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Cycle Northern Vietnam

Norther Vietnam

Cycle Northern Vietnam

Biking
·
Start: Hanoi
·
End: Hanoi

An unforgettable cycling tour of vibrant and verdant Northern Vietnam

Activity
Biking
LocationNorther Vietnam
Duration8 days
Start / EndHanoi / Hanoi
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Norther Vietnam

Cycle Northern Vietnam

Biking·
8 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Hanoi
·
End: Hanoi

Description

More than 30 million Vietnamese can't be wrong - handle-bar height gives you the best view of Vietnam! Our one week cycling tour through the north of this beautiful country provides opportunities to meet the locals and experience their culture in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible. So come with us and get active as we cycle from Hanoi to Halong Bay, down country lanes and through spectac...

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Itinerary

Day 1Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day, as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you are bringing your own bicycle with you on the trip, you need to assemble it to check for any damage in transit before the welcome meeting. If you have arranged for the hire of a bicycle, your leader will assist you in preparing the bike before your first cycling activity. If you arrive with some time to spare then work your legs with a walk around Hanoi’s charming shaded boulevards and a squat on a short street-corner stools for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) in the Old Quarter. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception or your travel agent in advance. Riding distance: none
Day 2Hanoi
This morning you’ll get the chance to explore the Vietnamese capital by bike on a guided ride through the city (approx. 25kms). Hanoi is made for exploration by bike, so this is the perfect place to get to grips with Vietnamese street life and traffic. You’ll ride through parks, around lakes, and down tree-lined boulevards and visit iconic sights such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the Buddhist temple One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. There’s also time to explore the vibrant Old Quarter, an architectural museum where blocks of ochre buildings give off the air of a 1930s provincial French town. In these ancient ’36 Streets’ discover an amazing selection of shops that sell everything from souvenirs to exquisite silk clothing, jewellery, beautifully embroidered tablecloths, wood carvings and lacquerware - it's a bargain hunter's paradise. You’ll have some free time this afternoon. Perhaps take a walk around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, with the reflection of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and the tangle of ancient streets in its still surface, or maybe dive into culture at the Vietnam Fine Art Museum or The Vietnamese Women’s Museum. Top off the day with a steaming bowl of fresh Pho from a hole-the-wall eatery – the street food in Hanoi is not to be missed! Riding distance: approx. 25 kms on flat, well paved roads
Day 3Mai Chau
Saddle up this morning as your cycling adventure kicks into first gear. Leave Hanoi behind and travel by bus to Hoa Binh (approx. 2 hrs). When you arrive you’ll jump on your bike and cycle 40 kms to Cao Phong, through small ethnic Thai villages, enjoying the tranquility of the paddy fields and interacting with the local people. Limestone peaks climb in the background and banks of green line the road, and you’ll take regular stops to admire the view across the lush valleys. After arriving you’ll take a short 30-minute bus ride for the next section, stopping for lunch at Man Duc. After you fuel up, the bus will take you to the Da River Reservoir. Stretch your legs again cycling along the Da River, passing spectacular karst cliffs, through paddy fields, and admiring the lush panorama of the Mai Chau valley on the way (approx. 20 kms). The peaceful town of Mai Chau is situated in a stunningly beautiful valley surrounded by verdant green mountains and is famed for its breathtaking scenery and friendly hilltribe peoples. Tonight you’ll enjoy local hospitality in a simple stilt-house homestay in the village of Poom Coong. Your amicable hosts will cook up a fabulous meal, and there may even be a chance to sample some of the local rice wine produced in the region. Riding distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles & approx. 20kms/12 miles
Day 4Pu Luong National Park
This morning you farewell your homestay hosts and cycle from Mai Chau to Mai Hai, and then on to Pu Luong National Park (approx 65kms). You’ll ride through more paddy fields and test you riding skills (or suspension) with the shallow potholes that can be found on the road. Pass pineapple farms and farmers riding atop their load drawn by lumbering water buffalo. Ride through small towns and wave to friendly locals on your way through picture-perfect Vietnam – lush green fields, towering limestone mountains, tranquil waterways and charming historic sites. This is a wonderful chance to see everyday rural life in action as well as take in the beautiful countryside. Part of this ride takes you along the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail. While not as rustic as it once was it is a memorable experience nonetheless. Riding distance: approx. 65kms/40 miles
Day 5Cuc Phuong National Park
This morning you’ll cycle from Pu Luong to Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam’s first and largest national park, opened by Ho Chi Minh himself, one of the most important conservation sites in the country, and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Today’s ride is beautiful as you cycle through some of Vietnam’s most spectacular views, riding in between limestone karst peaks thrusting out of serene rice paddies. The ride is undulating but definitely worth the effort. Riding distance: approx. 70kms / 43 miles
Day 6Halong Bay
Enjoy one final early morning ride through the beautiful green scenery of the Ninh Binh Province, riding (approx. 30kms) through the verdant rice field paddy scenery and along the banks of the duck-filled Hoang Long river to the opulent Bai Ding Buddhist Temple. Here we bid farewell to our cycling support team and transfer by minivan then ferry (approx. 4hrs) to Cat Ba Island, and on to Lan Ha Bay, part of the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay. This is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful places, a secluded bay of emerald waters dotted with sandstone islands and caves. As well as being part of Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay has the additional attraction of numerous white-sand beaches. where you'll stay the night in a secluded property right on the water's edge. If you are feeling energetic and would like to explore there is a walking trail for a short walk around the island – it’s worth it for the view alone! Riding distance: approx. 30kms / 19 miles, mostly flat.
Day 7Hanoi
Grab a kayak and drift by towering limestone islands dotted with green foliage, paddling away from other tourists across the turquoise water and through the caves of Lan Ha Bays. Following the kayaking board the boat and cruise the Bay before we head back to Hanoi (approx. 5 hours travel time), arriving in the early evening. Perhaps head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or pay a visit to one of the city's many fascinating museums, such as the Fine Art Museum, Women's Museum or Museum of Ethnology. Toast the end of this active adventure with an optional farewell group dinner. Riding distance: none
Day 8Hanoi
Your Cycle Vietnam adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you are sticking around then there are plenty of things to see and do in and around Hanoi. Riding distance: none

