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Vietnam Central & North motorbike journey

In short about this travel
This motorbike tour through Vietnam’s central and northern parts is a combination of many things; the fun of riding a motorcycle in a beautiful climate, experiencing culture and history of this wonderful country up close and personal, meeting locals and last but not least Vietnam’s stunning nature.

We will find ourselves riding through the mountains and visit colourful markets. We will also get a taste of the varied Vietnamese cuisine and see important historical sights. Experience everything from the coast in Hoi An to our visit to the forbidden purple city of Hue and our descend into the tunnels of Vinh Moc. We ride through dazzling green valleys, along rugged mountains, stretching rice fields and small mountain villages. We will also encounter different hill tribes in colourful traditional dress. We end the trip in beautiful green Hanoi. This is a motorbike tour where you will get to know the sights, sounds and beauty of Vietnam.

Travel information

Everything you need to know about this tour. Do you have any further questions? Please contact us!

Zusammenfassung der Reise
Summary of the tour
  1. Arrival → Hoi An
  2. Hoi An → Excursion (50 km / 31 miles)
  3. Hoi An → Hue (140 km / 87 miles)
  4. Hue →Dong Hoi (200 km / 124 miles)
  5. Dong Hoi → Phong Nha (120 km / 75 miles)
  6. Phong Nha→ Thai Hoa (310 km / 193 miles)
  7. Thai Hoa → Tam Coc (180 km / 112 miles)
  8. Tam Coc → Stay
  9. Tam Coc → Mai Chau (150 / 93 miles)
  10. Mai Chau → Ngia Lho (225 km / 140 miles)
  11. Ngia Lho →Sapa (235 km / 146 miles)
  12. Sapa → Stay
  13. Sapa → Bac Ha (190 km / 118 miles)
  14. Bac Ha → Ha Giang (200 km / 124 miles)
  15. Ha Giang → Dong Van (150 km / 93 miles)
  16. Dong Van → Stay
  17. Dong Van → Bao Lac (150 km / 93 miles)
  18. Bao Lac → Ba Be (130 km /81 miles)
  19. Ba Be → Hanoi (250 km / 155 miles)
  20. Hanoi → Stay
  21. Hanoi → Departure
EXTENSION

20. Hanoi → Halong Bay

21. Halong Bay → Hanoi

22. Hanoi → Departure

This tour from day to day
Day 1 –Arrival in Hoi An

Depending on the airline you fly with, you will arrive at Da Nang airport in the morning or afternoon. We ride for 45 minutes to the small atmospheric town of Hoi An, with traditional houses, described by many travelers as one of the most attractive and pretty places in Vietnam. It is situated along a river with a colourful market and traditional streets with colonial buildings and shrines where Chinese influences are visible.  

DAY 2 - HOIAN - EXCURSION

Today we take a test ride on the motorbikes and ride to My Son (30 km from Hoi An). My Son was the political and religious centre of the Champa. The Champa were people who worshipped the Hindu god Shiva from the 2nd century AD. Between the 4th and 12th century, an impressive 71 places of worship were built here. The complex has been abandoned since the 15th century. The war has left its mark, but it is still an interesting place to visit. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the city, Hoi An has an abundance of great restaurants and charming eateries. Colourful lanterns hang everywhere, making Hoi An look even more atmospheric in the evening. A boat trip on the river is also one of the options and you could visit the beach nearby. 

DAY 3 - HOIAN - HUE

We head north via the Marble Mountains of Da Nang. During the war, American ships bombed along the coast from caves. These caves are located in the mountains and are now marble stone pits. In the surrounding villages there are many artists working with marble. We then take a breathtaking mountain pass along the coast through Bach Ma National Park and end the trip in Hue. There we visit the old citadel of Hue Tu Cam Thanh, where the forbidden purple city is located. This was the private residence of the Emperor and is located exactly in the middle of the complex. 

DAY 4 - HUE- DONG HOI

We visit the impressive Vinh Moc Tunnels. Where the Cu Chi tunnels in the south - near Ho Chi Minh City - were primarily war routes, the Vinh Moc tunnels were shelters for the villagers to protect themselves from the intense bombardments of the Americans. During that time, about 60 families lived in the tunnels and 17children were born there. After the tour we head back to our motorbike and follow a part of the Ben Hai River along the border with the Demilitarised Zone(DMZ). We visit an impressive monument and ride along a coastal path to Dong Hoi. Devastated during the Vietnam War, this town has been rebuilt from the ground up and has great beaches, colourful markets and wonderful Vietnamese coffee. 

