11 days / 10 nights – through NorthWest 11 days motorbike tour.
Booking code of Through NorthWest 11 Days Motorbike Tour:NW1103
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Day 1:Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~170 km, ~6 h.
Today is the first day of this through NorthWest 11 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 hour.
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 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.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Phu Yen. ~150 km, ~6 h.
We ride from Mai Chau to Moc Chau by the main road. Then a few kilometres before Moc Chau we turn right in direction of the Da River. In general, it’s a nice ride to the river. After crossing the reservoir of the Da River, we ride on a secondary road until Phu Yen where we spend the evening at our friend’s house (White Thai people). Finally, stay overnight in the stilt house or in a guest-house.
Day 3: Phu Yen – Son La. ~140 km, ~4 h.
Ride on a secondary road from Phu Yen to Son La on the forgotten highway 6. In fact, this part has some of the most scenic roads on this tour. We stop in Son La and prepare for the next day long to Than Uyen.
Day 4: Son La – Muong Lay. ~200 km, ~8 h.
There are 15 passes in total. In reality, you ride on a very nice road with a stunning landscape. Probably the most beautiful journey of the whole trip even the road is in poor condition. Sleep in a hotel.
Day 5: Muong Lay – Lai Chau. ~150 km, ~7 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 the 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 6: Lai Chau – Sapa. ~100 km, ~5 h.
Tam Duong market in the morning. There are colourful Montagnard groups living in Tam Duong: Black H’mong and Dzao. ~10am: beautiful ride at a slow pace on the bumpy road to Sapa. We will have a big breakfast because there is nothing to eat on the way, just ourselves with the wildness. We stay O/N in Cat Cat Hotel.
Day 7: Sapa – Bac Ha. ~120 km, ~4 h.
The ride from Sapa to Bac Ha takes ~4 hours, down from Sapa to Lao Cai (34 km) and then up to Bac Ha (70 km) with a stunning landscape. We check into a hotel before having lunch. In the afternoon, we trek to Lung Phinh village of Flower H’mong people. Stay overnight in Bac Ha.
Day 8: Bac Ha – Xin Man. ~50 km, ~3 h.
Minor roads and tracks, we are lost in the mountain. Flower H’mong savagely imposes their bright colours in these wild vastness. This road allows us to have time to stop and admire the footpaths going through wild bushes. We can visit the Can Cau market, located at the heart of a mountainous circus, and very close to the Chinese border. In particular, this is the place the ethnic groups on each side of the border meet every Saturday morning.
Day 9: Xin Man – Luc Yên. ~200 km, ~8 h.
In general, today you ride long but on easy roads. In particular, the landscapes are very varied, always skirting the border to finish in triumph in the valley of the palm trees of Luc Yen, at the Dao and Tay. Stay in guest-house, simple as at home. If the invaluable stones interest you, the ruby rate/rhythm the life of the borough as of 5h of the morning at the market of the stones.
Day 10: Luc Yen – Vu Linh. ~70 km, ~2 h.
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’s Dao village is where we spend the night in the traditional house on stilts. Superb work of wood. The houses are superb. In addition, the exceptional greeting does not leave anybody “indemne”.
Day 11: Vu Linh – Hanoi. ~200 km, ~7 h. End of Through NorthWest 11 Days Motorbike Tour.
Come back to Hanoi by Song Thao and then Son Tay. In general, it’s a very nice road.
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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