Hanoi Motorcycle Tour to Hoi An via Sapa, Mai Chau and Ho Chi Minh Trail – 11 Days
By Minh Hoang
this 11 day motorbike ride on Ho Chi Minh trail from Hanoi via Northern Vietnam to Hoi An is our favorite because this motorcycle tour covers the North Vietnam including Sapa where you can see a different Vietnam with amazing scenery and colourful culture of ethnic people and also take you on best part of the Ho Chi Minh trail which offers most beautiful view of mountain.
Destination: Hanoi Thac Ba lake Sapa Phu Yen Than Uyen Mai Chau Tan Ky Phong Nha Khe Sanh Vinh Moc tunnel HueHoi An
Day 1: Hanoi motorbike tour to Thac Ba lake- 180 Km (L, D)
You will be met and picked up to leave the hotel and ride to Thac Ba lake with safety and fun
by riding motorbike on our route that offers 80% of back-roads and off-road. We will arrive at Thac Ba lake around 4:00 pm then we can spend an hour to have enjoyable boat tour around Thac Ba lakethe beautiful Thac Ba lake. We will stay overnight on a stilt-house of the Dzao people, the hosts are very welcome, friendly, they’re also very good cooks and masters of rice wine.
Day 2: Thac Ba Lake motorbike tour to Sapa – 210 Km (B, L, D)
After breakfast with the local family, we will great motorbike ride along the Thac Ba lake. This ride promises to be one of the best motorcycle tours in North Vietnam as it offers a great view of mountain, green lake and rice fields. After lunch in Pho Rang town, we continue the motorbike tour to Sapa, we will have a stop to visit the border to China, just to have a look at China from Vietnam. The last 40 km of motorbike ride to Sapa must be a highlight of the Vietnam motorbike tour today because we will hit the road up and up to the level of 1600 meters above the sea where the Sapa town located. This gives us plenty of chances to take amazing pictures of terrace rice fields and colorful hill tribes. We will be in Sapa at about 5:00 pm.
Day 3: Sapa motorbike tour to Than Uyen-110 Km (B, L, D)
After breakfast in the hotel, we will have short motorcycle tour around Sapa to visit some rustic villages of the local ethnic people to learn more about Vietnamese culture and also enjoy great scenery of the beautiful Muong Hoa valley. We’ll get back to Sapa town for lunch before having another beautiful motorbike ride down to Than Uyen town. The motorbike ride to Than Uyen from Sapa is another highlight of this Vietnam Motorbike Tour because we will cross the O Qui Ho pass – one of the longest and most beautiful passes in Northern Vietnam. After the mountain pass, we will motorbike on smooth sealed road through green tea fields, then arrive at Than Uyen town at 5:00 pm.
Day 4: Than Uyen motorbike tour to Mu Cang Chai – Phu Yen – 220 Km (B, L, D)
Start the ride at 8:30 am. Today we will have one of best motorbike ride in north Vietnam, it is almost on mountain road with amazing view of terrace fields and cross a lot of rustic villages of hill tribes. This is a typical motorcycle tour Northern Vietnam, we are just winding with the mountain back-roads and stop every half an hour to take pictures or chat with colorful local people. We will be in Phu Yen at 5 pm.
Day 5: Phu Yen motorbike tour to Mai Chau – 150 Km (B, L, D)
This is a short motorbike tour North Vietnam but it promises to be one of the best parts of the trip. After getting out of the town, we’ll have beautiful motorbike ride along the Da river lake, this ride remind you of the motorcycle tour on coastal roads. The route is almost empty in the middle of mountain and the river lake. After the motorcycle ride along the river, we will motorbike up and up to Moc Chau plateau where is famous for green tea and cool temperature. After lunch, we’ll make a turn to a small mountain pass to ride down to Mai Chau valley. We will end the great Northern Vietnam motorbike tour in Mai Chau at 4:30 pm then we can spend the rest time of the day to have a short walk around the peaceful village of the Thai people.
Day 6: Mai Chau motorbike tour to Tan Ky, Nghe An – 270 Km (B, L, D)
From today we will start to ride all the way down to central Vietnam on the Ho Chi Minh trail. After breakfast and saying good bye to the host, we will have very interesting Mai Chau motorbike tour through rustic villages of the Thai people and green rice fields. When we get out of the valley, we will keep riding on a small, spectacular and paved trail along the Ma river until Cam Thuy town where we stop for lunch. After lunch, just enjoy a relaxing motorcycle tour Ho Chi Minh trail to Tan Ky. We arrive Tan Ky town at about 5:00 pm.
