Vietnam Mysterious Northeast Cycling 15days
Tour route: Hanoi – Thai nguyen – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Bao Lac – Meo vac – Dong Van – Ha Giang – Hoang Su phi – Bac Ha – Luc Yen – Vu linh – Son Duong – Hanoi
Vietnam is a country with captivating scenery and majestic monuments of time gone by. Viet nam country fully reflects the contrasts with bustling, vibrant cities. Whereas, peaceful and quaint rural villages where time seems to have stood still.
Enjoy two weeks Vietnam adventure tours to explore fascinating country by your own way. Without a doubt, cycling is definitely one of the brilliant way to explore the alluring country, experiencing excited activities, and enjoy outstanding natural scenery. Admire picturesque outcrops Limestone Mountains in the North Vietnam. Tasting fresh seafood in oriental architecture restaurant.
Cyclist will conquer one of the maverlous passes on the way whilst admiring breathtaking rice terrace on hillsides. Join in colorful hill tribes market to understand their living. Our cycling trip will start in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. We set off our journey to Thai Nguyen – Ba Be – Cao Bang frontier province and cycle along the border line between Vietnam and China to Ha Giang.
Crossing Ly Bon Bridge to cycle on Happiness road and conquer magnificent Ma Phi Lang Pass to uncover outstanding limestone mountain panoramas, descending to – Dong Van karst plateau Geopark, Lung Cu flagpole to expose the spectacular scenery, visit untouched regions, meet and talk with curious people on the way or visit their family to learn their culture.
We enjoy breathtaking scenery whilst riding through scenic route Hoang Su phi to Bac Ha – typically colorful hill tribes market. We also ride on village road and buffalo trail to amazing Thac Ba Lake, staying in Homestay and exploring stunning scenic beauty around the lake.
Do you want a challenging but interesting Vietnam northeast cycling adventure? Do you want to have a Vietnam mountain cycling holiday which filled with wonderful and spectacular memories and moments?
IET Cycling Tour introduces the cycling tour of North East Vietnam that is the great choice for those who look for the special challenging biking tour and are interested in geographical and cultural wonders. This is the wonderful cycling path of Vietnam mountain bike tour will pass through the remote north areas of Vietnam in which you can have the great enjoying the sightseeing of natural landscape, Mountainous and opportunities to understand and experience the daily activities, custom, traditions as well as culture of ethnic minority groups living in plateaus and mountainous areas like Zao, H’mong, Nung, Tho, Thai, Tay.Taking part in Bicycle tours of North East Vietnam, you can have chances to explore the beautiful parts of Vietnam in northeast.
On the last 2 days before end of Vietnam northeast cycling adventure, Extension we have two days relax and visit the Halong bay by the Junk boad cruise. It is the wooden junk boat with the modeled on traditional Vietnamese sailing boats. Join with Indochina cycling tour for this cycling holiday. It is promised to be the most spectacular strips and you will have a amazing biking holiday in Vietnam.
|Tour Code||VN040815 – 5||Group size||02 minimum for departure|
|Tour duration:||15 DAYS||Suitability||Moderate – challenging|
|when||Best time for cycling from
|Start in||Hanoi city||Terrain||Undulating road, relatively escend and
steep pass in our trip,
|Finish in||Hanoi City||Tour level||Adventure cycling|
|Health request||Good health, fitness||Tour cost||Contact with us to get the best price.|
|Bike hire||Include in tour cost||Road condition||Good road, mixed off and Paved road,
tarmac road, dirt road, single track
|Departure||Upon request||Arrive in||Upon request|
|Support||Fully support by vehicle||Staff||01 guide for group less 10 people|
|Age of cyclist||18 years old||No cycling day||13 days|
|Date||Destination||Accommodations||Cycling dist.||Include meal|
|Day 1||Hanoi Arrival||Flower Hotel||no||L/D|
|Day 2||Hanoi. Thai nguyen – Bac son||Guesthouse/homestay.Binh huong||80km||B/L/D|
|Day 3||Bac Son – Quang Uyen||Duy Huong||90km/127km||B/L/D|
|Day 4||Quang Uyen – Ban Gioc||Sai Gon Ban Gioc Resort – 4****||76 km||B/L/D|
|Day 5||Ban Gioc – Pac Po – Cao Bang||Sunny Hotel||105km/ 165km||B/L/D|
|Day 6||Cao Bang – Bao Lac||Thuy Duong Hotel||90/ 136 km||B/L/D|
|Day 7||Bao Lac – Meo Vac||Hoa Cuong||77 km||B/L/D|
|Day 8||Meo Vac – Dong Van – Yen Minh||Thao nguyen||82km||B/L/D|
|Day 9||Yen Minh – Ha Giang||Truong xuan Resort||100 km||B/L/D|
|Day 10||Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi||Panhou||87km||B/L/D|
|Day 11||Hoang Su Phi – Bac Ha||Sao Mai||78km||B/L/D|
|Day 12||Bac Ha – Luc Yen||Anh Nguyet hotel||140km||B/L/D|
|Day 13||Luc yen – Vu Linh||Vu linh Resort||81km||B/L/D|
|Day 14||Vu Linh – Son Duong – HN||Flower Hotel||80km||B/L/D|
|Day 15||Hanoi – Departure||Transfer||No||B/|
Special offers :
– Mineral water drinking.
