Ha Giang Loop | 8 Days
Our first riding day is not difficult at all and we can take plenty of detours to get on more rugged roads or stop off at viewpoints or sights. We also have time to stop off and chat with the locals and, if lucky, visit any local markets that are being held in the area. We start out on flat terrain but quickly ascend up onto the Ha Giang Plateau. It will be cooler up here. We stay that evening in a local homestay run by the Dao people.
This day takes us along the valley floor before ascending into the Yen Minh pine forest. It’s a great feeling to be surrounded by the mountains on either side. We can drive through the forest or take a newly constructed shortcut across quite barren hills. I guess the choice depends on how we are feeling after feasting the evening before. We can stay in a regular hotel or the small group of local homestays that has been developed and we can eat in the homestay or the local market for a bit of colour.
Today we get off the main route and the tourist trail and head for the border with China. We do not cross as this is dangerous but we skirt along some hilltop paths until we can come down back to the main road. We can take the 9 turn pass and also get off the road a bit more if there is time before getting to our H’Mong run homestay.
We pass Sa Phin Market and the H’Mong King’s Palace on route to Lung Cu Flagpole, which is the northernmost point of Vietnam. The road is mountainous and winding but easy to drive. We are also very very close to China again and we have to look out for overzealous border guards. We can get off the main road on the way to Lung Cu where we can climb the flagpole. Again, we stay with local people this time Lo Lo.
It is about 10km back to the 4C from where we head to Dong Van. This is only a short drive so we have time to spend in Lung Cu, re-visit Sa Phin if it is market day or to see the sights in and around Dong Van. We stay in a hotel here and it is a chance to have a good hot shower and get some clothes washed. We can eat in one of the restaurants in the old market.
This is either a short hop along the ‘Happiness Highway’ stopping off at some of the many interesting sights such as the Skywalk and the Ma Pi Leng Pass or a longer route through the lesser-used back roads. We stay in a small hamlet of tourist homestays run by the local H’Mong in a community-based tourism project.
This is our longest day so we need to be rested and ready to drive. Again, we can choose the easy tarmac route or the extremely technical mountain path route. They really are chalk and cheese. We pass through Mau Due and then on to Du Gia where we stay at a luxurious homestay serving wonderful food. It is an easy day tomorrow so perhaps let your hair down a bit.
We are under no pressure to make the distance today as Ha Giang is only a short way away. We can choose to lay in, explore the area or get back to Ha Giang and look around there. The first half of the route back is more scenic mountain driving but then we need to get on the main road again so it’s good to just get it done. We can eat in Ha Giang before dropping off our bikes and then getting our bus back to Hanoi.
The Honda XR 150 is the most popular dual sport in Vietnam for a reason: whether you’re riding a highway, a country road or a single track through the jungle, it’s built to handle anything the region has to throw at it.
- comfortable seat, even carrying a pillion
- huge fuel tank gives the XR fantastic range
- very capable off road
|Displacement||149 cc||Fuel Capacity||12 litres|
|Dry Weight||129 kg||Front Brake||disc|
|Seat Height||825 mm||Rear Brake||drum|
|Transmission||manual (5 speed)|
*Please bear in mind that, because we stock a few different models of each bike, your model’s specifications may differ slightly from those shown above.
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 $25 to receive your visa.)
We take it on ourselves to offer a covid guarantee. We offer a full refund/rescheduling of your tour should you be unable to fly due to having covid. All we ask is that you provide us with photo copies of a failed covid test taken less than 3 days prior to your flight departure date.
For every rider and pillion on the tour we donate 10 usd per day to our favourite charity: Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. You can read more about the great work they do and why we’ve supported them for for so long here.
At the beginning and end of your tour, we’ll be happy to arrange transportation to and from the airport for you!
You are able to hire a support vehicle that will allow follow your group you to stow extra luggage that you do not want to carry on the bike, this is especially useful if you plan to take a pillion.
We will also have an extra pair of hands to help with the tour and back up in case of sickness / break down. we often put a spare bike on this vehicle. the charge fo rthis is 150$ 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.