North Vietnam motorbike tour in 13 days has detailed itinerary:
Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Moc Chau
North Vietnam motorbike tour in 13 days with Route 66 Asia begins. We leave Hanoi to go to Mai Chau Valley where we stop for lunch. So we take direction to Hoa Binh Lake to make a part on the old road number 6, almost abandoned and reduced to trail on many sections. We will find tranquility, beautiful remote villages and a variety of unsuspected landscapes by returning to the main road to Moc Chau. The landscape of the plateau of Moc Chau is totally singular and sometimes reminiscent of the countryside of northern Europe. Moc Chau is so charming with the endless tea plantations. Arrival at Moc Chau, we make a detour to visit the small village of While Thai in Ban Doi.
Day 2: Moc Chau - Son La
North Vietnam motorbike tour starts on the small roads to join the national 6 where we stop to visit a tea farm where we can discover a dryer and the various stages of production. We can also stop in one of the many H'mong villages who cultivate plum, peach...Continuation towards Son La, we cross 3 passes and will make several pauses to enjoy landscapes and fortuitous meetings.
Arrived at Son La, visit the old colonial penitentiary where the local separatists were incarcerated. You will also visit the small ethnic museum of the region: Thai black, Hmong, Muong...
Day 3: Son La - Dien Bien Phu
This stage of this North Vietnam motorbike tour in 13 days is a bit long but you will pass the passes from where the views are magnificent, bucolic landscapes, unexpected meetings... We will visit the market of Thuan Chau frequented by Black Thai and H'mong people.
We go to the Muong Phang Forest at 25 km north-east of Dien Bien Phu where is located the command post of the Vietnamese forces. We will be able to visit the guard post, the General Giap's camp and the one of his chief of staff, the information center, or the amphitheater...We go down on the main road No 279 for the visit of Viet-Minh guns that pounded the bowl of Dien Bien Phu.
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu - Muong Lay
This morning, we continue our North Vietnam motorbike tour by visiting the relics of the terrible battle of the spring of 1954 between the French colonial troops and Viet Minh troops commanded by the famous General Giap: the headquarters of De Castries, the memorial dedicated to the French soldiers, hill A1 or the most fortified French positions (hill Eliane), and the museum of the front. You make the historic pilgrimage with Route 66 Asia before leaving Dien Bien Phu to join the day's stage.
The road rushes into the mountains, along a beautiful river and then we go straight to Muong Lay, formerly Lai Chau. On the way, we can stop to visit one of the many villages of the Thai people connected to the road by several suspension bridges spanning the river...
Muong Lay disappeared under the waters of a hydroelectric dam built on the Da River. Vietnam needs electricity, the destiny of this small town was definitely sealed.
Day 5: Muong Lay - Sin Ho - Lai Chau
We leave this morning for a few kilometers along the Da River before climbing on the plateau of Sin Ho, an unusual destination of the North Vietnam motorbike tour with Route 66 Asia - Specialist of Vietnam motorbike tours. The small road climbs up a mountain slope, offering some beautiful views. We arrive on a wide plateau surrounded by limestone hills. At 1500 meters above sea level, the landscape really contrasts with those we encountered before.
We will meet the Black Dao, Lao, H'mong ethnic groups. Then, we go to the new Lai Chau - Tam Duong. The city of Tam Duong is dominated by the impressive karsts peaks forming like saw teeth.
Day 6: Lai Chau - market - Sapa: Thursday
Your North Vietnam motorbike tour begins with the weekly market of the city which brings together many ethnic groups of the surrounding hills: Flower H'mong, Red H'mong, Lao, Lu, Dzay, Dzao...who come to stock up and sell their products daily. We then go to meet the Lu, recognizable by their black indigo costume decorated with colorful patterns and turban.
A few kilometers before Sapa, the road climbs finally to cross the highest pass of Vietnam, Tram Ton Pass, at 2100 meters above sea level. This is one of the challenges during this North Vietnam motorbike tour that offers you majestic views. We will stop at the Silver Waterfall, 100 meters high. Free time to rest or discover the city of Sapa.
Day 7: Sapa - Muong Hum - Y Ti
This morning of our North Vietnam motorbike tour will be devoted to the discovery of the famous Muong Hoa valley known by many rice terraces, the villages of Black Hmong ethnic groups, Giay, Dao...Along the river that crosses the valley, we can hike on foot and or do motorbike, through the villages of Ta Van and Giang Ta Chai, some of the villages H'mong, Zay and Red Dao punctuate the valley.
We leave the town of Sapa before arriving in a valley inhabited by Giay people. We take a mix of road and trail. Giay people live mainly rice farming and livestock: buffalo for the fields, horses to transport, pigs and hens for food. The mountain landscape is beautiful. In addition, this village and its surroundings are not frequent.
