Trip Report: Damen Bradbury - South by Southwest - 5 day tour
5 days, 4 nights
This is a great loop that we took with 4 riders who wanted to see the Dinosaur's Spine. It takes us through some national parks there is the chance for some fun dirt riding past very remote villages. Our guys were intermediate riders so they made light work of it.
Day 1: Hanoi - Pu Luong
A mix of big and small tarmac
Warm and rainy
We head out to Pu Luong directly out of Hanoi for speed and then take some of the smaller roads around Thung Nai and a little detour into Pu Bin for fun.
Then, we take it easy over to a swimming spot for a dip and then down to the homestay by the waterfall.
Day 2: Pu Luong - Mai Chau
a mix of small tarmac and some dirt. easy.
Warm and rainy
We take the back route out of Pu Luong to miss all the crowds and then get onto some small roads and a little dirt.
Instead of heading straight to Mai Chau we take a scenic detour and get a little high above the valley. The evening is for rice wine and traditional dancing with the local Thai people.
Day 3: Hanoi - Xuan Son National Park
smaller roads and some tricky dirt.
No rain, warm 25C, a little sun
A very very long day today. We quickly get out of Mai Chau and then take the old french road down to the Va Yen ferry where we cross the Black River.
We get into Xuan Son Park on a little known back road which is quite tricky driving. Then, it is over to the homestay for lovely beds and a feast.
Day 4: Xuan Son - Da Bia
Easier tarmac, small rd
Showers, warm 22C
An easier drive today both in terms of distance and technicality so we take a detour down to the river to play around.
Then it is down to Da Bia to our lakeside homestay where we can swim or kayak if we wish. We just chilled in the garden.
Day 5: Da Bac - Hanoi
The direct route back to Hanoi is a little dull so we skip around on the smaller roads past Hoa Binh and then take a ferry, for fun, over to our lunch stop in a famliy run homestay
Again, we take the smaller roads back to Hanoi and come in along the Red River which is a much quieter route.