About Ha Giang Motorbiking
We designed this most detailed close-up of the Ha Giang area for people who want to take photos or learn about roads, people, customs, and traditions in the mountainous areas of Vietnam. After 16 days, you will be welcomed by more than half of Vietnam’s total of 54 ethnic groups.
Just watch the video below to have some ideas about one of our Ha Giang and Northeast Vietnam motorbike tours. In case you want to watch more videos please check our YouTube channel.
DETAILED ITINERARY OF HA GIANG MOTORBIKING
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau, ~170 km, ~4 hrs.
Follow the small road passing many beautiful villages and rice fields tailoring around mountain feet and limestone karsts. Heading to Muong Khen, a centre village of Muong in Hoa Binh Province for lunch.
In the afternoon, beautiful scenery of high mountain passes and green colour of rice fields in valleys.
Arrive in Mai Chau, then a short walk around villages of White Thai people to discover their lives.
After dinner, we enjoy the traditional dancing of Thai people and learn about their culture.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Phu Yen, ~130 km, ~4 hrs.
In the morning, we spend an hour visiting the Mai Chau market, where all local Thai people come from villages to sell their goods.
Head up on a small road to the beautiful villages of Red H’mong in Hang Kia. Walk in the villages and then transfer to Moc Chau plateau on a quiet road for lunch, then found ourselves lost the green tea plantation. Meet our Viet and Thai friends.
Go down a hill and take a ferry to cross the Black River to the other side where you will visit villages of Muong people, listening to their ancestors’ stories of conquering the Black River and nature.
Day 3: Phu Yen – Tuan Giao, ~185 km, ~6 hrs.
Head to Son La, pass by Phu Yen mountain where you visit the villages of H’mong before we meet the Black River again. The road leads to Son La plateau is beautiful with the green colour of maize fields covering all the hillsides. This is one of the biggest maize plantations in Northern Vietnam.
After lunch in Son La, we visit the old Son La prison, which was built during the French colonization, and listen to the heroic stories of people in the Northwest fighting against the French Army.
The spectacular scenery of the mountain view from Son La to Tuan Giao, especially Pha Din pass is the highlight of the day. At the top of the pass, we walk to the villages of White H’mong before descending to Tuan Giao.
Day 4: Tuan Giao – Muong Te, ~190 km, ~7 hrs.
Early departure for an exciting day to meet many different colourful ethnic minorities on the road such as Thai, Kho Mu, Mang, Cong, Green H’mong, Ha Nhi, Lo Lo, and Hoa, etc.
Day 5: Muong Te – Sin Ho, ~140 km, ~5 hrs.
Back to Lai Chau for lunch and then continue heading up to Sin Ho, a mountain town at 1,700 m above the sea level. The road is under construction but it is worth making this trip up to Sin Ho for the beautiful scenery and diverse ethnic minorities there.
Day 6: Sin Ho – Tam Duong – Sapa, ~150 km, ~4 hrs.
You are lucky to get lost here in the middle of colourful dresses from local people at Sin Ho Market. This is the most beautiful ethnic market in the Northwest of Vietnam where you will meet a dozen of hill tribes such as Green H’mong, Black H’mong, White H’mong, Dzao Dau Bang, Dao Khau, Giay, Ha Nhi, Lu, and Black Thai, etc.
Lunch in Tam Duong before driving on a dirt road passing the villages of Lu and Nhang etc. crossing Muong Kim stream towards Sapa with a stunning mountain view of Fansipan.
Day 7: Sapa – Ban Ho – Sapa, ~4-5 hrs trek.
A full day trek to Ban Ho, Nam Toong, Nam Keng until the sunset before coming back to Sapa by car.
Day 8: Sapa – Coc Ly – Bac Ha, ~130 km, ~3 hrs + 1 hr on the boat.
Early departure to be in time for Coc Ly market, which lies on the bank of Chay River where on Tuesday morning the local people such as Flower H’mong, Dao Tien, and Tay…come for the weekly market. Boating on Chay River and visit some ethnic villages before going up to Bac Ha for lunch.
In the afternoon, a short trek to villages of Flower H’mong and Tay villages around Bac Ha. Visit the old castle of Hoang A Tuong and his son Hoang Yen Chao, the Tay leaders who were considered taking power as a King of Bac Ha and controlled the H’mong during the French colonization.
Day 9: Bac Ha – Xin Man – Luc Yen, ~160 km, ~5 hrs.
Drive north on a small trail through villages of H’mong and Nung to Xin Man before the old bumpy road 279 where you see the most beautiful terraced rice paddies on the mountainsides. Picnic lunch will be served on the road.
Arrive in Luc Yen, a small beautiful town surrounded by limestone karsts and is famous for red rock and ruby.
Overnight in a beautiful stilt-house of Tay ethnic in the village.
Day 10: Luc Yen – Ba Be, ~130 km, ~3 hrs + ~1-2 hrs trek + ~1.5 hrs on boat.
