Vietnam Cycling to Laos Tour 21Days
Vietnam Cycling to Laos Tour 21Days This is an adventurous, moving on tour through the mountainous north-west provinces of Vietnam and Laos. Luggage transfer and vehicle support will be provided. The tour is suitable for fit, experienced cycling enthusiasts. Vietnam’s far North West is undoubtedly the best place to cycle in the country as the roads see virtually no tourists and avoid Vietnam’s notorious highways
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Medium Group
Vietnam Cycling to Laos Tour 21Days
Itinerary: Hanoi – Yen Bai – Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Than Uyen – Sapa – Tam Duong – Lai Chau – Muong Lay – Dien Bien Phu – Muang Khua – Pak Mong – Luang Prabang – Ku Kajam – Kasi – Vang Vieng – Na Nam – Vientiane
Highlights: This is an adventurous, moving on tour through the mountainous north-west provinces of Vietnam and Laos. Luggage transfer and vehicle support will be provided. The tour is suitable for fit, experienced cycling enthusiasts. Vietnam’s far North West is undoubtedly the best place to cycle in the country as the roads see virtually no tourists and avoid Vietnam’s notorious highways. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that travel restrictions were lifted. Starting in Hanoi, we;ll pass through stunning landscapes, amazing karst rock formations, stilted houses with thatched roofs, mountains nestled between limestone outcrops and the highest concentration of hill-tribe people in the country. We’ll cross into a remote area of Laos via the newly opened border crossing at Tay Trang. From the small market town of Muang Khua, we’ll take a slow boat down the beautiful Nam Ou river before cycling on to World Heritage Luang Prabang, with its beautiful temples and colourful night market. Our route south to Vientiane, the sleepy capital of Laos, is on virtually traffic-free roads. Great cycling and some of the friendliest people in Asia. The opening in 2007 of the Tay Trang border crossing between Vietnam and Laos has made this exciting tour possible. This is an adventurous, moving on tour through the mountainous North West provinces. Vietnam’s far North West is undoubtedly the best place to cycle in the country as the roads see virtually no tourists and avoid Vietnam’s notorious highways. Stunning landscape, amazing karst rock formations, stilted houses with thatched roofs, mountains nestled between limestone outcrops and the highest concentration of hill-tribe people in Asia. We enter Northern Laos at Tay Trang. The trip includes a spectacular journey by boat down the Nam Ou River, a day off the bikes in World Heritage town, Luang Prabang with its beautiful temples and colourful night market, and time to explore vibrant Hanoi and Vientiane.
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).
Sightseeing entrance fees.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
Accommodation pre/post trip.
Vietnam Cycling to Laos Tour
Day1: Hanoi – ArrivalUpon arrival at Hanoi Airport our guide who will accompany you to your hotel will welcome you, Vietnam’s capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia’s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. If time permits we embark on a cyclo for a short excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. O/N in Ha Noi.Accommodation: HotelDay 2: Hanoi to Yen Bai (B, L, D)You will have time to explore Hanoi’s old quarter today. After a leisurely morning we will transfer you to Yen Bai.Accommodation: HotelDay 3: Yen Bai to Nghia Lo (B, L, D)Our first day of cycling is a spectacular ride on back roads that take us to Nghia Lo through a terrain of tea plantations, lush forests, rice fields and gum trees. The town sits on a mountain ridge overlooking the Red and Black River and is home to the Thai, Nung, H’mong, La Ha and Ma peoples.Accommodation: HotelCycling distance:: 74 kmDay 4: Nghia Lo to Tu Le (B, L, D)Today we will cycle out of Nghia Lo passing large white limestone mountains as we explore the “real Vietnam”. Following rolling road, to end the day in Tu Le.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 55kmDay 5: Tu Le to Than Uyen (B, L, D)Leaving Tu Le we travel through rugged terrain with dense vegetation and come into contact with the Black Hmong and the mysterious White Tay people, who are famed for their folk music, poems and songs. The road winds down out of the hills and we descend into valley to end the day at Than Uyen.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 95kmDay 6: Than Uyen to Sapa (B, L, D)From Than Uyen we begin with a gentle 20km ascent to ride along the Hoang Lien Son mountain range through magnificent landscape. Then, from Binh Lu Junction there is another hard ascent of 26km to the top of the Tram Ton Pass, on our way to Sa Pa. We stop on route to visit the “silver waterfall”, before descending into Sapa for the final 15kms.Accommodation: HotelCycling distance:: 95kmDay 7: Sapa (B)Rest day. Sa Pa is an old French hill station perched in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains near the Chinese border. Its position gives it some of the best vantage points to savour the surrounding mountain peaks.Accommodation: HotelBay 8: Sapa to Lai Chau (Old Tam Duong)Today is the highlight for many as we cycle up to the Tram Ton Pass (1,900m; 6230 Ft) the highest mountain pass in Vietnam. We then make a momentous 30 km descent. The beauty of Mt.Fan Si Pan, South East Asia’s highest peak is often hidden by a veil of moving mist and fog; hopefully we will glimpse its lofty peaks.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 68kmDay 9: Lai Chau (Old Tom Duong) to Muong Say (Old Lai Chau) (B, L, D)We cycle out of Lai Chau today making two big climbs and then follow the Na River passing through spectacular gorges and Black Dao villages.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 66kmDay 10: Muong Lay to Dien Bien Phu (B, L, D)In 1954, the Vietnamese achieved the impossible carrying heavy artillery into the mountains to defeat the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu. As you ride along this route you will wonder at how this was ever achieved. The surrender at Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French Indochina. 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.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 64kmDay 11: Dien Bien Phu to Muang Khua (B, L, D)Today is a longer day’s cycling. Leaving Dien Bien Phu behind, we cross into Northeast Laos at Tay Tran. This area of Laos is the least populated part of the country. From here we travel on to Muang Khua on the banks of the Nam Ou river.