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Cao Bang Mountain Bike Tour and Sprint Challenge

Cao Bang Mountain Bike Tour and Sprint Challenge


Cao Bang, Viet Nam


TARGET MARKET Cyclists with good level of fitness and with previous mountain bike experience.  Stages include intermittent steep climbs and descents and daily distances up to 60km.

Day 3 includes a 14km individual time trial along unsealed roads.

TRAIL TYPES RIDDEN Mix of dirt, rocky and sealed roads.  Some sections of hardpacked single trails.

Scratch your MTB Racing Itch Along Vietnam’s Border Belt
Come and enjoy a mix of MTB cruise stages and one racing stage in Cao Bang. Utilising quiet backroads (for the most part) in the north-east of Cao Bang province, our daily routes will take you through quaint craft villages and onto the amazing Ban Gioc waterfall. Day 3 stage will finish with a 14km individual time trial to tempt your competitive spirit. From there we will meander back towards the craft village region of Quang Uyen on Day 4 (our last day) and enjoy a final lunch with homestay hospitality before we jump on the bus for the trip back to Hanoi.

Organised by Helvetas Vietnam / Center for Rural Economy Development (CRED), the entry fee for this unique opportunity is only 5,385,000 VND per rider* (excluding bike hire). This fee will cover all your travel, food and accommodation costs, free water bottle, and contributions towards local craft village communities that we will visit along the way and see firsthand their skills that have been handed down from generation to generation. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to purchase local goods directly from the craftsmen and craft women (and based on previous tours these goods are always in high demand).

With great riding for a great cause, you’ll not only experience amazing mountain biking, you’ll also be supporting CRED’s work in the province to improve the lives of minority families through Community-Based Tourism

** Note: This price does not include bicycle hire. Price of bicycle hire and bicycle transport Hanoi – Cao Bang – Ha Noi is 220,000 VND/day  (880,000VND/4 day)


To register for this exciting event, complete and submit the Cao Bang MTB Tour and Sprint Challenge Entry Form using the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/yepF90kaiaGRJghe2 

Tour Description  


Enjoy some of the most beautiful cycling routes that North Vietnam has to offer, in an area that is only just opening up to international tourists. You will enjoy the craft villages of Cao Bang around the tranquil village of Phia Thap, and then cycle North-East to the Chinese border region where you will experience Vietnam’s magnificent Ban Gioc waterfall, falling through the surrounding trees with Vietnam on one side of the river and China on the other.

Utilising sealed and unsealed roads for over 90% of the planned route (the remainder being narrow trails), this is suitable for people with limited mountain biking experience. A good level of fitness will be required though.

Of the four riding days the 3rd one will be a timed event. Riders can choose to race the clock for a place on the podium or do the stage at a leisurely pace.


Trip Itinerary

06:00 Depart CRED Office at 298F Kim Ma, and travel to Phia Thap homestay (Bus).
13:00 Lunch at Phia Thap homestay.
14:45 Day 1 Rider briefing.
15:00 Bike ride around homestay location.
19:00 Dinner at homestay and Day 2 rider briefing.
Overnight accommodation: Phia Thap Homestay


After arriving at the homestay you’ll enjoy a home-cooked local lunch and then have the opportunity to warm up your cycling legs with a 20km loop around the local area.

On this route, you will head to the paper village and then depart the back way along a concrete path before you turn off onto a narrow trail with a number of water crossings. Winding your way around the mountains you will pass through a village and then start a 15km loop along dirt and sealed roads back to the homestay. This route includes a nice climb to get the legs warmed up.


Day 1 Route Map and Elevation Profile

07:00 Breakfast and Day 2 rider briefing.
08:00 Riding from Phia Thap homestay to Basket Village
08:30 Observe basket weaving and have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts
09:30 Depart Basket Village and continue on route
11:30 to 13:30 Lunch at Quang Uyen
13:00 to 14:30 Continue on route back to Phi Thap homestay
15:00 Incense making demonstration
19:00 Dinner at homestay and Day 3 rider briefing
Overnight accommodation: Phia Thap homestay
  • Drinks and snacks are available for purchase from a number of local shops in the villages along the route.


It’s time to start stretching those legs in preparation for the Day 3 stage and time trial. For this stage, we have dusted off a route from our first tour in 2017 – the Phia Thap Epic Loop. This newly extended version of the Epic Loop along dirt and sealed roads (with a small section of singletrack) will take in a local basket-weaving village where you will not only see baskets being made but also have a go at making one yourself. And you will also be able to purchase baskets from the local villagers. We then continue along the southern half of the loop on dirt roads and through corn fields, passing close to a fresh spring where you can cool off with a quick swim.

Rejoining the main road we’ll turn right and head south before turning east onto the local dirt roads back to Quang Uyen where we’ll have lunch. Taking a steep but short climb out of town takes us onto the northern half of the loop, through amazing countryside and along narrower trails (some of which are quite rocky) back to the homestay for a well-earned rest. In the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to see how the Phia Thap villagers make incense that they sell at the local markets, or you can take a hike up to the lookout behind the homestay for an amazing view over the village and surrounding area. .


06:00 Breakfast and Day 3 rider briefing.
07:00 Travel from Phia Thap commune to Trung Khanh
08:00 Depart Trung Khanh on bicycle
11:00 – 12:00 Lunch
13:00 Proceed from lunch spot to Time Trial start line (10min ride)
13:30 – 14:30 Individual Time Trial (riders depart 1min apart, self-seeded slowest to fastest)
14:30 – 16:00 Festival at Waterfall
Overnight accommodation: Lung Niec Homestay
  • Drinks and snacks are available for purchase from a number of local shops in the villages along the route.


It’s the biggest day of the tour distance-wise.  We start with a 40min bus ride towards the waterfalls to the town of Trung Khanh, leaving behind most of the busy highway that goes to the Chinese border.  After topping up the water bottles we head north out of town, through amazing river scenery and passing rice paddies and water wheels.

Crossing the picturesque Quay Son river near to the Chinese border crossing we then turn south-east along sealed and dirt roads and enjoying a great lunch before proceeding to the start line for the individual time trial.

Individual Time Trial

Riders depart 1min apart (self-seeded slowest to fastest), and ride to the finish line at the amazing Ban Gioc waterfall where amazing views and a well-deserved drink will await you.

After relaxing over a beer at the base of the falls you have free time to enjoy the views and take photos.  From here we will take the bus back up the hill to the new homestay where you can relax or take a short but steep walk to the local temple which offers amazing views over the falls.


06:00 Breakfast and Day 4 activity briefing.
07:00 Travel by bus from Lung Niec to Trung Khanh
08:00 Depart Trung Khanh by bicycle
10:00 – 11:00 Arrive at Quang Uyen
11:30 – 13:00 Lunch and showers at Phia Thap Homestay
13:00 Depart for Hanoi bus bus
19:00 – 20:00 Arrive back in Hanoi


Today we say goodbye to the waterfall region and head back to Trung Khanh by bus, where we jump back on our bicycles and ride country roads back to Quang Uyen (with a 7km fast section on the main road where you will need to be extra careful).

Once we are all back in Quang Uyen we’ll load the bicycles onto the truck and head to Phia Thap by bus for lunch and showers before departing to Hanoi.


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  • Tours and transfers as mentioned in the itinerary (air conditioned vehicle)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Stay at homestay as mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation fees for bicycles

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  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • Travel insurance

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