Northern Vietnam Mountain Amazing Cycling Trip 16 Days
16 days cycling expedition in the North Vietnam will disclose one of the most extraordinary scenic beauty and colorful culture . start our trip from Hanoi, we head to Thai Nguyen where spend our time to visit Vietnam 54 ethnic minority museum to understand about Vietnamese people and its culture. admire magnificent Panoramas of Bac Son valley, cycling in remotest area in the Northeast Vietnam, along the frontier line to Ban Gioc waterfall, experiencing boat trip in Ba Be lake and Thac Ba Water reservoir to expose the hidden charm of nature. challenging incredible Lung Lo pass to Moc Chau plateau, and ride descending to Mai Chau valley to discovery the lush green rice paddy. enjoy Thai traditional food and stay overnight with their family, ride on original Ho Chi Minh trail to untouched region – Phu Luong Nature Reserve and Cuc Phuong National Park.
Hanoi – Thai Nguyen – Bac Son – That Khe – Dong Khe – Quang Uyen – Ban Gioc – Cao Bang – Ba Be National Park – Vinh Loc – Thac Ba Water Reservoir – Nghia Lo – Phu Yen – Moc Chau – Mai Chau – Phu Luong Nature Reserve – Cuc Phuong National Park- Ninh binh – Hanoi Departure
Itinerary in brief
DAY 1: Hanoi Arrival
DAY 2 : Hanoi Cycling – Thai Nguyen Biking – Bac son
DAY 3: Bac son Cycling – Quang Uyen
DAY 4: Quang Uyen Bicycle – Ban Gioc
DAY 5: Ban Gioc Biking – Cao Bang
Day 6: Cao Bang Cycling – Ba Be
DAY 7: Ba Be Biking – Na Hang Nature Reserve cycling – Vinh Loc
DAY 8: Vinh Loc Cycling– Tuyen Quang Biking – Vu linh
Day 9: Vu linh Cycling – Yen Bai Biking – Nghia Lo
Day 10: Nghia Lo Cycling – Phu yen
Day 11: Phu Yen Biking – Moc Chau 89 km,
Day 12: Moc Chau Cycling – Mai Chau
Day 13: Mai Chau Biking – Pu Luong
Day 14: Phu Luong Cycling – Cuc Phuong National Park
Day 15: Cuc phuong Biking – Ninh Binh Cycling – Tam Coc
Day16: Ninh Binh – Hanoi – Departure
* Optional extension to Halong bay 2day/1night (Day16, Day17 and Depature on Day17 or Day18)
DAY 1: Hanoi Arrival
Welcome to Vietnam. Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport, Travelo Vietnam guide and driver will greet and pick you up to the hotel at the heart of Hanoi capital. Hanoi, the antique and dynamic city of Vietnam, reserves a unique old world charm and several of the most striking colonial architecture of Asia. After the checking-in,Take relax by your own and do briefing itinerary with our guide for coming days. enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling streets in the Old Quarter to discover the ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi. After the tour, you will be warmly welcome with a special welcoming dinner in a typical Vietnamese food restaurant. Stay overnight in Hanoi :
DAY 2 : Hanoi – Thai nguyen – Bac son
After hearty breakfast in Hotel, you will clear the bill and do check out, and preparing cycling suit for our cycling challenge. Our driver will take you out of bustling city to Thai Nguyen Province, arriving Thai Nguyen, you will visit one of amazing hill tribal minority museum where you can get the first sight and vision of 54 difference ethnic minorities of Vietnam. You definitively know how to recognize which they are on cycling road in coming days. Our first cycling day will start pedaling in Thai Nguyen to Bac Son Town, Bac Son town in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son, exposes in a vast valley surrounded by stretching mountains, creating poetic scenery.stay overnight in hotel/ homestay.
DAY 3: Bac son – Quang Uyen
Get up early in the morning to admire the peaceful villages, explore the daily life of local people. Taste local pancake for breakfast. We start cycling through incredible valley to visit one of the first historical relic Bac Son museum where displays documents, picture and some’s objects relate to Vietminh revolution against French 27th September, 1940. We continue to ascend long climb to That khe junction for picnic lunch. After lunch, we keep riding on Route 3 head to Cao Bang. Upon Dong Khe, the shuttle bus take us to Hotel. Have dinner and stay overnight in DUY HUONG HOTEL
DAY 4: Quang Uyen – Ban Gioc
After hearty breakfast in hotel, we pay visit local market to learn about the local production or taking pictures with friendly people, commence to ride from hotel cross Gam river head to east direction to Ban Gioc Water fall, we ride on tarmac road with stunning scenic beauty, fascinating kast mountain ranges dotted with hill tribal villages. We also conquered 7 km steep pass before descending to Quang Uyen town. Upon arriving in Quang Uyen, we cycle on undulating road through numerous hill tribal villages, stop for lunch en route. After lunch, we continue to ride and admire on newly paved road to Ban Gioc water fall. Have dinner and stay overnight in Sai Gon Ban Gioc Resort
DAY 5: Ban Gioc – Cao Bang
Get up early in the morning to expose the fascinated nature, walking down to discovery the magnificent water Fall. Back to Hotel for breakfast, we start pedaling from Hotel on the frontier road to Pac Po where President Hochiminh used to living and working for three years since 1940 – 1943, after 30 years living in abroad. Spending the time to visit Hochiminh historical relics such as Coc Po Cave, Lenin spring water, Care mark mountain. Keep riding on Hochiminh Route back to Cao Bang, have lunch in route. Upon arriving in Cao bang, take the time to explore city and villages nearby.
