The Great Northwest Loop
"Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller".
ROAD TRIP DETAILS:
- Total Distance: 535km approx. (route may alter based on the weather)
- Duration: This five day loop is only availble as a self drive experience. For more information about the legality of driving in Vietnam please click here.
- Route: a mountainous loop through Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien Phu and Son La Provinces.
- Road Conditions: paved back-roads, some extended offroad sections, light traffic
- Travel Style: Cultural immersion and active adventure.
- Scenery: Mountain passes, green tea plantations, rivers, rice terraces, minority villages, remote mountain lakes, coffee plantations.
This five day loop is for experienced riders only. There are two days with a mix of challenging terrain. Offroad riding experience is essential and previous riding experience in Vietnam is highly recommended.
Accomodation involves camping (one or two nights) and in local tribal homestays, making this ride ideal for those wanting a uniquely immersive and experiential travel experience with lots of culture.
This epic road trip is one of the most enriching cultural experiences in Vietnam. Our journey meanders through rice terraces, along the shores of great lakes, through coffee plantations, green tea fields as well as rubber and cinnamon woodland. Beginning in Lao Cai, the loop passes through Son La, Dien Bien Phu and Lai Chau provinces and into some of the most remote villages in the northern highlands. We will spend time with the Flower Dao, Lu, Black Thai, Hmong and Dao Tuyen ethnic minority groups.
This five day loop is a great way of discovering some of Vietnam's greatest secrets. Weather is always difficult to predict in this region, but spring (March - May) and autumn (September - October) are probably the best months for warmth, light, and colour. The lakes are at their most beautiful between October and March while June to August see the rice terraces at their most beautiful. These months are also typically warmer and wetter.
Our recommended months for this loop would be October, Novermber, January, February and March.
Culture and Landscape:
The four Northern provinces are known for their beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, forests, and great lakes. The area is also home to diverse ethnic communities, each with its own unique cultural traditions. The district is a popular destination for those interested in exploring the cultural heritage and natural beauty of northern Vietnam.
About this route:
If you’re lucky and the weather is good, then the scenery on the loop is fabulous. The grandeur and scale of the mountains and valleys of the north is unmatched anywhere in Vietnam. The rice terraces are higher, steeper, more dramatic, and less busy than other areas of Vietnam.