Day 1: Welcome to Vietnam! (../../D)
Your Green Trail Tours Vietnam Cycling adventure will begin at the Hanoi airport. We’ll meet you here before transferring
to our hotel in the city center. We’ll get settled into our rooms, and meet in the hotel’s lobby before heading out for a welcome drink and orientation meeting at a bar in town. The sights, sounds and smells will amaze you. We’ll return to the hotel in time to freshen up before dinner. We’ll again venture into the colorful streets of Hanoi for our welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Keep your appetite healthy because you will not believe the tastes we’ll encounter on this night and all the others on this remarkable trip. We’ll raise a glass and toast the beginning of our week of adventure!
Day 2: Explore Hanoi – Night Train to Lai Cao (B/L/D)
After a leisurely and delicious breakfast at our hotel, you’ll have the day free to explore Hanoi. Our all-star Vietnamese guide will lead a walking tour of the city in the early afternoon. We’ll re-assemble back at the hotel in the early evening before heading out for a dinner together again.
The true adventure begins tonight as we’ll catch the night train on Vietnam’s oldest railway as we embark for our overnight trek from Hanoi to Lai Cao. (Note: It’s a good idea to bring some earplugs for the trip.)
Day 3: Lai Cao to Sa Pa – Free afternoon in Sa Pa (B/L/D)
An early morning arrival in Lai Cao will have us looking for a Vietnamese coffee and a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll load our bags into the vans and hop on the bikes for our 50 kilometer warm up ride to Sa Pa. Most of the 50km is uphill, but the van will never be too far away. Upon arrival, we’ll check into the hotel before going out to explore this wonderful mountain top village. Dinner will be at a restaurant in town.
Day 4: Sa Pa to Than Uyen – via Tram Ton Pass (Indochina’s highest peak)(B/L/D)
Today our adventure begins for real. The ride from Sa Pa to the summit of Tram Ton pass (also known as Heaven’s Gate) is challenging, and you might want to consider using our van to start the day’s adventure. As we approach the summit of Tram Ton Pass, we may well be bundled up, but as we begin our descent towards Than Uyen, you’ll be amazed how quickly the weather changes. At this altitude, the weather is extreme, and we are frequently greeted by sunshine on our way down. The van will be close by as we reach the bottom and we’ll de-robe and prepare for a glorious morning of riding. We’ll spend the day riding through remote villages on empty roads and enjoy the welcoming people we’ll meet along the way. Dinner tonight is together in a restaurant that is right next to our hotel. Mileage is about 50 – 60.
Day 5: Than Uyen to Tuan Giao (B/L/D)
After another hearty breakfast we’re back on the bikes as our adventure continues. Today will be one of the most beautiful days you will have ever experienced on two wheels. There are two hard climbs today, the first starts after 5 km with a 12 km ascent but the second, and most challenging, comes at the end of this stunning day, with an 18km strength-sapping climb. Our destination is the remote mountain town of Tuan Giao. We can promise you that you will not see many tourists today. We’ll cycle past rice fields and banana plantations and we’ll encounter people from the various hill tribes in the area, including the White Thai and the H’mong. The scenery is particularly incredible today and you’ll be treated to one photo op after another as we wind through this seemingly lost paradise. In the afternoon, we’ll put the bikes in the vans and shuttle to our hotel in Tuan Giao. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel. Mileage for the day is about 60 miles.
Day 6: Tuan Giao to SonLa (B/L/D)
Our morning begins with a serious 15km climb into the Pha Din mountain range. From the summit, you’ll have great views of the beautiful surrounding countryside. We’ll no doubt be greeted by throngs of school children and smiling, curious locals as we crest the hill. What seems to be an endless downhill then awaits us as we mount up again after a summit refreshment stop. Again we’ll be treated to amazing scenery and friendly locals as we cruise through this amazing terrain. We finish the day with an amazing descent before reaching Son La. This lively city is a hub for transit and trade between Dien Bien Phu and Hanoi. Upon arrival at our hotel, we’ll freshen up before having a well earned meal in our hotel’s dining room. Mileage for the day is about 55.
Day 7: SonLa to MocChau (B/L/D)
After we’ve had our breakfast, we’ll mount the bikes again for another day of adventure. Our destination this evening is the city of Moc Chau, famous for its tea. We’ll bike most of the way there, but load into the shuttles vans in Yen Chau, and transfer to Moc Chau. Today’s ride takes us through an active market, where we’ll see the action unfold before us. We’ll stop late morning for a delicious Vietnamese coffee on our route before pusing off to finish in Yen Chau in the afternnon. We’ll load ourselves and the bikes in the vans before making the trip to Moc Chau. Dinner tonight will be in the hotel’s dining room. Mileage for the day is about 55.
Day 8: Moc Chau to Mai Chau(B/L/D)
After breakfast we’ll embark upon a magnificent day of discovery as we pedal remote roads, pointing our compasses back towards Hanoi. We’ll be riding some dirt roads today so off road riding skills will come in handy. We’ll pass beautiful scenery all day long and get a glimpse into several Black Thai villages along the way. After a reasonable 45 miles we’ll arrive in MaiChau for a comfortable homestay.
Day 9: Mai Chau Loop – Transfer to Hanoi (B/L/D)
Our final day in the saddle see us doing a short loop from our hotel in the morning. We’ll ride along the banks of the Ma river before coming back to Mai Chau. Lunch is served
before we pack up the vans for our transfer into Hanoi. We’ll check into our Hanoi hotel again and freshen up before meeting for our farewell dinner. We’ll walk a short distance from the hotel and toast a glass to the end of our trip, but also to the beginning of a new appreciation for this faraway and enchanted land. Mileage for the day is a fairly short 25.
Day 10: Departure Day or Ha Long bay Excurions (B/../..)
We’ll say our goodbyes this morning as our adventure together ends. We’ll offer a shuttle to the airport for those leaving Hanoi, or we’ll gladly arrange a one night excursion on a junk boat to see incredible Ha Long bay.
Level: B/C (40 – 60 miles per day with hills)