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Adventure Motorcycle Tour To The Mountains of North Vietnam On Enduro Bikes

Titelbild AAvietnam2 Titelbild Vietnam Mountain2

 

Welcome to our second Vietnam Motorcycle Tour on well maintained Japanese Enduro Bikes 220-250cc.

17.03. - 02.04.2016 ( 17 days )

 


This 17-days motorbike tour comes as quite a surprise, that's because so far Vietnam had only two kinds of bikes.

The infamous Russian Minsk or some beat up 100cc two-wheeler of disputable origin. A Dutch/Vietnamese joint venture has got hold of several almost new Japanese Enduro Motorbikes with a 220-250 engine, and we have secured those for our Vietnam Motorcycle Tour. It goes without saying this means we picked the highest mountains and deepest gorges, gorgeous valleys and the prettiest Hill Stations in the North. And we added the world famous Ha Long bay where we will have a 24 hour boat cruise...

We also added 2 nights in so-called "Homestays" with local farmer families in an isolated country region of North Vietnam, plus 3 nights in the "downtown" city of Hanoi  in a cozy comfortable 3 Star "Hotel Medallion" !

Here a link to the Guides FB Foto Album from our 2015 Winter Tour : Link to TIZ Facebook Album

Also of interest , group member Peter Hacks Facebook Pictures from the "wet and cold" Vietnam Pilot Tour.

Admittedly it was rather cold and wet on our last Pilot tour in February, it was just bad luck that they had the coldest winter and the most rain for ages in North-Vietnam. 

Nevertheless the spirit was up and the group tried to make the best of it. You can get the reviews from the tour directly from me, everybody was overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the country.  

Therefore we will do this tour again, but instead of February we will do it in the second half of March. 


 

From Hanoi over Mai Chau, Nghia Lo, Than Uyen, Sa Pa, Bax Ha, Ha Giang, Meo Vac, Ba Be,

Lang Son and back to Hanoi, including Ha Long Boat Cruise

 AAvietnam2 (Small)  a1 Kopie (Small)  c Kopie (Small) Vietnam Biker (Small) 
 c Kopie (Small)  Vietnam Roads (Small)  Vietnam Roads2 (Small)  b (Small)
Vietnam Grls (Small) Vietnam Mountain2 (Small) Vietnam People2 (Small) Vietnam People3 (Small)

 

Vietnam Motorbike Tour Overview:

 

NORTH VIETNAM PILOT MOTORCYCLE TOUR FEB 2015
with one day Ha Long Boat Cruise
Day Date Activity Accomodation Distance in km

1

Thu

17.03.2016

Arrival in Hanoi

Hotel

0

2

Fri

18.03.2016

Hanoi - Mai Chau

Hotel

170

3

Sat

19.03.2016

Mai Chau - Nghia Lo

Hotel 

220

4

Sun

20.03.2016

Nghia Lo - Than Uyen

Hotel 

140

5

Mon

21.03.2016

Than Uyen - Sa Pa

Hotel 

130

6

Tue

22.03.2016

Stay in Sa Pa

Hotel 

0

7

Wed

23.03.2016

Sapa - Bac Ha

Hotel 

110

8

Thu

24.03.2016

Bac Ha - Ha Giang

Hotel 

170

9

Fri

25.03.2016

Ha Giang - Meo Vac

"Auberge"

170

10

Sat

26.03.2016

Meo Vac - Ba Be

Homestay

220

11

Sun

27.03.2016

Stay in Ba Be

Homestay

0

12

Mon

28.03.2016

Ba Be - Lang Son 

Hotel

230

13

Tue

29.03.2016

Lang Son - Ha Long

Hotel

170

14

Wed

30.03.2016

Ha Long Boatrip

House Boat

0

15

Thu

31.03.2016

Ha Long - Hanoi

Hotel

140

16

Fri

01.04.2016

Stay in Hanoi

Hotel

0

17

Sat

02.04.2016

Departure Day

no Hotel

 

 

 

 

Total Distance

 

1860 km


Vietnam Pilot Motorcycle Tour - Itinerary Travel Guide Vietnam

We recommend you get an English travel guide book :

 


 

Day 1 Arrival  in Hanoi 

Transfer to "Downtown-Hanoi" and welcome dinner. Overnight-stay in a comfortable town hotel.

After having your visa stamped into your passport on arrival at the airport you can get some money changed. You will become a millionaire instantly since one Euro equals 23.000 Vietnamese Dong. Upon arrival in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam you will be greeted by chaotic traffic and the constant honking noises. Hanoi has 6 million inhabitants and around 4 million scooters. Wearing your helmet is obligatory and girls with long hair have a whole in the back of the helmet to fit their pony tail. 

