Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (6)
Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (4)

Cycling Holidays Thailand Laos and Vietnam 16 Days

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Cycling Holidays Thailand Laos and Vietnam 16 Days From Thailand our journey begins in Chiang Rai, we cycle through Chiang Kham district to Phu Lang Ka for an unforgettable morning sun rise through karst rocks shrouded in rolling clouds. We cycle onto Laos for a traditional welcome and Baci ceremony at our homestay village. Following quiet mountain roads in the least populated areas of Northern Laos we reach Vietnam, cycling to historic Dien Biên Phu where the French military were defeated in 1954. We continue to hill station Sa Pa over the Tram Ton pass South Asia’s highest mountain pass. We end the cycling 35km down hill from Sa Pa with a transfer to Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Mountain Cycling, Multi-Country Cycling
    • Activity Level Extreme
      7/8
    • Group Size Small Group
      16
    All about the Cycling Holidays Thailand Laos and Vietnam 16 Days.

    Cycling Holidays Thailand Laos and Vietnam 16 Days

    Overview

    From Thailand our journey begins in Chiang Rai, we cycle through Chiang Kham district to Phu Lang Ka for an unforgettable morning sun rise through karst rocks shrouded in rolling clouds. We cycle onto Laos for a traditional welcome and Baci ceremony at our homestay village. Following quiet mountain roads in the least populated areas of Northern Laos we reach Vietnam, cycling to historic Dien Biên Phu where the French military were defeated in 1954. We continue to hill station Sa Pa over the Tram Ton pass South Asia’s highest mountain pass. We end the cycling 35km down hill from Sa Pa with a transfer to Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

    From Vietnam our journey takes us from Hanoi to the mountains we cycle the last 35km up to Sa Pa near to the Chinese border, biking over the Tram Ton (1,900m; 6,230 ft). cycling through narrow gorges and minority villages to Dien Biên Phu, where the French were defeated in 1954. A significant moment in Vietnam’s history. We cross into beautiful landlocked Laos with a warm welcome from traditional rural communities at our home stay at Ban Nalay village, including a traditional Baci ceremony. Cycling northwards with some challenging climbs we reach Northern Thailand where you will encounter more hills, rugged scenery and traditional Temples. At Phu Lang Ka in Chiam Kahn district, a scenery of rolling ‘sea clouds’ enveloping a Karst rock landscape will take your breath away. We end the tour in Chiang Kham district and will transfer you to Chiang Rai for your flight home.

    Key Places

    Ban Faen/Ban Nalay

    Ban Faen

    Ban Faen village is home to our guide Khen Phetxayphone, most of the villagers are farmers who work in the surrounding rice fields, it has no running water or electricity, a generator provides 2 hours electricity a night. When JET Travel started to work with Khen in 2001, we talked to the village headman and elders to determine what support the village needed and where our support would have the greatest effect. After some discussion, it was agreed that the 2 main issues facing the village were access to clean drinking water and the school. We decided to start by helping the school. Within the village this decision was not unanimous, as there were mixed opinions about the value of education, particularly for girls. Nonetheless, our first donation went towards concreting the school floor.

    In 2003 JET Travel and supporters started a charity LVCF. Shortly after we ran our first project building a school in Ban Faen. This school is now complete, we have went on to build a secound (basic) school in Ban Nalay, one of the rural hmong villages home to a Tai Lue community and where JET Travel cyclists are hosted by the villagers for the night in home stays.

    Dien Biên Phu

    Dien Biên Phu is located in the Muong Thanh valley in north west Vietnam near to the Laos border and is the capital of Biên Province. The journey here is a dramatic one along narrow mountain roads leading to the Nam Rom River at the core of the heart shaped valley. Dien Biên Phu is best known for the battle that occurred here in 1954 marking a turning point in French influence in Indochina and the beginning of the end of colonial rule. The French-held garrison fell after a four-month siege led by Vietnamese nationalist Ho Chi Minh. After the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the French pulled out of the region. The city was formally called Thaeng. There are a number of sites of interest relating to the battle including a museum containing military and other artifacts including a bicycle that was used to carry supplies through the jungles and reputedly could carry up to 330kg of ordinance.

