5 days, 5 nights – Challenging Short Northwest 5 Days Biking.
Booking code of this tour: NW501
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~160 km, ~6 h.
Today is the first day of this challenging short Northwest 5 days biking. 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 in Pom Coong village.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La. ~200 km, ~8 h.
On good road looking high over distant mountains, we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Sleep in a hotel.
Day 3: Son La – Muong Lay. ~200 km, ~8 h.
There are 15 passes in total. In general, you ride on very nice roads with stunning landscape. Probably the most beautiful journey of the whole trip even the road is in poor condition. Sleep in Lan Anh Hotel.
Day 4: Muong Lay – Lai Chau. ~150 km, ~7 h.
The most demanding and remote section of the drive takes us upstream along the left side of a Black River tributary through 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 karst. 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 O/N at Phuong Thanh Hotel.
Day 5: Lai Chau – Sapa – Lao Cai – Hanoi. ~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 drive at a low pace on bumpy road to Sapa. We will have a big breakfast because there is nothing to eat on the way, just ourselves with the wildness.
Finally, we ride down to Lao Cai early afternoon and be at the station around 5pm for the train to Hanoi at 8 pm.
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