Day 6: Cao Bang – Ba Be
After having hearty breakfast in hotel, we commence riding from hotel on tarmac road to Ba Be national Park. Crossing bridge and turn off the country road, we ride on paved village road until we meet national road 209 then turn right. Keep riding on tarmac road along the river to Bac Can. On the way, you are rewarded by stunning scenery, break taking limestone Mountain View and magnificent rice terraces. Have lunch in route. After filling up- energy. We kick off our bike undulating road to Ba Be Lake.Ba Be National Park is one of the oldest parks in Vietnam with stunning mountain scenery covered by semi tropical monsoon rainforest and claims the largest natural fresh water lake in the country. The area is home to a variety of minorities including the Tay, Red Dao, Coin Dao and White H’mong.
DAY 7: Ba Be – Na Hang Nature Reserve – Vinh Loc
Get up early in the morning to enjoy pristine nature of Ba Be National Park and sounding from birds and monkeys inside the jungle. Have breakfast in hotel. We commence cycling from Hotel, passing the National park to Boat wharf and spending over one hour to discovery picturesque scenery of Ba Be Lake. It is blessed with breathtaking scenic beauty, lush jungle and stunning limestone panoramas. Cycling on the single dirt track to Dau Dang Water Fall and take another Boat trip to Da vi and Na Hang water reservoir. Cycling on tarmac road with some hills and passes on the way to Vinh Loc. Arriving in Vinh Loc do check in and have dinner in local hotel.
DAY 8: Vinh Loc – Tuyen Quang – Vu linh
Starting riding from Hotel on tarmac road lead to Tuyen Quang and Thac Ba Water Reservoir. On the way you are fascinated by lush scenery and hill tribe villages. Meeting with school kid on the way to school or back school with bid sound “hello” you. We ride from village to another one to learn their daily life of ethnic minority’s people. Arriving in Thac Ba Reservoir Lake late afternoon. Take bamboo raft to Lavie resort. Dinner and stay overnight in Resort
Day 9: Vu linh – Yen Bai – Nghia Lo
Get up early to admire the picturesque scenery of Thac Ba Lake or walk around hill tribe’s village to observe everyday activity life of local people and interact with them to understand more their life. Come back to hotel for breakfast. we set off our our pedal from Hotel to Boat dock and take over one hour boat trip to explore the stunning scenery of lake. It is blessed with magnificent scenic beauty and fascinating emerald water lake. We start new cycling day from boat dock on single track to main road and turn off the district paved road to Yen Bai. We keep riding along the Red river on undulating road , crossing the bridge and keep riding to Nghia Lo Town. We ride through lush green rice terrace and palm trees, passing cinnamon and gum tree forest. Have lunch in route. After lunch we keep riding along river to Nghi Lo town. Have dinner and stay in Nghia Lo Hotel
Day 10: Nghia Lo – Phu yen
Today is incredible and challenging day in our cycling expedition, while we ride through one of the best scenic beauty of the North Vietnam. Start early from hotel we ride ascending on tarmac road out of the town and admire the lush green rice field of Muong Lo/. Keep riding on scenic road lead to Tran Phu before descending to bottom of the pass. Refreshing by cold water and tropical fruit before conquering incredible Lung lo Pass with 9 km long to the summit. Upon arriving on summit, take relax and have picnic lunch whilst enjoying extraordinary rice terrace panoramas of Mid North west Vietnam. After refueling energy we commence descending to Phu Yen Town where we will stay overnight.
Day 11: Phu Yen – Moc Chau 89 km,
Have breakfast in hotel, we take leisurely morning ride along Da River on paved road, pass stunning rice terrace and corn field to Ferry, take public Ferry to Moc Chau land, we cycle ascending to Moc Chau Plateau. Have lunch in route, following to lunch meal, we conquered the last ascending distance to Moc Chau, we ride through tea farm and flower gardens.
