TRAILS OF TONKIN ALPES MOUNTAIN BIKE ( 75% off road)
This extreme 10 days trip takes you to the very heart of the north Vietnam mountain . You will discover some of the finest cycling trails in Vietnam has to offer. Beginning in Hanoi , we will cycle and climb five major passes from 1,500m to 1,800m.
This allows you to reach one of the most delightful parts of the Northern Top in Vietnam where you’ll find big rolling hills, great views and speedy open descents with good sight lines. A single track in the middle reminds you what real mountain biking is all about. At its end, it lands you on a steady climb that takes you over some grand hill tops and more amazing views for some excellent descending . With enough left in the legs the day can be rounded off by dragging yourself up and ripping down trails. By that stage in the day they are usually are pretty empty. The images below were taken on a series of visits.They say more than I could about the type of riding and atmosphere on the route. There’s no doubt I’ll be returning just as many times.
We are supported by a sturdy transit van on the main road , motorbike is perfectly equipped support for the terrain . Some day we not riding from hotel to hotel but not an entirely comfortable passenger vehicle and participants should sign up expecting to ride as much of the tour as they can.
This trip is 8/10 difficult mountain bike with off road ,terrain, dirt trails , single track, tough…. That is REAL mountain bike trip.
Day 1: Night train: Hanoi- Lao Cai :
transfer (15’) to train staion take over night train to LaoCai. Night in train ( from 22:00 to 6:00 + 1 next day )
Day 2: Laocai-Bac Ha. Distance ride : +- 42 Km. D+: 1250m D -: 500m, 80% off road, dirt road, trails, single track uphill
Arrival Laocai at 6:00 AM in the morning, Breakfast in Local restaurant with rice noodle soup, banana pancake, breads, coffee, tea… Transfer by van to Bao Nhai, boat trip to CocLy. Stating riding to CocDao on asphalt back road ( 17 km ), then go off road uphill with 2 of climbing in 10% , more than 6 and 5 km per one climb. After more than 10 km we arrival villages where we will stop for lunch, after lunch riding down to river then long up hill to Bac Ha.
Option2 if we have bad weather, we will riding up hill to Bac Ha on asphalt pave road ( 24 km ) minibus stand by behind group until to the hotel. Overnight in Bac Ha . Dinner in local restaurant. (B,L, D )
Overnight in CongFu hotel or same standard.
Day 3: Bac ha- XinMan . (total suggested cycling 45 km of which a minimum of 20 km are off road)
After breakfast in Hotel, we start biking directly from hotel, climb above Bac Ha through Di Thau. Continue riding off road to Nama villages. Stop somewhere for lunch, then ride off road in the mountain on a wide track to a mountain pass and long asphalt downhill to Xin Man. Overnight in Xin Man. Dinner at basic Hotel.
D+: 1400m D-: 1600m. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Xin Man – Ho Thau – Hoang Su Phi
(total distance 65 km of which off road cycling 30 km, cycling maximum 48 km)
After breakfast clients are transferred by Mini bus to Gio Mountain, start biking from there on flat asphalt road. After some 15 km we take an off road track (pretty wide) and start climbing on the left. After many villages and a beautiful narrow suspension bridge, we enjoy a long single track section, starting on terraces by a long climb, leading to an off road pass (about 1000m of elevation) and finishing on a long downhill through rain forest. Lunch consists of noodle soup and breads, fruits, tea, coffee.
Then we get to the asphalt road that leads to Ho Thau where the minibus is waiting. One Motorbike will assist the group until meeting with the minibus. The vehicle takes the guests from this meeting point over a small asphalt pass (tough climb and long steep downhill). Meet a team ( bus , minibus then transfer to Hoang Su Phi. Night in small hotel ( B, L, D )
Day5: Hoang Su phi – Ha Giang. Distance ride : +- 50Km. D+: 1100m D-: 1230m, single track, 100% off road.
