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10 Days Best Mountain Bike Tour in Vietnam
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(No availability) 10 Days Best Mountain Bike Tour in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Amazing Bike Tour Vietnam

Get on your bike and explore Vietnam with Journey Expedition Travel! The riding is some of the most amazing in South East Asia. Every day offers a different terrain, gradient, vista, and climate as you climb and descend the various altitudes of the Hà Giang Plateau. This is a ride to remember and if the memory of burning leg muscles isn’t enough to remember it by, then your amazing photographs almost certainly will be.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Type of transportation: Train, van or bus or truck, cycling
  • Terrain: Undulating road, relatively ascending and steep pass, mixed off and paved road, tarmac road, dirt road, singletrack trail, village road, and buffalo road
  • Starts in: Lào Cai
  • Ends in: Hanoi
  • Difficulty level: Challenging (Cyclist needs to have a high level of fitness, must be an active rider, the terrain includes really challenging climbs / or 46 - 80 or more miles per day)
  • Total distance: 324 miles / 521 kilometers
  • Type of bike: Mountain bike (10 USD per day), touring bike, road bike (26 USD per day), and hybrid bike
  • 16 participants

Highlights

  • 9 days of mountain biking
  • Witness the culture of Vietnam's hill tribes
  • Services of an English-speaking cycling guide
  • Supported vehicle during the cycling tour
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Snacks and mineral water
  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


8 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 16 participants
Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-out Time:
12:00

During the tour, you will be accommodated on a train for the first night, Sao Mai Bac Ha Hotel for the second night, homestay for third, fourth, and fifth night, followed by Panhou Village for the sixth night, Anh Nguyet Hotel for the seventh night, La Vie Vu Linh for the eighth night, and Flower Hotel for the ninth night.

It is no doubt that your journey enjoyment will be increased by a good choice of accommodation. Journey Expedition Travel's well-established network with key hotel chains around Indochina area will bring you more benefits of competitive rates and guaranteed hotel quality with availability.

Journey Expedition Travel picks hotels for you based on:

  • Location: Most of the properties they selected are either located in downtown area with main city attractions or close by main transportations. These conveniences will certainly improve your holiday experience.
  • Facility and service quality: All hotels are inspected strictly and regularly, must have great performance on accommodating English-speaking customers, and excellent feedback from their previous clients as well.
  • Variety in choice: Many styles and grades of hotels are available for different budgets, tastes, and cultural backgrounds.

Three-star class hotel standard

It will meet the basic requirements for a comfortable stay, good size, and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower, and private bathrooms, on-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center or spa can be expected.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi arrival and night train to Lào Cai

Welcome to Vietnam. Arriving at Nội Bài International Airport (HAN), Vietnam bike tour guide and driver will greet and pick you up and transfer you to the hotel at the heart of Hanoi capital. Hanoi, the antique and dynamic city of Vietnam, reserves a unique old world charm and several of the most striking colonial architecture of Asia. After checking in, relax on your own and have the briefing itinerary with your guide for coming days.

Enjoy a cycle ride through the bustling streets in the Old Quarter to discover the ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi. After the tour, you will be warmly welcomed with a special welcoming dinner in a typical Vietnamese food restaurant. Following the dinner meal, the shuttle bus will take you to the train station to catch the night train to Lào Cai. Stay overnight on the train with four share cabin (wooden cabin, soft bed with air-conditioning)

  • Accommodation: Sleep on the train
  • Meal: Dinner

Day 2: Lào Cai - Cốc Ly - Bắc Hà (33 miles / 53 kilometers)

The train will arrive at Lào Cai railway station at 05:30. The cycling guide and support van will pick you up and transfer you to a local restaurant for early breakfast and change your cycling suit. Following the hearty meal, you will kick off your pedal to Cốc Ly on the paved and scenic road. You will explore dramatic sightseeing and exotic nature on the way.

Arriving in Cốc Ly at 10:00, you will spend the time to participate in a local market which opens every Tuesday. You will be impressed by the colorful hill tribe market with their unique products exchanged by each other or you can go to an animal corner to take pictures of buffalos, cows, dogs, and cats.

