Our 11-day Extreme North Vietnam Tour will see you exploring the stunning Vietnamese landscape by the Chinese border and all the finest roads that Vietnam has to offer on one unique tour.
A firm favourite among all bikers, North Vietnam offers some of the finest scenery and roads available in Asia while Mu Chang Chai, Ha Giang and Meo Vac offers deserted mountain roads with spectacular views, the road to Cao Bang falls are long windy roads with brilliant S-Bends and pristine nature will make you want to keep coming back for more.
For many riders, northern Vietnam ( more commonly known as the ” Ha Giang Loop “ ) represents some of the best motorbiking opportunities anywhere in the world. The north offers the most majestic scenery on the grandest scale in Vietnam: the mountains are higher and the passes are loftier than anywhere else in the country. It’s one of our most popular trips with multiple sell out dates each year.
This ride is a slow crawl through some of the most remote parts of Vietnam. Largely on small roads with very short switchbacks, dramatic scenery, fascinating border towns, ethnic minority markets, and lush farmland abound. We ride 6-7 hour daily at low speeds with plenty of time to allow for photo stops!
- Start and End point: Hanoi ( Noi Bai International Airport )
- Mileage: 2,400 kilometers
- Daily Rides: 200 – 250 kilometers
- Difficulty Level: Windy mountain roads, with very short switchbacks
- 6-8 hour daily ride at low speeds
- Accommodation will be a mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (choice of all nights in homestay)
- Best months: October (24-10C) – April (18C)
- Walk along the skypath of the Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang
- Spectacular ride through the Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark
- Boat Ride on the Nho Que river in Meo Vac – the deepest river in Southeast Asia
- Stay at ethnic minority Homestays & immerse yourself in the local culture
- Take in the magnificent mountain views
Rider Briefing Dinner
On Arrival Day our Tour Leader will meet you at the hotel for a riders’ briefing and bike handover, then head out to one of the specially picked local restaurants for local craft beers and a feast to get your Vietnam adventure started!!
Hotel: Mercure Hanoi La Gare
Out of Hanoi Ride
Hanoi to Mu Chang Chai
360km – 8 hours
A route that finds the absolute quickest way out of the city and as soon as possible onto winding secondary roads into the mountains where the traffic is calm and the rice terraces and waterfalls abound.
To the China Border Ride
Mu Cang Chai to Hoang Su Phi
260km – 8 hours
To the north is a wall of mountains, the other side of which is China – we head to Hoang Su Phi.
This isolated town sits in a valley, its streets incredibly windy and steep. After a dramatic day of riding, Hoang Su Phi appears out of the mist. As we reach our homestay, you are awarded with a magnificent view of terraced rice fields, and its easy to see the attraction of the area.
Extreme North Back Roads
Hoang Su Phi to Ha Giang
200km – 8 hours
Today is a very mountainous, very scenic ride as we head to the famous area in north Vietnam, Ha Giang – arguably the most visually arresting region in Vietnam.
With panoramic views of limestone pillars, plunging valleys and cascading rice terraces – you’re in for a treat.
Bear in mind, this area is very prone to landslides after heavy rains, if the weather has been bad, we may be forced to wait while the road is cleared. Either way, progress is quite slow, partly because the road is very narrow, and partly because the scenery is so eye-catching we’ll be making frequent stops.
Ha Giang Loop
No Check Out Day
300km – 7 hours
Today we get an extra day in Ha Giang to rest, check our bikes, put our gear in for laundry.
A little later in the day, we go out for a loop ride of the area. It’s only a few kilometres before forested limestone mountains tower over you and irresistibly-blue rivers run alongside the road.
Steps & Passes – River Gorge Ride
Ha Giang to Meo Vac
280km – 7 hours
Starting out riding through the famous Ha Giang loop via the limestone landscapes of the Dong Van Karst Plateau, then head southeast through the Ma Pi Leng Pass, take in the view at the Khe Lia Panorama, and the best part of today’s ride – our secret path down to the banks of the Nho Que River, used only by the locals and not for anyone with a fear of heights!!
Today is an action packed day and needless to say one of our favourite days during the Northern ride.
