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Detailed itinerary of the 6 days tour northwest Vietnam by motorcycle.
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau.
Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains we pass through endless limestone karst scenery as we travel south through “Perfume Pagoda” country and extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads. After a picnic lunch near Chi Ne, we visit the hot springs at Kim Boi, before striking northwest and over two passes, finally dropping down to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. Here we stay overnight with friends of the White Thai minority in a traditional stilt house. In the evening, after feasting, we can enjoy a cultural show of Thai dancing and a range of special local liquors. Overnight in Mai Chau.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Son La.
On good road looking high over distant mountains we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market. Sleep in Sunrise Hotel.
Day 3: Son La – Than Uyen.
Continuing the road no.6 to Thuan Giao (the road is now under construction) then take a small paved road to Da River where we will take the ferry boat to get the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. Arrive in Than Uyen in the early afternoon. Sleep in Phuong Nhung Hotel.
Day 4: Than Uyen – Sapa.
Today we head straight towards the main Fansipan Mountain range. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Sleep in Darling Hotel.
Day 5: Sapa – Vu Linh.
We start from Sapa and ride to Luc Yen for lunch then take a small paved road along Thac Ba Lake to Vu Linh. The welcome is exceptional and we hope you will not be too much tired. Homestay.
Day 6: Vu Linh – Hanoi.
After breakfast we cruise southeast on Highway 2 and then branch off to the sleepy town of Xuan Duong. We follow the edge of the Red River along the dyke, almost to the point where it merges with the Black River after which they flow together to Hanoi. By now we are very much in the lowlands of the delta plains and the north’s main agricultural areas. Harvest time here is a sea of activity. Crossing the Red River by Thang Long bridge, return to Hanoi on the highway.