Northern Vietnam Discovery: Cycling Through Inland Villages and Valleys

Explore Northern Vietnam’s inland villages and valleys on an eight-day privately guided cycling tour that starts and ends in Hanoi. Cycle between 20-54km each day on moderate trails and unwind in local guesthouses and homestays. Highlights include the Mộc Châu plateau, Song Da Lake, Pù Luông Nature Reserve, and the picturesque rice paddies of Mai Hịch Valley. This exceptional cycling adventure in inland Vietnam, away from the usual tourist spots, culminates with a waterfall visit and a lunch stop on the Hồ Chí Minh Road.

To enhance your Vietnam journey, we offer fantastic optional excursions at the end of the trip.


  • Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, stay in a lively area just outside the old quarter. Introduction to Vietnam and potential sightseeing.
  • Day 2: Explore Hanoi at your own pace, or opt for a guided walking tour.
  • Day 3: Head to Sơn La mountain range, experience Hmong culture, and stay in a Hmong homestay.
  • Day 4: Cycle downhill to Song Da Lake, passing a hidden waterfall, and stay at a lakeside resort.
  • Day 5: Morning relax by the lake, short bike ride to Mai Châu Valley to visit White Thai villages.
  • Day 6: Cycle to Pù Luông Nature Reserve, where landscapes turn mountainous.
  • Day 7: Leisurely ride to a guesthouse surrounded by streams and waterfalls at the reserve.
  • Day 8: Travel to Lương Nội, return to Hanoi by bus, stop for lunch along Hồ Chí Minh Road.
  • Day 9: Free day before heading to the airport for your flight home or onward journey.

Whats Included:

  • All accommodation
  • Support provided by an air-conditioned van.
  • Experienced cycling guide included.
  • Mountain bikes (Cannondale, Trek) with water cage and helmet.
  • Lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant during the tour.
  • Water, fruit and snacks provided.
  • Private boat trips and ferry rides included.

Itinerary idea in detail

If you don't like cycling tours, you can opt to travel by car.

  • 1

    Upon your arrival at Hanoi airport, your driver and guide will meet you and take you to your hotel in the lively capital. The hotel, situated just outside the old quarter, is in a bustling area with many local food options and charming coffee shops. Trúc Bạch Lake, famous for its stunning sunsets, is nearby.

    Check-in time is usually at 14:00, but you can arrange for an early check-in with an extra charge. Depending on your arrival time, your cycling guide can take you for a short walk to the lake in the morning or afternoon for a coffee or beer. They will also introduce you to Vietnam and discuss the upcoming plans.

  • 2

    You have a full day at your leisure to explore the city on your own. Discover its diverse districts, unique architecture, parks, lakes, and bustling street life. If you prefer a guided experience for your initial exploration in the capital, a tour guide is available as an optional walking tour.

  • 3

    Meet your guide at 8:00 AM in the hotel lobby. You’ll leave Hanoi by bus and head to the Sơn La mountain range in the west. The journey lasts about four hours, taking you from Hanoi to the heights of Hòa Bình Province and the small village of Hang Kia, situated at 1,300 meters above sea level.

    Enjoy lunch at a local homestay and experience Hmong hospitality firsthand while the crew prepares the bikes. Today’s ride is a short one to the slopes of Mộc Châu plateau, following small roads and pathways through rocky landscapes in the heart of the Hmong communities. You’ll spend the night at a Hmong homestay.

  • 4

    Today’s ride goes downhill from Mộc Châu plateau to Song Da Lake. You’ll cover about 54km, starting on a main road before switching to a quieter road built by the French during colonial times. Lunch is at a local homestay, and in the afternoon, the day ends at a resort on Song Da Lake. Just before reaching the resort, there’s a hidden waterfall where you can swim.

  • 5

    Spend a relaxed morning enjoying a swim and breakfast with a view. Today’s bike ride is short, giving you the afternoon to explore at your own pace.

    Start your 30km ride at 10:00 AM, going uphill on the main road and then downhill to Mai Châu Valley. Pass through Mai Châu town and head to a quiet valley where the White Thai people live. They are farmers who grow rice and vegetables, creating a beautiful green landscape from March to October.

    Your accommodation is a traditional wooden guesthouse with a restaurant below and a common area inside the house. You’ll arrive by lunchtime and can choose to bike or hike in the afternoon, exploring villages, rice fields, and gardens along small roads and paths.


  • 6

    Start your day with breakfast, then head on a 35km journey to the heart of Pù Luông Nature Reserve. Leave the valley and bike towards the Laos border for about 15km until you reach Pù Luông Nature Reserve. From there, the landscapes become more mountainous. The last few kilometers are downhill to a resort nestled on the reserve’s slopes. In the afternoon, you can relax by taking a swim in the pool or visit a nearby village.