– Seasonal fruits.
– Fresh tissue and some fruits while touring !
What to bring :
Sun Block , Wide brim hat, Camera + Film, Comfortable shoes, Rain Gear , Warm clothes in winter, Original Passport, Small backpack , Shoes and shorts for cycling ,Sunglasses , Gloves , Professional Pedal ,Insect repellent ,Wide brim hat ,Bike water bottle (if you don’t want to use ours’bottle)
Glide down hills, through villages and fields to experience the north’s wilderness.
Minor program changes are sometime necessary, depending on road conditions and weather.
This itinerary allows for 15 days on the cycling section. You will be able to decide for yourself at any time during each of these days how far you want to cycle. Average daily cycling distances are approximately 40 -100 km. These distances may vary according to weather, road conditions and group fitness and preferences. This is a sightseeing cycle tour, not a marathon or time trial.
Note: Hotels are subject to change due to availability. In that case we will choose equivalent accommodation
Meals: if you have any specific food requirements ( vegetarian, vegan, food allergies) please inform us in advance so that we can provide notice to our restaurant, tour guide, our partners so that they can server you better. If you are a food lover, IET Bike Tours can be your culinary guide and provide you opportunity to savor tempting local food and world famous – dishes.
Day 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
Welcome to Vietnam. Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport, IET Bike Tours guide and driver will greet and pick you up to the hotel at the heart of Hanoi capital. Hanoi, the antique and dynamic city of Vietnam, reserves a unique old world charm and several of the most striking colonial architecture of Asia. After the checking-in,Take relax by your own and do briefing itinerary with our guide for coming days. Enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling streets in the Old Quarter to discover the ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi. After the tour, you will be warmly welcome with a special welcoming dinner in a typical Vietnamese food restaurant. Stay overnight in Hanoi :
DAY 2: HANOI – THAI NGUYEN – BAC SON
After hearty breakfast in Hotel, you will clear the bill and do check out, and preparing cycling suit for our cycling challenge. Our driver will take you out of bustling city to Thai Nguyen Province, arriving Thai Nguyen, you will visit one of amazing hill tribal minority museum where you can get the first sight and vision of 54 difference ethnic minorities of Vietnam. You definitively know how to recognize which they are on cycling road in coming days. Our first cycling day will start pedaling in Thai Nguyen to Bac Son Town Bac Son town in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son exposes in a vast valley surrounded by stretching mountains, creating poetic scenery. Stay overnight in hotel/ homestay.
DAY3: BAC SON – THAT KHE – QUANG UYEN
Get up early in the morning to expose the peaceful villages, explore the daily life of local people. Taste local pan cake for breakfast. We start cycling through incredible valley to visit one of the first historical relic Bac Son museum where displays documents, picture and somes objects relate to Vietminh revolution against French 27th September, 1940. We continue to ascend long climb to That khe junction for picnic lunch. After lunch, we keep riding on Route 3 head to Cao Bang. Upon Dong Khe, the shuttle bus take us to Hotel. Have dinner and stay overnight in DUY HUONG HOTEL
DAY 4: QUANG UYEN – BAN GIOC
After hearty breakfast in hotel, we pay visit local market to learn about the local production or taking pictures with friendly people, commence to ride from hotel cross Gam river head to east direction to Ban Gioc Water fall, we ride on tarmac road with stunning scenic beauty, fascinating kast mountain ranges dotted with hill tribal villages. We also conquer 7 km steep pass before desending to Quang Uyen town. Upon arriving in Quang Uyen, we cycle on undulating road through numerous hill tribal villages, stop for lunch enroute. After lunch, we continue to ride and admire on newly paved road to Ban Gioc water Fall.
