Northeast Vietnam Off Road Cycling Tour 13days
Northeast Vietnam Off Road Cycling Tour 13days This cycle-journey is to the relatively unexplored northeast region of Vietnam, near the border with China where, until recently, you needed special permits to visit. Starting in Hanoi, we take the train to Lao Cai and from there we head east into the province of Ha Giang and you’ll be riding through dramatic landscapes and colorful ethnic minorities who are still living as they have for hundreds of years. It will be as if everyday you are riding through an open air museum – as you cycle by villagers weaving in their homes and blacksmiths forging their tools. We end our tour on a unique island in Halong Bay, so you can take advantage of the sandy beaches.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Ultimate
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Northeast Vietnam Off Road Cycling Tour 13days
This cycle-journey is to the relatively unexplored northeast region of Vietnam, near the border with China where, until recently, you needed special permits to visit. Starting in Hanoi, we take the train to Lao Cai and from there we head east into the province of Ha Giang and you’ll be riding through dramatic landscapes and colorful ethnic minorities who are still living as they have for hundreds of years. It will be as if everyday you are riding through an open air museum – as you cycle by villagers weaving in their homes and blacksmiths forging their tools. We end our tour on a unique island in Halong Bay, so you can take advantage of the sandy beaches.
Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind JET Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
Vehicle for transfers and support
Tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
Sightseeing entrance fees.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
Accommodation pre/post trip.
Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive at Hanoi International Airport. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel downtown Hanoi.The remainder of day is free at leisure to explore Hanoi by yourself. In the evening we will take a welcome dinner at local restaurant with Vietnamese delicacies. Overnight in Hanoi.The transfer:50minOvernight:hotel in HanoiMeals: welcome dinner with Vietnamese cuisine in local restaurant
Hanoi city tour & Night train to to Lao Cai
After breakfast we will begin our city tour of Hanoi. At first, we will visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the ?Uncle Ho? house. After that we head to the unique One Stilt Pagoda, which date from one thousand year ago. Continue to the Hanoi?s famous Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam founded in 1070. The highlight of this cultural, historical site is the garden of stelae where you find 82 stone stelae bearing names, places of birth and achievements of men who received doctorates in each triennial examination from 1442; each stelae sits on a stone tortoise. Lunch in local restaurant before heading to the Old Quarter for a relaxing cyclo tour through the ancient part of Hanoi.After the cyclo tour we will drive to the Museum of Ethnology, which is quite away from the central Hanoi. It features a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam and its diverse tribal people. On our trip we will meet some tribal groups ? now it is time to learn about them.Drive back to hotel to take shower. Free time until we get on the night train to Lao Cai around 10pm.Cyclo is three wheeled rickshaws, operated by pedal-power, with a seat attached to the front.The city tour:full-day guided city tourOvernight:on the trainMeals:Breakfast, lunch & DinnerThe night train: Sleeper cabin with 04 soft berths.
Lao Cai – Regional Triabal Market – Bac Ha – Ban Pho Valley(B; L; D)
– Early arrival to Lao Cai station from 05.30 to 06.30 depending on different train.– Freshen up, breakfast in a local restaurant.– 07.30 leave Lao Cai for a road transfer to one of the regional markets as following: Coc Ly(Tue), Cao Son(Wed), Lung Khau Nhin(Thur), Can Cau(Sat) and Bac Ha(Sun).– Enjoy about 2 hours joining the local ethnic peoples such as H’mong, Zao, Tay, Phu La…experiencing the festive atmosphere and lively activities as well as understanding of the regional spiritual life.– Transfer to Bac Ha Town let and check in Sao Mai hotel around noon time. The Bac Ha market on Sunday takes place right in this charming town.– Warming up for aprox 2 hours in the afternoon by cycling 12 km up and downhill around the Ban Pho Valley.– Overnight in Bac Ha.Transfer:from 75 to 140 km depending on the market to visit.Biking:3 km paved road; 4 km rocky road up steep hill; 5 km single dirt track downhill. Slopes is from 5% to 25%.Acc:Sao Mai Hotel(2 star)Meals:Breakfast in restaurant in Lao Cai, Lunch on the way or Bac Ha. Dinner is Bac Ha.
