ASRC North Vietnam Adventure

Bike hike and kayak through North Vietnam and raise funds to support ASRC and their vital work with asylum seekers

Challenge Highlights

  • Join the ASRC team and Jana Favero, ASRC’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns
  • Support people seeking asylum
  • Hike along stunning rice terraces, kayak across turquoise lakes & cycle through river valleys
  • Cycle in beautiful Mai Chau and Ninh Binh
  • Hike through rugged & remote Pu Luong Nature Reserve
  • Hike in picturesque Cat Ba National Park
  • Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay

Overview

Join a small group of like minded ASRC supporters to bike, hike and kayak through rugged and remote North Vietnam and raise vital funds to ensure that people seeking asylum can rebuild their lives in safety.

Hike along stunning rice terraces, kayak across turquoise lakes and cycle through river valleys past gently turning waterwheels. The combination of stunning scenery and back roads adventuring takes you on an active and engaged journey through the remote villages and communities of Northern Vietnam.

Challenge Grade

On hiking days this trip involves trekking for up to 3-5 hours (9-16km) and up to 35km on cycling days. While we maintain a slow and steady pace, this should not be misinterpreted to mean it is an easy trip. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health.

* Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for three months leading up to your trip. In addition, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

Itinerary

After all the preparation and fundraising your journey finally begins! On arrival into Hanoi you will be met and transferred to the Hong Ha Hotel for overnight accommodation on a twin share basis with breakfast. Evening at leisure.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you will be collected from the hotel at about 9am and begin the drive west to Hoa Binh. We go around the town to the north and enter the mountain range of the Song Da. We will stop for a light lunch at a local restaurant before starting our ride in the afternoon. The ride today is quite challenging, 35 kilometres across the mountains in the foothills of the Da reservoir. Our route goes up and down until we reach the small village of Da Bia. Welcome to some wild and remote Muong ethnic lands, a natural haven that gives an edge of the world feeling. We are welcomed in a Muong traditional house, where we meet the host and then enjoy some time for swimming in the lake before dinner. Driving: 90km Cycling: 35km / sealed road / hilly terrain / +936m; -1078m Overnight: Muong ethnic local guesthouse

Meals:  B,L,D

We bid farewell to our hosts and get ready for our paddling adventure across this beautiful reservoir made of blue waters and surrounded by towering mountains covered in jungle. We pack a picnic lunch and our bikes on the support boat and go. The kayaking takes approximately 3 hours and we will have a picnic break on the shore. The kayaks are basic ones, do not expect top performance but they are the best available in that region and they do the job. Once we reach the other side of the lake, we hop on our bicycles and start a 30 kilometre ride on a small road winding in the mountain foothills. After a first climb up to rejoin the old colonial road, we then descend into Mai Chau. We ride through the little town and veer off into a remote sub-valley to our guesthouse for the night in Mai Hich. Kayaking: 7km (3hrs) Cycling: 30km /sealed road / +334m; -357m Overnight: Mai Hich local guesthouse

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we transfer by bus for about 25 kilometres towards the Laos border to the entrance of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We get off the bus at Ban Hang village, where our trek across the nature reserve starts. Pu Luong is a place to enjoy diverse scenery comprising mountains, jungle, terrace rice fields and rivers. The trek takes about 5 hours passing by hamlets and wilder areas. We reach the secluded village of Kho Muong in the afternoon. From there we walk up to the road where our vehicle awaits for a short transfer to our accommodation. Driving: 30km Hiking: 16km (14km on trails; 2km on cement pathway) Overnight: Pu Luong Home (twin share rooms with shared bathroom)

Meals:  B,L,D

We depart after breakfast and exit the Pu Luong Nature Reserve to the East. After about 3 hours, we reach Tam Coc Valley in the Ninh Binh region - the so-called inland Halong Bay. We have lunch in a beautiful garden house and then get on our bicycles to explore the region. Enjoy a leisurely 15 kilometre ride on the backroads, between lagoons, rice fields and towering limestone rocks. We will make a stop at Hang Mua mount and climb up its 450 stairs to the top for a beautiful surrounding view of the region. Our ride ends in the old citadel of Hoa Lu. We transfer to our hotel by vehicle and enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool. Driving: 130km Cycling: 15km / sealed and flat road Overnight: Le Clos du Fil Boutique Hotel (Superior room)

Meals:  B,L

After an early breakfast, we drive around 2 hours to the coast and catch a 20 minute ferry to Cat Ba Island. After lunch, we hike across the dense jungle of Cat Ba National Park. Today’s hike involves ascending and descending three peaks. We will be in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset of Viet Hai village - a secluded hamlet tucked away between the sea and the forest. Check into our rooms in a local guesthouse, and relax before dinner. Driving: 190km (3hrs) Hiking: 9km; 3-4hrs Overnight: Lan Homestay (twin share bungalow)

Meals:  B,L,D

We depart from our guesthouse on a 5km bicycle ride to the coast where our boat awaits. Hop onboard, and cruise to the remotest parts of the Halong archipelago in the bay of Lan Ha. The day is devoted to cruising and kayaking. We will make a stop at a floating house, and eventually at a nice little sandy beach for a swim and some sunbathing. Lunch will be cooked and served on the boat. In the late afternoon, we cruise back to Cat Ba Island, and transfer to our hotel. Remainder of the evening is at your leisure. Kayaking: flexible Overnight: Cat Ba Paradise Hotel (Deluxe double)

Meals:  B,L

We drive to the pier to catch a ferry back to the mainland. En-route to Hanoi, we will visit the impressive Hospital Cave. We should arrive in Hanoi in the mid-afternoon where the trip concludes. Driving: 130km Note: Airport transfers can be arranged on request.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 nights accommodation on twin / double room basis with breakfast at selected local guesthouses and boutique hotels
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Arrival airport transfer to hotel
  • Services of a bilingual guide
  • Private vehicles
  • Mineral water on the bus
  • Kayaking equipment including life jackets
  • Modern mountain bikes & support vehicle on cycling days
  • Drinking water & snacks while cycling
  • Site entry and National Park fees
  • Medical kit
  • Huma training manual, gear list and fundraising guidebook

What's Not Included

  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the itinerary
  • Post tour accommodation in Hanoi
  • Return airport transfer
  • Personal expenses such as bar, telephone and laundry bills
  • Tips and gratuities
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Visa costs
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bike helmet (compulsory)

What You Carry

  • In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Fundraising Target:USD$3620 

Videos

Bike, Hike & Kayak Vietnam with Australian Geographic Outdoor & World Expeditions

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 4 Apr 202311 Apr 2023
Duration:8 Days
Activities:3 day cycle
2 day hike
2 day kayak
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:ASR
Registration Fee:USD$140
Travel Cost:USD$0
Fundraising Target:USD$3620