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Cycling Holidays Vietnam


Cycling Holidays Vietnam

N.E. Vietnam

N.E. Vietnam

N.E. Vietnam

Enjoy the Vietnamese culture

N.E. Vietnam

N.E. Vietnam

Vietnam N.E Cycling Holiday


Day 1: Hanoi

redspokes North East Vietnam cycling tour begins in Hanoi. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our joining hotel. You have time to look around the city today. Vietnam's beautiful and tranquil capital lies at the heart of the northern Red River Delta. Hanoi is a city of lakes and leafy boulevards that retains an air of French colonial elegance. The fine coffee and perfect baguettes have led some to call Hanoi the 'Paris of the East' but the city's roots go all the way back to 1010 AD. On arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the old quarter. This afternoon you have time to look around the city and explore more of the city's old quarter. This ancient part of Vietnam's capital city is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets each named after a trade or guild. Nowadays it is lined with tempting restaurants, guest houses, shops and cafés but the past never seems far away. This is a charming place to either unwind or visit some of the many attractions, the most popular being the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. 

Accommodation: Hotel 

Day 2: Hanoi -  Lao Cai

We will check our bikes this morning before a taking vehicle transfer to Lao Cai, the border city to China. This is the principal town in Lao Cai Province in North Eastern Vietnam, bordering Yunnan province, China. The border was closed from 1979 -1993 following war with China and the town mainly consists of modern architecture constructed since then. The town is now a popular destination for those journeying between Hanoi or Sa Pa and Kunming in China, and a key trading post. 

Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 3: Lao Cai - Bac Ha

Our cycling begins with 50km riding on gently inclining sealed road towards our first climb over the mountain pass to Bac Ha. As we cycle up to the pass the final 15km are a tough 800m climb on unsealed road and the terrain becomes gradually more challenging. Our efforts are rewarded with panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Bac Ha is famous for the delicious plums that grow in forests on the hillsides.

Cycling Distance: 62km (38.5miles)
Total Climb: 1,305m (4,281ft)
Total Descent: 465m (1,525ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 4: Bac Ha - Xin Man - Hoang Su Phi

We're back on the bikes today cycling to Xin Man. Our route takes us into some of the remotest areas of north east Vietnam. The ride begins with a 10km climb of around 400m on newly sealed road before we turn off cycling onto unsealed rough track for the next 15km heading into rural tribal areas. Next we begin a massive descent of 1000m to Xin Man. Located right on the Vietnamese/Chinese border Xin Man is hidden away in a landscape of wild mountain and forest and inhabited by 15 ethnic groups including the Nung, the Flower H'mong, the Tay, La Chi, Kinh, Hoa. After lunch we cross over the River Cahy for 40km of cycling along quiet road; there is a gentle incline as we approach Hoang Su Phi. We encounter some rough sections of road along the way but are rewarded with beautiful views of the river.

Cycling Distance: 76.2km (47 miles)
Total Climb: 1,548m (5,078ft)
Total Descent: 1,919m (6,295ft)
Accommodation Hotel: (B, L, D)

Day 5: Hoang Su Phi - 'Heaven Gate' pass to Tan Quang and along the Lo River to Ha Giang

Hoang Su Phi is one of the most untouched regions of Vietnam and communities have lived in total isolation from mainstream society until very recently. At an average elevation of 800m above sea level, with high mountains, deep valleys, streams and forestland, Hoang Su Phi is an area of outstanding natural beauty and unspoiled traditional life. Today we undertake the challenge of cycling over the 'Heaven Gate 2' mountain pass +895m, en route to Tan Quang. The pass offers stunning views beneath a wide open sky. You really will feel on top of the world.

This afternoon we make our descent cycling through villages and rice and maize terraces cultivated by the Red Dao and Tay tribes. The aromatic scents of cardamom and star anise fill the air as we ride to Tan Quang nestled down in the valley. For the final stretch of this long day's cycling we take it easy with a leisurely cycle of 46km along the Lo river bank through unspoiled countryside to Ha Giang the sleepy capital of Ha Giang Province and approx 215 miles (350 km) northwest of Hanoi. This is the old Silk Road.

As our route continues to the border areas we will arrange our tourist permits here.

