Day 01: Hanoi (D)
Arrival Hanoi and transfer to hotel. Once settled in we meet for a tour briefing and bike fitting.You will have the chance to stroll around
Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Ngoc Son Pagoda or one of the many coffee shops in the area. If coffee isn’t your thing, stop at one of the ‘bia hoi’s’ (bar serving freshly brewed beer) located at most corners in the old quarter. In the evening we will meet at a very unique restaurant – Highway 4 – serving traditional and eclectic Vietnamese food. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 02: Hanoi – Lao Cai (B/L/D)
If you would like some early morning exercise you can take part in early morning Tai Chi or jogging round Hoan Kiem Lake. Morning city tour to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. Hotel check out is at noon and we will have lunch at a local pho (chicken or beef soup) and noodle restaurant. You have the afternoon to discover some more of Hanoi before meeting in the early evening for dinner and transfering to the railway station for an overnight train to Lao Cai on the Chinese Border. Overnight on train.
Day 03: Lao Cai – Yen Bai – Tuyen Quang (B/L/D)
Early morning arrival in Lao Cai. Bikes will be loaded onto a jeep while we have breakfast and then we will drive 77km south to Yen Bai. Once we leave the well-trodden paths of Lao Cai our local biking guide and jeep support team will take us on moderately adventurous 70km exploration along remote dirt tracks to discover minority villages and the lowland countryside. Your ride will take you past tea plantations and orange groves all the way to Tuyen Quang. Part of the riding will involve a short boat trip across the reservoir in Thac Ba Nature Reserve. We spend the night at a local guesthouse or minority home-stay in Tuyen Quang.
Day 04: Tuyen Quang – Ba Be (B/L/D)
There is a 100km full day of moderate to challenging back road cycling ahead of us cycling towards Ba Be National Park. (Due to the distance covered today, some sections will be by jeep). Ba Be was established as a National Park in 1992 and is the leading conservation site in the country. It contains the largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam and is home to the François langur. Surrounding this dense tropical paradise are karst limestone mountains – it is truly a magnificent place. Overnight in the park.
Day 05: Ba Be – Bac Me (B/L/D)
70km of moderate to challenging riding with most sections unsupported as the jeep is unable to take the rough dirt road we will be riding on. We take a boat deep into the heart of Northern Vietnam. As we ride we can enjoy the dramatic scenery set along Gam river.
Day 06: Bac Me – Yen Minh (B/L/D)
Heading west, we ride about 25km on good tarmac. Leaving the road, we’ll take a dirt trail that traverses through the Du Gia nature reserve – home to the endangered Tonkin Snub Nosed Monkey. There are no tourist facilities here due to its sensitive invironmental status. As we bike the next 60-100km, we may encounter very poor road conditions, the ride can be challenging. Where the jeep can’t follow we will use motorbike support as an emergency backup. Yen Minh has a bustling Sunday market where ethnic minority groups gather to buy and sell their wares. Groups such as the Giay, Pu peo, Co Lao, Lo Lo, Red Dao, White Hmong and Tay people. Overnight in Yen Minh.
Day 07: Yen Minh – Dong Van – Meo Vac – Chinese Border Traverse(B/L/D)
Our challenging 60 to 100km ride today begins gently along these northern semi-pavedroads, we will encounter little traffic. We are headed into some of the most spectacularscenery that Vietnam has to offer. Dense cedar forests give way to rugged moonscapes.Often there are ethnic minority children walking along the roads – making for some memorable photo opportunities. The section between Dong Van and Meo Vac is the highlight of the ride. The views from the Ma Phi Leng Pass at 1500m elevation with the Nho Que River meandering far below will take your breath away. In Meo Vac a small market is held every day in the town square and is frequented mainly by the white Hmong, Tay and Lo Lo people. It’s a quaint town and a perfect place to reflect upon our magnificent ride. Overnight in local guesthouse in Meo Vac.
Day 08: Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Quan Ba (B/L/D)
From Meo Vac we head south towards Chin Pin. As road conditions are generally very poor, we will loop back towards Yen Minh then continue on to Quan Ba. Be prepared for another stunning ride – but it is a long one 70 to 80km! The group may have to transfer if time runs out. Overnight in guesthouse Quan Ba.
Day 09: Quan Ba – Ha Giang – Thanh Ha – Hoang Su Phi (B/L/D)
There are good roads to travel upon as we head through the Quan Ba pass to Ha Giang(45km). After an early lunch/late breakfast we’ll journey to a small junction that will lead the group east, back into the mountains on a spectacular off-road loop for another 20km.Overnight in hotel in Hoang Su Phi.
Day 10: Hoang Su Phi – Bac Quang (B/L/D)
As we travel out of the mountains, we’ll arrive in Bac Quang – a sizeable market town located 60km south of Ha Giang. At this junction to the western roads heading to Bao Yen in Lao Cai Province we’ll stop to rest and relax after a moderate 70km total ride. Overnight Bac Quang.
Day 11: Bac Quang – Pho Rang – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B/L/D)
A final 70km ride through the valley along a previously impassable road which leads us out to the Chay River in Pho Rang. A 70km ride today with final by bus for the last 60 – 80km to Lao Cai. From here the group will take the overnight train back to Hanoi (this is a good location for extension tours or further cycling to Sapa) Overnight on board the train.
Day 12: Hanoi (D)
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, transfer to hotel for early check in and breakfast. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax or explore. In the evening, we regroup for our farewell dinner at one of Hanoi’s top restaurants.
Day 13: Depart Hanoi (B)
At leisure until transfer to the airport for onward flights.