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Motorcycle Northwest Loop - 21days

Highlight: Hanoi - Mai Chau - Son La - Lai Chau - Tam Duong - Sapa - Bat Xat - Lao Cai - Muong Khuong - Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang -Meo Vac - Bac Me- Ba Be - Quang Hoa - Lang Son - Ha Noi

Summary

Motorbiking in Vietnam

Motorbiking in Vietnam, the land of hidden charm and mysteries is one of the most adventurous tours. There are some organizations like GREEN TRAIL TOURS which offers all-inclusive motorbike (motorcycle) tours package. It includes off-road adventures on 4x4, with trekking and kayaking an extension. These tours are often categorized as specialty, adventure or extreme travel. Vietnam is a frontier destination and a ride on an old school Soviet motorbike through its rugged mountains is an unparalleled adventure.

Some of the accessories that you must have with you before embarking on the Motorbiking in Vietnam are gloves, helmet, saddle bags and equipments like riding jacket and pants, rain gear and Belarusian Minsks.

The destinations of interest in Vietnam that you can include in your list while embarking on a motor biking tour in Vietnam are Hanoi, Saigon, Cao Bang, Ba Be Lake, Ban Gioc Waterfalls, Mau Son Mountain, Halong Bay, Cat Ba island, Sapa, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Quan Ba, Khau Vai, Lung Phin, Luc Yen, Vu Linh, Tam Duong, Phong Tho, Lai Chau, Sin Ho, Than Uyen, Nghia Lo, Muong Te, Dien Bien Phu, Tuan Giao, Son La, Phu Yen, Mai Chau, Xuan Nha, Hang Kia, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Kon Tum, Dac Lac, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Long Xuyen, Chau Doc and more. These destinations cover Vietnam from Northeast, Central North, Northwest to Central Vietnam, Central Highlands and end in Mekong Delta. Vietnam is a long country with over 3,000 km coastline and the motor bikers need at least one month to tour all Vietnam.

While choosing a motor bike before going for the motor biking in Vietnam, be careful as many roads are in poor condition and you really need a strong bike with high clearance. The Honda Baja proves to be 'top notch' for this type of excursion.

Discover the enormous mountains populated by hill tribe communities living as they have for centuries. Skirt gorges, chasms and cliff faces, cruise high mountain passes, enter remote weekly markets and discover hidden terraced valleys and isolated communities while you tour Vietnam by motorbike.

Go to Vietnam. It will be a whole new way of experiencing the splendors of the country and getting a thrill out of it too. Motor biking in Vietnam is a popular adventure sport as well as a recreational means, well indulged in by both the locals and the foreigners.

About Motor Biking In Vietnam

Motor biking in Vietnam will take you through an entire gamut of luscious landscapes: rugged, mountainous terrain, dense woods, lush and tranquil valleys and past vibrant markets, towns and villages. The Vietnam motor bike tours will not be taxing on your strength either for there are biking routes of varied difficulty levels to suit your capabilities.

In your Vietnam motor biking trips, be sure to head up the northern highlands of the country. This part of Vietnam boasts of some spectacular mountain scenery made up of narrow, rocky passes, deep ravines, towering peaks and beautiful cascades that plunge down from the cliffs. You can warm up for your north Vietnam motor biking journey with a stint on the comparatively gentle valley roads of Mai Chau.

Northern Vietnam hides away many beautiful lakes amidst its depths and the roads to them are a tad difficult, if not impossible to tackle. But all the more incentive for the thrill-seeking biker to give a serious thought to some adventure holidays in Vietnam.

Take the road less traveled to northern Vietnam. Adventure in Vietnam herein takes the form of the biking routes from Hanoi to Mai Chau, Mai Chau to the Cuc Phuong National Park or from Mai Chau to Son La and from here to Lai Chau.

When you are motor biking in Vietnam, you can also drive out for Lang Son from Hanoi. There are isolated mountainous stretches along Cao Bang where you can enjoy the solitude along with the scenery while zipping on the rocky roads. Take the road to Ba Be Lake from Cao Bang, and enjoy a little caving and trekking stint here. After all, it’s Vietnam. Adventure is here to be found at virtually every nook and cranny.

The options for adventure and recreation in Vietnam come aplenty. Motor biking in Vietnam is just one of them, all set to give you the ride of your lives as you take in the enchanting beauty of the Vietnam landscape.

Detailed Itinerary

Motorcycle Northwest Loop - 21days
Motorcycle Price


Itinerary in brief
Day 01: Arrive Hanoi
Day 02: Hanoi - Mai Chau
Day 03: Mai Chau - Son La
Day 04: Son La - Lai Chau
Day 05: Lai Chau

Day 06: Lai Chau - Tam Duong
Day 07: Tam Duong - Sapa
Day 08: Sapa - Bat Xat - Lao Cai
Day 09: Lao Cai - Muong Khuong - Bac Ha
Day 10: Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi -  Ha Giang
Day 11: Ha Giang - Meo Vac
Day 12: Meo Vac - Bac Me
Day 13: Bac Me - Ba Be
Day 14: Ba Be
Day 15: Ba Be - Quang Hoa
Day 16: Quang Hoa
Day 17: Ban Hoa - Ban Gioc - Quang Hoa
Day 18: Quang Hoa - Lang Son
Day 19: Lang Son - Ha Noi
Day 20: Ha Noi city tour
Day 21: Hanoi

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive Hanoi 
Arrival Hanoi and welcome at the airport. Transfer and check in to your hotel for an orientation tour of Hanoi. Pay particular attention to the expert at the Ethnology Museum who will give us a briefing, we'll be meeting many minority groups along the way.
After a cyclo tour of Hanoi's charming Old Quarter and "the 36 streets of 36 wares", it's time for a welcome dinner where you meet your fearless motorbike leader.

Day 02: Hanoi - Mai Chau
The beginning of the freat Northern loop! We will go directly to Mai Chau on small roads through a valley that offer a good opportunity to practice your motorbike skills. After lunch at home of a Thai family upon on arrival, settle into the White Thai stilt house where we'll be spending the night. Afternoon free for strolling around this relaxing village and surrounding area. In the evening, enjoy your dinner and overnight in a Thai traditional house on stilt.

Day 03: Mai Chau - Son La
Departure at 8h00 AM from Mai Chau. Much of the pristine landscape you pass through today has forest preserves on both sides of the road and we'll have plenty of chances to stop en route. After a stop in Moc Chau for lunch, arrive in Son la around 5h00 PM. Relax after check-in before dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 04: Son La - Lai Chau
Today is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Get ready for one of the most beautiful roads in Vietnam crossing 13 mountain passes. You will also have a chance for a refreshing swim in the Black River and a stroll through the meadows of Kh'Mu village. Arrive in Lai Chau at the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 05: Lai Chau
After four days in the saddle, it's time to give the motorbikes (and our weary body) a break. Kick back on a small boat that will take us on a river cruise through this verdant valley. Around lunchtime, stop for a picnic in a riverside village and overnight at the hotel.

Day 06: Lai Chau - Tam Duong
Depart Lai Chau in the morning ad follow a remote road along the river to the Chinese frontier. After lunch at the home of a local family in Pa Tan village, we will continue on to Black H'mong and Ha Nhi villages. Overnight at the hotel in the market town of Tam Duong after a good dinner. 

Day 07: Tam Duong - Sapa
Strolling through the colourful market at Tam Duong early in the morning where you will meet many different ethnic minority communities. After the market, you will head out on another one of Northern Vietnam's most spectacular roads on the way to Sapa. Arriver in the old French colonial hill station of Sapa late in the afternoon. Free time after check-in until dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Sapa - Bat Xat - Lao Cai
Cruise down the beautiful Sapa valley on motorbike, with stops to trek in to visit peaceful villages. For many travellers this is another trip highlight. Arrival in Lao Cai at the end of the day for dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 09: Lao Cai - Muong Khuong - Bac Ha
Departure early in the morning from Lao Cai to Muong Khuong, a markettwon perched on the border of Vietnam and China. This region is relatively wealthy thanks to markets that take place according to the lunar calendar. If we have lucky, we'll run across one of these gatherings before arriving in Bac ha for dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 10: Bac Ha - Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang
Have your camera at the ready, because the road between Bac Ha and Xin Man features a unique between Bac ha and Xin Man features a unique and beautiful landscape. Plus evey Saturday morning there is a fantastic market in Can Cau located right in the heart of mountains. After Can Cau, we proceed along the Chinese border to the remote and seldom-visited province of Ha Giang. Arrive in Ha Giang town is always a great moment - plus, the town has an excellent massage center. Overnight in a state-owned hotel.

Day 11: Ha Giang - Meo Vac
Another day spectacular day on the motorbike, cruising up and down through lovely mountain passes in the original homeland of the H'mong people. THese enchanting valleys are so quiet an beautiful that you may feel like this is a day suspended in time. Arrive in Meo Vac for dinner then overnight at a state-owned hotel.

