After hard-working months, why not reward yourself with an exciting and refreshing motorbike trip to Northern loop Vietnam?
With unexpected off-the-beaten-path road trips, the ride through Northern Loop Vietnam isn’t made for the faint of heart. But if you are ready to take up the challenge, I assure you that it’ll be the most worthy and memorable experience of your life!
Hmm, it doesn’t sound as easy as a piece of cake, does it?
Indeed, what you need to do is pack up your things, hop on your new motorbike, get in contact with some like-minded travelers if you want some company to support you. And now everything is ready for you to go on an off-road motorbike trip in Vietnam.
And what will you get from those off-road tours? Tons of new friends, magnificent natural scenery, interesting knowledge about local history, and opportunities to explore your inner potentials – Is it enough to get you started on your next adventure right away?
Let’s scroll down for the best motorbike routes as well as useful tips and advice before starting your first-ever trip to the Northern Loop Vietnam!
The First Recommended Loop: Mai Chau – Phu Yen – Son La
Estimated days to finish: 3 days
Total length: ~300 km
Starting from the capital city Hanoi, drive 130 km heading northwest to Mai Chau (Hoa Binh) – the first stop in this northern loop Vietnam route.
Keep in mind that the roads to Mai Chau are not a bed of roses with many dangerous bends and high cliffs challenging even the most skillful drivers. Moreover, the unpredictable weather can be a real pain in the neck!
In order to reach Lac Village, dubbed as the cradle of ethnic minorities in Mai Chau, explorers have to cross the 12-km Cun slope, winding up between huge mountain ranges. For those who are dying for a fascinating expedition, the feelings of the mist hanging around the treetops and roads and wetting eyelashes are hard to miss.
Don’t forget to spend a night in a traditional stilt house to truly feel the life of ethnic minorities. It will be even more fantastic if you have a taste of mountainous specialties or join in some unique local activities.
Continue your Vietnam motorcycle tours to Phu Yen to further explore this northwestern land. Situated at the altitude of 1,000 meters, Phu Yen captures the wanderer’s soul with majestic mountain ranges, lush green forests and valleys, and golden rice fields like a marvelous masterpiece of nature.
Ta Xua (Son La) awaits backpackers with the most awe-inspiring “cloud-hunting” experience. But remember not to waste your trip there during the summer since it’s almost impossible to admire the billowing and out-of-this-world sea of white clouds.
This northern loop Vietnam route is most suitable for inexperienced motorcyclists as the roads are considered “gentler” and less challenging than the upcoming one!
The Second Recommended Loop: Than Uyen – Ha Giang – Dong Van
This is the most popular and appreciated Northern loop Vietnam route voted by many travelers. Let’s discover why these places are so special!
Estimated days to finish: 3 to 4 days
Total length: ~400 km
Lots of travelers have their hearts stolen by the unique beauty of terrace fields in the wet season of Than Uyen. Moreover, this pristine land is also the “birthplace” of many once-in-a-lifetime photos with the images of villagers working on their rice fields with their buffaloes following silently – a typical scene of Vietnamese countryside.
Although the long road to Than Uyen in bitterly cold winter can be a real challenge, the magnificent and splendid natural scenery is the most precious reward. Adoring the stunning views of sunrise and sunset over the horizon and illuminating those rice terraces below promise to bring an unforgettable moment.
Follow the initial route to Ha Giang – the northernmost of this S-shaped country. When it comes to Ha Giang, explorers find it hard to erase the images of weird cat-eared stone slopes, rugged and winding roads, villages hidden in the sea of clouds, and marvelous natural wonders.
This land offers endless attractions to satisfy your thirst for discovery and adventure, from the poetic Yen Minh Pine Forest reminiscent of the highland, the typical “trinh tuong” houses of Mong people lying peacefully in the fields full of triangle flowers, to the stately palace of King Meo for some local history lessons.
On your way to Dong Van, don’t forget to stop by Dong Van Ancient Street to enjoy a cup of aromatic local coffee in one of the traditional houses or spend a night in a lovely homestay. Next, pay a visit to Dong Van Plateau – a global geological park to admire stunning landscapes and discover the cultural values of ethnic groups.
From Dong Van, travel about 20km to reach Meo Vac District via Ma Pi Leng pass, which is known as one of the four great mountain peaks of Vietnam.
One side is the deep abyss overlooking the gorgeous Nho Que River below and the other side is stately high mountains, creating the most mind-blowing and hair-raising for bold travelers.
Above are the highly recommended northern loop Vietnam routes for enthusiastic adventurers. Each route has its own special features, so choose the one most fit your interest.
How about taking up both of them? Who knows how long we’ll live in this world anyway? Grab your chance and live like you were dying!