6 days / 5 nights – Fantastic North Vietnam 6 days by bike.
Booking code of this tour: BN605
Day 1: Hanoi – Song Thao. ~160 km, ~6 h.
Today is the first day of this fantastic North Vietnam 6 days by bike. 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.
Ride to Song Thao via Hoa Binh, crossing the barrage, and then head up north following the dyke road (west side of Black River). In fact, Song Thao is a very small village lost in the hills o 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 2: Song Thao – Mai Chau. ~180 km, ~6 h.
In general, today offers very beautiful landscape. Ride through the valley of wax-tree, native land of lacquer makers in Vietnam until Hoa Binh. Then 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 in Pom Coong village.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Hoa Lu. ~180 km, ~8 h.
This is another day with beautiful landscape. You ride on the bumpy road but very quiet and peaceful. We bypass the scenic Perfume Pagoda and spend the night in 2-star Van Xuan Inter-hotel Complex.
Time permitting, we propose a short ride to Hoa Lu to visit the temples of Dinh and Le King. Then hike up Yen Ngua mountain where we could get a panoramic view of the whole region.
Day 4: Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh – Hai Phong – Cat Ba. ~165 km, ~6 h.
The road between Ninh Binh and Hai Phong is under construction in some portions. Therefore, early departure is recommended. We take the ferry to Cat Ba at 1.30 pm from Binh station and arrive in Cat Ba at 4 pm. Finally, promenade along the coast and then take a sampan to have dinner with seafood at a floating restaurant for dinner.
Day 5: Cat Ba – Ha Long Bay. Boating.
Breakfast at the hotel. The guide and the captain of the boat will go to a market to buy food. You can go with them if you find it interesting. Boating starts at 10 am. Then have lunch with seafood on the boat. Fishing and swimming. Visit local people in the floating village of Van Gia. Boating to Monkey Island. Finally, have dinner and sleep overnight on boat.
Cat Ba is the far end of Halong Bay. In fact, Cat Ba still live from the resource that the sea offer. In addition, the tourism is developed and of high quality. The Cat Ba Bay is a condensed of Halong Bay, its labyrinth of limestone so dense that it is difficult to imagine we are in the sea.
We created this itinerary – the floating village Van Gia. They are our personal friends and the relationship with them is intimate, even knowing that some companies now also pass through there.
Finally, yet importantly, Monkey Island (Cat Dua Islet) was totally ignored by mass tourism when we propose to stop there. It has nothing special besides the fact that there is nobody except monkeys and one family who takes care of their security.
Day 6: Cat Ba – Ha Long – Bai Chay – Hanoi. ~165 km, ~5 h.
Cruise through myriads of limestone to Halong Bay where the labyrinth of limestone so dense that it is difficult to imagine we are in the sea. We arrive at Hai Ninh restaurant to have lunch before riding back to Hanoi.
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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