Cycling Distance: 104km (65miles)
Total Climb: 1,206m (3,956ft)
Total Descent: 1,466m (4,809ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

 Day 6: Ha Giang to Quan Ba

Setting off this morning, we head out of town cycling for the first 25km on relatively flat road through a landscape of terraced rice paddy fields. Passing through minority villages we cycle the next 25km up winding roads into the vast limestone mountain range with its perpendicular walls of rock, climbing 800m towards the mountain road pass 'Heaven Gate'. As we ride through mountain villages, sometimes cloaked in clouds, we will receive a friendly greeting from the local communities. From the pass we have amazing views, including the famous vista of the Tam Son valley with the 'Twin Hills'. In the distance we'll see Quan Ba town, our destination, in its beautiful location. It's mainly downhill for the last 15km into Quan Ba.

Cycling Distance: 51km (32 miles)
Total Climb: 1,453m (4,767ft)
Total Descent: 684m (2,244ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7 Quan Ba - Rest Day

On a well-deserved rest day in Quan Ba, Vietnam, there are a variety of relaxing  activities to consider. Start your morning with a leisurely exploration of Quan Ba town itself, where you can savor delicious Vietnamese cuisine at local eateries or sip on a cup of aromatic coffee in a quaint cafe. For a deeper cultural experience, visit the nearby minority villages to learn about the traditions and way of life of the local ethnic communities. You can also take a tranquil walk through the lush terraced rice paddy fields and soak in the stunning natural beauty. If you're interested in history and architecture, pay a visit to the Tam Son Valley and its intriguing 'Twin Hills.' Finally, you might want to pamper yourself with a rejuvenating massage or spa treatment to refresh your body for the upcoming cycling adventures.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 8: Quan Ba to Yen Minh

We will want to take our time cycling today as our beautiful surroundings offer numerous photo opportunities and the rocky limestone and karst terrain is as diverse as it is beautiful. We cycle uphill for the first few km before riding a descent of around 10km and then biking on relatively flat terrain for the next 10km. It's a challenging up and down terrain to an altitude of 1.025m before we make a final descent for the last 15km cycling into Yen Minh. We will have the chance to see the traditional homes of the local hill tribes. The communities in this area are Chinese.

Cycling Distance: 54km (34miles)
Total Climb: 1,184m (3,884ft)
Total Descent: 1,626m (5,334ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 9: Yen Minh Climb over the Rocky Plateau to Dong Van and Meo Vac.

Today we cycle on semi-surfaced, quiet roads as we undertake a challenging uphill ride out of dense cedar forest onto the rocky Dong Van plateau. A registered UNESCO Global Geopark, 80% of the terrain is covered by rock and it is said to contain fossils from 400-600 million years ago. Nestled in a valley in the heart of the Rock Plateau, is the isolated town of Dong Van, very close to the Chinese border and surrounded by mountain forest and multi-coloured orchids. Meaning 'sharing culture' Dong Van is occupied by Chinese Hoa, and H'mong, Tay and Kinh People. The houses are built in Chinese style.

As we cycle on the modest road from Dong Van to Meo Vac alongside a vast gorge, our surroundings spectacular. This is a winding and undulating road with views of the Nho Que River below. From the Ma Phi Leng Pass we look down from an altitude of around 1500m into the valley. We stay tonight in the small town of Meo Vac. Most of the tribes living here have preserved their traditional way of life from outside influence, as travelling to Meo Vac was almost impossible until the recent construction of new roads.

Cycling Distance: 72km (45 miles)
Total Climb: 2,017m (6,617ft)
Total Descent: 1,453m (4,767ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 10: Meo Vac to Bao Lac

There is a market daily in the town centre of Meo Vac, frequented mainly by the White Hmong, Tay and Lo Lo hill tribes. Women dressed in their brightly coloured traditional clothing walk into the town carrying their bamboo woven baskets laden with corn and vegetables. Today we follow a remote mountain road to Bao Lac. After a 5km uphill cycle we make a 20km descent riding onto a fairly flat road for the next 10km. The surrounding landscape with predominantly limestone formations is a surreal vista of peaks, troughs, towers and caves. The crops and dwellings seem to perch precariously on the hillsides. There's a relatively gentle uphill climb of 250m before we descend for the final 30km along flat terrain. We will pass people from the local minority communities along the way dressed in their vibrant tribal costumes. We stay tonight in Bao Lac.

