Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary
The 7 days Northeast Vietnam Biking Tour is our second 7 day mountain bike tour, starting from Hanoi, taking you through the Vietnam northern loop, Ba Be national park, Bao Lac, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Ha Giang. There are about 50 – 100 km to ride per day, mostly on paved road, with many up/downhill rides. The bike ride is challenging, thus appropriate for experienced cyclists. You enjoy not only the mountain bike ride, but also other travel highlights of the far north including the Ba Ba lakes, the Meo Vac Sunday market, the Dong Van geo park, the former H’mong King palace, the own town in Dong Van, Pho Bang…
DAY 1: HANOI -> BA BE NATIONAL PARK
8.00 AM: you will be picked up at your hotel in Hanoi and transferred to Thai Nguyen. The morning drive takes about four hours, with a stop/visit the ethnology museum in Thai Nguyen, before you make another stop and have lunch in a local restaurant in Thai Nguyen. After lunch, continue your road trip until you arrive in Bac Kan, and then Phu Thong where you disembark your bikes and start your adventure. You cycle for about 50km on paved roads, with little up/downhill ride to Ba Be National Park. Arrival in the park around late afternoon, you check into a local house of the Tay in Pac Ngoi village. Dinner and overnight at local home.
DAY 2: BA BE LAKE -> BAO LAM
After breakfast, we will enjoy a short bike ride from the homestay to the boat pier where we take a local motor boat for the morning cruise to explore Ba Be Lakes, the largest natural lake in mountainous region of Vietnam. The Ba Be lakes are surrounded by walled-up limestone mountain covered by thick rain forest. While cruising on the Ba Be lakes, we make some stops to visit Puong Cave, Dau Dang Waterfall before making a cut through Na Hang Reservation to Da Vi junction. Leave the boat and take another bike ride to a local restaurant for our lunch. In the afternoon, continue the adventure pedaling for about 50 km, mostly uphill to Bao Lam. This portion of the road sneaks on the high mountain side offering marvelous scenery of the river, stream and valleys below. Enjoy some stops along the way to visit tribal villages of the Tay and Dzao along the way. Arrival in Bao Lam around mid/late afternoon, check in hotel for overnight.
DAY 3: BAO LAM -> MEO VAC
Breakfast at hotel. Your adventure continues with a bike ride from your hotel. The whole morning is spent on riding one the national road 34A, on old tarmac which runs in parallel with Gam River eastwards for 51km via old Bac Me and Bao Lam town let. Stop en route for visiting some hilltribe villages such as the one of the Nung people. This portion of the road is fairly good just with some low mountain passing over. Turn left at Ly Bon, cross the Gam River by newly built bridge to the northern bank and then having picnic lunch break. The afternoon bike ride is challenging as you pedal uphill towards Meo Vac town. The road winds its way on steep mountain sides for 55km, You may cycle as far as you can and then supporting vehicle will transfer the last portion of the road to Meo Vac. Arriving in Meo Vac at about 16.30. Check in hotel and stay free for the rest of the day. Dinner in town. Overnight in Meo Vac at hotel.
DAY 4: MEO VAC -> DONG VAN
After breakfast, you spend the morning visiting the Meo Vac market, is open only on Sunday morning. The cow market in Meo Vac district, which convenes every Sunday, showcases the unique cultural identity of the Mong, Dao and Lo lo ethnic groups. The market convenes from dawn every Sunday and the clanging of cowbells can be heard from afar. Trading often takes place quickly and smoothly. Lunch is provided in a local restaurant in town. In the afternoon, challenging up steep mountain pass of Ma Pi Leng 28km to Dong Van. The portion of the ride offers the most spectacular mountain scenery of Vietnam. Arrival in Dong Van, check in hotel for overnight.
DAY 5: DONG VAN -> YEN MINH
Breakfast at hotel. Departure at 8.30. You follow the road 4C. Stop in Xa Phin valley. There you visit the former Palace of the H’mong King who ruled over the H’mong community and control opium trading until 1945. Continue biking along the same road for about 21km to Sung La valley and then up steep mountain to Pho Bang ancient town. Some other stops may be made en route for break/visit hilltribe villages such as the Sung Muoi, a village of the H’mong. Lunch is provided in a local restaurant in Pho Bang. In ther afternoon, continue cycling downhill from Pho Bang to Yen Minh via Pho Cao Mountain pass. This portion of the bike ride offers stunning scenery of yen Minh valley. Arrival in Yen Minh town around mid afternoon, check in hotel.
DAY 6: YEN MINH -> HA GIANG
After breakfast, you check out hotel and get ready for a challenging day. We shall conquer two high mountain pass are the Yen Minh and Quan Ba. You start the day activities biking 2 km on flat road from hotel and then challenging 19km uphill to the top of Yen Minh pass. The road is steep with many sharp bends but offers great view of marvelous valley below. Enjoy a tea beak at the top before cycling downhill 18km to Can Ty commune and then cycle through the valley along the Nho Que River for 6km. Take another break for recharging energy before biking uphill 13km to Quan Ba. Stop en route for visiting Nam Dam village, a village of the Dzao before having lunch. In the afternoon, there is the Quan Ba Pass to conquer. You ride the 8km uphill to the Haven Gate at the top. Then biking downhill for 20km to the bottom of the valley. Picked up in mid afternoon and brought to Ha Giang. Dinner in town. Overnight in Ha Giang at hotel.
DAY 7: HA GIANG -> HANOI
Breakfast at hotel. Then travel back to Hanoi. The drive takes about 6 – 8 hours.