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ADVENTURES

VIETNAM cycling 

Travel into the heart of ​northwestern Vietnam that’s known for its pristine rice terraces, cool mountain atmosphere, and community of ethnic minorities 

Vietnam Cycling Tour

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On this journey you will get to see some of the most impressive sights of Vietnam and take time to immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of the people of Vietnam. 

The magic of this tour is that it takes you into areas of Vietnam many tourists who fly by in tourists vehicles do not get to see. You get to ride through small villages and take in breathtaking scenery as you cycling down mountain passes.

We will travel out to  Hoa Binh, cradle of Muong ethnic culture with picturesque landscapes. Hoa Binh Province is proud to be one of the oldest areas in Vietnam with the world-famous “Hoabinhian Culture.”  We then head to Moc Chau, a large, mountainous district of the Son La province, about 200 kilometers west of Hanoi. It is a great place when you are planning to visit Mai Chau from Hanoi. Thanks to the cool climate, it is home to around 3,000 hectares of tea plantations.

We continue cycling around these remote areas and travel to Dien Bien Phu, where The Viet Minh victory signaled the end of French colonial influence in Indochina and cleared the way for the division of Vietnam along the 17th parallel at the conference of Geneva.

Our journey also takes us to Sapa, with its diverse population of minorities, breathtaking views, and great variety of nature.

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AT A GLANCE
  • 15 days
  • Average 70km a day
  • Start point is Hanoi
  • Hot mineral stream- 'Kim Boi'
  • Moc Chau and rain forest
  • Visit local markets
  • Mix of tar and dirt roads/tracks
  • Cycle deeper into tribal lands
  • Cycle up to 1600m

Cycling Vietnam Overview

Day-1: Arrival Vietnam, Hanoi airport 
Day-2: Hanoi to Hoa Binh (B, L, D)
Day-3: Cycle Hoa Binh to Mai Chau (B, L, D)
Day-4: Cycle Mai Chau to Moc Chau (B, L, D)
Day-5: Cycle Moc Chau to Yen Chau (B, L, D)
Day-6: Cycle Yen Chau to Son La (B, L, D)
Day-7: Son La, Rest Day (B).
Day-8 Ride Son La to Tuan Giao (B, L, D)
Day-9: Ride Tuan Giao to Dien Bien Phu (B, L, D)
Day-10: Dien Bien Phu- Muong Lay (B, L, D)
Day-11- Muong Lay- Tam Duong (B, L, D)
Day-12: Tam Duong - Sapa (B, L, D)
Day-13: Sapa- Rest day (B)
Day-14: Sapa- Ban Khoang- Lao Cai. Night train (B, L, D)
Day-15: Depart Hanoi (B)

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VIETNAM CYCLING ITINERARY

 Day-1: Arrival Vietnam, Hanoi airport

Arrival and transfer to your hotel. If time permits, we will spend the afternoon at the Ethnology museum which will give you an overview of 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam including the Thai people who you will meet along the way.

Overnight in Hanoi

Day-2: Hanoi to Hoa Binh (B, L, D)

Cycling Hanoi - Hoa Binh 56/72 km: We leave Hanoi by car and start cycling from Luong Son to Hoa Binh town. The town is famous for the biggest reservoir in Vietnam and also the culture diversity of many typical ethnic groups such as Muong, Thai.

Overnight in Hoa Binh

Day-3: Cycle Hoa Binh to Mai Chau (B, L, D)

Cycling Hoa Binh- Mai Chau 62 km: a beautiful landscape of mountains and red soil hills covered by green sugarcane, cassava, corn and rice fields. There are many shops on the way where you can find 'Ruou Can' - the unique rice wine of Hoa Binh province in brown jars drunk with bamboo straws. You also pass by some factories where they make brooms from 'Dot'; a new wonderful golf is located behind mountains; a place where is famous for hot mineral stream- 'Kim Boi'; some small villages of Thai & Muong and many other interesting things you will see and learn on the way.

Home-stay of Thai ethnic in Mai Chau

Day-4: Cycle Mai Chau to Moc Chau (B, L, D)

Cycling Mai Chau- Moc Chau 67 km: from low to higher area, from houses-on-stilts to rice fields On the way to Moc Chau, we cycle through a rain forest and enjoy the shade & cool air in the middle of a hot summer day. With many grass fields on hills along the way it also offers beautiful scenery. You should stop at a local restaurant to taste a very famous fresh local yogurt.

Day-5: Cycle Moc Chau to Yen Chau (B, L, D)

Cycling Moc Chau- Yen Chau 60 km: Moc Chau is famous in the North for its tea plantations. Green tea crop cover the hills. Many plants are 30- 40 years old. This area offers you a great chance to cycle around the tea plantation enjoying the scenery, fresh air and getting to know how hard to make a cup of tea. We will end our day at Yen Chau, the area of fruit plants such as mango's, longans, bananas...

