For 2021 we have joined forces with RAMS Adventures to explore the intriguing nation of Vietnam. Ride with us in September. It’s totally inclusive: bike, food, fuel, accommodation. Read on…
25th September – 6th October 2021
Day One (Arrival in Hanoi)
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is known for its architectural mix between centuries-old oriental styles and French colonial. After transferring from the airport, where Paddy or Dave will meet you, we’ll bring you in to the chaotic Old Quarter of the city, with quirky tall buildings and bustling street traders. This is where we’ll stay and the pace of life will amaze you. Tonight, because Overland readers live all over the world, flights into Hanoi will arrive at different times so we’ll gather the team together before sampling the delights of this bustling city.
Day Two (Hanoi to Lao Cai)
After breakfast the day is one of acclimatisation. We can check out the downed B52 Bomber in the lake, see the War Museum or the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Lunch is at the famous Obama Café where the Bun Cha and Egg Coffee is good enough for the former US President. Later in the day we head to Hanoi Train Station to begin our adventure and climb aboard the Hanoi to Lao Cai night train which will take us north to where the bikes await.
Day Three (Lao Cai to Sa Pa Village – 120kms)
Time to get on the bikes and start the two-wheeled adventure. We ride out of Lao Cai and soon turn off on to the mountain trails. Small broken roads and stone paths take us high into the hills, with our first chance to see the scale of the surrounding landscape. We have lunch at Ta Van, a small Eco-village where the locals still wear traditional dress and welcome visitors to the area. In the afternoon we have optional routes to our destination and you can try our first off-road section, which includes a steep incline that can be challenging when wet. Tonight we stay in Sa Pa Village in the shadow of Fansipan, at 3,143 metres it is the highest mountain in Indochina. Sa Pa is a buzzing small mountain town with markets, shops and of course the best views of the mountains.
Day Four (Sa Pa Village to Coc Pai – 180kms)
As we head down the mountain tracks from Sa Pa we again return to Lao Cai for lunch at the Chinese trading post and Boarder Crossing. Small push-bikes laden with goods come into the town from across the river in China to trade at the local markets of Vietnam. We leave Lao Cai along the river on a single track broken road as we ride back into the hills and sample a rocky off-road section over one of the high peaks. There is a chance to take a dip in a local waterfall; isolated and out of the way it’s a great way to enjoy the refreshing mountain springs before lunch.
Day Five (Coc Pai to Ha Giang – 160kms)
Today is the day of waterfalls, switchbacks and long drops. Roads are a great mix of smooth tarmac, broken trails and hill tracks to the town of Ha Giang. We will be giving you a sand trail to test those skills and after coffee its one of the hardest trails of the ride, jungle, streams and drops, definitely one for the confidence rider. In Ha Giang we get to ride through the hotel on our bikes, a great opportunity for a photo but remember no wheelies in reception.
Day Six (Ha Giang to Dong Van 165kms)
Huge peaks shadow our ride as we wind our way to the start of the Happiness Road through endless valleys along the river to Dong Van. We will stop off at a small village and look at how they have made clothing in the traditional manner out of hemp trees for hundreds of years. It’s a great place for a souvenir directly from the producers. Tonight we sample the Vietnamese Hot Pot, a local dish that is fun as well as tasty.
Day Seven (Dong Van to Duc Tai 80kms)
This morning we get our ‘inner line permits’ that allow us to enter the next province. You may notice the mountains start to change shape; huge limestone boulders seem to have some symmetry to each other as we weave around their bases. It’s a stunning vista. Today you will ride the famous Sky Road goat track but only for those who have a head for heights; there’s another route of course. Later in the day there is a great route that leads to a bamboo boat crossing. We don’t cover a lot of miles today, but in association with the great scenery, it takes all day to travel to our accommodation as we become immersed in our surroundings.
Day Eight (Duc Tai to Ba Be Lake 160kms)
After breakfast it’s straight on to the bikes and into a small broken road section which takes us through some tiny bamboo villages. The Villagers are always welcoming to strangers with a cup of hot green tea and maybe a glass of rice wine, but we advise sticking to the tea while you are still riding. Great trails give way to waterfalls and some optional river crossings. We aim to arrive at Ba Be Lake early enough to take one of the boats on the water. We will be staying at a lodge overlooking the lake at Ba Be National Park. The scenery is breathtaking with towering limestone pillars covered in dense evergreen forests surrounding the lake. Tonight we’ll enjoy a relaxing BBQ overlooking the water. We’ll eat on one of the balconies; traditional H’mong cuisine of rice, noodle and barbecue meat and if we are lucky a fish freshly caught from the lake. The area is also known for its vegetables, Morning Glory (Water Spinach), Boc Choi and spring rolls all cooked in front of you with garlic and local spice. Then settling back with a beer and listening to the rainforest come alive at night is a sound that’s mesmerising.
Day Nine (Day off at Ba Be Lake)
The views in the morning, when the sun hits the water, are something to behold. Today is yours to do what you please. We have the option of jumping on one of the boats aand taking a ride to the waterfalls or cave systems around the lake, or, if you are missing the bikes, then we can dust them off and go and explore the National Park around Ba Be. If you prefer to sit with a book overlooking the lake with a constant supply of coffee then we can arrange this too.
Day Ten (Ba-Be Lake to Hanoi – 210kms)
Following an early start on the bikes we continue to head south through the National Park to Hanoi. Hanoi is a huge city with scooters, bikes and pedestrians coming from all angles, but don’t worry because you should be seasoned Vietnamese riders by now, confident in the rules of the road.
Day Eleven (Heading home from Hanoi)
Today we fly home or head towards Halong Bay for three days’ relaxation on one of the cruises around the islands.
We can arrange a three day excursion to Halong Bay or, if you would like to explore other parts of Vietnam or Asia, then a flight or bus trip is easy to arrange. Perhaps you’d like to head south with Rams Adventures and ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail? RAMS will organise that too.
Price per rider £1,999
Pillion (sharing) £1,400
– Transfers to and from Hanoi Airport
– Motorcycle hire complete with road insurance
– Support vehicle carrying luggage
– All accommodation
– All breakfasts and lunches
– All Evening meals
– Hanoi City tour
– Professional guide and medic for the duration of tour
– A tour t-shirt!
– Entrance to The Overland Event 2021!
– Tips or other gratuities
– Personal accident/travel insurance (Compulsory)
– Bike insurance excess deposit (credit card required)
– Any alcoholic beverages you may desire
To book your place, click here!