Adventure Backpacking Bike Tours Budget Travels Family Holidays Biking from Vietnam border to Vientiane


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Duration
11 Days
Destination
Laos
Travellers
6+
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What's included

Destination
Departure Location
Vientiane
Additional Information
Information:
Price includes
  • Accommodations as mentioned
  • Drinking water
  • English cycling guide
  • Entrance Ticket
  • Fruit and snacks
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • Support Vehicle
  • Tax
Price does not include
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bike hire
  • Insurance
  • Other International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa Fee
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
Day 1

Mai Chau to Vieng Xai

This morning, we make a run for the border by bus along mountainous National Highway 15 through Pu Luong and Pu Ha Nature preserves and several developing border towns to beat the 11:00AM border closing time (about 70 miles). After arrival at the border, enjoy a picnic lunch a slow bureaucratic process to cancel our Vietnam visas and obtain our news ones for Laos. After crossing into Laos, and meeting up with our new crew, begin riding on national route 217 , cycling uphill and then over rolling hills towards Vieng Xai on paved roads surrounded by limestone mountains, passing hill tribe and local villages in the area, including Thai Dam, Thai Dang, Meuy, and Kmu, pausing for snacks en route.

In the late afternoon, arrive in sleepy and remote Vieng Xai. Dinner at the only one restaurant in town serving up delicious local dishes.

  • The biggest attraction of the town is the caves. The former Pathet Lao (Lao communist) Revolutionary headquarters of Vieng Xai sit in a striking valley of fertile hills and limestone cliffs riddled with caves, several of which were used to shelter communist officers during the second Indochina War. In these caves the Pathet Lao established a “hidden city” which supported around 20,000 people. During nine years of almost constant bombing, they sheltered in caves and the surrounding jungle. Most of their daily lives were conducted under cover of darkness. Schools, hospitals, and markets as well as government ministries, a radio station, a theatre, and military barracks were all hidden in the caves.

Note for visa on arrival: At the border, one passport-sized photo and US$25-35 cash required for Laos visa. ** Passport must have six months validity left to enter Laos **

Distance: 57 km

Meals: L, D

Accommodation: Naxai GH

Day 2

Vieng Xai to Xam Nua

After a leisurely start this morning, heading over to explore the nearby famous network of caves inhabited by the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War. The large caves, both natural and artificial, were extensively developed and used by Pathet Lao in Vieng Xai during the war, including 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 Phoumsavang, who served as Lao PDR president from 1992.

After visiting the caves, we'll spend time cruising through local villages and enjoying the stunning scenery and tranquil setting during the short ride to Xam Nua. This area is one of the most remote and undeveloped in Laos.
Distance: 29 km

Meal: B, L, D

Accommodation: Chittawan hotel

Day 3

Xam Nua to Vieng Thong

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 the over 50 miles to Nam Noen (with about 4,500 feet of climbing, nearing an altitude of 5,400 feet). At Nam Noen, we'll turn northwest (right) on route 1 towards Vien Thong, a hilly 36 miles way that we can shuttle in by van rather than bike for those who are tired.

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 local restaurant and overnight at simple guesthouse.
Distance:  152 km

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Souksakhone GH

Day 4

Vieng Thong to Nong Khiaw

Another long travel day over the "Laotian Alps," rising early from the noise at sunrise from the hill tribe 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 Parks with lush green mountains over three passes. After departing Vieng 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.
Distance: 168 km

Meal: B, L, D

Accommodation: Phaxang bungalows 

Day 5

Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang

Today we'll ride the initial, quiet and scenic section out of Luang Prabang which after 30 km, joins a larger road with traffic coming in from China, mostly flat with short rollers. After 80 km riding on undulating road or drive some section to Mekong River, we have lunch at the local restaurant at the confluence of Nam Ou River, after lunch we cross the Mekong River to the other side 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, optional riding or drive the rest 30 km 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.

Distance:  140 km      

Meals: B, L

Accommodation: Villa Phoumalin  

 

Day 6

LuangPrabang, waterfall

After breakfast cycle to visit local market (Phosi market) then cycle to visit the former royal temple of Vat Xiangthong and former royal palace (museum) afterward we cycle to Kuangsi waterfall, on the way visit villages, see the local people work in the rice fields and local activities. After 30 km riding enjoy swimming at the waterfall then we have lunch at the local restaurant. Optional riding or drive back to town.

  • Luangprabang is the oldest city in Laos, and before the 16th century it was the capital city of the land of million elephants (Laos). The town is a beautifully preserved and in 1995 it was added to UNESCO`s World heritage list.

Distance: 30 km ( 1 way )

Meals: B, L

Accommodation: Villa Phoumalin

 

Day 7

LuangPrabang – Kewkacham

We ride out of town and join route 13 heading south. Today’s ride will take us up around 1000 meters in elevation and the climbs start almost as soon as we leave town .we ride out of the Mekong valley and into the mountains, following the Khan river. We pass many villages and stop for refreshments every 15 or 20 km. we will take the left folk staying on route 13, then start a series of tough climbs. After 15 km of climbing (1005 m above sea level), we are rewarded by a 14 km descent to Nam ming (350 m above sea level) where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we have one last climb (20 km) into the mountains to Phou Dam before we drop down to Kew Kacham where our destination ( 1340 m above sea level ) . Accommodation is basic but dinner is good and there is plenty of Beer Lao.

