5th – 19th April 2014, Hanoi to Hanoi
Day 1: Saturday 5th April – Arrival Hanoi
Depart Sydney or Melbourne for Hanoi via Saigon VN 772 ETD11:35 ETA 21:00 ex Sydney or VN 780 ETD 11:35 ETA 21:00. You will have a meet & greet after clearing Immigration and Customs then you’ll be transferred ex Hanoi Noi Ba airport to your downtown hotel. Duration of the journey is around one hour. Assistance with check-in on arrival at the property. Overnight at The “Luxor Hotel”***, on a bed & breakfast basis.
Day 2: Sunday 6th April – Hanoi – (B, L)
After breakfast in-house, you’ll spend a full day seeing the sights of this 1000 year old city, with lunch (L) included. A highlight is a visit to the Hanoi Military Museum. Overnight Hanoi at the Luxor Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis. Any of your main baggage you don’t think you’ll require on the ride can be cloaked at the “Luxor” for your return.
Day 3: Monday 7th April – Hanoi – Ngoi Tha (Vu Linh – Yen Bai) (B,L,D) – 190km
Our local office will transfer us to a point on the outskirts of Hanoi to begin our next ten days’ association with our “two-wheeled horses”, to make our start into the country side, a little less dangerous than battling Hanoi’s grid-locked traffic. Road surfaces will vary considerably as we ride across the northern provinces of Vietnam. Today will be an easy drive on the sealed road to Thac Ba Lake and onto a secondary road to Vu Linh. Vu Linh is a Dzao ethnic village by the side of the lake, very friendly people and the welcome is exceptional. Overnight in the local “Peoples Committee Guest House in Yen Bai area.
Day 4: Tuesday 8th April – Ngoi Tha – Mu Cang Chai (B,L,D) – 205km
Riding on both the main highway and off the highway today to reach Mu Cang Chai. It’s a scenic road passing through the rice fields, hill tribe villages. We’ll stop in a little town along the way for lunch. Dinner will be local style. Overnight in “Hotel Suoi Mo”**.
Day 5: Wednesday 9th April – Mu Cang Chai – Sapa (B, L, D) – 180km
We head straight toward the main Fansipan Mountain range. There is also the option for a very challenging back route which takes us through several river crossings. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a climb up from Than Uyen and reach the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). We cross into Lao Cai Province at over 2,000m the views looks out over the main range for many miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley. Dinner and overnight in the local hotel –“Holiday”***.
Day 6: Thursday 10th April – Sapa – Bac Ha (B, L, D) – 120km
Today we ride through a landscape of rice fields and villages on the way to Bac Ha. We’ll stop in “Yen The” for lunch at a local restaurant. On arrival at Bac Ha, check in to our overnight hotel. Dinner will be followed by a traditional music show. Overnight in a local hotel – “Saomai”**.
Day 7: Friday 11th April – Bac Ha – Hoang Su Phi ( B, L, D) – 160km
After breakfast, our ride today will take us on many tracks to Xin Man and Hoang Xu Phi and on many back roads with scenic mountain views. Lunch will be en-route. On arrival at Hoang Su Phi. Dinner and overnight in the local hotel – “Tien Dat”**.
Day 8: Saturday 12th April Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang ( B, L, D) – 170km
Continue today onto Ha Giang, with a stop for lunch at Viet Lam. Arrive at Ha Giang. Check–in to hotel. Dinner will be at a local restaurant and overnight in the local hotel – “Cao Nguyen”**.
Day 9: Sunday 13th April – Ha Giang – Dong Van ( B,L,D) – 160km
Before we set out today our lead guide must obtain, at Ha Giang’s Immigration Police Office, our permit to ride in the border areas that lie ahead, then we continue to ride on small, challenging mountain roads with incredible views and meet many of the very colourful mountain hill-tribe peoples as we head to today’s destination. Here is yet another amazing place, with cloudy mountain ranges and the poetic Nho Que River winding off in the distance. Ride on a zig-zag track until Dong Van, a remote area and meet the hard-working local people. It is inspiring to see how they survive as they manage to live in the rocks. When we reach town we will have some extra time to wander the ancient streets lined with H’mong homes of clay bricks and tiles roofs built centuries ago. Arrive in Dong Van. Check in to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in hotel – “Rockey”**
Day 10: Monday 14th April – Dong Van – Bao Lac (B,L,D) – 200km
The road we ride today is still under construction in many places and it makes the day’s ride relatively long in spite of kilometres we have to cover. The landscape is among the most beautiful of Vietnam, and the slow tempo of its surrounds and people make it even more appreciated. We cross the wild regions of the mythical province of Ha Giang. Our night stop is at Bao Lac, “Thuy Duong Hotel” the ethnic crossroad of Northeast Vietnam. Many other ethnic groups on the two sides of the border (with China) meet at the market during the week.
Day 11: Tuesday 15th April – Bao Lac – Ba Be (B,L,D) – 160km
Today will be a beautiful scenic ride down to Cao Bang province. There are quite a few passes from where you can get an overview of the area. The road is easy but there are many blind curves. We can stop as often as you wish for photos. The journey over the ground today with stops for drinks and food, should be around 8-hours. Overnight at “Ba Be Guest House” in Ba Be.
Day 12: Wednesday 16th April – Ba Be – Hanoi by minibus (B,L)
After breakfast this morning, we’ll take a boat ride to visit on Ba Be Lake and view the National Park. Lunch at Ba Be then we leave our mechanical horses and transfer back via minibus to Hanoi. Once back into Hanoi we’ll be dropped off to the Old Quarter hotel The Luxor Hotel where we stayed for two nights on arrival into Vietnam. Overnight on a bed & breakfast basis. Once again main baggage can be left cloaked here at the “Luxor Hotel” and just take an overnight bag for the trip out to Ha Long Bay and the cruise.
