7 days, 6 nights Northeast Vietnam Motorbike Tour. Destination details could be found at the end of this page.
Offroad Vietnam Motorbike Travel invites motorcyclists to ride this wild and remote corner of Vietnam – the Northeast.
It used to be an important area during the war (with the French army), now it’s changing fast and becomes a beautiful region, full of legends, colorful hill tribe groups and also major trade points with China. The road is small, windy and snaking in the mountains. No matter which end of the trip you start from, first is on flat easy road or highway, then head up mountain range and ride the mountain roads a few days before you find the flat road back to Hanoi again.
The places you stay on this trip include many warm home stays in Vu Linh, Ba Be, Na Khan and Quang Uyen and a few nights in comfy hotels in Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Mau Son and Lang Son. We are open to discuss any plan you have in your mind, from 4 to 8 days, an extension to the magnificent Halong Bay is also an option. Experience on two wheels first hand and venture a Real Vietnam!
Booking code of 7 days Northeast Vietnam motorbike tour: OV02
NORTHEAST VIETNAM MOTORBIKE TOUR DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Hanoi – Mau Son, ~180 km, ~5 hours, (L, D)
Today is the first day of this 7-day Northeast Vietnam motorbike tour. To get out of Hanoi safely, 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. Finally, we start around 9.30am after the rush hours.
We saddle up and make the break out of the city limits and the lowlands and plains of the Red River Delta. We pass through clusters of limestone as we head out north-east before leaving the main road and climb up to the peak of Mau Son mountain. An old French hill station, Mau Son was ravaged during war with the Chinese and the buildings have recently been rebuilt in traditional style. A winding road leads us to the summit and at over 1,500 metres altitude we enjoy fantastic views out over China and down towards Ha Long Bay. Overnight in Mau Son.
Day 2: Mau Son – Cao Bang, ~200 km, ~7 hours, (B, L, D)
Dropping down from the heights of Mau Son we strike directly north, skirting the border city of Lang Son, visiting the Dong Dang ‘Friendship Gate’ on the Chinese border, then we join the legendary ‘Highway 4’ where the Viet Minh forces carried out numerous raids over uncountable passes in this remote border region. We follow the border all the way to Vietnam’s major city in the north-east: Cao Bang (literal translation: ‘High Plateau’). Overnight in Cao Bang.
* Cao Bang: At 300 kilometres north of Hanoi, Cao Bang is used as a base camp for all our expeditions to destinations close to the Chinese border. In reality, the region north of Cao Bang is dominated by limestone. Hence its scenery is similar to that of Ha Long Bay or Guilin (China) and offers unprecedented driving enjoyment amongst some of the most spectacular surroundings in Vietnam.
Day 3: Cao Bang, ~120 km, ~3 hours, (B, L, D)
We explore into the magical region of the far north-east with its impressive limestone karst scenery. Later we meander around and through the countless rock monoliths all the way to the huge Ban Gioc Waterfall which sits on the Chinese border. When at the fall, we can swim under the falls and picnic on bamboo rafts. Then in the afternoon we loop back to Cao Bang past even more spectacular karst scenery. Overnight in Cao Bang.
* Ban Gioc Waterfall: In this closed off region, where thousands of limestone monoliths loom high above paddy fields tended by Nung, Tay and Green Hmong peoples, you will find sealed, winding roads which make for excellent driving. The entire area rewards those willing to take the time to explore and share life with its people.
Day 4: Cao Bang, ~120 km, ~4 hours, (B, L, D)
In the morning we strike north-west to the border, marked by a massive range of peaks, and pass over to Pac Po Cave where Ho Chi Minh made his return to Vietnam in 1941. Then we head straight up on challenging road, pass through deep, remote karst country and rest at a secluded lake deep in the forest. Late afternoon ride on sealed road back to Cao Bang and a soothing massage. Overnight in Cao Bang.
* Pac Bo Cave: North-West of Cao Bang and right up along the border with China, the cave is well known for having been the first refuge of Ho Chi Minh on his return to Vietnam in 1941. At the point where the famous Lenin Stream cascades down a waterfall from China, we will continue by foot to penetrate into the mystery of Vietnam’s Independence Movement and also its surrounding jungle.
Day 5: Cao Bang – Ba Be, ~180 km, ~7 hours, (B, L, D)
We move south-west from Cao Bang and breach several passes on route in an area hosting huge mountain scenery. The Cao Bac Pass offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. While descending the pass we see hillsides carpeted with apiaries, Vietnam’s most famous honey-producing areas. Then in the afternoon we arrive at Ba Be Lake in the heart of a National Park. Overnight with a family in a Tay minority stilt house on the shores of the lake.
* Ba Be Lake: This pristine mountain lake, arguably Vietnam’s most beautiful lake, is situated 240 kilometres north of Hanoi. Surrounded by primary jungle and limestone cliffs, the surrounding areas are inhabited principally by Thai and also Hmong peoples.
Day 6: Ba Be, boating, (B, L, D)
A day to explore at Ba Be Lake, take in some markets, enjoy a boat cruise, go fishing, explore caves, dine with friends at the edge of a waterfall and also enjoy the hospitality of the minority peoples who inhabit this area. We will take a boat up the seven-kilometre length of the lake to the Dau Dang waterfalls on the Gam River and also visit the 300m Long Phuong Cave. During the war the cave was one of the rare natural shelters for the local population hiding from the bombing. Overnight with a family in a Tay minority stilt house on the shores of the lake.
Day 7: Ba Be – Hanoi, ~240 km, ~8 hours, (B, L)
Staying off the main road for as long as possible we head back towards the Red River Delta, passing through areas inhabited by Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung minority peoples. A mixture of both challenging track and glorious sealed road all the way back to Hanoi.
Arrive in Hanoi before 4pm to avoid rush hours which start from 5pm till 7pm. End this 7-day Northeast Vietnam motorbike tour.
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Mau Son Hill Station
Mau Son (means Mother Mountain) is a mountain in Loc Binh district, Lang Son province, ~180km north-east of Hanoi or ~30km east of Lang Son. The highest peak is ~1,600m above sea level. During the colonization, the French built a military base on the mountain followed by a cluster of villas in 1936. However, after the war with the poor reservation, the French installations on Mount Mau Son have since fallen into disrepair and only ruins remain of the stone buildings. Accommodation is not really good because it is one of the wettest and coldest places in North Vietnam. Therefore, our customers usually opt out Lang Son for better overnighting conditions.
A big town in Northeast Vietnam, the capital city of Cao Bang province, ~180km from Lang Son or ~400km from Hanoi. The city is also known for the Battle of Cao Bang, the first major decisive victory of the Viet Minh against the French Army along Highway 4. We use this town as a base because there is no better accommodation in the surrounding areas.
Ba Be (means Three Lakes) is the largest natural fresh water lake, stretching about 8 kilometres in the north-south direction. Unlike many lakes in Karst limestone areas, Ba Be Lake never falls dry. The name “Three Lakes” refers to the three parts of the lake named Pe Leng, Pe Lu, and Pe Lam. All these three parts are connected into a single continuous body of water, however. A boat trip is the only way to see this beautiful complex. In addition, home stays offer a real insight of the local Tay people.
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