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Grand North 17 days Vietnam Motorbike Tour

Grand North 17 days Vietnam Motorbike Tour

Duration: 17 days
Accommodation : HOMESTAYS, 3*HOTELS
Area: NORTH
Km: 3.000km
Type: Self – Riding

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ITINERARY
(17 days/16 nights)
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau, 145 km ~ 5h
Heading out of Hanoi on road number 6 to Mai Chau, and idyllic valley populated by mainly White Thai ethnic people. Visiting Mai Chau, you have a chanceto enjoy folk songs and traditional colourful culture of White Thai in Mai Chau. Thescenery of the arrival to Mai Chau is characterized with beautiful limestonemountains and colourful hill tribes who can be seen and visited on the way.
We alsohave an opportunity en route to learn about the culture of the rice-cultivatinginhabitants in the Red River valley and Da River down stream. After lunch, we havethe whole afternoon free to climb up to the top of ThungNhuoi pass. From the topof the pass there is a beautiful view of Mai Chau valley, often engulfed by cloudsbut still a sight to be enjoyed. After visiting this wonderful site, we drop down toexplore more of the area of White Thai people. In the evening, we can enjoy a local dinner and overnight in a beautiful
village at the edge of a river.
After dinner, you can spend the evening sitting together around a fire and join in a Thai traditional music show. In their traditionalattire, typical of their culture, Thai women invite visitors to participate in the Xoedance. To the rhythmical and ebullient music, the hosts and guests will dance forhours handin-hand. When they get tired, they stop for a while to drink specialsticky rice liquor called “ruou can”. Visitors who participate in the Xoe dance once,especially by the light of a fire at night are likely to remember it forever.
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- Night in Thai’s family
Day 2: Mai Chau – Bac Yen, 150 km ~ 4h
A real challenging ride, after an hour on the new Highway no. 6 we make ourown way on to the torturous and bumpy road to explore the H’mong hill tribe’scolourful customs and majestic mountainous scenery. Visit our H’mong friends’families, walk in the village and then continue on the dirt road to MocChau. Thesebeautiful grasslands of MocChau have the best of both words and breath-takingscenery which is favoured by nature and covered with clouds all year round. It seems to offer the most ideal climate condition in Northwest Vietnam. MocChau’sflora is diverse, ranging from forest and tea plantations to fruit hills. Moreover, wecan walk to the local dairy farms and try produce from the local processingfactories. Dairy produce is MocChau’s specialty being exported to many othercountries.We drop down to Black River and take a ferry to pass the river. Then we ridealong the river to before heading up hill to Bac Yen, the central district of Bac Yen.
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- Night in hotel
Day 3: Bac Yen – Tuan Giao, 160 km ~ 5h
The journey north continues onto Son La, following the 113 Highway. Alongthe way, there are superb landscapes with green valley and terraced rice fields.Passing the Bac Yen Mountain top, through Chen Pass to the largest “maize” and”manioc” forest, we arrive at Son La plateau.After lunch in Son La town, we will visit the former French Prison andprovincial museum. We have more mountain passes to challenge us, such as SonLa, Chieng Pac, and Pha Din. You will enjoy the beautiful landscape on your wayfrom Son  La to Lai Chau town. The afternoon will provide free time to climb overthe top of the Pha Din Pass  – known as the interface between Heaven and Earth.Pha Din forms a natural border between Son La and Dien Bien Phu, the site of thedecisive battle in Vietnam’s struggle for independence in 1954. Then we take timeto travel to Tuan Giao to view the sunset.
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- Night in hotel
Day 4: Tuan Giao – Dien Bien, 80km ~ 2h
We take easy riding today to Dien Bien. Spend most of time to explore our history during French War. Visiting the battle field, museum and victory monument.
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- Night in hotel
Day 5: Dien Bien – Sin Ho, 140 km ~ 5h
Sin Ho is a scenic mountain village with a large percentage of ethnicminorities and it has a colourful Sunday market to offer. Sin Ho is a 38-km climb onan abysmal dirt road off Route 12; the turn off is about 1 km north of the village ofChan Nua, on the road from Lai Chau. Sin Ho can also be reached by a challengingtrek from the town of Tam Duong.Ride along Laos border to the North direction of China border on the roadNo12. Ride in the nature, an amazing adventure for the last 40km heading up toSin Ho in the sunset. Sin Ho is located at 1700m above the sea-level with the mainhabitant of H’Mong, Dao, Kinh people.
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- Night in hotel3
Day 6: Sin Ho – Sapa, 160 km ~ 5h
Due to the environment and a height of 1,700m, getting there is very hardjourney, so the people living here mostly keep to their very long lasting lifestyle.The unchanged way of life from ancient days is hard to be done anywhere.However, it should be said that there is no way for urbanization to occur in theseareas. Moreover, only a handful of travel agencies can bring their customers to thisremote area. The reason Sin Ho is regarded as the richest mountain market in theNorthwest province, is that anybody who is courageous enough to visit the area isrewarded with the fortune  of visiting. This does nothing to limit the motley coloursof traditional clothes of various ethics such as the Green H’mong, the Black H’mong,the White H’mong, the DzaoDau Bang, and the Lu.
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- Night in hotel
Day 7: Sapa
Rest day.Full day for relaxing, walking and exploring Sapa& around.
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- Night in hotel
Day 8: Sapa – Xin Man, 160 km ~ 5h
In the morning, we go down to Lao Cai town with a visit to Lao Cai border gate with China. Then roll along the route 70 to BacNgam for a nice break, takingpictures of beautiful scenery of mountain and river view. We head up mountainpass to Bac Ha for our lunch and short hiking to some H’mong villages there.In theafternoon we continue the small trail to Xin Man in the rocky, muddy and slipperyfor taste of motorbiking in Vietnam.
