5 Days Biking North Vietnam Sapa to Dien Bien

biking in north Vietnam is customized for small group tours, adventure, intrepid travelers seeking an active, adventure cycling holidays to the northern Vietnam. The 3-day tours starts from Sapa town and takes you through Tram Ton, the “Heaven Gate” where you start riding downhill to Binh Lu, Lai Chau province and then to Paso, Phong Tho, Tam Duong, Muong Lay, Lai Chau and Dien Bien Phu.


Last updated on February 8th, 2018 at 03:56 am

The 5 Days Biking North Vietnam Sapa to Dien Bien is customized for small group tours, adventure, intrepid travelers seeking an active, adventure cycling holidays to the northern Vietnam. The 3-day tours starts from Sapa town and takes you through Tram Ton, the “Heaven Gate” where you start riding downhill to Binh Lu, Lai Chau province and then to Paso, Phong Tho, Tam Duong, Muong Lay, Lai Chau and Dien Bien Phu. The 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. Option bike ride up to Sin Ho is also available. The mountain cycling tour can be arranged all year round. But the best time to travel this itinerary is April and October.



8:00: You will be met up with your Vietnam Cycling guide at your hotel in Sapa. You  first  travel  by  car  uphill  toward Tram Ton. On  the way,  you  can  take  a  short walk  to  Silver Waterfall  and  then  head  to  Heaven  Gate,  where  you  will  be  amazed  by  breathtaking  view  to mountain  surrounding  included  Fansipan,  the  highest  peak  of  Indochina. Your  ride will be mostly downhill  toward Binh  Lu. You will  stop  by Chu Va  village  of Black Hmong  for  a  break  before  you arrive in Binh Lu. Here you will have lunch in a local restaurant.

After  lunch, you start  to  cycle mostly uphill  for  the  rest of  today, which  requires  incredible effort.You will be able to stop by a village You will then probably need the help of the supply car to go up another high pass, before enjoying the easy ride downhill all the way to Tam Duong, where you stay overnight in a hotel.


You will start out from Tam Duong by cycling uphill along picturesque tributary of the Na River.  You will  see  some  places  of  gold  exploration  along  the  river.  You  also  pass  by many  villages of Thai minority spreading along the way before reaching to Pa So.  You stop for lunch in a local restaurant.

You will  then  continue  the  ride on a  flat  road  toward Sino – Vietnamese border. You will enjoy a beautiful ride along river. You head back to Paso later to spend the night in a hotel, which locates by the river. You will be able to enjoy a cold beer on the balcony with beautiful river view.


Today’s ride will be mostly downhill. You will have time to enjoy beautiful scenery as well as stop by a village of Thai minority, the largest group ethnic in this area. You still follow the road, which goes along the Na River until you arrive in Lai Chau in the early afternoon. You check in a hotel and have a late lunch.

After having a rest, you will be transferred to the river, where you take a boat ride downstream in
the Black River. You can make a stop to visit a village of Thai minority and hear about their daily life on the riverbank. A friendly atmosphere makes your trip more enjoyable. The boat takes you further downstream. You will be transferred back to the hotel in the late afternoon.


Today  will  be  a  longest  ride.  You  will  start  out  on  a  good  road,  which  makes  your  ride  very comfortable. You arrive in Muong Lay by noon. Here you will be able to take a walk around a local market. You will have either lunch in a local restaurant or picnic lunch prepared by the hotel.

After lunch, you head toward Dien Bien Phu. You will continue on the good road and the ride is even more enjoyable in a beautiful nature. The ride will be downhill and then flat upon your arrival in Dien Bien Phu. Mountains and huge  rice  fields  surround  the busy  town. Here you  spend  the night  in a hotel. You will be able to take a walk to a nearby market to spread your legs.


After  having  breakfast,  you will  have  an  interesting  bicycle  trip  around  the  town  to  visit  famous historical sites such as Dien Bien Phu Museum, Glory Statue, A1 Hill and De Cattery Tunnel. You will be back to the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Ha Noi. Trip ends.

Additional Information

Adventure level


Upon request

Backup vehicle



Mountain bike

Depart from

End at

Dien Bien Phu

Places to visit

, ,

Travel style

Trip duration

Last updated on February 8th, 2018 at 03:56 am


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 prior to travel. If you have any queries, please contact us.

Please note that while we operate successful cycling holidays 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.