Have dinner and stay overnight in Sai Gon Ban Gioc Resort
DaY 5: BAN GIOC – CAO BANG 97 km
Get up early in the morning to expose the fascinated nature, walking down to discovery the magnificent water Fall. Back to Hotel for breakfast, we start pedaling from Hotel on the frontier road to Pac Po where President Hochiminh used to living and working for three years since 1940 – 1943, after 30 years living in abroad. Spending the time to visit Hochiminh historical relics such as Coc Po Cave, Lenin spring water, Carcmark mountain . keep riding on Hochiminh Route back to Cao Bang, have lunch en route. Upon arriving in Cao bang, take the time to explore city and villages nearby.
Have dinner and stay overnight in Sunny Hotel
DAY 6: CAO BANG – BAO LAC 133KM
Today is long and tough day in our cycling trip, we conquere long steep pass in the middle way but the scenery is incredible. Start early in hotel, we kick of our pedal to west direction, enjoy leisurely space on tarmac road for first 25 km. And then accelerate in the second stage to challenge stiff pass ahead. we have picnic lunch on slope. Following lunch, we gradually descend to Bao Lac on tarmac road, once capturing magnificent rice terraces and breathing scenery, interacting with local people on the way or participate in daily local market . Arriving in hotel late afternoon, check in and have dinner
DAY 7: BAO LAC – MEO VAC 75 km
Start cycling from hotel, to keep leisurely pedaling along Gam River and admire purified nature in the morning . spouse to take some amazing pictures on the way. Crossing bridge to ascend long climb to Meo Vac. Have lunch enroute, after lunch, we continue to challenge on the slope of the pass. It is blessed with limestone panoramas, extraordinary Nho Que river view. We ride down with the wind to Meo Vac town for staying overnight. Dinner and stay overnight in Hoa Cuong Hotel
DAY 8: MEO VAC – DONG VAN – YEN MINH
Today is great day in our cycling trip to ride and explore incredible Ma Phi Leng pass. It is blessed with you mountain picturesque panoramas, magnificent coin terraces, and breathtaking scenic beauty. Experience everyday life and cuture of H’mong, Dao hill tribes. Riding in untouched area, you will discover the Vietnam and China landmark,and Vietnamese National flag tower. Our journey continue to ride back road along frontier line to Vuong Palace ( H’mong king palace) where has been preserving carefully architecture and daily life, business of Vuong Chi Sinh family. We keep riding on ascending road dotted with hill tribal villages, coin terraces before descending to Yen Minh Town
Have dinner and stay overnight in Thao Nguyen Hotel.
DAY 9: YEN MINH – HAGIANG 97 km
Get up early to explore colorful hill tribal market nearby hotel, back to hotel for breakfast and clear the bill, check out. We commence another marvelous cycling day with two long climbs ahead before descending along the river down to Hagiang. You will be rewarded by pristine nature, magnificent Hagiang global Ecological Park, Quan Ba Twin Mountains. We start cycling trip from Hotel, making warm up with first 17 km slope through pine forests and then downhill along river, crossing the bridge to ascend again another pass. Have picnic lunch on second mid pass. Afterlunch. We continue to conquere the rest of the pass. Stop on the summit to look overview Quan Ba town, take memorable picture in Twin Mountain. We ride with the wind down to Hagiang city.upon arriving, do check in and enjoy solf drink and beer.Have dinner and stay overnight in Ha giang
DAY 10: HA GIANG – HOANG SU PHI 103 km
Start cycling from Hotel on undulating and tarmac road to Tan Quang town, then turn off to conquered long pass. Expose fascinating rice terraces, lush forest and dreamlike landscape. Have lunch enroute.
After lunch, we keep riding on heavenly gate before riding down to Thong Nguyen commune through friendly tribal villages to heaven gate II and then escend to Hoang su Phi Town. Have dinner and stay overnight in Panhou Resort
DAY 11: HOANG SU PHI – COC PAI – BAC HA 78km
Today is hard day with mixed road, single track and off road to Bac Ha, we start from Hotel, cycling through Township to challenge incredible pass which naturally separated between Ha giang and Lao Cai province . Arriving in summit for picnic lunch. Following lunch, we turn off in single track path to Lung Cai Commune and downhill to Bac Ha Town. The remainder of the day is your own. Have dinner and stay overnight in Bac Ha.
