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Biking Around Northern Vietnam: Living The Best 12 Days

When planning to visit Vietnam for the first time, we made a risky decision: booking Vietnam bike tours. To be honest, the Internet has not provided us with many helpful reviews in our decision-making. Fortunately, biking around Northern Vietnam exceeded our expectations. That’s why we want to share our real experiences with you guys with the same intentions and interests.

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Biking around Northern Vietnam

12 Exciting Days Of Biking Around Northern Vietnam

Day 1: Arrival

We landed at Noi Bai airport in the morning. Sudden downpours dampened our excitement for the Vietnam bike tour. However, our tour guide – Mr. Minh, said that the weather forecast showed better predictions in the coming days. He enthusiastically took us to the hotel and briefed us on the upcoming schedule.

In the afternoon, we visited the Old Quarter by cyclo. It was wonderful that such a dynamic city still preserved the ancient beauty of unique colonial architecture.

Day 2: Hanoi Biking Tour And Train To Lao Cao

After a good night’s sleep, we gathered in the hotel lobby to enjoy local breakfast and begin our inner city tour. We checked in many interesting cultural and historical sites such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, etc. These tourist places represented a rich historical flow embellished by important national events.

The most impressive location was the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. A spacious exhibition space stores complete information about 54 ethnic groups across the country. We also enjoyed a Water Puppet show featuring ethnic musical instruments and skilled artisans. Finally, we boarded the late-night train to Lao Cai.

Day 3: Lao Cai To Muong Khuong Cycling Tour

The train arrived at Lao Cai station in the early morning. We moved quickly to the hotel for luggage storage and breakfast. Then we started the pedals to the Sunday market in Muong Khuong – a district that shares a border with China.

We were swept away by the bustling vibe of this cultural activity. Many tribes gathered here and exchanged goods such as agricultural products, livestock, farming tools, etc. Most of them wore colorful outfits and always kept beaming smiles. 

Day 4: Muong Khuong – Lung Khau Nhin – Cao Son – Coc Ly – Bac Ha Bike Tour

We had an exhausting day conquering many hills and passes. Along the border between China and Vietnam, we took in the breathtaking view of the Chay river and the immense rice terraces. A delicious lunch boosted our strength to go through the last roads before reaching Bac Ha.

We stayed at the house of a local. Before bedtime, the whole family often gathers around the fire and chats. You should put on warm clothes as the night temperature sometimes drops quite suddenly.

Day 5: Bac Ha – Hoang Thu Pho – Ta Van Chu  – Can Cau – Lung Cai – Lung Phinh Biking Route

If you come to Bac Ha on the weekend, it is a great opportunity to join Can Cau Market. Ethnic people gather on large land to sell goods and show affection for their lovers.

Unfortunately, we did not have that luck. However, we left the bustle of the town behind and cycled deep into the tribes. Crossing undulating roads, we first came to Ta Van Chu – a land ruled by the Mong people for hundreds of years.

Concrete roads then led us to Lung Cai. We went on the trails to Lung Phin village and spent the night here.

Day 6: Lung Phin – Ban Gia – Na Tri Bicycle Tour

We slowed down our speed to fully capture the unspoiled beauty of Mother Nature along the way. We passed towering hills dotted with a few sets of minority villages, small streams, and a dense tropical forest.

Keep in mind that some parts of the journey to Natri were difficult. We sometimes had to stop and carry our bikes over the waterfall. But all these experiences were well worth it in our bike tours in Vietnam.

Day 7: Na Tri – Quang Uyen – Thu Ta – Nam Ly – Ho Thau  Bike Route

We cycled to our best on the seventh day of our Vietnam bike trip. The first half was quite easy on tarmac and concrete roads through many picturesque landscapes and ethnic villages. 

Meanwhile, the other half of the cycling tour required stamina and endurance. We crossed the stream and drove along the mountainside at an altitude of 1000 meters to arrive at Dzao Hill.

Day 8: Ho Thau – Nang Don – Chieu Lau Thi – Suoi Thau Biking Path

We continued to have a full-fledged day of Vietnam cycling tours from the single track to the 2,400m-high Chieu Lau Thi slope. 

During the distance of about 45km, we sometimes had short conversations with locals from different tribes such as Dao, Hmong, Nung, Tay, etc. Most of them were not fluent in English but friendly and enthusiastic. 

Before reaching our destination, we also admired the ancient tea fields and the harvest scene.

Day 9: Suoi Thau – Nam Son –Nam Ai – Nam Hong Cycling Tour

It was the most wonderful morning filled with excitement and surprise. We were awakened by the sounds of wild nature. Right on the balcony of the bedroom, we had breakfast and witnessed the soft clouds floating in the distance. 

When the sun showed up, we headed to Nam Ai on a winding slope past large farms and rice fields in the ripe rice season. Farmers harvested rice by machine but transported it mainly by ox carts. Feel this scene with all your senses to smell the fragrant rice gently wafting through the air!

Day 10: Nam Hong – Thong Nguyen – Xuan Minh  – Lam Thuong Village Bike Tour

After an appealing breakfast, we spent a long period on the Heritage of Hoang Su Phi Rice Terraces. Our bicycle tours continued to roll on many different terrains passing through Thong Nguyen town, Xuan Thuy village, and Lam Thuong valley.

The population in these areas is mainly ethnic minorities. They built houses scattered around the terraced fields and lived on farming. Tourism is not developed, so it is a great opportunity to enjoy unpolished nature and fresh air.

Day 11:  Lam Thuong – Thac Ba Lake – Vu Linh Eco Homestay Biking Path 

We woke up a little earlier than scheduled to interact with the locals. One of our interesting findings was that the children there started their day before 6 a.m and walked to school.

After the weather got warmer, we cycled to Thac Ba lake, located dozens of valleys away. The Dao people lived around the lake for a long time and developed into a prosperous tribe. We rented a boat for excursions while our other teammates walked around the village.

Day 12: Vu Linh –  Son Duong – Hanoi Cycling Route

We started the day quite late to save the picturesque scene deeply in our memory. The next location was Son Duong to shop for souvenirs at the local market. Beside the hillside, the locals built many lush tea and palm tree farms. 

After lunch, the bus took our group to Tam Dao, Dai Dinh, and back to Ha Noi. Now, it’s time to kiss goodbye to our bike Vietnam tours.

Conclusion 

Biking around Northern Vietnam is a long journey filled with exciting experiences, magnificent scenery, and friendly locals. Besides, our stomachs were treated with three mouth-watering meals a day and some unique street foods. Believe it or not, no words could express our love for this trip and Vietnam. The best way is to visit this country once in life and enjoy the good things with your eyes and heart. Follow our website for more Vietnam bicycle tours!

Find out what bicyclists said about MTB Vietnam on Tripadvisor!

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