Vietnam Biking from Sapa to Ha Giang

Routing: Hanoi - Sapa - Ban Ho - Trung Do - Bac Ha - Xi Man - Ha Giang - Bac Me - Ba Be - Hanoi

Trip Duration:

11 days 10 nights


Activity:

Boat Ride, SightSeeing, Biking, Homestay,


Physical Grading:


Our unique biking north Vietnam trip takes place against a backdrop of endless lush green paddy fields and irregular tree-covered limestone mountains. Providing a fleeting insight into the traditional lives, friendly tribes and exotic landscapes of north-west and north-east Vietnam, our cycling adventure also delivers surprisingly good riding across the mountainous area of in North Vietnam. There are technical sections, easy hills, huge flowing descents and some glorious single tracks.

Tour Highlights
  • Colorful tribes
  • Stunning scenery
  • Glorious single tracks of Sapa and Bac Ha
  • Homestay among friendly tribesmen

Day by Day Program:

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Day 2: City tour and overnight train to Lao Cai
Day 3: Transfer to Sapa/riding to Tram Ton & Binh Lu
Day 4: Biking descend Lao Cai
Day 5: Driving and biking to Bac Ha
Day 6: Biking and driving to Hoang Su Phi
Day 7: Biking to Viet Lam/transfer to Ha Giang
Day 8: Biking to Bac Me
Day 9: Biking to Ba Be Lake
Day 10: Cruise on the lake/drive back to Hanoi
Day 11: Departure 

Services and Activities included:

Private A/C vehicle to transfer and carry the bikes
Good quality helmets
High-end Mountain bikes
Professional biking English speaking guide
One way train ticket from Hanoi - Lao cai (A/C, soft sleeper)
Boat trip in Ba Be Lake
Snack and water on every biking days
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Homestay permission
Accommodation at twin share basis
First-aid kit
Entrance & Sightseeing fees
Service charges and taxes 


Tour Exclusions:

Travel insurance
Visa process and stamp fees
Tips and gratitude
Personal expenses
Excluded meals ($10/person/meal)
Others not mentioned




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    Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
    Arrive at Hanoi International Airport. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel downtown Hanoi. The remainder of day is free at leisure to explore Hanoi yourself. In the evening we will take a welcome dinner at local restaurant with Vietnamese delicacies. Overnight in Hanoi.
    Summary
    Transfer:   45 mins 
    Accommodation:  Hotel in Hanoi
    Meals:    Welcome dinner with Vietnamese cuisine in local restaurant
     
    Day 2: Hanoi city tour & train to Lao Cai ~ no biking
    After breakfast we will begin our city tour of Hanoi. At first, we will visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the “Uncle Ho” house. After that we head to the unique One Stilt Pagoda, which date from one thousand year ago. Continue to the Hanoi’s famous Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam founded in 1070. The highlight of this cultural, historical site is the garden of stelae where you find 82 stone stelae bearing names, places of birth and achievements of men who received doctorates in each triennial examination from 1442; each stelae sits on a stone tortoise. Lunch in local restaurant before heading to the Old Quarter for a relaxing cyclo tour through the ancient part of Hanoi.  
     
    After the cyclo tour we will drive to the Museum of Ethnology, which is quite away from the central Hanoi. It features a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam and its diverse tribal people. On our trip we will meet some tribal groups – now it is time to learn about them. 
    Drive back to hotel to take shower. Free time until we get on the night train to Lao Cai around 10pm. 
    Summary
    City tour:   Full day city tour
    Accommodation:  AC soft sleeper cabin 
    Meals:    Breakfast, Lunch
     
    Day 3: Lao Cai - Biking Tram Ton & Binh Lu - Sapa ~ 46km/28miles biking
    The train stops at Lao Cai Station in early morning. Transfer 1 hour by van to Sapa Town. Upon arrival Sapa, have breakfast and relax until 9.00 am. Our support vehicle will take you and bikes uphill to the Silver Waterfall, where we will start wonderful day pedaling up to Heaven Gate (Tram Ton Pass), the highest stretch of road in Vietnam.
     
    At first we will bike hard (3km climbing) over the stunning Tram Ton Pass to experience the great views of the Hoang Lien Valley before a free-wheeling 26km downhill to visit the Black Hmong village of Chu Va, where you can enjoy a swim in the river & walk around in the village and explore the local way of living before lunch. 
     