About 5 Km, an off road track (pretty wide) start climbing on the left. After many villages and a beautiful narrow suspension bridge, we enjoy a long single track section, starting on terraces by long climb, leading to an off road pass (about 1300m of elevation) and finishing on a long downhill through waterfalls and rain forest. Lunch with noodle soup and breads, fruits, tea coffee.Then we get to the asphalt where the minibus is waiting at Vang Luong , take short transfer (35’) to HaGiang. Night in Hotel in HaGiang ( B, L, D )
Day 6: Hagiang – YenMinh. Distance: +-80Km. D+: 1500m D-: 1330m, 10 % off road
After breakfast, We cycle up to the Yen Minh, after 22 km on the asphalt road, We start with a relatively hard of 27km off road with 7 km ride uphill, then we stat climb some mountain pass until we get on the top of Quan Ba pass, 1,230 m . Before we hit the first of two major down hill. As we start the down hill, we slowly start to witness the beauty of Quan Ba highland . Lunch and continue riding to Yen minh, if you very fit.
Lunch in local restaurant or support by our food assistant.
Mini bus always standby with group on asphalt road
Total distance about 102 km, the biker could ride as far as they want, max altitude 1500m
Yen Minh hotel is simple, clean, twin share, hot water. ( B,L,D)
Day 7:Yen Minh – Meo Vac
Today we are in the 2nd day of extreme riding day. We cycling some part of the road is bad with track, off road , but great view along of Gam river. This is totally a new road – built on the former trail of the flower H’ Mong tribes. We have 3 main of climb with the first one more than 10km, 7km and last one Ma Pi Leng with 12km before we arrival Meo Vac. Dinner and overnight in Meo Vac.
Lunch in local restaurant or support by our food assistant.
Mini bus always standby with group on asphalt road
Total distance about 92 km, the biker could ride as far as they want, max altitude 1500m
Meo Vac hotel is simple, clean, twin share, hot water.
Distance: +-78Km, 30% off road, jeep track, dirt trails. (B,L,D )
Day 8: Meo Vac- Bao Lam
It is supposed to be an off road day. Today we head for Bao Lam.
Van will transfer biker to Khau Vai and we stat biking an off road, the road is car track, broken road, some part are very bad but we are biking in the most of beautiful track in South East Asia, that is truly off road .Final transfer (25 or 30Km) in minibus to Bao Lam.
Night in very basic hotel in Bao Lam, Lunch by picnic or support by our food assistant.
Motor bike or Russian jeep standby with group.
Distance: +-60Km, 70% off road, jeep track, dirt trails ( B,L,D)
Day 9: Bao lam- Ba Be
The toughest day of the trip! We are transfer to Cang Bac me by van , with (15 Km) and start riding . Jeep only standby around 20km, minibus will meet you in Babe Lake
We cross the Gam river and start a long climb to a small off road pass on a building track. We cross some Dzao villages and keep of road all the time. Up and Down stage that leads to the Babe River and Lake. We take 2 time of boats trip to get close to the east side (Na Mam side) of the lake where our minibus is waiting for us. Then short transfer by a low mountain pass to Cho Ra and overnight in Hotel. (Dinner at restaurant).
Please note that a moped assistance can be useful today to bring water, food and help one people if too tyred for finishing the stage
on the bike. (warning: the moped should keep behind the biker during the day and not disturb them: no noise, not stinky and pretty far away …)
Lunch support by our food assistant.
Moto bike stand by with group
Distance: 50% off road, jeep track, dirt trails, single track. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Ba Be lake – Vinh Loc Hanoi
Much more easy day compare to yesterday , you can stay in bed a bit more than the previous days .
Tough riders (only !) . We driving to Nam Cuong village ( 27 km ) and start biking in there to Khuoi Phi ( 15km ) . That would be a pretty long warm up before we take tough cycling day
Then in the village of Khuoi Phi, a short but steep climb and down section of track leads to the nice and a bit lost village of Ban Thi. Then we are use broken asphalt road for a while before getting to the intersection (cross road) of Ban Cau. Minibus will take different road and meet you in Ban cau. Lunch in Ban Cau and then continue biking in the afternoon in very good single track section, very long and nice riding leads through gorges and lost villages to Dam Hong where the minibus is waiting for you.
