Day one started out in Hanoi but this was no ordinary day. This day reached a high of 41°C. Despite the heat I started my journey towards Mia Chau and Pù Luông. The road here were pretty well maintained except for some “roads”. Google maps like to think that some walking trails are roads for cars and motorbikes. I felt like I was rock climbing with my motorbike in some spots rather than riding on smooth pavement. Reminded me of some of my first motorbike trip from Laos to Vietnam. Backtracking happened in one spot. My bike would not make it up the rocky trail luckily I had some locals come running after me to tell me to turn around. Otherwise, I felt quite determined to make it through that path. I stayed at a homestay called Maichau Ecohome. As soon as I arrived the little boy who lived there wanted to take me fishing. I was quite surprised with myself. I caught four fish that afternoon. To make it more impressive I caught them with a bamboo stick, line, hook, and a grasshopper as bait. To finish the night I had an amazing meal cooked by the family whom I was staying with and of course rice wine.
After having some noodle soup for breakfast I headed out towards Sơn La. One of the first things I notice once I started riding was my front suspension needed to be changed. Something I really should have taken care of before I started this trip. None the less it was not a big deal. I found a place to have it replaced and I was on my way an hour after that. The ride to Son La went smoothly with no problems. Son La didn’t have much to offer for sightseeing. I just walked around the market and tried to talk with some of the locals. I ended up helping a man at the market selling squid across from a butcher selling dog meat. Called it an early night and woke up early to head out on my next length of the trip.
Woke up early excited for the next length of my journey until I opened up the window and came to my surprise that it was raining 😮 Still got on my bike and continued heading up north. Time has played a factor in this trip since I only had a week. So it ended up raining for more than half of the day. My first goal was to make it through the Pha Din pass. There was not much of a view going through the pass since it was raining. From what I could see the view were amazing along with great road conditions. I finished this length a lot faster than I anticipated. So I marked the next checkpoint would be Mường Lay. Happened to be stopped by a family in the mountains on my way to Mường Lay. They invited me to have a drink with them. I accepted since I’ve been driving for hours none stop. It happens to be three generations living in a very small hut together. They were all very nice and offered me tea and some rice wine. Communication was minimum but still were able to get the points across to each other. After that, we said our goodbyes and continued heading towards Mường Lay. When I arrived in Mường Lay I noticed there is nothing here. So I then decided to continue to drive to Lai Châu. I ended up driving 25k in the dark but it was not a problem since the roads were well maintained there. eleven and a half hours later I arrived in Lai Châu.
Day 4, 5, and 6
Lai Châu was another one night stop through. After some much-needed coffee in the morning, I was off again towards Lào Cai. Another day of amazing views, semi decent roads, and sunshine. More amazing views and photos on Instagram and Facebook.Day 4, turned into 5, and 6 as I decided to take it easy and relax in Lào Cai. I decided to stay in a homestay called Mary’s homestay. Although I enjoyed staying here I would not recommend it if you are looking for an authentic style of homestay. A bit more tourist here but none the less I would still recommend staying here if you need an inexpensive place to stay. The following day I went on a trek with one of the locals as a guide. The trek took us through the rice terraces, bamboo forest, a waterfall and around some of the local villages. The whole trek took around four and a half hours to complete. The trek was enjoyable along with some good laughs with the guide watching other westerners slip and fall. Most of my time while I was here I enjoyed just relaxing on a hammock gazing at the amazing views of the rice terraces.
My final day for the motorbike trip. After finishing breakfast and packing everything on my bike I paid for my time at the homestay. I then turned around and to my surprise, it was raining! After having sunshine all morning I was not expecting rain. So I Waited for an hour and a half to see if the rain was going to stop. It didn’t. So I decided to start going anyways since I didn’t have much time to waste if I wanted to be back in Hanoi before dark. Luckily after a few hours of driving the rain let up and sunshine the rest of the way back to Hanoi. The ride back is not that entertaining with gorgeous views but it’s a fast direct route back from the north.