Day 12: Meo Vac - Bac Me
Today we cross the last pass and descend back down near our mountain stage's starting point on the other side of the range. This area is so remote that if you can spot another tourist, we'll stand you a drink! Spend the night at the home of local poet in Bac Me, a poor and rustic village.

Day 13: Bac Me - Ba Be
This is our most challenging day on the motorbike as we pass through more mountains on the way to one of the North's most beautiful lakes, roads here are difficult, slippery and require technical driving. After a full day in one of the wildest region left in Vietnam, we'll be happy to pull up at a small restaurant near Ba Be Lake, overnight at local home.

Day 14: Ba Be
Park the motorbike, today we're taking it easy with a stroll to nearby waterfalls and in a tranquil village downriver. Head Ong pirate's restaurant for lunch before loading the motorbikes onto the boat that will take us down the river to gorgeous Babe lake. Once we reach the lake, we will stop for a refreshing dip at a favorite swimming spot. Dinner and overnight at our boatmen's home village.

Day 15: Ba Be - Quang Hoa
We start the day driving up the road toward to Cao Bang. After 50 km of bumpy track, we'll split off on the beautiful road to Quang Hoa and overnight at the home of a local family in the Tay and Nung village of Quang Hoa.

Day 16: Quang Hoa
Quang Hoa is lovely in the mornng when you wake up in the middle of circle of green mountains. We'll be using this family's home as a base for excursions into the forest by motorbike and on foot. Venture out into the valley for short treks and swims under the region's numerous waterfalls. Dinner and overnight at our friend's house

Day 17: Ban Hoa - Ban Gioc - Quang Hoa
Early departure for Ban Gioc waterfalls, the highest and most spectacular in the area. Another day of motor-biking, trekking and swimming along the Chinese border

Day 18: Quang Hoa - Lang Son
This is a day of fabulous driving through dense jungle. We take the famous Colonial Road No.4 the site of intense battles and first great Vietnamese military victories against the French during Indochina War. Continue on through beautiful countryside through Dong Khe and That Khe until reaching the provincial town of Lang Son. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 19: Lang Son - Ha Noi
Easy cruising day as we return to Hanoi. Back to the hotel for dinner and a toast to the completion of one of Vietnam's most spectacular motorbike loops.

Day 20: Ha Noi city tour
Full day tour of the highlights of this charming colonial city, including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the one One-Pillar Pagoda, Quan Thanh and Tran Quoc Pagodas and the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature. Overnight in Hanoi

Day 21: Hanoi
Free time until transfer to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination

Departure & Price

TOUR PRICE: This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on your hotel choice, number of people in your group and time of travel. Please contact us to customize this itinerary and price to meet your needs and budget.


We act responsibility by contributing to local communities, ensuring we work with reliable suppliers and paying our staff and guides a fair wage, so that you, the traveler, can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you have booked through a well established, professional, reputable and responsible tour operator. For more information about us please click here.


Our teams are well trained, bursting with information and eager to help put together a customized quote for you so please send us your enquire.
 

INCLUDING

- Motorcycle(s), all fuel;
- Tour guide/Translator;
- Standard hotel and/or homestay (sleeping bags, mosquito nets, sheets, pillows...are provided);
- Third party motorbike insurance;
- All food;
- All entrance fees, permits, tickets, boat trips, ferries, bamboo rafts, etc;
- Green Trail Tours provides support. We are with you along the way;
- Vietnamese tea and rice wine.

NOT INCLUDING

- Personal expenses, personal medical insurance;
- Drinks other than tea and local rice wine;
- Motorbiking protective pants, jacket, gloves, helmet, rain gear and other safety equipment at favourable rental rate;
- Train or flight tickets;
- Breakfast on the departure day and dinner on the return day;
- Accommodation in Hanoi;
- Tips

Get lost in so many choices? Let's make it easier!
Fill out the form below to tell us your interests, your schedule and people in your group to Vietnam and/or countries around. Your private travel consultant in '' Asian Trail Tours is one of the online travel portals market which is operated by the team of professional travel consultants at Green Trail Tours Co., Ltd '' will contact you within 0.5 - 23.5 hours to give you a proposal including a tentative itinerary tailor-made for you and the most competitive price GTT can offer. Not all information is necessary in this form, but the more you tell us, the better we can serve you.