Then, transfer from Vinh Loc to Hanoi .
70km , 75% off road, jeep track, dirt trails, single track. (B,L,D)
Distance: 45 Km. D+: 300 m. D-: 350m. 100% off road , single track.
End of service in Hanoi.
|Group Size||2||group tour|
|Price /person||1,485 USD||1,250 USD|
Note: Prices are based per person, double occupancy, with a separate cost for solo travelers. If you are traveling in a group but prefer single accommodations, a single supplement fee applies. Triple accommodations are not available in many of the destinations we visit.
Best time to go
- English speaking local guide
- Accommodations in home stays and local hotel around trip as mention ( some hotel very basic standard )
- Meals as noted : B= breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
- Drink as water, coffee, tea, energy drink by nutritional gel, juice for cycling tour
- Sightseeing and activities as noted in the itinerary
- Additional guides where necessary
- Ground transportation with 100% stand by
- Basic medical
- Entrance fees and permit
Cannondale F2 lefty pay 180 USD whole trip
Full suspension Cannondale RZ one twenty or Scalpel pay 200USD for whole trip
Best time to go : year around
Bikes suggest : XC Race, Freeride , All mountain
If you bring your bike please ensure that you bike is in good working order before you leave on tour. If you are not the most mechanically minded we suggest that you get your bike looked at by a professional bike mechanic. In particularly we would suggest looking and adjusting all wheel spokes, greasing all your bearings, checking your brakes/gears cable, tighten all nuts and bolts, check chain, quick release clamps, tires and put in new inner tubes and check wheel rims are not worn. In addition make sure the bike is well serviced and ride it with as much care and attention as possible.
+- 570 km
Number of cycling days
8 full days and one half-day
Average Daily Distance:
This tour follows a mixture of well-surfaced roads and off road onto single track, and rough tracks, so some off-road riding skills are an advantage.
One or two 15-seat air-conditioned transit vans converted to take bikes and bikers.
Minimum 2. Maximum 8.
Groups of 6 or more Vietnamese cycling guide and drivers and assistants. Groups of 2-5, an experienced English speaking Vietnamese cycling leader plus guide and support team.
1 night in sleeper train. 3 nights in comfortable tourist class hotels, 3 nights in basic tourist class hotels. All accommodation has a/c or fan, hot water and private facilities.
All meals are included as B= breakfast , L= lunch, D=dinner .
Break every 15- 20 km ( 10 miles) for tea break with water, coffee ,tea, juice, bread, tuna ,banana, apple… including: nutritional ( 3 Clif Bar energy bars /per day)
During the ” BikingVietnam.com” the main meals are breakfast and the evening meal. Thus, breakfast should be large and substantial (and include cereals). We recommend that all participants should bring a supply of their favorite cereals as many of the hotels where we stay don’t yet have cereal on offer at breakfast.
For lunch (picnic) you will need to make sandwiches in the morning, and take some fruit. We recommend you also bring along some of your favorite energy bars.
The evening meal will be in a restaurant, and precooked by the Organizers. We will make sure there are always plenty of carbohydrates and protein on the menu.
Don’t forget adequate hydration is as important as a good meal and so you should make sure you carry enough water with you. In some stages there is no where to “top up” along the way. Follow your guides instructions for each stage. We recommend you use a hydration pack with at least 2l capacity, rather than water bottles. The water bottles don’t carry as much water, plus it will get warm during the day, they are not as hygienic and the water bottle cage can get in the way when you may have to carry your bike.
We recommend you should bring nutrition as details:
* Hammer Gel energy gels are 100% pure complex carbohydrates
* Clif Bar energy bars are a great-tasting, convenient source of energy for any activity. Made with 70% organic ingredients
Mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber promote steady increase in blood sugar levels followed by a gradual decline for sustained energy
4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein; excellent for post workout recovery ”
Biking Grade Extreme