Your trip in north of Vietnam travel happens in a wild region, little known by tourists. We take the track to the village of Y Ty inhabited by the Ha Ni people where we settle for the night. Overnight in homestay in their traditional square mud house. A memorable souvenir of your North Vietnam motorbike tour with Route 66 Asia.
Day 8: Muong Hum - Bac Ha
Short visit of the village to discover the daily life of the Ha Nhi people before saying goodbye to go to Lao Cai on a road in bad condition crossing the district of Bat Xat and along the Chinese border. Arrival in Lao Cai, we will visit the Den Mau temple built in the 18th century to venerate the Mothers - Nature of the Vietnamese people and the crossing point with China. We go to Bac Ha crossing the mountains of sublime beauty. Upon arrival, we can go for a walk in the H'mong villages of Ban Pho, famous for the quality of their corn alcohol, bucolic landscapes…We will sleep tonight in a traditional house on stilts of a Tay family. Diner with home-made rice alcohol and show traditional dances and songs in the evening to honor your North Vietnam motorbike tour with us.
Day 9: Bac Ha - market - Bac Ha: Sunday
We will participate in the Sunday market in Bac Ha. It is the largest ethnic market of the region, mainly frequented by the Flower H'mong, but also the Phu La, Tay, Black Dao, Nung, Giay...ethnic groups who color the markets with their specific ethnic tunics.
The ethnic inhabitants of the region come to sell and stock up on various goods for the week. The market is also the place for the exchange of news of ethnic minorities around a glass of rice alcohol, a bowl of soup...in an extraordinary atmosphere. We can also take a leap on Lung Phin nearby, smaller, but also less touristy. We go to Simacai near the Chinese border to admire the rare landscapes of rocks, rice terraces...
After lunch, we will walk or do motorbike between the villages of H'mong, Dao and Tay of Pu Ngai Cho, Lan Gi Thang, ou Thai Giang Pho to finally reach Na Lo. Second night at our family.
Day 10: Bac Ha - Luc Yen - Thac Ba
Our North Vietnam motorbike tour continues to Thac Ba Lake through the small mountain roads, even some trails, dotted with ethnic villages. We cross the first massif via Ban Lien to reach the Tay village of Na Chi on the road to Xin Man.
Descent further south on a wider portion then we sink new 70 km between hills and valleys taking the time to stop to visit some beautiful villages. Arrival at the small town of Luc Yen known for its precious stones and marble quarries.
We stay away from the city, in a village of the Red Dao ethnic group at the top of a small hill that we reach on a clay trail through the forest. A memorable souvenir that North Vietnam motorbike tour offers you.
Day 11: Thac Ba - Than Uyen
We enjoy a short walk in the village before continuing our motorbike tour, heading west through the Hoang Lien mountain range stretching from Hanoi to Sapa.
We drive along the Chay River to Pho Rang. We continue to Khanh Yen on a difficult road, sometimes with impressive ruts, because of the construction of the highway that will connect Hanoi to Lao Cai.
We will take the road much quieter, then deserted, making us climb to the Khan Co pass through a huge forest park. We finally descend on a beautiful and wide green valley inhabited by Thai people.
Day 12: Than Uyen - Mu Cang Chai - Nghia Lo
This morning, we go to Mu Cang Chai and Nghia Lo. The landscapes are in the list of the most beautiful in Vietnam: nice prospects, including the Khau Pha pass, beautiful rice terraces classified even as the Heritage of the country, many ethnic villages...The landscapes of the region are renowned for their beauty, especially in the autumn when rice paddies change color from green to yellow. We arrive at Nghia Lo, the land of White Thai people. Nghia Lo lies in a basin of 10 km long surrounded by mountains rising to 1500 meters above sea level. These destinations make your North Vietnam motorbike tour different from all the others. We settle in a family. In the afternoon, we discover on foot or by bike some Thai villages more at the bottom of this unknown valley. We pass authentic villages with peaceful houses on stilt under bamboo shade.
Day 13: Nghia Lo - Hanoi
We say goodbye to our family to start the memorable North Vietnam motorbike tour. 30 km later, we will visit the village of Noong Long of the Tho ethnic group. We discover this village during a walk through varied landscapes. We start along mountains covered with dense forest. We cross the vast rice fields of this part of the village. Continue along with tea trees and a small palm forest before finding more houses and gardens planted with vegetables, tea trees, orange trees...We begin to leave the mountain roads to quietly join the Red River Delta. Last postcard landscapes are behind our back to make way for the frenzy of the capital. Unfortunately, your amazing North Vietnam motorbike tour ends on arrival.