Cycling from Luang Prabang to Hanoi 15 Days
Cycling from Luang Prabang to Hanoi 15 Days Luang Prabang Cycling To Hanoi. Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the diverse scenery and rural cultures of Southeast Asia, and this unique itinerary takes us through the heart of northern Laos and Vietnam, from serene Luang Prabang to bustling Hanoi. From golden temples and saffron-robed monks to wartime history and grand colonial architecture, charming river cities and colourful markets to isolated villages and tranquil rivers, this incredible journey encompasses the natural beauty, vibrant cultures and relaxing pace that makes this region a favourite among travelers.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Small Group
Itinerary: Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw – Bansopjam- Vieng Kham – Vieng Thong – Sam Nua – Vieng Say – Hospital Cave – Nam Meo Border – Mai Chau – Hanoi
Highlights: This exceptional, fully supported cycling odyssey takes us through some of the most stunning landscapes and culturally significant parts of Laos then over the border for a richly rewarding taste of Vietnam. We commence cycling on the banks of the Mekong river in the World Heritage listed town of Luang Prabang with its exquisite golden temples and waterfalls. We continue through rolling mountain scenery to Nong Khiew then travel by boat to the village. of Ban Sopjam where we stay with the village headman. Travelling northeast we cycle to the intriguing Vieng Say Caves where the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party lived during the Secret War. Cycling to the Vietnamese border we cross over to explore the beautiful valley of Mai Chau and its many ethnic minority villages before completing our adventure in the bustling northern capital of Hanoi.
Luang Prabang Cycling To Hanoi. Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the diverse scenery and rural cultures of Southeast Asia, and this unique itinerary takes us through the heart of northern Laos and Vietnam, from serene Luang Prabang to bustling Hanoi. From golden temples and saffron-robed monks to wartime history and grand colonial architecture, charming river cities and colourful markets to isolated villages and tranquil rivers, this incredible journey encompasses the natural beauty, vibrant cultures and relaxing pace that makes this region a favourite among travelers. We begin in the mellow World Heritage Listed city of Luang Prabang, where we’ll savour its temples, waterfalls and gentle pace on the banks of the Mekong River. From here we head to laid-back river village of Nong Khiew where we’ll take a boat ride up the Nam Ou River to our local village homestay. We’ll then begin our gradual cycle journey northeast towards Hanoi, through scenes of forested slopes, rolling hills and tiny villages. We’ll visit the intriguing Vieng Xai Caves before crossing over into Vietnam where we’ll explore the ethnic minority villages of the beautiful Mai Chau highlands, finishing up in Hanoi with the city’s historical monuments, French colonial architecture and bustling market streets of the Old Quarter. Our comfortable geared bikes, support crew and steady pace mean that you’ll be free to enjoy the stunning scenery along the way, with our backup vehicle available to give tired riders a break at any time. For an in-depth, active adventure in northern Laos and Vietnam, this trip is a must !
– This itinerary allows for 11 field days on the cycling section. You will be able to decide for yourself at any time during each of these days how far you want to cycle. Average daily cycling distances are approximately 35 -100 km. These distances may vary according to weather, road conditions and group fitness and preferences. This is a sightseeing cycle tour, not a marathon or time trial
Arrive Luang Prabang
On arrival in Luang Prabang you will be met at the airport and transferred to our group hotel. A group meeting will be held in the hotel lobby at 5pm where you will meet your guide for a trip briefing before heading out for a welcome dinner to get to know your guide and other travellers.Meals: d
Cycle Luang Prabang
After breakfast, we will fit you for your bike then enjoy a tour around Luang Prabang with the Mekong river as our backdrop. You will soon understand why it deserves the World Heritage title! Visit Wat Visoun, the site of impressive Thad Makmo stupa. The rounded dome is stylistically more Sinhalese than Lao. Phou Sii hill stands right in the center of this small city. Climb its 350 steps to enjoy commanding views for many miles in each direction. Wat Phou Sii sits atop the mountain, along side the skeletons of Indochina war anti-aircraft guns. Then continue on to visit Wat Mai. Builtin 1796, the five-tiered roof of the wooden Sim (chapel) epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Wat Xieng Thong further emphasizes & characterizes the uniqueness of Luang Prabang, its several roofs sweeping low to the ground. See also the impressive “tree of life” mosaic here. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts episodes from the Ramayana. Then visit the National Museum, once a king’s palace, where displayed inside is a lovely collection of personal artifacts of the royal family, including photos, musical instruments, and many gifts received from the dignitaries of foreign countries.Cycle approx 7-10kmsMeals: b
Cycle Luang Prabang to Kuang Sii Waterfalls
Today we cycle out south of town with to the Kuang Si Waterfall. The falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools. The water here has a clear blue-green tint due to the high mineral content. You can climb the stairs and look down from various high viewpoints on the way to the top! Bring a bathing suit if you’d like to swim. We cycle back to town and enjoy our evening at leisure.Cycle approx 60kmsMeals: b
Cycle Luang Prabang- Pak Ou- Nong Khiew
We check out this morning and begin cycling north out of Luang Prabang. We arrive at Pak Ou village, cross the Mekong River and climb the stairs to Pak Ou Caves where hundred of Buddhist statues are housed. We then continue north through rolling mountain scenery to Ban Huay Pene, a Leu Tribal village and enjoy lunch along the way. We visit the old templethen travel the remaining distance by vehicle to Nong Khiew.Cycle approx 35kmsMeals: b, l
