Ha Noi and Luang Prabang to Vientiane Cycling Tour 17 days
Undoubtly, Cycling is one of the most brilliant way to experience stunning scenic beauty and rich cultural treasure in the north Vietnam and Laos. One of the most popular destinations in Asia, Vietnam a bounds with natural andcultural splendorous that are second to none in the region. When you venture away from vibrant Hanoi, you will discover the untouched natural beauty and charming people of northern Vietnam. We cycle through a series of traditional villages, towering karst mountains,refreshing forest, and fertile rice fields and see Vietnam in a new perspective before crossing the border to Laos for more action. We stop for a visit to Vieng Xai, aka The Hidden City, with hundreds of caves used to shelter the Laos Communist Party combatants during the Second Indochina War. The ride then continues into the Nam Et-Phou Louey conservation area where you’ll enjoy a night safari on a long-tail boat and stand a great chance of spotting exotic wildlife. The next stop is the famous Xieng Khouang Plateau, the resting place of the Plain of Jars, a tentative World Heritage site. The region is also one the heaviest bombed during the American War, otherwise known as the Vietnam War. Cycling among mysterious stone jars and bomb craters, we’ll learn about the significance of the plateau, which dates back to the Bronze Age. The tour culminates in Vientiane capital. it boasts unique architecture between traditional and colonial ones.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Welcome to Vietnam. Arriving at Noi Bai International Airport,TLV adventure tour guide and driver will greet and pick you up to the hotel at the heart of Hanoi capital. Hanoi, the antique and dynamic city of Vietnam, reserves a unique old world charm and several of the most striking colonial architecture of Asia. After the checking-in,Take relax by your own and do briefing itinerary with our guide for coming days. enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling streets in the Old Quarter to discover the ancient and modern beauty of Hanoi. After the tour, you will be warmly welcome with a special welcoming dinner in a typical Vietnamese food restaurant. Stay overnight in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Leave at7h30.we drive southwest to Luong Son. The gateway to the outstsanding mountainous area of northern Vietnam, upon arrival Luong son, we start riding through on undulating tarmac road with stunning view of mountain, valleys, sugarcane farms and rice paddies. We would have a stop enroute for refresment, and lunch at local restaurant.After lunch, we take short transfer to bottomhill of Thung Khe pass, restarting to ride 34km along the bank of Da River, you enjoy spectacular scenery dotted with Muong and Thai people villages under shaded trees, you are very impressive with little school boys and girls or buffalor, cowboy say Hello with you on the way back to their home. We take shortbreak for Kodak momment or refreshment before descent to Mai Chau village. Arriving Mai Chau at late afternoon, we cycle to Sol Bungalow Resort for over night. Taking shower, having dinner with traditional Thai food and enjoy Thai dance music performance.
Today we ride 75 km
Day 3: Mai Chau – Moc Chau
After breakfast, we say goode bye Mai Chau, our drive bring us out of the town, upon arrivals of Bai Sang, we start warming up by riding off road along Da river, today is hard day with long climb and potholes road , whereas we are rewarded by spectacular scenic beauty and friend people live in both side, surpringly, we ride on the formal National way No6 uesd to supplying logistic and ammunition for DienBien Phu Campaign. Stop enroute for refeshment and picnic lunch, after lunch, we keep riding to Moc Chau plateau. Moc Chau is one of the most pristine beautiful plateaus in the North mountainous region that brings the amazing attraction for all classes of people even for hard-to-pleasure tourists.Upon arrival Hotel, we docheck in and relax by your own.Accommodation: Sen Xanh Hotel 3 stars
Day 4: Moc Chau – Son La (~ 160 km)
Today we will transfer and cycle some section to Son La. The road to Son La is lined with fruit orchards, tea plantations, and towering mountains. We’ll stop along the way for chances to meet and talk to the Black Thai, White Thai, Hmong and Muong hill tribe people on their way to work or the local markets. In the afternoon, we visit the Prison Museum in Son La, which remains as a poignant reminder of former French colonial rule. Dinner and sleep in a standard hotel in town.