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance: 103kmDay 12: Muang Khua to Pak Mong (B, L, D)This morning the bikes will be transferred to Nong Khaiaw whilst we take a glorious boat trip along the Nam Ou river, enjoying breathtaking scenery as we journey past mountains and caves. From Nong Khaiaw we will ride the final 30kn into Pak Mong.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance:: 30kmDay 13: Pak Mong to Luang Prabang (B, L, D)Today is the longest and the most rewarding day of cycling, we will be treated to our first glimpse of karst rock formations rising boldly out of the landscape. We will be riding on good, mainly flat roads. After 85km there is an option to take a boat into Luang Prabang, stopping to visit the holy caves of Pak Ou.Accommodation: HotelCycling distance: 112 km or 85 kmDay 14: Luang Prabang (B, L, D)Rest day in beautiful Luang Prabang, encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong where it meets the Nam Khan River. You are free today to explore this delightful World Heritage town with 32 historic temples, ancient monasteries, the magnificent Royal Palace Museum and its French Colonial architecture. This is a place to chill out, enjoy the food, the peaceful surroundings and the people.Accommodation: HotelDay 15: Luang Prabang to Ku Kajam (B, L, D)The big one, the ultimate challenge of the trip! After a pleasant and fairly easy 20 km we start on the first of two long climbs (support vehicle on hand). A 16 km climb passing spectacular scenery of limestone peaks, some of which are the highest in South East Asia. Followed by a descent of 15 km, then another monster 22 km climb before reaching our guest house at Kiu Kachan.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance: 81 km or 44 kmDay 16: Ku Kajam to Kasi (B, L, D)A challenging morning covering 50 km on a roller coaster road before we stop and have lunch at Nung Phu Khun. This is followed by a spectacular 38 km descent passing dramatic views of craggy limestone mountains. The scent of jasmine and lotus blossom drifts through the clear air from the rich jungle flora. We end our day coming off the mountains at Kasi.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance: 95 km or 64 kmDay 17: Kasi to Vang Vieng (B, L, D)Today is an easier day covering 60 km of gentle rolling hills to Vang Vieng. Not long before we reach Vang Vieng there is the option to get off the bikes and kyak down the Nam Song river into the town. Vang Vieng has recently become a destination for backpackers and is therefore a comfortable place with nice restaurants and guesthouses. Once we get there we can spoil ourselves with some well deserved fruit milkshakes and pancakes, have a Beer Lao and relax and enjoy watching the sun setting over the river behind the stunning limestone pinnacles.Accommodation:Cycling distance: 60 km.Day 18: Vang Vieng to Na Nam (B, L, D)After a relatively gentle 24 km we reach the fishing village of Tha Heua where you can see all manner of salted fish being sold by the road. Here you have the option of taking a 3 hour boat journey on the Ang Nam Ngum reservoir to Na Nam a small fishing village, passing many picturesque islands dotted along the way. Alternatively you can cycle the moderate 84 km along the road, climaxing in a steep 2 km climb before reaching our guesthouse at Na Nam.Accommodation: Guest HouseCycling distance 107 km or 85 kmDay 19: Na Nam to Vientiane (B, L, D)Our last day of cycling starts with last two short but hard climbs, before the road levels out for the 95 km all the way to Vientiane. Here the land is agricultural passing paddy fields and more intensely farmed areas. As we near the Lao capital of Vientiane the roads, which until now have been relatively traffic free throughout our trip, start to become busier. We arrive at our guesthouse in the afternoon giving us time to pack the bikes, do any last minute shopping,Accommodation: HotelCycling Distance: 96 km or 72 kmDay20: Vientiane (B)Vientiane at leisure. Time to explore the town, pack up the bikes or do some last minute shopping for souvenirs.Accommodation: HotelDay21: Vientiane – Departure (B)The tour ends today. This morning you will have time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you are transferred to the airport for an afternoon 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.
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
What if I can’t find the departure date I need?
Please give us a call or send massage. If you are a group of four or more, we can usually add a departure date within the season to suit you.
Why are the hotels not listed in the itinerary?
We use a pool of hotels to maximise availability for you & Best homestay in mountainous or read more at Accommodation.
Will I have a local guide?
Yes, your guide will be English speaking and local. The local guide will be a highlight of your tour as they are experienced and will pass on their knowledge and passion for their country. They will show you the best places to eat, help you meet local people along the way and give you a real feel for the local culture.
Can I take a break from the cycling?
Yes, if you want to take a break, jump into the the air conditioned support vehicle that is always available.
What will the group size be?
The tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run and there will be a maximum of 16 guests.
What will the food be like?
Vietnamese or Asia food is very varied across the length of the country. Each regional has local adaptations of classic dishes. Your guide will share their passion for their cuisine and they will lead you along a culinary adventure. Drinking water is always included with meals, any other drinks will be extra.
What snacks will I get during the cycling?
You will be supplied with local snacks & energy bars. Clean water and electrolyte drinks are provided to keep you hydrated.
Is there a single supplement?
No, there is no extra charge for single travellers if you share a room with another same sex single guest. If you want your own room you can pay a supplement.
What will the weather be like?
Seasons vary across the vast length of the country, meaning you can travel to Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia.Etc… at any time of the year. You will probably have some rain during your visit.
Can you arrange my flights?
Flights are not included with our tours. However, we are more than happy to offer advice on long haul and regional flights, based on our extensive experience of travel in Asia.
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.