Ride the Best Road in Vietnam
Meo Vac to Cao Bang
250km – 9 hours
Out of Meo Vac there are some fabulous views over a vast and sparsely populated landscape. This meandering road soars over a limestone plateau before descending sharply through Khau Vai village and towards Cao Bang.
Water Fall to Lake Day
Cao Bang to Ba Be Lake
280km – 8 hours
We start the morning with a stroll up to the top of a northern temple, which rewards with views of the Ban Gioc Falls.
We bear east onto an unnamed road leading over some spectacular mountains and through dense jungle all the way to the crossroads near Ba Be Lake.
Where the French Lost d’ War
Ba Be Lake to Lang Son
280km – 7 hours
For our last night we like to end it in style and pamper ourselves after a week in the rugged North in the Lovely city of Langson at the 5 star Sheraton Hotel.
Back to Hanoi
Lang Son to Hanoi
130km – 2 hours
The tour ends in the capital city of Hanoi, with plenty of cultural, historical and architectural attractions for the curious traveler. We drop our bikes off at the train station and walk 100m over to the hotel to drop off our gear. We taxi into town for a late lunch before saying our goodbyes.
Go on to explore the ancient city of Hanoi or for those who want to continue riding , check out our Ho Chi Minh Trail itinerary taking you from North to South Vietnam !!
Hotel: Mercure Hanoi La Gare
Book your flight out at anytime from Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
11-Nights accommodation in good quality hotels & tucked away homestays
Single Room occupancy from the night before tour departure to the night we arrive back to Hanoi
Ice-breaking welcome meal and final farewell feast
Excellent breakfasts each morning in the hotels / homestays
Daily Lunch & Dinners – we endeavor to show you the local flavors & cuisine as much as we can
All drinks and snacks during the ride breaks
Does not include alcohol
A selection of our ADV bikes from 1250cc, 1200cc, 850cc and 800cc with Fuel and Luggage
Detailed daily itinerary, route plans and maps including sights and suggested coffee / lunch stops
Fully guided by an experienced tour guide throughout
Personal Travel Insurance for Rider & Passenger
Motorbike Accident & Theft Insurance
24/7 Logistical Support
All Boat and Ferry costs
Permits to remote areas
Riding gear: Full-face helmet, protective jacket, pants, boots, gloves & rain gear
Refundable deposit for motorcycle rental USD 1,500.00
Airfare and Visa to Vietnam
You will require at least one large (70L) duffel bag to transport your riding gear. Which you will then wear. You will also need a smaller (40L) pack to transport your personal items. ART will be supplying a 40L North Face dry backpack that will mount on the luggage racks of your bike.(China Eastern allows 2 pieces of checked baggage free of charge)
Dry bags or dry duffels are recommended. Some bikes will be outfitted with Givi hard/waterproof/detachable saddlebags for convenient transport of roughly 15kg of on board cargo capacity. For most persons this is more than enough. ART will offer storage of any excess baggage not deemed necessary for your tour.
We recommend getting a local SIM while travelling in Vietnam; they are affordable, USD $10 per month gets you unlimited data and calls.
There are several carriers to choose from Viettel, Mobiphone and Vinaphone are the most popular. You will need to show your passport in order to purchase a SIM, although there are services at the airport that waive this step. A.R.T recommends Viettel as having the most coverage.
Don’t forget to unlock your phone prior to leaving your home country. Cell phones in general are affordable in Vietnam.
- Google Maps
- Maps.me (Google maps alternative, provides offline maps)
- Currency Converter (XE Converter)
- Google Translate
- Skype – Calls, messaging
- WhatsApp – Calls, messaging
- Rever – Motorcycle Maps, GPS, Navigation Planner
- Geo Tracker – GPS Tracker for distance travel
- Viber – Calls, messaging
We recommend no more than 15kg of gear. Your guides will carry most of the safety equipment, personal items should easily come in under that weight. We will provide storage for extra gear at A.R.T base of operations.
If you’re planning a one-way trip, please contact us in advance, shipping can be arranged.
Each tour has it’s dynamic and flexibility is what we strive for. If unforeseen circumstances arise, we will discuss our options and bring them to the group. Every circumstance is different and has a solution.
Anything is possible.