THE LOOP | 9 DAY MOTORBIKE TOUR

Hanoi - Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai - Than Uyen - Sa Pa - Ha Giang - Dong Van - Bao Lac - Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

1,585km

Sa Pa; Ba Be Lake; the stepped rice fields of Mu Cang Chai; the mountain region of Ha Giang; the mountain town of Dong Van; the minority area of Tu Le; the palace of the H'mong King; the Khau Pha, O Quy Ho, Hoang Su Phi, Ma Pi Leng and Ba Be mountain passes; offroading around Dong Van and Bao Lac

4 nights in homestays and 4 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 (8 Nights)

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Pay a 30% deposit per item

Day 1: Hanoi - Nghia Lo

200km

 the mountains of Yen Bai

hotel

You'll begin your adventure by heading northwest from Hanoi into the mountains of Yen Bai Province. After crossing the Red River and skirting Xuan Son National Park you'll arrive at the little town of Nghia Lo.

Day 2: Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai

120km

the Khau Pha Pass; offroading around Mu Cang Chai

homestay

You'll continue your journey through the mountains of Yen Bai Province, over the Khau Pha Pass and into the district of Mu Cang Chai. It's not too long a ride, but it's good to have a bit of time to explore the place. Covered in stepped rice fields and minority villages linked by little dirt roads, it boasts plenty of offroading opportunities and a few other activities as well: you'll have the opportunity to try out working on the farm of some of our Mong friends or, weather permitting, even go parasailing!

Day 3: Mu Cang Chai - Than Uyen

110km

the stepped rice fields of Mu Cang Chai; the minority area of Tu Le

hotel

Next comes a shorter day's riding, this time heading west across miles of winding mountain passes. There are plenty more dirt roads, connecting villages belonging to the H'mong, Dzo and Thai people, and you'll pass through the untouched minority area of Tu Le, too, famous for its two charming little lakes where people of both genders like to bathe naked in the afternoons! You'll spend the night in the district of Than Uyen, which is situated next to a massive lake just south of Sa Pa.

Day 4: Than Uyen - Sa Pa

160km

Sa Pa; the Muong Hoa Valley; the minority village of Ta Phin; the O Quy Ho Pass

homestay

Sa Pa is capital of Sa Pa District in Lao Cai Province, and serves as the main trading hub for the area's minority tribes. It's grown into quite a popular tourist town over the years, and for good reason. On the way there from Than Uyen you'll ride the O Quy Ho Pass which looks out onto the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and, towards the end, has a grouping of eateries with viewing platforms that jut out over the mountainsides. After exploring the town's Old Quarter—it's got a traditional market and a cool old stone church you can visit—you'll ride a little dirt road to the nearby minority village of Ta Phin where you'll spend the night in a homestay.

cornering on the O Quy Ho mountain pass
cornering on the O Quy Ho mountain pass
the view from the viewing platform on O Quy Ho
the view from the viewing platform on O Quy Ho
Day 5: Sa Pa - Ha Giang

260km

the mountain province Ha Giang; the Hoang Lien Son mountain range; the Hoang Su Phi Pass

hotel

It's a long ride from Sa Pa to Ha Giang, past the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and over the Hoang Su Phi Pass, deep into the even larger mountain range that forms Vietnam's natural border with China. Ha Giang Province is populated almost entirely by minority folk, whom you'll see tending their crops and looking after their buffalo on the mountainsides as you ride. The roads there are winding and the elevation is extreme so it's no wonder Ha Giang Province, which only recently became open to foreigners, has quickly become one of Vietnam's most famous riding spots.

leaving Ta Phin in the morning
leaving Ta Phin in the morning
Day 6: Ha Giang - Dong Van

160km

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

hotel

The road from Ha Giang runs east along the Chinese border. It has some challenging sections, but the views up there are unparalleled. 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 mountain pass. Before arriving in the town of Dong Van you'll have the opportunity to visit Dinh Vua Meo, the old palace of the H'mong king who once ruled the area and famously allied himself with Ho Chi Minh. Dong Van itself, like Sa Pa, is a sort of historic market town with an old quarter containing some French colonial buildings that are more than 200 years old!

Day 7: 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 was named after the peak that towers above it, the Mandarin term for which translates as, 'the bridge of a horse's nose'. Then it's on through the town of Meo Vac to Bao Lac, a sparsely populated area with plenty of mountain trails and dirt roads.

Day 8: Bao Lac - Ba Be Lake

 150km

Ba Be Lake; Ba Be National Park

 homestay

Ba Be Lake is the largest lake in Vietnam. It's home to some impressive caves and lagoons which, time and weather permitting, you'll have the opportunity to explore by boat and the national park in which lies is home to a diverse range of indigenous species. The park also has quite a few minority homestays with plenty of great food.

Day 9: Ba Be Lake - Hanoi

 240km

the Ba Be Pass

You'll leave Ba Be National Park by the Ba Be Pass, before continuing south to Hanoi. It's a long ride back, but the roads along the way are far more modern than the one's you'll have been riding over the past few days!

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