7 Day Northwest Vietnam Mountain Bike Tour

This 7 day Northwest Vietnam Mountain Bike Tour will take you to such places as Lao Cai, Sapa, Lai Chau, Muong Lay, Phong Tho, Binh Lu, Tam Duong, Dien Bien Phu, Tuan Giao, Son La, Moc Mai, Mai Chau, Hoa Binh province. Begin the tour with an overnight train trip from hanoi to Lao cai, and then uphill to Sapa. You start biking from Sapa to the Tram Ton, Heaven gate, then Binh Lu, Lai Chau.


Last updated on February 1st, 2018 at 02:00 am

This 7 day Northwest Vietnam Mountain Bike Tour will take you to such places as Lao Cai, Sapa, Lai Chau, Muong Lay, Phong Tho, Binh Lu, Tam Duong, Dien Bien Phu, Tuan Giao, Son La, Moc Mai, Mai Chau, Hoa Binh province. Begin the tour with an overnight train trip from hanoi to Lao cai, and then uphill to Sapa. You start biking from Sapa to the Tram Ton, Heaven gate, then Binh Lu, Lai Chau. You mostly cycle on paved roads with many up and downhill ride. Sometimes you get off the main, paved roads taking small, single dirt track biking trails leading to remote hill tribe villages. Taking this 7-day mountain biking tour, you enjoy the beautiful scenery, the wild nature of the less travelled north western Vietnam. You meet up with lots of ethnic groups during your bicycle tours including the Tay, the Dzao , the Xa Pho, the H’mong…The tour is provded with experience English-speaking tour guide, support vehicle and good mountain bikes, trek bikes.



Depart for Lai Chau. Enjoy nice mountain view along the way. We first bike for 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. 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 “coins” Dao near BinhLu before we arrive in Lai Chau where we will spend the night.


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 overther 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.


Following breakfast we will have a nice day with stop over the red H’mong village then cycle up to Mathiho pass. Lunch 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Additional Information

Depart from

End at



Upon request

Adventure level


Mountain bike

Places to visit

, , , , ,

Backup vehicle


Travel style

Trip duration

Last updated on February 1st, 2018 at 02:00 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.

Share your thoughts!

Let us know what you think...

What others are saying

There are no contributions yet.




Don't have an account? Sign Up

Last updated on February 1st, 2018 at 02:00 am