Detailed itinerary of the 5 days Northeast Vietnam motorbike tour
Day 1: Hanoi – Lang Son.
After a hearty breakfast we saddle up and make the break out of the city limits and the lowlands and plains of the Red River Delta. We pass through clusters of limestone as we head out north-east. Arrive in Lang Son in the early afternoon, make a visit to Dong Kinh Market – “the paradise of Chinese copy electronic products” and Tam Thanh Temple. Overnight in Nam Kinh Hotel.
Day 2: Lang Son – Cao Bang.
We strike directly north, skirting the border city of Lang Son then we join the legendary ‘Highway 4’ where the Viet Minh forces carried out numerous raids over uncountable passes in this remote border region. We follow the border all the way to Vietnam’s major city in the north-east: Cao Bang (literal translation: ‘High Plateau’). Overnight in Cao Bang.
Day 3: Cao Bang – Ba Be National Park.
We move south-west from Cao Bang and breach several passes on route in an area hosting huge mountain scenery. The Cao Bac Pass offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Descending the pass we see hillsides carpeted with apiaries, Vietnam’s most famous honey-producing areas. In the afternoon we arrive at Ba Be Lake in the heart of a National Park. Overnight with a family in a Tay minority stilt house on the shores of the lake.
Day 4: Ba Be Lakes – Bac Kan.
Take a boat trip to visit the lake, swim then come back to the village for lunch. A small dirt road takes us out of National Park to Cho Don. Easy ride to Bac Kan. Overnight in Bac Kan Hotel.
Day 5: Bac Kan – Hanoi.
Staying off the main road for as long as possible we head back towards the Red River Delta, passing through areas inhabited by Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung minority peoples. A mixture of both challenging track and glorious sealed road all the way back to Hanoi.