9 days / 8 nights – Exceptional North 9 Days Motorbike Tour.
Booking code of Exceptional North 9 Days Motorbike Tour: BN901
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Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~180 km, ~7 h.
Today is the first day of this exceptional North 9 days 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, which offer many possibilities of a 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 during trekking, boating or while driving.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Song Thao. ~180 km, ~8 h.
Beautiful landscape. Valley of wax-tree, the native land of lacquer makers in Vietnam.
In fact, Song Thao is a very small village lost in the hills on the west bank of Black River. The particular thing is that this is the place where we grow lacquer trees to collect the precious substance called lacquer.
We are welcome in the house of our friends. You meet Kinh (ethnic Vietnamese). We propose to stay in the house of the two “uncles”, the direct descendant of the ancestor who discovered the property of this tree and the way to use it, about four hundred years ago (quite recently compared to China who knew about lacquer few thousands years ago).
Day 3: Song Thao – Luc Yen – Vu Linh. ~180 km, ~6 h.
Drive from Song Thao on the secondary road then Highway 2 until Khanh Hoa; turn right into the bumpy road that leads to Luc Yen. Lunch in Luc Yen. Ride to Vu Linh in about 2 hours around the lake on a small road lined with palm trees and scenic mountain views. Vu Linh is a Dzao village and the welcome is exceptional.
Day 4: Vu Linh – Ba Be. ~250 km, ~9 h.
In fact, today’s ride is a quite a long ride but easy (so early departure is better) from Vu Linh to Ba Be (~250 km). Ba Be is a nice stop and it is good to arrive the first day to have a full day (of the second) day there. However, if you feel like resting before, it is all the time possible to stop 50 km before Ba Be. The place before Ba Be is Na Khan, a village of Tay people lost in the forest.
Day 5: Ba Be. Boating.
Easy boating on the lake and river. Then go to market (if it is the day you arrive). Stop at a waterfall, beautiful swim etc. Ong pirate, the chief of Dau Dang waterfall where we enjoy dinner. Down the waterfall, we could visit the village and a small school (only a few pupils during the summer). Finally, we propose to stay in the stilt house of forest guards.
Day 6: Ba Be – Quang Hoa. ~170 km, ~7 h.
Cross Ba Be lake to come back to our captain’s house. Then a beautiful ride up to Cao Bang province. There are a few passes from where you can dominate the area. The road is easy but there are many curves. While riding we can stop a lot. Altogether, with stops for drinks and food, it should be an 8-hour journey. Then ride 1 more hour to reach the beautiful village of Quang Hoa, in the middle of a mountain cirque. This is the territory of Nung An people. Spend the night at our friend’s house.
Day 7: Quang Hoa – Na Tau – Quang Hoa. ~30 km, ~1 h.
In fact, Na Tau is a completely unknown area that we propose to discover it by raft and motorbike. Rivers and waterfalls everywhere are extremely beautiful and wild. It is only 15 km from Quang Hoa.
Day 8: Quang Hoa – Mau Son. ~160 km, ~6 h.
Ride from Quang Hoa to Lang Son. Then continue driving toward the border from Lang Son to Mau Son. Mau Son is 30 km away from Lang Son, 1.541m above sea level. Quite cool in the evening! Night in the guesthouse of Mau Son Resort.
Recently, we received some complaints about room service and prostitution in Mau Son. In case you want better hotel rooms, we could stop in Lang Son city.
Day 9: Mau Son – Hanoi. ~165 km, ~5 h. End of Exceptional North 9 Days Motorbike Tour.
We arrive in Hanoi between 3 and 4pm, before rush hours.
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