Ha Giang Loop True North ORIGINAL Tour by Flipside | 3 or 4 Days | from HANOI, VIETNAM

THE "ORIGINAL" HA GIANG LOOP TOUR
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Flipside Hostels

5.00

(10 Reviews)

(8 customer reviews)
100% of travellers said they loved this activity.

👥 Group Size: 6-8 people.
🛏️ Accommodation: Private rooms in resorts with amazing mountain views.
🍜 Food: All meals included. Vegetarian/vegan available.
🚌 Transport: Choice of motorbike (with or without driver) or 4WD truck during tour.
🇻🇳 Start | End: Ha Giang or Hanoi.
🛻 Pick-Up & Drop-Off: Available from Ha Giang, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Pu Luong and other locations in Northern Vietnam (contact for locations not mentioned).

From $259.00


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Overview: 

Embark on an exhilarating motorbike adventure made for intrepid explorers seeking THE Authentic Ha Giang Loop Experience! Buckle up for a wild ride as we veer off the well-worn tourist trail, leading you through uncharted backroads where vibrant ethnic villages, mind-boggling landscapes, and adrenaline-pumping escapades await. Pioneering sustainable tourism and showcasing hidden gems that you won’t find on other tours, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable journey through this incredible part of Northern Vietnam. Welcome to the “Original” Ha Giang Loop Tour, a legendary adventure imitated by many but matched by none. Founded almost 10 years ago by Kiwi backpacker, Tom Stone, the tours are now run by Tom and his Vietnamese wife, Linh, out of their home-base hostel in Ha Giang. If you’re looking for the real Ha Giang Loop experience – you’ll find it here!


Itinerary: 3 Day | 2 Night Itinerary

Day 0: Departure Hanoi – Ha Giang (6hrs D-car limousine)

Please choose Day 0 as your start date when placing your booking.

  • You will be picked up around 4:00 pm and spend the night at our hostel ready for an early morning departure which will take you to Ha Giang in time to start day 1.
  • Departing from Noi Bai airport or the Hanoi Old Quarter, our limo buses are equipped with business-class style seating and USB charging ports. The driver will make a toilet/food break at about the halfway point. We advise bringing snacks on the bus or eating beforehand as the stopping points do not offer much.
  • Upon arrival at our base in Ha Giang City, you will be given info by our staff on what happens the following morning. Depending on the season and time of arrival, we will have the campfire set up or the swimming pool open. We have a great menu of local and western comfort food and a fully stocked bar overlooking the Lo River. This is a great time to get to know your fellow adventurers!

Day 1: Ha Giang City – Ban An Village (115km) 

  • While you enjoy an early breakfast at our restaurant area, your guides will introduce themselves and commence a debrief on safety, cultural etiquette, tour itinerary and what to bring. Waiver forms will be handed out to all guests on the trip and signed before departure.
  • Once everybody is packed and ready, those on bikes will be introduced to their trusty steed and shown that the basic operations are safe and good. Those riding will be given a competency test to operate the vehicle. We must ensure you will be capable for the duration of the trip.
  • Our first destination will be the beautiful spring-fed village of Du Gia. Taking the newly opened road built to service the hydro dams on the Lo River, we are immersed immediately into scenery that only continues to blow your mind! While traversing through roads with little tourism, we will be stopping often for local interaction, photo opportunities and local markets (depending on the day).
  • Lunch will be at a small family-run restaurant in Du Gia village. Our destination of the day is the quiet and quaint village of Ban An, occupied by the Tay ethnic tribe. Once we arrive we can unpack, have a cold beer and take a walk to explore the village or take a dip in the natural spring at our doorstep!
  • Amenities are very basic here. This will give you a true understanding of how these particular hill tribes live day to day. Our dinner will be cooked over a fire and enjoyed with the family here at the homestay.

