6 days / 6 nights – Short 6 days Northwest motorbike tour.
Booking code of this tour: NW601
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~170 km, ~6 h.
Today is the first day of this short 6 days Northwest motorbike tour. Before starting to ride, we will have a short briefing to let you know about the rules. In addition, the guide will show you how to understand him by his body language. We start around 9.30am after the rush hours.
Once out of the Red River Delta, which brims with traditional farming activity, we pass through limestone monoliths and into foothills populated by Muong people. We head straight at the main range before breaching a high and beautiful forested pass, which descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau where we spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house.
The valley of Mai Chau lies between two rivers: the Da River and the Ma River. Therefore, Mai Chau is very fertile and rich in varied landscapes, medium mountains, forest, lake, rivers, and infinitude of small footpaths and offer many possibilities of trek. In the valley of Mai Chau and its surroundings are Muong, White Thai, H’mong (in the height), and the Dao who we meet at the markets or in their villages.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La. ~200 km, ~8 h.
On good road looking high over distant mountains we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Sleep in a hotel.
Day 3: Son La – Muong Lay. ~200 km, ~8 h.
There are 15 passes in total. In reality, you ride on a very nice road with stunning landscape. Probably the most beautiful journey of the whole trip even the road is in poor condition. Sleep in a hotel.
Day 4: Muong Lay – Lai Chau. ~120 km, ~6 h.
In general, this is the most demanding and remote section of the drive which takes us upstream along the left side of a Black River tributary through forest on a bumpy dirt road past isolated pockets of Tay, Thai, H’mong and Man peoples before breaching a pass to enter the Tam Duong plain, which is covered in shark’s teeth like limestone karts. We would visit a Mang village near Sin Ho, the guide will buy some food to give to the head of the village, and he later distributes our donations to the villagers. We stay in a hotel.
Day 5: Lai Chau – Sapa. ~100 km, ~5 h.
Tam Duong market in the morning. There are colourful Montargnard groups living in Tam Duong: Black H’mong and Dzao. ~10 am: beautiful drive at slow pace on bumpy road to Sapa. We will have a big breakfast because there is nothing to eat on the way, just us with the wildness. We stay O/N in Cat Cat Hotel.
Day 6: Sapa – Trekking. Train to Hanoi. ~50 km, ~2 h.
In reality, Sapa and Bac Ha are now quite touristy. However, we can trek to Ta Van village where is dominated by Giay people. We pass Lao Chai village on the way and lunch could be in Lao Chai, Ta Van, or wherever we want. The children will go together with you along the way. Finally, come back to Sapa and ride down to Lao Cai for the night train train back to Hanoi.
Train leaves around 9pm. However, we must be at the station two hours before to guarantee a firm bike loading. In fact, there is limited space for motorbikes on this night train from Lao Cai to Hanoi.
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