Bargaining is not a strange fact in Vietnam. There are many places in Vietnam where people bargain, especially in open-air markets, street shops and rural areas. Therefore we are not good at bargaining. We don’t like this trick neither. Our time is precious and we appreciate your time as well. We would prefer spending our time on the tour arrangements to the price negotiation. Our price is fixed.


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.

  • Vehicle for transfers and support
  • Tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Bicycle rental
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Snacks
  • Sightseeing entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.


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

  • Visa (required)
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses


Visitors are required to have a valid visa to Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors.


The official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in Vietnam. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the two largest networks with a limit a single withdraw limit of 2,000,000 d (95 USD). Most major currrencies can be exchanged in Vietnam, but the USD is the most preferred. The exchange rate 1 USD = 22.400 VND (Nov. 2016)


Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons – the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.

Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam. The north Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with temperature in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry. The best time visit Vietnam is spring (February – April) or Autumn (late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppressive from May to the early September.


Wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Our tour guide often carry first aid kit while riding. Please follow your guide while biking, and much attention is required while you cross streets.

Difficulty levels

To assist you visualize how our bike trip is difficult, we have graded our Vietnam cycling tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging. We group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, and vehicle support.


Involves cycling for up to two to three hours a day at easy pace and usually, less than 3 days in duration. The cycling distances is around 15 – 30 km per day. There are likely to be no steep and sustained descents as well as demand for technical riding. We will normally ride on flat roads. Suitable for bikers who enjoy occasional weekend riding on trails at home. Push bikes are sometimes used for these itineraries.


Involves biking for up to six hours a day at a steady pace and are usually between three to five days in duration. The cycling distance is about 35 – 55 km per day. Sometimes it can be long flat rides or medium ride with fews up and downhill climbs. The support vehicle will not always be available. We will need a good level of fitness. We use either mountain bikes or road bikes for these itineraries.


Involves biking in mountainous areas with big climbs for up to seven or eight hours a day and usually more than a week in duration. Cycling distance is about 60 – 80 km per day. There will be steep and sustained ascents and descents. The support vehicle will not always be available. These trips will provide a real sustained workout even for fit and experienced mountain bikers.


When cycling we mostly stay in small hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail. In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels. Camping is not available on cycling tours in Vietnam unless it is required and this should be booked months in advance. Please see the details on the quote.

Tour Guide

Most of our tour guides speak English. Some other speak French. Few speak other language such as German, Russian, Spanish. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling. Our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding.


We arrange a mechanic, with extra charge only for big groups or when it is required. When there is no mechanic, our guide will take care of problem which may occur during the bike ride.


Depending on the nature of the tour, our cycle journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections. We often use mini bus or bus for transfer and back up (guided tours).

  • 1 – 4 people: we use minivan to support and carry bikes. Sometimes we use car with support truck.
  • 5 – 8 people: we use one van and one truck to support
  • 9 people – over: we use one bus and truck to support

We only provide bike rental and truck to support for self-guided bike tours.

Bikes repairs

Basic spares and tools kit are generally carried by our guide or mechanic or on the support vehicle, although we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem.

Food and drinks

All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner), are included in the tour price. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food. Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking. Beverage and alcoholic drink are not included at mealtime or in restaurants.

Snacks and water

When we transfer, ride by minibus (no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you in the car/van. When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water (summer) plus fresh tropical fruits, soft drinks. Please find out what is included in our service proposal.


Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.

What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.


  • 2 pairs of riding shorts
  • 2 riding jerseys (quick-dry)
  • 2 pairs of quick dry socks for cycling
  • Comfortable shoes for biking and walking
  • Riding gloves
  • 2-3 t-shirts or casual shirts
  • Trousers or jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of casual socks for non-cycling activities
  • 3-5 sets of underwear (quick-dry)
  • Cool-weather jacket or rain jacket
  • Extra layers and gloves for cooler season or climate (thin, thermal, water-wicking)
  • Bathing suit
  • Sandals


  • Tooth brush and tooth paste
  • Razor
  • Hair brush
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Passport, wallet and ID
  • Health insurance card
  • Travel insurance card
  • Cash and/or credit cards
  • Camera (with spare battery)
  • Plastic bags (for dirty laundry, wet clothes)
  • Electronic chargers (for camera, e-reader, cell phone)
  • Adaptors or convertors


Tipping for good services is always appreciated. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for.


Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.

Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.

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Last updated on February 8th, 2018 at 03:56 am