Venture along some of the more remote routes in Northern Vietnam, take on the Happiness Road from Ha Giang to Bao Lac and discover why this part of Vietnam is known for its beauty and jaw dropping scenery. High peaks turn into limestone pillars known as Karsts, experience this wonderful country from the seat of your convertible Jeep.
The RAMS Jeep Explorer Adventure is a ten day adventure that follows the Chinese border along switchback mountain passes, through endless waterfalls and to incredible mountain vistas. This is a traditional Vietnamese experience, riding through a communist country known for its local hill tribe people still wearing dress worn by generations of ancestors.
Hanoi - is a vibrant full on city that has to be explored. Stay in the Old Quarter of the town where you can sample the street traders food and night market or visit the downed B52 American Bomber in the middle of one of the cities lakes.
Overnight Sleeper train to the Chinese Border - That evening we will catch an overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai in the northwest province of Vietnam, unload the bikes and following breakfast we hit the trails and head into the mountains.
Sa Pa - In unsurpassed natural surroundings, visit cultural sights of great importance and watch the ethnic villagers fill the air with their traditions and colourful outfits as they wave and smile as we pass through. Marvel at the the mountain passes and look down the valleys toward the Chinese Boarder as we traverse each road cut into the rocks. Weave through the endless roads as we climb to the sky through the clouds in search of the next amazing landscape.
The Happiness Road - is a 200kms stretch of hairpin bends stretching from Ha Giang to Meo Vac. The road was constructed in 1959 mainly by the local people using shovels and hoes and it took six years to complete because of the extreme terrain the road navigates, a must for a motorcyclist.
Ba-Be National Park - Explore Vietnam's largest National Park where you find nestled in the rainforest the magnificent lake of Ba-Be with its waterfalls and cave network make it a must for any visitor. Get wonderful views and amazing photos across the province from the top deck of the homestay.
20th March - Leave for Vietnam
21st March - Day One: Arrival in Hanoi
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and is known for its centuries-old architecture. We stay in the chaotic Old Quarter of the city with its quirky tall buildings and street traders the pace of life will amaze you. Tonight we meet the team before you sample the delights of this bustling city.
22nd March - Day Two: Hanoi to Lao Cai aboard the Night Train
After breakfast the day is your own or you can join us on our city tour to check out the downed B52 Bomber in the lake, the War Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Lunch is at the famous Obama Cafe where the Bun Cha and Egg Coffee is good enough for the former US President. Tonight we head to Hanoi Train Station to begin our adventure.
23rd March - Day Three: Lao Cai to Sa Pa Village (120km’s)
After breakfast we fuel up the Jeeps and head into the mountains or the Tonkinese Alps. Small broken roads and stone paths takes us to lunch at Ta Van, but check out the minority hill tribe people who are working the land around the village. Tonight we stay in Sa Pa Village in the shadow of Fanspian, at 3146 metres is the highest mountain in Indochina.
24th March - Day Four: Sa Pa Village to Xin Man (180km’s)
As we head down the mountain tracks from Sa Pa we again return to Lao Cai to marvel at the Chinese trading posts and border crossing. Small pushbikes laden with goods come into the town from across the river in China to trade at the local markets of Vietnam. We leave Lao Cai along the river on single broken road as we ride into back into the hills.
25th March - Day Five: Xin Man to Ha Giang (160km’s)
Today is the day of waterfalls, switchbacks and long drops. Roads are a great mix of smooth tarmac, broken trails and hill tracks to the town of Ha Giang. Here we get to drive through the hotel, a great opportunity for a photo but remember no wheelies in reception.
26th March - Day Six: Ha Giang to Dong Van (165km’s)
Huge peaks shadow our ride as we wind our way to the start of the Happiness Road through endless valleys along the river to Dong Van. Tonight we sample the Vietnamese Hot Pot, a local dish that is fun as well as tasty.
27th March - Day Seven: Dong Van to Bao Lac (80km’s)
A late start today as we arrange the inner line permits that allow us to enter the next province. You may notice the mountains start to change shape, huge limestone boulders seem to have some symmetry to each other as we weave around their bases, stunning.
28th March - Day Eight: Bao Lac to Ba Be Lake (160km’s)
After breakfast its straight on the bikes and into a small broken road section which takes us through some tiny bamboo villages. The Villagers are always welcoming to strangers with a cup of hot green tea and maybe a glass of rice wine, my advice is stick to the tea. Great trails give way to waterfalls and some optional river crossings. We aim to arrive at Ba Be Lake early enough to take one of the boats on the lake. Tonight is a BBQ overlooking the lake.
29th March - Day Nine: Ba-Be Lake to Hanoi (210km’s)
Following a an early start we continue to head south through the National Park to Hanoi. Hanoi is a huge city with scooters, bikes and pedestrians coming from all angles, don't worry because you should be seasoned Vietnamese driver by now, confident in the rules of the road.
30th March - Day Ten: Arrange to leave the city late so you can pick up those Vietnamese gifts to take home.
If you fancy extending your stay then why not talk to RAMS about Halong Bay, Hoi An and Cambodia.
PRICE £1900 per driver
£1500 per passenger
£400 single supplement
Tours available for groups or as individuals