Introduction Of Northwest Vietnam Motorbike Adventure
This is a far away motorbiking adventure. For a long time, Northwest Vietnam is a very beautiful place but the roads are quite rough. There are more hill tribe people living in this area than anywhere in Vietnam. In addition, you take in some of the most stunning mountain views. Due to recent road works and landslides (in summer) and cold, misty weather (in winter), this 7-day Northwest Vietnam Motorbike Adventure is best for intermediate and experienced riders.
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau. ~160 km, ~6 h.
Brilliant Northwest in 7 days is rough, so we will take it easy for the first day. Once out of the Red River Delta, which brims with traditional farming activity, we pass through limestone monoliths and into foothills populated by Muong people. We head straight at the main range before breaching a high and beautiful forested pass, which descends into the hidden valley of Mai Chau where we spend the night with friends in a traditional Thai stilt house in Pom Coong village.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La. ~200 km, ~8 h.
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. Sleep in a hotel.
Day 3: Son La – Muong Lay. ~200 km, ~8 h.
There are 15 mountain passes. Therefore, you take in very nice roads and stunning landscapes. Probably the most beautiful journey of the whole trip even the road is in poor condition. However, with the construction of Lai Chau hydroelectric plant, some parts are in very poor conditions. Expect to be dusty when dry and muddy when rainy.
Sleep in Lan Anh Hotel.
Day 4: Muong Lay – Lai Chau. ~150 km, ~7 h.
The most demanding and remote section of the drive takes us upstream along the left side of a Black River tributary through the forest on a bumpy dirt road past isolated pockets of Tay, Thai, H’mong and Man peoples before breaching a pass to enter the Tam Duong plain, which is covered in shark’s teeth-like limestone karst. We would visit a Mang village near Sin Ho, the guide will buy some food to give to the head of the village, and he later distributes our donations to the villagers. We stay O/N at Phuong Thanh Hotel.
Day 5: Lai Chau – Sapa. ~100 km, ~5 h.
Tam Duong market in the morning. There are colourful Montagnard groups living in Tam Duong: Black H’mong and Dzao. ~10 am: beautiful drive at a slow pace to Sapa. We will have a big breakfast because there is nothing to eat on the way, just ourselves with the wildness. We stay O/N in Cat Cat Hotel.
Day 6: Sapa – Vu Linh. ~200 km, ~7 h.
We start riding down to Lao Cai and then we go to Thac Ba lake. Until Luc Yen, the road is easy and asphalted. Next, a secondary road along the Thac Ba lake, through Dzao and Tay territory until the traditional village of Vu Linh where we stay with our friends.
In the evening, we have a party with the host. Dao men drink a lot of rice wine and they will invite us a few rounds! This welcome is exceptional.
Day 7: Vu Linh – Hanoi. ~180 km, ~6 h. End of Northwest Vietnam Motorbike Adventure.
You can visit the Dao market in the morning. Then come back to Hanoi via Son Tay. In general, it is a busy but very nice road, some even found it entertaining!
Arrive back in Hanoi around 4 pm, before rush hours. End our incredible Northwest Vietnam Motorbike Adventure.
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