DAY 5 -DONG HOI - PHONG NHA

Today we take an adventurous motorbike route through a lesser travelled part of Ke Bang National Park. This park consists of an impressive 90% primal forest that has not been affected by humans. That ensures a high level of biodiversity and the interesting realization that thousands of years have gone by forming this area.This is also the most secret part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail: the DemilitarisedZone (DMZ)! During the Vietnam War, this was a neutral zone between North and South Vietnam. The US Secretary of Defense at the time Mc Namara first established this zone named after him, the Mc Namara Line. This is the narrowest part of Vietnam, only 90 km wide between Laos and the coast.  In the afternoon we take a boat trip to the largest caves in the world: The Phong Nha Caves. The caves developed about 250 million years ago and they are the most beautiful caves in Vietnam. The cave is at least 8km deep with a network of underground rivers. We park our bikes and stay overnight in a small village nearby. 

DAY 6 -PHONG NHA - THAI HOA

We spend the day travelling today. We take the famous road to Ho Chi Minh. We stay on this road heading north. This legendary road was once a route through the jungle used by North Vietnamese troops to supply the Viet Cong in the south during the Vietnam War. Experiencing Vietnam on a motorcycle immerses your senses in a different world. The sights and sounds along the spectacular and remote trails through the mountains along the Vu Quang National Park are amazing. This is a remote area on the border with Laos. It is so remote that only a few years ago, the saola, or spindle horn, also known as the Vu Quang ox, was first seen here. It is one of the strangest looking animals in the world. The people living in and around the national park belong to the Muong, an ethnic minority group. 

DAY 7 -THAI HOA - TAM COC

We follow the world famous Ho Chi Minh Trail and ride through small villages and rice fields until the road narrows and the region is more and more sparsely populated. There are hardly any tourists here, we see how beautiful life really is in the countryside of Vietnam. The road leads us further along small villages with rubber plantations, tea and grain fields, we see water buffaloes grazing and ploughing in the rice fields. In this area it is noticeable that there are less temples and more churches. 

DAY 8 - TAMCOC - STAY

Today we take a one and a half hour trip in a rowboat which takes us through amazing limestone mountains into natural caves. We will see also traditional farming activities. From here, it is a short ride to another world famous place, Hoa Lu,the ancient capital of North Vietnam. There are several temples here built in honour of the first Vietnamese Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang (924-979) (r. 968-979).This was done after the liberation of the country from the rule of the southern Chinese Han dynasty. 

DAY 9 - TAMCOC - MAI CHAN

Our route continues today and takes us in a westerly direction. We ride on narrow, quiet rural roads along a few nature parks to the fairytale like town of Mai Chan. This town lies in an idyllic valley, enclosed by hills and rice fields. The valley has several Thai villages, characterised by houses built on stilts. If we have enough time today, we will take a short diversions along off road paths through the hills and visit a chopstick factory. 

DAY 10 -MAI CHAN - NGHIA LO

We wake up to the impressive sounds and sights of nature around us. We hear streams rushing and birds singing. Today we travel narrow but paved roads again. It is a wonderful environment, there are many small villages and tea plantations along the route. In the morning we will meet mostly Thai people, but later in the day we will meet more and more Hmong people. We will cross the black river with a small ferry to reach the main road to Nghia Lo. Nghia Lo is located in the mountains and is growing fast. It is situated at a crossroads with two important roads. In the town we will see mostly Dao and Hmong people. 

DAY 11 -NGHIA LO - SAPA

The route takes us further north where the scenery again is stunning. On both sides of the road there are green rice fields built on the slopes. We ride through the mountains and cross a few high passes. This is the area of the Dao tribe. About 40 km before we reach Sa Pa, we climb the highest mountain pass of this motorbiketrip in Vietnam. Our trip is mostly off the beaten paths, but Sa Pa is very touristy. Unless we go to the market in the weekend, we will not see many tourists.

DAY 12 - SAPA - STAY

Sa Pa lies at an altitude of 1500 metres. During the French colonisation it was a summer retreat to get some relief from the heat in the lower parts of the country. This region is famous for its amazing landscape and the Black-Hmong people that live here. It is a nice place to stay and relax for a day, rent a bicycle or just stroll around the town and market.