DAY 12: BAC HA – LUC YEN 135km
Participate in Bac Ha Colorful Market in Sunday Morning, you wil be impressive in local productions from coin wine, water pipe tobacos, pancake to span of Thang Co Hot Pot. You are interest in animal corner such as buffaloes, cows, dogs, chicken and pigs. You should move to fashion store to capture colorful weaving loin cloth, matix pan.. Come back Hotel for breakfast. Following breakfast, we commence to ride out of Bac Ha Town and then turn off the single track trail, passing many hill tribal villages, stunning landscapes, alurring rice terrace paddy, join again Route 70 to Pho Giang Township for tea and coffee break. After refreshment, we continue to ride on newly paved Route 279 to Luc Yen, have lunch enroute. Keep riding on tarmac road lead to Luc yen Town for stay overnight.
DAY 13: LUC YEN – VU LINH 75 km
Wake up early to participate in Luc Yen’s Local gem stone market, which is opened from 5 am to 7 am. Following hearty breakfast, we cycle on a narrow undulating country route, passing dozens of stunning and lush valleys to Thac Ba Lake. The Dao people make their home around the lake and we will overnight lakeside at th Vulinh resort. In the afternoon, you have time to relax, take a walk to some local villages or take the boat trip to explore fascinating Ba Be lake. Have dinner and stay in Vu linh resort
DAY 14: VU LINH – SON DUONG – TAM DAO – HANOI 94km
Enjoy pristine nature over the lake in the morning from window, you will be impressive on picturesque lakeside. After clearing the bill and check out, we kick off our pedal to ride Son Duong on single track and tarmac road. You have chance to experience the daily life of hill tribal people, call at morning local market on side road to take some pictures for your trip. We also pass many green tea farm, gum tree and palm gardens which are gowned in hill side. Upon arriving in Son Duong, we stop for lunch in local restaurant after lunch time, we keep riding to Tam Dao on newly paved road with leisurely space. Arriving inDai Dinh, the shuttle bus transfer to Hanoi city.
We have farewell dinner in luxury restaurant and stay overnight in Flower Hotel
DAY 15: HANOI – DEPARTURE ON WARDS
Have breakfast in hotel and at leisure until departure time to airport. Our team will meet you again and take you to international Airport to catch the flight onwards. Finish our cycling trip in North east vietnam. Thank you very much to join and share cycling experience with us
Tour included in:
English speaking cycling guide (other languages upon requests)
Accommodations are based on double/ twin occupancy
Meals details in itineraries (14 breakfast, 14 lunches, 14 dinners)
A/C transfer/ and transportation
Van or bus supported during the cycling times.
Truck supported for the group size from 6 and above.
Sightseeing excursions as outlined itineraries
Bike tour pump, bike tools, spares tubes, spare bikes
First aid kit
Cold water box, small fresh towel.
Mineral water for drinking
Fruit and snack for cycling days
Tour excluded in:
Items of personal nature
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks in meals
Mineral water beyond that supplied
Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry bills.
Tip for team and guide
AVAILABLE DEPARTURE DATES
22 Aug 2017 – Seats Available …
25 Sep 2017 – Guaranteed departure
09 Oct 2017 – Guaranteed departure
14 Nov 2017 – Guaranteed departure
13 Dec 2017 – Guaranteed departure
19 Jan 2018 – Seats Available …
09 Feb 2018 – Guaranteed departure
11 Mar 2018 – Guaranteed departure
18 Apr 2018 – Seats Available …
14 May 2018 – Guaranteed departure
10 Jun 2018 – Seats Available …
22 Aug 2018 – Seats Available …
25 Sep 2018 – Seats Available …
09 Oct 2018 – Guaranteed departure
14 Nov 2018 – Guaranteed departure
13 Dec 2018 – Guaranteed departure
Bike Hire USD 150/person
Bikes: we use the new 4300/4500 trek and Cannondale Trail 5, Tango 5 Mountain bikes for all most cycling trip with different size from
13.5’’ – 23, 5’’.We generally use 2012 /2013 models of TREK mountain bikes because they are high quality, durable pieces of equipment. Besides,
We like the versatility and durability of the mountain bike as it has been designed to cope with different types of terrain and riding. Our trips can be on asphalt and can often be broken or potholed, and there are usually unsurfaced sections included, so mountain bikes are the most suitable. They also have the range of gears to cope with the hills.