Tan Ky is known as the starting point of the Ho Chi Minh trail during the war. At that time, all the troops with foods and staffs gather in Tan Ky and start to matching to the south of Vietnam on the trail to join the war in DMZ. Tan ky now is a little town located by the sides of the Ho Chi Minh trail, it’s peaceful town surrounded mountains.
Day 7: Tan Ky motorbike tour to Phong Nha, Quang Binh – 280 Km (B, L, D)
We continue the Vietnam Motorbike tour on Ho Chi Minh trail to Phong Nha and Ke Bang National Park. The ride offers some stops to see the green tea farm, villages of hill tribes…Especially, the Ho Chi Minh trail motorbike ride in the afternoon offers amazing view of mountain, it reminds you again of lime stone mountains in Halong bay. The karst formation of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park has evolved since the Paleozoic (some 400 million years ago) and so is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the park’s karst landscape is extremely complex with many geographic features of considerable significance. We will arrive Phong Nha at around 4:30 pm, and if time and weather permit, we can have a short boat trip along the green river to go through some famous caves.
Day 8: Phong Nha motorbike tour to Khe Sanh – 220 Km (B, L, D)
Unlike many other Vietnam motorcycle tour organizers, we will take you to Khe Sanh on the western Ho Chi Minh trail. The western trail is known as the hidden trail that the Us Army did never know to bomb, the trail runs through the National park of Phong Nha – Ke Bang, in more than 200 km, you will just see few other motorbikes but a lot of beautiful and beautiful mountain view. The ride on this trail could be one the best motorcycle tours Vietnam; Especially, after getting out of the Phong Nha National park, we will get chance to visit the former US Merine Base with tunnels, Air base and a interesting museum of Khe Sanh. We will finish the great western Ho Chi Minh trail motorbike tour at about 5:00 pm.
Day 9: Khe Sanh motorbike tour to Vinh Moc tunnel and Hue – 180 Km – (B, L, D)
This is another busy day of war stories and visits famous attraction, we will leave the Ho Chi Minh trail to ride on another historical road No 9 to the east and get closer to the coast of Vietnam. It is short Vietnam motorbike tour but we should pay a lot of visits to some interesting historical sites such as: Hien Luong bridge – known as the symbol of border between the north and the south of Vietnam, museum of the 17th parallel and the famous Vinh Moc tunnel. After lunch nearby the tunnels, we will have short motorcycle tour to Hue. Arrive beautiful city of Hue at around 5:00 pm.
Vinh Moc is a tunnel complex in Quang Tri, Vietnam. During the Vietnam War it was strategically located on the border of North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The tunnels were built to shelter people from the intense bombing of Son Trung and Son Ha communes in Vinh Linh county of Quang Tri Province in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. The American forces believed the villagers of Vinh Moc were supplying food and armaments to the North Vietnemese garrison on the island of Con Co which was in turn hindering the American bombers on their way to bomb Hanoi. The idea was to force the villagers of Vinh Moc to leave the area but as is typical in Vietnam there was nowhere else to go. The villagers initially dug the tunnels to move their village 10 metres underground but the American forces designed bombs that burrowed down 10 metres. Eventually against these odds, the villagers moved the village to a depth of 30 metres. It was constructed in several stages beginning in 1966 and used until early 1972. The complex grew to include wells, kitchens, rooms for each family and spaces for healthcare. Around 60 families lived in the tunnels; as many as 17 children were born inside the tunnels
Day 10: Hue sightseeing tour
After breakfast in Hotel, we will have enjoyable time to discover the charm of Hue city.
Base on your mood, we can take a motorcycle tour around Hue to see some tombs of the kings along the Huong river or have an easy bus tour around the city. We will be back to city to have lunch at one of the famous food streets in Hue. In the afternoon, take your free time to relax at the beach or have more walk around Hue or do some shopping. Diner is on your own, just feel free to enjoy your favorite food in Hue.
Hue is one of 3 capital cities of Vietnam during thousand years of history, but unlike the others, Hue remains a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City. Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early century. They take an important role in making Hue more attractive.
