High to Low | 11 Days
We take a private VIP bus up to Bao Ha where we meet our bikes. Then, we take the back route up to Sa Pa to avoid the traffic and mayhem of the main road. We can stay in the valley or choose to stay in town (if we plan on going up Fansipan). This is a mellow introduction to driving in Vietnam and a good day for getting used to the bikes.
We head out of Sa Pa past Silver Waterfall and down the O Quy Ho Pass. Today sees us travel on the QL32 which is one of the best roads in the North due to the beautiful rice terracing. There is some traffic but it does not distract and there are plenty of fun pit stops to be had. We turn off and head down to Ngoc Chien, the site of an old French fortress and some interesting hot springs.
We get back on to the QL32 and head for Phu Yen. We need to pass Phu Luong Mountain and Ta Xua Nature Reserve. We can take a very adventurous detour but this is only for expert riders. Phu Yen is a sleepy town but we stay in a great hotel in the centre where all the ‘action’ is.
A long day today we need to head down to the Black River and then up on to the Moc Chau Plateau from where we head into the Mai Chau and then Pu Luong Valleys. We will see a wide range of geography due to the change in elevations and also several different ethnic groups will be represented. We overnight in a secluded homestay tucked half way up a hill and feast on delicious home cooked food.
This is a section of road that we just need to get our heads down as it is through some relatively flat land. We do get off the main road and use the smaller ones for interest but we need to be cautious of time as we have a long way to go. We end up in Tan Ky, which is the start on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and we can take our photo by the milestone for this.
Now, we get on to the Ho Chi Minh Trail proper and head into the hills. It is a great drive and one that passes quickly even though it is long. We are now getting into the least populated areas of Vietnam and we need to prepare accordingly. Luckily, our fuel tanks are big enough and we have spare parts.
This is a day to get off the bike and have a well needed rest. It also means it is possible to take advantage of Phong Nha’s entertainment be it Hiking, Kayaking, Caving, ziplining… You cold take a trip to Dong Hoi to see the beach and sand dunes, or you may (like me) just wish to chill out by the pool.
It is back on to the Ho Chi Minh Trail (west) and we head down to Khe Sanh, the site of the old military air base. We pass the base and head straight into town to look around and get to our hotel. The road is much the same as yesterday and we make sure the bikes are in tip top condition before we head out.
We head further South and on to Hue today. We have time to look around at a few sites in Khe Sanh if we wish and if we get up early. However, the road continues through the jungle and that is where we should spend most of our time. It is very much over the hills into the A Luoi Valley and then over the hills into Hue.
We get to relax in Hue today and it is possible to go to the beach, take a boat on the river or visit any of the citadels and tombs that the city is so famous for. We stay in a great hotel and have time to get clothes cleaned and service the bikes. Hue is also famous for its food so there is an opportunity to try this.
Today, is the last push and we will be able to take the beach road to Hai Van Pass and then go over the mountain. This is a great drive but it is a little busy with tourists. Most commercial traffic now take the tunnel. There are some great views and a few military posts that we can stop at. It is good to take our time. Then, once we have come down the pass it is a very easy ride to our hotel. We will have a farewell meal and drinks in the evening and a chance to reminisce about the tour.
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.