Elevation: LuangPrabang = 270 m. Kewkacham = 1340 m

Distance: 77 km

Meal: B / L / D

Accommodation: Kewkacham guesthouse (primitive and share bath room, 24 h electricity)

Day 8

Kewkacham - Kasi

Our guide will prepare breakfast. This area is the coldest place in our trip especially in the morning, as we ride along the mountain ridge for 20 km. At 22 km, we start our first climb of the day for 8 km. 46 km from our destination Kasi at an altitude of 1300 m. This is a big junction where route 7 goes to the plain of jars. we stop for lunch at the nicest view restaurant about 8 km after the junction of Phoukhoun, after lunch we will continue down route 13 ,this 25 km descent is one of the best in southeast Asia, we will enjoy a most excellent after noon ride after lunch, we  reach the bottom at 75 km. we then have a short climb before a flat ride into Kasi where we stay over nigh.

            Elevation: Kewkacham = 1340 m. Kasi = 405 m

Distance: 94 km

Meals: B / L / D

Accommodation: Vanphisit guesthouse

Day 9

Kasi - Vangvieng

We should be able to do today’s ride in a single morning leaving extra relaxation time in Vanvieng. We continue along route 13 and although there are some short climbs most of the ride is downhill or flat. The scenery is just beautiful and you should really enjoy stretching your legs. We will stop for refreshments a few times along the way, but we make a main stop after 50 km at a big village of Ban Phatang. The last 18 km is a fast flat ride among the spectacular limestone mountains. We will reach the hotel in time to enjoy lunch overlooking the river. The afternoon is free to explore the town or take a swim in the river. Vangvieng has a lively traveler’s scene with all the usual accompanying facilities: e-mail, pubs, pizza and many young foreigners. 

Elevation: Kasi = 405 m. Vangvieng = 280 m

Distance: 55 km

Meal:  B 

Accommodation: elephant crossing hotel.

Day 10

Vangvieng - Vientiane

After breakfast we continue riding along the route 13 and stop for refreshment every 20 or 25 km. The rest of the morning is along undulating roads to Hinherb village. After 69 km we reach a long bridge, we stop for lunch in a restaurant. The afternoon ride is along fast flat roads. After 83 km before we get into a small town of Phonhon we stop cycling and load our bike in the van and drive the rest to our destination Vientiane capital where we stay overnight.

Elevation: Vangvieng = 280 m. Phonhon = 190 m

Distance: 83 km, transfer = 70 km

Meals: B / L

Accommodation: Sengtawan hotel

Day 11

Departure

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your departure

Meal: B

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More about this tour

Accommodation:

All accommodations are not luxury hotels but good quality

 

Meals:

Breakfast: breakfast will be served at the hotels

Lunch: Some days we will not find the restaurant for lunch on the way, lunch pack will be brought from the restaurant where we stay by our guide; it would be fried rice, sandwiches, noodle soup, or Lao food such as sticky rice, grilled fish, and chicken.

Dinner: we will have at the restaurant and most are Lao food. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking

 

Support vehicles:

For group of 6 or less than 6 bikers we will be supported by air conditioned mini bus, for group of 7 – 10 bikers we will be supported by 1 minibus and 1 truck. The vehicles follow us the whole way, and you will be well looked after, All of our staff have been trained to serve for cycling tour support vehicles will follow around 100 - 150 m behind the last cyclist, when you cycle you feel free and incase of any problem for your bike you will be helped immediately, water stop is every 1 – 1:30 h or every 15 – 25 km depending on the road condition and the cyclists.

 

Bikes:

We provide trek mountain bikes (Trek 3900, trek 4300) for hire

 

Mechanic and bike repairs:

Basic spares, tools and a basic first aid kit are carried in the support vehicle such as alum key set, chain splitter, puncture repair kit, pumper…incase of any problem you just stop and you will be helped by our mechanic and helpers

 

Weather:

There are two seasons in Laos: from March to September is hot and raining with temperatures 30 -40 C. From October to February is winter with the temperatures 10 - 30 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.

 

Passports and visas:

Visa can be obtained from Lao embassies and consulates abroad; in addition, visa can be obtained on arrival at international checkpoints and the cost for this is from 30 – 42 US$ in cash with a validity of 30 days(the cost of visa is different from every nationality )  and you will also need one passport photograph

Note: Laos Visa processed on arrival (1 passport-sized photos and US$ cash required for processing).

Important note: Verify your passport is valid for at least six months after your date of exit from Laos. You may not be permitted to get in Laos with less than 6 months expiration on your passport

 

Currency:

 

The official currency in Laos is Kip.

1 US$ equivalent to 8900 Lao kip.

1 Thai Baht equivalent to 290 Lao kip.

When you travel in Laos, it is necessary to have some Lao currency; you can change at the exchange unit at the border check point or at the bank. Credit card and traveler check are possible only in the banks and some shops in the big city; US dollar or Thai baht are possible when you buy in the big shops in the big city, you should have some cash.

 

What to bring:

Jackets, 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, MP 3…)

Or any other gifts for kids during cycling days when you pass the villages (pens, pencils, books or toys)

 

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Biking from Vietnam border to Vientiane

Duration
11 Days
Destination
Laos
Travellers
6+

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