The Discovery (Kunming-Hanoi)

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The Discovery (Kunming-Hanoi)

Cycling this route in China and North Vietnam is an introduction to the two mysterious Asian countries. Traditional people, impressive rice terraces and colorful markets. Cycling through quiet valleys and climbing over tough hills. Talking with hands and feet and experiencing something that is completely unique.


850 km





Travel time:

3 to 4 weeks

Best travel period














9 / 10


8 / 10

1 the historic downtown of Jianshui
2 the beautiful rice fields and tea plantations en route
3 Bac Ha known for the Sunday market where the hill tribes sell their products
4 Bustling Hanoi

Explore the freedom!

The Chinese part of the cycle route leads you through the province of Yunnan, an area with a mild climate all year round and rich flora and fauna. The route starts in Kunming, the capital of the Yunnan province. It is a pleasant and clean city, located at an altitude of 1900 meters.

From here on out you can take a trip to the Stone Forest in Shilin, an impressive natural phenomenon. In Kunming, we have set out a cycling- and walking route for you, so you can easily get acquainted with the most important sights in and around the city.

You leave Kunming via the east side of Dianchi Lake and reach the beautiful azure coloured Fuxian Lake that same day. After 2 beautiful stages, you reach Jianshui and you can admire the well-restored, historic downtown. Via a steady climb from 1320 to 1950 meters, followed by a spectacular descent of 40 km, you reach the town of Nansha on the Red River at 235 meters. From here, a visit to the beautiful rice terraces of Yuanyang, the largest and most beautiful in China, should not be missed. These famous rice terraces were laid out thousands of years ago by the Hani people. The terraces are filled with water from November to April and are at their most beautiful during that period. The entire region is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Cycling along the Red River you reach the border with Vietnam. From Lao Cai, you can make a trip to the mountain village of Sapa where you will encounter various mountain tribes. The route takes you further to the village of Bac Ha, where the women of the Flower H’mong sell their goods at the market. Quiet roads then lead you towards Hanoi. Along the way you see veneer plates drying in the sun and you can enjoy the enthusiasm of many local children. Following the beautiful West Lake, you cycle into Hanoi, a bustling city with lots to explore. From Hanoi you can opt to make an excursion to Halong Bay, a natural wonder on the UNESCO World Heritage List for a good reason. Currently, the roads are being worked on in China. Some roads may be partially broken up during your trip. Alternative transport is always easily arranged as a “plan B”.

This route can be combined with the trip: China Yunnan “Through the Tiger Gorge”.
The trip can be extended with an excursion from Hanoi from 2 to 3 days to Halong Bay.
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