Day 2: Ban An – Ma Pi Leng Canyon – Lung Cu (100km)

  • We’ll get up early for breakfast and then enjoy a quick adventure upriver by bamboo raft to the cave system that supplies water to the surrounding areas. This is a great spot for a swim to start the day!
  • Mid-morning we return to the road and make our way through more epic scenery and photo opportunities. An area popular for terraced rice paddies and occupied by the Nung and Red Dao ethnicities. There will be another yummy local food spread for lunch when we arrive in the town of Meo Vac.
  • After lunch, we will venture further north still, to an area that has probably become the most talked about section of the Ha Giang loop. The Ma Pi Leng pass. Touristy? Yes, but for good reason! This is Southeast Asia’s deepest gorge. The scenery is surreal and a perfect place for a coffee on the cliffside!
  • As we continue on our way to Vietnam’s most northern frontier and the border area with China, we will pass through areas of rocky outcrop that scientists have pointed out show evidence of shifting in the earth’s plates. Fossils have been found here dating back to the Jurassic era!
  • Our night will be spent in a homestay in support of a LoLo Hill tribe family in the township of Lung Cu. Another local food experience at the homestay!

Day 3: Lung Cu – Ha Giang (140km) 

  • Our day will begin with breakfast before heading up to see the most famous flagpole in Vietnam. From here we are beginning our journey back toward Ha Giang city.
  • Heading southwest, we will follow the border area where we will make a stop to see the ancient King’s Palace that is now made open to the public. A very interesting story for those into history!
  • While visiting any frontier area, we think it would be rude not to take a cheeky step over the other side (just quietly).
  • Lunch will be enjoyed in the township of Yen Minh in one of the oldest commercially operating restaurants in all of Ha Giang. Expect great food here!
  • Several more stunning mountain passes await us as we make our way back toward Ha Giang, including villages where crops of hemp cover the hillsides!
  • We normally get back to Ha Giang at about 3:30 pm. For those departing for Hanoi the same day, you will have time for a shower and something to eat before the bus picks you up from our home base. You will arrive back in Hanoi around 11pm at your accommodation. 

True North 4 Day | 3 Night Itinerary* Recommended!

Day 0 – Departure: Hanoi – Ha Giang (6hrs D-car limousine )

Please choose Day 0 as your start date when placing your booking.

  • You will be picked up at around 4:00 pm and spend the night at our hostel ready for an early morning departure which will take you to Ha Giang in time to start day 1.
  • Departing from Noi Bai airport or the Hanoi Old Quarter, our limo buses are equipped with business-class style seating and USB charging ports.
  • The driver will make a toilet/food break at about the halfway point. We advise bringing snacks on the bus or eating beforehand as the stopping points do not offer much.
  • Upon arrival at our base in Ha Giang City, you will be given info by our staff on what happens the following morning.
  • Depending on the season and time of arrival, we will have the campfire set up or the swimming pool open. We have a great menu of local and western comfort food and a fully stocked bar overlooking the Lo River. This is a great time to get to know your fellow adventurers!

Day 1: Ha Giang City – Ban An Village (115km) 

  • While you enjoy an early breakfast at our restaurant area, your guides will introduce themselves and commence a debrief on safety, cultural etiquette, tour itinerary and what to bring.
  • Waiver forms will be handed out to all guests on the trip and signed before departure.
  • Once everybody is packed and ready, those on bikes will be introduced to their trusty steed and shown that the basic operations are safe and good. Those riding will be given a competency test to operate the vehicle. We must ensure you will be capable for the duration of the trip.
  • Our first destination will be the beautiful spring-fed village of Du Gia. Taking the newly opened road built to service the hydro dams on the Lo River, we are immersed immediately into scenery that only continues to blow your mind!
  • While traversing through roads of little tourism, we will be stopping often for local interaction, photo opportunities and local markets (depending on the day).
  • Lunch will be at a small family-run restaurant in Du Gia village. Our destination of the day is the quiet and quaint village of Ban An, occupied by the Tay ethnic tribe.
  • Once we arrive we can unpack, have a cold beer and take a walk to explore the village or take a dip in the natural spring at our doorstep! Amenities are very basic here. This will give you a true understanding of how these particular hill tribes live day to day.
  • Our dinner will be cooked over a fire and enjoyed with the family here at the homestay.

