Day 1: Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Arrive Hanoi’s war-era Noi Bai Airport. After clearing immigration and customs meet driver and escort for transfer into Hanoi, the cultural and political capital of Vietnam that has slumbered largely unchanged for decades. After transfer to hotel on central Hoan Kiem Lake, midday meeting at hotel for lunch orientation at an outdoor cafe for introductions, followed by bike assembly, testing and other preparations for beginning of the trip. Afterwards, free time in the capital before we rendezvous at our hotel and stroll for dinner of local specialties such as pho in the busy Old Quarter. (L,D)
Note: Vietnam visa required in advance of arrival.
Day 2: Hanoi to Mai Chau
In the morning, early departure for Mai Chau, a picturesque river valley region populated with a diversity of hilltribes. After a 2.5 to 3 hour drive, arrive Mai Chau for lunch. Balance of afternoon leisurely, warm-up cycling in and around Mai Chau to hilltribe villages, farms and scenic backroads of the area. Overnight in Mai Chau, our last night of comfort before the moving on into the hinterland of Laos. (B,L,D)
Meals: B / L / D
Accommodation: Mai Chau Lodge, Tel: (84-18) 386-8959
Day 3: Mai Chau to Vieng Xai.
After morning ride, cross into Laos. Meet crew at Laos-Vietnam border, the continue cycling to Viengxay on paved roads under karst scenery, passing hilltribe villages in the area, including Thai Dam, Thai Dang, Meuy, and Kmu. Picnic lunch en route. After lunch heading to Vieng Xay, arriving in afternoon. exploring the nearby Khayson Cave, the office and residence of the Pathet Lao chief during the war period, and Souphanouvong Cave, also called Red Prince Cave, the residence of royal Prince Souphanouvong at one time. Then, onto Nouhak Cave, named for Nouhak Phoumsavanh, who served as Lao PDR president from 1992.
Meals: (B, L,D)
Distance: 53 km
Accommodation: Thavyxay Hotel
Day 4: Vieng Xai to Samneua to Viengthong
Our longest cycling day, today after a sunrise breakfast, departing early for an epic day’s century ride to Vieng Thong over the mammoth “Laotian Alps,” cycling the quiet and winding route past a smattering of villages over two 5,000 foot passes. From Vieng Xai, on National Highway 6 we will ride about 65 miles to Nam Noen (with about 4,500 feet of climbing, nearing an altitude of 5,400 feet). Time permitting en route, pausing to explore Hing Tang (Suan Hin), a man-made formation of vertical stones that may be related to those on the Plain of Jars. At Nam Noen, we’ll turn northwest (right) on route 1 towards Vien Thong, a hilly 36 miles way that we’ll shuttle in by van rather than bike.
After arrival in Vien Thong, freshen up before walking to nearby hot springs to douse worn legs before exploring the small town set on the Nam Khan River and largely inhabited by a collection of hill tribes particularly Hmong and “lowland” Lao. Dinner at the small town’s only restaurant and overnight at simple guesthouse.
Meals: B, L, D
Distance: 161 km
Accommodation: Souksakhone GH.
Day 5: Vieng Thong to Nong Khiaw
Another long travel day over the “Laotian Alps,” rising early from the noise at sunrise from the hilltribe market directly in front of our hotel. After browsing the market, we’ll begin biking after breakfast. Today we ride National route No 1c between Vieng Thong and Nong Khiaw passing through the beautiful jungle and forest scenery of two National Park with lush green mountains over three passes. After departing Vien Thong, cycling on flats until reaching our first challenge, a 2,400 foot climb, before descending to a winding river valley road for about 12 miles until we reach our next climb of about 2,100 feet, plummeting down to Vieng Kham at mile 86 (at 1,200 feet elevation) where we’ll enjoy lunch along the scenic river. Afterwards, shuttling by van over a third climb of 900 feet (or cycling if you prefer), the rest of the day is over the undulating hills on a paved, good-condition side road heading northwest to Nong Khiaw, a picturesque northern outpost being discovered by backpackers.