    Phu Lang Ka

    Phu Lang Ka is a remote village in the mountains of Phong District, Phayao Province in Northern Thailand. In this tiny hillside destination early risers can witness one of the most spectacular sunrises you are likely to find anywhere on earth. An other-worldly vision of karst rock out crops and the Doi Hua Ling, Doi Phu Lang Ka and Doi Phu Nom mountains all cloaked in rolling mists set the scene for daybreak. The area is equally gifted with beautiful sunsets. Rolling hills, rice paddies, temples and limestone mountains and fields laden with pink Dok Khlongkhleng flowers make this area a unique and special destination.

    Sapa

    High in the mountains Sa Pa is the frontier town of the Sa Pa district in Northwest Vietnam, 400 km north-west of Hanoi. Located at 1550 m above sea level, and frequently covered by cloud the town is cool all year round. The area is known as “the Tonkinese Alps” You will see hill tribe people, their villages, rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fan Si Pan, the highest peak in Vietnam. Many ethnic minority groups such as H’mong, Dao and Tay live here, each with unique cultures, lifestyles and languages, all wearing their traditional attires, working on the evergreen terraces.

    About 1 km from Sapa town, at the bottom of the Muong Hoa Valley is the stunning Cat Cat Waterfall. Cat Cat Village is home to the Black H’Mong who account for over 50% of the Sapa population. Near to the border with China, Sapa was under French colonial administration for the first part of the 20th Century, and served as a hill station retreat from the stifling summer heat of Hanoi. Many of the town’s colonial buildings were destroyed during conflicts at the end of the Second World War, by Việt Minh supporters in the late 1940s, and by French air raids in the early 1950s. The majority of the local communities fled, and the town entered a lull until migration from the lowlands began again with economic incentives in the 1960’s. Since the 1990’s Sapa has been a tourist destination.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

    Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind JET Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.

    Vehicle for transfers and support
    Tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
    Bicycle rental
    Accommodation
    Meals
    Snacks
    Sightseeing entrance fees.
    Bottled water.

    Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.

    Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.

    Visa (required)
    Flight/Train tickets.
    Accommodation pre/post trip.
    Travel insurance
    Tips
    Personal expenses

    1. Day 1 Chiang Rai

      On arrival in Chiang Rai you will be transferred to your hotel.

      Chiang Rai retains much of its original character and charm. One of its more striking landmarks is the Golden Clock; designed and donated to Chiang Rai by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat creator of The White Temple. At the strike of 7pm, a flamboyant light show ensues, accompanied by music. Other more traditional attractions include the Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre, several beautiful Wats, Mae Nam Kok River, and a night market with free Northern Thai music and dance performances.

      Accommodation: Guest House

    2. Day 2 Chiang Rai - Chiang Kham

      We have an early breakfast and transfer to 22km out of Chiang Rai by vehicle. Setting off on the bikes, we cycle today through rural countryside passing rice fields and other crops, observing local people go about their life. Sarting as we mean to go on our ride begins with a big climb 230m to stretch our legs. Then it’s down hill and on flatter road for the rest of the ride. All around us is beautiful scenery and we are treated to a wonderful hotel tonight, a just reward for our first day in the saddle.

      Cycling Distance: 68km (42 miles)
      Accommodation: Hotel (B,L,D)

    3. Day 3 Chiang Kham - Phu Lang Ka

      The day begins with gentle incline on our road south east through the Thai countryside. The area is home to many Tai Lue people. The Tai Lue originated from Yunnan province in Southern China and migrated to Northern Thailand, (particularly to Nan and Phayao), around 200 years ago. There are a number of traditional temples and teak house villages in the area. After 33km, at Pha Chang Noi we turn towards the mountains cycling a snaking uphill raod to reach Phu Lang Ka. This is a small remote area in the hills of Phong district, Phayao, overlooking a beautiful landscape of rice paddies, temples,  limestone karsts and mountains.

