The Northeast Motorbike Loop, Vietnam

VIDEO: The Northeast Motorbike Loop

Published April 2015 | Words and film by Vietnam Coracle

The northeastern corner of Vietnam is one of my favourite areas of the country. Dotted with limestone karsts, waterfalls, lakes and rivers, it’s a lush and peaceful garden that’s perfect for exploring on two wheels. This video complements my motorbike guide to the Northeast Loop, which you can read here. The soundtrack is ‘Summer Light’ by The Cave Singers. For more films of road trips in Vietnam take a look at my video library here. For best viewing watch in at least 480p quality and at the screen size I’ve embedded the video on this page. Alternatively (and for slightly smoother quality) you can view it at half screen on YouTube here.

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Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. Carrie says:
    September 10, 2023 at 10:33 PM

    Is this loop basic or do bikers need motorbike experience? My husband and I (late-50s — never riden bikes like this before), and my 3 kids (28, 26, and 24) would love this experience, but I don’t want to get us into a dangerous situation. We are adventurous and athletic, but pretty urban dwellers (from Phoenix). If you think this may be out of our comfort zone, what do you recommend for a family like ours, or are their guides who could take us through this area? We love nothing more than exploring, getting off the beaten path, being out in nature, and diving into other cultures. Thanks!

    1. Tom says:
      September 12, 2023 at 3:30 AM

      Hi Carrie,

      For full details about the routes featured in this video please see my Northeast Loop Guide.

      Probably, if you have no prior motorbiking experience, it would be best to start somewhere else. Perhaps a couple of the Phong Nha Routes, for example, where the traffic is light and most roads are in good condition.

      Many of the good motorbike rental companies also offer customers practice rides in the local area. Alternatively, many rental companies also offer motorbike tours where you ride pillion. You could try contacting some of the companies I mention on this page.



  2. Ron Bruijns says:
    March 3, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    Hey Tom,

    Last year I’ve travelled through Vietnam on a motorbike on my own, and as a 19 year I wouldn’t have seen all the amazing stuff I’ve seen if you hadn’t make this website. Thanks a lot!

    When I saw this video (Northeast motorbike loop), I was amazed by the road at 0:17 and the tunnel/cave at 1:47. I have not seen this, and can’t find it on the internet. I’m already back in my country so it’s a bit late, but I’m really curious; where was this?! I would like to search it up on google maps to see if I just missed it, or that it was hundreds km away.

    Thanks again for getting the best holiday I ever had!

    1. Tom says:
      March 3, 2018 at 2:47 PM

      Hi Ron,

      Great to hear you enjoyed your Vietnam road trip so much.

      The road at 0.17 is a little concrete lane across a weir that leads to the other side of the Nho Que River, about halfway between Trung Khanh and Ban Gioc Falls.

      The road leading through the ‘cave tunnel’ is on DT206 after continuing beyond Ban Gioc Falls and following the Chinese border for about 10km. However, this road is now in quite a bad state due to overuse by trucks plying between Vietnam and China.

      I hope this helps,


  3. Javier says:
    January 29, 2018 at 5:37 AM

    Hey Tom

    I just want to grab my bike amd take off from Hanoi….please point me a cool route to star!


    1. Tom says:
      January 29, 2018 at 7:56 AM

      Hi Javier,

      Take a look at my Northern Routes Archive or my 5 Suggested Hanoi-Saigon Routes.

      I hope this helps,


  4. peter browne says:
    July 24, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Hi Tom we went there in June , I had been wanting go through Ha giang , Dong van , Meo vac and ban gloc falls for some years now and it blu me away it was so good , going around every corner just saying wow and when the road go’s through that cave. so much to see, we also went to Phong nha to the caves I would love to go to Son Doong cave for the 5 days, we will have to meet my next visit.

    1. Tom says:
      July 24, 2016 at 12:07 PM

      Hi Peter,

      Great to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Vietnam. Yes, I love those places too.

      There’s a lot more to see so I hope you have many more visits planned 🙂


      1. peter browne says:
        July 24, 2016 at 9:25 PM

        Hi Tom,
        Every time I come to VN my list of places to see there gets longer, have you had a look over the border in Yunnan, we were there last year and loved it I cant wait to have a better look .

        1. Tom says:
          July 25, 2016 at 12:12 AM

          Hi Peter,

          Yes, I’ve been to Yunnan, but that was a long time ago – I loved it. I would like to go over the border there from Vietnam one day too.


  5. Neville foley says:
    April 4, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    Tom fantastic video as usual I hope my trips are as good so looking forward to seeing vietnam again. Thanks Foley

    1. Tom says:
      April 4, 2015 at 7:16 AM

      Thanks, Foley.

      I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic trip next time you visit Vietnam 🙂