You will continue to ride on singletrack to Bao Nhai bridge and turn off to Bắc Hà town. Upon arriving in the hotel, do check in and relax by yourself. Have dinner and stay in Sao Mai Bac Ha Hotel.

  • Accommodation: Sao Mai Bac Ha Hotel (3 stars)
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3: Bắc Hà - Cán Cấu - Tả Củ Tỷ (36 miles / 58 kilometers)

After a hearty breakfast in the hotel, you will commence riding from the hotel on tarmac road leading to Ngải Thầu commune, crossing suspension bridge and ride on the single dirt track along the exotic valley for four kilometers and then ascending five kilometers up steep hill trail to Lùng Phình. Upon arriving at the top, stop for refreshments before turning left for 22-kilometer single dirt track to Cán Cấu marketplace. You will be fascinated by the breathtaking scenery, friendly people, and picturesque rice terrace. Upon arriving in Cán Cấu, the shuttle bus will take you to Tả Củ Tỷ village. Have dinner and stay overnight with a local family.

  • Accommodation: Homestay
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: Tả Củ Tỷ - Bản Ngò - Nấm Dẩn (34 miles / 55 kilometers)

Today will be an amazing day full of highlight and cultural values when you cycle through rice terraces and around villages. Admire incredible scenic beauty, unspoiled nature, and colorful hill tribal villages.

After an entertaining pancake with the host, you will say goodbye to them and start cycling from the homestay on singletrack which forms a half circle around the Tả Củ Tỷ mountain range and is a combination of short lose rocky part and dirt trail with some streams crossing for 22 kilometers from Tả Củ Tỷ to Dan Kham village of Bản Ngò commune via some villages and hamlets of the Nung, Hmong, and Dao people. Have lunch en route.

After lunch, you will make a longer loop for roughly three hours along a dirt path and narrow singletrack from Dan Khao - Che La commune explore the daily life of local people and thick forest. Arriving at Nấm Dẩn commune, you will turn right and gradually getting downhill for seven kilometers to the suspension bridge and back to the homestay. Have dinner and stay overnight in the homestay.

  • Accommodation: Homestay
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: Nấm Dẩn - Nậm Nhùng - Khau Rom - Nam Choong (40 miles / 65 kilometers)

Have breakfast with the host family and say goodbye to them. You will commence your ride through a thick rainforest on a motorway for 14 kilometers over the Gio pass to another side of the mountain. Turn left to a single dirt track for 12 kilometers mostly steep downhill through tea farm, terraced rice paddies, bamboo forest, passing some isolated hamlets of Dao and Hmong ethnic of Nậm Nhùng and Khau Rom village to the main road, running along the Nam Ly River.

After that, take the single dirt track uphill five kilometers through the Phieng Lang and Quang Thuong villages of the Red Dao and then three kilometers on the hillside with not too much ascending and descending road. Challenge five kilometers downhill along the narrow and steep dirt track to Nam Choong villages where you will have another homestay with a local family.

  • Accommodation: Homestay
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6: Nam Choong - Cao Sơn - Hồ Thầu - Panhou (34 miles / 55 kilometers)

After breakfast with the family, you will start cycling at 08:30 along a narrow singletrack from Nam Choong for six kilometers to the center of Quảng Nguyên commune then following a singletrack gradually ascending through the Nam Ly River 10 kilometers to Trung Sơn village. Challenging four kilometers undulating and steep trail will lead to a suspension bridge to another bank of Nam Ly river.

Turning off a larger single dirt track uphill for five kilometers to Chien Thang village and then gradually downhill for six kilometers to the center of Hồ Thầu commune. Arriving in Hồ Thầu, ride on paved road descending to Thông Nguyên commune. Stay overnight in Panhou Village.

  • Accommodation: Panhou Village (3 stars)
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 7: Panhou - Lục Yên (47 miles / 75 kilometers)

Today is a beautiful day on your cycling trip. Following breakfast in Panhou Village, you will kick off your pedal on a paved road passing many hill tribe villages and terraced rice paddies and ascending to a T junction. Turn right to Tân Quang town on the undulating road. Upon arriving in Tân Quang township, stop for refreshments and coffee.

