The pervious days we had been riding our rental motorbike around the Ha Giang loop. Our initial plan was to ride back to Hanoi, but we changed the plan. From Meo vac, we headed towards Ha Long. Read about the previous days here.
Saturday, February 2nd.
Meo Vac to Cao Bang
We had breakfast at the hostel and started riding around 9:30. We had a long drive ahead to Cao Bang.
The first kilometres of the route are quite high on the mountains and the clouds are low. Luckily the road is still perfectly visible, but it gets a bit cold. Soon we start riding down and the weather gets better and allow us to enjoy more of the view.
Some parts of the road before arriving to the first town of the way, Lao Bac, were a bit rough but manageable. After Lao Bac, the roads are quite fine and still beautiful along the mountains. We rode along the river Song Bang and crossed it several times. A beautiful river that seems to be of much use, as we saw many dams built and under constraction.
It’s only around 170km ride in total but it’s very tiring, with a lot of curves and ups and downs. So we stop to rest and have some food 40km before Cao Bang. We ordered some fries, they didn’t seem to have any non deep fried option so we went for the safe one. But they managed to spoil our french fries, they serve them with sugar!!!! We recovered from our disappointment and continued the way.
We arrived in Cao Bang around 4:30pm and stay at the cao bang ecohostel. It was nice until we discovered some curious ants the next morning, trying to get into our stuff…
That night we went for dinner a bit late and we couldn’t find any good local option. It was the perfect excuse to treat ourselves with the best pizza we’ve tried in Asia so far (or maybe we lowered our standards). Now, our bellies were happy! Ready to sleep…
Sunday, February 3rd.
Cao Bang to Ha Long
Today we planned on driving from Cao Bang to Lang son. Should be an easy drive, not too long.
When we started driving we realize that the roads on this area are very good, much better than on the mountains. We were going much faster than usually. We stop half way between Cao bang and Lang son to have a Banh Mi (local sandwich) for lunch at a very non touristic area. An old lady from the shop was very interested in us and kept talking to us in Vietnamese. I wish we could understand her! We answered to her questions, but probably didn’t really answer what she was asking, haha! The conversation wasn´t very fluid, but at least we left her with a smile.
We arrived in Lang Son around 2pm. Looking at the map, we think if we should continue. Just another 160km until Cam Pha on a good road, and from there to Ha Long an extra hour on a nice ride.
Should we try? Let’s do it!
So we hop on the bike again towards Cam Pha. When we arrived there we were pretty tired already, but Ha Long was so close that we could not stop yet. And a bit later, we arrived in Ha long bay. Never been happier to get off the motorbike! We went for a Coconut (our favourite drink/snack) and look for some hostel nearby. We were very happy to find the Fancy Hostel just 5 minutes away from where we were, on the city center. A double room for 200k VND (7’5€) breakfast included. We had a nice local dinner at the hostel and went for a little walk outside. After that, it was definitely time to get some deserved rest!