DAY 13 - SAPA - BAC HA

The first 110 km we cover today is on a slightly busier road. On the way, we stop in Lao Cai to take a look at the impressive Chinese border. The Red River separates the two countries, yet they are connected by a railway bridge. This creates a view of high contrast. On the other side of the river we see the high-rise buildings of the relatively much richer China. After our coffee break, we ride a short stretch of main road and then take a quiet paved country road. We wind our way through villages and rice fields towards Bac Ha. This is a typical North Vietnamese village in a valley with colourful friendly people. 

DAY 14 -BAC HA - HA GIANG

A little further north we take a small road that leads us into a spectacular area covered with rocks. The Hmong villagers will be surprised to see us as hardly any foreigners come here and certainly not on motorbikes! After a beautiful descent we arrive in Xin Man. A little way out of Xin Man we cross a bridge and ride along the river to the village of Huang Su Phi. On the way we see many Nung people and their villages, after every bend there is another view of the great green terraces. As soon as we reach the intersection with the highway we will take smaller roads towards the main road. The main road leads us to Ha Giang. Be very careful! There is a lot of traffic here, Ha Giang is the capital of the province. We stay overnight outside the centre in a resort by the river. 

DAY 15 - HAGIANG - DONG VAN

Our tour takes us again through an exceptionally beautiful and unique area with karstmountains. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also named "Karst Plateau Geopark" or "Don Van- Meo Vac" - after two of the largest villages. Immediately after Ha Giang, the road narrows and we climb over a beautiful pass. We take time to look at the breathtaking scenery and observe the industrious hill tribes who are able to grow maize in the most seemingly impossible places. 

DAY 16 -DONG VAN - STAY

Today we will visit the surrounding area of this world heritage surrounding. You will have the possibility to visit the former Hmong Kings Palace. A short but adventurous ride takes us further north to the Chinese border. We can also enjoy a few shortlaps along smaller trails and through small villages to experience more sights and sounds of this amazing country. 

DAY 17 -DONG VAN - BAO LAC

We wake up at the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass. It is only 21 km long, but Vietnamese poets declared their love for this wondrous magical road. We take plenty of time to explore this special environment. It is a quiet route through a hilly landscape with rice terraces. Time to absorb the beauty and feast your senses on this beautiful part of Vietnam. 

DAY 18 -BAO LAC - BA BE

We ride to Ba Lake on narrow paths and trails. After crossing a river with a small ferry we arrive at our accommodation. Lake Ba is located in the national park of the same name. The lakes here are surrounded by the typical angular rocks (karst).The national park is entirely made of limestone, so there are lakes,waterfalls, caves and stunning rock formations in abundance. You can encounter rare species of animals such as the King Cobra, the Asiatic Black Bear and the Asiatic Golden Cat, and there are more than 350 different species of butterflies. Lake Ba is the largest lake in the country, about 7 km long and 1km wide. In the park itself there are several villages with ethnic minorities,such as the Tay, White Hmong and Red Dao. 

DAY 19 - BABE - HANOI

Today we ride a long way back to the capital Hanoi. In the morning the roads are still quiet but after Nguyen the traffic becomes busier. It is the last leg of the trip but still perhaps the most impressive as far as the contrast goes with the last two weeks. Many of our participants find riding back into the city in overwhelming traffic a fantastic experience at the end of this amazing trip. 

DAY 20 -HANOI - STAYCATION

On the last day you can have a look around Hanoi. During colonisation, Hanoi was the capital of French Indochina. The French history is still clearly visible in the wide boulevards and the old elaborate villas. You can walk around the old quarter in the small streets and along the lively shops. You can also visit museums or pagodas,there is plenty to do here. In the evening you have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious Vietnamese dinner specialities. 

DAY 21 -HANOI - DEPARTURE

Today you will transfer to Hanoi Airport for your flight back home. 

EXTENSION

If you wish, you can extend this trip with two days to visit Ha Long Bay by boat, one of the wonders of nature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

DAY 20 -HANOI - HALONG BAY

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel by minibus and transferred to Halong Bay. The journey takes about 4 hours. The peaked mountains in Halong Bay make this bay very special and it is beautiful to cruise through. You arrive at Halong Bay around noon. Here you board a traditional boat with other(international) tourists. You will then enter the bay and spend the night on the boat in a beautiful setting. If there is interest in caving, we will stop at various caves. 

DAY 21 -HALONG BAY - HANOI

In the morning we come back ashore and get back into the minibus. There is a lot of traffic between the coast and the capital Hanoi, the closer you get to the capital the worse it gets. In the afternoon you could see old Hanoi around the old centre. Depending on your flight, you will travel to the airport in the evening or the next morning. 