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- Night in hotel
Day 9: Xin Man – Ha Giang, 145 km ~ 5h
The regular Sunday Xin Man market is located right at the edges of Xin Manitself. Here you will see people from the H’mong, Nung; Tay, Dao… ethnic minority groups. They all walk through mountain paths and rough terrain from theirmountain villages to the Xin Man market to trade items and socialize. This market isone of the most isolated in Vietnam, so it has never been given much attention. Toreach Xinman, it’s at least a 3 hour ride along narrow meandering roads from thetown of Bacha, on this leg you have to be careful not to lose yourself in the densewoods. An easier but longer route can be taken on the curving road 4 cutting throughsteep mountains for the 100 km ride from Xinman. This will still take about 4 hoursdespite the newly upgraded bitumen road and the absence of other vehicles. The lively central market of Xin Man will be visited in the morning before wedepart for BacQuang where you will have to be alert as the road has manydangerous meandering turns. After reaching Heaven’s Gate II and the Hoang Su PhiPass, a picnic lunch will be provided amongst superb surrounding landscape. Whendropping down into Tan Quang the tour will take a leisurely ride along the NationalHighway No 2. The remainder of the day we will spend relaxing.
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- Night in Tay’s family (Thon Tha village)
Day 10: Ha Giang – Dong Van, 130 km ~ 4h
Rise and shine for a few hours trek to many of the Heaven Gates such asQuan Ba, Yen Binh, Dong Van. They are so called because one gets the feeling oftouching the sky  – heaven’s gates. This is the best time and place to enjoy thewonderful sightseeing of this vast limestone mountain range and perpendicularwalls of rock, which brings one a feeling of adventure whilst being lost in a magicland. Here we are surrounded by many rocks of all shapes and sizes. After lunch atYen Minh town, the scenic route climbs over a pass before
arriving in Pho Bang, also called Pho Bang Street, which was built a long many centuries ago andfeatures multi-storey houses made of clay bricks and tile roofs. Then we continueour trip to visit the infamous Vuong Palace, aH’mong family of high rank duringFrench colonial rule. This palace attracts keen interest from architecturally mindedvisitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture.
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- Night in hotel
Day 11:Dong Van – Meo Vac, 60 km ~ 2h
Visiting these remote areas, we will witness how hard the local peoplestruggle with their environment for their survival and development. Livingconditions are extremely harsh, there is barely any arable land within the rockymountains and the people survive on a diet of corn, which is about the only cropable to grow in the rocky soil. Even through this hardship, the local people are veryfriendly, simple yet develop a strong attachment to other people. They are the soulof this remote area.
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- Night in Hoa Cuong Hotel
Day 12:Meo Vac – Ba Be National park, 180 km ~ 6h
Another great day of riding in rural area with crossing over many streams,villages on small path. At the end of day, we put all our bikes on local long-tail boatfor crossing Ba Be lake to homestay. Optional: In good weather that we mention it should be dry, we may haveanother option of riding on dirt track straight to Babe national park.
Night at homestay.
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- Night in Tay’s family
Day 13:Ba Be National park
Rest day. Boat trip to explore Ba Be lake, Dau Dang cave, etc…
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- Night Hao Son Guesthouse
Day 14: Ba Be – QuangUyen, 160 km ~ 5h
Time to prepare for the quite difficult riding ahead, steep mountains andpasses. To reach Cao Bang, we avoid National Highway No 3 but take the Colie Passroad, through dense old-growth forest. The scenery is unbelievably beautiful andmagnificent. After lunch at Nguyen Binh town, we continue our journey for aboutone and a half hours to visit Cao Bang township. The national vestiges are some ofthis hill town’s major sights. We have a chance to visit these before we head out inthe direction of Ma Phuc Pass to enter an area of innumerable vast steep limestonekarsts and visit the North and North East’s district which is home to Nung and Tayethnic people.
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- Night in Nung’s family
Day 15: QuangUyen  – Ban Gioc water fall  – QuangUyen, 120km ~ 4h
Today we will take the opportunity to explore the spectacular scenery andwonderful world of local ethnic minority people. Along the way we will visit Ban Gioc waterfalls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam, which form a naturalborder between Vietnam and China. The echo of the falls can be heard kilometers away. In rainy season, the waterfall makes the scenery even more magnificent.While here we will take a bamboo raft trip and have a picnic lunch. We also have achance to visit China on the other river bank. Before the sun sets, we ride back to QuangUyen and visit Phjia Chang village, settled by Nung An ethnic people 300years ago. 6 This village is famous for the traditional handicraft, such as basket-wared, weaving and so on. We will have dinner with our friends in the village.Alternatively, in the afternoon we will return to QuangUyen town to visitsome villages of Tay and NungAn people where they make incense and local roughpaper from mulberry trees to burn when praying to their ancestors.
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- Night in Nung’s family
Day 16: QuangUyen – Lang Son, 160 km ~ 5h
Today, we continue our journey following the historical National Highway No4 with the famous battles (in Vietnam history), such as Dong Khe, That Khe, CocXaor Lung Phay Pass…In the afternoon, we will explore NhiThanh Cave, Tam ThanhPagoda and the Dong Kinh Market in nice-new city of Lang Son.
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- Night in hotel
Day 17: Lang Son – Hanoi, 160 km ~ 5h
Take it easy on busy traffic back to Hanoi.
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