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Due North | 8 Days

view out over the valley in Ha giang

Tour Info

This is a tour that offers the best Vietnam has to offer in terms of motorbiking, scenery and ethnic culture. Ha Giang is known for being the ‘top’ province in Vietnam and we spend a good deal of time up there. We get to visit some fabulous historic sites, see some stunning views and hang out in some very chilled spots. All whilst experiencing a vastly different culture to our own.

Highlights

Itinerary

Khau Pha, Yen Bai

We get out of Hanoi as quickly as possible so that we can spend time on the smaller roads enjoying the views and being out of the traffic. We can get off onto some of the smaller ATK roads for detours and wind our way over to the Pu Luong Valley before ending up at our secluded homestay. 

a woman driving over a suspension bridge on a Honda in Ha Giang

We are able to stay off the main road for part of this trip and skirt the lake up to Luc Yen. From here, we take a mix of main road and back road to get up to Ha Giang. Here we can visit a few sites in town and settle into our guesthouse to get a good rest for the next day which will be full of sightseeing. 

the XR150 on a small concrete strip in Ha Giang

We can choose to take the main route on the QL4c AKA ‘Happiness Road’ and see the main sites of Ha Giang. However, if we are not interested in sightseeing or wish to avoid the crowds, we can take smaller roads up to Yen Minh. Either way, this province will deliver great views and is filled with interesting local ethnic people simply going about their business.  

on a medium sized bridge in Dong Van, Ha Giang looking over the Nho Que river and to the mountains

We are now in the highlands proper and whichever route we take we will see a lot of interesting things; it may be the people, the traffic, the views or the historical sites. Again, it is possible to take the main route along the 4c or wiggle through the back roads. Group discussion will lead to us deciding which suits us best, however, Sa Phin Market and the H’Mong King’s Palace are not to be missed.  

a quick photo stop on the QL4c in Dong Van, Ha Giang

Today, we follow the inner roads and get off the ‘Loop’ on our way down to Du Gia. These roads are slightly smaller with less heavy traffic and they take us past small villages hidden away in the hills. It isn’t difficult driving but it still pays to be vigilant. 

Ba Be Lake: water level view

This is our most difficult day. We have a long way to go on some tricky roads. Heading to Bac Me is not an issue as the road is good but once we turn off to head South we are going into very wild country which is hard to navigate and full of obstacles. A good breakfast and an early start are in order here. 

Ba Be Lake: the the view from My Linh's guesthouse

This is a short and easy day so we can get up late after an evening in Ba Be and still make the trip to Bac Kan in time for tea. We take the smaller roads for adventure’s sake and will face a few challenges on route. Alternatively, we can take the B-roads and have a mellow drive into town. Bac Kan is not known for anything special so it doesn’t pay to get there too early.  We can also choose to skip this portion and spend an extra recovery day in Ba Be on the lake. We may need it. 

Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi

This is usually a straight run along the highway but we are able to take a detour on a smaller, quieter road to avoid a lot of the traffic. However, once we hit Thai Nguyen it is straight back to Hanoi no messing. The good thing is that we can get into town nice and early and be washed up ready for our farewell dinner.

Motorcycles

Inclusions

The cost of motorcycle rental for the duration of your tour is included. Each rider on your tour can choose any of our three bikes:

  • Honda CRF 250
  • Honda XR 150
  • Honda Future 125

 

See above section for images and specifications.

Your motorcycle is 3rd party insured. This is a legal requirement here in Vietnam, and protects you in the event that you injure another road user.

Additionally, we are responsible in the event your motorcycle breaks down or suffers a mechanical failure. However, if you damage your motorcycle by crashing it or through general misuse, you will be responsible for repair costs.

Naturally, you are also responsible for your own travel and medical insurance.

All the fuel you need for the duration of the trip is provided.

Your breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided and will be a mixture of European and Vietnamese food. Soft drinks and water are also provided and guides keep them stocked up at all times.

  • Breakfast will be in your homestay or hotel and will generally be a mix of fried eggs and bread, noodles, pancakes and sticky rice, accompanied by fruit and coffee. 
  • Lunch will be in roadside restaurants (small eateries offering clean and delicious local food), or we’ll stop for picnics (sandwiches with cold cuts and cheese) when appropriate.
  • Dinner will be in your hotel or homestay and will usually be a family cooked meal with a range of meat and vegetable dishes with some local specialties (all of which will be washed down with local fire water if requested!)

 

Vegetarian and vegan options may be limited in the countryside, but we always do our best to cater to our riders’ dietary requirements.

Beer in the evening is not included, but it’s cheap and in plentiful supply.

You will have one Western tour leader who will also act as translator, mechanic and route master. Larger groups will also be accompanied by an English speaking Vietnamese mechanic.

Your guide and support staff are all trained in first aid, and will be carrying first aid equipment.

We will arrange your visa invitation letter free of charge.

(Please note, though, that you will need to collect this take this to immigration yourself and pay a stamping fee of about $25 to receive your visa.)

We take it on ourselves to offer a covid guarantee. We offer a full refund/rescheduling of your tour should you be unable to fly due to having covid. All we ask is that you provide us with photo copies of a failed covid test taken less than 3 days prior to your flight departure date.

For every rider and pillion on the tour we donate 10 usd per day to our favourite charity: Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. You can read more about the great work they do and why we’ve supported them for for so long here.

At the beginning and end of your tour, we’ll be happy to arrange transportation to and from the airport for you!

Extras

You are able to hire a support vehicle that will allow follow your group you to stow extra luggage that you do not want to carry on the bike, this is especially useful if you plan to take a pillion.

We will also have an extra pair of hands to help with the tour and back up in case of sickness / break down. we often put a spare bike on this vehicle. the charge fo rthis is 150$ per day, fuel included.

As stated above, accommodation is provided on a twin sharing basis. If you wish to have a single room we can arrange this at a small extra cost.

You can purchase this to exempt you from liability for any damage caused by accidents caused by you or a third party vehicle. we will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle but not the third party. This is only 20usd per day per bike extra.

Vietnam Motorcycle Tour Map - 8 Day Due North - Rentabike Vietnam
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