DAY 22 -DEPARTURE FOR HOME

You get an aiport transfer to the airport in Hanoi.

Local circumstances could require adjustment of the route on site.
General Information.
Difficulty level:
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Category 4
Kategorie 5
Motorcycle

During this trip we ride Kawasaki KLX 150 cc motorbikes. Upgrade to Honda XR 250 cc is possible and costs 375,-€ extra. Please specify when booking.

TOURCHARACTER

During this tour we will not ride on significant heights or through very deserted areas. We ride light motorbikes and therefore this tour is also suitable for people who have no experience with adventurous motorbike tours. The daily stages are not long, which gives the opportunity to visit or photograph different villages along the way. One inconvenience may be the traffic density in and around Hanoi. Thousands of motorbikes, scooters, rickshaws and bicycles make their way through the streets every day. On the main road (which we avoid as much as possible), take into account the trucks because the traffic rules are mostly hidden to European eyes. 

OFFROAD

Only a small part of this trip will be on dirt roads. In the current itinerary these are only 2 or 3 days. These routes are not difficult. So they are easy to ride even for participants without off-road experience. Only in bad weather these routes can be a challenge. 

CLOTHING

A helmet is compulsory, as well as protective clothing with protectors, good gloves and boots or sturdy shoes. Especially in spring and autumn, it can get very warm in the lower regions. We therefore recommend wearing breathable protective clothing. On the higher, colder parts in the mountains you can wear extra warm clothing under your motorbike clothing if necessary. Because of the dust, it is advisable to have a good pair of goggles with you or a visor. In the north of Vietnam, the rainy season (monsoon) is from June to the end of August. We plan our trips before or after the monsoon season. Nevertheless, we have to expect short rainshowers at any time. Finally, temperatures in the mountainous regions can drop to 5 C in winter, so it is advisable to take warm clothes. 

TRAVELDOCUMENTS

You will need a passport valid for 6 months after your return date. 

Visa

Check with your local authorities if you must apply for a visa to enter Vietnam. Regular passport holders of 13 countries (Germany, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Norway,Finland, Belarus, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Japan, South Korea) will be exempt from visa requirements for Vietnam for a stay of 45 days.

Citizens from all countries are now eligible for the e-visa program. Website to apply: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/

You can  also check Travel Doc for further info on entry requirements https://www.traveldoc.aero/ Y

Drivers license

Since 1 January 2016, for most countries, you can officially ride a motorcycle in Vietnam, if you have besides your own, national driver's license, an International Driving Permit (IDP). Your own driver's license is not valid without this IDP. Only the IDP model 1968 is accepted.

More details about the trip and what to take with you can be found in the handbook you will receive about 1 month before departure.
We are sorry. There is no video available for this trip yet.
Pricing & Details

Rider starting at: € 3350,-
Pillion: €2950,-

Singleroom occupancy additional charge: € 425,-

Pocketmoney to bring with you: € 450,-*

Minimumnumber of riding participants: 6
Maximumnumber of riding participants: 12
Maximumnumber of pillion riders: 2

Extension Halong Bay 2 days: €265,- per person including overnight on board and transfer from and to the hotel and hotel overnight in Hanoi.

Single room supplement €95,-.

* Pocket money: This amount is an indication of how much cash you may need to take with you on this trip. It covers food, drink, souvenirs, optional excursions and fuel.
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Available travels
Included in price:
  • Airporttransfers Hanoi
  • All hotel nights including 1 night homestay and mostly breakfast
  • Motorbike rental from day 2
  • Multilingual (English,German, Dutch) tour guide on motorcycle
  • Boat trip on Lake Ba Be
  • Dong Van permit
  • Support vehicle and luggage transport
  • Mechanic service
  • Travel documents
Not included in price:
  • International flights - Hanoi
  • Visa (if required)
  • Fuel for rental bike
  • Upgrade Honda XR 250 ccm
  • Entry fees
  • Optional excursions
  • Halong Bay
  • food and beverages
  • Travel- and Cancellation insurance

Vietnam Central & North motorbike journey

This tour is available on these dates:

Vietnam Central & North motorbike journey
Category 1
Category 2
Category 3
Category 4
Kategorie 5
Status:
Fully Booked
Bookable
Secured
Arrival:
Oct 27, 2024
Days:
21
Price:
€ 3425,-
Pillion
€ 2950,-
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