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Biking in North Vietnam

My friend Yap was inspired to bike around Vietnam after watching an episode of Top Gear. I enjoyed the trip a lot, as it was more of an unusual, off-the-beaten-path type of holiday.

Here’s the rough travel itinerary, though I’m not exactly sure where we stayed on the 4th night. Initially I felt that the trip was costly (700 USD for the tour) but I had a lot of fun. Highly recommended for groups of guys.

Day 0 (16 Apr): Arrived in Hanoi
Day 1 (17 Apr): Stayed in a home stay at Ba Be National Park
Day 2 (18 Apr): Stayed in a hotel at Meo Vac City
Day 3 (19 Apr): Stayed in a home stay in a village near Ha Giang
Day 4 (20 Apr): Stayed in our guide’s family’s home stay
Day 5 (21 Apr): Returned to Hanoi in the evening
Day X (22 Apr): Head to the Airport in the morning

Some notable facts

  • You will drink a lot. Vietnamese villagers love brewing their own rice wine. I actually like it a lot more than other types of hard liquor.
  • Majority of the tourists are from France. Not surprising considering that Vietnam was a former French colony.
  • Almost everyone rides a bike. Which is why you rarely see girls wearing skirts.
  • People think of Pho when talking about Vietnamese Cuisine, but actually they have so many other tasty food. I really like most of the home-cooked food served in the home stays for dinner (rice + dishes)
  • You will see MANY chickens in the villages. And the crowing of the cocks will wake you up every morning.

983625_10154064596110074_2775928250439195659_nRoadside break

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Stopping to take a leak

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Outside the first Home Stay

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First Home Stay at Ba Be national park

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Paddy Fields in the Backyard

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1-hour Boat Ride early in the morning

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Crossing the narrow Bamboo bridge

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Random Cows

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Village Kids bathing in the river

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Village Kids harvesting some crops in the mountains

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Scenic view high up the mountains

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Arriving in Meo Vac City

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Tasty dinner with some Hanoi Beer

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Children hanging out in Meo Vac

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Some Slash and Burn agriculture

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More Biking along the river

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Took 90 min to clear a 2-km long dirt path. It was really muddy after the rain

Next stop – Bali. Will be going there in May to have some fun.

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