We are staying in the colourful and lively old part of town with some beautiful French colonial architecture. The atmosphere reminds one of old Paris. Broad boulevards with up-market shops and restaurants. Between them narrow side streets with countless smaller shops, cafés and street food vendors. In the heart oft he city lies Hoan-Kiem-Lake, a local favourite hang-out spot for promenading and sports activities like jogging or Tai Chi in the early morning hours. Despite the many, many people there is an overall relaxed atmosphere to be found in the city. We will stay in the old part of the town and will have our welcome dinner with our local crew.

 


 

Day 2 Hanoi - Mai Chau170 km

Transfer  to a suitable "launch spot" outside the old-city from where we begin our first leg of the Vietnam motorcycle tour. We will leave the bustling city on smaller country roads, riding through a hilly landscape flanked by rice paddies. We reach Mai Chau where we will stay at cozy Hotel valley view. There is some tourist infrastructure here since this is a favourite  "get-away spot" for Hanoi's youngsters. 

 


 

Day  3 Mai Chau - Nghia Lo 200 km

Today we will be riding our motorbikes through a  pleasurable mountain region. The first 50kms will be on a "highway" after that its smaller country lanes with a river crossing on a ferry. Later on the scenery changes into forests and jungle until we reach our destination Nghia Lo, where we will stay for the night after our dinner at the hotel.

 


 

Day  4 Nghia Lo - Than Uyen 140 km

We ride our bikes even further into the mountains with the typical vistas, looking down at the bright chlorophyll-green terraced rice fields. Overnight stay and dinner at the hotel. 

 


 

Day  5 Than Uyen - Sa Pa (1.600m )130 km

Today's motorbike trip is one of the best! Climbing up to Vietnam's highest pass at 2.050m. Day's final destination is the hill station Sa Pa. We are enjoying the fresh mountain air, a fine dinner and stay overnight. 

 


 

Day  6  Relaxing in Sa Pa (1.600m )

We are exploring the mountainous region around the highest mountain of Vietnam (3.140m) on our motorcycles. And we will get to meet some of the many tribal people who will be coming to the market at Sa Pa. We'll have dinner at a speciality restaurant and overnight stay at the hotel. 

 


 

Day 7 Sapa - Bac Ha(900m) 110 km

In Lao Cai (600m) we will visit the Chinese border. After that comes a stretch without asphalt but with spectacular views. If desired we can add another 90 km "off road" riding. Later that day we reach the small town of Bac Ha at 900m altitude. There is a palace of the last of the Hmong - kings and a colourful market.

Dinner and overnight stay at hotel. 

 


 

Day  8 Bac Ha - Ha Giang (700m) 170 km

Starting off on our motorbikes with some 15 km of  "dirt road" and "off road" feeling, after that through many rice fields and up again into the mountains along the Chinese border. Bending around curves at your heart's delight. Another 70km stretch and we reach Ha Giang, the highest city in Vietnam. We'll stay overnight at a roadside hotel where we will also have dinner. 

 


 

Day  9 Ha Giang - Meo Vac (1.100m)170 km

Today's routing will take us through some jagged, rocky mountains and a fascinating landscape. Very few people travel along these remote border region and we will stay at a simple "l'auberge" with a dormitory style sleeping arrangement, but by far the best place in the whole area. 

 


 

Day  10Meo Vac - Ba Be (900m)170 km

We are leaving the mountains riding our bikes on small quiet country roads. There is a river crossing, water levels permitting, on bamboo rafts. Overnight stay at a beautifully situated homestay, a traditional building owned by a family. 

 


 

Tag  11Ba Be - relaxing / national park 

Ba Be ("Three Seas"), a region that has been praised by the French ever since for its beauty is now a national park with 1.600m peaks, rivers, lakes, caves and waterfalls: a truly magical scenery. We will soak it all in and will have time to relax, take a boat trip across the big lake, stroll along the rice fields and enjoy the hospitality of our host at the homestay farm house. 

 


 

Day 12Ba Be - Lang Song 230 km

 

We enjoy our breakfast on the veranda watching the sun chasing away the morning fog and continue our journey on wide metaled roads. This is one of the main commercial arteries into China. We'll see plenty of big American trucks, but we bikers will enjoy the curvy ride. The road winds through a green karst mountain range. Alongside pigs, water buffalos and chicken we'll share the road with bicycle riders and school children whose smiling faces and friendly waves from under their sun umbrellas will accompany us.

 

Sometimes the road can get quite dusty, the asphalt will lead to gravel. The locals with their ox carts and bicycles laden with long bamboo poles manage to circumnavigate all obstacles in a swiftly manner. On our off road bikes we will have no issues at all and we will get to our day's destination Lang-Son rather early so there is enough time to visit the markets. Overnight stay and dinner at the hotel. 