Day 2: Ban An – Ma Pi Leng Canyon – Lung Cu (100km)

  • Up early for breakfast and then a quick adventure upriver by bamboo raft to the cave system that supplies water to the surrounding areas. A great spot for a swim to start the day!
  • Mid-morning, we return to the road and make our way through more epic scenery and photo opportunities. An area popular for terraced rice paddies and occupied by the Nung and Red Dao ethnicities. Another yummy local food spread for lunch when we arrive in the town of Meo Vac.
  • After lunch, we will venture north still, to an area that has probably become the most talked about section of the Ha Giang loop. The Ma Pi Leng pass. Touristy? Yes, but for good reason. This is Southeast Asia’s deepest gorge. The scenery is surreal and a perfect place for a coffee on the cliffside!
  • As we continue on our way to Vietnam’s most northern frontier and border area with China, we will pass through areas of rocky outcrop that scientists have pointed out show evidence of shifting in the earth’s plates. Fossils have been found here dating back to the Jurassic era!
  • Our night will be spent in a homestay in support of a LoLo Hill tribe family in the township of Lung Cu. Another local food experience at the homestay!

Day 3: Lung Cu – Ma Pi Leng (50km) 

  • Our day will begin with breakfast before heading up to see the most famous flagpole in Vietnam. From here we are beginning our trek back toward Ha Giang City.
  • Heading southwest, we will follow the border area where we will make a stop to see the ancient King’s Palace that is now made open to the public. A very interesting story for those into history!
  • From this point, the group will split and the 3-day adventurers will head back to Ha Giang. We will continue by taking a little used back road to the previously visited town of Meo Vac where we will once again have an amazing lunch!
  • After lunch, we will prepare for a 2.5-hour trek through rural Hmong villages and what is arguably the best scenery in Vietnam. We will be camping in a sheltered cave overlooking the river. An over-the-fire cooked local meal and a few beers make this a truly amazing experience!

Day 4: Ma Pi Leng- Ha Giang (160km)

  • We will wake up early to have breakfast and catch the sun rising above China in the distance – it’s a surreal experience.
  • Once we have had a coffee and packed up, we will make our way back through the villages and then make our way back to Ha Giang.
  • We normally get back to Ha Giang at about 3:30 pm. For those departing for Hanoi the same day, you will have time for a shower and something to eat before the bus picks you up from our home base. You will arrive back in Hanoi around 11pm at your accommodation. 

Accommodation

Accommodation en route is provided in a selection of homestays and guesthouses. These accommodations provide exclusively private rooms, making them perfect for families and couples, each featuring its own bathroom. With breathtaking views over some of Vietnam’s best scenery, these unique lodgings promise a clean and comfortable stay. Towels are provided at all the accommodation options. 


Food

We eat Vietnamese cuisine with an emphasis on fresh and local products wherever possible to support the villagers in the area. Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for. If you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies, please make us aware before departing on the trip. We advise you to take snacks with you, as choice can be limited once in the Ha Giang Province.


Guide

Local Vietnamese and English-speaking guides. 


What’s Included

Includes:

  • Return transport to Hanoi unless stated
  • Meals
  • Experienced drivers
  • English speaking guide
  • Helmets
  • Private accommodation at homestays and guest houses
  • Fuel
  • Entrance ticket
  • Activities

Does Not Include:

