Follow Vietnam’s northern border with China, riding some of the country's most impressive roads across vast karst limestone mountainscapes. Along the way, you'll visit a many ethnic markets, staying with locals and getting a feel for how the people of this remote region live. Along The Border is a great choice of motorcycle tour for those looking to get as far from the tourist trail as possible.
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Day 1: Ha Noi – That Khe
Secret Cave; Thai Nguyen
This is a long first day and we need to make an early start to miss the traffic in Hanoi and to get some distance behind us so we can relax in the letter part of the day and enjoy the scenery. We start off with a pretty bland trip just getting out of Hanoi and up to Thai Nguyen. However, from there on we start to head to the hills and the roads become quieter and the views more scenic. That Khe is not much to write home about but it will give you a feel for life in the countryside in Vietnam.
Day 2: That Khe – Quang Uyen
karst scenery; Quang Uyen back roads
Day 3: Quang Uyen – Cao Bang
Ban Gioc Waterfall; Ma Phuc Pass; Tiger Cave
If we haven’t visited the falls we might do that today or choose to head up to Uncle Ho’s Cave / Pac Bo for sightseeing before heading to the provincial capital Cao Bang where we can stay in a guesthouse and visit the night market.
Day 4: Cao Bang – Ba Be
karst scenery; Phia Oac National Park; Pung Cave
We take the fantastic stretch of road through the Cao Bang GeoPark and over Phia Oac mountain. It is around 1800m elevation here so it can be very nippy in winter. It is up and over and then down to the Ba Be National park where we can boat over to our homestay. This is a popular tourist spot so we will likely meet a lot of local tourists.
Day 5: Ba Be – Meo Vac
Ha Giang; Meo Vac back roads
We have a choice of routes today and a lot depends on how everyone is feeling after a fun evening in Ba Be. This can be part tarmac, part dirt of purely tarmac and it is best to decide on the morning of the day. Whatever route is taken we are now in the hills for real and we get to climb some beautiful mountains on some fun road on the way up to Meo Vac and the famous Ma Pi Leng pass and Happiness Road.