Hanoi to Luang Prabang Bicycle Tour 15Days
Hanoi to Luang Prabang Bicycle Tour 15Days explores the majestic mountainous regions of two magical countries: Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam, where our adventure begins, is a land of stunningly varied landscapes – shimmering rice fields, mysterious jungles, and radiant beaches – compose Vietnam’s postcards, but the northwestern region is home to spectacular mountains and valleys. Amidst the crests rests Indochina’s highest peak, Mount Fansipan, as well as the fascinating hill station of Sapa, a colonial retreat created by the French.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Medium Group
Offers the opportunity to experience two stunning countries; Vietnam and Laos. In both countries, communities who have had very little contact with the western world will give you a warm respectful welcome.
Itinerary: Hanoi – Hoa Binh – Mai Chau – Yen Chau – Son La – Tuan Giao – Dien Bien Phu – Muang Khua – Odomxai – Pak Mong – Luang Prabang
This 15-day tour explores the majestic mountainous regions of two magical countries: Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam, where our adventure begins, is a land of stunningly varied landscapes – shimmering rice fields, mysterious jungles, and radiant beaches – compose Vietnam’s postcards, but the northwestern region is home to spectacular mountains and valleys. Amidst the crests rests Indochina’s highest peak, Mount Fansipan, as well as the fascinating hill station of Sapa, a colonial retreat created by the French.
Escalating the most spectacular mountain range in Southeast Asia — this bike journey from Hanoi to Luang Prabang presents stunning views and rare cultural encounters. Challenging inclines and scintillating descents make our trail, which winds through Sapa’s grooved hillsides, up Vietnam’s highest mountain pass and through enchanting tribe villages.
Cycle into the picturesque Na River gorge, through the surrounding hills and valleys to Dien Bien Phu, the historic site of the Viet Minh’s decisive victory over the French. Bike into Laos to witness agrarian local life and untamed topography as we overnight at riverside guest houses. We’ll finish our bicycle trip in atmospheric Luang Prabang.
Arrival and transfer to your hotel. (Check in time is 14:00)If time permits, we will spend the afternoon at the Ethnology museum which will give you an overview of 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam including the Thai people who you will meet along the way. Overnight in Hanoi.
Cycling Hanoi – Hoa Binh 56/72 km
We leave Hanoi by car and start cycling from Luong Son to Hoa Binh town. The town is famous for the biggest reservoir in Vietnam and also the culture diversity of many typical ethnic groups such as Muong, Thai. Overnight in Hoa Binh.
Ride Hoa Binh to Mai Chau (B, L, D)
Cycling Hoa Binh- Mai Chau 62 km:a beautiful landscape of mountains and red soil hills, it is covered by green of sugarcane, cassava, corn and rice fields. There are many shops on the way where you can find “Ruou Can” – the unique rice wine of Hoa Binh province in brown jars drunk with bamboo straws. You also pass by some factories where they make brooms from “Dot”; a new wonderful golf is located behind mountains; a place where is famous for hot mineral stream- “Kim Boi”; some small villages of Thai & Muong and many other interesting things you will see and learn on the way. Overnight at home-stay of Thai ethnic in Mai Chau.
Ride Mai Chau to Moc Chau (B, L, D)
Cycling Mai Chau – Moc Chau 67 km:from low to higher area, from houses-on-stilts of White Thai located in a big valley of rice field to Moc Chau where wooden houses on ground of Blue & Flowered H’mong located in small valleys and hidden among corn fields, plum and peach gardens and surrounded by mountains. On the way to Moc Chau, it is also a great chance for you to pass a remained rain forest part and enjoy the shade & cool air in the middle of a hot summer day. With many opened fresh green grass fields on hills along the way it also makes you cool down and enjoy the peaceful and quiet area. You should stop at a local restaurant to taste a very famous fresh local yogurt. Overnight in Moc Chau.
Ride Moc Chau to Yen Chau (B, L, D)
Cycling Moc Chau- Yen Chau 60 km:Moc Chau is a famous place in the North for its tea plantations. Green of tea covers all hills, by looking at the plants you can recognize that many of them are 30- 40 years old. This area offers you a great chance to cycle around the tea plantation for both enjoying the scenary, fresh air and getting to know how hard to make a cup of tea. And we will end our day at Yen Chau, the area of fruit plants such as mangoes, longans, bananas… Yammy! Overnight in Yen Chau.
Ride Yen Chau to Son La (B, L, D)
Cycling Yen Chau- Son La 65 km:leaving this area after having some local fruit, visiting local market along the way and meeting some ethnic groups in their most beautiful traditional dresses such as Thai, H’mong, Muong, Dzao, cycling to Son La and visiting Son La prison built by French to understand more about French war and the hard time of Vietnamese people. Overnight in Son La
Son La, Rest Day (B)
Great. Sleeping in this morning. Walking around and reacting to local people to buy your own food. Having free time today. Overnight in Son La
Ride Son La to Tuan Giao (B, L, D)
Cycling Son La – Tuan Giao 90 km:we pass through a patchwork of rice fields and plum orchards. It is hard cycling day with up-and-down road, but you will feel. Overnight in Tuan Giao.
Ride Tuan Giao to Dien Bien Phu (B, L, D)
Cycling Tuan Giao – Dien Bien Phu 80 km:There is less traffic on this tar road, which gives you more opportunities to enjoy the nice scenery of rice fields dotted by water wheels. The area is habitated by White Thai and Kh’mu people in their charming clothes. We arrive in Dien Bien Phu quite late in the afternoon. Check in your cozy room, have shower and dinner. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua, Laos (B/ L / D)
Cycling Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua, Laos 65kmWe depart Dien Bien and cross into Northeast Laos at Tay Tran. This is the least populated section of Laos. We continue on to Muang Khua on the banks of the Nam Ou river.
Muang Khua to Odomxai (B/ L / D)
Cycling Muang Khua to Odomxai 75kmThis is a scenic lightly traveled road to bustling Odomxai. Odomxai seems to be undergoing a rennaisance. Lots of construction and activity in the town these days. They have an airport here also (with less than daily service). We stay at the nicest place in town.
Odomxai to Pak Mong (B/ L / D)
Cycling Odomxai to Pak Mong 60kmA tough climbing day at the start and then rolling hills with magnificent scenery before a 29 k Descent to Pak Mong.
Pak Mong to Luang Prabang (B/ L / D)
Cycling Pak Mong to Luang Prabang 75kmOn to the historic and enchanting city of Luang Prabang. We follow the banks of the Mekong before entering the city proper. It’s also possible, with advance planning, to bike the 20k in the opposite direction to Nong Khiaw and then take a boat down the Nam Ou River. This will take you right by the Pak Ou caves at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers.
Rest day in Luang Prabang (B/ L / D)
Today is a rest day in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong where it meets the Nam Khan river. There is a lot to see in this World Heritage Town: Temples, Monastaries, the Royal Palace and French Colonial Architecture as well as the beautiful falls outside of town. It’s worthwhile to get up and observe the monks collecting alms at 6 am.
Luang Prabang departure (B)
At leisure until transfer to Airport for onward flight.
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.