Day 12: Moc Chau- Mai Chau
Located at 1340 meters compare sea level, Moc Chau is one of the most pristine beautiful plateaus in the North mountainous region that brings the amazing attraction for all classes of people even for hard-to-pleasure tourists. The road between Moc Chau and Son La is mazing with picturesque scenic beauty and diversified ethnic cultures. Beside. Moc Chau is well – known for green tea and milk production. Cycling adventure tours is one of the most fascinating way to explore marvelous scenery, interact with hill tribe people and admire pristine nature in and around Moc Chau. Our cycling tour will depart from hotel to green tea farms and tea workshop to learn the process of how to make green tea and then we ride on single track, dirt road, passing a vast green tea farms to colorful flowers gardens or tropical fruit gardens. Stopping en route for tasting fresh cow milk and and green tea herb. Our cycling continue descending on old National way No 6 to Bai Sang and Mai Chau. You have opportunity in exploring sublime limestone mountain range and picturesque scenery dotted with Thai and Muong hill tribes in hillside. Have lunch in route. After lunch, we keep riding down to Bai Sang and turn right to Mai Chau Town. Upon arriving in Sol Bungalow, do check in and relax on swimming pool. Dinner and enjoy alive performance music of Thai people.
Day 13: Mai Chau – Pu Luong
Waking up you early in the morning by birds and chicken sounding, you will be treated by Thai traditional cake for breakfast with hot coffee and tea. After hearty breakfast, we cycle through different villages on a mix of good single track paths link from villages to another, the view are stunning as the ride passes and cross lush rice paddies./ Unique to this area are fan palms, grown specifically to use for roofing.We pass hot springs, cycle cross suspension bridges and follow the contours around beautiful terraced rice fields. We stop for lunch en route in local family. After lunch, we cycle back road, single tracks, buffalo trails through rice terraced fields and bamboo forest and Bamboo chopstick production workshop to Hang Villages. Arriving in Eco home stay late afternoon. We have do check in and dinner with local family. Stay overnight in Homestay.
Day 14: Phu Luong – Cuc Phuong National Park
After breakfast with the Host, Say good bye them, we start early to ride back road to Pho Doan, the township of Pu Luong Nurture Reserve, if lucky, we can visit and take photo at colorful tribal market before crossing the bridge , we ride on corridor path of Nature Reserve , through sugarcane fields, corn farm dotted with Thai and Muong Tribes villages led to Cam Luong, we are rewarded by spectacular scenery, meeting friendly local villagers. We reach to Ho Chi Minh Trail at noon. Lunch meal at local restaurant in Kim Tan town, after lunch, we continue to ride 45 km more on a mix of good single track and undulating paths. The view are stunning as the rider passes through villages and across rice paddies, sugarcane and cassava farms. Arriving in Cuc Phuong National Park at late afternoon, check in and take a rest until dinner times. Accommodation at Cuc Phuong Guest houses or Bungalow
Day 15: Cuc phuong – Ninh Binh – Tam Coc
After breakfast, our minibus take us into the depth of forest. From the center of the Park, we will cycle along canopied forest trails and through primitive jungle – an exclusive, tourist – free route, all the way to the gate of National park. Stop for refreshment, then we visit the endangered primate Rescuer Center. The day’s cycling continues onto Dong Giao – pineapple plantation where you can enjoy fresh pineapple from local farmers selling on side road. We ride out of plantation to Tam Diep Township, transfer to Tam Coc for Lunch. After lunch, we ride through magnificent limestone mountains rise up majestically from the green rice paddies, streams to Tram Chim Nature Reserve. Upon arrival, we take relax or wander around to encounter different birds in here. Dinner and stay overnight in Resort
Day16: Ninh Binh – Hanoi – Departure
You have the morning free to relax before your return flight home. Finish your unforgettable trip with Green Trail Tours!
* Optional extension to Halong Bay 2day/1night (Day16, Day17 and Departure on Day17 or Day18)
Tour included in:
English speaking cycling guide ( other languages upon requests)
Accommodations are based on double/ twin occupancy
Meals details in itineraries ( 13 breakfast, 13lunches, 14 dinners)
A/C transfer/ and transportation
Van or bus supported during the cycling times.
Truck supported for the group size from 6 and above.
Trek mountain bikes (4300 or 4400) or Cannondale (Trail 5 or 6) with disc brake and helmets
Boat trip in Ba Be and Thac Ba Water Reservoir
Sightseeing excursions as outlined itineraries
Bike tour pump, bike tools, spares tubes, spare bikes
First aid kit
Cold water box, small fresh towel.
Mineral water for drinking
Fruit and snack for cycling days
Tour excluded in:
Items of personal nature
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in meals
Mineral water beyond that supplied
Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry bills.
