Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
This five days bike tour Vietnam includes Sapa and Bac Ha are the two most popular places for beautiful terraced rice fields, colorful ethnic culture, and rustic rural villages.
DAY 1: LAO CAI -> SAPA
Arrive Laocai early this morning. You will be greeted by Lotussia local team and transferred uphill to Sapa. Breakfast will be provided in a local restaurant in town. Enjoy a day biking through the Sapa valley. At first on a paved road for 7km, but then on single-track paths gradually ascend to the H’mong village of Sa Seng and then onto Hang. Then bike fast on high elevation for an hour before descend along a narrow single dirt track to the heart of Muong Hoa Valley. Get to the center of Hau Thao Commune in mid afternoon. You will be picked up by our car for a 20 minutes road transfer back to Sapa. Dinner and overnight in Sapa.
DAY 2: SAPA -> LAO CAI
Begin the ride directly from Sapa and straight away flying along on a 6 kilometer stretch of single-track which gets through villages and paddy fields. Then a quiet country lane leads to another long section of single-track, at first involving a challenging climb and then a fast flowing downhill to join a remote jeep track. The jeep track climbs gently at first, but then provides an enormous, fast descent of over 1500 meters, before hitting tarmac for the final 30 kilometer stretch to Lao Cai City. This final 30 kilometer road section is a lot of fun as there is the opportunity for engaging conversation and sign language with curious locals! This is a long and challenging day with around 8 hours on the trail. Dinner and overnight in Laocai.
DAY 3: LAO CAI -> BAC HA
After breakfast, load all the bikes onto support vehicles for a 45-minute transfer to the small village of Phong Nien. The riding begins on a good hard pack track along the side of a quiet road. Climbing gently for the first 10 kilometers, we will be able to watch the local villagers working in the fields, dressed in their traditional costumes. We then descend steeply for another 7 kilometers to a small village and footbridge that crosses the Song Chay River. Here, we board one of the traditional Vietnamese longboats and transfer for half an hour along a stunning Yangtse style river ride to a Tay village of Trung Do and lunch at a local home. The afternoon ride featured 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. Check in the Sao Mai Hotel and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
DAY 4: BAC HA -> CAN CAU -> SI MA KAI
Breakfast and then bike straightly from Bac Ha. The first 12 kilometers on tarmac is a steady climb of 650 meters to a pass (1508m.), followed by a single dirt track through an untouched region over 16 km kilometers into Can Cau village. Lunch break in a Flower H’mong homes. In the afternoon, we will take an ascend for nearly 2 hours along another single track from Can Cau to Quan Than San Commune, then follow a single path for 14 km slightly downhill to Si Ma Cai town, situated amongst mountains and hills near the Chinese border. Dinner and overnight in a simple hotel in Simakai.
DAY 5: SI MA CAI -> MUONG KHUONG -> LAO CAI -> HANOI
Breakfast and load all bikes and luggage on the support vehicle for 20km transfer Ta Gia Khau Commune. Then biking along a newly build tarmac which runs along a branch of the Chay River for 52km with three ascending and descending. It is great challenge but support vehicle always follow the group to support at any time. Arriving to Muong Khuong Town in mid afternoon, load bikes on supporting van and transfer 55km to Lao Cai. Freshen up, relax and dinner before boarding the night train for Hanoi. Train ??? Departure at ??? (to be advised). Overnight on the train.