Bac Ha – Can Cau – Ta Cu Ty(B; L; D)
– Breakfast and check out Sao Mai hotel at 08.30 am.– Start biking from hotel following the motor way 3 km to the center of Lau Thi Ngai Commune.– Cross the stream by suspension bridge and then ejoy an easy ride on a single dirt track along a stunning valley for 4 km before challenging 5 km up steep hill trail to Lung Phin.– Follow the motor way again for 2,5 km and then turn left to another single dirt track for 22 km, passing through several small hamlets of the H’mong peoples to Can Cau market place.– Arrive at Can Cau at about 4.00 pm. Stop biking and then transfer by road for 45 minutes to Ta Cu Ty.– The trail today runs mostly through populated valleys which featured of terraced rice paddies and cornfields on steep hills sides as well as chances to meet local tribal peoples such as Flower H’mong, Zao and Tay.Transfer: 29 kmBiking:5,5 km paved road; 31 km single track up and down hills. Slopes is from 8% to 22%.Acc:Home stay in the Tay house on stilts at Ta Cu Ty VillageMeals:Breakfast at hotel, lunch on the way, dinner at home stay
Ta Cu Ty – Ban Ngo – Nam Dan(or Gio Pass)(B; L; D)
– Breakfast and say good bye to hosting family at 08.30.– Biking along a single track which form a half circle around the Ta Cu Ty mountain range and is a combination of short lose rocky part and dirt trails with some stream crosses for 21 km from Ta Cu Ty to Dan Khao Village of Ban Ngo Commune via several villages and hamlets of the Nung, H’mong and Zao ethnic peoples.– Lunch break at Dan Khao, a newly settled-down village.– There are 3 choices for afternoon biking from here:Opt 1: Continuing along the same track for 9 km on high elevation of Ta Cu Ty range to home stay at Nam Chien Village with ½ hour visiting to the interesting rock fields with messages of the ancient peoples carved on many big rocks at Nam Dan Village. Arrival at home stay at about 3.00 pm.Opt 2:Making a short loop for about 2 hours along a narrow and steep single dirt track from Dan Khao Village to home-stay at Nam Chien Village, Nam Dan Commune:+ 5 km downhill to the suspension bridge 1.+ 2,5 km uphill and then 2 km downhill to bridge 3, then 1,5 km uphill again to the motor way near the center of Nam Dan commune.+ 3 km paved road to home stay at Nam Chien and arrival at the home stay at about 4.30 pm.Opt 3: Making a longer loops for nearly 3 hours along a steep and narrow single track from Dan Khao Village to Che La Commune and then continue to home-stay at Nam Chien Village, Nam Dan Commune:+ 5 km downhill to suspension bridge 1+ 6 km uphill to the junction in Che La Commune.+ Turn right and gradually getting downhill for 7 km to suspension bridge 3.+ 2,5 km uphill again from the bridge 3 to home-stay.Transfer: 0 kmBiking:Opt1:Easy 29 km single track up and down hills.Slopes is from 5% to 20%.Opt 2:32 km single track and 3 km paved road. Slopes is from 5% to 22%.Opt 3:41,5 km single track and 3. Slopes is from 8% to 30%.Acc: Home stay in the Nung house on stilts at Nam Chien Village, Nam Dan Commune.Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch on the way, dinner at home stay.– If choosing to stay overnight at Gio Pass site in stilts house amongst thick forest, please add 7 km biking or transferring along the motor way up steep hill.
