HA GIANG IN 12 DAYS MOTORBIKING ITINERARY
Ha Giang In 12 Days is one of the nicest motorcycle rides we offer in Vietnam. We take you from Hanoi to Sapa on the highest mountain roads over Hoang Lien range. Then up and down to Ha Giang, the most scenic province in the country. Last but not least, Halong Bay extension adds much more to the whole experience. Halong Bay is a World Natural Heritage. All in all, it’s the best itinerary on two wheels.
1st day: Hanoi – Nghia Lo
2nd day: Nghia Lo – Than Uyen
3rd day: Than Uyen – Sapa
4th day: Sapa – Bac Ha
5th day: Bac Ha – Ha Giang
6th day: Ha Giang – Dong Van
7th day: Dong Van – Bao Lac
8th day: Bao Lac – Cao Bang
9th day: Cao Bang – Lang Son
10th day: Lang Son – Halong City
11thth day: Halong Bay cruise
12th day: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Below is a video clip that has some portions of this Ha Giang In 12 Days trip. In case you want to watch more videos please check our YouTube channel.
More Ha Giang & North Vietnam Motorbike Tour Itineraries
Day 1: Hanoi – Nghia Lo (~250 km, ~7 h)
This is our first day of this Ha Giang In 12 Days. A good start will make you feel comfortable and more confident throughout the trip. Before the ride, it takes 30 minutes to double check the bikes and ensure that we have all necessary tools and equipment to guarantee maximum fun.
We head out of Hanoi skirting along Red River to Son Tay and then head up the mountain to Nghia Lo. The road is easy and flat from Hanoi to Thanh Son, from Thanh Son to Thu Cuc and then Ba Khe to Nghia Lo is beautiful, snaking the foot of Hoang Lien Range. Nghia Lo is a big mountain town where we stop for the night.
Day 2: Nghia Lo – Than Uyen (~180 km, ~5 h)
Wild and bumpy road with Lung Lo Pass as the first challenge. Then the next one is even higher – Khau Pha Pass. We ride through the Mu Cang Chai massif, almost as high as the Fansipan. From the top, it offers one of the most beautiful views of North Vietnam. The ride is challenging but very rewarding.
Night in a hotel.
Day 3: Than Uyen – Sapa (~140 km, ~5 h)
The area of Than Uyen is mainly populated by Flower H’mong and Dzao people. Then direction Sapa. Easy track for 100 km and asphalted mountainous road for the last 40 km. Stay in Sapa and you will find out the reason Sapa is one of the most popular places for tourists in Vietnam.
Day 4: Sapa – Bac Ha (~100 km, ~3 h)
The drive from Sapa to Bac Ha takes ~3 hours, down from Sapa to Lao Cai (34 km), a border city where we can take photos with China as the background. Then after lunch, we ride up to Bac Ha (70 km) with stunning landscape. Overnighting in Bac Ha.
Day 5: Bac Ha – Ha Giang (~200 km, ~6 h)
After breakfast, ride on the track to Xin Man and on many small/back roads with scenic mountain views before joining the main road heading up to Ha Giang where we stop for the night and apply for a permit.
Day 6: Ha Giang – Dong Van (~180 km, ~6 h)
After getting the permit to ride in border areas at Ha Giang’s Immigration Police, we ride on small challenging mountain roads (but incredibly beautiful) on the land of colorful mountain hill-tribes.
Head up the Ma Pi Leng Pass. Here is yet another amazing place, with cloudy mountain ranges and the poetic Nho Que river winding off in the distance. Ride on a zig-zag track until Dong Van, a remote area and meet the hard-working local people here. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage to live in the rocks. When we reach town we will have some extra time to wander the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago.
Day 7: Dong Van – Bao Lac (~80 km, ~4 h)
The road is still under construction and tracks what make the ride relatively long in spite of few kilometres. However, the landscape is among the most beautiful of Vietnam. And in addition, the slow tempo is only more appreciable.
We cross the wild regions of the mythical province of Ha Giang. Finally, stop for the night at Bao Lac, the ethnic crossroad of Northeast Vietnam. Many other ethnic groups on the two sides of the border meet at the market every Sunday.
Day 8: Bao Lac – Cao Bang (~150 km, ~5 h)
This is a beautiful ride down to Cao Bang province. There are few passes from where you can dominate the area. The road is easy, however, there are many blind curves. While riding, we can stop very often for photos. Altogether, with stops for drinks and food, it should be an 8-hour journey. Stay in a hotel.
Day 9: Cao Bang – Lang Son (~180 km, ~5 h)
Ride from Cao Bang to Lang Son on the famous historical Highway 4. When in Lang Son, you will have time to discover this city which has become a big trading post between China and Vietnam. In addition, you can shop for cheap Chinese products at the nearby Dong Kinh market.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Lang Son – Halong City (~200 km, ~6 h)
We have a long drive mainly on secondary road, passing many coal mines along the road. We hope you are not covered in dark coal dust when we arrive in Halong City (the new name of Bai Chay).
Day 11: Halong Bay cruising. Sleep on the boat.
Relax in the morning to recover from the long ride yesterday. In fact, this is probably the most relaxing day on this Big North Loop. There are two options:
1. Join a group trip at noon. Depart by boat to Halong Bay, then start cruise and check in cabins. Lunch on the boat, enjoy deluxe Vietnamese set menu. Transfer by tender from boat to Surprising Cave. Enjoy kayaking and swimming, or relaxing on the boat. Dinner served with Vietnamese food. Evening activities – choose from optional evening activities like enjoy movies, sing karaoke or join squid fishing with our crew (in case the weather is good).
2. Book a private boat and cruise in Halong Bay. Sleep on the boat. However, this option costs extra and we will let you know the cost if you want this upgrade.
Day 12: Halong – Hanoi. (~160 km, ~5 h)
Two options with the cruise:
1. Transfer by tender from boat to Titov island, swimming or just relaxing. Then continue cruise and refresh onboard and come back to Bai Chay. Check-out cabins and pay for your drinks. Lunch at Thang Long restaurant in Halong city (or on the boat).
2. Continue cruising in Halong Bay. Then lunch on the boat and return at noon. However, This option costs extra so we will let you know the cost if you want this upgrade.
Pick up the bike(s) and ride back to Hanoi on highway 18 and then 1B. Arrive in Hanoi around 5pm. End Ha Giang In 12 Days.
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