Bike, Hike Kayak North Vietnam

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World Expeditions

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Take the path less travelled and bike, hike kayak through rugged remote Pu Luong, North Vietnam. Stunning rice terraces, turquoise lakes and gently turning waterwheels await you.

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Join Hanoi, cycle to Da Bia (35km)

This morning we depart from Hanoi at about 9am and head west to Hoa Binh. We go around the city to the North and enter the mountain range of the Song Da. We will have a light lunch at a local restaurant and start our ride in the afternoon. The ride today is quite challenging, 35 kilometers across the mountains in the foothills of the Da reservoir. Our route goes up and down until we reach the small village of Da Bia. Welcome to some wild and remote Muong ethnic lands, a natural haven that gives an edge of the world feeling. We are welcomed in a Muong traditional house, where we meet the host and then enjoy some time for swimming in the lake before dinner. Total driving distance: 90km Total cycling distance: 35km / sealed road / constantly uphill and downhill on short distances Accommodation: Homestay, Muong ethnic

Kayak to Mai Hich (7km)

We bid farewell to our hosts and get ready for our paddling adventure across this beautiful reservoir made of blue waters and surrounded by towering mountains covered in jungle. We pack a picnic lunch on the support boat and go! The kayaking takes approximately 3 hours and we will have a picnic break on the shore. The kayaks are basic ones, do not expect top performance but they are the best available in that region and they do the job. Once we reach the other side of the lake, we hop on our vehicle and drive to the valley of Mai Chau. The drive takes about one hour, from the Muong to the White Thai territories. We make our way to a little sub-valley and check-in at a traditional guesthouse on stilts. Depending on time, we may go for a gentle walk around the village, the pathway takes us a little farther in the valley along crops and bamboo forest. We have the opportunity to witness local life and probably to interact a bit with the friendly farmers of the area. Total driving distance: 30km Total kayaking distance: 7km Accommodation: Homestay, White Thai ethnic

Cycle to Pu Luong (40km)

Today we have a 40-kilometer bike ride to a beautiful lodge nested in the middle of Pu Luong nature reserve. We will depart early to arrive by lunch time. We cycle towards Laos’ border and veer off to the East to enter the Pu Luong nature reserve. The sceneries change, the road is on the mountainside and offers views over deep and tight valleys made of terraced rice fields. The changes in elevation are rather low for the first 15 kilometers. We then start an ascent of 15 kilometers, and then ride mostly downhill the last 10 kilometers. We arrive at a nice lodge tucked in the mountains with a nice swimming pool and a million-dollar view. We have lunch upon arrival and then indulge an afternoon at leisure. We stay overnight in a very comfortable and well-arranged dorm. Total driving distance: 0km Total cycling distance: 40km / sealed road / 15km flat – 15km uphill – 10km downhil Accommodation: Pu Luong Retreat - Dorm

Hike Pu Luong Nature Reserve (16km)

After breakfast, we start our trek across the oriental part of the reserve. We hike on single trails, passing by rice fields. Continuing to the base of the valley, we weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savour the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch. After enjoying delicious food, you have free time to explore the refreshing water of the nearby river, before moving to our pick up point to be transferred back to the Retreat. Total trekking distance: ~16km

Cycle along the Ho Chi Minh Trail (60km), return Hanoi, trip concludes

Today we take a short transfer to Pho Doan village and the gates of the nature reserve. We start our ride from there, and take a hidden route that very few know, and ride towards the historical Ho Chi Minh road. This stretch is scenic and people living around here are particularly friendly. It is about 60 kilometers with low elevation changes until we get to our ending point. We then get the bikes in the truck and hop on the bus to transfer to Hanoi. Our arrival is expected in the late afternoon, where the trip concludes. Total driving distance: 125km Total cycling distance: 60km / sealed road / short uphill and downhill

Additional Information

Take the path less travelled and bike, hike kayak through rugged remote Pu Luong Nature Reserve, North Vietnam. Beat the crowds of Mai Chau and hike along stunning rice terraces, kayak across turquoise lakes and cycle through river valleys past gently turning waterwheels. Share in the lives of locals spending two nights with host families in their homes, with home cooked authentic Vietnamese meals before two nights in a beautiful boutique retreat. Following a day's adventuring, relax in the infinity pool and watch the spectacular sunsets across this stunning landscape. The combination of stunning scenery, back roads adventuring and engagement with local culture makes this an ideal trip for anyone looking for an active and engaging journey in Northern Vietnam.

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