The
hong kong to
hanoi adventure

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Day 1

The Mad Dogs arrive at their hotel at the start - near the Shenzhen Bay border with Hong Kong. There will be the chance to get to know one another, grab some food and listen to a briefing about the challenge and the following day's route. The excitement builds. 

 


 

Day 2

155 km

Hong KongJiangmen

You'll head up through Shenzhen (which will be quieter early in the morning) to the short but beautiful car ferry across the Pearl River estuary. The roads are calmer on the other side and the first green shoots of the countryside appear.

 

NOTE that if you do not want to miss this first day and start from Jiangmen, it would be very easy to take the ferry from Hong Kong to Jiangmen today, and start your challenge tomorrow.

 

Elevatioin: +551 / -515m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from -9-75m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 3

175 km

JiangmenYangjiang

The road passes through the Kaiping region, including the stunning Chikanzhen (listed as a UNESCO world heritage site), with many of the famous and unusual Diaolou towers easily visible from the road. The countryside deepens and the fields are dominated by busy workers, tending the crops of sugar cane and rice.

 

 

Elevation:+ 721 / - 702 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from only 0-46M. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 4

155 km

YangjiangWuchuan

The route continues through Guangdong Province; the Mad Dogs enjoy the countryside and marvel at the towns which outsiders never otherwise get to see. Wuchuan has the small restaurant where Mad Dogs have been known to dine on white swan – Chinese cuisine is always an adventure!

 

 

+ 448 / - 443 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 1-38m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 5

209 km

WuchuanHepu

Guangdong Province is left for Guangxi on this grueling day when Mad Dogs need to keep focus and work to maintain pace. The road darts into and out of a number of small villages where workers often clean great piles of oysters by the roadside. Southern Chinese rural life seems a different world from the cities that most people are used to visiting. Hepu has some of the best seafood in China.

 

Elevation:+ 846 / - 861 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-55!. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 6

180 km

HepuDongxing

In the afternoon the route turns onto a small, weaving local road, through small farming collectives and villages which rarely see outsiders. The paddy fields are alive with back-breaking activity as the groups of labourers carry out farming chores in the same manner as they have been done for thousands of years. As the border town approaches there are some stunning coastal views. A very pleasant hotel with a luxurious massage spa awaits the Mad Dogs, should they wish to treat themselves (80 minute massage for RMB100).

 

Elevation:+ 735 / - 732 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-45. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 7

150 km

DongxingCam Pha

The Mad Dogs enjoy a slightly later start since they must wait for the border to open at 8am. The crossing is only a few minutes from the hotel. The route leads through the small Vietnamese border town of Mong Cai. Immediate cultural differences are clear and the Mad Dogs head into the Northern Vietnamese countryside. Today is a real treat: the gently sloping hills are dominated by lush paddy fields and plantations. Schoolchildren giggle and wave, providing a very welcome morale boost. The hotel rooms should afford a stunning panorama of the Halong Bay scenery.

 

Elevation: + 1015 / - 1023 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-57m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

 

Day 8

180 km

Cam PhaHanoi

Ha Long Bay's famous and mysterious karst scenery surrounds the Mad Dogs in the morning before they start to head inland. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and sample the local fare at roadside shacks, from baguettes to noodles and fruit. The landscape then opens up into a vast flat plain of paddy fields tended by busy labourers. As the road becomes larger and busier, the riders can almost taste the finish. Most victorious cyclists will cross the finish line in the mid-afternoon, the sun in their eyes and a dizzy sense of satisfaction in their hearts. The finish line at the Hanoi Cycling Collective will see celebratory beers – what else? It is an incredibly scenic location which serves as the epicentre of modern cycling culture in Hanoi. The magnitude of what has been achieved in the past week sinks in and the Mad Dogs will have a proper celebration meal together.

 

Elevation:+ 664 / - 653 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from -1-56m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

 

Day 9

The victorious cyclists wake up wondering "Did I really do that?!" … Either they have requested to spend another night in their hotel and are going to explore and make the most of this tantalising city...or for some reason they are heading home now – with a lot of stories and a great deal of pride.

Info

 

What are the dates for the next edition?

 

This ride is only available for private commission.

 

How much is the single supplement? (Note, you will only need to pay this if you do not want to share a room with a rider of the same sex.) 

US$200

 

What is the terrain like?

Mostly Flat apart from some gently undulating hills on the penultimate day.

 

Where does the Challenge start?

Close to the Shenzhen Bay border with Hong Kong.

 

Which flights should I book to get back to HK?

Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Vietnam Airlines all operate direct from Hong Kong. There are also direct flights to Guangzhou on China Southern and Vietnam Airlines. Those wanting to save their pennies may consider taking a bus from Hanoi to Nanning and getting a flight from there to Macau, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Hong Kong (book with ctrip.com).

 

Do I need a Visa for China and Vietnam?

Yes, and these must be obtained in advance. The Vietnamese and Chinese consulates are located in Wanchai and getting the visas is very straightforward. Visa are on arrival does not apply to land borders; visas can take five working days each - do not leave this to the last minute. Some nationalities can now enter Vietnam visa-free. Please check with your local Vietnamese consulate.

 

How do I get my bike to the Shenzhen Bay border?

There is a ferry to Shekou (perhaps the easiest option) from Macau Ferry Terminal. Bikes can be taken on the MTR (with the front wheel removed) and they can also just about fit into the boot of a HK taxi. Note the MTR does not go up to the border. There are also regular coaches (including CTS-operated ones) from all over Hong Kong to the border. We will meet you at the border and transport you to the nearby hotel (you can also ride your bike there if you like, it is a couple of kilometres!) Riders have in the past also taken cross-border vehicles, at approx HK$800 for max 3 riders.

 

What are the roads like?

The Chinese roads are largely of a decent quality however there are some places where they fall into disrepair or are under road works, where the quality is low. The route largely follows the main “national” roads, which are large roads in places but not highways. Around the cities there is sometimes heavy traffic traffic (this is particularly the case for the first half of day one, as the route passes Shenzhen) but in the countryside there is thin traffic and there is nearly always a generous hard shoulder so that cyclists can avoid the path of the cars. The roads have distance markers every kilometre which is handy for ensuring that you are on the right road. The roads in Vietnam smaller (one line down the middle) but are of high-quality and are generally pretty quiet.