Biking Ha Giang: 9 Great Days To The City Of Cultural Diversity
Biking Ha Giang took us through breathtaking landscapes and ethnic minority villages. We watched, listened, and remembered all the good things during our first Vietnam bike tour. We still cannot stop thinking about those unique experiences two weeks later. That’s what prompted us to write these inspirational words for those who care.
Biking Ha Giang: Escape From The Bustling Cities
Day 1: Transfer From Hanoi To Lao Cai
We started our biking Ha Giang adventure from the heart of Vietnam. While the Mekong River feeds the southwestern provinces, the Red River nourishes the land of the North. Its gentle flow has witnessed the remarkable development of the capital Hanoi for more than a millennium. This city possesses a combination of classic French colonial vibe and contemporary modernity.
The shuttle bus took us a long way to Lao Cai. Through the car window, we watched the transition from tall buildings to green hills. The presence of humans became sparse in the wild mountain space. A few isolated villages on the hillsides look like small dots in a wonderful picture.
It took 4-5 hours to reach the destination. Lao Cai is a border city with China. Its tourist attraction mainly gears toward Sapa town. As the Vietnam mountain bike tours to the roots of nature, our itinerary only includes adventurous trails and places without tourists.
Day 2: Lao Cai – Bac Ha Cycling Route
We woke up with great excitement as there was no more traffic. The chilly air showed that we were far from the bustling city. The conquest of adventurous roads officially began. Our first milestone was Bac Ha.
We put all our effort into cycling for 45km. It consumes more energy than we expected. However, the hardest part of today’s biking trip was the last 800m of unsealed road to the top. The tough terrain required us to increase our attention and control. At the peak, the fatigue suddenly disappeared. We were served an incredible view of the majestic mountains.
Downhill seemed to become simpler after the previous challenges. The effort brought us far to Bac Ha. The hillsides full of plum trees in the ripe season caught our first sight.
Day 3: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Hoang Su Phi Biking Tour
We headed to one of the most remote areas in the Northeast – Xin Man. As expected, the terrain that led to the rural tribes faced many hardships. Only short parts of the biking route were sealed. For the rest of more than 15km, we drove on rough tracks.
Xin Man was hidden behind towering mountains. We could not believe that life lasted so many years in such a wild place. Strangely, ethnic minorities such as Tay, Nung, Hmong, La Chi, etc., gathered here and formed a small village. Without TV, the Internet, or any modern gadgets belonging to the technology era, the children found their joy in plants or stones.
After a casual lunch with the locals, we cycled across the Cathy River. 40km on the slightly inclined road soothed our souls. The silence immerses us in the beautiful scenery on both sides
Day 4: Hoang Su Phi – Tan Quang – Ha Giang Bicycle Trip
Hoang Su Phi is located upstream of the Chay River, mainly hilly with steep slopes. The terrain is divided by streams and deep valleys, so the tribes have not yet approached the modern way of life.
From “Heaven Gate 2” to Tan Quang, the vast space with mountains overlapping in the mist left a deep impression on our minds. We were in a sea of floating clouds. Cool air rushes into our lungs.
We passed green terraced rice fields on the way down. The tribes gathered near the farms, so we met many beautiful girls in colorful dresses with baskets on their backs. On the Vietnam cycle route along the valley, we wondered about the faint smell of cardamom and anise in the air.
We slowed down the road around the Lo River for about 46km. Out of the countryside, we came to Ha Giang.
Day 5: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh Bike Path
We set off on the flat road for 25km. The terraced fields sparkled in the sunlight. As usual, the farmers worked in the field from early morning. Their enthusiastic greeting resounded throughout the mountains.
Our cycling tour rode a similar distance between the limestone mountains. We could not see the top of the high stone walls on the left wing. Tam Son valley and Doi hill were on the other side.
We made it to another “Heaven Gate.” The small houses of the minorities were hidden behind the clouds, but their colorful dresses brightened up a corner.
From Quan Ba town, we pedaled up and down for 10km. The flat terrain allowed us to disperse the focus on the marvelous landscape. However, our vision returned to the track for the final pass at 1,025m.
The 15km stretch extends to Yet Minh – the last stop. Once the traditional houses on the hills of Chinese peeked out from behind, the finish line was not far away.
Day 6: Yen Minh – Dong Van By Bike
Semi-surface roads brought us to Dong Van Karst Plateau. The cedar forest was left behind and replaced by cat-eared rocky mountains. Dong Van Geopark is one of the special limestone areas. It contains standard imprints of the development history of the Earth’s crust and hidden fossils millions of years old.
We went down to the central area and visited the town in the middle of the valley. Rocks built into solid fences embracing small houses and vegetable fields. The clusters of orchids and plum flowers added life to the vast gray space of the stone.
Our cycling Ha Giang tour continued to proceed to Meo Vac, following a spectacular gorge. On one side is a deep abyss that sucks down the Nho Que river. At an altitude of 1500m, our heart rate trembled with excitement.
Day 7: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Bao Lac Cycling Tour
The fair in Meo Vac took place on a moderate scale among the three ethnic groups of the White Hmong, Lo Lo, and Tay. The women mainly brought food in woven bamboo baskets.
After the exciting cultural activity, our bicycle tour headed back to the mountain road. We drove a long way among the limestone mountains. The tower, cave, and trough satisfied the search for natural beauty. We rested overnight in Bao Lac with a minority community.
Day 8: Bao Lac- Nguyen Binh – Ba Be Biking Route
Another new day began on rough and quiet terrain. On the way to Nguyen Binh, we added to the tourist map Tinh Huc town, which is famous for its tin mining industry.
Even though it was the last days of the Vietnam biking trip, we could not stop being amazed at the spectacular views. The better surface restrained us from tire degradation. Hence, we arrived at Ba Be National Park earlier than planned.
Day 9: Ba Be – Thai Nguyen – Hanoi Bike Trip
We boarded a raft and floated on the water in the morning. The scene was reminiscent of an ink painting, reflecting the winding mountains and clear blue sky. The boatman told countless interesting legends associated with the small islands in the lake.
At the invitation, we took a trip to the local villages. Once the support vehicle came to pick us up, we packed our bags and returned to Hanoi.
Biking Ha Giang gave us adventurous experiences like never before. There were times when we felt scared and tired. However, the uniqueness of nature gave us strength. Do not let anxiety get in your way. Make your youth days beautiful with bicycle tours.
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