Distance: 110 km
Day 5: Son La – Dien Bien Phu
The further we cycling the more impressive the mountain scenery becomes. We visit villages and meet more of tribal people along our journey to Dien Bien Phu city. Stop for lunch in Tuan Giao then continue on to Dien Bien. Enjoy the wonderful scenery in Pha Din pass.
In the afternoon we will arrive in Dien Bien Phu, the last base of the French in Indochina. We will visit the monuments, museums and preserved bunkers that tell the story of the final and victorious liberating battle of 1954. Free to explore local nightlife in this remote mountain city.
Distance: 120 km
Day 6: Dien Bien Phu – Tay Trang border – Muang khua (Laos)
This morning we will drive to Tay Trang border. Arrive in Tay Trang at around 11: 00 AM After finish immigration formalities at Vietnam immigration take a short drive to Laos immigration (5 km) and say good bye to Vietnamese guide and all staffs. Meet Lao guide, after immigration formalities, we ride to Muangkua, Distance: Dien Bian to border = 30 km (From Lao immigration to hotel) 70 km
Day 7: Muangkhua – Udomxai
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 day riding.
Distance: 103 km
Day 8. Udomxai – 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
Day 9: Pakmong – LuangPrabang
After breakfast we ride along Route 13 north head to LuangPrabang, today is the longest day, the road is up and down hill but no big climb, it is easy ride. 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. Optional riding or driving the last 30 km to LuangPrabang,
Distance: 110 km
Day10: LuangPrabang, city tour
After breakfast cycle to visit local market (Phosi market) then cycle to visit the former royal temple of Vat Xiangthong,, Visoun temple and former royal palace (museum) also exploration of the town and afterwards, meeting with monks inside their temple to discuss their way of life, share ideas questions about their impressions of your lifestyle, beliefs, and culture and theirs.
In the afternoon, cycle outside town to visit weaving and handicrafts papers villages after that cycle back to town to climb up Phousi mount to see panoramic view of town and sunset.
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.
Ride: 15 km
Day 11: 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.
Altitude: LuangPrabang = 270 m. Kewkacham = 1340 m
Distance: 78 km
Day 12: 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. After the big junction (the highest point on this route) where route 7 goes to the plain of jars we turn right along the Route 30 north to the restaurant with the panoramic view, 40 km from our destination Kasi, after lunch we 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. At the bottom we have a short climb before a flat ride into a small town of Kasi where we stay overnight.
Altitude: Kewkacham = 1340 m. Kasi = 405 m
Ride: 94 km
Day 13: 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 we you can take great pictures of fantastic view. 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.
Altitude: Kasi = 405 m. Vangvieng = 280 m
Distance: 55 km
Day 14: Vang Vieng – Nam Ngum Lake
We have a long ride today and the heat may be the factor so we will want to leave early. We continue 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, we turn left at a main junction of Phonhong town. After 15 km of riding along the flat road and takes, us into the town of Thalat near the NamNgum dam. We stay in Napakuang resort and have dinner at our resort.
Day 15 : Nam Ngum Lake – Vientiane
We ride out of Thalat pass the NamNgum dam, we have one sharp hill in the morning then it is all fairly flat, we stop for lunch in a local restaurant when we feel like it. Riding today there are more traffic so please remember to keep riding on right side all the time and we regroup before getting into town and then we cycling to hotel. Dinner is at KuaLao restaurant.
Day 16: Vientaine – City Tour
Located along the banks of the mighty Mekong River, Vientiane is one of the least discovered capitals in Asia. To provide a comprehensive insight into this laidback capital, this full day tour explores the different highlights of the city, including gilded temples and important monuments, complimented with the chance to savor Lao cuisine at a vocational restaurant.
Today enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’. Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, far away from the hustle and bustle of other Asian capitals.
Your guide will pick you up at 0900 this morning. Your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.
Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace.
Day 17: Vientiane – Departure
Have hearty breakfast in hotel, relax by yourself until departure time. Our team will meet you again and escort you to International Airport to catch the next fight on wards. Our service will be finished. Thank for join a life -time cycling trip with us