Adventure Backpacking Bike Tours Budget Travels Family Holidays Discover real life Lao by bicycle


Duration
9 Days
Destination
Laos
Travellers
10+
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What's included

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

Mai Chau - Quan Son – Nameo border - 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. We keep our time to reach Viengxai before 4:00 PM for discovering caves.

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 (border to Viengxai)

Meals: L, D

Accommodation: Naxai GH

Day 2

Viengxai – Xamnua - Vieng Thong

Today is our longest day, 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 or to catch the time before dark.

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:  180 km

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Souksakhone GH

Day 3

Vieng Thong- 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.

  • Muang Ngoi was a part of LuangPrabang province, 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). The rural landscapes in the Nong Khiaw area are among the most beautiful in the country with towering karst and jungle foliage. The Phatoke Caves are nearby where the Pathet Lao communist guerrillas hid during the Indochinese war to escape relentless bombing during the "secret war" begun in 1964 by the U.S. Air Force.

Distance: 168 km

Meals: B, L, D

Accommodation: Phaxang bungalows 

Day 4

Nong Khiaw boat cruise to Muang Ngoi and Muang Khua

No riding today, we have more time to relax on the boat ride on Nam Ou River, after late get up and enjoy surrounding Nongkiaw we board on long tail boat up Nam Ou River to Muang Ngoi, we stop for lunch and take a short walk around nearby cave using  during Indochina war. We continue the boat ride up river to our destination of Muangkua where we stay overnight.

Distance: 6 h boat ride

Meals: B, L, D  

Accommodation: Sernaly hotel (standard)

Day 5

Muang Khua - Oudom Xai

After breakfast, we head east in direction to Udomxai province, you should be feeling refreshed, although it is a gradual downhill it is up hill in some places but do not worry it is not too steep. There are some excellent photo opportunities of the friendly Khmu tribe and their families. Lunch is prepared by our guide and helpers so we can find a nice spot for lunch stop by the stream. Today is a great riding day. 

 Distance: 103 km

Meals: B / L / D

Accommodation: Villa keosermsack

Day 6

Oudom Xai – Pakmong

Today is the hard day with the big climb, continuing along Route 13 north towards Luangprabang.after 5 km from guesthouse the road starts to wind upwards and we start the first of a series of long climbs through high mountains but scenery is perfect. We are in the land of the Hmong (high Lander) who are known as originally live in high elevation in northern Laos, in former time they lived by growing opium. After long climb, we rest on the first peak for water, snacks and seasonal fruits. Then we continue the next 30 km to the second and the third peak for lunch stop, after lunch it is down, down and down as we descend 30 km into the valley, this is a last downhill. At the end of the descent, we arrive at Pakmong, a village that marks the junction at where the road turns towards Luangprabang.

Distance: 81 km

Meals: B / L / D

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 7

Pakmong - Luang Prabang

After breakfast we ride along Route 13 north head to LuangPrabang, today is easy day, the road is up and down hill but no big climb, it is easy ride but more traffic compare to the other days from Vietnam border. At kilometer 30 to LuangPrabang we turn from road 13 on dirt road toward the Mekong River at Pak Ou village and visit Buddha caves, after lunch at the local restaurant by confluence of Nam Ou River we cross Mekong River by our boat to Buddha caves on the other side before our boat cruise for 1 h to LuangPrabang.

  • Buddha cave, known as Pak Ou cave that Lao people normally name the villages after the mountains or confluence of the rivers. Before the 14th century this famous cave was a spirit shrine of LuangPrabang, when king Fangum reunited the kingdom of million elephants and Lao people were converted from animist to Buddhist, this cave become a worship place for Buddhist worshippers led by Lao monarchs.

Distance: 110 km

Meals: B / L / D

Accommodation: Muangthong hotel

Day 9

: Luang Prabang

Day 8

Luang Prabang: Kuang Si 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: Muangthong hotel

Day 9

Luang Prabang

Free at leisure until your flight time, 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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Discover real life Lao by bicycle

Duration
9 Days
Destination
Laos
Travellers
10+

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