Boat to Bansopjam
This morning we take a boat up the Ou River, which originates near the border with China then feeds into the Mekong near Luang Prabang. We board a boat for our journey northward to a scenic village and overnight homestay. This village was the stage of an NXNE assistance project to build a new school. The locals are subsistence farmers as well as proficient hunters and fishermen. In the late afternoon, we will go for a refreshing bath in the river. Women should wear a sarong. Tonightwe enjoy tasty organic Lao cooking! To get a real taste of Lao life, we will sleep in the villageheadman’s house which will have comfortable mats, pillows and mosquito nets. Please be aware that there are no showers or western toilets in the village.Meals: b, l, d
A round Bansopjam
Today we enjoy a local breakfast and explore the surrounding village. We will likely be the object of curiosity for the village children. They only rarely get the chance to interact and play with westerners. A game of football is a great icebreaker for those physically up for it. Watch the village women weaving their ancient patterns on aged looms, or just relax on our balconies. Depending on the season, we will suggest other interesting activities to watch or participate in. Tonight many of the villagers will gather around for a special farewell blessing ceremony. This rite, the Baci, isperformed mostly for family and friends who are going on or coming back from a long journey. This is their way of saying thank you for visiting. We enjoy a feast afterwards!Meals: b, l, d
Boat Nong Khiew, cycle Vieng Kham
This morning we say goodbye to the villagers and return by boat to Nong Khiew and pick our bikes. We then take a more leisure ride, as we cycle through rural villages and along side lush green rice fields as farmers go about the daily work. We arrive in the small town of Vieng Kham for your overnight stay.Cycle approx 55kmsMeals: b
Cycle Vieng Kham- Vieng Thong
After breakfast we mount our bikes and continue on our path eastward. Today our road travels through Phou Loei National Biodiversity Protected Area, so the forests lining the road will be quite lush. A long days ride today so we will no doubt earn our delicious local meal and a good nights sleep!Cycle approx 60kmsMeals: b, l
Cycle Vieng Thong- Sam Neua
Today we cycle through more mountainous terrain. We get started early and pedal towards Sam Neua in Houaphan province. We ride until the mid afternoon, then climb into the van to make it to Sam Neua before dark.Cycle approx 60kmsMeals: b, l
Cycle Sam Neua – Vieng Say
This morning we explore the quaint morning market along the Xam River in this mountainous town. Today’s ride is much shorter to give us a bit of a rest. We cycle to Vieng Say, the cave city which was home to the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. Marvel at the amazing karst landscape in the middle of town. Visit the Information Center near the guesthouse to learn more about the interesting historical significance of the area during the Indochina War. With the help of a local guide, we travel to some of the nearby caves to see how the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party lived during the war. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant then relax in this charming town in the late afternoon.Cycle approx 35kmsMeals: b, l
Cycle Vieng Say- Hospital Cave
Today after breakfast, we travel to the nearby Hospital Cave. This extensive cave was used as a hospital during the war. Inside we can see intact medicine bottles still strewn about the rubble. After the bombing raids ended, a new hospital building was built in front of the cave. Now the site is a local school. We return to our guesthouse and enjoy your afternoon and evening at leisure.Cycle approx 5kmsMeals: b
Cycle Vieng Say- Nam Meo Border (Vietnam)
Today after breakfast, we set off and say goodbye to Laos as we cycle to the Vietnamese border. We say good bye to our Laosian guide here and are met by our Vietnamese guide who will cycle with us throughout the Vietnam section of our journey to ensure the best local knowledge for our group.Cycle approx 50kmsMeals: b
Cycle Nam Meo- Mai Chau
Today after breakfast, we cycle through the beautiful country side of Vietnam on the way to Mai Chau. Enroute we will have plenty of opportunity to catch the activities of locals in the field. Tonight we will indulge ourselves in the comfort of Mai Chau Lodge, a perfect introduction to our stay in Vietnam. Mai Chau is located in a beautiful valley with patchwork quilt rice fields, farms and stilted houses. In the spring Mai Chau displays a riot of blooming flowers and peach blossoms. Only 60km’s southwest of Hoa Binh is the home of the White Thai and H’mong hilltribe people.Cycle approx 65 kmsMeals: b, l
Cycle Mai Chau then transfer to Hanoi
Today after breakfast we cycle around the beautiful outlying villages and to the local market to visit the minority White Thai. It is interesting to see their custom and life style, their houses on stilt and the local handicrafts produced by them. Late afternoon, we drive to the capital of Vietnam.Cycle approx 25kmsMeals: b
Trip concludes in Hanoi
The trip concludes after breakfast then airport transfers will be arranged.NB: The itinerary may alter due to weather or local conditions.Meals: b
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.
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.
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 Passport, Small backpack , Shoes and shorts for cycling ,Sunglasses , Gloves , Professional Pedal ,Insect repellent ,Wide brim hat ,Bike water bottle (if you don’t want to use ours bottle)
Minor program changes are sometime necessary, depending on road conditions and weather.
This itinerary allows for 15 days on the cycling section. You will be able to decide for yourself at any time during each of these days how far you want to cycle. Average daily cycling distances are approximately 40 -100 km. These distances may vary according to weather, road conditions and group fitness and preferences. This is a sightseeing cycle tour, not a marathon or time trial.