HA GIANG – THE BEST OF THE NORTH
Top 3 motorbike routes to get to Ha Giang
BEFORE YOU BIKE
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to rent a motorbike in Ha Giang and then return it to another part of Vietnam. If you plan on starting and finishing in Ha Giang, then motorbikes will have to be rented in Ha Giang. But if you want to experience the full Ha Giang tour, you’ll need to rent a motorbike in Hanoi. Renting in Hanoi means you’ll have more choices of motorbikes. For all the routes listed below, it is important that you are well rested before beginning the trip and start off early to reach your destination before nightfall. While dirt bikes tend to complete these routes on just 1 tank of petrol, a semi-auto may need a refill around halfway so be sure to carry some extra cash and mark petrol stations in advance. We suggest letting your intended hotel or homestay know you’re making the trip in advance so they can prepare food upon your arrival.
Ha Giang Route 1
This route will take you to Ha Giang in just one day, but keep in mind it is a long drive and it can get crowded on the roads. Be alert for trucks and reckless drivers. This route takes you eastwards past Vinh Yen, Thai Nguyen, and Viet Quang, before heading more northerly to Ha Giang City. If you choose to break up the journey you can choose to stay in Vu Linh, Thac Ba, Green Vietnam, Ham Yen, or one of the several hotels in Viet Quang.
WHY ITS GREAT
Although it’s a long and hard journey, this route will get you to your destination quickly and you can enjoy stunning views as you move from the plains to the highlands. You’ll pass through a number of quaint local towns to get a cup of coffee or have lunch, but remember not to stay too long!
Ha Giang Route 2
For this route, take the QL3 to head north to Thai Nguyen and then turn off onto DT254 heading directly for the lake. At times, there is road construction here, so check with your motorbike rental shop as to the road’s status. If there is construction, head up to Bac Kan on QL3 and then take the DT257 – a quieter road with great views. Depending on the weather, turn at Ban Lanh to take a small road up to the lake for a perfect spot to rest. This route breaks the loop into two parts, allowing for a more relaxed experience with plenty of sightseeing.
From Ba Be Lake you can take the main roads QL279 and QL34 and get to Bao Lac. If you are the adventurous type, you can ask to take a boat to the northern shore of the lake and head for Cang Bac Me (Bac Me Dock) via the DT 176. However, this is a tough route and plenty of directions from locals will be needed.
For more Northern Vietnam routes – check out our blog!
Ha Giang Route 3
Just like the lake route is possible to take the QL3 up to Thai Nguyen, then Bac Kan, before heading further up to Bao Lac. This is the least fun part of the journey until you hit quieter roads after Na Phac. This route not only breaks up the trip nicely but also gets you to the heart of the highlands on day 1 (which is well worth the busy roads at the beginning). You can choose to complete it in 2 days or more as there are plenty of sightseeing spots and villages along the way
KEEP IN MIND
This is a long and demanding drive of 320km. While it boasts some of the most incredible views of any route to Ha Giang (after the initial busy roads), we only recommend it for experienced drivers. From Bao Lac you can easily get to Meo Vac and then on to see the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Once in Ha Giang proper, the distances between towns are short and you can comfortably enjoy stopping often.
Bike Rental Considerations
There are a few things to consider prior to renting a bike for your trip to Ha Giang. Rent A Bike help all of our customers choose the safest and ideal motorbike for their travels.
Being a solo rider gives you so much freedom when choosing what motorbike to take on your Ha Giang motorbike tour. We recommend taking either a semi-automatic or manual, depending on your experience of course. If you’re new to either of these, RentABike can teach you to drive a motorbike.
Having a rider and a pillion means loading the bike with twice the weight and the luggage. This means a small semi-automatic, Honda Cub or Honda Wave, may be uncomfortable for a long ride. We strongly advise taking the Honda Future 125, which is a strong bike that can climb the mountainous terrain surrounding Ha Giang even with two people. In truth, your best bet is likely to take a manual bike. These bikes have much more power while also offering more space for your pillion and luggage. A win-win situation.
ROAD VS. DIRT
If you’re planning to drive on the well-looked-after roads with the occasional dirt road track on your Ha Giang motorbike tour, then you should be fine with a road bike like the Honda Master or Honda FTR. However, if you’re planning to go off the beaten track a bit, you’ll be facing plenty of bumps and muddy patches. The XR150 is a sturdy dirt bike that can handle (for the most part) all of the thick, sludgy mud Vietnam throws at you.
There are many motorbike rental companies in Vietnam to choose from. These firms tend to cater to the tourist industry and have more of a short-term outlook on motorbike rentals, especially when it comes to customer service and maintenance. Not only are our bikes better maintained, but we also give better support if you need help route planning or require mechanical and even medical assistance when on the road. RentABike is honest, transparent and reliable, and our dozens of 5-star reviews are proof of this. We offer our customers freedom from fear no matter how far they’re traveling.
If you have any problems with your motorbike while traveling, you should call us directly so that we can advise you on the best course of action. We cannot stress enough: We are not interested in blaming you or overcharging; We are interested in keeping you safe and getting the motorbike fixed with minimal fuss. Don’t try to deal with things on your own – It’s our job to help you and make things easier for everyone!
Our priorities are your safety and comfort, repairing the bike and, only once that is dealt with, figuring out the responsibility and cost. We at RentABike can’t stress enough that we are not aiming to profit off of your misfortune.
SAFETY AND COMFORT
This is our priority. We always check to make sure you are ok and, if not, we give advice on where to get the assistance you need. This could be medicine, transport to a hospital or immediate assistance from a bystander.
REPAIRING THE BIKE
When a repair needs to be carried out, we prefer to use a Honda HEAD dealer, but often this is not feasible when traveling to more rural areas. Instead, we talk over the phone to the nearest mechanic or bystander who can get you to a mechanic. We then come to an agreement on the cost with the mechanic.
If you attempt to repair the bike on your own without informing us, you may get overcharged or the wrong parts may be put on the bike, which will incur additional charges for you. Therefore, we ask that you always call us so that everyone is on the same page. This is also critical for us to ensure the bike has been properly fixed and is safe for the next rider.
When you are on the road, you may need to pay for any repairs that are carried out as we cannot be there to cover costs. However, when you have returned from your trip we can assess who is truly responsible for the cost. We cover all mechanical failures and expect you to cover misuse and accidental or third party damage. If the issue lies with us, then we guarantee a refund of the amount you paid, so long as we have been consulted before the work was done, when we return your deposit.