After filling energy, you will continue riding on the undulating road to Lục Yên. On the way, you will experience the marvelous scenery, limestone mountain panoramas. Have a picnic lunch en route. After lunch, you will keep riding to Lục Yên town where you will stay overnight.

  • Accommodation: Anh Nguyet Hotel (2 stars, the best in town)
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 8: Lục Yên - Vũ Linh (53 miles / 85 kilometers)

In Lục Yên District, Yên Bái Province, there is a unique market in the country where people trade only one product - gemstones. The market has had a history of 25 years. Lục Yên gem market is open at a beautiful corner of a lake in Yên Thế town, Lục Yên District. The market works in just several hours every morning. Depending on seasons and weather, the market can take place sooner or later, but at about 06:30 there are sellers in the market.

Lục Yên market is one of the biggest gemstone markets in North Vietnam, opening early morning every day. If you are interested in gemstones, you can get up early and explore the daily life and their business. Come back to the hotel to have breakfast.

You will start cycling from the hotel on singletrack trail and village road around Thác Bà Lake to Vũ Linh passing many stunning sceneries, peaceful Dao villages, and picturesque lake view. Have lunch en route. After lunch, you will continue to ride on the single dirt track and crossing on a bamboo raft to a resort. Have dinner and stay overnight at the resort. The rest of the day, you can take a boat trip to explore Thác Bà Lake and enjoy the sunset on the lake.

  • Accommodation: La Vie Vu Linh (3 stars)
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 9: Vũ Linh - Sơn Dương - Hanoi (47 miles / 75 kilometers)

Today is the last day on your cycling trip in North Vietnam. Full of highlight and cultural values, the tour offers you opportunities to experience local customs and practice from different hill tribe people and enjoy the incredible landscape and scenic beauty of Vietnam.

You will spend the last day to explore and experience the breathtaking scenery and challenging your ability. Start riding from the resort, crossing again using a bamboo raft to village road, following singletrack and village road to Yên Bình, Mỹ Bằng, Hùng Quan, and Đội Cấn commune, crossing the An Hòa bridge, turn right to Sơn Dương on a tarmac road.

Have lunch en route or in a local restaurant in Sơn Dương town. After lunch, you will descend to Đạo Trù. You will be transferred the rest of the distance by bus to Hanoi. After arriving in Hanoi, do check in and relax until meeting time for dining.

  • Accommodation: Flower Hotel (3 stars, location in Old Quarter)
  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 10: Hanoi - departure - onwards flights

Have a hearty breakfast in the hotel and relax by yourself until departure time to the airport for onwards flight.

  • Check out at 12:00
  • Meal: Breakfast

Bicycle advice

Suitable bicycle: Mountain bike, touring bike, and cyclocross / gravel bike

Journey Expedition Travel holds firmly to the opinion that using your own bike, the bike on which you feel at home and comfortable with is the finest way to enjoy a cycling adventure. Most kinds of bicycle, except light-weight racing bikes, are suitable for this tour: touring bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids or cyclocross bikes are all fine. Road conditions vary from asphalt to gravel and some hard-packed dirt tracks. Tires from 35 millimeters in width upwards will be fine but they recommend 40 millimeters on 700c and 2 inches on 26-inch wheels as a minimum.

South East Asia is generally a warm place so the ability to carry one or two water bottles is essential (either on your bike or in a backpack). Journey Expedition Travel's backup vehicle carries water and tools although for those competent with tools bringing your own pump, puncture kit, and multi tool is recommended as it would speed up repairs and minor adjustments. If bringing your own bike, please bring along a few spare spokes that fit your wheels (please note that different wheels have different size spokes).

