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Eastern Tear Away | 12 Days

Ban Gioc waterfall in Cao Bang

Tour Info

This tour takes us on a huge loop of the eastern territories. We see the major sites in north Vietnam such as Bang Gioc Waterfall and the beautiful Ha Giang Provines. Due to it being such a huge loop we pass through several geographic and ethnic regions, which gives us a glimpse of the diverse conditions and cultures in the area. We get to stop and local markets and see some very significant historical sites such as Uncle Ho’s Cave (Pac Bo) and the H’Mong King’s Palace before heading up to the highest peak in Southeast Asia, Fansipan. The route can be tailored to those wishing to ride on tarmac or dirt so all levels of rider can be catered for.

Highlights

Itinerary

view of the Bac Son valley and some limestone karst peaks

We head our of Hanoi as quickly as possible on some of the larger roads. The idea is to get the city behind us and get into the countryside for some peace and quiet. We turn off onto quieter roads that take us through small villages and past open fields of rice and custard apple grove. We finally get to our homestay, which is nestled in the Bac Son Valley, and enjoy a home-cooked meal washed down with a little ‘fire water’. 

water cascading over the secondary falls of Ban Gioc

We are now in the countryside though still on fairly large road. If we get up early, we will have enough time to take some detours on smaller roads and still get to the waterfall before dark. We can choose to stay in another homestay or a small hotel. This depends on our mood and the weather. 

view of Evil Eye Mountain

It is an easy trip to get back to Cao Bang from here so we have time to visit the waterfall or the nearby cave and even to put a toe in China. After lunch, we take the road to Cao Bang where we stay in a small hotel by the night market.

the 14 level road in Xuan Truong, Cao Bang

We can choose our route to some extent here as we can either visit Uncle Ho’s Cave up in Pac Bo and then take the back road to Bao Lac or we can head straight over on the main road, which is still quite scenic and fun to drive at this point. The first option means we are a bit tight on time and the second allows us to dilly dally and have an easy day of it.

the sun on the rocks of Dong Van

This is a very easy drive and it takes us past some great sights so it is good that we have the time to stop and hang out. There are plenty of photo ops here and we can rest assured of making it to our accommodation in time for afternoon beers. 

Lung Cu Flag Tower, in Vietnam's Far North

We can hang out in Dong Van and have a day off the bike. There are plenty of interesting things to see and do around Dong Van not least Don Cao Fortress which gives an impressive view over the town. You may choose to back track the route to Meo Vac and view any sights that you skipped by yesterday or take the road up to Lung Cu Flag Pole to visit the northernmost part of Vietnam.   

a small dirt road on a hillside in Dong Van, North Vietnam

We take the quieter inner road to Du Gia and enjoy an easy and scenic drive down to the small village where we stay in a local homestay. It is often quite crowded here as it is a major spot in the area but this gives us the chance to mingle with other travellers. 

a narrow road running through the mountains in Ha Giang

We take the smaller road down to the main highway 4 and head for Ha Giang, which we can bypass and then on to Viet Quang and Hoang Su Phi, which is known for its rice terracing and for being a UNESCO world heritage site. We can choose to take the easy or more difficult route, as there are several options not on the highway. We stay in a small hilltop resort with great views over the valley. 

a sharp bend in the road in Lung, Tam Ha Giang

Another relatively simple day’s ride today but one that takes us along the river and through the valley so it is one that we might choose to stop a lot and get some great photos and selfies. We end up in the town of Bac Ha and stay in a local homestay. If we are lucky we can be there on a market day as this is one of the largest markets in the area.

stepped rice fields in Sapa, North Vietnam

We can leave Bac Ha and head down to the main highway connecting us to Lao Cai and then Sa Pa. However, we take the back route up to Sa Pa so that we avoid a lot of traffic and also so we can get to our homestay, which is located lower down the valley in a more secluded spot. This is not a difficult ride but it takes us along some quiet road and allows us plenty of time to get to our accommodation whilst also stopping for pit stops en route. 

the view from the cable car to Fansipan

This is when we choose whether or not to go up to town and then summit Fansipan mountain or hang out lower down the valley and perhaps take a small loop out and back to the homestay. It is also perfectly possible to go for a short trek with a local guide or hang out in the village watching people going about their daily lives. 

Sapa's central square

We have the choice of riding down to Lao Cai or Pho Lu to drop off our bikes and then meet our VIP bus back to Hanoi. It is not a difficult journey and we can either back track on the route we took from Bac Ha or take the busier route past Sa Pa town. Once we have offloaded the bikes, we can have a snack and then get our private bus back to Hanoi in time for our farewell meal and drinks.

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 - 12 Day Eastern Tear Away - Rentabike Vietnam
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