Tip for team and guide
Note: Hotels are subject to change due to availability. In that case we will choose equivalent rooms
Meals: if you have any specific food requirements ( vegetarian, vegan, food allergies) please inform us in advance so that we can provide notice to our restaurant, tour guide, our partners so that they can server you better. If you are a food lover, Travelo Vietnam can be your culinary guide and provide you opportunity to savor tempting local food and world famous – dishes.
Bikes: we use the new 4300/4500 trek moutain bikes for all most cycling trip with different size from 13.5’’ – 23,5’’
. We generally use 2012 /2013 models of TREK mountain bikes because they are high quality, durable pieces of equipment. Besides,
We like the versatility and durability of the mountain bike as it has been designed to cope with different types of terrain and riding. Our trips can be on asphalt and can often be broken or potholed, and there are usually unsurfaced sections included, so mountain bikes are the most suitable. They also have the range of gears to cope with the hills.
Each bike comes with a single water bottle cage, if you prefer more you are welcome to bring your own. Bikes also have gel seat cover slips if you prefer a softer ride. If you have your own saddle that you are comfortable with seat, you are welcome to bring it and we’ll fit it. On long tours women specific seats are recommended and we have some available, but we cannot guarantee we will available for every tour.These bikes also are available for rent in case you want to go it alone or just need a bike for a day.
Bikes repairs: basic spaires and tools kid are generally carried by guide and on the support vehicle, although we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carring a basic tool kids, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Safety: wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Your tour guide are trained in first aid and emergency rescure, tour guide often carry first aid box with their bikes while riding
Support: we often used mini bus and bus with air condition for transfer and back up as itineraries
We use van Support bikes and cyclist
– ( 1 – 4 pax) we use Van to support and carry out bikes)
– ( 5 – 8 pax) we use one Van and one truck to supports
Our guides: the tour will be led by one of English – speaking guides. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling and introduce that experiences for you . our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding by Vietnam National Tourism. Our guides are also medically skilled in first Aid by SOS and they know how to deal with hard situations.
Grading definition: To assist you visualise how our trip is difficult, we have graded our adventure tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging, we group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, weather conditions and vehicle support
Easy: suitable for most people in good health. These trips generally include short days, on good paths and at low attitudes
Moderate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these trips can require sustained endurance levels, hill longer days and altitude.All of our moderate trips have a support vehicle following closely, weary travellers can hitch a ride and take a rest for a while.
Challenging: these trips are physically demanding and best suite for fit people with high endurancce level. Day can be longer, often at altitude, in remoted regions and sometimes without supports vehicle nearby.. travellers may be required to carry a backpacks.
Food: All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary, are included in the price of this tour. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food in Homestays . while in towns, we will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in delicious restaurants
Meals consist of a variety of banlanced dishes and aim for universal appeal, we avoid highly spiced foods.
Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking.
Beverage and alcoholic drink are not included at mealtime or in restaurants
Snack/ Water: when we transfer , ride by minibus ( no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you ( two little for one day for person with wet tissue)
When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water and wet tissue in box plus fresh tropical fruides, soft – drink, energy – drinking, ( five little water for cycling day/ person)
Beer is freely available everywhere in Vietnam, but not include in our trip
The homestays: Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
Weather: Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons – the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.
Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam.the north Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with tempreture in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry.the best time visit Vietnam is spring ( February – April) or Autunm( late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppresive from May to the early September.
Money: the official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong ( VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in allmost tourist centers. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the best networks with a limit a single withdraw limit of 2000,000 d ( 95 USD). Most major currrencies can be exchanged in leading in Vietnam, but th USD is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing 100 USD wiil make you to be a millionaire. You can not legally take the donng out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into USD on departure,.
Clothing: comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as it is in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evening against bitting insects. A light weight raincoat or rain cape is a good ideal in the raining season. For on the bike you will need to bring a couple of pairs of cycling shorts and short leeve jerseys, a pairs of cycling glove and if you use them, your clip in cycling shoes/ sandals.. when travel in the North Vietnam during winter months ( late November – March) warm clothe is needed.Visitors to Buddhist countries should not to wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious centers and shoes should be removed before entering private homes.
Passport and visa: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficients for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors. The Snail Adventure Tours company is authorised to issue visa on arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Danang International Airport in Danang, and Tan San Nhat in Ho chi Minh city.The same authorisation proceduce and a minimum mof 5 days working notice is required. In emergency case they can arrange a visa o arrival if notice of 2 working days is given.
Tipping: Tipping for good services is always appreciated in these developing countries. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for . We recommend 5 US Dollar / person/per day for cycling tour guides .. 2 USD/ person/ day for driver and 1 USD/ person/ day for door bell when checking in and out.
Responsible tourism: we strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protec natural invironment. We recognise that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
Environment : we have been turning invironmently responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Community: Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging custommers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, moto taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.