|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||57 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: upon request Jan 1-Apr 30, Oct 1-Dec 31, 2014|
|Start city:||Ha Noi, Vietnam|
|End city:||Ha Noi, Vietnam|
Home to numerous ethnic tribal groups, Vietnam's northeastern mountains offers some of the country's most dramatic scenery and spectacular cycling. This journey through the area takes in mountain trails, lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, hot springs, villages of stilt houses and colorful markets. Explore Hanoi's ancient quarter and discover the old French hill station of Sapa, perched in the cool hills.
Beginning in Hanoi, you work off your jetlag by enjoying some walking tours through the ancient streets and neighborhoods of the city, exploring old temples and colonial avenue. After transferring to your delightful Mai Chau lodge in the foothills, you warm up with some easy riding and then head off to the mountains. The cycling on this trip is not long, but it is challenging, with plenty of climbing followed by dramatic descents, rolling through a lush valley dotted with what the French called the Montagnard, or mountain tribe, villages. Pedal past tea plantations and rice paddies, watching the water buffalo till the fields and the villagers going about their daily live.
Several more days of challenging yet invigorating cycling fill out the balance of the trip. These rides offer some of the best, mixing spectacular landscapes with exciting bicycling routes. You take a day off in picturesque Sapa to explore the markets or simply stroll to quiet streets. Sapa was a favorite getaway spot for the colonial French settlers, who enjoyed the cool air and beautiful scenery. Spend your evenings in simple, clean hotels in the country, complimented by deluxe accommodations in Hanoi, Sapa and Mai Chau. It's a journey you'll remember for a lifetime.
Guests often ask what they can do or bring to help people in the region. We suggest purchasing school notebooks and colors after you arrive in Vietnam to give to children in the remote villages you'll visit. You can also bring reading glasses (2 to 3.75) to pass out to elderly villagers, to help them continue to lead productive lives.
Day 1: Arrival to Hanoi
Upon arriving at Noi Bai airport, transfer to the hotel. Freshen up and relax before a historical tour through the Old Quarter, coffee at a family-style art café and a guided tour of a restored Old Quarter home. Highlights include Bach Ma Pagoda, which means White Horse Temple, hidden in the back alleys, and a welcome dinner in one of Hanoi’s top restaurants.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi
Hanoi is an elegant city with tree-lined boulevards, graceful French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and Oriental temples. The city tour includes visits to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (established in 1076) and the highly acclaimed Museum of Ethnology. Also, visit the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, completed by the French in 1901, nicknamed Hanoi Hilton, Camp One, Camp Unity, Heartbreak, Little Vegas, New Guy Village, and West Court. One interesting fact is Hoa Lo Street is the only street in Hanoi with only one address on it, the prison.
In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter and sprawling Dong Xuan Market. This large, 3-story bazaar north of city center offers goods of all sorts that are uniquely Vietnamese. Hundreds of stalls and literally thousands of traders offer fresh produce, dried foods, household goods and more. The market itself endured fierce fighting between Vietnamese resistance units and the French. After Dong Xuan, enjoy a cyclo tour in one of Hanoi’s famous reclining three-wheeled taxis. In the evening, you'll see the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre's performance, which captures the traditional life of Vietnam in a medium inspired by the abundance of water and rice paddy.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau (34 miles/54 km)
Depart Hanoi early for Mai Chau. Enjoy the spectacular scenery during your transfer to the top of Cun Mountain, where you can admire the superb panorama of Mai Chau, surrounded by a green valley and stilt houses. At Cao Phong, you get off bus and start cycling on a beautiful, undulating route that passes through cane plantation and rice paddies. Enjoy lunch en route. The ride finishs at the delightful Mai Chau Lodge.
Overnight in Mai Chau.
Day 4: Moc Chau (38 miles/62 km)
After a hearty breakfast you set off on a testing yet spectacular day, the majority of which is uphill! Transfer to Tong Dau crossroad and start riding on winding paved roads ascending Mai Chau Pass into a region predominantly populated by Black Hmong minority cultures. Before getting to Moc Chau Plateau, situated at 3280 ft/1000 m, you pass through plum orchards, corn and tea plantations. Moc Chau is renowned for its banh sua, which means "milk cake", and tea products. Along the way, contemplate the delightful countryside of Vietnam's mountain region.
Overnight in Moc Chau.
Day 5: Moc Chau - Phu Yen (59 miles/95 km)
After you leave Moc Chau, get on bicycle and branch off onto HW43, and keep riding along sealed roads that pass through a vast tea plantation to Phu Yen. The views of Vietnam's mountain region are spectacular.
