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Cycling Northern Vietnam – Great Adventures In 8 Days!

Vietnam has always been famous for its magnificent landscape across the country. Autumn is in full bloom, which is the perfect time for stunning cycling trips across Northern Vietnam! It is time to gear up, grab your backpack, and pedal to the vast horizons!

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Cycling Northern Vietnam

Cycling Northern Vietnam is a hard but rewarding challenge. Riders will have an opportunity to experience the breathtaking mountains, and great waterfalls and enjoy great dishes from different regions of Mai Chau, and Mu Cang Chai until the final destination of Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan. The tour will begin at Mai Chau, a mountainous town near Hanoi.

Without further ado, dive in and learn the best route for your Northern Vietnam cycle tour!

Cycling Northern Vietnam: Itinerary Detail

Depending on the weather condition, the tour will take approximately 15 days. Check out the content for each part of the trip!

Day 1: Hanoi – Moc Chau Bike Tour

Upon your arrival in Vietnam, don’t forget to visit the Old Quarters, Guom Lake, and many other attractions around Hanoi, as well as try out the local specialties like Pho and Banh my!

After a night at your hotel in Hanoi, a shuttle bus will pick you and the team up early the next day, so remember to wake up on time, have a good breakfast and check your gears carefully. After three hours, we will arrive at Mai Chau, a suburban province near Moc Chau, for a lunch break.

In the afternoon, we will start cycling up the mountains on the single back road and single long and hard track trails, which lie next to Da River. At the end of the trails is National Highway No.6, a historical path used by Vietnam’s People’s Army to transport supplies to Dien Bien Phu.

After cycling 78 Km, we will arrive at Moc Chau and stay at Thao Nguyen Resort for the night.

Day 2: Moc Chau – Bac Yen Cycle Tour

In the morning, we will have the local delicacy for breakfast before leaving for Bac Yen, a town with a verdant tea plantation and seemingly endless rice fields. You will have an opportunity to enjoy the watery greatness while standing on Van Yen Ferry and taking a stop for photographing and refreshment. 

During autumn, the vast golden rice fields are the spotlight in this area, so don’t miss out! At the end of the day, we will reach Bac Yen and rest overnight in Dong Tam Hotel. The estimated total distance for the day is 124 Km, making it one of the longest-riding trips.

Day 3: Bac Yen – Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai Cycling Trip

We will pedal through many more valleys, forests, tea plantations, and rice terraces for the next two days. These areas are the home to many ethnic minority communities of Thai, Nung, Hmong, etc., where you can experience their lifestyles and enjoy incredible local dishes along the way. We will spend the night in Nghia Lo, a local handicraft town.

The highlighted spot of the day is Khau Pa, a 25 Km long pass that will test your endurance. It is also among the most rewarding sections while cycling Northern Vietnam with stunning landscapes and fresh air.

At the end of the day, we will cycle downhill to Mu Cang Chai, a rural district of the Hmong ethnic community. Enjoy the night at Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge, a lodge resembling the community’s houses, to experience their accommodation style!

Day 4: Mu Cang Chai – Thanh Uyen – Sapa Biking Tour

Today, we will cycle through a lot of villages and forests near a long river leading to Thanh Uyen. After navigating an undulating path across the picturesque hillside to the Kim Section, we will pass through more fruit gardens and large hills. This stretch is quite short and easy, only about 48 Km, so you can take your time and enjoy the scenery.

At Thanh Uyen, we suggest that you should take another long and good rest because the next stretch will not be easy as we ride uphill constantly from Thanh Uyen to Sapa, Lao Cai. Along the road, you will get a glimpse of the Fansipan summit, the roof of Indochina (3143 meters from sea level).

Sapa is the economic and tourism center of the ethnic communities in Northern Vietnam. Here, you can relax your strained muscles by taking herbal bathtubs and traditional massages at Red Dzao shops. Sapa’s love market is also a trademark of this province which is worth checking out.

Day 5: Sapa – Bac Ha – Thong Nguyen Bicycle Trip

After a good rest in Sapa, it’s time to brave the beaten and single track to Phong Hai, pass Coc Ly market, and visit many beautiful handicraft villages along the way. The trip continues up north near the Chay river, over another hill, then heading straight to Bac Ha Town, a remote area of Lao Cai province.

We will stay the night in Bac Ha and visit the bustling markets of local delicacies and traditional souvenir shops. The next day’s route consists of the remaining dirt track to Sin Man village, though we will have to find a spot for a midday picnic. The destination of the day is Thong Nguyen Village, where we will stay for dinner at an ecolodge.

Day 6: Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang Bike Trip

The highlighted destination for the day is Ha Giang, the northernmost province of Vietnam. Ha Giang shares 270 Km of the border with China, with various majestic limestone peaks and mountain crops. This majestic place is also the home to 705,000 people from 23 ethnic groups, forming a dynamic, colorful, and one-of-a-kind ethnicity trademark.

We will cycle around Ha Giang for the next two days and enjoy the scenery. Quang Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Ma Phi Leng, Meo Vac, and Bao Lac are villages and districts. 

Depending on time and weather conditions, we can visit many beautiful landmarks of the region, like H’mong King’s palace, Lung Cu Pole Flag tower, and Meo Vac village.

Day 7: Bao Lac – Ba Be Lake Bicycle Tour

After nearly 14 days of cycling, we will set off for the final and most important destination of the journey: Ba Be Lake. We will visit a lot of passes and rice terraces to reach Son Dong Section for lunch. After a short break, we will pedal straight to Ba Be Lake via dirt roads.

Ba Be Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, ranked 28th on UNESCO’s list. You will have an opportunity to cruise the lake, enjoy the breathtaking scenery and enjoy smoked fish, a stunning dish by the locals. We will check out at a nearby homestay and cheer on the successful trip with a big party!

Day 8: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi Cycling Tour

After the heart-warming party the night before, we recommend waking up early to enjoy the very last chance to take in the fresh air there on this cycling tour. 

After a very long cycling Northern Vietnam, it is time to go home. We will cycle the last stretch between Ba Be Lake and Thai Nguyen while enjoying sightseeing at tea plantations, gum trees, and fruit gardens on the way. 

Upon reaching Thai Nguyen, we will take a shuttle bus with our bicycles and return to Hanoi, concluding our trip. 

Final Verdict

This cycling Northern Vietnam trip is one of the most difficult Vietnam bike tours, requiring a lot of stamina and willpower to complete. However, it is also very rewarding. Don’t forget to check your bicycles and necessities, and note your allergies to your crew leader.

Let’s see what riders said about MTB Vietnam on Tripadvisor!



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