Essential Information - 3 Countries 16 Days
Thailand, Laos and Vietnam
Before booking please check the status of the trip you are joining. We do not advise you to book flights until a trip is confirmed to run.
There is a 5% booking incentive discount for all "Available" and "Available 2 More To Guarantee" tours. To confirm your place on a tour please make the deposit payment. Your deposit payment is fully refundable at any stage before the tour shows as "Guaranteed". Your final balance is payable no later than 56 days before the trip start date.
On booking your trip you are agreeing to our booking conditions. Please read them fully via the link here. For each holiday a minimum number of participants is required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed'. You can check the trip status for each departure on our ‘Dates and Prices’ page. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has reached guaranteed status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.
Guaranteed Limited - trips are open for booking and confirmed to run but have a limited number of spaces available.
Guaranteed - trips are open for booking and confirmed to run.
Available 2 More To Guarantee - trips are open for booking but not yet confirmed. 2 more bookings will guarantee the running of this tour.
Available - trips are open for booking but not yet confirmed.
Contact - If you would like to book this tour, please contact us.
Fully Booked - trips now closed for booking.
- Support vehicle
- Most meals (see trip notes for details)
- Snacks and mineral water during cycling days
- Airport transfers on the start and end day of the tour
- Entrance fee to Pak Ou caves
- Local professional English speaking guide(s)
- International flights
- Alcoholic drinks
- Meals not stated on the itinerary
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Tips for guide (s) and support staff
- Bike hire (available if required)
The tour starts in Chiang Rai. We appreciate that people join redspokes tours from all over the world; no matter what time you arrive at the airport on the tour start date you and your luggage will be transferred to the joining hotel. Please bear in mind that if you arrive before midday you may have to wait for your room to be made available. If you decide to arrive early or stay on after the tour, redspokes can assist you in booking your accommodation and airport transfers at additional cost.
Our tour price does not include your international flight.
Check out www.kayak.com or www.opodo.co.uk for an idea of times and prices.
You will need to arrange multi destination flights for this tour to arrive in Chiang Rai (Thailand) and depart from Hanoi (Vietnam).
For this tour we use Hybrid bikes, most of them are Trek FX3. We have a wide range of sizes which are all are well maintained bikes. Spare parts will be carried in the support vehicle with a tool kit and track pump. Spare parts (tubes, tyre, chains etc.) are included in the price of the bike rental and will be carried in the support vehicle with a tool kit and track pump.
The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. Those who prefer to use spd or clip-in pedals, are welcome to bring these with you, along with your own cycling shoes and cleats. You are also welcome to bring your own saddle.
If you are able to do a simple repair yourself then you can if you wish, take a small repair kit with you as this will avoid the need to wait for assistance should the team or support vehicle be any distance away. The bikes will come with one water bottle cage fitted.
We strongly advise all customers to bring their own cycle helmet as this is not included as part of your bike hire and hire or purchase options at your destination cannot be guaranteed. Please be aware that failure to wear a cycle helmet is at your own risk and might also affect the validity of your travel insurance.
You will always have the security of a support vehicle; either a jeep or a bus. The vehicle will carry your luggage (we transport your main baggage by support vehicle from each overnight stop to the next) and yourself if you want. The support vehicle will be with us throughout the day, stopping around every 12 miles (20 km).
Our leaders carry a good tool kit and will help to fix any bike problems so all you normally need to carry is a daypack, for your camera etc. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be equipped for all repairs, so if you are bringing your own bike on the tour you must ensure that it is in good working order. If in doubt, have it fully serviced by a bike shop before you travel.
If you wish to hire a bike or have a single room for the tour this can usually be arranged for you at extra cost. You will have the opportunity to request these extras at the time of booking or, subject to availability, later on by emailing your request to us.
If you require additional accommodation or transfers in advance of the trip start date or at the end of your trip we can arrange this for you at extra cost.
We have a wide mix of cyclists on our tours from couples & friends to solo travellers. Our prices are based on twin shared accommodation. If you sign up for one of our tours as a solo traveller we will twin share you with another person of the same gender in your group. If you prefer to have your own room this is an option on most of our tours for an extra charge.
Most meals are included in your trip price apart from on non-cycling days and some other exclusions. Please check the itinerary for full details. If you have a special dietary request, please advise us at the time of booking. Most diets can be catered for, but it is always important to advise us in advance.
