THE LAKES AND THE WATERFALL | 8 DAY MOTORBIKE TOUR

Hanoi - Thac Ba Lake - Ha Giang - Dong Van (2 nights) - Bao Lac - Ban Gioc Waterfall - Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

1,340km

Ban Gioc Waterfall; the lakes of Thac Ba and Ba Be; the mountain region of Ha Giang; the mountain town of Dong Van; the palace of the H'mong King; the Ma Pi Leng and Ba Be mountain passes; offroading around Dong Van and Bao Lac

4 nights in homestays and 3 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 (7 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

Thac Ba Lake; the minority area of Vu Linh

homestay

You'll follow the Red River northwest, eventually crossing it and continuing along the banks of the smaller River Chay to Thac Ba Lake. Created by damming up three rivers in order to power the first power station in Vietnam, this manmade lake is the largest in Vietnam. Time and weather permitting, you'll have the opportunity to take a little boat out to one of its many islands to have a swim and watch the sunset before stopping for the night in a homestay in Vu Linh, an area on the eastern edge of the lake populated mainly by people of the Dzao minority.

Giang preparing fishing rods while his daughter plays
guy fishing on Thac Ba Lake
Day 2: Thac Ba Lake - Ha Giang

170km

the mountain province Ha Giang

hotel

After Vu Linh the terrain gets rougher and you'll be able to enjoy a relaxing ride along the hillsides before hitting the new highway—this is an opportunity to really open up. You'll pass through miles of palm forest before being met with the sight of the great mountain range that forms Vietnam's natural border with China and then it's up and up, the roads becoming steeper and rockier, to the city of Ha Giang set right in the mountain range's midst. Ha Giang Province is populated almost entirely by minority folks who live in small communities nestled in narrow valleys and on mountainsides, and is easily one of the country's most famous riding spots.

Day 3: Ha Giang - Dong Van

160km

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

hotel

The roads on this section of the tour, winding as they do across the mountainsides, require a fair bit of concentration but the sights up there, particularly on the Ma Pi Leng Pass, are absolutely magnificent. Before arriving in Dong Van you'll stop by 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 visit, but houses plenty of cool artefacts.

Day 4: Around Dong Van

130km

the mountain town of Dong Van; the old French fort, the Lung Cu Flag Tower; offroading around Dong Van

hotel

This second day you'll have time to check out the colonial architecture and traditional marketplaces of Dong Van's Old Quarter, hike up to the top of the town to explore the ruins of the old French colonial fort, or take the road just north to see the Lung Cu Flag Tower, which marks the country's most northern point. There are plenty of offroading opportunities in the vicinity, too: the minority villages dotted around Dong Van Town are all connected by dirt roads that were built by the locals, and many remain completely unmapped.

Day 5: Dong Van - Bao Lac

185km

the Nho Que River; the Bang River; the Ma Pi Leng Pass; offroading around Bao Lac

homestay

After Dong Van you'll continue through the mountains, skirting the Chinese border and traversing once more the Ma Pi Leng Pass. The pass was originally built by the minority tribes who live in the area, is 20km long and its name, from a Mandarin term which means, 'the bridge of a horse's nose', was given to it because of the look of the peak that towers above it. Then you'll ride through Meo Vac, a tranquil mountain town, before following the Nho Que River down to the homestay in Bao Lac. This whole area is sparsely populated and covered in mountains and forests and, like Dong Van, is a great place to explore offroad.

Day 6: Bao Lac - Ban Gioc Waterfall

170km

Ban Gioc Waterfall

homestay

After spending the night in Bao Lac you'll head east through the wilderness towards Ban Gioc Waterfall. There's been a long running border dispute between Vietnam and China about which country the waterfall actually belongs to, and when you get there you'll see why both countries want it so much. There'll be plenty of time for you to have a swim before turning in for the night in a homestay not too far from the lake.

Day 7: Ban Gioc Waterfall - Ba Be Lake

150km

Ba Be Lake; Ba Be National Park

homestay

Another highlight: Ba Be Lake. Ba Be means 'three bays', and is actually three lakes joined together into one body of water. It's home to some caves and lagoons which, time and weather permitting, you'll get to explore by boat and the national park in which lies is home to a diverse range of indigenous species. There are a number of traditional homestays run by the minority folks who inhabit the area dotted around the park, too, and that evening is likely to be when you taste some of the best dishes of the entire trip.

Day 8: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

240km

the Ba Be Pass

It's a long ride back to Hanoi but the roads on the way are pretty good, and the Ba Be Pass you'll ride as you exit the national park makes for an excellent first leg of the journey.

 

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