Highlights Recycle Event: Hoang Su Phi Mountain Bike Challenge 2017

The 5th annual Recycle event was successfully held between May 18 - 21 in Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang. In overall, the event is considered an important fundamental step in establishing various community-based tourism activities in the area. The challenge this year attracted 22  cyclists enthusiast from Vietnam, France, Australia, Spain and The Netherlands, in which the Dutch cyclist – Jaap Van Norel- finished in first place.

Photo credit: Gavino Strebel

The victorious smiles say it all! (Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

The event was set up as a community-based tourism initiative. Participants slept in homestays and enjoyed dinners with local families. The cultural highlight was a ceremony of Red Dao ethnic, which involved praying to ancestors and ceremonial dancing to ensure a fruitful year of rice in the upcoming harvest.

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

Aiming to raise awareness among staff, partners and friends of responsible tourism, apart from cycling, participants had the opportunity to interact with locals and involve in voluntary work in Suoi Thau Hamlet, which directly benefits the local ethnic minority here. Accordingly, the event raised 54.000.000 Vietnam Dong that partly contributed to constructing a 200 meters concrete road in unity and support of local authority, local community and participants of the event. The tour fee was also donated to a local community fund in the village where attendees stayed overnight.  Keep in mind the “going green” spirit, plastic water bottles were replaced by refillable bottles by all participants throughout the 4-day event.

The moment of unity

The moment of unity (Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

For Footprint, as well as our partners and friends, the event this year also served as an inspection trip, where our abilities were challenged, from the very first stage of planning the event, to the minute when smiles were shining brightly on our faces when crossing the finish line.  Besides, it was an opportunity for us to extend our knowledge and tightening the relationship with the local community in Hoang Su Phi. Understanding local people and their needs are crucial for us to stay connected and on track with the road toward sustainable tourism.

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

Yes! He made it (Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

Footprint team in traditional costume with locals (Photo credit: Hien Pham)

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

Despite being isolated in rough off-road and overshadowed by more popular attractions such as Quan Ba or Dong Van, Hoang Su Phi - with its strikingly beautiful rice terraces, mountains, authentic culture and extensive trail networks – is an attractive destination, with a lot of potentials for the development of adventures and community-based tourism. 

(Photo credit: Gavino Strebel)

Author: Andy

Having been to over 20 countries, travelling is no longer a hobby but a passion for Andy, in which each journey is a process of self-exploration and integration of a human being into nature, culture and history.