Rice is the staple food in Vietnam. Soup with rice noodles is a national dish. Recipes for main meals make use of vegetables, meat and fish. Herbs and spices used in food preparation include basil, coriander, lemon grass, mint and black pepper. Other ingredients are garlic, onions, ginger and lime juice. There are a numerous types of noodles eaten at all times of the day and noodle and rice based snacks wrapped in rice paper or leaves are available. Desserts include a variety of cakes and fresh fruit (bananas, durians, guavas, jackfruit, mangoes, oranges, persimmons and pineapples). Popular drinks are tea, coffee and beer. The local spirit is rice wine. Vietnamese food is also popular in Laos. Lao cuisine has many regional variations, according in part to the fresh foods local to each region. A French influence is also apparent in some areas; baguettes are sold on the street, and French restaurants (often with a naturally Lao, Asian-fusion touch) are common and popular. The typical evening meals across Thailand are noodle and rice stir fries. Breakfasts and lunches are a mixture of local and western style food and cater for vegetarians. Bottled water will be offered to you whilst cycling; other drinks are not included in the tour price. You are welcome to put drinks in the support vehicle at the start of the tour. We recommend bringing a supply of energy bars/snacks with you as these may not be readily available when you are on the trip.
It is mandatory that you are well-insured for the full duration of the tour. This must include personal injury, medical expenses, death, repatriation, helicopter or aircraft rescue, loss of luggage or equipment, cancellation or curtailments.
You should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for the type of activities included in your tour. Any claims concerning matters for which you are insured must be directed to your insurers. We strongly recommend that you take out insurance at the time of booking your trip to ensure that you are covered in the event of cancellation.
For people within the UK, Snowcard Insurance Services specialize in all mountain sports holidays including mountain biking. Follow the link above to obtain full information and a quote.
We choose accommodation based on comfort rather than luxury. Our prices are based on sharing a twin room. Should you wish to have a room all to yourself there is a single supplement option on the most of our tours. For more information on the additional costs please see Dates & Prices.
The accommodation for this trip is a mix of guest houses & hotels, some will have en-suite facilities and air conditioning.
The 3 Countries tour is suitable for Hybrid/Cyclocross/Gravel bikes or mountain bikes with slick tyres.
We strongly recommend that you have your bike fully serviced before going on the tour. Ensure that wheel spokes are adjusted, greasing all bearings, check gear and brake cables, tighten all nuts and bolts, check chain, quick release clamp and tyres. Put in a new inner tubes and check wheel rims aren't worn.
We strongly recommend that you take the following items with you.
Spare inner tubes
Check with your bike shop for disc/ brake pads
A few links for your chain
Spares for any unique things for your bikes i.e fluid or bleed kit.
Your bike must be carried as part of your luggage allowance. The weight of a bike in cardboard box is about 15-20kg, so please bear this in mind when packing for the trip and you may have to pay for excess luggage.
Your bike must be carried as a part of your luggage allowance and, to this end, we recommend you make every effort to keep your total check-in baggage to an absolute minimum. The baggage allowance for most airlines for an economy-class ticket is 20kg per person; although a degree of flexibility is usually extended to groups and the check in staff may accept up to 26kg per person without imposing excess baggage charges.
Your hand luggage is not included as a part of your overall allowance, as it is not weighed. Please inform your airline in advance that you will be taking your bike on the flight and attempt to make every effort to secure from the airline an additional baggage allowance.
Whilst we endeavour to provide correct and relevant information obtained directly from the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate General - this information is subject to frequent change, without warning and at very short notice. Due to this, we cannot be held liable for any errors in the information provided on this website. We strongly advise you to check all information with the embassy relevant to your country for information about passport and visa requirements.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and visa. Passports much be valid for at least 6 month after the date of arrival or 1 month after expiration of visa and have 2 blank pages available for visa stamps for each country that you are visiting.
When obtained, please be sure to check that all details on the visa are correct prior to your departure.
Thailand: Most nationalities can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa. Please check the list on this website to see if your country is included in the visa exemption: Royal Thai Embassy.
Laos: Visa on arrival is no longer available at the Ban Huay Kon – Muang Ngeun border crossing. It is necessary to arrange this before you travel. Please visit this website for further information: Laos entry requirements.
Vietnam: British and Thai passport holders do not need a visa if they stay in country less than 14 days. For information relevant to the country for which you hold a passport, check with your local Vietnam Embassy for up to date advice. If you do require a visa please be aware that an e-visa is not acceptable for this tour as it will not allow entry or exit from Vietnam at the Tay Trang border crossing. Your visa must be applied for in advance. You can arrange for a visa on arrival in advance of the trip and our agent can provide you with a travel document that will permit entry to Vietnam for issue of the visa. There is a £10 admin charge for this. The visa fee is payable at Noi Bai airport, Hanoi.
We strongly recommend that you contact your doctor or local Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks before going on your trip for advice on the correct vaccinations required for your trip. Also, please refer to advice from National Travel Health Network and Centre .
There are no mandatory vaccinations for this trip, however the following are recommended Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis.
Vaccination requirements can change and we aren't medically qualified to answer your questions regarding vaccinations so please also check again with your health professional before departing for your trip.