Nam Dan(or Gio Pass Site) – Nam Nhung – Khau Rom – Nam Choong(B; L; D)
– Breakfast and leave home stay in Nam Chien at about 08.30 am.– Warming up by following the good motor way for 14 km through thick rain forest from home-stay over the Gio Pass to the southern side of the.– Turn left to a single dirt track for 12 km mostly steep downhill through tea farms, terraced rice paddies, bamboo forest, passing some isolated hamlets of the Zao and H’mong ethnic of Nam Nhung and Khau Rom Villages to the main road which run along the Nam Ly River.– Following the main road for 3 km to a suspension bridge and cross the Nam Ly River to the sounthern bank.– Take the single dirt track uphill 5 km through Phieng Lang and Quang Thuong Villages of the Red Zao and then 3 km on the hill side with not too much up and down before challenging 5 km downhill along a narrow and steep dirt track to Nam Choong Village.– Arrive at the Nam Choong local tourist site near the hot mineral spring at about 5.00 pm.Transfer: 0 kmCycling: 17 km paved road; 25 km single dirt track up and down hills with slope varies from 8 to 28%.Acc:Home stay at a local tourist site near hot spring at Nam Choong Village.Meals:Breakfast at home stay, lunch on the way, dinner at home stay
Nam Choong – Cao Son – Ho Thau Commune – Ho Xan Village. (B; L; D)
– Breakfast and leave Nam Choong at about 08.30 am.– Start biking along a narrow single track from Nam Choong for 6 km to the center of Quang Nguyen Commune.– Then following a single dirt track agradually uphill along the Nam Ly River through the Trung Son Village for 10 km.– Challenging 4 km down and up very steep trail to cross the upstream of Nam Ly River to the other bank. Bikes may have to be carried for about 30 m.– Following a larger single track uphill for 5 km to Chien Thang Village and then gradually downhill for 6 km to the center of Ho Thau Commune.– Uphill for 4 km along the concret road to Ho Xan Village of the Red Zao and Nung ethnic.– Arrival to home stay at Ho Xan Village at about 4.30 pm.Transfer: 0 kmBiking: 4 km paved road; 31 km single dirt track up and down hills. Slopes is from 8% to 30%.Acc: Home stay in stilts house of the Nung at Ho Xan Village.Meals: Breakfast at home stay, lunch on the way, dinner at home stay
Ho Xan – Nam Son – Nam Khoa – Panhou(B; L; D)
– Breakfast and then leave Ho Xan Village at 08.30.– Cycle along a single dirt track almost downhill for 12 km from Ho Xan Village Via Sin Chai Village to Nam Son Bridge. Take a short rest by the river.– Then follow the large road up steep hillfor 14km to the Nam Khoa Heaven Gate. This part offers stunning scenery of thick rain forest with narrow terraced rice paddies on steep hill sides.– Lunch break.– Getting downhill along another large single dirt track for nearly 10 km along the Nam Khoa Valley to the Junction of the Nam Khoa River. Scenery features with small vallages of the Zao and the Nung surrounded by tea farms, plantation and terraced rice paddies stretching along 2 sides of the valley.– Turn left and then follow a very narrow single dirt track winding its way up and down on steep steep hills sides along the Nam Khoa River for 8 km to Thong Nguyen Commune.– Follow the narrow concret motor way for 2,5 km to the Panhou.Transfer: 0 kmBiking: 16,5 km large road; 30 km single dirt track up and down hills. Slope is from 5% to 28%Acc: At the Panhou eco-siteMeals: Breakfast at home stay, lunch on the way, dinner at Panhou.
Panhou – Giang Village – Nam Ty – Tung San – Ha Giang
– Breakfast and then leave Panhou at 08.00.– Cycle along a narrow paved road for 13 km through Giang Village of the Tay ethnic to Tan Minh– Then follow the tarmac 25 km heading north before turning right to a dirt track which winds its way uphill the Tay Con Linh, the second highest mountain range of Vietnam for 2 hours to the top of the pass. Ebjoy some stops to visit small villages of the Zao peoples. Lunch break at the top.– Afternoon track gets larger downhill along a stunning stream, amongst wild nature and later impressive terraced rice field for nearly 3 hours to Thuong Son commune of the Nung and Zao ethnic.– Enjoy a bath with natural mineral hot water from a spring at the end of the cycle track.– Picked up at about 4.00pm and transfer 30km to Ha Giang cityTransfer: 30 kmBiking: 45 km narrow paved road; 35 km single dirt track and village path up and down hills. Slope is from 15% to 25%Acc:Huy Hoan Hotel in Ha GiangMeals: Breakfast at Panhou, lunch on the way, dinner in restaurant in Ha Giang.
