Cycle Vietnam's lush and photogenic northern reaches
Bike tour the north of Vietnam over 5 days, cycling the scenic region west of Hanoi, on an unforgettable adventure cycle tour of Vietnam's rich cultural heartland and stunningly scenic countryside.
This bicycle tour runs from Hanoi to Hanoi.
This tour is well-suited to using our optional Pedal-assist E-bikes, perfect for cyclists looking for a boost up the hills or more casual riders. Find out more in the 'Trip Features' section below.
The areas surrounding the Red River Delta are the original heartland of Vietnam prior to the expansion that took the Vietnamese people far south to the Mekong.
This region to the West of Hanoi, that includes Mai Chau, Ninh Binh and Cuc Phuong National Park, is rich in not only Vietnamese culture, but also that of the various minority tribes that inhabit the area.
Bike touring here is achievable and enjoyable, passing through limestone karst landscapes and terraced rice fields, but without the sustained climbing of the more remote Sapa area.
This is an ‘On Request’ bike tour - We understand active travellers value flexibility and we do our best to accommodate every request. Simply propose your travel dates, bring one or more companions and you will receive our standard price - no private tour markups.
More details below the itinerary.
Peak Season: For tours commencing from December 23 through January 3 there is a peak season surcharge of 15% on the price of this tour due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
5 days duration
200 km distance
E-Bike option: $275
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
Find out how your next bike tour goes the extra mile.
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To help you best enjoy cycling in Northern Vietnam we use GIANT 'Anyroad' bicycles on this tour. These are suited to the wide variety of terrain we meet along our journey. As with all our bikes they are well maintained but also feature a lighter overall weight, a taller headtube and increased top-tube stand-over distance for confident handling, a wide range of gears and are suited to varried riding surfaces.
Simple to use and a pleasure to ride the Trek Conduit+ pedal-assist bike expands touring possibilities for all riders, and anything that enables people to explore more of the world by bike is a great thing in our books! Find out more about our E-Bikes here.
Always striving to deliver a premium tour experience Grasshopper Adventures are the first (and currently only) to offer pedal-assist e-bikes as a tour option in Southeast Asia. An upgrade can be purchased for this trip, availability is limited and on a first-in basis. Please select the e-bike option when making your online booking and our support team will follow-up regarding availability.
The accommodation throughout this trip is clean and comfortable allowing you to fully relax and recharge following a great day in the saddle. While we always use the best accommodation available in more remote areas, one night on this trip makes use of a more simple national park bungalow due to limited availability of accommodation in the area.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
A cuisine that has evolved with the culture and landscape of Vietnam provides for an astounding level of variety. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals and while riding. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
2 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
This tour is 100% operated by Grasshopper Adventures. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our fleet of over 300 bikes. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Grasshopper quality.
for Northwest Vietnam by Bike
Transfer & Cycle to Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is a province just outside Hanoi in the Red River Delta. It is known for is green valleys limestone karst mountains and nature reserves.
Leaving Hanoi in the morning, we ease out through the rush hour traffic and into the open countryside. After around two hours in the car, we'll find a place to start riding on quieter, back roads through the villages and rice fields. As we continue on, the townships become more village-like and the people often start to become a little more engaging, typical of non-city dwellers the world over.
Ninh Binh was the capital of Vietnam, so there is plenty of history to learn, we'll take in a bit of this with a stop at the temple of King Dinh-Le and a historical pagoda. Following lunch near the hotel, we can check in and rest the legs for a little while before our late afternoon adventure. We'll head out to the Van Long Nature reserve for a pleasant rowboat ride through the glassy flat lake surrounded by karsts and caves. Out here we may spot some very rare species of langurs who are considered one of the worlds most endangered primates.
Cuc Phuong - Cycle & Hike
The ride today is mostly undulating from the beginning and because we start out quite early, the air tends to be quite cool. We continue through a varied landscape of rice fields and karsts, then in the late morning we reach the entrance to Cuc Phuong National Park. This was Vietnam's first National Park and is home to a great variety of animals and birdlife, among them the Langur Monkeys.
