22 days Cycling from Chiang Mai to Hanoi
A great tour through ever changing landscapes and lots of cultural as well as historical highlights in all countries. The Thai section of this tour leads over friendly roads along 3 former capital cities of the former Lanna Kingdom.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Small Group
22 days Cycling from Chiang Mai to Hanoi
A great tour through ever changing landscapes and lots of cultural as well as historical highlights in all countries. The Thai section of this tour leads over friendly roads along 3 former capital cities of the former Lanna Kingdom. A relaxing 2 days cruise over the Mekong leads to another highlight of the tour, the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. From here, we enter the remote north-eastern part of Laos with stunning nature. In Vietnam, the multi-cultural diversity is another highlight of this tour. The ride through the first National Park of Vietnam Cuc Phuong will give you lasting impressions. The tour finish in the vibrant capital of Vietnam: Hanoi
– Accommodation based on twin sharing occupancy at hotel, guesthouse and Home stay.etc…
– Meals as indicated in program,B=Breakfast , L=Lunches ,D=Dinner
– Professional English speaking guide cum biking
– Support van or bus , truck for group
– Boat trip mention in itinerary
– Pump, bike tools, spares tubes, Spare bike , Helmet ,Mountain Bicycle
– Cold water box, small fresh towel ,snacks and fruits
– All entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated in the program
– Service charges, rooms tax and handling fees
– Visa stamping fee
– Travel assurance
– Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
– Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
– Tips and gratuities
– Personal expenses and other services which are not mentioned in the program.
– International air tickets and airport departure taxes
– Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program
– Optional excursions
Special offers :
– Mineral water drinking.
– Seasonal fruits.
– Fresh tissue and some fruits while touring !
What to bring :
Sun Block , Wide brim hat, Camera + Film, Comfortable shoes, Rain Gear , Warm clothes in winter, Original
arrival Chiang Mai
After arrival, you meet the local agent for a briefing about the Thai part of the tour.
Discover the old city with plenty of beautiful temples and visit lively local markets in the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom.
guided round trip around Chiang Mai 30 km
A guided tour along non-touristy places around Chiang Mai
This is the perfect introduction in the daily life of Thai people.
Chiang Mai – Mae Taeng 67 km
Following the Ping River in Northern direction, you are passing many florists, rice fields, villages and temples. You are cycling on small lanes and quite roads to the busy market of Mae Taeng. After Mae Taeng, you will continue on dirt roads to your beautiful situated resort along the Ping River.
Mae Taeng – Chiang Dao 40/68 km
Just 5 kilometers from the resort, you can visit the first founded Elephant Conservation Camp from Thailand.
A narrow, but never steep pass leads you into the beautiful valley of Chiang Dao. Cycling along the side of the valley, enjoy the stunning views on the 3rd highest mountain of Thailand, the 2240 meters high Doi Luang. Visit the famous caves of Chiang Dao, before heading to your comfortable resort.
transfer to Tub Tao Caves and cycling to Thaton 67 km
Starting the day with a short transfer to the unknown but not less interesting Tub Tao Caves, you will discover the interesting valley of Fang, which is well known for their extensive fruit- and vegetable plantations. Another day cycling on quit roads, brings you to the scenic village of Thaton, which is located on the banks of the Kok River. Above Thaton, you can visit a temple with rare architecture and stunning views over the surrounding area.
boat ride from Thaton to Ruam Mit and cycling to Chiang Rai 23 km
You will start the day with a 3 hours boat ride by long tail boat on the Kok River along many hill tribe villages.
Before cycling to Chiang Rai, you can visit the Elephant Camp of Ruam Mit. Chiang Rai is another former capital city of the Lanna Kingdom
Beside interesting temples, you can visit the Hill Tribe Museum and the lively night market.
Chiang Rai – Chiang Saen 70 km
Leaving Chiang Rai along the bank of the Kok River, you are cycling in north east direction to one of the oldest cities of Thailand, Chiang Saen.
