We'll cross into a remote area of Laos via the newly opened border crossing at Tay Trang. From the small market town of Muang Khua, we'll take a slow boat down the beautiful Nam Ou river before cycling on to World Heritage Luang Prabang, with its beautiful temples and colourful night market. Our route south to Vientiane, the sleepy capital of Laos, is on virtually traffic-free roads. Great cycling and some of the friendliest people in Asia. Luggage transfer and vehicle support will be provided.
Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival. Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport our guide who will accompany you to your hotel will welcome you. There are no activities planned for today but your guide will be able to offer advice and assistance as required. This evening your guide will return to your hotel to escort you to sample some of Hanoi's superb cuisine. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi - Lao Cai. At 9 pm transfer to Hanoi railway station to catch the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on the train. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa. We'll disembark from the train very early in the morning and either bike or transfer to Sapa. It's not all that far but it is virtually all up hill. Sapa is the hill tribe capital of North Vietnam. There are a variety of minority people in this area and they all come to Sapa to the market. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Sapa - Tam Duong. Started from Sapa by cycling about 16 kilometers uphill to the Vietnam highest pass at 2000 meters above sea level where you see beautiful Silver Waterfall and Tram Ton heaven gate then it is downhill for around 26 kilometers on the road described as the most beautiful one in Vietnam with breathtaking scenery all the way to Binh Lu. In the late afternoon you will arrive in Tam Duong, where you will stay overnight in a comfortable Hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: TamDuong - Xin Ho. We cycling through Tam Duong plain which is covered in shark's teeth-like limestone karst. We would visit a village of Mang people near Sin Ho with the next stop being Sin Ho which is home land of the Red Hmong, Kho Mu, Mang and Dao ethnic minorities. They are settled there longtime ago and still retain their traditional culture and habits. The trip to Sin Ho is occasionally suspended due to the restriction of the local authority. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Xin Ho - Paso - Laichau (Muong Lay). We cycle down hill to Chan Nua then cycling to Lai Chau have a couple pretty big climbs and then follow the picturesque Nam Na river into Muang Say (aka "Old Lai Chau"). We stay at the hip Lan Anh hotel where there no doubt will be an active badminton game in the evening. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Lai Chau - Dien Bien Phu. In 1954, the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu was pinned down when the Vietnamese were able to do something thought impossible, carry heavy artillery into the mountains. When you ride in this area you will wonder yourself how they ever did it. The siege at Dien Bien Phu ended in a French surrender and marked the end of French Indochina. Little known is the fact that the US had developed a plan to aid the French by using tactical nuclear weapons at Dien Bien Phu. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Dien Bien Phu - Muang Khua, Laos. We depart Dien Bien and cross into Northeast Laos at Tay Tran. This is the least populated section of Laos. We continue on to Muang Khua on the banks of the Nam Ou river. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Muang Khua - Odomxai. This is a scenic lightly traveled road to bustling Odomxai. Odomxai seems to be undergoing a renaissance. Lots of construction and activity in the town these days. They have an airport here also (with less than daily service). We stay at the nicest place in town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Odomxai - Pak Mong. A tough climbing day at the start and then rolling hills with magnificent scenery before a 29 k Descent to Pak Mong. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Pak Mong - Luang Prabang. On to the historic and enchanting city of Luang Prabang. We follow the banks of the Mekong before entering the city proper. It's also possible, with advance planning, to bike the 20k in the opposite direction to Nong Khiaw and then take a boat down the Nam Ou River. This will take you right by the Pak Ou caves at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Rest day in Luang Prabang. Today is a rest day in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong where it meets the Nam Khan river. There is a lot to see in this World Heritage Town: temples, monasteries, the Royal Palace and French Colonial Architecture as well as the beautiful falls outside of town. It's worthwhile to get up and observe the monks collecting alms at 6 am. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Luang Prabang departure. At leisure until transfer to Airport for onward flight. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Vietnam Laos Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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