HOW TO BOOK

Send inquiry to Green Trail Tours

Get reply from your private travel consultant

Optimize itinerary according to your needs

Confirm itinerary then pay 30% deposit

Make final payment

Take off with GTT tour voucher and travel guide

Enjoy your vacation!

 

We turn what you have in mind into fabulous experience!
You might have decided a specific plan to visit Vietnam and countries around. Now, you need a trustworthy tour operator to review, optimize and carry out this plan. As a tailor-made tour operator specializing in Vietnam and countries of Indochina (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
and/or countries around), we are confident that '' Asian Trail Tours is one of the online travel portals market which is operated by the team of professional travel consultants at Green Trail Tours Co., Ltd '' will be your best choice. Because no other company puts more efforts in every detail of your personal requirement than we do. Our service guarantees not only a smooth journey but also an enjoyable experience belonging to you and yours. (more about us)

Bellows are all up to you.

 

1. private service.

2. personalized travel schedule.

3. Tailor-made destinations & itinerary.

4. Visit some places in a certain city per your request.

5. Experience something special.

6. When and where to start your travel.

7. When and where to end your travel.

8. The length of your tour.

9. Accommodations in which you wish to stay.

10. Transport you like.

11. Ramble by yourself or have a local tour guide.

12. Decide the number of people in your travel group.

 

Besides, we also do.

 

1. GTT's careful and full-of-surprise service.

2. International flights booking.

3. Domestic flights booking.

4. Visa application.

5. Optimizing your itinerary.

6. Quick response within 0.5-23.5 hours.

7. Modifying your tour to fit your personal taste before you actually making the final purchase.

8. Specific single service at reasonable price.

 

Package 1 pax 2 - 3 pax 4 - 6 pax Over 7
Motorcycle Northwest Loop - 21days $5,008 $3,005 $2,462 $2,184 Book now !

Before you go

MOTORCYCLE TOURING
What type of clothing should I bring?
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country and size selection and/or quality products are real issues. Local products are cheap but almost just one size for all or the quality is poor. Here are some suggestions:
- Clothing: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirt, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirt, turtleneck shirt, extra jeans, light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses and goggles.
- Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen and earplugs.
- Emergency items: first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, flashlight, chargers and duct tape.
- Miscellaneous: small towel, bath towel, trash bags, bungee cords, camera and cargo net.

I drive a large displacement motorbike back home and am afraid that the Honda 160cc or Honda trail bike 125cc will not be up to the task. Can't we drive anything larger?
Vietnamese traffic laws prohibited the use of motorbikes larger than 175cc until May 2007 after Vietnam was allowed into WTO. It will take sometime to have big bikes imported into Vietnam, but it's likely that nobody rents out these bikes as import tax is 90% and VAT is 10% (a bike costs twice as much as in your country!). The Honda 160cc or Honda 125cc will not break the sound barrier but the Honda will easily carry two people down all of Vietnam's roads. They are light, balanced and fun to ride. As of early 2008, we offered upgrade to Honda Baja XR or Degree 250cc or TLR 200cc. Click to find out
bike options.

Can you arrange accommodation for us in Hanoi?
We can make reservations for you at any hotel in Hanoi and also organise a car to pick you up from the airport. Commonly we recommend people to stay at a particular hotel in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter. The central location makes it easy to get around the city and the hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms in the US$15-30 per night price range. They also provide safe storage for baggage during the duration of the motorbike or offroad tour. More details here.

Do you carry everything on the bike, or would I leave some of my luggage at "base" until returning?
We provide you with spacious saddle bags which can carry a large amount of belongings. It's also possible to strap a further bag or rucksack onto the bike's back rack if required. Any other luggage may be left safely in storage at your hotel waiting for return.

I hear the traffic is crazy in Vietnam. Is it safe?
Traffic in Hanoi is chaotic to the uninitiated driver. For this reason we always use the easiest roads (even if they are longer) to get out of town. We can also arrange for riders to be dropped off at the city limits by taxi. Once out in the countryside, the level of traffic drops off remarkably and on some roads it is possible to not pass a single vehicle for the whole day. That said, it must be emphasized that the conditions here are demanding and extremely defensive driving is imperative. All riders must be very careful and be fully aware that the purpose of the trip is not to ride performance bikes hard into the bends, but rather to trundle along nice and slow and enjoy the sites and sounds. Once a ride is confirmed, we will send you an extensive document covering all aspects of driver safety particular to the conditions found in Vietnam. This document and constant support from your guide will make your ride as safe as possible.

