Join this 9 day cycling northwest Vietnam you will enjoy pedaling much up and downhill on both paved roads and single dirt tracks, through local hill tribe villages and rice paddy fields. Begin your biking adventures in Sapa and bike through Tam Duong, Phong Tho, Lai Chau, Muong Lay, Dien Bien Phu, Tuan Giao, Son La, Moc Chau, Mai Chau and end it up in Hanoi. Opportunity to visit highland markets, war sites and to experience different ethnic cultures. The mountain biking tour is provided with visits to ethnic villages, offering the opportunity to meet up with the Flower H’mong, the Giay and the Lu people. You sometimes bike on the back roads, single tracks and off-road biking trails.
Cycling northwest Vietnam itinerary
Day 1: Overnight train to Laocai.
You will be met up with Lotussia Travel guide at your hotel in Hanoi and transferred to Hanoi train station where you will take a night train for Laocai. Train??? Departure at ??? (To be advised). Overnight on board train.
Day 2: Arrive Laocai. Travel to Sapa. Start cycling Sapa – Lai Chau (L,D).
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. After breakfast, you will be transferred by our support vehicle towards Lai Chau province. Enjoy nice mountain view along the way. We first bike for about 3 hours uphill, with a stop over the 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. Continue traveling by car 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 the opportunity to view the magnificent scenery. Lunch will be provided en route. Stop en route to visit some villages of H’mong and Dao near BinhLu before we arrive in Lai Chau where we will spend the night.
Day 3: Continue biking Lai Chau – Muong Lay (B,L,D).
Today we will cycle downhill to Chan Nua and up to Lai Chau. We will have a couple of 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 the Nam Na river. Lunch will be provided en route. After lunch, we will have some rest before continue cycling towards Muong Lay. We will pass over the scenic Da river from Hang Tom suspension bridge before arriving in Muong Lay townlet. Check in to Muong Lay guesthouse for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Continue biking Muong Lay – Dien Bien Phu (B,L,D)
Following breakfast we will have a nice day with stop over the red H’mong village then cycle up to Mathiho pass. Lunch will be provided en route. In the late afternoon we arrive in Dien Bien town and check into our guesthouse for the night. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 5: Bike Dien Bien Phu – Tuan Giao (B,L,D)
After breakfast we will cycle for the whole morning to visit some war sites such as the A1 hill, De Castries bunker, Dien Bien museum. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant in town. After lunch we will have easy ride through many Thai villages before we arrive in Tuan Giao around late afternoon. Overnight in Tuan Giao.
Day 6: Cycle Tuan Giao – Son La (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will leave Tuan Giao, continue our cycling adventure towards Son La province. 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 uphill and 15 km downhill. Enjoy nice landscape of green rice fields and karst valley. Light traffic, wandering water buffaloes, Thai and Hmong kids. Overnight in Son La.
Day 7: Bike Son La – Moc Chau – Mai Chau (B,L,D).
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. Check into a local stilt houser for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Mai Chau day walking tour (B,L,D).
We leave the village for a full day walking around. We will pass many different Thai hamlets, through rice fields, hill sides…Stop sometimes to visit local houses and talk with local people. And one of the highlights on this walk is to experience the everyday life and culture white Thai people and stay in their traditional house on stilts as honored guests. We will return to the village around late afternoon. Have a short break before having dinner and assist to the Thai traditional Music and Dance show, is performed by the village young girls and boys. Although they are not professional artistes, they will give you an unique experience of their culture life. Overnight in a stilt house.
Day 9: Mai Chau – Hanoi (B,L).
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. We take a small route to Bai Chao onto Luong Son. Our bus pick us up and travel back to Hanoi. You will be dropped off at your hotel in Hanoi. End of tour.