|09-01-2008, 10:52 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Vietnam - Tet Fiesta Tour 2009
Têt is the Lunar New Year based on Chinese and Vietnamese calendar. It usually falls between the end of January and the beginning of February. The Chinese Zodiac includes 12 animal signs : the Rat, the Buffalo, the Tiger, the Cat (or Rabbit), the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig.
We started our first tour in 1996, in the year of the Rat, came full circle in 2008 and we are going to start our second Zodiac cycle with the year of the Buffalo.
Têt is eagerly awaited by all Vietnamese people. It's the biggest spring-time celebration and is a period to reflect on future hopes. For years, we have chosen to celebrate it in the countryside, surrounded by jungle or mountains, with our friends from various ethnic communities which make Vietnam a culturally rich country.
In the countryside, Têt has stayed true to tradition. The year has been hard, with people having to forgo life's little luxuries. This is in stark contrast to the city where supplies are plentiful all year round. It is a special time, when there mustn't be a lack of anything. We drink, eat, meet with old friends and family, and have good time.
Our TET FIESTA TOUR, is an opportunity for the whole Compagnie Bourlingue alias Freewheelin’Tours to meet all our friends. It's also an opportunity for them to visit each other as they join us for the ride. Our team grows daily, as our hosts from the day before become our fellow adventurers until our return to Hanoi.
Day 1 : 01/20/2009 : Hanoi – Cam Son Lake (~115km, ~4h)
Easy roads and tracks for a gentle first day, perfect. The lake is still largely undiscovered by tourists and we will find ourselves in tranquil surroundings. For our first night together we will stay in a small hotel 10km from the lake.
Day 2 : 01/21/2009 : Cam Son Lake – Quang Uyen (~185km, ~6h)
Through Binh Gia or Lang Son, two itineraries are possible depending on everyone's biking experience and the weather. The landscapes are punctuated by limestone karsts, as we pass through Tay, Dao and Nung territories. The TET FIESTA TOUR truly kicks off as we ride in the wild. Homestay accommodation in Quang Uyen is provided by our friends: the husband is Nung ethnicity, and the wife is Tay.
Day 3 : 01/22/2009 : Quang Uyen – Ban Gioc – Ha Lang – Quang Uyen (~120km, ~5h)
Our luggage stays at the homestay. We start a ride full of lightness through the scenery of Cao Bang province, that resembles ancient Chinese engravings. We ride a magical loop along the Sino-Vietnamese border before spending a second night in Quang Uyen.
Day 4 : 01/23/2009 : Quang Uyen – Bao Lac (~160km, ~7h)
100% Freewheelin’ style, we arrive early in Bao Lac, to fix some paperwork. Then we prepare for a special finish: 9km on a good track just like we like: climbing all the way to the top. On arrival at our Lo Lo friends’ place we will be met with a warm welcome from all the village. This is certainly the poorest of the villages we visit. We will run a movie for all the inhabitants. Part of the profits from the tour will be used to help a family that can't afford the school fees for its children.
Day 5 : 01/24/2009 : Bao Lac – Panhou (~190km, ~7h)
A « solid » stage, through stunning scenery, which ranks among the wildest in North Vietnam. A comfortable stop over at Panhou, the eco-resort of our friends Michel and Lan Phuong. Traditional ethnic baths and massages, and time to relax in the bar and warm your feet by the open fire.
Day 6 : 01/25/2009 : Panhou – Luc Yen (~100km, ~3h)
Easy road, beautiful landscapes, short stage... relax ! The evening will be spent in the house of our Red Dao friends following a short trek through the jungle. This is the eve of Têt – HUGE FIESTA !
Day 7 : 01/26/2009 : Luc Yen – Vu Linh (~80km, ~3h)
1st day of the Year of the Buffalo. Chuc Mung Nam Moi !!! Celebration with all the neighbours. « A little bit more ruou (rice wine) ?... No ?... Yes ! » No need to worry, the ride is easy, passing under limestone karsts and palm trees that line the shores of Thac Ba lake and its thousands of fjords. A warm welcome in our eco-lodge. Fiesta...of course.
Day 8 : 01/27/2009 : Vu Linh – Ba Be (~140km, ~6h)
Wild day, nice road and bumpy tracks, mixin' it up in true Freewheelin' fashion. Once in Ba Be, we take a boat to the Dau Dang waterfalls, the lake, the Gâm river and the jungle.
Day 9 : 01/28/2009 : Ba Be – Na Khan (~80km, ~3h)
Easy. If we can sleep in the house of our friend Pirate, we cross the lake. If not, we start from Pac Ngoi village.
We have all day, no hurry. It's good to take our time in the remote and friendly Ba Be National Park. Na Khan is a Tay village where we stay in the stilt house of Mister Lo and Madam Bong who is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best cook in Southeast Asia.
Day 10 : 01/29/2009 : Na Khan – Hanoi (~160km, ~5h)
Quiet countryside roads through the tea plantations of Thai Nguyen. Last stage for the team of the TET FIESTA TOUR 2009.
A spectacular 10 days in the heart of Vietnam to start the Year of the Buffalo in style. The whole trip costs 850 Euros per person:
1 motorcycle Minsk 125cc + third part insurance
Equipment : helmet + waterproof saddle-bags
The most experienced guides and mechanics and the Freewheelin’ team
A 16-place broom wagon + 4WD car (depending on number of participants)
Gifts for families
Payment of expenses for families following us to Hanoi
All tickets and permits
Not included :
Medical and repatriation insurance
All services not mentioned
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