  • 7

    This morning’s ride is short and gentle, taking you to the eastern section of the nature reserve where a guesthouse awaits between two flowing streams, surrounded by waterfalls and natural pools. The accommodation is communal in shared spaces.

  • 8

    Today’s journey takes you to a secluded nature reserve along a lesser-known road. Start early on a 45km ride through countryside nestled between the Nam Ma River and the Tam Điệp mountain range. Upon reaching Lương Nội, a quaint hamlet, return to Hanoi by bus. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the historic Hồ Chí Minh Road before heading back to Hanoi by bus. Anticipate arriving in the late afternoon.

  • 9

    You have a free day until a driver will pick you up to go to the airport for your flight home or any optional extension you have planned.

What to expect

You will stay in a mix of small, locally-owned hotels and traditional homestays on this tour. These places were chosen carefully for their great location, friendly staff, tasty local food, and commitment to responsible tourism. At the homestays, you'll have dormitory-style rooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a road and an exciting journey ahead calls for a reliable bike to truly enjoy the experience. While our fleet predominantly includes the bikes listed below for this tour, there are instances where we may offer a different yet similar quality bike due to height or availability restrictions.



Entry visas
International airport departure taxes
Any meals not listed in the itinerary
Drinks, other than water on activity days
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip…)
Travel insurance
All other services not listed in ‘inclusive’

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We'll help plan your trip based on you like and want to do. We know a lot about the place you're gomg. so we can give you good advice. WIIether you're into history, food, or culture, ue'll make sure your trip is just right for you. With us. your travel will be easy and fun!

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Our recent trip to China and Mongolia was a great success. Overall we found Absolute Asia Tours services to be excellent throughout the two weeks we were in Asia. For us, Mongolia was definitely the highlight. We thoroughly enjoyed or local guides and drives and they were unfailingly knowledgeable, helpful and amusing. Their languages skills were excellent and we felt that we recieved real insight into this fascinating country. We were intinially drawn to the idea of this trip by the reports of the world class fihing and we were absolutely not disappointed. The fishing guide was first rate and we caught more fish than we could have hoped for - more than 25 each day - with the added bonus of being the only other people in sight for miles arround. AAT created a private ger camp for us on the Onon River and we enjoyed delicious food prepared by our chef in a beautiful unspoled atmosphere. They alo arranged for us to visit a nomadic family and spend time with them at home and organized a dinner with an anthropologist with expert knowledge of the region. AAT fullfilled their promise to tkae us to us to one of the world's best fishing destinations in comfort and style. We would be happy to travel with AAT again and will definitely recommend them to our friends.



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We've had two "A+" experience with Absolute Asia Tours. It is a pleasure to work with an organization where I feel confident that what you say will happen, happens. This was true with our complicated China itinerary six years ago, and was true with our recent itinerary in Vietnam. your on the ground guides and logistics were top - notch, and I would recommend you to anyone to visit Asia.



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Absolute Asia tours gave us a wonderful tour of Southeast Asia (working with sister-agency My Way Travel based in Vietnam). For our Siem Reap/Angkor Wat journey, our party of two had a private driver and guide named Jak, who was a cheerful and knowledgeable companion, explaining the history, culture, architecture and religious significance of the sites while keeping it always fun. We moved efficiently from site to site, and finished with a boat tour of the fishing village on stilts at Kampong Pluk on the Tonle Sap Lake. During most of our trip we stayed at top-notch locally-owned hotels, but in Siem Reap we were at the excellent local Hyatt hotel. Absolute Asia and My Way Travel our outstanding local providers, less expensive than name-brand group tours, and customized to our interests and schedule.



2 January 2024 ★★★★★

We had an awesome time on cycling tour with AAT! It was incredible, filled with good vibes, laughs & a fantastic way to explore Vietnam & Cambodia. Tony our guide made it special by introducing us to locals and showing us the real charm of these countries. The whole tour was well-organized & the way they took care of us awesome. It's an unforgettable trip and I'll definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to experience the beauty of Southeast Asia.



1 January 2024 ★★★★★

My group of six completed a 30 day cycling tour in Asia with AAT. We traveled form Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Saigon to Siem Reap. Every day we pedaled through stunning countryside views, passing villages, fields & limestone karsts. Our guide Tony was fantastic-interesting, friendly & personable. This experience stood out as the highlight of our Asia trip.

Discover Asia with our multi-day cycling adventures, suitable for riders of any skill level. Count on our quality bikes, knowledgeable guides, and excellent support for an incredible experience.

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Feel free to call one of our experts or schedule a video appointment for personalized ideas and advice.

    • James
    • Asia Specialist
    • Linh
    • Thailand and Asia Specialist
    • Loc
    • Vietnam Specialist

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