Cycling Distance: 74km (46 miles)
Total Climb: 756m (2,480ft)
Total Descent: 1,767m (5,797ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 11: Bao Lac to Tinh Tuc

Even in this isolated mountain town there is a busy morning market. We set off for a full day of cycling along challenging terrain but the road is quiet and well surfaced. We cycle through a pretty valley to the tin-mining town Tinh Tuc, heading on to Nguyen Binh. We continue riding along rough terrain, but the unparalleled beauty of our surroundings more than compensates for the challenges of the cycling.

Cycling Distance: 82km (51 miles)
Total Climb: 1,894m (6,213ft)
Total Descent: 1,549m (5,082ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 12: Tinh Tuc to Ba Be

The last day of our cycling tour, is both bittersweet and awe-inspiring. As we bid farewell to the charming Tinh Tuc, we embark on the final leg of our journey towards the captivating Ba Be National Park. Our route takes us through picturesque countryside, with verdant hills and quaint villages dotting the landscape. The cycling is accompanied by the soothing sounds of nature, as we follow winding roads that meander alongside the serene rivers and lush forests. Upon reaching Ba Be, we are greeted by the breathtaking sight of the emerald-green lake and the majestic limestone karsts that frame it.

This UNESCO-recognized natural wonder provides a stunning backdrop for our journey's end, offering a sense of fulfillment and a profound appreciation for the beauty of Vietnam. It's a memorable conclusion to our cycling adventure, leaving us with lasting memories of the remarkable landscapes and warm hospitality of the region.

Cycling Distance: 72km (45 miles)
Total Climb: 1,720m (5,643ft)
Total Descent: 2,320m (7,611ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 13: Ba BE to Hanoi 

This morning we pack up our bikes and have a transfer back to Hanoi. As our cycling trip comes to a close, we bid farewell to the serene landscapes of Ba Be and set our sights on the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi. Today is a day of leisure, with no cycling involved, allowing us to unwind and reflect on the incredible journey we've had. The Old Quarter offers a perfect backdrop for some last-minute souvenir shopping and a chance to pick up unique presents to commemorate our adventure. Its bustling markets and charming boutiques brim with an array of traditional crafts, textiles, and keepsakes. For those craving an extended adventure, the enticing option of an excursion to the magnificent Ha Long Bay beckons. This extension promises a splendid finale to our cycling tour, where serene waters and towering limestone cliffs await, offering a captivating contrast to our cycling escapades and a chance to explore even more of Vietnam's breathtaking beauty.

Accommodation: Hotel (B, L)

Day 14: Depart Hanoi

The 14-day North East Vietnam cycling tour with concludes this morning. We will coordinate a transfer to Hanoi International Airport to ensure your smooth journey back home.


Ha Long Bay - Extension

If you're eager to continue your adventure in Vietnam, we're delighted to offer an enticing trip extension to the captivating Ha Long Bay. Here's a glimpse of the exciting itinerary awaiting you.

On day 14 we set off after breakfast for a 2 hour transfer this morning to beautiful Ha Long Bay. This spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site is the world's largest marine limestone 'karst' landscape. We board a wooden junk, modelled on traditional Vietnamese court sailing boats, to cruise some of the Heritage areas and quieter grottos and caves.

This afternoon you have the opportunity to kayak around the Luon cave area. Later we cruise to Titop Island. We can swim, sunbathe and enjoy panoramic views from the island peak.

After dinner on board our cruiser you have the opportunity to try fishing for squid, or just relax on the deck. 

All meals will be provided on board (mainly seafood based).

Accommodation on the junk is twin, ensuite. (B,L,D)

Day 15: Ha Long Bay to Hanoi

This morning we enjoy an open air breakfast on deck before visiting one of the area's most impressive caves SỬNG SỐT(Surprising Cave).  As we continue to cruise the Bay we are treated to a cookery demonstration learning how to make Vietnamese spring rolls. We enjoy an early lunch before reaching the harbour and disembarking.  The boat trip finishes around midday and you will be transferred back to Hanoi to arrive late afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)

Day 16: Depart Hanoi

redspokes North East Vietnam cycling tour ends today. We will arrange a transfer to the Hanoi International Airport for your flight home.


If you need assistance or wish to discuss the tour, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on office@redspokes.co.uk for more information on this adventure holiday.