The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop


The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop

  • English speaking guide
  • 420 km
  • Accommodation included
  • All meals included


The whole of northern Vietnam offers so much to discover. While all mountainous, it also presents a lot of variations in landscape and sights to take in. On our ‘Big Loop,’ we ensure to cover three of the most famous sights and areas – the Ba Be Lake (entrancing) fresh-water lake surrounded by the high limestone mountains and primeval jungle and retains border of Vietnam/China will stun any visitor? And the Ma Pi Leng mountain pass (without doubt the most astonishing mountain pass (without doubt the most astonishing mountain road in Vietnam. 20 km of winding road that formally hangs on the mountainside with jaw-dropping views at every bend)

This tour presents some longer days on the bike, so both stamina and experience (especially if self-driving) are a requirement.

Possibility to self-drive or to ride a pillion (behind a guide driver). If self-driving, we recommend extensive prior motorcycling experience.

Accommodation will be in a mix of ethnic minority homestays and hotels

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The tour may be done clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop and will depend on driving skills, seasons, and market days.

DAY 1: Ha Giang – Bac Quang – Na Hang – Ba Be Lake, approx 245 km drive

After breakfast, we will go on a ‘marathon loop,’ but even if there are many km to cover a large part of easy roads where we make up the distance at quite a speed. We go south out on Highway QL 2 till we reach Viet Quang, where we turn into road TL 279, and we will reach the small town of Na Hang, where we stop for lunch. After lunch, we ‘finally’ meet beautiful mountain roads taking us over a spectacular mountain pass before reaching the town of Cho Ra in the late afternoon, where we branch off and go down Ba Be Lake. Here, we check into a nice homestay by the lake, providing us with a wonderful dinner, bed, and breakfast. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 2: Ba Be Lake

We will spend the whole day on and around the lake. After breakfast, we will enjoy a boat ride and explore the lake and its surroundings. The lakes have much to offer, including waterfalls, rivers, valleys, and caves, all set amidst picturesque landscapes. We will have lunch and dinner at the homestay. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 3: Ha Giang – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfalls, approx 205 km drive

After breakfast, we travel north up and down the ‘snake pass’ and stop for lunch in Cao Bang City. We continue towards the Chinese border, where, at the end of the day, we will meet the breathtaking Ban Gioc Waterfall, which spans over 300 meters and is split half and half between Vietnam and China. We will spend the night in a Nungethnic homestay and enjoy a traditional home-cooked dinner. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 4: Ban Gioc – Cao Bang – Bao Lac, approx 210 km drive

After breakfast, we start the morning to discover the Nguom Ngao Cave, an impressive natural wonder with a cave that stretches for 2,144 meters underground and is brimming with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. Then, it is time to ride through a beautiful landscape and nine roads until we reach the small town of Ba Lac, where we take into a hotel for the night. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 5: Ban Lac – Meo Vac – Ma Pi Leng mountain pass – Dong Van -Luong Cu – Dong Van, approx 145 km drive

From Bao Lac town, we continue north, connect to QL 4C or ‘Road of Happiness,’ and start driving north towards Meo Vac, where we take lunch. After that, we will climb up the majestic Ma Pi and reach the most northern town of Vietnam, Dong Van, but we continue to reach the North Pole. Anyway, that is what the most northern point of Vietnam is jokingly called – Lung Cu and its famous flagpole tower, which we climb and view China from the top. We will return to Dong Van, where we will stay in a hotel or homestay as agreed. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 6: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx 150 km drive

If we wake up on a Sunday in Dong Van, the weekly big local market meets you before or after breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have traveled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here; it is colorful, and people from near and far do their weekly shopping and gossiping. After that, we start our journey south. Soon, we reach Sa Phin, where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We will go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh, where we will have lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. We will go down to the Song La River valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass, and back to Ha Giang. (The day includes breakfast and lunch)

Disclaimer: While the above itinerary outlines the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT, we are not firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within our control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

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Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders.if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most corrnct price please click 'Book Now' and we'll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes 'you pay for what you get'

Private tour price
2 – 4 people
$509 /person
4 – 10 people
$439 /person

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)

  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)

Price excludes

  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

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