In Nong Khiaw, we’ll enjoy drinks along the pleasant Nam Ou River directly in front of our bungalows. Now this is Laos! Afterwards, venturing into town to eat at one of the restaurants along the river. After dinner, a massage in town can be arranged.
Meals: B, L, D
Distance: 184 km (115 miles)
Accommodation: Phaxang Resort
Day 6: Nong Khiaw excursion around Muang Ngoi
After a leisurely breakfast, one-hour cruise by longtail boat to Muang Ngoi, base for hiking to remote villages in the area. Muang Ngoi was controlled by the communist before 1975 and the province was under control of Pathet Lao. During Vietnam War, people in this area hid in the caves in the day times and worked at night because of continuous bombing ( land mines remain in the area).
Today, trekking to Tham Kang through stunning scenery, where, according to local legend, a sacred Naga resides. Also visiting in the villages of Ban Na and Thai Daeng before returning back to Nong Khiaw by boat in the afternoon for dinner and accommodation, and perhaps another leg massage before tomorrow’s ride.
Day 7: Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang
Today we’ll ride the initial, quiet and scenic section out of Luang Prabang which after 18 miles, joins a larger road with traffic coming in from China. Mostly flat with short rollers. After riding until lunch (at 54 miles), boarding a longtail boat for the remaining distance to Luang Prabang, once we reach the Mekong River making a slight upstream detour to visit the renowned Pak Ou caves. Located beside the river, the cave is filled with Buddha images and is a sacred place of worship for locals.
After the caves, continued cruising downstream to Luang Prabang. In the late afternoon we arrive Luang Prabang, one of Asia’s gems and a UNESCO World Heritage. It is pleasantly located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers and encircled by distance jagged peaks. In recent years it has been a popular, but not spoiled tourist destination, but it will be a bit of a shock to see so many tourists for the first time since Hanoi. In the evening a private baci ceremony, a traditional lao welcoming ritual for centuries.
Meals: B, L, D
Distance: 139 km
Accommodation: SalaPrabang Hotel
Day 8: Luang Prabang
Day free in Luang Prabang. (B)
Day 9: Luang Prabang
After breakfast, cycling outside of the city to the Kuang Si Waterfalls (28 kms/18 miles) or quieter roads looping through the countryside, by preference. After leisurely hike up to and swimming in the falls, continued biking in the scenic rural areas nearby passing through several villages and pausing to visit a local family and school as well as cottage industries until mid-afternoon. Return to Luang Prabang by van to freshen up before sunset cruise on the Mekong, enjoying drinks on board before dinner in town.
Distance: 28 km
Accommodation: SalaPrabang Hotel
Day 10: Luang Prabang to Kiu Ka Cham, Kiu Ka Cham to Bor Nam
Depart Luang Prabang by van, shuttling to Kiu Cham (48 miles) to begin our ride. Our ride this day involves more beautiful mountain scenery with a fair bit of up and down. In the afternoon we have a gorgeous 25 km downhill ride, the road surrounded by peaks and cliffs to Bor Nam where we lose about 800 meters. Bor Nam is nothing more than a hot spring, a tiny guest house and a trucker’s restaurant. The bungalows are very simple, but clean. Hopefully we will have the place all to ourselves. The spring warm not hot, but it’s definitely worth going for a dip to loosen up those leg muscles. Next to the hot spring is a good restaurant with simple tasty food and a gorgeous views of the mountains.
Meals: B, L, D
Distance: 76 km
Accommodation: Bornamoun Bungalows (basic).
Day 11: Bor Nam to Vang Vieng
Another early start, not to cover a long distance, but so we have the afternoon to enjoy Vang Vieng. Downhill ride to the valley floor and the town of Kasi. From here to Vang Vieng is pretty easy riding with one notable climb. For the those who are interested, we can kayak on the Nam Song River in the afternoon. Plastic sit-on-top kayaks would meet about 5 miles before Vang Vieng and we would paddle the river from here right to the door of our hotel. There are a few easy rapids and the river is suitable for beginners. Our hotel is set beside the Nam Song River with a long row of beautiful karst peaks as a back drop. Drinks all around to celebrate this last day in the saddle!