    Afternoon, you will continue descent to Binh Lu Junction to visit the local market. From Binh Lu we continue cycling 1 hour to a remote village inhabited by the Coin Dao minority. Back to Sapa. Evening, have a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Sapa.
    Summary
    Biking: 46km of which descend 20km, ascend 10km 
    Activity: Free swimming in the river & visit villages on foot. 
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Local guide: Yes
    Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa
     
    Day 4: Ta Van Village - Taphin Valley ~ 45km/28miles biking
    Morning, after breakfast, we will cycle directly from your hotel in Sapa and downhill 20km into Muong Hoa Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys of the area. Pedaling on a dirt trail which sneaks through rice paddy terraces and villages, we arrive at Lao Chai Village of Black H’mong people and stop by a local house as well as enjoy excellent views over huge rice paddy terraces. Then continue downhill to visit Ta Van Village of Dzay people. Back to Sapa by vehicle for lunch. 
     
    Afternoon, check out & gear up for our bike ride out of Sapa town towards the Ta Phin valley, winding our way through another Black Hmong hill tribe village in Ma Tra. This is a small village nested in Ta Phin Valley, which was once the most famous opium poppy field in the area. Now the area is famous for vegetable and rice fields. We continue cycling on winding village roads amidst rice terraces to a village of the Red Dzao ethnic minority. Visit the Ta Phin cave. Then vehicle will take us to back to Sapa Town for check in & dinner. Overnight in Sapa.
    Summary
    Biking: 45km of which descend 40km
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Local guide: Yes
    Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.
     
    Day 5: Phong Hai - Coc Ly - Bac Ha ~ 41km/25miles biking
    Early rising for breakfast and load our bikes on support vehicle for 1-hr transfer to the village of Phong Hai. Our ridding begins on a good hardback track along the side of a quiet road. Climbing gently then descending steeply to the small village of Coc Ly.  Take a boat trip on Chay River, a beautiful river with stunning mountain gorge. The boat trip is followed by a ride on riverbank single-track and an alpine road climb to the quiet town of Bac Ha. Picnic lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in Bac Ha.
    Summary
    Boat trip:  1.5 hr
    Biking:   41 km of which descend 14 km and ascend 15 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Ha
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     
    Day 6: Bac Ha - Lung Phin - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi ~ 88km/54miles biking
    After breakfast in hotel we drive 10 km west to Lung Phin where we start climbing toward Xin Man. Today we will bike across one of the most remote parts of northern Vietnam. At first we tackle a steady climb for 1 hr and then hitting the tarmac for a fast descent into the quiet town of Xin Man. Lunch in Xin Man before starting the afternoon ride. The riding in the afternoon takes us down to a bridge over the upstream of Chay River and for the next 40 km we cycle along a quiet road that gently climbs and follow the river to the town of Hoang Su Phi. We will stay overnight in the only hotel in town
    Summary
    Transfer:  9 km from Bac Ha to Lung Phin
    Biking:   88 km of which descend 16 km and ascend 14 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hoang Su Phi
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     
    Day 7: Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang ~ 58km/36miles biking
    This is one of the most challenging biking days of the trip. Leaving Hoang Su Phi early morning, there are 6 km downhill before we turn off onto a remote track leading though mountains. On this part our support vehicle will not be able to follow us and continue on the main mountain road to Viet Lam, where we will meet up later this day. However, we still have the emergency back up for water, lunch and first-aid, as we ride through the mountains. The ride highlight today is a long descent punctuated with waterfall and switchbacks, which flows seamlessly into some sinuous riverside single track making for fantastic riding. Eventually we emerge onto rough tarmac and climb before finally dropping down again to the hot springs of Viet Lam, where we can ease our aching muscles. Refreshed, we transfer the final 20 miles along Highway 2 to the busy district capital of Ha Giang. Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
    Summary
    Transfer:   45 km from Viet Lam to Ha Giang
    Biking:   58 km of which descend 19 km and ascend 14 km
    Accommodation: Hotel in Ha Giang
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     
    Day 8: Ha Giang - Bac Me ~ 55km/34miles biking
    Today the ride is mostly road based. At first we tackle 12 km gentle climbs and then it is an undulating, idyllic route through friendly villages and paddy fields, surrounded by jagged limestone hills. Light lunch en route and we will reach the small town of Bac Me early afternoon. The rest of the day, we can explore this litter town and its surroundings or relax with a cold beer in local bars. Dinner and overnight in Bac Me.
    Summary
    Biking:   55 km of which descend 20 km and ascend 12 km 
    Accommodation: Hotel in Bac Me
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     
    Day 9: Bac Me - Dau Dang - Boat trip to Ba Be National Park ~ 82km/51miles biking
    Just outside Bac Me, we cross the Gam River and leave the main road to follow a small track cross-country off-road all the way to Ba Be. Our support vehicle will not be able to follow us on this route and travel along way to meet us in Ba Be National Park. Depending to the condition of the track we will have an emergency jeep or motorbike for water, food and first-aid. The ride involves three climbs, crossing a succession of river valleys, but is rideable all the way. At the village of Dan Dong, we will be transferred into traditional long boats for a relaxing 1.5-hr ride along the beautiful Nang River and cross the lake into the stunning Ba Be National Park. The park is centered on the country’s largest natural lake which is surrounded by limestone cliffs, waterfalls, caves and abundant of wildlife. We will have dinner and spend our night in a traditional house of Tay minority. 
    Summary
    Boat trip:  1.5 hr
    Biking:   82 km of which descend 18 km and ascend 22 km
    Accommodation: Home stay
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Support vehicle: Van or Motorbike(s)
     
