This is a chill loop, suitable for riders of all levels of experience and ability. Experience Pu Luong nature reserve, chill out in ethnic homestays in the Mai Chau valley and Xuan Son national park, and even take your motorcycle across the water on the Van Yen ferry crossing!
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Day 1: Ha Noi – Pu Luong
Hoa Binh back roads; Hoa Binh Dam; Pu luong Nature Reserve
We cruise along the Red and then Black Rivers to allow us to get used to the bikes and traffic. As we head further out of town we need to pay attention and not become complacent; the unexpected can still surprise us. Then, we head into the hills and the lush valley of Pu Luong to our homestay.
Day 2: Pu Luong – Mai Chau
bamboo industry on the QL15C; Mai Chau back roads; Pu Luong Valley
It’s an easy run up to Mai Chau on the main road but we veer off to take the smaller roads. There is plenty of time to stop for photos and to take a scenic loop to get to our destination so that we can experience more of the countryside.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Ta Xua
Bac Son Valley; Chieng Waterfall; Ta Xua Mountain; Van Yen ferry crossing
On paper a very easy route, however, we take the Hmong Highway in order to spice things up and get away from the traffic. You’ll leave the Mai Chau Valley and then through the bamboo groves before moving higher up the hills then dropping back down to the Black River. From then on, we can choose to take the high road or the low road to get to the mountains.
Day 4: Ta Xua – Xuan Son
Xuan Son back roads; Xuan Son National Park
We take the quieter back roads to get to the national park and enter through some very rarely used routes. If you choose this route you need to be skilled and ready for anything. Alternatively, we can take the more well used roads and enter the park from the main entrance. Expect it to be a little cooler here in the lush forest of Xuan Son.
Day 5: Xuan Son – Da Bac
Da Bac and Sung Villages; Xuan Son back roads
Again, weather depending, you can choose to take the quiet back roads or the more challenging hill routes out of the park. You will pass through the virgin forest of the reserve and down to the managed hillsides of Da Bac, where we have the choice to stay on the lake or in the hills. Either way, the hospitality of the local people will be evident in the exceptional food and drink that they serve us.
Day 6: Da Bac – Ha Noi
Black and Red Rivers; lakeside road
Honda Future 125
The Honda Future is our most powerful semi-automatic motorbike, and makes for a surprisingly capable tourer.
fuel injected: easy to start and good throttle response