9 days Exotic North Vietnam Motorbiking 9 days / 8 nights.
Booking code of this tour: BN902
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Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~150 km, ~5 h.
Today is the first day of this exotic North Vietnam motorbiking 9 days. 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.
We leave Hanoi around 9am following the Red river road to Son Tay and then another Black river road to Hoa Binh. This is longer than taking the Highway 6 but saves you hours in crowded traffic.
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 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). Finally, 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 – Yen Binh – Vu Linh. ~100 km, ~3 h.
First, ride from Song Thao on the secondary road until Yen Binh. Then after lunch, a boat is waiting to take us and our bikes to cross Thac Ba Lake to Vu Linh (1.5 hours). Vu Linh is a Dao village and the welcome is exceptional.
Day 4: Vu Linh – Na Khan. ~250 km, ~9 h.
You ride from Vu Linh to Na Khan through Thai Nguyen (over 200 km). In general, the road is sealed all the way until Bac Kan. However, last part from Bac Kan to Na Khan is wild and little bumpy. Na Khan is a Tay village, lost in the middle of the primitive forest. Mr. Lo, chief of the village will welcome us in his house.
Day 5: Na Khan – Ba Be. 50 km, ~2 h + Boating.
A short ride from Na Khan to Ba Be on a bumpy road. Then have lunch at our captain’s house. Easy boating on the lake and river. 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). 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 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. ~100 km, ~2 h (or ~30 km, ~1 h).
Having obtained permission from the border police we make our way through spectacular scenery to Vietnam’s most impressive waterfalls. Weather permitting we can swim right up to where the 50 m high falls hit the river.
Na Tau is a completely unknown area that we propose to discover it by boat and motorbike. Rivers and waterfalls everywhere are extremely beautiful and wild. In addition, it is only 15 km from Quang Hoa.
Day 8: Quang Hoa – An Chau. ~210 km, ~7 h.
Ride from Quang Hoa to An Chau. In fact, An Chau is an ecologic zone, 80 km from Lang Son, the road from the Highway 1B that turns to An Chau is bumpy. We propose to stay overnight in a guesthouse in town.
Day 9: An Chau – Hanoi. ~150 km, ~5 h.
Ride to Khe Gio ecologic zone, 15 km from An Chau. In fact, Khe Gio is the territory of Nung, Tay and Dao people. On the way back to Hanoi, there’s a possibility to stop at But Thap pagoda, a small pagoda known for its four-storey stone sputa dedicated to the monk Chuyet Cong and notably the thousand eyes and hands Buddha (to see all and to touch all).
We try to arrive in Hanoi before 5pm to avoid rush hours. Otherwise, you should be good with city traffic from the experience you got over the last days.
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