Meeting Mao & Tao on the Bamboo Road
The Mao & Tao section of the 2015 Bamboo Road Cycling Expedition is a short 10 day section that will take riders from high-tech Hong Kong, through a portion of southern China, and then across the border into Vietnam. Once in Vietnam riders will go ride the little-visited northern mountains veering south as they move onward to Hanoi.
Beginning in fast-paced, technologically advanced, decadent, and over-the-top Hong Kong riders will get a firsthand look at the hustle behind one of the biggest economies in Asia. For those who arrive early there is plenty to see and do in Hong Kong before setting off into the countryside of Southern China. Catering to all kinds of tastes Hong Kong has much to take in. Check out the view from the harbour, buy some souvenirs and taste an array of foods at the night market before suiting up and taking off towards calmer surroundings.
Take in the sights and smells of the harvest as you meander across the quieter roads of the most populated country on Earth. Watch the edges of the road as you ride, as stretching along the roadways local farmers area busy harvesting and drying rice to sell at the local markets. Many paths and roadways will be covered with a layer of grains drying in the autumn sun.
After a few quiet days its time to say goodbye to China, and hello to Vietnam!
The border crossing between China and Vietnam will come shortly after a jaunt through the Friendship Pass. Traditionally the designation for the border of China and Vietnam (though the official border has moved a little bit over the years), Friendship Pass got its current name in 1965 to reflect the close political ties between China and North Vietnam during the then on-going Vietnam War.
The ride within this northern part of Vietnam will take the group through stunning mountains, jungle vistas and plenty of political history. Continuing on to Hanoi riders can sample some truly authentic Pho, a little Vietnamese coffee (or beer!) and delve deeper into the over 1000 years of history offered in the capitol city.
2010 marked one thousand years since the establishment of the city of Hanoi and the history is apparent around every corner; From the French colonial to the traditional. Take particular note of the tall, thin buildings. Historically homeowners were taxed according the width of the front of their house. This rule led to some pretty unique architectural examples throughout Hanoi. Wander through the streets and alleys and learn about what makes this city so unique.
With two rest days in Hanoi before the next section begins riders can take advantage of an opportunity for a day-trip (or overnight trip) to Ha Long Bay. Consisting of over 1,600 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation the bay is otherworldly. Explore the bay on boat, visiting one of the floating fishing villages and exploring the caves (Thien Cung grotto and other caves provide a cool escape from the daily heat); Or just put up your feet, open a cold beer, and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Rolling from Hong Kong and its crazy busy atmosphere into the calm of the countryside and then arriving in another, differently busy city-centre will be one of the most amazing adventures you can pack into 10 days on a bike.
Sign up now for this incredible ride. Space is limited