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14 Day Vietnam to Laos Cycling and Cultural Tour

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): Vietnam   Laos  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: November - February
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1695 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1695 Pound Sterling (GBP)

This cycling holiday in Vietnam and Laos offers the opportunity to experience two stunning countries. In both destinations, communities who have had very little contact with the western world will give you a warm respectful welcome.

Our cycling tour starts in Hanoi, Vietnam's beautiful, vibrant capital. Vietnam has the richest and most complex ethnic make-up in the whole of South-East Asia. We mountain bike through villages of H'mong, Tay, Dao and Xa Pho minorities, whose markets and festivals add such colour and character to the tour. Our holiday includes challenging cycling and a wonderful opportunity to experience traditional and varied lifestyles in Vietnam and Laos.

We travel through a landscape of amazing karstic rock formations, cycling past stilted houses with thatched roofs with views of mountains nestled between limestone outcrops. We cross into North Eastern Laos at Tay Tran, the least populated area of the country, from here we will bicycle on through tranquil scenery meeting very few fellow cyclists. Laos is a mountainous land-locked country, of outstanding natural beauty and is known for the warmth and friendliness of the Laotian people.

Our Vietnam & Laos cycling holiday ends in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. This ancient royal city, full of exquisite Buddhist Temples, where time seems to stand still, is a magical place to explore and relax.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Hanoi.
Our Vietnam/Laos cycling tour starts in Hanoi. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the old quarter. There will be a group meeting with your guide in the evening at the hotel.

Day 2: Hanoi to Yen Bai.
After a leisurely breakfast we transfer the group out of Hanoi and drive part of the way to Yen Bai. We will ride the last 32km to Yen Bai arriving late afternoon.
Cycling Distance: 32km (20 miles)

Day 3: Yen Bai to Nghia Lo.
Our first full day in the saddle takes us on the back roads to Nghia Lo. A spectacular ride through undulating terrain of tea plantations, lush forests, rice fields and gum trees. The town sits on a mountain ridge overlooking the Red and Black River and is home to the Thai, Nung, H'mong, La Ha and Ma peoples.
Cycling Distance: 82km (51 miles).
Cycling Ascent: 5188ft (1581m).

Day 4: Nghia Lo to Tu Le.
Today we will cycle out of Nghia Lo passing large white limestone mountains as we explore the "real Vietnam". Following rolling road, to end the day in Tu Le.
Cycling Distance: 48km (30 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 4596ft (1400m)

Day 5: Tu Le to Than Uyen.
Leaving Tu Le we travel through rugged terrain with dense vegetation and come into contact with the Black Hmong and the mysterious White Tay people, who are famed for their folk music, poems and songs. The road winds down out of the hills and we descend into valley to end the day at Than Uyen.
Cycling Distance: 85km (53 miles).
Cycling Ascent: 9976ft (3040m).

Day 6: Than Uyen to Sapa.
From Than Uyen we begin with a gentle 20km ascent to ride along the Hoang Lien Son mountain range through magnificent landscape. Then, from Binh Lu Junction there is another hard ascent of 26km to the top of the Tram Ton Pass, on our way to Sa Pa. We stop en route to visit the "silver waterfall", before descending into Sapa for the final 15km.
Cycling Distance: 95km (59 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 9651ft (2941m)

Day 7: Sapa.
A well deserved rest day. Sa Pa is an old French hill station perched at 1,600m in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains near the Chinese border. Its position offers some of the best vantage points from which to admire the surrounding mountain peaks. Famous for breathtaking landscapes, Sapa is also a place to see the great diversity of ethnic minority peoples. Go for a walk in the market where a colourful display of hill tribe people mingle wearing their intricately embroidered traditional dress. It is no wonder French colonialists saw Sapa as the perfect summer retreat.

Day 8: Sapa to Lai Chau (Old Tom Duong).
Today is the highlight for many as we cycle up to the Tram Ton Pass (1,900m/6230ft) the highest mountain pass in Vietnam. We then make a momentous 30 km descent. The beauty of Mt.Fan Si Pan, South East Asia's highest peak, is often hidden by a veil of moving mist and fog; hopefully we will glimpse its lofty peaks.
Cycling Distance: 58km (36 miles).
Cycling Ascent: 4622ft (1409m).

Day 9: Lai Chau (Old Tom Duong) to Muong Say (Old Lai Chau).
We cycle out of Lai Chau today making two big climbs and then follow the Na River passing through spectacular gorges and Black Dao villages.
Cycling Distance: 105km (65 miles).
Cycling Ascent: 6471ft (1972m).

Day 10: Muong Say to Dien Bien Phu.
In 1954, the Vietnamese achieved the impossible carrying heavy artillery into the mountains to defeat the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu. As you ride along this route you will wonder at how this was ever achieved. The surrender at Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French Indochina. It is not widely known that the US had developed a plan to aid the French by using tactical nuclear weapons at Dien Bien Phu.

Day 11: Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua.
Today is a longer day's cycling. Leaving Dien Bien Phu behind, we cross into Northeast Laos at Tay Tran. This area of Laos is the least populated part of the country. From here we travel on to Muang Khua on the banks of the Nam Ou river.

Day 12: Muang Khua to Oudam Xai.
For much of today we follow a road alongside the Nam Ou River on a relatively flat route through mountain scenery and agricultural landscapes. The final 25km stretch into Udom Xai is along rolling road first climbing before we descend for final drop into Oudam Xai. Close to the border with China, Udom Xai has a distinctly Chinese feel.

Day 13: Oudam Xai to Luang Prabang.
An unforgettable, but hard day as we go deep into the rich jungle, a tough climb at the start, then rolling hills with magnificent scenery before an exhilarating 29 km descent. From Pak Mong we will transfer by vehicle to Luang Prabang.

Day 14: Luang Prabang / Home.
The tour ends today. This morning you will have time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you are transferred to the airport for an afternoon flight.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation will be in hotels, guest houses and a home stay for the duration of the tour. Our prices are based on sharing a twin room; single rooms are sometimes available at extra cost.
- All food is provided on tour apart from the rest days in Sa Pa and Luang Prabang and lunches and dinners in Hanoi and Vientiane.

Notes:
- Spending money depends on your taste for souvenirs, drinks etc. We estimate that $360 will be more than enough to cover the 21 day tour. Locally payable airport tax is around £5.
- International tax is also £5. Visa costs are, Laos £20, Vietnam £48. Tipping is an accepted part of everyday life, and although it is always at your discretion, you will be expected to tip to reward service. $50 for the guide and team at the end of the tour is recommended.

About This Supplier
Location: England
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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