Riding the Northwest Mountains of Vietnam
Trip prices from USD $1,750 per rider; single supplement USD $300; bike rental USD $135
Trip prices DO NOT include airfares & airport taxes.
This cycle-journey through Southeast Asia's most spectacular mountain range is for cyclists seeking a biking challenge, enjoy climbing and mixing it up with some off road trails. Starting in Hanoi, we take the train to the scenic hill-station of Sapa and ride the amazing mountain trails around Fansipan, Indochina's highest peak, before riding over a 2 km high mountain pass, the first of many. This tour goes to a part of Vietnam where few foreigners ever venture and you’ll be amazed at the colourful clothing of the many ethnic tribes as you ride through valleys and river gorges to Dien Bien Phu. Here we’ll visit battlefields and learn how Ho Chi Minh defeated the colonial French and then two long days of riding will be rewarded by a stay at the charming Mai Chau lodge before heading back to Hanoi.
Meet in Hanoi before we catch the Tulico Express, the overnight train to Lao Cai and the start of our adventure.
After an early morning arrival in Lao Cai we transfer to the hill station town of Sapa and check into our hotel. Test out the bikes with an off road ride to the village of Ta Phin on trails used by the ethnic locals to get to market.
The day starts from the hotel with a long uphill to the Tram Ton Pass, at 1,900 m the highest road in Vietnam. An exhilarating downhill to a valley will lead us onto an off-road trail to Tam Duong.
Another tough uphill starts the day, but the scenery is out of this world and continues with our descent through a picturesque gorge formed by the Nam Nin River. There are many minority villages on the way.
It is impossible to count the number of hill climbs and descents on today’s ride, but the reward is being in a remote area with a chance to see many ethnic tribal villages that very few foreigners visit.
Enjoy a rest day in the history-rich city of Dien Bien Phu and time to visit the war museum and a local market.
After a transfer we climb over Pha Din pass on switch backs that lead up a very fertile valley, lined with stair-stepping rice paddies, and notice that the traditional dress of the locals varies from village to village depending on their tribe.
We ride on a looping country road that passes through a patchwork quilt of crops and after lunch ride downhill to Mai Chau valley to our luxurious lodge.
We cycle on single track through the valley to ethnic villages, over wooden bridges and through rice paddies before a transfer to Hanoi and gather one last time for a farewell dinner.
Time to explore Hanoi before onward travel.
This is a tough mountain tour. There are 05 very long hard days riding that can vary from off road trails to badly broken roads, so participants should be fit and experienced riders.
We ride just over 495 kilometres. There are some long, grueling climbs and some scintillating descents.
The rewards are empty roads and incomparable views. If you enjoy hill climbing and riding in the mountains, this tour is a dream. It is the best Southeast Asia can offer and highly recommended.
We are supported by a sturdy 4WD jeep and motorbike, which is perfectly equipped for the terrain but not an entirely comfortable passenger vehicle and participants should sign up expecting to ride as much of the tour as they can.
Price per rider in USD dollars
- USD $1,750 ~ Adult Twin
- USD $300 ~ Single Supplement
- USD $135 ~ Bike Hire
10 Days / 09 nights starting and ending in Hanoi
- Jan 11-20, 2015
- Mar 08-17, 2015
- Aug 09-18, 2015
- Sep 13-22, 2015
Facts & Figures
- Bike Hire ~ USD $135
- Total Distance ~ 530 km
- Number of Days ~ 10 days / 09 nights
- Number of Cycling Days ~ 05 full days and 02 half-days
- Road Surface ~ This tour follows a mix of asphalt roads, broken roads, vehicle-width dirt roads, and rough tracks, so some off-road riding skills are an advantage. You should be confident of your physical condition and bike handling skills
- Support ~ 4WD Jeeps and Air-con support vehicles and where required motorbike support.
- Group Size ~ Minimum 02, Maximum 16
- Staff ~ Cycling leader (for groups of 10 or more) plus a local cycling guide, as well as drivers and assistants for all groups. Smaller groups will be led by our local guide and support team.
- Accommodation ~ All hotels are good tourist class ranging from 2-3 star apart from 1 night on a sleeper train. Hotels have a/c and private facilities as a minimum and we always choose hotels with charm and character whenever possible.
- Food ~ All meals are included staring with dinner on Day 01 to breakfast on Day 10, except lunch and dinner on Day 06.
- Biking Grade ~ 4 out of 5
- Scenery ~ 5 out of 5