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Tam Dao

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There are many singletrack and "fireroad-type" trails that snake around and to and from Tam Dao. many are rocky and switchbacked. They can be as adventurous or treacherous as you want to make them. Local guides can provide directions to various places, but aren't likely to join you since you'll be the only one there with a mountainbike. Snakes and leeches aren't as much of a problem as in other areas in Vietnam. There are also supposed to be tigers, bears, king cobras, monkeys and leopard cats about, but encounters with poachers are more likely. Some riding options, all of which will require some hiking, and all of which feature some outrageous climbs and downhills. Times are very approximate. - 3 hour out'n'back, mostly flat to Thai Nguyen - 2-3 hour climb to the top of 1500+meter Tam Dao peak, scream all the way down so hikers will get the hell out your way. - bike to any one of several ethnic-minority villages--they'll feed you full for a $1, and offer snake meat and snake's blood to replenish those glycogen stores - hammer the old French road to Thai Tien, imagining you're a Legionnaire getting your ass kicked by skinny little Uncle Ho.
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Trail Directions
Tam Dao is 80+km north/northwest of Hanoi. heading north from Hanoi take a left just before Noi Bai airport, then turn right heading north in Vinh Yen. Hire a car in Hanoi for about $30-$40 roundtrip, pack yourself onto a bus for about $5, or bike it from Hanoi: paved road for the first 50k and dirt road most of the rest. Except for the last 30k, the roads are well-populated and downright busy. Plenty of places to stop for food and drink. The last 20k is a long slow climb. There is a nice, new resort hotel in Tam Dao (Mela Hotel) that gets packed with tourists (mostly upperclass, young Hanoians) on the weekends. Base yourself there for a 2-3 days of riding. Warning: this is a new protected area. Do not take or harm any wildlife, including insects and plant cuttings!
Trail Length
20-40 miles
Trail Level
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
Hanoi, Vietnam/Tam Dao Village

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