If your bike has disk brakes or hub gears, please bring any components that you feel may be necessary. Journey Expedition Travel carries some spares for the hire bikes but they cannot guarantee that they will have any tubes other than 26-inch car type valves. Tires and tubes other than 26 inches can be difficult to come by in many parts of the world so please make sure you have spares. If in doubt, please ask your local bike shop. A means of carrying your camera, sunblock, etc. is also useful - either an on-bike bag, handlebar or saddlebag for example or a lightweight day-pack.

Recommendation: Although the hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with, it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. Journey Expedition Travel is happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.

Essential: Please be sure that your bicycle is in perfect condition before you leave home. Again, if in doubt please consult your local bike shop.

Rental bicycles

If you wish to hire a bicycle for the duration of your holiday with Journey Expedition Travel, they can arrange for the hire of good quality cycles from their in-country agent. Typically, these bikes are mountain bikes, often Trek 4 series or similar. Please request a hire bike at the time of booking. Payment for hire bikes can be made with the balance of the tour payment or in cash on arrival.

Journey Expedition Travel uses the new Trek 4300 / 4500 and Cannondale Trail 5 and Tango 5 mountain bikes in 2015 - 2016 for most cycling trips with different size from 13.5 - 23.5 inches. They generally use models of Trek mountain bikes because they have high quality, durable pieces of equipment. Besides, they like the versatility and durability of the mountain bike as it has been designed to cope with different types of terrain and riding. The trip can be on asphalt and can often be broken or potholed, and there are usually unsurfaced sections included, so mountain bikes are the most suitable.

Journey Expedition Travel has a range of gears to cope with the hills. They also use hybrid or road bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 44 - 56, brakes, and Shimano components. All mountain bikes have front suspension.

Each bike comes with a single water bottle cage, if you prefer more, you are welcome to bring your own. Bikes also have gel seat cover slips if you prefer a softer ride. If you have your own saddle that you are comfortable with, you are welcome to bring it and Journey Expedition Travel will fit it. On long tours, women-specific seats are recommended and they have some available, but they cannot guarantee they will be available for every tour. These bikes are also available for rent in case you want to go alone or just need a bike for a day.

Safe ride

All of Journey Expedition Travel's tour guides are trained in first aid and emergency rescue. Please be sure to follow their instructions on all matters related to safety. To a large degree, you are responsible for your own safety. As a precaution, they require that helmets be worn at all times while riding. Cycling gloves are also highly recommended for a better grip on rougher terrains. It is important that you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Also, make sure to take some energy bars in case you get hungry between meals. Always know the final destination for each day. Emergency numbers should be kept close.

Helmets

Journey Expedition Travel supplies helmets for the biking tour. If you prefer to bring your own, please do so. It is important to remember that they require helmets to be worn at all times while cycling. Always wear a correctly adjusted helmet; one that fits snugly on your head and does not tip forward or backward.

For safety reasons, Journey Expedition Travel asks that you always ride with a partner. Make sure to give each other plenty of space, and plenty of encouragement. Always ride at a speed that you are comfortable with. Do not ride beyond your ability, as accidents are not fun. If some stretches are too technical for you, it is better to walk than fall! When cycling, the person in front has the right of way. Remember that they may not be aware of what a person behind is doing. So, if overtaking, let the person in front know which side you are passing on.

Always stop at junctions unless specifically told not to by the guide; if you’re unsure about the route, stop and wait for the rest of the group or the leader. If you get lost, go back to the location where you last saw other group members and wait there. Journey Expedition Travel's support team will find you.

Generally, the tour guide will ride at or near the back of the group. Support vehicles follow behind to ensure the entire group's arrival at a meeting point. Larger tours will have two guides. In this case, one guide will ride at the front of the group and the other will ride at the back.

Skill level

Advanced:

  • can cycle for 5 - 6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of bicycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Included excursions

  • Sightseeing excursions
  • Visiting a local market in Cốc Ly

Location

This tour will take place in Vietnam. The tour covers places such as Lào Cai, Cốc Ly, Bắc Hà, Cán Cấu, Tả Củ Tỷ, Bản Ngò, Nấm Dẩn, Nậm Nhùng, Khau Rom, Nam Choong, Cao Sơn, Hồ Thầu, Lục Yên, Vũ Linh, Sơn Dương, and Hanoi.

