BIG MOUNTAIN PASSES | 5 DAY MOTORBIKE TOUR

Hanoi - Thac Ba Lake - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

880km

Thac Ba Lake; the mountain province Ha Giang; the palace of the H'mong King; the mountain town of Dong Van; Ba Be Lake; the Ma Pi Leng and Ba Be mountain passes

2 nights in homestays and 2 nights in hotels

any skill level

Included

airport pickup

English speaking tour guide

breakfast, lunch and dinner

accommodation (shared)

motorbike rental

fuel

helmets and gloves

tickets to national parks and for ferries

Not Included

drinks at the end of the day

souvenirs

health and liability insurance

Single Rooms (4 Nights)

Choose how many of your group prefer to sleep in single rooms:

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Pay a 30% deposit per item

Day 1: Hanoi - Thac Ba Lake

180km

homestay

Thac Ba Lake; the minority area of Vu Linh

Leaving Hanoi you'll follow the Red River northwest. As you ride, you'll see the flat farmland start to give way to foothills before taking a little road towards Thac Ba Lake. Created by damming up three rivers in order to power the first power station in Vietnam, this man-made lake is the largest in Vietnam. Its banks are populated by people of the Dzao minority—the family who run the homestay you'll spend the night in are Dzao—and, depending on the weather, you'll have the opportunity to explore it further by taking a trip to one of its many islands on a little boat.

taking a break in Vu Linh
taking a break in Vu Linh
sunset on Thac Ba Lake
sunset on Thac Ba Lake
Day 2: Thac Ba Lake - Ha Giang

180km

hotel

the mountain province Ha Giang

You'll skirt the lake and head north, passing through miles of palm forest before being met with the sight of the imposing mountain range that forms Vietnam's natural border with China. Then it's up and up, the roads becoming steeper and rockier, into Ha Giang. Populated almost entirely by ethnic minorities, most of whom still live in small communities connected by little dirt roads, Ha Giang Province is easily one of the country's most famous riding spots.

Day 3: Ha Giang - Dong Van

160km

hotel

the mountain town of Dong Van; the palace of the H'mong King; the Ma Pi Leng Pass

The road from Ha Giang City to Dong Van runs east along the Chinese border. You'll ride through the country of, among others, the Tay, Dzao and H'Mong, taking in one of the country's most famous roads, the 20km long Ma Pi Leng Pass. Before arriving in Dong Van you'll also have the opportunity to visit Dinh Vua Meo, the palace of the H'mong king who once ruled the area and famously allied himself with Ho Chi Minh. It doesn't take long to explore, but the building itself and the artefacts it contains make it worth the visit. Dong Van is great, too: it's got a historic Old Quarter, a busy traditional market and some French colonial buildings that are more than 200 years old!

the Ma Pi Leng Pass
Day 4: Dong Van - Ba Be Lake

170km

homestay

Ba Be Lake; Ba Be National Park

You'll continue through the mountains of Ha Giang Province before riding south through the province of Bac Kan. Stopping for lunch there is always interesting, since the cuisine so far north differs a lot from that of Hanoi: dishes are more substantial and tend to contain more meat, probably as a consequence of the cold Winters and the harsh terrain. After lunch you'll continue south to Bac Kan's biggest attraction, Ba Be Lake. Ba Be means 'three bays' and, true to its name, is actually three lakes joined together into one body of water. It's got some caves and lagoons which, time and weather permitting, you'll be able to explore on a little boat and the national park in which lies is home to a diverse range of indigenous species and boasts plenty of good homestays.

Day 5: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

190km

the Ba Be Pass

Leaving Ba Be National Park, you'll ride the Ba Be Pass before continuing your journey through Bac Kan and into the province of Thai Nguyen. Thai Nguyen is Vietnam's tea-growing powerhouse, exporting tens of thousands of tonnes annually, and the roads there are good. Entering Hanoi from the north is far more forgiving than doing so from the west, too, so, following the Cau River through farmland and past numerous smaller lakes, you can expect a relatively relaxed journey back into the capital.

Prices
Honda XR150Honda CRF250
1 bike$200$250
2-3 bikes$150$200
4-7 bikes$140$190
8-11 bikes$120$170
12-14 bikes$110$160
15-20 bikes$100$150
21+ bikes$90$140
Surcharges
Single, rather than shared accommodation:$20 per rider per night
Overnight train, including bike transportation, from Hanoi to Lao Cai/Sa Pa (selected tours):$75 per rider/bike
1 night boat trip around Ha Long Bay (selected tours):$50 per rider
Single, rather than shared accommodation on the boat trip around Ha Long Bay (selected tours):$50 per rider