      Cycling Distance: 46km (29 miles)
      Total Climb: 778m (2,552ft)
      Total Descent: 372m (1,220ft)                                                              Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

    4. Day 4 Phu Lang Ka - Chiang Klang

      It is worth rising early this morning to catch the breath taking sunrise. Often shrouded in early morning mists the stunning landscape of karst rocks, mountains and valley emerges with a quite magical aura; on a clear day you will glimpse Laos in the distance. Setting off on the bikes, we cycle eastwards tackling some challenging hills in a remote rugged scenery, on quiet forested road.  We are about 50km from the Laos border with views in the distance of Doi Phu Kha and Chiang Rai mountain ranges. Chinag Klang is a small friendly town amid fields of rubber, tobacco and corn.

      Cycling Distance: 68km (42 miles)
      Total Climb: 1,518m (4,980ft)
      Total Descent: 2,024m (6,640ft)                                                          Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

    5. Day 5 Chiang Klang - Muang Ngeun

      We continue cycling through Nan province towards Laos today, through a jungle scenery of steep and challenging hills. We are close to the Doi Phu Kha National Park. 70% of Nan province is remote mountainous terrain, untouched natural beauty, populated by Lanna, Lan Xang and Sukhothai hill-tribe cultures. We cross into Laos completing visa formalities at the border and stay tonight in the small Laoation town Muang Ngeun.

      Cycling Distance: 64km (40 miles)
      Total Climb:1230m (4,035ft)
      Total Descent: 9650m (3,136ft)                                                            Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D) 

    6. Day 6 Muang Ngeun - Pak Beng

      For early risers there is a bustling morning market in Muang Ngeun, but be warned, the action is all over by 07.30. Our cycling begins with a series of steep stretches over 32km as we tackle hill country. This is followed by a gentle downhill cylce of 20km to Pak Beng. Pak Beng is a stopping point for boats travelling up the Mekong from Luang Prabang. There are two Wats in the town that offer lovely views over the river.

      Cycling Distance: 48km (30 miles)
      Total Climb: 782m (2,566ft)
      Total Descent: 965m (3,166ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D) 

    7. Day 7 Pak Beng - Ban Nalay

      Today we cycle along sealed roads through many friendly villages. It’s a day of steep rolling hills but none that last longer than 4 or 5 km. As we pass by, friendly local children will shout ”sabaai – dii, sabaai dii” (the Loas greeting) to every passing cyclist. Tonight we stop in Ban Nalay where we will be hosted by local families. JET Travel has developed a special relationship with this village and we support the local school. Our friends in the village will welcome us with festivities and we have the opportunity to experience life in a traditional Laos community.

      Cycling Distance: 87km (54 miles)
      Total Climb: 868m (2,848ft)
      Total Descent: 686m (2,250ft)
      Accommodation: Homestay (B,L,D)
         

    8. Day 8 Ban Nalay - Udon Xia

      A real roller coaster of a day. Our cycle route takes us through lush jungle and hill tribe villages where age-old cultural traditions live on. Simple bamboo houses perch on stilts, whilst children play beneath them alongside chickens and pigs. Close to the border with China, Udom Xia has a distinctly Chinese feel.

      Cycling Distance: 58km (36 miles)
      Total Climb: 683m (2,241ft)
      Total Descent: 566m (1,857ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)             

    9. Day 9 Udom Xia - Muang Khua

      We begin today with  25km stretch out of Udom Xai downhill on rolling road. For much of the day we follow a road alongside the Nam Ou River on a fairly flat route through mountain scenery and agricultural landscapes. On the banks of the Nam Ou and surrounded by scenic mountains Muang Khua is the largest city in Northern Laos.

      Cycling Distance: 101km (63 miles)
      Total Climb: 719m (2,359ft)
      Total Descent: 1,022m (3,353ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)               

    10. Day 10 Muang Khua - Dien Biên Phu

      Leaving Muang Khua we cycle towards the Vietnamese border. This is the least populated area of Laos.  We reach the Sop Hun/Tay Trang border crossing and bid farewell to Laos. You will have already arranged your visa for Vietnam, before the tour, if you require one. We cycle on to Dien Bien Phu, acquainting ourselves with the challenge of Vietnamese hills for the latter part of the day, to reach this historic town. In 1954 the Vietnamese achieved the impossible, carrying heavy artillery into the mountains to defeat the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu. As you cycle the route you will wonder at how this was ever achieved. 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.