Each bike comes with a single water bottle cage, if you prefer more you are welcome to bring your own. Bikes also have gel seat cover slips if you prefer a softer ride. If you have your own saddle that you are comfortable with seat, you are welcome to bring it and we’ll fit it. On long tours women specific seats are recommended and we have some available, but we cannot guarantee we will available for every tour. These bikes also are available for rent in case you want to go it alone or just need a bike for a day.
Bikes repairs: basic spares and tools kid are generally carried by guide and on the support vehicle, although we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kids, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carring a basic tool kids, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Safety: wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Your tour guide are trained in first aid and emergency rescure, tour guide often carry first aid box with their bikes while riding
Support: we often used mini bus and bus with air condition for transfer and back up as itineraries
We use van Support bikes and cyclist
( 1 – 4 pax) we use Van to support and carry out bikes)
( 5 – 8 pax) we use one Van and one truck to supports
Accommodation: When cycling we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.
Our guides: the tour will be led by one of English – speaking guides. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling and introduce that experiences for you. Our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding by Vietnam National Tourism. Our guides are also medically skilled in first Aid by SOS and they know how to deal with hard situations.\
Grading definition: To assist you visualize how our trip is difficult, we have graded our adventure tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging, we group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, weather conditions and vehicle support
Easy: suitable for most people in good health. These trips generally include short days, on good paths and at low attitudes
Moderate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these trips can require sustained endurance levels, hill longer days and altitude. All of our moderate trips have a support vehicle following closely, and weary travellers can hitch a ride and take a rest for a while.
Challenging: these trips are physically demanding and best suited for fit people with high endurance level. Day can be longer, often at altitude, in remoted regions and sometimes without supports vehicle nearby.. travellers may be required to carry a backpacks.
Terrain: Distances on full cycling days average around 50 – 80km. Our route is mainly on tarmac roads of varying quality with are some more like hard – packed dirt, Terrain is generally flat or undulating with a few notable climbs.
Distance for second days and half of third day is around 60- 80 km. Our routes are mainly on single track, dirt road and trail, we cycle around villages and villages, through rice paddy terraces.
Food: All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary, are included in the price of this tour. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food in Homestays. While in towns, we will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in delicious restaurants
Meals consist of a variety of balanced dishes and aim for universal appeal, we avoid highly spiced foods.
Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking.
Beverage and alcoholic drink are not included at mealtime or in restaurants
Snack/ Water: when we transfer, ride by minibus ( no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you ( two little for one day for person with wet tissue)
When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water and wet tissue in box plus fresh tropical fruits, soft – drink, energy – drinking, ( five little water for cycling day/ person).
Beer is freely available everywhere in Vietnam, but not include in our trip.
The Homestays: Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and amenities. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
Weather: Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons – the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.
Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam. The North Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with temperature in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry.the best time visit Vietnam is spring (February – April) or Autumn ( late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppressive from May to the early September.
Money: the official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong ( VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in almost tourist centers. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the best networks with a limit a single withdraw limit of 2000,000 d ( 95 USD). Most major currencies can be exchanged in leading in Vietnam, but th USD is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing 100 USD wil make you to be a millionaire. You cannot legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into USD on departure,.
Clothing: comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as it is in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evening against biting insects. A light weight raincoat or rain cape is a good ideal in the raining season. For on the bike you will need to bring a couple of pairs of cycling shorts and short leeve jerseys, a pairs of cycling glove and if you use them, your clip in cycling shoes/ sandals.. when travel in the North Vietnam during winter months ( late November – March) warm clothe is needed. Visitors to Buddhist countries should not to wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious centers and shoes should be removed before entering private homes.
Passport and visa: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors. The Travelo Vietnam company is authorized to issue visa on arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Danang International Airport in Danang, and Tan San Nhat in Ho chi Minh city.The same authorization procedure and a minimum mof 5 days working notice is required. In emergency case they can arrange a visa o arrival if notice of 2 working days is given
Tipping: Tipping for good services is always appreciated in these developing countries. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for . We recommend 5 US Dollar / person/per day for cycling tour guides.. 2 USD/ person/ day for driver and 1 USD/ person/ day for doorbell when checking in and out.
Responsible tourism: we strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes, positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
Environment: we have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Community: Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, moto taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.