Motorbike Tour from Hanoi to Tram Tau in Yen Bai

It had been lovely weather in Hanoi for a while, but I could sense the temperatures that day by day. In any case, it was nearing the end of a beautiful season. The news of early rains in the mountains reminded me that I needed to rush or else the most beautiful moments of the year would pass me by!

Last winter, I went on a motorcycle trip to the northwestern part of Vietnam. However, the ride was not a complete experience because I had to forego an enjoyable portion of the journey due to poor road conditions and inclement weather. It was now a wonderful time to fulfill one of my dreams: cycling in the mountains of Tram Tau, Yen Bai.

Then came Thursday, when I awoke early in the morning for no apparent reason. I couldn’t sleep again, so I got up, made some hot coffee, and double-checked my luggage to make sure it was in order. Inside, it was humid and gloomy. It became brighter when I left at 08:15, and it became brighter again when I zipped through the city’s busy traffic.

Ricefields at Son Tay, Ha Tay (now Hanoi), Vietnam

The Da River at the Trung Ha Bridge between Son Tay and Phu Tho

It took me over an hour to get out of town, and it quickly became windy and foggy. It’s possible the rain will fall too. Whatever happened, I was on the road and will keep going! Just two hours later, heavy rain fell in Tan Son, Phu Tho. There was no traffic on the road here, and the landscape was lush and serene.

A quiet road at Tan Son, Phu Tho, Vietnam


Green mountains at Tan Son, Phu Tho

Bucolic ricefields at Tan Son, Phu Tho

Lunch at a favorite Thu Cuc restaurant was not as pleasant as usual. I moved quickly and passed through Deo Khe Pass when the rain lightened and ceased. The air was humid and cool, the road was slick, and the sky was gloomy but clearing. I’d been on this path a lot, and I couldn’t help but be impressed by the formidable mountains here. It’s a very soothing spot to be.

The Pass of Deo Khe between Phu Tho and Yen Bai, Vietnam


The sublime landscape of Deo Khe

Lovely weather at Cau Nhi between Van Chan District and Nghia Lo Town of Yen Bai

When I was crossing the Cau Nhi bridge between Van Chan District and Nghia Lo Town, the weather was perfect: warm, windy, and dry. It felt so good to be cycling across the fresh rice fields of Muong Lo Valley in Nghia Lo. And I paused for a moment to breathe in the fresh air, admire the gentle breezes, and take photos. The green of the rice paddies and the bluish colors of the mountains made it an extremely photogenic place! Ladies in white conical hats in the paddy fields added to the liveliness of the pictures!

Scenic mountains at Nghia Lo, Yen Bai, Vietnam

I was taking in the breathtaking scenery as the sun shone brightly. It was a little after 3 p.m., and the temperature was still very cool. It was a shame, so I had to abandon this beautiful location now. I’d never been to Tram Tau before, so I wasn’t sure about the road conditions. I continued on a small road going southwest after riding through the streets of Nghia Lo Town.

I had to travel up and down a narrow and meandering footpath to get to the cabin, which was set among rice terraces in the middle of nowhere. There’s a geyser nearby, and the hot water is drained into a tub. All seemed to be plain and elegant.

I had a wonderful time at the lodge: lovely warm water in the pool, a memorable dinner with the owner and local Hmong boys, restful and deep sleep at night…

When I left the lodge in the morning on my second day in Tram Tau, it was bright sunlight. There was no specific plan; I’d ride around to various villages and then return to Hanoi along the same route. The rice terraces were lush. Farmers here, including those in the Muong Lo Valley and the Red River Delta, plant two crops of rice each year. The scenery was beautiful, with a river flowing through the center and rice terraces on both sides. Every now and then, there was a grouping of houses on stilts in the rice terraces.

Later in the morning, the sun was shining brightly. The weather at this time of year was very amazing: there were still unexpected shifts. I was exhausted from the weather, so it was time to return to Hanoi. Except for the heat as I passed through the Muong Lo Valley again, the return trip was nice. The city’s heavy traffic slowed it down a little, and I arrived home at 6:00 p.m. The hot coffee brought back pleasant memories of my time in the mountains, and the weekend should be relaxing with plenty of sleep!