The real dirt bike on the northwest, Vietnam

Motorbike trip is wonderful for those who have great health and like much more adventure in their travels. Bike tours to the rugged region give a a lot more direct experience of the life of its people.

It is possibly not everyone’s cup of tea, but discovering Vietnam’s rugged and scenic northwest on a motorbike is much more than an exhilarating experience.

Those who have undertaken it say it enables them to see “life as it genuinely is for the Vietnamese men and women.”

Dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas turn into far more direct and intense when the visitor is not enclosed within a vehicle. Watching the rural population doing about its company also becomes a a lot more intimate affair.

“We began the itinerary to four mountainous provinces – Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lao Cai – in the northwest region with a 130 km ride to Mai Chau,” said Andre Prince, who took the 7-day journey with six friends from Canada.

Together with a tour guide, they left Hanoi at 8:30 a.m. and rode the dirt-bikes (175cc and 250cc Yamaha and Honda) west to Mai Chau, residence to the Thai ethnic minority.

They traveled on road No. 6 passing expansive rice paddies and scenic villages and stopped for refreshment just before tackling 70km of undulating roads with excellent views of mountains and valleys before reaching Mai Chau at noon.

“We were genuinely impressed by the standard stilt-houses, the dances and meals at Pom Coong, a village of the White Thai ethnic minority,” said Andre.

The group left for Son La Province the next morning.

Kien, the tour guide, said the motorbike trip of about 1,000 km is fantastic for those who have great health and like far more adventure in their travels. The tour is also fantastic for discovering a number of vantage spots for photography, he added.

Besides the tea plantations in Moc Chau Plateau – the destination of the very best green tea in Vietnam that grows along the roads on the hillsides in Son La, the valley of Dien Bien Phu also provides magnificent views.

Here “the ride is far more adventurous with far more winding roads and longer passes, whilst offering a lot more colorful minority groups and more stunning scenery,” said Andre, adding that the highlight of Dien Bien Province could be the impressive Pha Din

Pass, which means Heaven-Earth. According to local legend, it was the frontier between Heaven and Earth. Pha Din is some 1,000m above sea-level.

“Climbing and descending the slopes with their numerous bends and deep gorges is a really unforgettable experience,” Andre said.

The fourth day was scheduled for Lao Cai, where stops at H’mong and Dao villages refreshed the crew after a 225 km ride along stunning gorges and the Nam Na River.

Fittingly, Sa Pa was the pinnacle of the trip, where the group stayed for two days and visited numerous ethnic minority villages deep in the forest.

“Sa Pa is a paradise for trekking lovers. It has so several routes with views of stunning terraced fields, diverse minority groups and the highest peak in Indochina, the Fansipan.”

The group also got off their bikes to take a jeep ride downhill to the Muong Hoa Valley, where they trekked on dirt paths through pine forest, terraced fields and H’mong villages. En route they stopped to go to minority schools and had a picnic lunch by the river.

Hanoi – Hoa Binh – Son La – Dien Bien – Lao Cai – Hanoi
7-day trip with 5 days of motorcycling
Motorcycling grade: Moderate to Challenging
From US6 per person
Contact: Active Travel Vietnam
Email: [email protected]
Head office: 31 Alley 4, Dang Van Ngu St., Hanoi
Operation office: 367 Ngo Quyen St., Son Tra Dist., Da Nang
Operation office: 50 Bis Co Bac St., Dist. 1, HCMC
Support number (24/7 service): + 84 – 4 – three 573 8569

Reported by Hoang Kien/Thanhniennews

Related sites:
Motorcycling Vietnam Travel Guide
Motorcycling tours in Vietnam

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