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Motorcycle Ramble : Vietnam

North Vietnam: Across the mountain passes of Ha Giang

Etienne

Etienne, motorbike trip designer

3 430  / rider
2 980  / pillion
11 departures
Motorcycle Ramble
Period March to May
September to November
Duration 12 days
with 10 riding days
Level Intermediate
Guide English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard & Comfortable
Price 3430€/rider
2980€/pillion
Motorcycle Ramble
Period March to May
September to November
Duration 12 days
with 10 riding days
Level Intermediate
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard & Comfortable
From 3430€/rider
2980€/pillion
Welcome to Vietnam! In this country of striking contrasts, this journey takes you to the karst mountains of the North-East. Small winding mountain roads, cliffside rice fields and Dao ethnic villages are on the agenda of this motorbike tour in Vietnam. Off the beaten track, you will discover the preserved region of Ha Giang, and will be surprised by the breathtaking landscapes, worthy of the greatest movie sets. Your Royal Enfield will take you to the top of the highest passes in the region, such as the breathtaking Ma Pi Leng pass with its 1000 turns. You then come back to the more agricultural plains before ending your stay in Hanoi, a buzzing city full of life and memorable encounters.

Your motorcycle trip in Vietnam 12 steps - 876 miles


Vietnam Hanoi city
D1 / Arrive in Hanoi - 0 miles

Welcome to Vietnam! You’re met at the airport and transferred to the hotel in the city centre. You have some time to explore Hanoi, one of the most fascinating south-east Asian capitals. Get lost in the streets of the Old Quarter, sample delicious street food and take a walk on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Vietnam landscape
D2 / Hanoi – Vu Linh - 105 Miles

We pick up the bikes and head north-west. We ride through highly populated urban areas for around 50 miles. On the second part of the leg, we gradually get to the heart of the most rural regions and even cross some tea plantations before arriving at Thac Ba Lake. We spend the night at a typical homestay where the hosts’ warmth makes up for its basic comfort.

Vietnam moto royal enfield
D3 / Vu Linh – Hoang Su Phi - 93 Miles

This morning, we ride across the hills that overlook Thac Ba Lake and gradually push on into the Vietnamese countryside. We take a break at a small gemstone market before continuing along country roads and some stretches of track. By the end of the day, we reach Hoang Su Phi, where the hilltop roads offer some of the country’s most stunning views across rice terraces.

Vietnam ethnicity dao
D4 / Hoang Su Phi - Quan Ba - 93 Miles

We continue towards the country’s northernmost point, where many ethnic groups live. This region is also known for its winding roads dominated by rugged terrain and remarkable rock formations. We ride on the “road to heaven’s gate” to the north of the city of Ha Giang. Nestled at 1,500 m altitude, it’s the entrance to Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. After the pass, a breathtaking view of Tam Son Valley opens up before us. We spend the night in a small village where most of the inhabitants are Dao people.

vietnam trip
D5 / Quan Ba - Dong Van - 75 Miles

Today, we enter Dong Van park, a geological wonder part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. We visit the H’Mong hemp cooperative before getting back on the road in the shadow of the limestone giants. The legendary Ha Giang loop has become popular with Vietnamese tourists, so we alternate between the main road and short tarmacked sections away from the crowds. We cross villages nestled in the foothills of a massif where local ethnic groups live.

vietnam roadtrip moto
D6 / Ha Giang loop - 75 Miles

We spend the day exploring this fantastic karst plateau. We stop off at H’Mong Royal Palace, built in the early twentieth century, before continuing on small hidden roads. We witness scenes of rural life where farming is still very important. The highlight: we end up on the Duong Hanh Phuc road, known as the “road to happiness”, which was a blessing for the inhabitants of this remote province. The ride along the famous Mae Pi Leng pass offers amazing views over Nho Que River and Tu San Gorges. We go back to Dong Van to spend the night.

Holidays motorcycle Vietnamam
D7 / Dong Van – Bao Lake - 68 Miles

Sunday is market day in Dong Van and Meo Vac, just a few miles away. We take the time to stroll through these places of exchange where the locals come down from the surrounding mountain villages to meet and trade their goods. We leave Dong Van geopark behind us and descend in altitude on a tarmacked road skirting the river. We spend the night at a small Bao Lake town on the cusp of the northern Cao Bang province, a few miles from China as the crow flies.

Vietnam waterfalls
D8 / Bao Lake – Ban Gioc - 106 Miles

We get up early and head east al day on small, winding roads along the Chinese border. We are in Cao Bang province, which is interesting in so many ways. It is home to Pac Bo Cave, where Ho Chi Minh found refuge for some years. We ride into another geopark with superb karst landscapes. This long leg takes us to the fantastic multi-tiered Ban Gioc waterfalls. And China is just on the other side!

vietnam paddy field
D9 / Ban Gioc - Cao Bang - 56 Miles

Today’s leg is short but full of beautiful landscapes and secret tracks. We steer clear of the main road as much as possible and take the time to admire how quiet life is among the lush rice paddies and hills. The Cao Bang region looks like an inland Ha Long Bay. We enjoy a short break in Phuc Sen, a blacksmith village, before ending the day in the lively city of Cao Bang.

Vietnam trip riders
D10 / Cao Bang - Ba Be - 81 Miles

We leave Cao Bang geopark and return to more forested regions. Throughout the leg, we take winding roads through small traditional villages that have withstood the test of time. We stop for lunch at a tea estate in the middle of tea plantations. When we arrive at Ba Be National Park not far from our hotel, we experience beautiful new landscapes along mountains and old-growth forests. We end the day with a pleasant boat trip on Ba Be Lake.

riders share trip
D11 / Ba Be - Hanoï - 124 Miles

We make an early start and head south to Hanoi. The first half of the leg is charming and gives us the chance to enjoy the last bit of calm before we arrive in the hustle and bustle of the capital. We arrive in the city in the afternoon so we can enjoy the last few hours in Hanoi. Overnight stay at a hotel.

hanoi vietnam
D12 / Hanoi – International airport - 0 Miles

You have a free day. You can rest or make the most of your last few hours in Hanoi. You are transferred to the airport according to your flight schedule.

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5.0/5
3 traveller reviews
Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely.…
Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely. It was the perfect blend of motorcycle adventuring and exploring a foreign land off the beaten track. My only real negative recollection was the pace of the trip. At times the filming really detracted from the experience. I know Francois was trying to balance this but I would definitely […]
I did enjoy it very much.…
I did enjoy it very much. The only thing which really disappointed was the amount of stopping and setting up of video shots. This was excessive and detracted from the experience
Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely.…
Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely. It was the perfect blend of motorcycle adventuring and exploring a foreign land off the beaten track. My only real negative recollection was the pace of the trip. At times the filming really detracted from the experience. I know Francois was trying to balance this but I would definitely […]
I did enjoy it very much.…
I did enjoy it very much. The only thing which really disappointed was the amount of stopping and setting up of video shots. This was excessive and detracted from the experience
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