VIETNAM MOTORCYCLE RALLY - HELP KIDS IN NEED
Day 1: Sunday, May 10 - Arrive in Hanoi
Private airport transfer to the Golden Lotus Luxury hotel in downtown Hanoi. At 4.30pm we’ll depart by cyclo to the Blue Dragon centre of operations and be introduced to their team as well as the kids they support. Staff will be on hand to tell you the full extent of what they do. We’ll also take time to introduce everyone to the ride ahead. Then we’ll walk to a famous nearby restaurant to get our first taste of Vietnam’s fabulous cuisine. Overnight at the Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel in Hanoi. (D)
Day 2: Monday, May 11 - Hanoi – Lao Cai – Bac Ha (150km)
We’ll take advantage of a new freeway to the Chinese border, that is not open to motorbikes, and enjoy a very comfortable private VIP bus that will quickly cover the morning’s 300km drive to the border town of Lao Cai. The motorbikes will be waiting at the border, gassed and primed for an immediate climb up into mountains terraced with rice fields and tea plantations. We’ll hug the sides of an enormous gorge, right on the border, before descending to Bac Ha town, famous for its multitude of colorfully dressed hilltribe people. Overnight at the Sao Mai Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Tuesday, May 12 - Bac Ha – Ho Thau village (150km)
We’ll strike upwards on small village roads back towards the border, passing another enormous gorge that marks the border with China. This area is incredibly impressive for its rice terracing, tended to by Nung, Dao and H’mong hill tribe people, and we will spend the day high on the sides of mountains that are blanketed by the terracing in its full green splendor. We will spend the night with a local Dao hill tribe family that looks out over a remarkably beautiful valley. Overnight in Ho Thau village. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Wednesday, May 13 - Ho Thau village – Ban Me village (140km)
This region is now listed as a national heritage area due to the incredible rice terracing so we will spend a lovely day riding quiet village roads up, over and around stunning mountains before descending to a quite village on the outskirts of Ha Giang city, where we will enjoy a very comfortable homestay with local Kinh people. Overnight in a homestay in Ban Me village. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Thursday, May 14 - Ban Me village – Dong Van (140km)
The next three days will be spent in arguably the most beautiful region of Vietnam. Recognized by UNESCO as an area of significant geological significance, expect out of this world scenery. It’s hard to describe how remarkable this region is, as its basically one enormous succession of passes up, over and around striking karst mountains. There are hilltribe villages perched high on the sides of mountains, old French castles and relentless passes with names like “Heaven’s Gate” and “Panting Horse”. Overnight at the Hoa Cuong I Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Friday, May 15 - Dong Van – Meo Vac (100km)
One of the many highlights today will be the world famous Ma Li Peng pass, which is around a kilometer deep. Local people actually plant crops on its slopes that are easily 70% steep. We will cruise all around this magnificent gorge and ride right up to the Chinese border on the other side. Stronger riders will have the option of striking out on the many small dirt tracks while others might opt to explore old palaces and hill tribe markets. Overnight at the Hoa Cuong II Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Saturday, May 16 - Meo Vac – Bao Lac (100km)
The plan today is to visit a Blue Dragon facility that Rally Indochina directly supports. A representative from Blue Dragon will accompany us, explain their objectives and introduce us to the children. This is a special day, and the heart and soul of the Rally. But there is still some remarkable riding when we drop off the Dong Van karst plateau down to the remote settlement of Bao Lac. Overnight at the Thuy Duong guesthouse. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Sunday, May 17 -Bao Lac – Ba Be Lake National Park (130km)
Heading southwards, we’ll take half a day riding small, country roads to get to the delightful Ba Be Lake National Park and spend the night at a homestay on the banks of the lake under an enormous cliff karst mountain. While it’s possible to get to this village by road, it’s much more enjoyable to load bikes and bikers onto a number of long boats and spend the afternoon cruising down river through the jungle clad park. Along the way we will drift through a 200m long river cave and have lunch on the banks of the river, deep in the forest. Overnight in Pac Ngoi village with local Tay people. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Monday, May 18 - Ba Be Lake National Park – Hanoi (by bus) (130km)
Due to the busy traffic and unpleasant roads north of Hanoi, the plan today will be to ride for half a day through the quiet, pleasant countryside where Ho Chi Minh originally held out when fighting the French back in the late 1940s and early 1950s. After lunch we will load the bikes onto a large truck and then return to Hanoi in comfort and safety in the same VIP vans used on the first day, arriving in Hanoi in the late afternoon. This will give us a chance to freshen up before a gala farewell dinner where we will present our total donation to representatives of Blue Dragon. Overnight at the Golden Luxury Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Tuesday, May 19 - Departure Day
Transfer to the airport for your flight home or you can stay on in Hanoi for some additional nights of R&R. (B)
Rally Indochina is more than just a motorbike tour, Rally Indochina is a great ride for a great cause! All logistics from food and lodging to routes and language barriers have been taken care of.
All you have to do is twist the throttle and enjoy the ride!
May is a beautiful month of the year to ride the far north of Vietnam as the local hill tribe people will be in the process of planting their yearly rice crop. This means the mountains will be a sea of vibrant colours.
We will ride far from the tourist trail on remote and exciting roads, passing countless hilltribe communities living as they have for centuries.
We will visit a Blue Dragon facility that your donation directly supports, and see how enormously positive it is on the lives of the local children who live there.
We will also spend time at the Blue Dragon Centre in Hanoi and get to learn exactly how impressive their operation is.
We will stay in three wonderful homestays with local people as well as some very comfortable hotels.
We will enjoy some fantastic local cuisine, and have a chance to dive right into the thick of things at a number of local hilltribe markets.
We will enjoy a really fun day floating down river through a national park that goes through a 200m long river cave.
We will avoid the busy and tedious roads into and out of Hanoi by utilizing very comfortable private VIP vans to transport us, and trucks to carry the motorbikes.