Great adventure day on a wild road along Nang River and suddenly the road ends just 2 km from Ba Be lake. Take our necessary staff for the night and make a short trek along the river until we meet Dau Dang waterfall, where we continue on a sampan to visit Ba Be lake for about one and half hours before landing into a village of Tay and spend the night with our friend.
Day 11: Ba Be – Ha Giang, ~120 km, ~4 h + ~1.5 hrs on boat + 0.5 hr trek.
Back to meet our car for another adventure day. Drive on a dirt trail and bumpy road in the forest to Bac Me. then follow Lo River down to Ha Giang town.
Day 12: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Pho Bang – Dong Van – Meo Vac, ~175 km, ~5 hrs.
This day is probably one of the best days of this Ha Giang motorbiking adventure.
Rise and shine for a few hours trek to many of the Heaven Gates such as Quan Ba, Yen Binh, and Dong Van. In fact, you get the feeling of touching the sky, hence the name the heaven gates. This is the best time and place to enjoy the wonderful sightseeing of the vast limestone mountain range and perpendicular walls of rock. In fact, this place brings you a feeling of adventure while being lost in a magic land.
Here we are surrounded by many rocks of all shapes and sizes. After lunch at Yen Minh town, the scenic route climbs over a pass before arriving at Pho Bang, which was built many centuries ago and features multi-story houses made of clay bricks and tile roofs. Visit some of our local friends, who are Hoa minority. Then we continue our trip to visit the infamous Vuong Palace. This Palace is an H’mong family of high rank during French colonial rule. Vuong Chi Sinh was supported to be the H’mong King in Vietnam. Vuong’s palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. Overnighting in Meo Vac.
Day 13: Meo Vac – Bac Me, ~120 km, ~4 hrs.
Spend time in the morning to visit Meo Vac ethnic market. This market is busy from 7am with H’mong, Dao, Nung, Pu Peo, and La Chi people, etc.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we continue our trip on a bumpy road up and down a high mountain through many villages of H’mong and Dao people. In these remote areas, we will see how hard the local people struggle with their environment for their survival and development. Because the living conditions are extremely hard – there is barely any arable land within the rocky mountains – the people who live there survive on a diet of corn, which is the only crop able to grow in the poor rocky soil. Despite this hardship, the local people are very friendly and simple, yet develop strong attachments to other people. They are the soul of this remote area.
Day 14: Bac Me – Bao Lac – Cao Bang, ~175 km, ~6 hrs.
One more great adventure to discover the beautiful landscape and ethnic cultures in the mountainous area. Follow Lo River to Bao Lac and then continue on the RC4 by Tinh Tuc Stale Urine Mine, Nguyen Binh valley, and wild road to Cao Bang town with many stops at ethnic villages.
Day 15: Cao Bang – Tra Linh – Ban Gioc – Ha Lang – Quang Uyen, ~150 km, ~4 hrs + 1 hr rafting.
Heading to Tra Linh, a small town right on the border with China, which is only 35 km from Cao Bang town. Continue along the Chinese border and pass through innumerable vast steep limestone karsts with a visit to many villages of Nung and Tay ethnic people. The Tay and Nung minority in Cao Bang province migrated from the neighbouring area from another side of the border. They have the same local dialect and culture.
Arrive at Ban Gioc, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam, which forms a natural border between Vietnam and China. In fact, you can hear the echo of the falls kilometres away. In the rainy season, the waterfall makes the scenery even more magnificent. While here, we will take a bamboo raft trip and have a picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, we go back to Quang Uyen to visit some traditional handicraft villages. They make incense and local rough paper from mulberry trees to burn when praying to their ancestors. Our local friends’ families live in traditional stilt-houses will welcome you into their house. In the 1950s the Viet Minh won the battle in Dong Khe. The French soldiers ran to Lang Son but they fell into an ambush of Viet Minh. More than 5,000 French were arrested in Coc Xa. However, the Viet Minh had no prison to hold them. Therefore, French prisoners-of-war lived with many local families. They even worked alongside them in the rice fields.
Day 16: Quang Uyen – Phuc Hoa – Dong Khe – Lang Son – Hanoi, ~290 km, ~7 hrs. End of Ha Giang motorbike tour.
In the morning, we go along the road no. 3 to Ta Lung through the most spectacular limestone karsts area of Cao Bang province. Cross Bang Giang River to the other side of the Dong Khe valley. This whole area was a battleground together with the famous Dien Bien Phu victory. It broke down the French Defending RC4 along the Chinese border. Therefore, the relationship with International Communism was kept active. Spend more time on the RC4 in That Khe, Na Sam, and visit more battlefields on this Highway 4.
In the afternoon, easy and enjoyable drive on Highway 1 from Lang Son to Hanoi with a break in Ai Chi Lang (Chi Lang Border Guard), beautiful scenery, and historic area.