What do I do and expect when I have an accident?
Vietnam can be a very strange country regarding how the accident is solved, just as the way people ride. The bigger usually pay i.e car drivers pay motorcyclists, motorcyclists pay cyclists... However, if you have an accident, first you have to talk with the other party (via our guide) to find out who has to pay and how much. If you don't agree with each other, then we call the police and they will do their job (usually takes time) and you have to stay in Vietnam until they have the official report. Vietnamese people usually expect you to pay, even if you are right. Don't be surprised and stay calm as our guide will help you to solve the situation.

If you purchased an insurance policy, and if you request we will contact the insurance company and ask them for instructions. You will need to pay us all phone calls in this case.

I'm travelling alone, is it possible to join any existing groups?
Where possible we try to link individuals together as long as they are of similar driving experience. The more advance warning the better. Check out at Late Availability.

When is the best time to come to the north of Vietnam for a tour?
In the north there's no best time to ride. There are four distinct seasons, each with its own unique advantages. Summer runs from April to October, winter from November to March. Hottest months are June and August, coldest month is February. Expect the possibility of rain from April to August, while winter months are normally dry except when a winter storm settles in.

How long do we ride each day?
A difficult question as in most cases we ride from morning to the late afternoon. We try to get on the road early to make the most of the day and we enjoy lengthy stops throughout the day. On longer tours we can accommodate a rest day from the saddle. Our bikes all have extra padding in the seats. Expect at least five hours driving time per day.

What's the minimum time to complete a good ride?
In order to get into the mountains and out of the delta plains, whilst completing a good loop, we need a minimum of four days. At a bare minimum we can get onto some back roads and get a good taste of life on the road here in two days if you don't mind a long day in the saddle.

What's the best duration for a trip?
The perfect time frame to spend on the road would probably be eight or nine days, looking at a maximum of 12 days before the body starts to take the strain. However, for the indefatigable we can offer an 18-day trek of the entire northern region of Vietnam.

Where do the tours start from?
All tours start out from Hanoi between 8-9 am. Return to Hanoi is either by road or sometimes by overnight train in which case we send the motorbikes on the train. We usually come back in Hanoi between 2-6 pm.

Do you need a deposit?
We ask for a deposit of US$200 - US$500 in order to confirm to secure your booking(s). We will provide you with the necessary bank account details to transfer this deposit into once a ride has been agreed upon.

How do I pay you? Do you accept credit card payment?
Yes, we do accept credit card payment in our office. There is an extra bank charge of 3% (4% for American Express card holders). At certain times, we may apply surcharge as banks always offer low or very low rates comparing to black market rates. Deposit is made via a bank transfer or Western Union Cash Transfer. We ask that you transfer to our bank account a deposit and then final balance (cash is king in Vietnam) before the commencement of a ride. Unfortunately, PayPal applies very bad conditions to Vietnamese account holders and we don't like that.

What other expenses should we expect? How much cash do we need to take with us?
In terms of costs we cover everything except telephone calls, tips, souvenirs, alcoholic drink and personal medical insurance. As there are often some impressive minority crafts to be found in the markets or some more bizarre products of Chinese origin bank on US$150-200 extra.

How will I meet you in Hanoi?
We will arrange a pre-departure briefing session to introduce to you the route (with maps) and the minority peoples with whom we'll come into contact, provide you with all the equipment, and cover any other outstanding issues. Please print our office map here.

Is an international licence valid in Vietnam?
Despite some press reports to the contrary Vietnam does recognise the validity of international licences. Whilst some authorities in remote regions may not be able to comprehend a document written in a foreign language they go a long way in smoothing out any potential difficulties should an issue arise. They also take care of any licence requirements that you might have in your insurance polices.

How do I get an international licence?
International licences can be provided on the spot at the motoring authority in your country (e.g. The AA in the UK or the NRMA in Australia). Take your existing national licence and passport photo to their office and for a small fee they will provide a licence along the same lines as your existing licence, valid for one year.

I'm concerned about the footwear situation; thinking about leaving walking boots at home to lighten the load, what do you recommend?
It's essential to have strong footwear for the tour to protect your feet whilst driving. Trekking shoes or leather boots are perfect. No driving in open-toed shoes. It is possible to buy a pair of boots (including big sizes) in Hanoi for about US$15.

I'm filling out the Vietnam visa application and they ask for the name, address of my contact in Vietnam. What should I enter?
It's not actually necessary to enter anything in this field. If you wish you may write the details of any hotel in Hanoi. To save money and time, try our visa letter assistance service (you pay 45$US in total).