What To Expect
Our tour is the ultimate mountain bike adventure. After an overnight train ride from Hanoi, we ride 350 kilometers through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. The roads are a mixture of good asphalt, broken or potholed roads and some off road cycling tracks.
Although the riding is tough it is very enjoyable and anyone who enjoys hill riding will love this tour. The scenery really is fantastic and the people are extraordinarily colourful and friendly. This trip will be supported by a mixture of jeep and motorbike. Due to the nature of some of the trails, the jeep cannot follow, then we will have motorbike support and during these motorbike sections we will have rendezvous points with the support vehicle.
This trip is tough due to the nature of the area. It is a very mountainous region and we have to cross many valleys and mountains to get to Dien Bien Phu. The tour builds up to some tough all day riding with long distances. This trip should only be attempted by those in good physical condition.
We meet in Hanoi, having a bit of a chance to explore Vietnam's capital before we catch the Tulico Express, the overnight train up north and the start of our adventure. Bikes and luggage can be dropped off at our local office so you can head off and visit Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature or have a relaxing massage to help recover from jet lag. We will all meet up in early evening for dinner and then transfer to the train station along with bikes and bags for the 260-kilometer overnight train journey to Lao Cai. The train is a very civilized affair with sleeping compartments for four and a carriage where you can buy food and refreshments.
Meals included: Dinner
Our train arrives early morning in Lao Cai, a town which shares its borders with China's Yunnan province. We transfer to the hill station town of Sapa, at an altitude of 1,600 meters. It will take us approximately 1 hour to drive up the mountain side and upon arrival we will have breakfast then check into our hotel. We'll have time to fit bikes before taking in the fresh air and spectacular views on our late morning ride on an off-road track to the village of Ta Phin.
Our bike ride will take us along the trails used by the locals to get to the market and through the hills which have been terraced for wet rice agriculture. On some sections you may be required to carry your bike across paddy fields. Support is for only 40% of the ride, though the jeep will never be too far away and will rendezvous with us at several stops en route. At this altitude the weather can vary, so keep in mind that we may have to take an alternative route if the weather is bad.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Accommodation: Long New Wing Hotel; Ride Distance: 25 kilometers off road
This morning we have a long ride ahead of us and our day will start from the hotel with an approximately 16-kilometer uphill to the Tram Ton Pass, which is the highest road in Vietnam at 1,900 meters, so eating a hearty breakfast is recommended.
For those not quite up for a challenge so early in the morning a lift to the top can be arranged. The views are stunning from the top of the pass into the next valley we'll be riding through. You can track where we'll be heading by following the road snaking its way 20 kilometers downhill. Time to double check brakes before we let loose on the descent through some tea plantations scattered amidst some truly outstanding countryside.
We stop at Binh Lu to regroup before taking an off-road trail to Phong Tho. This lovely undulating 35-kilometer ride passes through farmland and villages in a valley inhabited by the Lu people. This section is supported by a motorcycle and we'll stop for a picnic lunch en route. After a fantastic day of varied riding we'll cap it off with a dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Accommodation: Muong Thanh Hotel; Ride Distance: 85 kilometers (35 kilometers off road)
We start the day with an hour transfer to Huoi Ke, from where we'll start our scenic but challenging ride to Than Uyen. The grades are above average today as the winding road twists through the mountains and goes over two passes. We'll have a picnic lunch along the way as the hamlets we'll pass through are too small for restaurants. We'll stay overnight at the small and rustic town of Than Uyen at a simple guest house.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Accommodation: Phuong Nhung Hotel; Ride Distance: 90 kilometers
Following an early breakfast we start to ride from our hotel. As we go over three passes today - Muong Mun, Huoi Long and Meo Hoa - the day will entail plenty of ascents and descents. It will take us considerable energy to ride over the three passes, but we will be rewarded with stunning views along the way. It is advisable to wear discreet riding shorts as we'll be passing through many ethnic tribal villages. At the town of Tuan Giao, we will take a land transfer to Dien Bien Phu (approxiamtely 2 hours and 30 minutes).
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Accommodation: Him Lam Hotel; Ride Distance: 90 kilometers
After an early breakfast we take in a tour of historic Dien Bien Phu. Starting at the well-maintained and interesting museum, we'll visit the cemetery and the French war bunkers and battle sites. We then head to the airport to catch the lunch-time flight back to Hanoi.
Meals included: Breakfast
All hotels (twin share or dorm) and meals specified
Cycle support by a/c vehicles
All water, soft drinks and snacks whilst riding
All entrances to museums and sites mentioned
Local English speaking guide
Flight Dien Bien Phu - Hanoi
Alcoholic, and other beverages in the evenings
Tips and gratuities
Personal travel insurance
Participants must be at least 18 years old to join this tour.
This tour has a 2 passenger minimum requirement for operation and is subject to cancellation if this minimum is not met. Please call at least 24 hours prior to departure to confirm schedule.
This tour follows a mix of asphalt roads, broken roads, vehicle-width dirt roads, and rough tracks, so some off-road riding skills are an advantage. You should be confident of your physical condition and bike handling skills.
Several sturdy jeeps and air-con vehicles are able to take bikes and bikers. There is also motorbike support where required.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.