area. We’ll arrive at the wide tree-lined boulevards of Ha Giang town in time for a well-earned dinner in the provincial capital. Cycle approx. 85km.

      Basic Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    9. Day 9 Challenging ascent followed by exhilarating 20km descent past huge rice terraces to Hoang Su Phi

      We jump on the bus for a short transfer to start the day (1 hour) before starting a challenging ascent through forest-flanked roads. Our reward at the top is views of the multitude tiers of rice paddies. Said to be the most spectacular in all of Vietnam these layers of terraces stretch as far as the eye can see and are classified as a National Heritage by the Vietnamese Government. The main ethnic groups here are the Tay, Nung, Hmong and Dao, most of who work these steep rice terraces, some which sit above the clouds clinging to the edge of the mountains. A 20km descent takes us to our hotel door in Houng Su Phi town.

      Basic Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    10. Day 10 Rolling hills through dense pine forests to Bac Ha, famous for traditional steam baths

      Today sees us leaving the National Park as we have a 30km undulating start to the day, more down than up though! We’ll pass through dense pine forest with the smell of these trees staying with us all mornings. There are many small waterfalls road-side and make for a refreshing face wash for those in need. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch at a beautiful vista before continuing on roads carved through the mountains. Some sections of the road today are under constant repair so dependent on the previous weather and the work being done there may be the need to jump on the bus for a small section – the leader will make this call on the day dependent on the timing and the conditions. We end today in Bac Ha town famous for herbal steam baths, the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day. Cycle approx. 75km.

      Comfortable Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    11. Day 11 Easy morning ride; transfer to Hanoi

      Departing Bac Ha town is a largely downhill affair as we leave the hills and mountains behind and head into the lower lands for a leisurely cruise to the main highway. Our bus will be waiting for us for the transfer (4-5hours approx.) back to Hanoi and we’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Once back in Hanoi we’ll have a celebratory group meal and for those keen we’ll pay a visit to the Mojito Lounge to sample the famous Pho and fish sauce cocktail. Cycle approx. 50km.

      Comfortable Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast

    12. Day 12 Drive to Halong Bay; board boat and cruise among spectacular limestone formations.

      Today is a well-deserved full day of relaxation. We’ll board the bus to Halong Bay (4 hours) and board our private traditional junk boat upon arrival. Halong Bay is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with around 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery and enjoy a seafood lunch on board.

      Overnight on boat
      Meals included: Breakfast Lunch

    13. Day 13 Return to Hanoi; free time to explore the Old Quarter.

      We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi and there will be time to explore the Old Quarter of the city for those keen. This charming city contains many beautiful old buildings and is a shoppers delight. The centre of Hanoi has a faded charm with broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period as well as some attractive lakes and pagodas. In the evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famous water puppets.

      Comfortable Hotel
      Meals included: Breakfast

    14. Day 14 Hanoi Departure

      Fly to your home.
      Meals included: Breakfast

    15. Join Group Dates

      AVAILABLE DEPARTURE DATES
      17 Mar 2018– Seats Available …
      14 Apr 2018Guaranteed (Available)
      12 May 2018– Seats Available …
      01 Sep 2018– Seats Available …
      06 Oct 2018– Seats Available …
      27 Oct 2018two more Guaranteed
      14 Nov 2018– Seats Available …
      06 Dec 2018– Seats Available …
      16 Mar 2019Guaranteed (Available)
      13 Apr 2019– Seats Available …
      18 May 2019– Seats Available …
      07 Sep 2019– Seats Available …
      05 Oct 2019– Seats Available …
      19 Nov 2019– Seats Available …
      17 Dec 2019– Seats Available …

    Accommodation for Your Journey

    Our Accommodations:
    When cycling we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.

    Our Homestays:
    Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Accommodation for Your Journey

    Bicycle Advice

    Suitable Bicycle. MTB, Touring Bike, Cyclocross/Gravel bike.

    At JET we hold firmly to the opinion that using your own bike, the bike on which you feel at home and comfortable is the finest way to enjoy a cycling adventure.

    Most kinds of bicycle, except light-weight racing bikes are suitable for this tour: touring bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids or cyclocross bikes are all fine. Road conditions vary from asphalt to gravel and some hard packed dirt tracks. Tyre’s from 35mm in width upwards will be fine but we recommend 40mm on 700c and 2” on 26” wheels as a minimum.

    South East Asia is generally a warm place so the ability to carry one or two water bottles is essential (either on your bike or in a backpack). Our back-up vehicle carries water and tools although for those competent with tools bringing your own pump, puncture kit, and multi took is recommended as it would speed up repairs and minor adjustments. If bringing your own bike please bring along a few spare spokes that fit your wheels (please note that different wheels have different size spokes). If your bike has disk brakes or hub gears please bring any components that you feel may be necessary. We carry some spares for our hire bikes but we cannot guarantee that we will have any tubes other than 26” car type valves. Tyres and tubes other than 26” can be difficult to come by in many parts of the world so please make sure you have spares. If in doubt please ask at your local bike shop. A means of carrying your camera, sunblock etc is also useful – either an on-bike bag, handlebar or saddlebag for example, or a lightweight day-pack.

    Recommendation: Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.

    ESSENTIAL! Please be sure that your bicycle is in perfect condition before you leave home. Again, if in doubt please consult your local bike shop.

    Rental Bicycles

    If you wish to hire a bicycle for the duration of your holiday with us we can arrange for the hire of good quality cycles from our in-country agent. Typically these bikes are mountain bikes, often Trek 4 series or similar. Please request a hire bike at the time of booking, fields to do so are on the booking form. Payment for hire bikes can be made with the balance of the tour payment or in cash on arrival.

    Rental Bicycle Recommendation. Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.

    Our Accommodations:

    When cycling we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.
    Our Homestays:
    Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.

    An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.

    For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.

    Our support team:
    Our support team carry your luggages and provide a nice place for tea and coffee break on the route ( 20 – 25 km for each stage). Our staff will make any running repairs on your bikes. Once riding we keep you stop with water, fruits, soft drinks and snacks, energy bars, and we make sure you get a nice cold towle drink with cold towel as well. Prepare picnic lunch enroute for cyclis,.at the end of cycling day, we make sure you will enjoy good meal, clean and prepare bike for next days.

    An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.

    The international profile of Local Traditional food has increased over the last two decades with very good reason. A cuisine that has evolved with the culture and landscape of Vietnam provides for an astounding level of variety from south to north. Each town and city has its own subtle twist on iconic dishes and some of their own creations. Our leaders are passionate about their food and look forward to taking you on a culinary adventure in unison with your cycling adventure. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.

    Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.

    This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 16 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.

    There is no surcharge for single travellers – we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.

    This tour is 100% operated by Journey Expedition Travel. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our fleet of over 300 bikes. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Journey Expedition Travel quality.

    Overall Rating
    5/5
    Joanna Tinlin
    Reviewed On 19/12/2017
    5/5

    In summary, the tour exceeded all expectations, especially the scenery and people along the country roads. We really enjoyed the chance to interact with the locals. The physical challenge of cycling through has been rewarding. Many thanks to Kien, for the logistics and for the delicious meals he prepared along the road, and the driver, who picked us up with the van wherever we stopped at the end of every cycling day. Visited May 2017

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