Sapa Bike Tours: 8 Great Days Cycling To Explore The Cloudy Land
Sapa bike tours were not our first motorbike trip in Vietnam, yet, they showed us a refreshing and youthful flow that we had never ever sensed. It’s a fantastic place to travel and ride through in Vietnam. You’ll feel like attending the reunion of heaven and earth because of the breathtaking surroundings.
The area conjures visions of charming hill tribe communities, crossing streams and rice terraces, and taking in the pristine nature while participating in the vibrant weekend markets.
Intrigued yet? Our bike tours Sapa lasted eight days and seven nights. Read on to learn more about the day’s events and my thoughts on them.
Sapa Bike Tours: Detail Itinerary
This tour is the ideal combination of stunning scenery to ride through, delicious food, and friendly locals with a strong sense of culture.
Here is a short rundown of what we did on our Sapa mountain bike tours:
Day 1: Hanoi – Tuyen Quang – Luc Yen – Lam Thuong Bike Tour: 97 km
We had an early wake-up call for our tour. Following a substantial breakfast and coffee, we boarded a bus and traveled to Tam Dao. There, our support staff and truck were waiting with our bikes and water for the group.
Our cycling goes through the lush countryside and breathtaking panorama in central North Vietnam. Along the way, we immersed the images of rustic villages, buffalo working on farms, and students on the way back home, combined with jagged limestone mountain ranges.
All were so lively and peaceful that we thought we could only see them in a movie back in the day in a charming English village.
After eating lunch, we pedaled our way to Luc yen Town, which is noted for its rubies and other precious stones in North Vietnam.
Then, we continued our journey through a dense forest of gum trees and cinnamon to Lam Thuong Ecohome village, a quiet community where the Dao Hill Tribe has lived for a century, developing a distinctive culture and identity. We spent the first night in a local homestay with a nice sleep.
Day 2: Lam Thuong – Bao Ha – Xuan Giao – Thanh Phu – Sin Chai Village Bike Ride: 125km
On the second day, we went exploring Sapa Valley. Except for a little afternoon drizzle, the weather was ideal for early February travel.
Here, we visited Ban Ho, where the Tay minority was based for many years, cultivating wet rice and cornfields on the hillside. After 45 kilometers of winding cycling, we reached Ban Ho village and had dinner at 7:30.
Following dinner, we participated in the most impressive live traditional music and dance performances with the hill tribe villagers and enjoyed being warmly welcomed by songs and dances with flutes.
The host named Tung, a Kinh person falling in love with this place and decided to reside there, also told us about the history of these dances and instruments. A delightful night indeed!
Day 3: Sin Chai Village – Nam Cang – Ban Ho – Sapa Bike Tour: 45km
The next morning, we hopped down to Lao Chai, Tavan, Supan, and Ban Ho villages. Here, we got the opportunity to display our artistic photograph of the gorgeous rice terraces and the kind local children who were trailing us.
When we arrived in Ban Ho, we had a batch of food at a local homestay. After that, we cycle up to Sapa town on a back road on a single-track way. The rest of the day was free, so we chose to stroll and discover Sapa Tourist Market and meet with locals.
The market was a gathering of colorful activities, with fresh produce, a butcher’s shop and mountain people from surrounding villages going there to sell handicrafts. We bought some silver jewelry and “put down root” in a food stall full of mouth-watering food.
Day 4: Tram Ton – Sin Chai – San Sa Ho – Cat Cat Hang Da – Sau Chua – Ta Phin – Ma Tra Bike Tour: 50km
The fourth day took us to the Hmong villages of Hau Chu Ngai and Thao Hong Den. From here, we had the greatest view of Muong Hoa Valley.
Cycling around the settlement and turning to Sau Chua to reach the major route 4D, we continued bicycling to Ta Phin – a Red Dao village.
After visiting Ta Phin, we followed a local route back to Sapa Town via Ma Tra and Suoi Ho. Lunch was a picnic on the way, and it was great.
Day 5: Sapa – Muong Hum – Yty Bike Ride: 71km
On day five, there were many more zigzag routes and treacherous passes.
Although we had previously been on Vietnam bike tours, we saw more people rushing about their everyday lives this time around than ever.
On the route, we took in the breathtaking views and the Fanxipang rocky mountains on our left before continuing on the paved road to O Quy Ho and overcoming a challenging ascent to Ban Khoang. Seeing with fresh eyes, we were as mesmerized by the scenery as we were.
After lunch, we conquered another gloomy pass and were impressively rewarded with beautiful and undeveloped scenery by pedaling through Den Sang, Ngai Tro, Y Ty, and Nhieu Co San.
Day 6: Yty – U Mu Sung – Lung Po – Bat Xat – Lao Cai Bike Tour: 88km
In the morning, we kick our pedals from the homestay and cycle through town, seeing the terraced farms of A Lu and Ngai Thau snake along the slope with white clouds drifting and visiting Lung Po, where the Red River enters Vietnamese territory.
Continuing our adventure, we cycled along the Red River to Trinh Tuong Commune to appreciate the traditional architecture houses of the Ha Nhi Hill tribe people before stopping for lunch in Lung Pho Commune. Then, we traveled down the river to Bat Xat and Lao Cai city.
An unfortunate but memorable event made us love this place more. We got lost, and the bike chain was coming off (well, it never rains, but it pours!).
Luckily, the locals help us fix the chain while waiting for our support team to “rescue” us. They couldn’t speak English, but their smiles and friendly look alone could touch our hearts.
Day 7: Lao Cai – Muong Khuong – Bac Ha Bike Trip: 124km
Pleased to leave Lao Cai behind, we headed to Muong Khuong. This place is home to 14 ethnic groups. Each has its own distinct cultural features, including language, food, clothing, etc.
Cycling and visiting the vibrant Sunday Market is a fantastic opportunity for us to experience and conquer the remote regions and rich culture of the locals.
After seeing the market, we pedaled uphill for 7 km to the crest and descended to the Chay River before facing a challenging 35 km climb to the top.
Our journey takes us through Bac Ha town at the border between China and Vietnam. The spectacular scenery of the Chay River and the rice terraces on the hillside that we had to stop along the way to take photos.
Once we arrived at Bac Ha Town, the local family invited us to come to their homes to drink rice wine. They shared what little they had with us in an exceedingly kind and giving manner.
Day 8: Bac Ha Sunday Market – Nam Khanh – Tan Duong – Hanoi Bike Route
We visited the Bac Ha market as our last stop on our bike touring Sapa. Fortunately, it was a Sunday – market day – so we decided to spend a moment in the wet market.
The vibrantly attired women added to the realistic sense of the market, which was further enhanced by the rickety stalls and poorly lighted interior. For almost an hour, we circled the marketplace in wonder, watching like we were mere spectators.
Our Sapa trip ended in the same place it had begun: in a little village full of welcoming locals and heart experiences. We left the village of Bac Ha and cycled on one well-traveled dirt road to Trung Do.
Riding down the Chay River’s bank to Pho Lu and admiring the untainted landscape, tranquil settlements, and dense rainforest, we finally stopped. The shuttle bus returned us to Hanoi along the new highway.
Overall, the Backroads experience was outstanding. If you want to see ethnic regions and stunning, unspoiled landscapes with short and strong climbs across the karst countryside, the Sapa bike tours are worth considering. This fantastic task is also worth the effort of any passionate road cyclist.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a thorough overview of what to anticipate on a Sapa bicycle tour so you won’t be caught off guard. Don’t forget to share this interesting itinerary with your fella and start a journey together!
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