> Our motorbike trips in Vietnam > Travel in the heart of the Thai and Muong lands

Travel in the heart of the Thai and Muong lands

A travel in Vietnam by motorbike of 4 days and 3 nights


Not far from Hanoi, to the west, are located the natural reserves of Ngoc Son Ngo Luong, Pu Luong and the Mai Chau valley, where mostly live the Thai and Muong ethnic groups. This area is ideal to get an overview of Vietnam by motorbike, visiting wild landscapes and sleeping at local’s people stilt houses where they will warmly welcome us.

A lush nature, wonderful rice terraces from March; through various roads, dirt tracks, untamed paths, this itinerary is perfect for a short but total escapism.

Main strenghts

Close to Hanoi

Discovery of two natural reserves

Immersion with Thai and Muong cultures, homestays…

Rice terraces between mid-March and October

High variety of roads : peaks, suspension bridge, tracks, roads etc…

Ha Noi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Ngoc Son Ngo Luong – Ha Noi

Detailed program

Day 1 : Hanoi - Mai Chau

Hanoi - voyage moto vietnamWe are leaving Hanoi, heading south-west. We need nearly 1 hour and a half on the national road before joining a small countryside path ending in a quiet valley.

Pu-Luong-voyage-a-moto-au-vietnamThe scenery is totally different and we now discover hills, karst peaks, rice fields and other cultivations. The road is also more interesting, bucolic, sinuous and unfrequented.

Then, the first peak is appearing, letting us know that our arrival is close. Once we passed it, the Cun Peak offers us a beautiful view on the city, the Mai Chau valley and the White Thai villages. We settle in a homestay in Pom Coong, a White Thai village bordered by rice fields.
Then, we will have enough time to discover others hamlets around.
Our place for tonight will be a traditional stilt house.

: White Thai homestay / Shared room

150 km – 4h

: Guide and motorbikes

Day 2 : Mai Chau - Pu Luong

Pu-Luong-voyage-a-moto-au-vietnam-19For our second day, we are heading to the North of Mai Chau to reach a higher region. In this area, we will discover several Dao and H’mong villages and the Xa Linh market if it is the right day; then, we will climb up to 1000 meters to find Hang Kia, a H’mong village. Depending on the time of the year and the weather, we might be able to penetrate further into the mountains by a track following hills and surrounded by rice terraces, to then join again Mai Chau’s valley where we will have a lunch break.

Pu-Luong-voyage-a-moto-au-vietnam-23In the afternoon, we ride south and enter in the Pu Luong reserve. It is a mountainous area, fresher, wetter and wooded with a succession of ethnic villages surrounded by rice fields and interspersed by small forests. We overhang the reserve and then dive into the main valley which stretches to the principal village of Pho Doan. The way down is a series of wonderful rice terraces which makes us stop over a few time to admire them.

We finally reach the depths of the valley and continue for around 10km until the village of the Thai family that will host us for the night.
Night in a traditional stilt house.

: White Thai homestay / Shared room

140 km – 6h

: Guide and motorbikes

Day 3 : Pu Luong - Ngoc Son Ngo Luong

Pu-Luong-voyage-a-moto-au-vietnam-16We leave our host and its family and start riding for our adventure of the day. Once again, 2 itineraries are possible, depending on the weather. We can either go through the mountains by a road under work, steep and stony, to join the plateau where we will find again tar and villages.

Pu-Luong-voyage-a-moto-au-vietnam-30The second possibility is to go through the south exit of the reserve without getting on dirt tracks. A floating bamboo bridge will still have to be crossed, and then the secondary road will penetrate in a tight and quiet valley.

The two ways lead us at the bottom of a mountain chain that we have to climb to reach the Ngoc Son Ngo Luong reserve. A 10km trail is starting from the top and goes gently at the heart of the park. We will spend the night at a Muong’s house, in a small village surrounded by hills, forests, rice fields and waterfalls, simply idyllic.

: Muong homestay

130 km – 4h

: Guide and motorbikes

Day 4 : Ngoc Son Ngo Luong - Hanoi

voyage à moto dans la réserve de Ngoc Son Ngo Luong au VietnamThis is the last day of our trip and we have 160km to cross. We will enjoy this pastoral place as much as we can during the morning, discovering the valley, its surrounding, its Muong community, and we will also be able to swim in the waterfalls just in front of our house.

Voyage à moto dans la réserve de Ngoc Son Ngo Luong au VIetnam

Then, we take back the same path as yesterday and head back to Hanoi by joining the Ho Chi Minh track, fast road without much traffic.
Arrival at Hanoi in the end of the day.

160 km – 5h

: Guide and motorbikes

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