Day 11: Hue motorcycle tour to Hoi An: 170 km
The last day is completely different from the days before. Right after getting out of Hue city, we will have great motorbike ride along the coast through some fishing villages and colorful fields of tombs. The view is quite different from the view of mountain along the Ho Chi Minh trail; especially the motorbike ride cross the Hai Van pass must be one of the best motorcycle tours on coastline Vietnam. We will be in Da Nang city at around 2: 00 pm. You can have the option to stay in the coastal city of Da Nang or keep riding around 30 km more to Hoi An ancient town before ending up in Hoi An.
End of the trip!
Hanoi Motorcycle Tour to Hoi An via Sapa, Mai Chau and Ho Chi Minh Trail – 11 Days Rating: 9.8 out of 10 based on 368 reviews.
* ACCOMMODATION: – We endeavour to select a combination of good quality hotels that reflect the character of the local area as well as being as centrally located as possible, all the while striving to keep the cost affordable.
– Your trip will stay in a range of hotels / guesthouses with standardized quality.
– Please be aware that some hotel rooms, especially those in major urban centres or older cities, may be smaller than what you are used to in other parts of the world. Standards and ratings may also be different to your home country.
– Rooms are en-suite and either twin- or triple-share, depending on what you have booked. If you are a solo traveller, you will always be sharing a room with someone of the same sex otherwise you can pay a supplement to possess a single room
– If you are traveling as a couple and would prefer to have a double bed, please officially request a double room with us. We never presume that two people traveling together are a couple, even if you share the same surname, unless informed otherwise.
* MEALS: – Your included meals are detailed in the ‘More Inclusions’ section of this document.
– Breakfasts are included every day in the hotel (except on the first morning). They are usually ‘continental breakfasts’, which are typical in most countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in Asia, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well. Included evening meals are in local restaurants or accommodation places, and are either two or three courses. In most cases table water is provided with the meals, and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense.
– If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent when you book, or make note by email before you set out. But please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Asia. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.
* Ten Tips to Survive Vietnam’s Traffic: + DON’T spend hours waiting to cross the street on foot: that constant tide of traffic won’t stop until late at night, so
+ DO as the Vietnamese do: take the plunge and inch slowly across. Observe the Miracle of the Red Sea, as the traffic parts like magic, flowing smoothly in front of you or behind, meeting up again on the other side.
+ DON’T make any sudden or unpredictable movements: freeze if you have to, but never lunge forward or backward towards the safety of the sidewalk. In fact, you can do just about anything, but do it with conviction!
+ DON’T forget, if you’re riding or driving, to look where you’re going – all the time: if you hit anything in front of you, then it’s your fault.
+ DO give way to any vehicle bigger and noisier than yours. Trucks and buses are particularly dangerous: often old, sometimes unsafe and usually all over the road.
+ DO watch out for unfamiliar obstacles: water buffaloes, rocks of various sizes, broken-down trucks…, people sitting in the road, missing bridges, girls in ao dai cycling five abreast, slow-moving mountains of farm produce, dog fights, impromptu football matches, piles of building materials – and almost no light on anything at night..
+ DON’T hesitate to take evasive action – even if this sometimes means leaving the tarmac or coming to a dead stop.
+ DO try to avoid getting involved in one of the all-too-frequent minor accidents that plague Vietnam’s roads (and the major ones as well, of course), but if you are unlucky,
+ DON’T lose your cool, in spite of the interference of the large and vocal crowd that may gather: try to settle things amicably and swiftly. Sometimes, paying a reasonable amount of money will save you a lot of hassle.
+ DO remember that the only rule is: you’re not allowed to bump into anybody… irrespective of what they did or should have done, or of what the road signs or traffic lights were telling them to do. Some people still seem to think that anything red means forward, comrade
* Tipping for guides & mechanic: Our crews never expect tips themselves and will not ask for any; that’s not what friends do! However, so if you are really satisfied with all of what they did for you, please don’t mind tipping them a bit with a normal norm of US$ 7 – US$ 10/person for a guide per day and US$ 3 – US$ 5/person for a mechanic per day. (just don’t forget Mum’s souvenir).
Accommodation based on twin or triple sharing at standard hotels
Saigon, Cat Tien National Park, Dalat – Lak Lake, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Kon Tum, Hoi An via My Son Sanctuary, Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An, DMZ & Khe Sanh, Phong Nha Caves, Tan Ky, Cuc Phuong National Park, Mai Chau, Hanoi