Meals Key

(meals key: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner; S = snacks)

1: Hanoi Arrival

Arriving at Hanoi's international airport, you will be met and transferred to our hotel in Hanoi's bustling Old Quarter. After a long flight, you may like to take advantages of your quiet and comfy room to relax. If you feel energetic, the Old Quarter is a vibrant and exciting stage, where peoples' lives are played out amidst a maze of winding streets full of colour and texture and fading colonial architecture.

This evening the group will meet their tour leader and local guide for a briefing and our first meal together

0kms. 

Meals: D

2: Transfer to Dien Bien Phu

This morning, whilst our bikes and luggage head for Dien Bien Phu by road, we will take a short flight to this northern border town. 

Events at Dien Bien Phu more than 60 years ago had a profound effect on Southeast Asia and beyond that still reverberate to this day. 

Following lunch at our hotel, those interested in the history of Indo China, the fall of French colonial power, the rise of Communism, and the defeat of the United States can join our guide for a visit to the nearby museum and other sites of interest. 

0kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

3: Dien Bien Phu to Black River (Quynh Nhai)

Our cycling adventure across the north of Vietnam begins this morning as we ride out of town and into a scene of rural life. The roads upon which we ride are quiet and become more so as we head east. 

After lunch, we climb on a winding jungle road before dropping down to a newly built hotel on the banks of the dramatic Black River.

120kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

4: Quynh Nhai to Than Uyen

As we ride away from Quynh Nhai, the views back across the Black River are otherworldly. Our hilly route west takes us through dramatic mountain scenery, which reaches a crescendo at the stunning Ban Chat Lake, but a few kilometres from our guesthouse in the little town of Than Uyen

90kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

5: Than Uyen to Sa Pa

Following an initial 60kms gently undulating through a fertile valley, we reach one of Southeast Asia's most iconic climbs. At 2000-meters, Trung Son is the highest pass in Vietnam and amongst the highest in Southeast Asia. During the twenty-two kilometres from base to summit, the stunning views are sure to distract from the physical challenge at hand. Fansipan is the highest mountain in mainland Indochina, and with a little luck, the mist that often crowns the summit will lift as we pass by. 

After the obligatory summit photograph, a gentle 16-kilometre descent leads to our resort in the old colonial hill-station town of Sapa. 

100kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

6: Sapa Rest Day.

At the southeastern extent of the Himalayan mountain chain and sitting at an elevation of 1500-metres, Sapa has a subtropical highland climate. The weather here flits between misty and beautiful sunshine, and when the mist lifts, the view from our resort is stunning. 

Home to several minority groups, this old French hill station offers cultural and architectural interest for those wishing to wander the town. Those who want to see more of the surrounding countryside can join a day trip with a local guide. For those wishing to spend their rest day simply relaxing, the town offers many cafes, restaurants, and pubs, serving cappuccino and cake, local fayre, pizza, burgers, and steak and wine - in short, something for everyone. 

0kms. 

Meals: B

7: Sapa to Bao Ha

We leave Sapa on the newly renovated road heading directly south. The first 20kms of our ride loses 1000-metres of elevation and offers magnificent views over the Hoang Lien National Park, and the rice terraces of The Golden Valley. 

As we turn east, the ride becomes more undulating, with the final 30-kilometres of our rural ride following the Red River south. 

85kms. 

Meals: B,L,D,S

8: Bao Ha to Viet Quang

We climb away from town on a lovely, gentle gradient well-surfaced road before swooping down to the valley below. The hills are bedecked with cinnamon trees - the leaves are fermented for oil, the roots used for spice, and the wood itself is stripped for plywood whilst the trunk's centre goes for broom handles, today ride is cinnamon scented. 

90kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

9: Viet Quang to Na Hang

A day of two distinct halves lays ahead as we set off this morning. A relatively flat and quiet rural road leads us through agricultural valleys of maize and rice and dotted with traditional thatch-roofed wooden houses. Following a picnic lunch, this pastoral scene gives way to an altogether deserted byway undulating through jungle glad karst mountains. 

85kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

10: Na Hang to Ba Be 

We wind and climb through jungle-clad hills on a winding rural road empty of traffic as we make our way towards our rest day location at Ba Be National Park. Awaiting us at the midway point is perhaps the tour's most significant challenge as we climb ever higher on a twisting byway that rewards us with stunning views of the wild valley below. Gaining 500 vertical meters in just 5 kilometres, the road is as challenging as the views are spectacular, with the mountains and jungle of Ba Be stretching to the distance. At the foot of our descent, a narrow concrete lane leads us through the park to tonight's accommodation. 

85kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

11: Ba Be to Lam Son 

A long day awaits as we set off this morning. As always, the roads are quiet and generally gently undulating. Whilst the morning is on a wider smooth road, the afternoon's ride sees us on a delightful narrow country lane, winding through farming communities where a couple of gentle climbs challenge us before we reach our out of town guest house. 

100kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

12: Lam Son to Binh Gia

Through valleys scented with aniseed, we wind our way towards one of Vietnams undiscovered beauty spots, the Bac Son Valley. For the most part, we ride on little more than deserted single lane byways, almost free of cars and passing through small rural communities. 

Arriving in town in time for lunch, we can settle into our comfy guesthouse before taking a ride in our support vehicle to visit Bac Son Valley, where those who are nibble of foot can climb the rocky path to a view-point affording fine vistas. (Please be aware that this climb, and particularly the descent, are very challenging. If you in doubt, please do not attempt the climb). 

65kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

13: Binh Gia to Halong Bay

A shortcut through a hidden valley, as if from a Chinese painting, is the focal point of this mornings ride. Following lunch, a bigger but not busier byway leads us away from the jagged mountains and on, past orchards of lychee, into softer rolling countryside.

We can relax with a well-earned beer during our afternoon break whilst the crew load our bicycles into the support vehicle, for our cycling is now at an end.

With a busy road ahead, it is prudent to transfer the final kilometres into Halong City, where a comfortable hotel bed awaits. 

100kms. 

Meals: B, L, D, S

14: Halong Bay Cruise

Following a well-deserved lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, we transfer to Halong City port, where we board a traditional junk style boat for a 24-hour cruise around the World Heritage Ha Long Bay.

0kms. 

Meals: B, L, D

15: Halong Bay to Hanoi

We return to port mid to late morning, and with the recent completion of a new highway to the capital, we should be back in our joining hotel with time to spare for some souvenir shopping before our farewell dinner.

0kms. 

Meals: B, L

16: Depart 

The tour finishes after breakfast; a transfer to Hanoi's international airport will be provided at any time throughout the day.

0kms. 

Meals: B


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