On the way, you can visit a rubber plantation, which is rare in this part of Thailand. Chiang Saen is located on the banks of the Mekong River and is one of the oldest cities of Thailand and also a former capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Interesting place to visit are the National Museum and the viewpoint of the Triangle which is 8 kilometers from Chiang Saen. Here you can also visit the Opium Museum.
Chiang Saen – Chiang Khong 68 km
Following the Mekong in Eastern direction, you cycle to the border town of Chiang Khong with great views on the mountain ranges on the Laos side of the Mekong River. On the way, you pass some interesting temples and hill tribe villages with local markets.
Cruise over Mekong to Pak Beng
Comfortable boat ride on the Mother of all Asian Rivers: The Mekong.
Enjoy the stunning landscape, free food and beverages on board.
Cruise over Mekong to Luang Prabang
Another day to relax your legs and enjoy the landscape that is getting more and more spectatculair. Before entering Luang Prabang, you visit the historical Pak Ou Caves which is packed with thousands of Buddha statues
around the valley of Luang Prabang 30 km
Today, a relaxed ride around the valley of Luang Prabang along some interesting non-touristy places.
to Kuang Si Waterfalls 60 km
An easy ride to the scenic Kuang Si Waterfalls along ethnic villages such as Hmong a Khmu. Enjoy a swim in the clear water basins of the Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw 80 km.
After a one hour transfer, start cycling along the Nam Ou River. The first stage is hilly, but after lunch in Pakmong the road is getting more smooth and more spectaculair.
Nong Khiaw – Muang Khua.
Today, enjoy a spectacular boat ride through remote areas over the Nam Ou River. On the way, we will stop in the scenic village Muang Ngoi. Relax and enjoy the views over the lime stone mountains.
Muang Khua – Dien Bien Phu 60 km and transfer
Today, you challenge a mostly up hill off road ride through hill tribe villages and jungle to the border of Vietnam. You pass the village Muang Mai, the former capital of Phongsaly Province and well known about the high quality weaving and his wooden bridges. After passing the border with Vietnam, a short transfer will bring us in the valley of Dien Bien Phu. The city is well known through out the world as a battle field in the first Indochina War and the French found here their Waterloo. The city is located in Muong Thanh Valley famous for its tasty rice and Thai minority traditional dance.
Dien Bien Phu – Tuan Giao 80 km
Cycling from Dien Bien Phu to Tuan Giao.
After breakfast, we have an easy ride 80 km through many Thai villages to Tuan Giao (one climb mt. pass 15 km outside Dien Bien Phu). O/N in People Committee GH in Tuan Giao (alt. +590m).
Tuan Giao – Son La 90 km
Cycling from Tuan Giao to Son La.
Challengeing 20 km winding climb up to the Pha Din pass (heaven and earth pass) to summit of 1450 m and 15 km down hill. Nice landscape of green rice fields and karst valley. Light traffic, wandering water buffaloes, Thai and Hmong kids.
Son La – Moc Chau 80 km
After a short transfer, a less hilly day in store, but no less spectacular as we head off gradually downhill, our roads overshadowed by karst cliffs.
After lunch, continuing through lush, terraced rice paddies against the jagged cliff backdrop.
Moc Chau – Mai Chau 67 km
After a hearty breakfast we set off on a testing yet spectacular day, the majority of which is uphill! Cycling on a narrow, quiet back road we head in to a region predominantly populated by Black Thai minority cultures.
As we near Mai Chau, situated at 1000 m, we pass through plum orchards and corn and tea plantations.
Mai Chau – Cuc Phuong 80 km
After a early morning transfer, start cycling on country lanes and backroads to Cuc Phuong National Park. The scenery is timeless, and photo opportunities bountiful as you pedal through a working landscape of people and crops. Cuc Phuong is one of Vietnam’s most important nature reserves and contains the country’s largest area of primary forest. Visit the Primate Rescue Centre and learn about the plight of endangered species such as the Cat Ba Langur.
