Traveling is such a great experience. While some enjoy being a “lone ranger”, some just cannot take to the fullest of it without their dear companions and beloved ones. If you are a lone ranger and
reading this post, you should reconsider of whether to have a mate by your arms in this thrilling journey to discover all the crooked mountains of the amazing country Vietnam. If you have already got a mate by your side, it will be a wise choice to choose a Vietnam tour for couple if you guys want to test your strength out of the mighty ranges and valleys. In case you have tried out all the fun and the thrilling games here in Vietnam, take a chance to participate in the biking tours in Northern Vietnam with your soulmate this instant so as not to miss all the fun!
1. What you need to know about Northern Vietnam
Northern Vietnam’s varied terrain and climate make it one of the most attractive regions to tour with a bike. The beautiful scenery, fascinating culture and lovely people you meet along the way are only going to make your journey all the more worthwhile.
Sinking yourself in the song of the wind across the alleys and lying long on the ground letting the grass embrace your body while glancing at the sky, those are such wonderful feelings you will have on coming to the dearly land of the North. And when you are enjoying your journey, you will meet our dear local mountainous residents on the way. They are Tày, Nùng, Dao, Thái, Mèo, and so many others.
Vietnam cycling tour is not just a regular pack, it is all in one where you can take your time traveling slowly across the infinitive green meadows or touching the golden grains on their seasons. The biking tour is where you discover the true color of our Northern Tribes, a cultural discover within the daily life of our people.
The breathtaking road for cycling
This is also the time for you to test our your strength and consistency in conquering crooked and narrow ranges of mountains and cycling paths, which are the typical features of Northern topography. Most of the biking paths in this journey of yours will be located in the mountainous areas of the North.
Unlike the South, the North has a total of four seasons and each season has its own feature that you should take into account before deciding on a biking tour. Summer is a suitable time when you can take a biking tour since the weather is quite dry and there is rarely rain. Therefore, you will not have to worry about slippery roads or danger while cycling.
Mountainous topography of the North
You can also cycle in the winter but the weather this time of the year will be freezing. Not to mention, some places in the North also have heavy snow such as Sapa. For that reason, if you want to cycle this time, especially while in a Vietnam tour for couple, you should choose some roads that are not too slippery or where that does not have heavy snow. Fall is definitely not a season for cycling because there is usually rain and it is dangerous driving on the slope of the raining sky. Spring is probably the most suitable time for cycling. This time is also a very great time if you want to take your chance of visiting the local tribes. There are also many interesting festivals including Tết in case you want to explore after the cycling tour.
2. Top 6 best biking paths in the North
If you are considering whether to choose Sapa or not because it is such a common choice in the bucket list of all backpackers, consider no more because Sapa has one of the best cycling paths in Vietnam. Confident in your biking ability, and looking for a challenge? Look no further than Sapa, the famed scenic township in Lao Cai Province.
The outstanding Sapa
Considered the “Gem of the Northwest”, Sapa’s marvelous mountainside scenery provides a lovely backdrop for your adventures. Push your abilities to the fullest, as you attempt to conquer O Quy Ho Pass, an awe-inspiring path crossing the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. Considered the most challenging out of the “Four Great Passes” of the Northwest, O Quy Ho’s sheer altitude – measuring nearly 2.000 meters above sea level – and sharp turns are a test many would relish. Reach the top of O Quy Ho Pass, known to locals as Cong Troi (Heaven’s Gate), and enjoy an obstructed view of the serene Lao Cai.
Cycle through the area’s rocky terrain, conquering steep hillsides and winding pathways, through some of the most challenging paths in Northwestern territory. See the famed terrace rice fields in all their golden glory. Bask in the beauty of nature as you cycle around Hoàng Liên National Park, an ecologically diverse national reserve which is home to many species of plants and animals – some of which are indigenous to the region. Interact with, and immerse yourself in the culture of the Hmong, Tay and Dao ethnic tribes who have made Sapa their home for many generations.
Home to ‘Con Duong Hanh Phuc’ (Happiness Road), perhaps the most famous biking path in Northern Vietnam, Ha Giang Province is a challenge any aspiring cyclist would wish to take on at least once in their life. We have probably mentioned about Hà Giang once in a while but with the notorious Happiness Road, Hà Giang deserves to be put on this list.
Standing on the Happiness Road
Connecting the town of Ha Giang with the remote districts of Dong Van and Meo Vac, the Happiness Road is one of the most challenging paths for a cyclist, as it passes through Ma Pi Leng Mountain Pass, a treacherous pass surrounding Ma Pi Leng Peak. Another one of the “Four Great Passes” of the North, Ma Pi Leng Pass is situated 1.500 meters above sea level, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Ma Pi Leng’s unique geological position makes it a desirable route for travelers everywhere: the peak of Ma Pi Leng provides one of the most beautiful views anywhere in Vietnam.
Visit the Rocky Valley of Dong Van, where you will not only discover the unique geological qualities of the area but also find out more about the history of the Thai and Tay ethnic tribes who have settled here for hundreds of years. See the majestic castle of the Thai Kings of old. Ride past the awe-inducing buckwheat flower fields in fall, or stride along the golden rice fields.