Ha Giang – Bac Me
– Breakfast and then leave Ha Giang at 08.00.– Cycle along national road 34 for 65 km through the lush region of Ha Giang province along the upsteam part of the mighty Gam river– Getting off road to cycle along village path at some portion to enjoy exploring local life.– Arriving in Bac Me town let in mid afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is set free to explore this charming town let.Transfer: 0 kmBiking: 65 km on tarmac; 10 km single dirt track and village path. Slope is from 10% to 16%Acc: Phuong Anh Hotel in Bac MeMeals: Breakfast in Ha Giang, lunch on the way, dinner in restaurant in Bac Me.
Bac Me – Duong An – Yen Hoa – Da Vi – Dau Dang – Boat trip to Ba Be National Park
Just outside Bac Me, we cross the Gam River and leave the main road to follow a small track cross-country off-road all the way to Ba Be. Our support vehicle will not be able to follow us on this route and travel along way to meet us in Ba Be National Park. Depending to the condition of the track we will have an emergency jeep or motorbike for water, food and first-aid. The ride involves three climbs, crossing a succession of river valleys, but is rideable all the way. At the village of Dan Dong, we will be transferred into traditional long boats for a relaxing 1.5-hr ride along the beautiful Nang River and cross the lake into the stunning Ba Be National Park. The park is centered on the country’s largest natural lake which is surrounded by limestone cliffs, waterfalls, caves and abundant of wildlife. We will have dinner and spend our night in a traditional house of Tay minority.Boat trip: 1.5 hrBiking: 82 km/descend 18 km/ascend 22 kmAccommodation: Home stayMeals:Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerSupport vehicle:Jeep or Motorbike(s)
Ba Be – Ha Noi
Today we have a relaxing and peaceful day. After the breakfast we say goodbye to the hosts and take a short walk through the village. We will board a long boat for a fantastic boat trip on the stunning Ba Be Lake. After 1.5-hr interesting boat trip reach Cho Ra Town for lunch. Drive 5 hrs back to Hanoi with a lunch stop on the way. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.Boat trip:1.5 hrTransfer:190 km from Cho Ra to HanoiAccommodation: Hotel in HanoiMeals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight home. Trip ends.Transfer: 50min from hotel to the airportHotel: hotel in HanoiMeals: breakfast.
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.
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.
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
What if I can’t find the departure date I need?
Please give us a call or send massage. If you are a group of four or more, we can usually add a departure date within the season to suit you.
Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you & Best homestay in mountainous or read more at Accommodation.
Will I have a local guide?
Yes, your guide will be English speaking and local. The local guide will be a highlight of your tour as they are experienced and will pass on their knowledge and passion for their country. They will show you the best places to eat, help you meet local people along the way and give you a real feel for the local culture.
Can I take a break from the cycling?
Yes, if you want to take a break, jump into the the air conditioned support vehicle that is always available.
What will the group size be?
The tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run and there will be a maximum of 16 guests.
What will the food be like?
Vietnamese or Asia food is very varied across the length of the country. Each regional has local adaptations of classic dishes. Your guide will share their passion for their cuisine and they will lead you along a culinary adventure. Drinking water is always included with meals, any other drinks will be extra.
What snacks will I get during the cycling?
You will be supplied with local snacks & energy bars. Clean water and electrolyte drinks are provided to keep you hydrated.
Is there a single supplement?
No, there is no extra charge for single travellers if you share a room with another same sex single guest. If you want your own room you can pay a supplement.
What will the weather be like?
Seasons vary across the vast length of the country, meaning you can travel to Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia.Etc… at any time of the year. You will probably have some rain during your visit.
Can you arrange my flights?
Flights are not included with our tours. However, we are more than happy to offer advice on long haul and regional flights, based on our extensive esperience of travel in Asia.
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.
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.