Day-6: Cycle Yen Chau to Son La (B, L, D)

Cycling Yen Chau- Son La 65 km: leaving this area after having some local fruit, we visit a local market along the way and meet some ethnic groups in their most beautiful traditional dresses. We then cycle on to Son La and visit Son La prison built by the French.

Day-7: Son La, Rest Day (B).

Day-8 Ride Son La to Tuan Giao (B, L, D)

 

Cycling Son La-Tuan Giao 90 km: we pass through rice fields and plum orchards. It is hard cycling day with up-and-down hills.

Day-9: Ride Tuan Giao to Dien Bien Phu (B, L, D)

Cycling Tuan Giao -Dien Bien Phu 80 km: There is less traffic on this tar road, which gives you more opportunity to enjoy the scenery of rice fields dotted by water wheels. The area is inhabited by White Thai and Kh'mu people in their charming clothes. We arrive in Dien Bien Phu quite late in the afternoon.

Day-10: Dien Bien Phu- Muong Lay (B, L, D)

Leaving Dien Bien city far behind we enter the world of rural Vietnam. We assemble our bikes and after lunch cycle on a thin tar road, seldom used by vehicles, through rolling countryside filled with tropical trees, plantations and small villages. After 60 km we climb into our back up vehicles and drive to our destination is the village of Lai Chau.

Day-11- Muong Lay- Tam Duong (B, L, D)

This morning we cycle onto single track routes which wind through the fields and hillsides. After the single trail ride we load up for 40 km and start cycling again along the the Nam Na River to Pan Tan where we have lunch.

A gutsy climb of 17 km awaits us after lunch followed by an awesome downhill enjoying the views of mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, jungle, and tiered paddy fields. We are also getting deeper into tribal lands and we'll see Tay, H'Mong and Dzao tribal people in their villages and tending their crops.

Day-12: Tam Duong - Sapa (B, L, D)

Once again the day kicks off with single track riding through the villages and we expect to see more tribal people in colorful dress, living their lives the way they have for generations.

Day-13: Sapa- Rest day (B)

This is your time to discover the beauty of Sapa town, market, orchid garden or go trekking.

Overnight in Sapa.

Day-14: Sapa- Ban Khoang- Lao Cai. Night train (B, L, D)

Sapa - Ban Khoang (high country road) with just deep blue skies and fluffy white clouds, we head back into the mountains. You will be cycling HIGH for half day at 1400-1600m then comes the big descend down to Lao Cai.

Shower and dinner before getting on the night train back to Hanoi.

Day-15: Depart Hanoi (B)

Early morning arrive at train station and head to Tamarind restaurant for breakfast. It is time for little shopping before leaving Hanoi for your flight home. Transfer to the airport (3 hrs before your departure flight)

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Vietnam, Cambodia Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time of year to go to Vietnam and Cambodia?

Vietnam is a year-round destination, spring (March to April) is typically the best time to visit the entire country, when days are generally pleasant, temperatures are moderate and rainfall is light. Hanoi and North Vietnam has a distinct winter and summer season. The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures average 17-22°C with the coldest months being January - March. Summer lasts from May to October when it is hot and humid and the region experiences its highest rainfall.

The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and May when the country experiences low rainfall and still enjoys warm temperatures. However, the climate in Cambodia is generally hot and humid all throughout the year.

Can I get the Vietnam visa on arrival directly at the airport?

The official language of Chile is Chilean Spanish. English is spoken by some locals in tourist areas. It is a good idea to learn basic Spanish phrases before your trip."

What currency do they use in Vietnam?

The official Vietnamese currency is the dong (VND). While US dollars are also accepted in areas that receive a lot of tourists, most transactions are conducted in dong.

The highest denomination note is 500,000 VND, but  it looks very much like the 20,000 VND note so you need to be alert. Other notes are: 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000 VND.

Do we need travel insurance?

Yes you do. We do not recommend travelling without it and require it for our tours. Accidents, medical emergencies, travel delays or other problems can occur in any country and the resulting costs can be significant. Here is  a link if you do not already have your own preferred provider. 


What plug converters do I need in Vietnam?

Vietnam generally uses 220 volt, 50hz electricity. They use types A, C, and G power sockets. Most sockets also accept 2 flat-pin plugs (type A – American).

What plug converters do I need in Cambodia?

For Cambodia there are three associated plug types, A, C and G. Plug type A is the plug which has two flat parallel pins, plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type G is the plug with three rectangular pins, in a triangular pattern. Cambodia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Is the water safe to drink?

The tap water is generally not safe to drink in Vietnam and Cambodia. Bottled water is readily available at tourist sites, hotels, and restaurants. Don't forget to use bottled water when brushing your teeth as well! Ice is not always made with boiled/ bottled water. Order your beverages without ice.