Northern Vietnam’s urban environment is centered around the capital, Hanoi, the port city of Haiphong, as well as the agricultural Red river delta. The lowlands of the north are densely populated and boast a long heritage of Vietnamese history and culture.
Riding a Motorbike in Northern Vietnam
The roads that motorcycle adventure riders come for, however, are in the mountains. Motorbike riders can explore the steep mountains of Ha Giang or the stepped rice paddies of Lao Cai or Sapa of Northern Vietnam. The border with China is remote and wild, with local hill tribes occupying the mountainsides and narrow valleys.
The north also boasts attractions such as Fansipan, the highest mountain in Indochina at 3,143 meters, and the famous Ha Long Bay, with its countless limestone islands. Historical sites are plenty, including Dien Bien Phu, which saw the French army defeated by the Viet Minh in 1954.
Vietnam’s north experiences strong seasonal shifts in weather, though any time of year is feasible to enjoy a trip. The period from April/May to October is hot and humid, with frequent rainstorms. In some areas, especially lowland areas or valleys, temperatures can climb to 40 degrees Celsius, though they don’t always.
October to April is cool and also humid, with occasional typhoon strikes along the coast. Coastal provinces south of Hanoi, as well as the capital itself, have experienced strong storms over the last few years.
The northernmost reaches of the country can get significantly cold in winter, with snow falling once every few years. For the Vietnamese, snow falling is an event that may spark a tourist rush since snowfall is so rare.
Hanoi itself is no stranger to cold weather either, nor are most of the northern provinces. Temperatures may hover around 15 degrees Celsius through from December through February. Although this is certainly not cold when compared to many other countries, recall that humidity is high and most houses are poorly insulated. Bring warm clothes if you intend on coming to northern Vietnam to ride your motorbike.
Onyabike Adventures Suggests
The north of Vietnam, the country’s historical and cultural heartland, has just about everything an adventure rider is after. If you’re into seriously impressive mountains, wilderness, and exciting roads, do yourself a favor and check out the north of Vietnam.