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Motorcycle Tours: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Son La – Dien Bien Phu – Sa Pa – Hanoi (8 days)
Discover Vietnam’s rugged and scenic northwest and its people first hand. By taking to the roads and driving from the capital Hanoi to the remote area of the northwest, we can see life as it truly is for the Vietnamese. The perfect itinerary and the support crew ensure you get the most out of the trip in terms of comfort, enjoyment and adventure. Along the way, we encounter dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas as the rural population goes about its business. Highlights include the terraced valleys of Sapa, challenging roads, stunning scenery and many different colorful minority groups.
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Our guide will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi at around 08:00 and head to Mai Chau, an area of beautiful landscape and home to the Thai ethnic minority. After about 3.5 hours passing expansive rice paddies, scenic villages and spectacular limestone mountains as well as catching the daily activities of the locals along the way, it is time for you to catch the spectacular scenery of Mai Chau valley from the White Stone Pass. As winding the final downhill to Mau Chau Valley, you will find yourself really soaked into the bustling atmosphere of the Thai’s hamlets. We will then have lunch with local specialties at their house.
Continue this day trip by spending the whole afternoon strolling around one of their picturesque villages, taking photos of local naive children or talking to the villagers working on their terraced fields.
In the evening, we will enjoy a sumptuous dinner with the locals and don’t miss the chance to sample the local rice wine with a long bamboo straw.
Overnight in a traditional stilt-house of a Thai family.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Moc Chau – Son La
Today we will depart in the early morning for Moc Chau to participate in agricultural activities in O Long Tea Processing Factory and Moc Suong Tea Plantation. On the way, we will stop at a village of H’mong people to talk to the locals and take photos of the peach gardens and spectacular roads winding around mountains. Lunch will be served in Moc Chau Town before leaving for Son La City.
Reaching Son La in the late afternoon, we will visit Son La Prison which was built in the French colonial period. Enjoy your dinner in a traditional stilt-house of a Thai family whilst watching the traditional local dancing.
Overnight in a hotel in Son La.
Day 3: Son La – Dien Bien Phu
Starting our 3rd-day tour with breakfast and a cup of local coffee, we then depart for Dien Bien at around 8:30.
The path from Son La to Dien Bien with typical stunning sceneries of Northwest Vietnam will surely leave you unforgettable experiences. On the way, you will pass the expansive terraced fields of corn, bean or banana along with colorful souvenir booths of the locals along the roadsides. Continuing our way through the impressive Pha Din Pass at the height of 1,500m, admiring a fantastic panorama of the charming valley encompassed by the cloud all year round, and passing roads of colorful wildflowers, we finally reach Dien Bien – the land of rich history. Lunch is served en route to Dien Bien.
Upon arrival in Dien Bien, we will spend the rest of the day visiting the Muong Thanh paddy field, historic sites of De Castries bunker, A1 Hill, explosive holes, etc. to understand more about the famous battle of the Vietnamese people.
Check-in hotel and enjoy dinner with specialties of Dien Bien and then be free for relaxing and discovering the surroundings.
Day 4: Dien Bien Phu – Phong Tho (Pa So) - Lai Chau Town
Continuing our way through sloping passes which are typical of the Vietnam Northwest Mountain Region, passing spectacular landscapes of various North-west passes, misty mountain ranges, the local markets and valleys of terraced fields on which the locals are working that all draws a stunning picture. There will be stops to visit villages of the H’mong, Dzao and Dzay nestled against the cliffs. Via these villages, you seem to be lost in a fairy space dotted with petite wooden houses standing out among the stretching green of the jungle, meeting the ethnic women with water barrel on their back climbing up the sloping path to their houses or pigs seeking for their food in the jungle, just the simple things but touch the hearts of all visitors.
Arrive in Lai Chau Town, late afternoon, you will have dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 5: Lai Chau Town – Sapa
Leaving the wild Lai Chau, we make our way through scenic scenery and villages and the most challenging pass, passing the legendary O Quy Ho pass, Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range that is famous with the Fansipan Peak – the highest mountain peak or the roof of Indochina, stepping on the Tram Ton Heaven’s Gate and the Silver waterfall, admiring the valley bobbed on the clouds and stunning routes before reaching Sapa.
Check-in hotel in Sapa, you then have free time for discovering the charming town and walk around the ancient city with French architecture corners then short visit to Ham Rong Mountain. Otherwise, you can join the local market and taste a cup of local coffee in a Western-style bar and enjoy the beautiful panorama of the town encompassed by the cloud.
Dinner in a local restaurant and overnight at a hotel in Sapa.
Day 6: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Cat Cat - Giang Ta Chai
Today you will be free to discover Sapa
Sapa is famous both for its fine, rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity. The colorful and charming town provides a perfect oasis in the midst of a strenuous mountain trek to discover its attractions and culture.
Have breakfast and check out before the trip starts. Ride down to Lao Chai village to visit the H'mong and Dzay tribes. Then keep going along the bottom of the Sa Pa valley to Ta Van village and Cat Cat village which is supposed to be on of the most beautiful places in the area. Lunch here. Then we head up to Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Dzao tribe, where you can see the amazing scenery and beautiful waterfall. Overnight in a homestay
Day 7: Sapa - Vu Linh (Vu Linh Ecolodge, Yen Bai Province)
After an early breakfast, ride to Ban Ho through excellent views of the mountains and natural scenery. Enjoy the surrounds and meet friendly locals who are curiously looking at you or you can have a swim in the river then we head back to Sapa.
At around 10:00AM, we'll go to Vu Linh (Yen Bai province). A four-hour drive with scheduled stop for lunch will lead you to the Red River, passing through Yen Bai city to reach Ngoi Tu Village, home of Dzao and Tay ethnic minority groups for many years. You will be welcomed by the friendly and hospitable host, who are well-trained under the Tourism Support Program from International Community.
After a short break, we will get on small boats to discover Thac Ba Lake, the second largest man-made Reservoir in Vietnam. The trip offers chance for you to experience the way villagers paddle their boats by legs; eye-witness the exotic and odd animals living nearby; enjoy the quiet and peaceful scenery around the immense lake; as well as to learn more about the lifestyle of Dzao people – who live on thousands of islets. In the late afternoon, you wil return to the dock and then transfer back to the ecolodge for dinner in the warm atmosphere. Stay overnight in the eco-lodge at a lake view alcove.
Day 8: Vu Linh - Ha Noi
The last day of North-west loops tour is the most leisure time in your trip. Enjoy the locals’ hospitality or walk around their rice-fields and the village to admire the daily life moments of the locals.
You will have lunch at locals’ stilt house; afterward, we will pick you up and transfer to Hanoi. The trip is expected to end 18:00 in your hotel in Hanoi.
Tour prices and options
( Prices are quoted in US Dollar/ per person/ Day )
|Person||1-2 Pax||3-4 Pax||more than 5 Pax|
• Motorbikes (and driver)
• All gas (fuel)
• Hotel in twin share room (or homestay)
• All entrance fees, tickets, transport on the tour
• Plastic bags, helmets, rain coats.
• Trip Insurance
• Food & Drink