10 days, 9 nights – Northeast & Halong Bay 10 days by bike.
Booking code of this tour: HLNE1002
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Day 1: Hanoi – Vu Linh. ~180 km, ~8 h.
Today is the first day of this Northeast & Halong Bay 10 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 Vu Linh in 8 hours. In general, the road is easy and mostly sealed. We are welcome in the house of our Dao friends. In particular, the welcome is exceptional.
Day 2: Vu Linh – Na Khan. ~165 km, ~6 h.
You ride from Vu Linh to Na Khan through Tuyen Quang. In general, the road is sealed almost all the way. However, the last part (10 kilometres) is wild and 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 3: Na Khan – Ba Be. ~50 km, ~2 h.
Short ride from Na Khan to Ba Be on bumpy road. Lunch at our captain’s house (Mr. Dang, we call him Zi Dang. Regrettably, he passed away in 2009 but his son will continue his business). Easy boating on the lake and river. Go to market (if it is the day you arrive). Stop at waterfall, beautiful swim etc. Ong pirate, the chief of Dau Dang waterfall where we enjoy dinner. Then down the waterfall, we could visit the village and a small school (only few pupils during the summer). Finally, spend the night in a stilt house.
Day 4: Ba Be – Cao Bang. ~170 km, ~8 h.
In fact, today is 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. All together, with stops for drinks and food it should be an 8-hour journey. Stay in a hotel in Cao Bang.
Day 5: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfalls – Quang Uyen. ~130 km, ~2 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.
Then ride 1 more hour back to the beautiful village of Quang Hoa, in the middle of a mountain cirque. This is the territory of Nung An people. Spend the night in our friend’s house.
Day 6: Quang Hoa – Lang Son. ~150 km, ~5 h.
Ride from Quang Hoa to Lang Son. We will have time to discover this city, which has become a big trading post between China and Vietnam. In addition, you can shop for cheap Chinese electronic products at the nearby Dong Kinh or Tam Thanh market.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Lang Son – Bai Chay. ~180 km, ~7 h.
We have a long drive mainly on secondary road, passing many coal mines along the road. We hope you are not covered in dark coal dust when we arrive in Halong City (the new name of Bai Chay).
Day 8: Bai Chay – Halong Bay. Boating.
Promenade along the coast in Halong City. Start boating at around 10 am (private junk) or 12:00pm (in case you join a group for the boat).
Boating to Thien Cung cave, fishing village and then through myriads of limestone to Ba Trai Dao (Three Peach Fruit Islet). Swimming and sleep here.
Day 9: Halong Bay – Cat Ba. Boating.
Cruise to Cat Ba. In fact, Cat Ba is the far end of Halong Bay. In general, Cat Ba still live from the resource that the sea offers. However, 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 on the sea.
We created this itinerary – the floating village Van Gia. They are our personal friends and the relation with them is intimate, even knowing that some companies now also pass through there.
Last but not least, Monkey Island (Cat Dua Islet) was totally ignored by mass tourism when we propose to stop there. It has got nothing special beside the fact that there is nobody except monkeys and one family who takes care of their security.
Arrive in Cat Ba after lunch. Then we propose to promenade along the coast or to ride to Cat Ba National Park.
Notes: This is good if you book a private junk only when the group has less than five bikes due to parking place on the junk is limited.
Day 10: Cat Ba – Hai Phong – Hanoi. ~120 km, ~3 h.
Ferry to Hai Phong starts at 1.30 pm and then ride back to Hanoi on Highway 5.
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.
Notes: In case we have too many bikes then we leave the bikes in Halong City and return there to start the ride back to Hanoi in 5 hours (~160km).
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