Overnight in Phu Yen.
Day 6: Phu Yen - Nghia (63 miles/102 km)
Ride south along quiet roads winding through lush jungle and verdant mountain scenery. You will have 2 small passes to tackle before hitting the main junction at Thu Cuc, where you'll rest for lunch. Following lunch, continue to cycle the through the charming villages. Along the way, you may stop to visit local ethnic minorities and interact with village life. Arrive at Nghia Lo later in the day.
Overnight in Nghia.
Day 7: Nghia - Than Uyen (54 miles/87 km or 85 miles/137 km)
Today the ride is a mixture of ups and downs, with some challenging passes to tackle. The trail winds its way along the mountain ranges, where you will be awarded with exceptional views of Chan Hung mountain. The route offers not only an excellent ride, but also many points of interest. The guide will stop often at villages to show you the traditional hamlets of ethnic minority people such as La Ha, Hmong and Ma people. The ride will finish at Tu Le village, where a shuttle will take you the rest way to Than Uyen.
Overnight in Than Uyen.
Day 8: Than Uyen - Sapa (62 miles/100 km)
Today’s activity is a fantastic bike ride from Than Uyen to Than Thuoc village. The trails take you up and down the hilly mountain. The first leg to Than Thuoc village passes through local hamlet of Tay, Hmong people. Whilst cycling, you can admire the stunning view of rugged mountains and terraces of rice paddies. The second part of the day is a little more challenging as you climb over the 7000 ft/2147 m Heaven Gate. From the peak of this pass, you can catch the scenic panoramic view over Lai Chau province. Meet the bus at the foot of the pass and transfer the rest of the way to Sapa via Silver Waterfall.
Overnight in Sapa.
Day 9: Sapa - Hanoi
Today you have a chance to relax, stroll to nearby villages, do some shopping and soak up the atmosphere of Sapa. Late check out is included until 18:00. At 18:30, the group meets again at hotel’s lobby to be transferred to Lao Cai station for boarding the overnight train to Hanoi. Relax onboard the luxurious Victoria Express train in comfort and style.
Overnight en route to Sapa.
Day 10: Departure from Hanoi
You are at your leisure, until it is time to transfer to airport for your outbound flight (best to fly out after 10 am).
Bikes and equipment available for rent:
Equipment included with bike rentals:
Pedals and Seats:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals. You can also bring your own saddle, and the guides will help you swap them out.
Helmets are available on this tour, but we recommend that you bring your own for safety and hygiene purposes.
Water bottles are not included on this tour. For hygiene and ecological reasons we recommend that you bring your own water bottle.
The entire ride is on paved roads that are narrow, with little or no traffic. The pavement is a bit coarse and suitable for touring, sport road and performance roads bikes with tires wider than 25.
The terrain is fairly hilly, with some big alpine-style climbs. The maximum daily elevation gain for the tour is 1,800 feet (548 m), with a 10% maximum percentage grade.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi, Vietnam
Nearest train station: Hanoi, Vietnam
Pick up and drop off at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) is included tour price.
Ha Noi is served by Air France, Japan Air Lines, Thai Airways, China Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. North American travelers will need to make connections in either Narita, Taipei or Bangkok.
Vietnam is touted as the "hidden gem" of Asia, but it’s been unveiling its intriguing sites and stories to a growing number of visitors over the past decade. From its scenic landscapes to its bustling cities, visitors are enchanted by this beautiful country. Hanoi, the capital, is a fabulous destination, with ancient architectural wonders including temples and pagodas. The capital of Vietnam for more than a thousand years, its centuries-old cultural relics are remarkably well preserved. Along with its vibrant cities, visitors are amazed by Vietnam's wide range of landscapes, including mountains, beaches, forests, and rivers. Vietnam has a significant national parks system that offers visitors biking and hiking opportunities, and rural areas are also filled with architectural relics from ancient dynasties waiting to be explored.
Pedalers Pub and Grille provide imaginative bike tours for cycling enthusiasts in Asia, Alaska and the Pacific. Enjoy fully supported rides through dramatic landscapes, boutique lodging and hearty meals featuring regional cuisine. Discover the country through the knowledge and stories of local cycling guides, enabling you to return home with an understanding of the local culture.
Strengths of Pedalers Pub and Grille include longer rides for cycling enthusiasts, local staff in each destination, imaginative routes and great value with first class accommodations at moderate tour prices. Among their numerous awards and distinctions is being placed in the top ten bike companies of the world-wide National Geographic Traveler Magazine, along with the National Geographic Adventure Magazine and Best Tour Operators on Earth. They have also been featured in 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010 for their Northern Highlights trip in Thailand.
Booking Terms and Conditions
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing and mailed to Pedalers Pub & Grille. The Date of Cancellation will be the day we receive your written notice of cancellation. Cancellations by phone or email will not be considered as valid notice.
Cancellations received before 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit the deposits paid. Any monies paid in excess of the deposit will be refunded.
Cancellations received less than 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit all payments made. No refunds will be made.
Our cancellation policy is strictly enforced with no exceptions including medical and family emergencies, deaths in the family, weather or civil unrest. Please note:
• There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early.
• Single supplements are considered part of the trip price and are subject to cancellation fees.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as needed.
• On the rare occasion when Pedalers Pub & Grille must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes full settlement.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
• Guests who fail to complete the Rider Questionnaire prior to trip departure will not be allowed to join the trip and will be subject to Pedalers Pub & Grille standard cancellation policy as described above.
• We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover non-refundable items in the event situations force you to cancel your travel plans.
After you sign up
Once we have processed and accepted your application, you will receive a notice of confirmation. In this confirmation will be additional details, such as access codes to your online rider information, meeting times and suggested flight times. You will find all of the information necessary to plan for your ride in the Pedaler's Biergarten area of our website. Here in addition to ride information, forum and a variety of tips & suggestion, you will find a Guest Questionnaire that MUST be completed in order to participate on the trip. Please note that in respect for our environment, we do not print a ride handbook and prefer to present this information online. If you do not have access to the internet please let us know.
Transferring to a different date
If you find you need to change your departure, you can request your booking be transferred to a different departure date without penalty up to 45 days prior to the originally booked tour's departure date. Requests for transfers to a new date made less than 45 days prior may be considered based on circumstances and if approved will be subject to a $100 rebooking fee per person, otherwise our normal cancellation policy applies. Requests for transferring your booking must be made in writing.
If you find you need change plans again and transfer your booking a 2nd time, there will be a $100 handling fee per person applied for the 2nd and all subsequent transfers. If after you have transferred a booking, you find you have to cancel completely, the cancellation penalty will be the higher of the tours on which you held reservations.
Travel Insurance Trip cancellation insurance, along with medical, baggage and flight insurance is available from World Nomads. Underwritten by Allianz, World Nomads offers low cost travel insurance in over 44 countries. With genuine 24/7 assistance anywhere on the planet provided by Mondial Assistance, the world's largest travel insurance and assistance company, and online claims and extensions from anywhere in the world while you are still away, World Nomads offers some of the best travel insurance in the world today. You can read more and get price quotes from our Travel Insurance page in the Biergarten section of our website.
Youth on Tours
Family Multisport Tours - Children from age 8 on up are welcome on our Family Multisport tours. We feel that this is the minimum safe age for the activities during the trips.
Bike Tours - Youths from age 16 on up are welcome on our standard Bike Tours. Children under the age of 16 will be considered on a case by case basis. If a family with younger children wishes to join a date, we will contact guests already registered on that date and with their OK, will accept the family's booking. Youths must share a room with a family member or have a private room (single supplement applies).
Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health; arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the Ride Handbook, and with a bicycle suitable / suitably maintained for the ride; respecting the laws and customs of regions visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with leader directions; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time prior to or during the trip if, in Pedalers Pub & Grille's opinion, an individual's behavior or physical condition is not compatible with the general enjoyment and well-being of other trip members.
Pedalers Pub & Grille Limitations of Liability
Pedalers Pub & Grille is not liable for bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, kayak, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided. Pedalers Pub & Grille is also not liable for expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but which may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as necessary to improve the trip's quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant Pedalers Pub & Grille express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approving such use by third parties with whom Pedalers Pub & Grille may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
Pedalers Pub & Grille respects our customer's right to privacy. The personal information gathered from our website and from any printed applications or questionnaires is used solely by Pedalers Pub & Grille for the registration on, operation of and marketing of our tours. Some personal information, such as addresses, maybe exchanged with banking institutions while processing your payment. Pedalers Pub & Grille does not provide any customer information to any outside parties for marketing or any other non-transactional purposes.
This right to privacy extends to our trip rosters. It is entirely voluntary to have your personal information listed on the trip roster. You will have the opportunity to select this option while completing our Rider Questionnaire after you are registered. The trip roster will display name, city, state, email, phone and the answer to the About Me question. If you elect not to appear on the trip roster, you will not receive a copy of the trip roster.