Cuc Phuong – Hanoi 20 km
Cycling from Phuong NP to Ninh Binh and transfer to Hanoi.
Morning visit the Primate Rescue center where you could have much joy with funny languor species and admire the eco-loved scientists working here. We then ride 20 km through Cuc Phuong forest to the park center, tea break then transfer out of Cuc Phuong to Hanoi in the afternoon.
Set dinner in a nice restaurant near the hotel.
End of programme
Hotels, Guesthouses, Homestay and Boat
Our nights in Hanoi are spent in a comfortable hotel. We stay in a homestay while in Ba Be National Park which will be basic but the rooms are clean and comfortable, with friendly staff. Only a few rooms have an en-suite bathroom so the majority will use a shared bathroom facility. The guesthouses used for the remote sections of the trip will be basic but are the best available in the area. Tourism is very new to the area so please bear this in mind. In Halong Bay on the boat we stay in en-suite twin cabins (with bedding) but many prefer to sleep on deck under the stars.
Suitable Bicycle. MTB, Touring Bike, Cyclocross/Gravel bike.
At JET we hold firmly to the opinion that using your own bike, the bike on which you feel at home and comfortable is the finest way to enjoy a cycling adventure.
Most kinds of bicycle, except light-weight racing bikes are suitable for this tour: touring bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids or cyclocross bikes are all fine. Road conditions vary from asphalt to gravel and some hard packed dirt tracks. Tyre’s from 35mm in width upwards will be fine but we recommend 40mm on 700c and 2” on 26” wheels as a minimum.
South East Asia is generally a warm place so the ability to carry one or two water bottles is essential (either on your bike or in a backpack). Our back-up vehicle carries water and tools although for those competent with tools bringing your own pump, puncture kit, and multi took is recommended as it would speed up repairs and minor adjustments. If bringing your own bike please bring along a few spare spokes that fit your wheels (please note that different wheels have different size spokes). If your bike has disk brakes or hub gears please bring any components that you feel may be necessary. We carry some spares for our hire bikes but we cannot guarantee that we will have any tubes other than 26” car type valves. Tyres and tubes other than 26” can be difficult to come by in many parts of the world so please make sure you have spares. If in doubt please ask at your local bike shop. A means of carrying your camera, sunblock etc is also useful – either an on-bike bag, handlebar or saddlebag for example, or a lightweight day-pack.
•Recommendation: Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.
ESSENTIAL! Please be sure that your bicycle is in perfect condition before you leave home. Again, if in doubt please consult your local bike shop.
If you wish to hire a bicycle for the duration of your holiday with us we can arrange for the hire of good quality cycles from our in-country agent. Typically these bikes are mountain bikes, often Trek 4 series or similar. Please request a hire bike at the time of booking, fields to do so are on the booking form. Payment for hire bikes can be made with the balance of the tour payment or in cash on arrival.
Rental Bicycle Recommendation. Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.
When cycling we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.
Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
Our support team:
Our support team carry your luggages and provide a nice place for tea and coffee break on the route ( 20 – 25 km for each stage). Our staff will make any running repairs on your bikes. Once riding we keep you stop with water, fruits, soft drinks and snacks, energy bars, and we make sure you get a nice cold towle drink with cold towel as well. Prepare picnic lunch enroute for cyclis,.at the end of cycling day, we make sure you will enjoy good meal, clean and prepare bike for next days.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
The international profile of Local Traditional food has increased over the last two decades with very good reason. A cuisine that has evolved with the culture and landscape of Vietnam provides for an astounding level of variety from south to north. Each town and city has its own subtle twist on iconic dishes and some of their own creations. Our leaders are passionate about their food and look forward to taking you on a culinary adventure in unison with your cycling adventure. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 16 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers – we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
This tour is 100% operated by Journey Expedition Travel. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our fleet of over 300 bikes. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Journey Expedition Travel quality.