    Day 10: Ba Be - Cho Ra - Hanoi ~ day off
    Today we have a relaxing and peaceful day. After the breakfast we say goodbye to the hosts and take a short walk through the village. We will board a long boat for a fantastic boat trip on the stunning Ba Be Lake. After 1.5-hr interesting boat trip reach Cho Ra Town for lunch. Drive 5 hrs back to Hanoi with a lunch stop on the way. Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.
    Summary
    Boat trip:  1.5 hr
    Transfer:   190 km from Cho Ra to Hanoi
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
    Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch
     
    Day 11: Hanoi Departure
    Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide and driver are at your disposal until we transfer you to the airport for your flight home or connect to another adventures in Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar with ActiveTravel.Asia. Our stunning biking tours to the West part of North Vietnam ends up on your hotel arrival.
    Summary
    Transfer:  45 mins from hotel to the airport
    Meals:  Breakfast
     
    Note on client safety
    We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety


    Group size Price guide (USD/person)
    WHAT ATA SUPPLIES?
    Professional Mountain Bikes - Trek  XCALIBER 7 assembled in USA with 27-speed (3 levels, 9 speed each), manufactured in 2014-2015 with the specs (by evanscycles.com) as below:
    Frame: Alpha Gold Aluminium w/semi-integrated head tube, mechanically formed & butted tubing, race geometry, internal front derailleur routing, G2 Geometry
    Fork: SR Suntour XCR w/coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 100mm travel
    Front Derailleur: Shimano Altus
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Acera M390
    Number of Gears: 27
    Shifters: Shimano Acera M390, 9 speed
    Chainset: Shimano Acera M391
    Chainrings: 44/32/22T
    Bottom Bracket: Cartridge
    Cassette: Shimano HG20 11-34, 9 speed
    Pedals: Wellgo nylon platform
    Brakeset: Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes
    Handlebars: Bontrager Low-Riser, 31.8mm, 15mm rise
    Stem: Bontrager SSR, 27.2mm, 12mm offset
    Headset: 1-1/8" threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
    Grips: Bontrager Race
    Rims: Bontrager AT-650 32-hole double-walled rims
    Front Hub: Formula DC20 alloy front hub
    Rear Hub: Formula DC22 alloy rear hub
    Front Tyre: Bontrager XR1, 29×2.20″
    Rear Tyre: Bontrager XR1, 29×2.0″
    Saddle: Bontrager Evoke 1.5
    Seatpost: Bontrager SSR, 27.2mm, 12mm offset
    Weight: Not Specified
    High Quality Helmets: Offer maximum protection during off-road uses
    ATA first-aid kit: Available on any ATA trips
    If you pick the price option Incl. Mechanic and Support truck, we will supply:
    Support truck: each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognize the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. At times there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group, with the support vehicle and cycling leader out of sight. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.
    01 professional mechanic along the biking trip who greatly understand the technical issues and fix the professional bikes as manufacturer's requirements. That will maximize the safety and the duration of our bike usages.
    Spare parts of the bike such as: Tyres, Pump, Plastic tyre levers, Small tube of grease, Brake cable, Gear cable, Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear), Spare spokes for front and rear wheels, Spoke key, 4 x inner tubes etc
     
    WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING WITH?
    Cycling Shoes
    Regular cycling gloves
    Biking glasses - sun protection recommended
    Helmet best fitting your head size recommended
    Personal knee & elbow protections
    Bottles of water
    Base-layer - Long sleeved cycling top
    Lightweight waterproof jacket
    Several T-shirts
    Long-sleeve, lightweight casual shirt
    Fleece jacket or jumper
    Padded cycling shorts x 2, inc 1 pair of baggies
    Cycling tights or tricksters
    Lightweight travel trousers
    Casual shorts
    Sun block, anti-insect repellent, rain coat, toiletries
    GoPro Camera - optional
    Mobile phone with multi sockets - optional
    THIS ADVENTURE INFORMATION
    Depart from:   Hanoi - End at:   Hanoi
    When:    October - April see more Vietnam weather
    Activities:   Biking, River cruise, Culture expedition
    Transportation:  High-end mountain bike, Support vehicles, Night train, Boat
    Accommodation:  9 night hotels, 1 night home stay & 1 night train
    Tour guide:   biking English speaking guide 

    BIKING GRADE
    Challenging Grade that means this tours involve in active, physical required activities up to 06 – 08 hours per days in remote area, under variable weather conditions or quick attitude changes. You are going to get into remote areas where the support facilities are not always available or facing to passes or river crossing. You should be in very good level of fitness. For those biking or motorcycling adventure, experienced riders with good driving skills may be required.
    * Suggested preparation: 45 - 60 minutes of aerobic type exercises, 4-5 times per week for about 04 - 06 weeks before your adventure. Outdoor hill or up/down staircase walking is recommended. 
    Who suits: Recommended for fit travelers
    Activity: 6-8 hours most days 
    Distances: Hike up to 10 - 13 miles (or 16-22km), cycle 40 - 55 miles (or 65 – 88km) most days 
    Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails 
    Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day (about 1200m)
    Altitude: up to 12,000 ft. (about 3600m)) 

    MEALS AND FOOD
    - Day 1: Lunch, Dinner
    - Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch
    - Day 3-10: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Day 11:   Breakfast, Lunch
    - Day 12: Breakfast
    All meals, which are indicated in the itinerary, are included in the price of this trip. While in big towns we will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in fine restaurants. Once we travel away from big towns, the emphasis will be on healthy and nutritious fresh local produce.

    NIGHT TRAIN, HOTELS AND HOMESTAY
    In big towns we use the finest 3-star with center location. Please contact us if you prefer higher hotel category. In remote areas we use the best hotels or guest houses available. 
    Homestay in villages is basic in term of bedding condition and amenities. We will sleep on bed or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillows and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
    Cabin on night train from Hanoi to Lao cai (Sapa) is 4 soft berth sharing cabin with air conditioning, lockable door and comfortable beds. If you want more privacy, you can request us to take charter cabin booking.

    OUR BIKING TOUR GUIDE
    The tour will be led by one of our tour guides who are experienced in guided cycling tours in Vietnam. He has been carefully selected and trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding by the government. In addition, he has been trained in first-aid by SOS International and he knows how to deal with difficult situations. You will have a great time traveling with him.

    THE BIKING DAYS
    A typical biking day starts at about 8.30 am after breakfast. Lunch times can vary depending on the distance. We aim to reach the next overnight stop by 4.30 or 5. During the biking we will have short breaks for rest, snack and photographing. 
    Depending on the distance and the terrain the biking day can be part-drive part-ride or riding the whole way. 

    THE BIKES
    On this tour we use Trek  XCALIBER 7 assembled in USA with 27-speed (3 levels, 9 speed each), manufactured in 2014-2015, different sizes. Biking helmets of good quality are also provided. 

    Note on client safety
    We reserve the right to deviate from this itinerary for any reasons, including road and weather conditions, frequency of visits to a village, or for any other factor which may influence client safety.


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