8 Day Off The Beaten Track North West Vietnam Motorbike Tour

This 8 days North West Vietnam Motorbike Tour, provided on private basis takes you to Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, and Sapa, Lao Cai where you visit remote hill tribe villages, experience rich ethnic culture.

Trip Description & Day-by-day Itinerary

This 8 days North West Vietnam Motorbike Tour, provided on private basis takes you to Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, and Sapa, Lao Cai where you visit remote hill tribe villages, experience rich ethnic culture.

North West Vietnam Motorbike Tour Map

North West Vietnam Motorbike Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau, Hoa Binh

We take a taxi to get to the starting point at the outskirt of Hanoi, from here you take the bikes and start your first day ride to Mai Chau. Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains, we pass through endless limestone karst scenery as we travel up to the Northwestern region, the extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. Arrive in Mai Chau in late afternoon, night o a stilt house of the Thais Minority peoples, dinner with the family.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Phu Yen, Son La Province

We backtrack on the main a few kilometres before embarking on a new road which drops down the side of a huge valley, steadily falling all the way back down to the Black River Reservoir. The 50 kilometres route has plenty of challenging surface and is prone to landslides. Much of the area is inhabited by Kinh and both Black and White Thai ethnicities. Depending on time we can complete another side road which rises up the opposite side of the valley, offering impressive views over the area on a clear day. Just before the reservoir we breach a final steep ascent and pass by communes of Dao people, before the descent to the banks of the reservoir and a ferry crossing. Once across we follow the banks of the reservoir past village all relocated before the flooding of the valley. On easy dirt road we approach the delta settlement of Phu Yen, set in the middle of a vast valley floor of paddy fields. Overnight in Phu Yen.

Day 3: Phu Yen – Son La Town

On good road looking high over distant mountains we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4: Son La – Dien Bien Phu

Continuing the road no.6 to Tuan Giao after climbing the historic Phadin Pass where dominated by the H’mong people. Many stop for picture. Arrive in Dien Bien Phu in the late of afternoon. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Day 5: Dien Bien Phu – Muong Lay, Lai Chau

Take a visit of the old French battle field, we will be heading out northwest from Dien Bien Phu the road passes isolated communities of H’mong and Thai people, whose small villages settle the bans of dark green rivers and on the steep slopes of the mountains. After lunch by a forest stream the road begins to climb up one high pass. At the top for sunset before dropping sharply into the deep Lai Chau valley. Overnight in Muong Lay.

Day 6: Muong Lay – Sapa, Lao Cai

If the days are right then we can visit one of three busy hill tribe markets as we head straight towards the main Fansipan Mountain range. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 7: Sapa – Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai

We start from Sapa and ride to Luc Yen. A boat is waiting for you to bring you and the bikes to Vu Linh, at our Dao friends’ village. You will cross all the lake (~3 hours) and we estimate that you will reach the village at about 17:00. Alternatively, we can ride from Luc Yen to Vu Linh. The welcome is exceptional and we hope you will not be too much tired. Overnight in homestay.

Day 8: Thac Ba Lake – Hanoi

After breakfast we cruise southeast on Highway 2 and then branch off to the sleepy town of Phu Tho. We follow the edge of the Red River along the dyke, almost to the point where it merges with the Black River after which they flow together to Hanoi. By now we are very much in the lowlands of the delta plains and the north’s main agricultural areas. Harvest time here is a sea of activity. Crossing the Black River by bridge, we pass through Son Tay and then return to Hanoi on the highway.


Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips and the above itinerary is only one suggestion. That can be flexible and subject to weather conditions and other circumstances. Customize this tour to better fit your needs or contact us for more north west vietnam motorbike tour guide, north west vietnam motorbike tour hanoi, north west vietnam motorbike tour routes, north west vietnam motorbike tour vietnam. Thank you for visiting our site and see you soon!

Additional Information

Primary Activities

Motorbiking

Duration

8 days

Tour Starts

Hanoi

Places to visit

Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Mai Chau, Muong Lay, Phu Yen, Sapa, Son La, Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai

Tour Ends

Hanoi

Adventure Level

Challenging

Itinerary Disclaimer

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 a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!

Please note that while we operate successful trips 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.

Inclusions

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.

  • Car transfers.
  • Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
  • Local porter(s).
  • Accommodation.
  • Meals.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Bottled water.

Exclusions

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

  • Visa
  • Flight/Train tickets.
  • Accommodation pre/post trip.
  • International travel insurance.
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.

Tour Guide

Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.

Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.

Trip Routes

Principally, LOTUSSIA Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.

Accommodation

LOTUSSIA Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or homestays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.

Meals

LOTUSSIA Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, LOTUSSIA Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.

Drinks

As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, LOTUSSIA Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. LOTUSSIA Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, LOTUSSIA Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).

Vehicle

In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.

We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.

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