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Overview

Ride across the soaring landscapes of Northern Vietnam on an unforgettable biking adventure. Pedal from Sapa to Hanoi, crossing over vibrant mountain ranges and through lush valleys. Stop to mingle with hilltribe groups and stay in remote villages far from the tourist trail.

Trip Highlights

Cycling Sapa to Hanoi

Cycle across ‘Heaven’s Gate’

Take a challenging, but rewarding, ride over Vietnam’s highest mountain pass with views of Mount Fansipan in the distance.

Encounter hilltribe cultures

Pedal through villages inhabited by the White Hmong, Red Dao and Thai ethnic groups and see their traditional culture.

See North Vietnam’s diverse landscapes

Travel on backroads to see incredible rural landscapes of bamboo forests, limestone gorges, terraced rice paddies and more.

Itinerary

1

Hanoi Arrival – Overnight train

Transfer: 45 mins

Upon arrival in Hanoi, our local guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After dropping the bags off and freshening up, head out for a short tour of the dynamic capital. Visit places such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Pagoda, the famous Old Quarter, and the 11th century Temple of Literature. This evening, the guides will provide a pre-trip briefing followed by a delicious Vietnamese dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants.

Transfer to the train station for the overnight journey to Lao Cai in a comfortable, four-berth sleeping cabin.

Overnight on the train

2

Sapa - Ta phin village

Transfer: 1 hrCycling distance up to: 20 kmDifficulty: Medium

Arrive early this morning to Lao Cai, a small town 40 kilometers from Sapa. After breakfast, begin riding with an easy descent through the villages of Matra. Cycle on to the village of Taphin, home of the Red Dao Ethnic minority, enjoy the warmth of local hospitality. Afterward transferring to Sapa, browse through the central market.

Overnight in Sapa.

3

Sapa - Lai Chau

Cycling distance up to: 95 kmDifficulty: Hard

Today is a challenging ride, setting out to conquer Heaven’s Gate, the highest mountain pass in Northern Vietnam. The intense climb through stunning Hoang Lien Son National Park is rewarded with spectacular views of Indochina’s highest peak, Mt. Fansipan. After the amazing views, enjoy a great descent down a winding road to Lai Chau

After a light picnic lunch, continue pedaling through breathtaking scenery to the newly built town of Lai Chau.

Overnight in Lai Chau.

4

Lai Chau – Muong Lay

Cycling distance up to: 105 kmDifficulty: Hard

Awaken to cool morning air today, followed by an easy pedal from the sleepy town of Lai Chau. After about 10 km, the first hill of the day is met: either tackle the climb on the bicycle or hop in the van for a boost to the top, taking advantage of the long, sweeping downhill ride.

The afternoon’s ride toward Muong Lay runs over rolling terrain with magnificent views. Lai Chau and the surrounding valley will soon be flooded by the Sonla Hydro Electric Project, which will make way for Vietnam’s largest reservoir.

Overnight in Muong Lay

5

Muong Lay - Dien Bien Phu

Cycling distance up to: 93 kmDifficulty: Hard

Today’s route follows the Na River through a lush, undulating landscape of ferns, bananas, and bamboo to the city of Dien Bien Phu. This historic town has an infamous history as the location of a stunning Vietnamese victory over the occupying French Forces.

Overnight in Dien Bien Phu. 

6

Dien Bien - Tuan Giao

Cycling distance up to: 81 kmDifficulty: Hard

After a hearty breakfast, prepare for yet another captivating adventure. Today’s ride is gentler than the past three days and undulates through quiet back roads, picturesque gorges, and ends with a gradual downhill toward the town of Tuan Giao.

Overnight in Tuan Giao.

7

Tuan Giao - Son La

Cycling distance up to: 90 kmDifficulty: Hard

Today’s fantastic ride features the most breathtaking scenery of the entire journey. Following a short warm up, there is a challenging 12 kilometer climb followed by a coasting 14 kilometer descent. Pedaling onwards, pass through Thuan Chau town, home to the White Hmong people whose customary black headdress and pink tassels are still worn today.

Overnight in Son La.

8

Son La - Moc Chau

Transfer: 30 minsCycling distance up to: 121 kmDifficulty: Hard

This morning starts from the hotel by bike with a gradual uphill climb through lush, terraced rice paddies against a backdrop of jagged limestone cliffs. The ride is less hilly than yesterday’s, but no less spectacular. Stop for lunch in the town of Yen Chau before continuing on to Moc Chau, the final destination of the day. This town is situated at an elevation of 1000m and is renowned for its banh sua (milk cake) and tea products.

Overnight in Moc Chau

9

Moc Chau – Buoc Village

Transfer: 45 minsCycling distance up to: 67 kmDifficulty: Medium

Another spectacular day of cycling awaits, the majority of which is downhill! Enjoy an easy morning ride across a plateau of tea plantations and peach orchards. Cycle onwards along narrow, quiet back roads, moving into a region predominantly populated by Thai minority cultures. This beautiful valley, home to the village of Buoc, will be the home base for the night. Experience the traditional culture and way of life of these people with an overnight homestay. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner, taste some of the country’s finest rice wine and be entertained by a local dance performance (subject to availability).

Overnight in Buoc village in Pu Luong national reserve

10

Buoc village - Hoa Binh – Hanoi

Transfer: 2.5 hoursCycling distance up to: 66 kmDifficulty: Medium

This final day of cycling is one of the most memorable. Start with an 800m ascent before cruising down into the town of Muong Khen. Continue to pedal to Hoa Binh City, the ending point of the cycling journey. After a local lunch, trade in the bike for a 2.5 hour drive back to Hanoi where the afternoon is at leisure, until heading to a fabulous restaurant for a farewell dinner.  

Overnight in Hanoi.

11

Depart Hanoi

Transfer: 45 mins

This morning is at leisure before the departing flight from Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • 1 Exo Adventure Certified English Speaking Guide
  • Additional local guide for 8-15 pax, 2 assistant guides for 16+ cyclists
  • 1 first aid kit per guide
  • Each guide will have a full set of travel bike tools
  • Bike and Helmet
  • 1 refillable personal biking bottle per person
  • Plenty of water provided throughout the day when cycling
  • Snacks and fresh fruits
  • Vehicle support while cycling
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and back up as itinerary.
  • Motorbike support where need
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Admission fees where applicable in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation as listed above.
  • Flight re-confirmations

Our services don’t include:

  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Soft drinks, or beverages beyond water – we can add this into costs at agents request
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks at mealtimes
  • Tips for Guides and local crews
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Power bars, Gue, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the itinerary and in the inclusive portion.
  • Other language speaking guides
  • Credit card/bank transfer fees

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