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Lake Loop | 9 Days

Ba Be Lake view of the lake

Tour Info

Visit the national parks and the lakes in the northern region. We have a couple of free days that allow us to see the sights in a couple of places so this trip is not all riding. On these free days, we can arrange riding or other activities such as boating, visiting some sights/caves and it can be a welcome rest for any sore spots. A lot of history and interesting places are seen on this tour so it’s one for those who like to learn a lot.

Highlights

Itinerary

Xuân Sơn National Park Vietnam

We take the easy route along the Red River to get out of Hanoi and then Past Ba Vi Mountain on the QL32. This gets us out of town with minimal fuss and onto relatively quiet roads. We take the smaller back roads to get into the park, which is a quiet haven shielded from the surrounding mayhem of modern Vietnam. Our homestay is the best of the bunch but the area can get noisy with local tourist. If there is time we can visit the local cave and swim hole for a refreshing dip. 

Thac Ba Lake in the late evening

Even though we take the quieter roads up to Thac Ba it isn’t until the last part of the journey that we experience peaceful riding. Once at the lake it is quiet and relaxed and we can hang out in the homestay or go for a swim or boat on the lake.

Ba Be Lake: water level view

Today, we can wind our way through the smaller roads and hopefully get off track on some small dirt tracks. We can get to see some of the people that live far off the main roads and experience their way of life a little.

view from Mr Linh's homestay in Ba Be Lake

This is a day to hang out at the lake and you can choose from swimming, kayaking taking a boat trip, exploring by bike or sleeping off any hangover. This is a time to relax after a few days hard riding and in preparation for the route ahead. 

view from the temple near Bang Gioc in Cao Bang

This is a great day as we pass Phia Oac National Park, which is one of the few places in Vietnam to experience snowfall, on the Cao Bang GeoPark. If there is time we can pass by Tin Tuc Mine by taking some smaller roads. We climb over the mountain and then head down to Cao Bang city, where we can choose to set up our HQ or on to visit Ban Gioc Falls. 

Ban Gioc waterfall in Cao Bang

Another rest day here because there is so much to see and do. We can choose from visiting the Ban Gioc Falls, sneaking a foot or two into China past the border posts, viewing Pac Bo or Nguom Ngao Cave, climbing up to Truc Lam Pagoda or trekking with a local guide.  

the gateway to the village in Trung Khanh near Ban Gioc

It is now time to start the trip back to Hanoi and we take some alternative routes to get us off the main road and down to That Khe. All the way we pass through the spectacular limestone karst scenery and past small hamlets of ethnic villagers. 

a small concrete road winding its way down to the Bac Son valley

We have plenty of time and not too far to go on this day so we can take a few detours depending on news from the locals. There are plenty of small tracks through this area that we can take that make this day a fun adventure. 

view of the Bac Son valley and some limestone karst peaks

This is the final push back to Hanoi. The first half of the ride is spent in the hills but then we hit the Red River Delta and we are forced to take the main roads for speed. The best is behind us now and we need to focus on a safe return and look forward to our farewell dinner in the evening.

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 - 9 Day Lake Loop - Rentabike Vietnam
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