  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Personal expenses

FAQs

  • What clothing should I ride in? Enclosed footwear (hiking boots/sneakers), long pants (jeans preferable), a long-sleeved shirt (preferable to a t-shirt), sunglasses and a rain jacket are recommended. 
  • What clothing should I bring after the day’s riding? Casual clothes like shorts and singlets are ideal. Bring warm clothes you can layer during the winter months. Flip-flops and sandals are a good choice. Essentially, wear what you feel comfortable in.
  • What other stuff should I pack for the trip? Passport, sun cream, insect repellant and some pocket money for drinks.
  • Is it safe to ride a motorbike on the Ha Giang Loop? While the roads can be challenging due to their winding nature, the trip can be safe with proper guidance and equipment. Follow the instructions of your tour guide for a safe experience.
  • Do I need a driving licence to self drive? It is recommended that you have an International Driving Permit, A or A1. 
  • What is the best time of year to visit Ha Giang? The best time to do the Ha Giang Loop is October to November OR March to May when the weather is cooler and drier. While rain can happen year-round, it’s more frequent from June to September. The coldest months are December to February.
  • Can I do this tour during the rainy season? Yes. A member of the team is up in Ha Giang monitoring the weather at all times. It’s extremely rare that landslides occur on the route we take. Safety is a priority and you can trust in the fact that we know the roads like no one else. 

Further Information

Riding preference – You can do this tour three ways:

  • Easy Rider – This means that you will sit on the back seat of a motorbike whilst one of our experienced motorbike riders drives you around the loop. All our motorbike drivers have over 10+ years of experience navigating mountain roads and are fully licensed, insured and well-rested. 
  • Self-Driving – This means you will ride the motorbike yourself. In order to do this, you will have to be a competent motorbike rider with an International Driving Permit, A or A1. Be aware that the roads on the Ha Giang Loop are extremely curvy and can be dangerous for inexperienced drivers. If there is any doubt in your mind that you may be unable to manage a motorbike over such terrain, please choose the easy rider option. It is also a good idea to check that your travel insurance policy covers you for riding a motorbike in Southeast Asia. 
  • 4WD Truck – This means you will travel the loop on board our open-back 4×4 truck. It is a great option for families and those looking for a more laid-back experience than you will get by bike. Please note, a minimum of two people is required for this trip.

Please tell us which riding option you prefer at the time of booking. 

Liability and Travel Insurance

Flipside Travel is not responsible for any personal injury or loss/damage to personal belongings or bags if they are not in the car. Travel insurance is NOT included in the trip; we strongly recommend that you have your own travel insurance against illness, injury, loss/damage to personal belongings. Read more about motorbike insurance in Southeast Asia here.

Refund Policy

  • In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit online via South East Asia Backpacker.
  • This deposit is fully refundable if you wish to cancel up until 72 hours before the start of the activity. PLEASE NOTE: This policy refers to the payment made to South East Asia Backpacker at the time of booking. All subsequent payments to the operator of your chosen activity fall under their own refund policy
  • For cancellations made fewer than 72 hours before the start of the activity there is no refund available.
  • You can request a change of date at any time.
  • Date changes are entirely down to the availability of the operator and nothing to do with South East Asia Backpacker. 
  • If your date change is not agreed upon, as long as it is more than 72 hours before the start date you originally made your booking for, your deposit can be refunded in full if you wish to cancel.
  • The remaining payment for the experience is payable directly to the operator.
  • The operator can request the remaining payment via an online payment link OR upon arrival at the destination.
  • The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the operator, is based on the terms and conditions of the operator, over which South East Asia Backpacker have no control.
  • Please see our customer terms and conditions for more information.

Why Book With Us?

Hi, I’m Nikki and I started South East Asia Backpacker in 2008 after my own first solo backpacking trip! My vision was to create a travel diary for everyone, a place for travellers to share their experiences from the road. After backpacking and writing about Southeast Asia for over 10 years, I saw the opportunity to provide backpackers with the kind of experiences that I’d treasured myself in the region!

Today, there is so much choice, but there are a lot of poor-quality tours and companies that offer mediocre experiences with little care for the environment. I wanted to create a selection of the best tours and activities to help backpackers avoid scams and dodgy tour companies.

Today, I run this website with my partner, Dave, from Spain, where we live with our energetic two-year-old daughter, Evie. All of the bookable activities that you will find on this website have been vetted by a member of our team and we have a friendly relationship with the operator. There are real humans behind South East Asia Backpacker and we are passionate about sustainable travel and development in Southeast Asia.

We are committed to helping travellers at every stage of the journey and understand that plans can change which is why we offer a full discount on the deposit up to 48 hours before the start of your trip, no questions asked. We offer advice on flights, visas, itineraries, hostels, backpacks, packing and more!

