Best 9 Day Northwest Vietnam Bicycle Tour

This 9 days Vietnam Bicycle Tour is another mountain biking tour we arrange in the northwest Vietnam, taking you to Sapa, Bac Ha, Muong Lay, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Mai Chau.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

This 9 days Vietnam Bicycle Tour is another mountain biking tour we arrange in the northwest Vietnam, taking you to Sapa, Bac Ha, Muong Lay, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Mai Chau.

Map

Itinerary

DAY 1: LAO CAI -> BAC HA

Arrival in Lao Cai train station around 6 am, after breakfast in Lao Cai & short relax we have a jeep transfer to Bao Nhai to have biking ride 20 km up hill to Bac Ha , after lunch visiting the most colorful hill tribe market which is the most colorful market in North Vietnam. At the market, you have chance to enjoy BacHa people’s simple but unique kinds of food with special wines made from rice, cassavas, corn and different sorts of fruits such as plumps, apples, peaches… Leave the market for the H’mong King’s house (King Hoang A Tuong) built by the French colonists and the Chinese in 1920.Then short walking to another village (BanPho village).Overnight in Bac Ha.

DAY 2: BAC HA -> SAPA

In the morning, transfer to Lao Cai , then chanllenge 35 km climb up to Sapa. Afternoon we start cycling in the surrounding area and visit a number of fairly traditional predominantly Tavan, a village of Giay minority. Overnight in Sapa.

DAY 3: SAPA -> LAI CHAU

Say goodbye to Sapa, along the road to Lai Chau, we have best mountain view today, about 3 hours up hill, with a stop over Silver waterfalls for relax and take photos before we conquer the highest mountain pass Oquiho. From there you can see stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the lush forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park. Continued by car or van uphill to Heaven’s Gate, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam as well as the provincial border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. Here you will have a fantastic opportunity to view the magnificent scenery. Lunch en route. Stop en route to visit some nice villages of Hmong and “coins” Dao near BinhLu. Overnight in Lai Chau.

DAY 4: LAI CHAU -> MUONG LAY

We cycle down hill to Chan Nua then cycling to Lai Chau have a couple pretty big climbs and then follow the picturesque Nam Na river into Muang Say (aka “Old Lai Chau”).
Some part of the road is bad, but we will have great view along Nam Na river. Scenic Da river from Hang Tom suspension bridge. Overnight in Muong Lay.

DAY 5: MUONG LAY -> DIEN BIEN PHU

Following breakfast we will have a nice day with stop over the red H’mong village then climb up to Mathiho pass. In the late afternoon we arrive in Dien Bien town and check into our guesthouse for the night. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

DAY 6: DIEN BIEN -> TUAN GIAO

After breakfast we together ride back to the former French battlefield : A1 hill, De Castries bunker, Dien Bien museum, Muong Thanh airport…you will see some old US weapons here too. After lunch we ride have easy ride through many Thai villages to Tuan Giao . Overnight in Tuan Giao.

DAY 7: TUAN GIAO -> SON LA

Leave Tuan Giao for Son La. Son La is located in a scenic valley, inhabited by Thai, Muong and H’mong minority people. This area is historically important for its involvement in the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France during the first half the 20th century. Challenge 20 km winding climb up hill and 15 km down hill. Nice landscape of green rice fields and karst valley. Light traffic, wandering water buffaloes, Thai and Hmong kids. Overnight in Son La.

DAY 8: SON LA -> MAI CHAU

After breakfast, leaving Son La for Mai Chau. Along the road we can stop the trip in Moc Chau for taking photos and enjoy the fresh air. The road passes beneath spectacular karst cliffs with the valley floor visible far below. Arrive Mai Chau late afternoon. O/N on stilt house of Thai.

DAY 9: MAI CHAU -> HANOI

After breakfast. We have a cycling trip about 15km out of Mai Chau is up Thung Nhuoi pass, then we go 17km down to Man Duc and two more gentle hill to Doc Cun. (25km). We take a small route to Bai Chao onto Luong Son. Our bus pick up and come back to Hanoi. Trip ends.

Additional Information

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Tour Ends

Hanoi

Adventure Level

Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

Inclusions

Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind LOTUSSIA Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

  • Car transfers.
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s).
  • Accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

  • Visa
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • International travel insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

Trip Routes

Principally, LOTUSSIA Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.

Accommodation

LOTUSSIA Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or homestays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.

Meals

LOTUSSIA Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, LOTUSSIA Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.

Drinks

As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, LOTUSSIA Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. LOTUSSIA Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, LOTUSSIA Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).

Vehicle

In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.

We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.

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