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.
Stopping to take a leak
Outside the first Home Stay
First Home Stay at Ba Be national park
Paddy Fields in the Backyard
1-hour Boat Ride early in the morning
Crossing the narrow Bamboo bridge
Village Kids bathing in the river
Village Kids harvesting some crops in the mountains
Scenic view high up the mountains
Arriving in Meo Vac City
Tasty dinner with some Hanoi Beer
Children hanging out in Meo Vac
Some Slash and Burn agriculture
More Biking along the river
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.