Mu Cang Chai
A serene district in Yen Bai Province, Mu Cang Chai’s rustic charm and tranquility will surely leave you wanting more. If you love the plain and simple life of the countryside, go to Mu Cang Chai in your Vietnam tour for couple for a new breeze of life while taking time to explore the most popular paths – the Four Great Passes.
Mu Cang Chai in a glance
Getting to Mu Cang Chai requires crossing Khau Pha Pass, the third of the ‘Four Great Passes’ of Northwestern Vietnam. Known to the locals as Sung Troi (Horn of the Sky), Khau Pha is an imposing mountain pass that spans over 30 kilometers. Situated at over 1.600 meters above sea level, Khau Pha’s sharp turns and rocky pathways only serve as motivation for the adventurous cyclist, who have come to marvel at the flora and fauna of the region. Savor the feeling of being completely engulfed by nature, as you are surrounded by the forests and Khau Pha Peak.
Arrive at peaceful Mu Cang Chai, and immerse yourself in the simplistic beauty of the area. Immerse yourself in the culture of the Hmong, whose lives seem to go at a slower pace than the hectic rat race. The terraced rice fields are a specialty of Mu Cang Chai, and a source of inspiration for endless travelers, writers, and photographers. It’s definitely the highlight of your Vietnam tour for couple.
Home to the legendary city of Dien Bien Phu, Dien Bien’s location also makes it a very suitable, yet challenging, destination for cyclists. Once chosen as the headquarter point in your legendary fight against the French and the American, Dien Bien hides with the most dangerous and thrilling slope paths that one could ever find.
O Quy Ho Path
The last of the ‘Four Great Passes’, Pha Din Pass presents its unique challenge to cyclists. Spanning 32 kilometers over two provinces: Lai Chau and Dien Bien, Pha Din is regarded as the hardest to conquer out of the Four Great Passes. With its tight turns and steep climbs, Pha Din has claimed the lives of one too many unlucky adventurers. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should be petrified of taking on this treacherous mountain pass. Reach the peak of the pass and enjoy the view of the Muong Quai Valley as it blends in with mountainsides. The further higher you reach, the less civilization appears – until you conquer the peak, where it is just sprawling forests and clear blue skies. Incidentally, this is what Pha Din is named after. “Pha” means sky and “Din” means land in the dialect of the Thai ethnic tribe, implying a meeting point between the skies and the lands of the region.
After passing through Pha Din Pass, you are now en route to the historic city of Dien Bien Phu, where remnants of the war remain – in the form of the historic site for the Dien Bien Phu campaign. Furthermore, take time to visit the caves of Pa Thom or Tham Pua – marvels of geology.
For a change of pace, Hanoi is a lovely city for cyclists. In fact, bicycles are still a popular mode of transportation for Hanoians, and you can easily see why. The city’s small and winding streets, with its never-ending network of alleyways, are made for exploration on a bicycle. You may be surprised when Hanoi is put on this list. However, just think about it, even crossing the roads is hard in the city then what can be more thrilling and breathtaking than cycling in this city of all the bustle and hustle?
The poetic Phan Dinh Phung Street
Cycle around Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning, and watch the city begins its day. See the street vendors set up their beverage or food stalls, the early birds getting their morning exercise, or old ladies doing Tai Chi. Take your bicycle for a stroll in the Old Quarters with your loved ones nearby in your Vietnam tour for couple, and experience the culture that is Hanoi. Savor the street food on offer, or simply take in life in Hanoi as it moves in slow motion, as you begin to visualize a Hanoi that is very different from the hectic city it is often seen as. Travel alongside the train tracks, as you make your way across Long Bien Bridge – a route that many Hanoians took half a century ago.
Ba Be Lake and National Park
Located in Bac Kan Province, Ba Be’s rich ecological diversity and sheer beauty attract visitors everywhere.
The area’s diverse terrain makes for exhilarating, if slightly challenging, travel on the back of a bicycle. A lovely pathway built around Ba Be lake allows you to easily cruise on and take in the beauty of the wilderness around you. Witness the magnificence of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world as you navigate your way along the 8-kilometer long lake. For those of you who are looking for something more exciting, off-road paths are found all over the National Park. Cycle past the scintillating Dau Dang waterfall, or venture into the wild and discover the rich flora and fauna of Ba Be National Park – including orchids found only in the area and multiple types of bamboo.
A corner of Ba Be
3. TIPS ON CYCLING IN NORTHERN VIETNAM
- Stay hydrated! Vietnam’s tropical climate will drain you very fast, so remember to bring plenty of water on your trips to ensure your Vietnam tour for couple run smoothly.
- The same goes for food, especially for more remote routes. Bring easy-to-store and high-nutrition food: you never know if you’re going to see a convenience store along the way.
- Be cautious: many of the routes featured are known for their high level of danger. Exercise caution, especially concerning bends, turns or steep climbs.
- Have multiple forms of navigation on hand – do not just rely on your phone’s GPS or your paper map. Most of these routes are remote, and if you find yourself lost, it could be hours until someone comes to your aid.
- Learn to solve basic problems with your bike – and remember to bring a bicycle repair kit. It is better to have a spare tire or wrench and not need it than to not have it and need it.