The hill tribes of Northern Vietnam are now so iconic and have been featured photographically in so many instances that you may feel already somewhat familiar with them, but the truth is that those tribes, still living in their traditional ways, exist only in the most remote areas of South East Asia, and Hà Giang Province, open only relatively recently to travelers, is without doubt, one of the best places left to witness the culture of these people.

This unspoiled, sparsely populated region is home to a staggering variety of hill tribes, many of whom don’t even communicate in the national language and who live by their traditional, subsistence farming ways.

Food

Journey Expedition Travel genuinely believes that when traveling by bike, you have unique access to local cuisine and they intend to introduce you to it. Almost all of the meals on the trips are taken at clean and friendly local restaurants and cafes. Local specialties are integral to the tour, as they are unique to the region you visit. Of course, there would be no adventure without the occasional challenge; in remote areas, food can be simple but it’s always plentiful!

Vietnam is famous for healthy foods; the fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are world-renowned. The tour guides will buy fresh fruits daily for your enjoyment. Journey Expedition Travel knows it’s great to rest from cycling with a fresh banana, apple, watermelon, pomelo, or mango.

With over 3,200 kilometers of coastline from North to South, Vietnam also has a reputation for fresh seafood. Criss-cross rivers supply lots of freshwater fish, prawn, and other seafood. Vietnam is also the second largest rice exporter in the world.

Meals can be accommodated for those with special dietary requirements. Please let Journey Expedition Travel know if you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies so that they may prepare accordingly.

Water and soft drinks are cooled in an iced box daily and the tour guide buys snacks and fresh fruits every day. Journey Expedition Travel buys enough for your trip to keep you energized. Depending on how fast you are, but usually, you will stop every 10-to-20-kilometer ride for a rest-stop to recover your breath with cool water, cool soft drinks, snacks, and fresh fruits. The road snacks are simple things, sometimes they take them along, sometimes they buy them along the route. What they think is the local products, natural, and environmental protection.

If you are on diet, Journey Expedition Travel also suggests some local healthy snacks that suit you and water, of course, are bottled water, make sure the trip is safe. However, it’s flexible. The guide will help you choose and let you try more local cuisine to enjoy as well as experience the places visited.

Foreign visitors consider Vietnamese food quite healthy. It is neither spicy nor oily. It has a very distinctive style, although it is also clearly influenced by Chinese and to a lesser extent, French cuisine. Vietnamese eat mainly rice and noodles. Bread is not a daily family food. Here are just a few examples of the fantastic dishes you can expect to find in Vietnam: pho (noodle soup), chả cuốn (spring rolls), gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls), earthen pot-cooked rice and fish, etc. Tropical fruit varieties are diverse and available all year round. Mangosteens, rambutans, or dragon fruit should not be missed.

Coffee and draft beers are good but often strong. Drinking tap water is not advisable. Bottled drinking water is widely available for a reasonable price. Hotels and restaurants will use hygienic ice. However, if you are eating at a market or on the street, it may be best to avoid ice. Do drink plenty of bottled water. During the summer months, you should be drinking a minimum of two liters per day. If you drink tea, coffee, or alcohol, you should increase your water intake accordingly as these will dehydrate you.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • A boat trip to explore Thác Bà Lake
  • Going to an animal corner in Cốc Ly
  • Old Quarter, Hanoi tour by bike

What's included

  • 9 days of mountain biking
  • Services of English-speaking cycling guide (other languages upon requests)
  • Sightseeing excursions
  • Bike tour pump, bike tools, spares tubes, spare bikes
  • First aid kit
  • Cold water box, small fresh towel
  • Air-conditioned transfer and transportation
  • Van or bus supported during the cycling times
  • Truck supported for the group size from six and above
  • 9 nights' accommodations
  • 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 9 dinners
  • Mineral water for drinking
  • Fruits and snacks for cycling days

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of personal nature
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in meals
  • Mineral water beyond what is supplied
  • Optional excursions

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Noi Bai International Airport Airport transfer included: Noi Bai International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

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