Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Trip Code: TVXA

Why we love it

Kayak around limestone karsts and explore the secluded lagoons and caves of Lan Ha Bay – the lesser visited but just as beautiful sister of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay., Hike through the picturesque valleys surrounding Sapa and visit local communities on a full-day active adventure – the best way to get to know a place is on two feet, after all!, Cycle out to Mai Chau and on through the world-renowned karst landscapes to Ninh Binh. This area is known for its lush valleys and natural beauty., Explore Hanoi with ample free time to indulge in street food, get to know the locals at streetside eateries and hunt down one of the famed Vietnamese iced coffees., Spend some time in homestays, relaxing after full day cycling and hiking trips with traditional home-cooked meals and time to soak up the sunset form a hammock – this is the best chance to get to know the locals!, By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip has a number of activities to get your pulse going. While prior training for each activity is not necessary, a moderate level of fitness will help you to get the most out of all the activities.

The hike in the hills of Sapa is approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) in total, on sometimes steep and uneven terrain.

You’ll spend two days on your bike, riding to Mai Chau and Ninh Binh, with approximately 60 to 70 km of cycling each day. The cycling in these areas is relatively flat, and you’ll have time to get used to your bike in Hanoi before departing.

There are 3 nights in a homestay on this trip in Khau Pha, Sapa and Mai Chau. Accommodation will be in multishare rooms with simple bedding and shared bathroom facilities. While accommodation is simple, the warm welcome and home-cooked meals will be comforting after a day of exercise.

Important information

1. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2 (Sapa homestay) and Day 6 (Mai Chau homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
4. Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one. You can bring your own to ensure fit and quality, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, LOCAL DRESS:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong., WATER BOTTLE:
This trip includes one or more sections in a private vehicle with a water dispenser. We encourage all our travellers to bring a refillable water bottle on your trip to help reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles.

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Adonis Hotel Hanoi, 55 Quang Trung Street, Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District,, Hanoi, VIETNAM

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Adonis Hotel Hanoi, 55 Quang Trung Street, Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District,, Hanoi, VIETNAM

Alternate Finish Point


Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 10

Lunches included: 5

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

INCLUDED BREAKFASTS:
At hotels you’ll often have a buffet with choices of Vietnamese and Western food. At homestays you will have more basic breakfasts of local foods, eggs, bread, jam, tea and coffee. Take away breakfasts for early starts may be very simple such as a piece of fruit and a bread roll.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Check out this guide to eating in Vietnam for vegan, vegetarian, gluten & peanut free travellers: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegan-vegetarian-gluten-free-vietnam/

FOOD ALLERGIES:
Travelling in South East Asia with a food allergy? We have some advice for you here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/travelling-food-allergies-south-east-asia/

Climate & seasonal information

TET
8 - 14 February 2024, 28 January - 3 February 2025
Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling around the country. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited. Due to the high demand on tickets at this time, flights and overnight trains may on occasion need to be replaced with day buses. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure.

WET SEASON:
Flooding is common across Vietnam during rainy season (June-December) and could also lead to landslides. Typhoons are also common during this period. During these months there may be disruptions to transport and some activities or destinations may need to be changed as a result at short notice.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +84 90 311 7770

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

WINDOWLESS ROOMS:
Some hotels in South East Asia have windowless rooms, or windows that don't necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also do not require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren't always available.

Transportation

LONG TRAVEL DAYS
There are some long travel days and some of the transport can be quite cramped and without air-conditioning.

OUR BIKES - VIETNAM
In Vietnam we use a mixture of Giant Rincon Disc 1 and Giant Rincon 2 Disc bikes for sizes Small to Large. For size Extra Small we use the Giant Talon 4. These bikes are mountain bike-style with flat bars, front suspension, 24 gears and hydraulic disk brakes. For more specific information please see https://www.giant-bicycles.com/int/rincon-disc--gi--2019

SUPPORT VEHICLE
On the cycling section of this trip there will be a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.

Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle.