Our cycling begins in Bangkok taking us through hill tribe villages and lush jungle scenery towards Laos. Crossing the border we take a boat trip on the Mighty Mekong river to Pak Beng. Back on the bikes we stop at Ban Faen school (built with funds donated by redspokes cyclists), before finishing the day with a homestay at Ban Nalay. You will be hosted by a local family and experience a traditional Baci Ceremony. A few days of roller coaster hills and magnificent scenery take us to the holy caves at Pak Ou one of the most religious sites in Laos. Located at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers, the caves date back for thousands of years and house over 4,000 Budda statues. From here you can either cycle on or take a slow boat to World Herigate town Luang Prabang. We have a rest day here with time to enjoy the historic town and relax in beautiful surroundings.
Now rested we face the ultimate challenge of the trip with a monster day of climbing to Kiu Kacham. From here we continue cycling towards Vientiane passing small fishing villages and make a stop to visit COPE organisation who provide prosthetic and orthotic devices to Lao people mobility disabilities, many of whom are victims of UXO unexploded ordinance dating back to the Second Indochina War/Vietnam War. Our holiday ends in Vientiane, the relaxed Laos capital city.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Bangkok. Fly to Bangkok where you will be met by your guide who will introduce you to Thailand's bustling capital.
Day 2: Bangkok to Chiang Rai. After breakfast the group will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Chiang Rai. This afternoon we put our bikes together before stretching our legs with a ride around this laid back town and the surrounding areas. Accommodation: Hotel.
Day 3: Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong. After an early breakfast we transfer to Chiang Saen where our cycle tour begins. Following the Mekong river we ride through lush jungle passing picturesque hill tribe villages of simple bamboo huts on stilts. Under the huts women can often be seen weaving whilst children play next to chickens and little pigs. We arrive at Chiang Khong the entry point from Thailand for entry into Laos. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 68 km.
Day 4: Chiang Khong to Pakbeng. This morning we take a memorable boat journey through mist covered mountains, up the mighty Mekong River to Pakbeng. This is a wonderful way to appreciate the importance of the Mekong to the people of the traditional villages that we encounter along the way. Accommodation: Guest House.
Day 5: Pakbeng to Ban Nalay. After breakfast we ride along newly sealed roads through some fascinating villages, where excited children shout "Sabaai-dii, Sabaai-dii" (the Lao greeting) to every passing cyclist. Is there a place friendlier than Laos? We stop in Ban Faen (our guides village) for lunch then visit to the school we built before finishing the day at our new homestay at Ban Nalay. Accommodation: Home stay. Cycling distance: 82 km.
Day 6: Ban Nalay to Udom Xay. Our route continues along this roller coster road to Odom Xay passing through many hilltribe villages that still retain their age-old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress. Bunches of bamboo shoots are laid out by the road along with drying chilies to be sold to the odd passing truck load of people. Modern life with all its trappings is still a long way off. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 62 km.
Day 7: Udom Xay to Pak Mong. An unforgettable day as we go deep into the rich jungle, a tough climb at the start, then rolling hills with magnificent scenery before an exhilarating 18 miles (29 km) Descent to Pak Mong. A hard day. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 87 km.
Day 8: Pak Mong to Luang Prabang. Today we are treated to good, mainly flat roads. 25 km short of Luang Prabang, you have the option of visiting the holy caves of Pak Ou, where we will find an ancient collection of thousands of precious Buddha statues. From here you can take a slow boat to Luang Prabang for around 20$. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycling distance: 87 km or 112 km.
Day 9: Luang Prabang. Rest day in beautiful Luang Prabang, encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong where it meets the Nam Khan river. The day is free to explore this delightful World Heritage town with 32 historic temples, ancient monasteries, the magnificent Royal Palace Museum and its French Colonial architecture. This is a place to chill out and enjoy the food, the peaceful surroundings and the people. Accommodation: Hotel.
Day 10: Luang Prabang to Kiu Kachan. The big one, the ultimate challenge of the trip! After a pleasant and fairly easy 12 miles (20 km) we start on the first of two long climbs (support vehicle on hand) a 10 miles (16km) climb passing spectacular scenery of limestone peaks, some of which are the highest in South East Asia. Then a descent of 9 miles (15 km) followed by another monster 14 miles (24 km) climb before arriving into Kiu Kachan. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 81 km.
Day 11: Kiu Kachan to Kasi. After a tiring morning covering 30 miles (50 km) of a roller coaster ride we stop for a well deserved lunch at Nung Phu Khun before starting a spectacular 22 miles (38 km) descent passing dramatic views of craggy limestone mountains. The scent of jasmine and lotus blossom drifts through the clear air from the rich jungle flora. We end our day coming off the mountains at Kasi. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 95 km.
Day 12: Kasi to Vang Vieng. Today is an easier day covering 48 miles (60 km) of gentle rolling hills to Vang Vieng. After lunch we have an option of a side trip to Tham Xang or Tham Hoi caves set in dramatic scenery on the banks of the Nam Song. Vang Vieng has recently become a destination for backpackers and is therefore a comfortable place with nice restaurants and guesthouses. Once we get there we can spoil ourselves with some well deserved fruit milkshakes and pancakes, have a Beer Lao, relax and enjoy watching the sun setting over the river behind the stunning limestone pinnacles. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 60 km.
Day 13: Vang Vieng to Na Nam. After a relatively gentle 14 miles (24 km) we reach the fishing village of Tha Heua where you can see all manner of salted fish being sold by the road. Here you have the option of taking a 3 hour boat journey on the Ang Nam Ngum reservoir to Na Nam a small fishing village passing many picturesque islands dotted along the way. Alternatively you can cycle the moderate 50 miles (84 km) along the road, climaxing in a steep 2 km climb before reaching our guesthouse at Na Nam. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 110 km.
Day 14: Na Nam to Vientiane. Our last day of cycling starts with our last two short but hard climbs, before the road levels out for the 57 miles (95 km) all the way to Vientiane. Here the land is agricultural, passing paddy fields and more intensely farmed areas. As we near the Lao capital of Vientiane the roads, which till now have been relatively traffic free throughout our trip, start to become busier. We arrive at our guesthouse in the afternoon. We should have enough time to do any last minute shopping, then relax and celebrate the end of a great trip. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycling distance: 96 km.
Day 15: Home. Tour finishes, a transfer is offered to those flying back on the late morning flight to Bangkok.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
What's included and what's not:
- All accommodation will be in hotels or guest houses
- We choose accommodation on the basis of comfort rather than luxury
- Our prices are based on sharing a twin room
- Single rooms are sometimes available at extra cost.
- Food: All food is provided on the tour on cycling days
- All transportation and local guides within Thailand and Laos are included
- International and local flights are not included in the tour costs
- Spending money depends on your taste for souvenirs, drinks etc. We estimate that £200 will be more than enough to cover the 16 day tour.
- Locally payable airport tax is around £5
- International tax is also £5
- Laos/Thailand visas are £20
- Flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai around £55
- Flight from Vientiane to Bangkok around £85.
About This Supplier
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011
M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...
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