If you have any questions about our business or any of the tours that we provide, feel free to contact me on Whatsapp.

Operator Information

  • Store Name: Flipside Hostels
  • Operator: Flipside Hostels
  • 5.00 rating from 10 reviews

8 reviews for Ha Giang Loop True North ORIGINAL Tour by Flipside | 3 or 4 Days | from HANOI, VIETNAM

  1. Paul

    Embarking on the “Original” Ha Giang Loop Tour was an absolute thrill! I chose the 4 day journey which offered an authentic and immersive experience through the stunning landscapes and vibrant ethnic villages of Northern Vietnam. From the exhilarating ride through uncharted backroads to the warm hospitality ( and rice wine ) of the locals, every moment was filled with adventure and cultural richness.

    The tour’s sustainability focus and dedication to showcasing hidden gems truly set it apart. The well-planned itinerary allowed for a perfect balance of exploration, local interaction, and breathtaking sights. From the serene village of Ban An to the awe-inspiring Ma Pi Leng Canyon, each stop was a testament to the beauty and diversity of the region.

    Tom and Linh’s passion for sharing the real Ha Giang Loop experience shone through every aspect of the tour, making it an absolute must for anyone seeking an authentic and captivating motorbike adventure.

  2. Nathalie

    This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime! Everything was incredibly easy to organize through Nikki and this incredible site, and as a solo traveller I felt really comfortable going into it alone. Made it up to the mountains, immediately felt like I had met my new family with Adam leading and the rest of our group. Stunning place to be, stunning people to meet, and have continued to see folks from our Ha Giang gang as I travel south down the country solo with my own motorbike!

    You will not regret doing this trip, I promise! (Ps. Book four days over three!)

    Xx N

  3. Jessica

    Flipside is absolutely the best choice for Ha Giang Loop. Linh is an incredible tour guide and gives you a much more meaningful trip than other companies. She really cares about supporting the local communities we’re entering! I can’t wait to come back and do this tour again!!

  4. Jan-Lukas Paschek

    I would like to extent my gratitude for the past 4 days in Ha Giang to Linh and the flipside crew. I had a truly amazing experience with them riding motorbikes through the mountains of northern Vietnam.

    We saw stunning cliffs, waterfalls, indigenous people, and thick clouds. During the past days I learned how to ride a motorbike, a true life skill. I quickly overcame my fear of the road, and during the last day of our tour I was fully confident to speed down the winding roads of Ha Giang.

    I also want to stress that our group of 6 riders was cozy and fun – we took good care and looked after each other. There was also a lot of laughs, especially accompanied by rice wine.

    If you are looking for a true adventure, this tour is for you. It will be amazing – just make sure you’re comfortable to get out of your comfort zone just a bit.

    Again, Linh is an amqzing host and she will do everything to be accommodative of your needs.

    I will for sure come back to do this tour again – see you soon!

  5. Jacob

    This was the highlight of my whole trip in South East Asia! Our guide Declan was an outstanding tour guide. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

  6. Rachel

    Best tour I’ve ever done. Not really a big fan of tours normally, but my friend was already doing it so she talked me into it. I did it with Jack, he managed it so perfectly that even though he was serious all the time, he made it feel like he was just one of our friends who happened to know the way. Can’t recommend this enough

  7. Saskia

    Amazing trip despite it pouring down on the first day, definitely the best thing we have done on our travels so far. The places we stopped at were very welcoming and served excellent food. We had a great group and the views are absolutely unreal! Thanks Tennessee for showing us around and introducing us to the happy water…one more shot

  8. Robert

    This was definately the highlight of my trip in Asia! Completely away from tourism, an awesome group of people, rice wine, local food and sooo much adventure.

    Jake was an amazing tourguide and so were the Vietnamese guides that drove the people that didn’t know how to ride.

    Saw some truly amazing scenery and some hidden places that i’m not allowed to discuss (you have to go to see them).

    Completely worth every penny and i can’t wait to go back in the next year.

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