 


 

Day 13Lang Son - Ha Long170 km

The landscape becomes more mellow but the colours remain vivid. In between the rice paddies the homes with their verandas and entrance columns are beautifully decorated. Some look like miniature palaces. As we are getting nearer towards the coast it gets warmer the roads become straighter and it gets more crowded, also there will be some smog due to a mining region that we will pass through.

At Ha Long we will cross a high bridge spanning over the river and we will be riding along the city's boulevard. Here we will encounter typical Vietnamese tourism, up-market hotels, restaurants, beach clubs, and many shops selling the usual junk. There will be some big ships lying at anchor in the bay and in the distance one can see the famous karst rocks of Ha Long Bay. 

 


 

Day 14 - Boat cruise at Ha Long Bay  

In 2011 the coast of La Hong has been declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  La Hong Bay covers an area of over 300 square km. The karst-mountain range runs from land into the sea and thousands of those limestone rocks come right out of the water, some are well over 100 meters high. There are no beaches and the rocks are uninhabited. We get ready for our mini-cruise.

On the way we stop at a fishing village built on pontoons. We can dip in the sea or take an excursion of some of the rock caves in a canoe. At sunset we lay anchor in one of the bays and enjoy the spectacular scenery with a drink in our hand on the boat deck. We have luxurious cabins with shower and WC and here we will spend the night. 

 


 

Day 15Ha Long  - Hanoi 140 km

Wakened by slightly splashing waves against the boat's hull we look out of our windows, looking at thousands of rock islands. A jump in the sea and we are wide awake. After breakfast we will con-tinue our cruise along La Hong Bay enjoying more of the spectacular landscape. We will have another luncheon on board, after which we will lay anchor at the harbour.

We start the engines of our Enduro bikes and set for Hanoi. Getting used to the increasing heavy traffic after days of quietness as we get closer to Hanoi's inner city centre. Managing the moped-slalom we look forward to a refreshing drink upon arrival at our hotel, where we will also have dinner. 

 


 

Day  16  Hanoi stay 

Our last day in Vietnam will be spent with individual excursions of the city of Hanoi. There is a striking number of very small buildings, due to a property tax that measures the width of a building. So some hotels have a tiny street front but go deep for more than 60 meters. Apart from the Ho Chi Min museum and mausoleum there are many more museums, pagodas and temples to be visited.

One can wander around town for hours, without ever feeling bored. There are plenty of shops where all of Asia's handicraft and folk art is on offer. As one rests on a café terrace one can soak in the hustle and bustle of street life. Four people riding a moped is no exception and transporting thousands of eggs or fat live pigs or kegs full of beer on mopeds is the norm. Of course one hand is always busy with the mobile phone… overnight stay at the hotel, dinner wherever we like. 

 


 

Day 17 : Transfer to Airport and journey home 


Admittedly it was rather cold and wet on our last Pilot tour in February, it was just bad luck that they had the coldest Winter and the most rain for ages in North-Vietnam. 

Nevertheless the spirit was up and the group tried to make the best of it. You can get the reviews from the tour directly from me, everybody was overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the country.  

Therefore we will do this tour again, but instead of February we will do it in the second half of March. 


 

Vietnam Motorcycle Tours – General information:

Insurance

The situation here is not unlike in most other Asian countries. Although the bikes are officially insured against third party damages the insurance will not come up with anything. Generally the claimants sort out their damages individually. The driver is responsible for any bike damages. Any damages resulting in a write-off  will result in a payment of around 6.000 USD. In case of technical issues with the bike the rental company will try to do its best to fix it asap or send another bike. 

 

North Vietnam Motorbike Tours – What we offer :

  • Rental bike 220 / 250cc Enduro
  • Vietnamese guide on a bike 
  • Overnight stays in double rooms or dorms  (In Auberge and Homestay) 
  • 2 meals daily (except in Hanoi, breakfast only )
  • Petrol
  • Taxes & fees, etc. 
  • Backup truck with spares, driver and mechanic 
  • Extra bike 

 

Not included in the Vietnam Motorbike Tour price: 

  • Drinks (mineral water, alcohol beverages), except  soft drinks at mealtimes 
  • Vietnam visa fee (ca. 60 USD)

 

Important : At times during the Vietnam Motorcycle Tour it will be necessary for the backup vehicle to take a different routing from the bikes, especially in the mountain region. 

 


Our Vietnam Motorbike Tour Prices :   

Biker :                                     3.240 USD double room

Pillion, Jeep Passenger  :       2.540 USD double room

Single room :                             540 USD  ( where ever possible )

 


 

How to get a Vietnam tourist  visa :

We recommend you get the required information from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country. 

There are also private agencies who can assist you to get a "Tourist Visa on Arrival". http://www.vietnam-visa.com/ .

They have worked quite well with us last tour.

You can check with us if you need any help.

 

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