Day 13: Thursday 17th April – Hanoi – Ha Long Bay (all meals whilst on the cruise)
Leave Hanoi by road for Ha Long Bay approximately 3.5 hours drive. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. There will be a stop for refreshments en-route. Arrive in Ha Long and board the traditional sailing junk. Whilst cruising the exquisite waters, sample the region’s fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay at any spot that you wish to visit. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board traditional Vietnamese junk. (L,D)
Day 14: Friday 18th April – Ha Long Bay – Hanoi
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast onboard your cruising junk before arriving back to the Ha Long City wharf. En route the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons and even General de Gaulle’s nose! After another wonderful fresh seafood lunch on board disembark at the dock at Halong City. Transfer back to Hanoi by road once again with a refreshment stop en-route. On arrival into Hanoi we’ll be dropped off to our Old Quarter hotel for our overnight stay.. (B,Brunch) Overnight “Luxor Hotel”, bed & breakfast basis.
Day 15: Saturday 19th April – Departure day ( B)
Free until transfer to Noi Bai Airport for homeward flight for those heading home today. There is a daily service ex Hanoi via Saigon to both Sydney & Melbourne. The flight ex Hanoi is Vietnam Airlines VN 773/781 ETD 16:00 into Saigon ETA 18:00 with connections onto Sydney via VN 773 ETD 20:40 ETA 08:15 + 1 day (Sunday 20th) or if heading to Melbourne via VN 781 ETD 21:00 ETA 08:35 + 1 day (Sunday 20th). End of the journey.
Note: There will be an optional extension available ex Hanoi commencing day 15 the 19th April for three nights & four days (until 22nd April) to where the French were defeated in 1954 – Dien Bien Phu, located deep north west of Hanoi near the Lao border. An hour’s flight from Hanoi. Here there’s an opportunity to once again ride bikes and to visit the old mountain headquarters of the Viet Minh as well as sightsee in and around this heroic Vietnamese country township, that time has almost forgotten. For those who have never visited Vietnam or been back since their 60-70’s tour, further arrangements can be made for you to visit the south and your ole area of operations, such as Nui Dat and the surrounding area. Your call, it’s just a matter of asking for what you’d like to see & do.
Expressed in US Dollars
Per person Share Twin
Single Sole Use RoomSupplement
Journey cost and inclusions:
– Accommodation in twin shared room with breakfast daily.
– Private transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle when city touring and for all necessary transfers as detailed.
– All Government taxes and service charges.
– Local English speaking guide and an assistant for the motorbike trip.
– Full escorted by an Australian Indo China Travel Manager and fellow rider.
– Luggage support truck for the whole biking trip.
– 4X4 SUV for the whole biking trip as the back up vehicle.
– Mechanic – in case !
– Entrance fees for the sightseeing described in the daily itinerary.
– Water & tissues (refresher towels we call them)
– Motorbike with fuel: any of the following could be allocated to you for the ride -Honda Yamaha 230cc – or Honda Degree 250cc – or Honda XR 250cc. These are the largest bike types available for private use outside the military or police.
– Meals as detailed by B – breakfast, L – lunch & D – dinner symbols.
– Vietnamese visa single entry for Australian passport holders. There may be the need for a multi entry visa if a traveller elects to visit another Indo-China country such as Lao or Cambodia and returns to exit Vietnam. Currently this is an extra AUD 55.00 over and above the tour package cost. As at 1st March 2013.
– Economy class airfare either Sydney-Hanoi return or Melbourne –Hanoi return as at 1st March 2013 **. The end airfare you’ll pay is subject to actual airfare available at time of making a firm reservation or to suit your specific travel requirements outside the base programme.
The cost detailed above is inclusive of all port taxes and fuel surcharges as at this date.
Note: The maximum number of participants on this bike journey is twelve (12) plus escort and the local support team.
Items not included in the cost of the journey:
– Comprehensive Travel Insurance – I recommend 1Cover they are very reasonable and will cover all possibilities whilst out of country.
– Meals: be they lunch or dinner where not stated, most meals though are included
– Tips to guide, mechanic or driver.
– Your refreshments – and the local beers are very drinkable.
– Items of a personal nature such as telephone, laundry and general spending money for the journey.
What you should bring for the journey:
Here are items we suggest for motorcycle touring:
– Tracking: GPS (we will input all routing into your GPS)
– Clothing: rain gloves, Wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from April to September), summer gloves, balaclava, T-shirts, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirts, turtleneck shirts, extra jeans, a light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses, goggles, and contact lens solution.
– Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen and earplugs.
– Emergency items: a first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, a flashlight, chargers and a duct tape.
– Miscellaneous: a small towel, a bath towel, trash bags, camera and cargo net…and probably some gifts for children in the villages we’ll pass through on our journey.
To secure your berth or to ask any questions please contact Dennis Weatherall – the co-ordinator of the journey. A qualified Travel Manager – on SYD (02) 9520 6023 or mobile 0428 280 536 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A deposit of AUD 350.00 per person is required at time of reservation. Full booking conditions are available on request.
Space is limited as we already have four starters – that leaves eight spaces!
Ask a mate to come join you on what will be definitely a one-off experience to an area of Vietnam not too many westerners have had the opportunity to see or motorbike through!
Please view our web site for current departures to other Australian orientated battlefields In both 2013 – 2014
or call our resident Military Historian – Battlefield Guide
Land line: SYD (02) 9520 6023 Or Mobile 0428 280 536