This ride was a complete surprise for us and one we won’t forget in a hurry! From Hanoi, we took a bus to Cao Bang as we wanted to visit the fourth widest waterfall in the world – Ban Gioc (pronounced Ban Zoc).
After the waterfall, we headed west, en route to the Ha Giang Loop. However, instead of following the highway, we took a smaller local road that hugged the Chinese border through spectacular valleys, mesmerising rice paddies, burnt orange cornfields and some of the most jaw-dropping scenery we saw right across Vietnam!
Don’t tell the Ha Giang Loop, but we actually preferred these two days. So, whether you’re coming from the loop or heading towards it, DON’T miss this ride.
- Only 105km, but it’s gorgeous & hilly!
- 2,370 meters of climbing
- 2,360 meters of descending
- We averaged 52km per day
- 2-3 days depending on riding style
- 1 day if you’re going fast & light
- We took 2 days, but would have liked to spend 3 days and stop over in the Xuan Trung Valley – ah hindsight!
- We suggest taking it slow and really enjoying the scenery, people & energy.
- Karst mountains
- Limestone valleys
- Rice paddies
- Corn fields
- Ethic villages
- Mountain passes
- Switchbacks that’ll make you smile like a mad person
- The most incredible valleys
- Just ride it – trust us!
- Paved for the majority
- Some sections can get quite muddy
- One section of switchbacks (heading from Can Yen) was really tough due to very loose gravel and sharp as shit rocks (be careful of pinch flats here)
- Although it’s only 105km, it’s a pretty challenging ride. We’d suggest stoking up on water and some snacks. Those back to back switchbacks will take it out of you!
An accidental heaven
We stumbled across this route by complete accident, but ever since we rode it, we’ve been telling anyone that’ll listen to us about it. We went to Cao Bang to see Ban Gioc Waterfall, but this ride was a showstopper & had to feature in our top routes!