After lunch, we'll walk to Endangered Primate Rescue Center which houses some langur, loris, and gibbon species. Following this we'll head out on a hike of about 2 hours through the surrounding jungle, with some of the oldest trees in the forest along our route. This evening, we'll spend the night in clean but simple hotel accommodation, conveniently located near the park headquarters.
Pu Luong - Cycle & Transfer
The destination today is about 135km away in total, so we won't be riding the whole way. Your guide will take you through the options, but you can choose the section with more down than up, the undulating route or even the part with more uphill, all depending on how you are feeling on the day. The remainder will be covered in the vehicle.
The scenery today is particularly nice and as you are on really quiet roads, so you get more of an opportunity to take it all in. You'll be passing small hilltribe communities through here where the ladies are often dressed in their colourful, traditional garb and the kids are eager to call out to encourage and to say hello.
After last evening's more rustic night in the National Park, tonight you can enjoy some comfort and style, in a lovely mountain retreat.
Mai Chau - Cycle & Transfer
We start out today on an all-round more hilly route than the last few days, but still quite achievable nonetheless.
The landscape through here features less limestone and tends to be drier, while in the valleys rice is grown on seemingly every square inch and even on the hills, at times using rice field terraces.
You approach the stunning Mai Chau Valley by coming over one last pass. The valley itself is a welcoming place and comfortable lodgings nestled in the heart of the valley amongst the rice paddies await as your evening's accommodation.
Cycle the Mai Chau Valley - Hanoi & Conclude
This morning’s ride is more about exploration than actual riding. We'll visit some of the White Tai ethnic families who call the valley home and have various small workshops set up under their homes where they craft silverware and textiles. We'll also visit a traditional brick kiln and perhaps try our hand at rice planting.
Back at the accommodation, you have some free time before we drive back to Hanoi, arriving mid-afternoon. The bike tour concludes on arrival in the city or at the airport if you are departing that afternoon.
Create Your Own Date
On-Request scheduling is subject to the availability of guides and tour resources on the dates that you would like to travel and as long as two or more people are travelling we will charge the standard tour price - no markups!
1. You must have booked and paid your deposit for travel dates that are at least 48+hrs in the future. This just gives us time to organise all travel arrangements.
2. Create Your Own Date for this tour applies for bookings of two or more people only. If you are a solo traveller we can accommodate you for a surcharge. Please enquire for a quote.
3. All trips are subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule.
What's the Riding Like?
5 days riding
The terrain is a mix of undulations and a few slightly more sustained climbs of up to 3km. For the most part though, there are both ups and downs and all are fun. Of course, there is some flat ground also.
Being 1650km from north to south Vietnam's seasons vary across the country, making it a year round destination. This also means that you will probably encounter some rain if you are travelling extensively, regardless of your month of travel.
Northern Vietnam (Hanoi & Ha Giang) is cold in the winter months (Nov-Mar), and can be damp and misty, although there are also beautifully sunny days at this time of year.
The central region (Hoi An, Hue & Nha Trang) is wettest from September to December with occasional typhoons, which can occasionally disrupt travel.
The south experiences the regular Southeast Asian monsoon between June and October, with dry sunny weather from November to April. December and January are the coolest months with temperatures rising during April and May leading to the onset of the rains.
What our guests tell us...
Don't take our word for it, listen to what guests say about our tours!
I went on a five day cycling trip of Northwest Vietnam which I would recommend highly. I've been going on cycling trips with and without tour companies for over 20 years, and Grasshopper hosted one of the very best trips I've ever enjoyed. The routes were intelligently planned to be challenging but not to hard. The landscape was varied. The accommodations were fantastic - from a luxury resort to an authentic house on stilts in the rice fields. Our guide was fantastic - knowledgeable about the history, culture, food, landscape. Everything about this trip, and Grasshopper was fantastic
As a beginner road cyclist, I truly enjoyed this experience and would gladly participate in another tour. The level of activity and fitness balanced with beautiful scenery, friendly people and a prescribed itinerary of good local eats really rounds off a fulfilling and immersive experience into Northern Vietnam!
Wonderful rides, excellent guides and support staff, well organized, good food and hotels all set up by our head guide, Thang. Opened our eyes to a whole different World. Very grateful and thankful for a safe trip.
Video testimony from other tours...
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