Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
This 6 days Cycling Tour Vietnam is a mountain biking tour we arrange in the area Bac Ha and Ha Giang. Join this bike tour you will visit remote hilltribe villages, colorful ethnic market on Sunday, and stay at local home.
DAY 1: SAPA -> LAO CAI
You begin the ride directly from Sapa town and straight away you are flying along on a 6 kilometer stretch of superb single-track which takes you through villages and paddy fields. A quiet country lane leads to another long section of single-track, at first involving a challenging climb and then a spectacular, fast flowing downhill to join a remote jeep track. Landslides permitting, your support vehicle jeep may join you here. Alternatively, you will meet up for lunch much lower down the hill. The jeep track climbs gently at first, but then provides an enormous, fast descent of over 1500 meters, before you hit tarmac for the final 30 kilometer stretch into town. This final 30 kilometer road section is a lot of fun. This is a long and challenging day with around 9 hours on the trail.
DAY 2: LAO CAI -> BAC HA
After breakfast, you load your bikes onto the support vehicles for a 45-minute transfer to the small village of Phong Nien. You riding begins on a good hardpack track along the side of a quiet road. Climbing gently for the first 10 kilometers, you will be able to watch the local villagers working in the fields, dressed in their flamboyant traditional costumes. You then descend steeply for another 7 kilometers to a small village and footbridge that crosses the Song Chay River. Here, you will board one of the traditional Vietnamese longboats and transfer for half an hour through a high cliffed gorge. There is the option of a short single-track section following the riverbank, before your longboat takes you across the river, to a Tay village and lunch at a traditional homestead. This village is also where your support vehicle meets up with you for the first time since the start of your biking day. The afternoon presents you with a tough alpine switchback road that climbs 1000 meters over 17 kilometers, before a final 5 kilometer descent into the highland market town of Bac Ha. Diner and overnight in Bac Ha.
DAY 3: BAC HA CAN CAU MARKET
After breakfast, you have a morning road ride to the Can Cau Saturday market. It is 23 kilometers to the market, with the first 12 kilometers being a steady climb of 650 metres to a pass (1508m.), followed by a fast descent over 11 kilometers into Can Cau village (838m.). The open-air market, which is perched on the side of a hill just outside the village, is one of the most fascinating in northern Vietnam. Just 9 kilometers from the Chinese border, it is a mixture of Chinese traders and the 10 different and colorful hill tribes who inhabit this area. After lunch beside the market, a steep climb back up to the pass now opens the way for an off-road route back to Bac Ha. At first this is on rough jeep tracks, but then turns into a classic section of single-track that is technical in places. There will be short sections where you will need to get off and walk with your bike, but the views across to distant Bac Ha make it well worthwhile. Difficulties finally ease and the biking ends with a final blast back into town. Spend the second night in Bac Ha.
DAY 4: BAC HA -> HOANG SU PHI
The first 8 kilometers of today’s ride follows the same climb which started yesterday’s route, there is the option of using the support vehicle to reach the point where you turn off the road onto the remote track to Xin Man. You are now biking across one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam, climbing for the first hour or so up to a plateau at 1600 meters, where you contour around before hitting tarmac for a fast descent into the busy town of Xin Man for lunch. The afternoon takes you down to a bridge over the main river and for the next 38 kilometers you cycle along a quiet road which gently climbs and follows the river upstream to Hoang Su phi. You overnight in the only hotel in town.
DAY 5: HOANG SU PHI -> HA GIANG
This is one of the most challenging biking days of the trip. Leaving Hoang Suphi early this morning, there are just a couple of kilometers on the main road before you turn off onto a remote jeep track leading up into the mountains. You will be committed here, as your mini bus support will not be able to follow you and will have to continue on the main mountain road around to Viet Lam. You transfer the final 30 kilometers along Highway 2 to the busy district capital of Ha Giang.
DAY 6: HA GIANG -> HANOI
Leaving Ha Giang town and drive downhill along the road 4C onto Hanoi. Lunch stop at Bac Quang. Arriving back to Hanoi in afternoon, about 4.00 pm and trip end.