Meals: B, L
Distance: 78 km
Accommodation: Elephant crossing hotel. www.theelephantcrossinghotel.com
Day 12: Vang Vieng to Vientiane
After breakfast transfer by van for 3 hours to the small capital city of Lao PDR, after check in the hotel you can hang around or discover the most tourist attractive sites of Vientiane such as emerald Buddha temple, Thatluang stupa, appear on the national symbol of the country, or shopping at the morning market.
Meals: B, L
Distance: 155 km
Accommodation: Sengtawan hotel . www.sengtawan.com
Day 13: Vientiane to Bangkok
After leisurely breakfast, transit to airport for one-hour flight to Bangkok. After arrival, transit by own taxi to riverfront hotel. Balance of day free in Bangkok or fly back to your country.
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PACKING INSTRUCTION: When packing you should understand that your main luggage would not be accessible during the day so if you have items you want to use please put them in a smaller “day pack “which we will store in the van.
We will be supported by air conditioned minibus and truck that have been specially modified for cycle tours. The vehicles follow us the whole time and are always available for tired cyclists. It is very easy to get bikes on and off the truck, so you can rest when you are tired and cycle whenever you fell like it, and you will be well looked after. All of our staff has been trained to serve cycling tours. Support vehicles will follow around 100 – 150 m behind the last cyclist. In case of any problem on your bike you will be helped immediately. Water stops are every 1 – 1:30 h or every 15 – 25 km depending on road condition and cyclists’ preference.
BIKE REPAIRS: Basic spares, tools and a basic first aid kit are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle such as alum key set, chain splitter, puncture repair kit, pumper…incase of any problem you just stop.
WEATHER: There are two seasons in Laos: from March to September is hot and raining with temperatures between 25 – 40 C. From October to February is winter with the temperatures between 10-25 C, it also depends on which part of the country, northern part is cooler than southern part. In winter season is the best time to travel in Laos and riding conditions are perfect.
VISA: This tour get into Laos through Nameo border check point, visa on arrival is available at this border check point, the cost of visa is different from every nationality ) and you will also need 1 passport photograph with your passport to apply. Visa can be obtained from Lao embassies and consulates abroad.
Money: currency in Laos is Kip, so you can change at the exchange unit at the border or at the bank, the notes ranging from 100.000 k, 50.000 k, 20.000, 10.000 k, 5000 k, 2000 k and 1000 k. US dollars or Thai Baht are accepted in the city.
The exchange rate: 1 US$ = 8000 k.
1 THB = 230 k
FOOD: Meals are included as per the itinerary where B= breakfast, L = lunch, D= dinner. Most meals are Lao food and it is very similar to Thai food. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking. in this area most of the restaurants serve Lao food, for breakfast your guide will prepare and bring some from the town (cheese, jam, tea, coffee…) Most of the days of cycling tours we can’t find restaurant for lunch on the way, the guide will bring lunch packs from the restaurant where we stay, and it is Lao food such as sticky rice, grilled fish, chicken or fried rice.
WHAT TO BRING: Rain goat , padded cycling shorts, T- shirt, cycling shoes, socks, stiff-soled cycling shoes (if needed) cloves, sun classes, sun cream, camel bag or water bottle and the other personal stuff needed (camera, video camera, MP3).
Tour price includes:
- Lao English speaking cycling guide.
- Support vehicles
- All meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Drinking water.(big bottle for refilling)
- Seasonal fruits.(Bananas, papaya, pineapple…)
- Cold soft drinks and Snacks.(Pepsi, coke, biscuits, crackers, peanuts…)
- Small iced towels
- Hotels and guesthouses as mentioned in the itinerary. Base on share twin / double room
- Government tax.
- Boat for day 6
- Entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
Tour Price does not include:
- Bike hire.
- Personal travel insurance
- Visa cost.
- All flights
- Airport tax.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Drink at dinner
- The other personal expenses.
HOW TO BOOK TOUR:
1. Online booking
2. Phone booking: +85620 55771646, +85671 254675
3. Email booking: email@example.com