More info

Last modified (date)

26 Nov 2018

Trip title

Cycle Northern Vietnam

Trip code

TVXS

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

More than 30 million Vietnamese can't be wrong - handle-bar height gives you the best view of Vietnam! Our one week cycling tour through the north of this beautiful country provides opportunities to meet the locals and experience their culture in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible. So come with us and get active as we cycle from Hanoi to Halong Bay, down country lanes and through spectacula... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Cycling

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available),Support vehicle,Boat,Taxi

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more

Joining point

Thien Thai Hotel

Joining point description

Located North West corner of the Old Quarter, Thien Thai is within walking distance of the nearby Dong Xuan market and the Ho Tay Lake (West Lake). All rooms have telephone, TV, WIFI, air conditioning, electronic safe, en-suite bathroom, hair dryer and mini fridge. www.thienthaihotel.com

Joining point instructions

Hanoi Airport (HAN) is located approximately 40 minutes drive from the Thien Thai Hotel, depending on traffic and the time of day that you arrive. We are happy to arrange an arrival transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to the start of your tour. Alternatively, you could ... Read more

Finish point

Thien Thai Hotel

Finish point description

Located North West corner of the Old Quarter, Thien Thai is within walking distance of the nearby Dong Xuan market and the Ho Tay Lake (West Lake). All rooms have telephone, TV, WIFI, air conditioning, electronic safe, en-suite bathroom, hair dryer and mini fridge. www.thienthaihotel.com

Finish point instructions

A taxi from the hotel to the airport will cost approx. 15USD (310,000VND) and take approx 40 minutes. A departure transfer to the airport is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to trip departure. If you plan to stay longer, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with post-tour accommodation booked throu... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other g... Read more

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you w... Read more

Visas

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and l... Read more

Why we love it

If you love the feel of a bike between your legs, the wind in your (helmet-covered) hair and tropical breeze on your face then this speedy but comprehensive 8 day adventure is for you

Is this trip right for you

NEW TRIP This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary, and are working with our local supplier with over 10 years experience riding the exact route, we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes ... Read more

Health

All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themsel... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price.... Read more

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so ... Read more

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to pur... Read more

Climate and seasonal

TET (6-9 February 2019): Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling a... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local re... Read more

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity an... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multisha... Read more

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes th... Read more

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights),homestay (2 nights),resort (2 nights)
8days
€814per person
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Mar 10
Hanoi
Mar 17
Hanoi
€814
Seats left: 12
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Mar 24
Hanoi
Mar 31
Hanoi
€814
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Apr 14
Hanoi
Apr 21
Hanoi
€870
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Apr 28
Hanoi
May 5
Hanoi
€870
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