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Biking Northwest Vietnam – 10 Wonderful Days Brief Recommended Itinerary

Are you a fan of bike tours Vietnam? If the answer is yes, you must have heard about cycling Vietnam in the Northwest. This region, famous for its stunning scenery, is best possible for biking lovers to explore nature with both ease and challenge.

Biking Northwest Vietnam

As a result, this post aims to give all the readers useful overall information along with recommended biking Northwest Vietnam itinerary. Let’s take a look and note the important information below to have an amazing adventure.

Overview

Vietnam is famous for its captivating landscapes and majestic monuments bearing the mark of time. The country of Vietnam harmoniously combines contrasts, such as the combination between bustling, vibrant cities and peaceful rural villages, between the modern and ancient. It’s a perfect idea to travel and explore Vietnam on your way.

Cycling in the Northwest is one of the great ways to explore this small but impressive country. You will have the opportunity to experience exciting activities and enjoy the outstanding natural scenery. 

Seeing the picturesque craggy mountains in the North of Vietnam or swimming in the jade-colored waters on the beach is something that cannot be missed. In addition, you also have the opportunity to eat local specialties, from fresh seafood to featured ethnic dishes.

Explorers will be amazed by conquering one of the beautiful passes and spectacular rice fields on the hillside. You can also participate in ethnic minority markets to understand more about their lives.

We will start this journey from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, then head to the Northwest. During the journey, you will see the beautiful scenery of Mother Nature and learn about the cultures of the ethnic minorities living on the hills. 

We can explore famous places, such as Phu Luong, Mai Chau Village, Moc Chau Valley, Son La, and Dien Bien Phu. Furthermore, we will gain historical values ​​through the historical sites of Dien Bien, which are related to the Vietnam war from 1946 to 1954.

Biking Northwest Vietnam Details

Day 1: Ha Noi – Pu Luong

We head southwest to reach Cuc Phuong National Park until we meet Pu Luong Nature Reserve from Ha Noi. Cuc Phuong National Park is an old and famous nature reserve in Vietnam. It has rich, diverse fauna and flora characterized by tropical rainforests. Many endangered plant and animal species have been discovered and preserved here. Therefore, it would be great to pedal and enjoy the extremely fresh air and see the biodiversity that Mother Nature has given us.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is 25 km apart from Cuc Phuong. Pu Luong in Thanh Hoa province is a famous attraction. Most tourists here are strongly impressed with the scenery and wild beauty of the area, especially the terraced rice fields and primeval forests. You’ll be astonished when biking in the area, thanks to the beauty of tropical rice fields!

Day 2: Pu Luong – Mai Chau

When in Pu Luong, you can pedal rounds to visit Thai villages. It’s a culture exploration activity that helps you understand more about the daily life of ethnic minorities. Besides, the local foods here are also unique for many people. Later, we will go to Mai Chau. During the bike ride on the famous Ho Chi Minh trail, you’ll see hidden scenery that is absolutely interesting and beautiful.

Upon arriving at Mai Chau, a peaceful and wildly beautiful small town, you’ll need to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Some locals’ famous dishes are grilled sticky rice, Mai Ha wine, honey bees cooked with young bamboo, etc.

Day 3: Mai Chau – Moc Chau

Leaving Mai Chau, Moc Chau is the next destination. This route offers passing one of the most famous rivers, the Da river. Although road conditions are quite challenging for many bikers, the scenic beauty is well worth it.

Moc Chau is a large plateau with a temperate monsoon climate. It’s at the top of the list of attractive plateaus within the mountainous area of North Vietnam.

Day 4: Moc Chau – Son La

Continuing to the northwest, we go to Son La city. On the trip, you’ll love the panoramic views of picturesque mountains along with the lush air atmosphere. There are many minorities living in this region. As a result, there is a diversity of traditional culture, life, and customs, such as the Pang Cau No festival of the Kho Mu community, the New Year festival of Muong, etc.

Day 5:  Son La – Tuan Giao

On this day, we’ll conquer the Pha Din Pass, one of the most majestic passes in the North. The pass has a length of 32 km. While running through, we will see beautiful mountains. It’s important to remember that we will pedal 18 kilometers of ascent and approximately 14 kilometers of descent. 

Therefore, the bike should be checked carefully during Vietnam bike tours. Tuan Giao is a town where we stop and recharge energy for the next day.

Day 6: Tuan Giao – Dien Bien

We go west to Dien Bien Phu after leaving Tuan Giao town. This biking route is undulating, with about 7 kilometers ascending, eventually descending to the city of Dien Bien.

Many little Black Thai and Hmong villages are on the route. Local people we may see on this road usually leave smiles on their faces and random greeting expressions. Although they hardly speak or understand foreign languages, their hospitality is still remarkable. Moreover, rice and banana plantations make up the landscape as we travel. In 1954, the Vietnamese accomplished the unthinkable by transporting heavy cannons on this trail. You will be curious how it was accomplished while you’re on this route. We’ll spend the afternoon getting to know Dien Bien Phu. This place is well recognized worldwide as a battleground in the first Vietnam War.

Day 7: Dien Bien – Muong Lay

The next destination is Muong Lay. A small town is considered a gem in the middle of the mountains and forests. We bike through picturesque countryside along roads that wind through wide valleys. Lush forests and yellow rice fields are all around, giving the best tropical vibe ever. Before descending to Muong Lay, we’ll get to an altitude of more than 1000 meters and contemplate the breathtaking scenery once again.

Day 8: Muong Lay – Muong Te

One of Dien Bien’s most isolated and impoverished districts, Muong Te is situated between the Da River and the Laos border. Muong Te has many famous landscapes, historical sites, caves, mineral springs, rocky mountains: the White stone, terraced fields, etc. In the district, there are many ethnic groups living, such as Thai, Ha Nhi, La Hu, etc., with their own cultural identities.

Day 9: Muong Te – Lai Chau

When in Muong Te, you should wake up early to participate in the town’s activities and local markets. Local’s interactions can fulfill your desire for cultural knowledge. Later, we’ll cycle to Lai Chau city, which requires lots of energy and effort in this mountain bike tours Vietnam

The total length is around 35 kilometers, with the first undulating road and later ascending road. Amazing landscapes and dense forests await you on the summit. Lastly, we cycle on the well-paved road to the city of Lai Chau.

Day 10: Lai Chau – Sapa

This last day is the most exciting for lots of bikers. The itinerary is to cycle up to the Tram Ton Pass. This pass led to Sapa is ranked in the top 1 in height in Vietnam. 

During the route, before tackling the two significant peaks, we begin with a simple 7 kilometers ride. The next challenge is a climb of 8 kilometers, and the last is 26 km ascending. Sa Pa is located in the mountains of Hoang Lien Son. It’s famous for spots to contemplate the views of majestic peaks, such as Fan Si Pan, the highest peak in South East Asia.

Conclusion

Biking Northwest Vietnam is one of the must-try things for exploration enthusiasts. The beauty of this small country would be disclosed clearly through simple activities and explorations during the adventure. The stunning mountainous scenery, amazing lush air, unique food dishes, and interesting activities bring bikers unforgettable experiences. Now, it’s time for your trip!

Find out what bikers said about MTB Vietnam on Tripadvisor!

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