      Cycling Distance: 101km (63 miles)
      Total Climb: 1825m (5,988ft)
      Total Descent: 1,788m (5,866ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)           

    11. Day 11 Dien Biên Phu - Rest Day

      The French defeat here in 1954 marked the ’beginning of the end’ of French colonies in Indochina, and the division of Vietnam into North and South and inspired other independence movements globally. There are a number of colonial era bunkers, a Vietnam Military History Museum and cemetery nearby. Nowadays, Dien Biên Phu is a relatively quiet town, home to a high proportion of ethnic minorities; only one third of residents are ethnically Vietnamese. You will see many minority women wearing traditional dress.

      Accommodation: Guest House (B)

    12. Day 12 Dien Biên Phu - Muong Lay

      We are surrounded by rice fields and jungle, cycling through winding valleys on roads that snake across beautiful countryside. This afternoon we have a 100m ascent to our final pass and then 20km downhill before we cross the Hang Tom suspension bridge to reach Muong Lay.

      Cycling Distance: 105km (65 miles)
      Total Climb: 1,362m (4,469ft)
      Total Descent: 1,635m (5,364ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)         

    13. Day 13 Muong Lay - Lai Chau

      Crossing again over the suspension bridge we leave Muong Lay.  For some of our route we will traverse rough roads through narrow gorges as we follow the Na River to Lai Chau, passing through Black Dao villages. The Dao worship spirits and ritually sacrifice pigs and chickens. We reach Lai Chau descending on winding road through lush green valley. Dao women’s clothes are embroidered with intricate weaving, silver coloured beads and coins. It is said that the wealth of a woman can be judged by the weight of the coins she carries.

      Cycling Distance: 104km (65 miles)
      Total Climb: 1,775m (5,758ft)
      Total Descent: 1,025m (3,363ft)

      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

    14. Day 14 Lai Chau - Sa Pa

      Leaving Lai Chau on a flat road to start, we cycle uphill for 7km before several climbs and descents lead us to The Tam Tron pass (1,900m; 6,230 ft) the highest mountain pass in Vietnam and South East Asia and the last major peak in the Himalayan. This is a dividing point in NW Vietnam’s climate, leaving warmer conditions behind us we will experience chiller temperatures once over the peak. As we cycle on making a descent towards Sa Pa we may glimpse Mt Fan Si Pan: (if it is not cloaked in mist and fog). About 12km before we reach Sa Pa we pass the 100m-high Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall); the loop track is steep and scenic.

      Cycling Distance: 72km (45 miles)
      Total Climb: 1,816m (5,958ft)
      Total Descent: 1,165m (3,822ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)                   

    15. Day 15 Sa Pa - Hanoi

      We cycle down out of Sapa making a final 35km descent before we transfer back to Hanoi and your hotel in the old quarter. This ancient part of the city is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, each named after a trade or guild. Nowadays it is lined with tempting restaurants, guest houses, shops and cafés, but the past never seems far away.

      Cycling Distance: 35km (22 miles)
      Total Climb: 54m (1,77ft)
      Total Descent: 1,350m (4,430ft)
      Accommodation: Guest House (B,L)       

    16. Day 16 Hanoi

      After breakfast you will be transferred to the Hanoi International Airport for your flight home.

      (B)

    Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (16)
    Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (10)
    Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (11)
    Cycling Holidays 4 Countries in 3 Weeks 21 Days (9)
    Our Accommodations

    Our Accommodations:

    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.

    Our Homestays:

    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.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Our Accommodations

    Our Homestays

    Bicycle Advice

    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.

    Rental Bicycles

    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.
    – Snacks
    – 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)

    Notes:
    Minor program changes are sometime necessary, depending on road conditions and weather.
    This itinerary allows for 16 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.

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