Vietnams weather is split into two distinct weather patterns, tropical and a temperate zone. The average temperature ranges from 22 to 27 degrees all year round. In North Vietnam there are 4 seasons with distinct differences between them. It can get cool in the winter but very warm in the summer. The best time to visit North Vietnam is October to April, this is predominately a dry season with very pleasant temperatures.
Laos is best visited between October and April when the weather is predominantly warm and dry although it's cooler in the mountains. July and August brings higher humidity and shower with stunning lush green scenery. However, the rain is short and sharp and won't stop you exploring.
The climate in Thailand is classed as tropical with the average temperature of 82 degrees everyday throughout the year. March to May are the hot seasons, June to October being the rainy season and November to February being classed as the cooler season. The best time to visit Thailand is all year round although most choose November to April when the temperature is cooler and dryer.
In terms of clothing this is clearly up to you and we can only supply a rough guide as to what to take. This guide is entirely flexible and should be tailored to your specific needs.
- Cycling helmet
- Water bottles or camelbak
- Lightweight trekking boots/shoes - cycling footwear
- Lightweight trekking shorts
- Padded cycling shorts
- Long trousers
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Swim wear
- Fleece jacket/pullover
- Waterproof Biking Jacket (breathable fabric)
- Fingerless biking gloves
- Fleece hat or cap
- Sun hat
- Torch or headlamp - & spare bulbs/batteries
- Lip balm & Sunscreen
- Paracetamol/ Ibuprofen (or whatever you prefer for headache)
- Lomotil or Diacalm
- Rehydration salts (Dioralite)
- Antiseptic cream
- Throat lozenges
- Plasters (band aids)
- Nasal spray
- Eye drops
- Ear plugs
- Anti bacterial hand wash
- Antiseptic wet wipes
- Insect Repellent
- Energy Bars (gels, power bars)
- Energy/recovery drinks
Tipping in Vietnam - Tipping is an accepted part of everyday life and although it is always at your discretion, you will be expected to tip to reward service. As guidance, we recommend each cyclist allows US$3-4 per day for the guide and team at the end of the Vietnam leg of the tour is recommended.
Tipping in Laos - Although at your discretion, we recommend the rate of US$3-4 per day from each cyclist for the guide and team at the end of the Laos tour.
Tipping in Thailand - Although at your discretion, we recommend the rate of US$3-4 per day from each cyclist for the guide and team at the end of the Thailand tour.
Spending money depends on your taste for souvenirs, drinks etc. We estimate that £275 will be more than enough to cover the tour.
Vietnamese is the official language; English is generally favoured as a second. Chinese and Khmer and numerous other local languages are also spoken in places.
Vietnamese New Dông (approx. VND 26,131 to £1). The US Dollar is the most favoured foreign currency and we recommend taking some US Dollars travellers cheques and money in small denominations. British currency can usually be changed in the larger cities. There is a charge for changing money in banks. Travellers Cheques are widely accepted in hotels and banks.
Buddhism is the predominant religion in Vietnam. In the far north Hoa Hao and Cao Daism are among the indigenous religions along with groups that have animist beliefs. Ancestor worship is an important influence in Vietnamese culture. Other religions are Christianity and Islam.
Some suggestions for reading prior to the tour include Dervla Murphy: One foot in Laos/Thailand. Christopher Robbins: The Ravens: The Men Who Flew In The Secret War In Laos. The most thrilling read of all the books on America's secret war in Laos.
Government: Communist state
Currency: Kip (LAK)
Area total: 236,800 km2
Water: 6,000 km2
Land: 230,800 km2
Population: 6.858 million (2017)
Language: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
Religion: Buddhist 60%, animist and other 40% (including various Christian denominations 1.5%)
Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European & US plugs)
Dialling Code: +856
Internet TLD .la
Time Zone UTC +7
Government: constitutional monarchy
Currency: Thai baht (THB)
Area total: 513,120 km2
Land: 510,890 km2
Water: 2,230 km2
Population: 69.04 million (2017)
Language: Thai (official), minority languages
Religion: Buddhism (mainly Theravada), Islam in the south
Electricity: 220V/50Hz (American and/or European plug)
Dialling Code: +66
Internet: TLD .th
Time Zone UTC +7
Socialist Republic of Vietnam - Capital: Hanoi
Population 92 million
Area 329,247 sq km (127,123 sq miles)
Major language Vietnamese
Major religion Buddhism
Life expectancy 73 years (men), 81 years (women)
Lao People's Democratic Republic - Capital: Vientiane
Population 6.7 million
Area 236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles)
Major languages Lao, French
Major religion Buddhism
Life expectancy 65 years (men), 68 years (women)
Kingdom of Thailand - Capital: Bangkok
Population 69 million
Area 513,115 sq km (198,115 sq miles)
Major language Thai
Major religion Buddhism
Life expectancy Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 79 years (women)
Our professional cycling tops are designed with three rear elasticated pockets to give you plenty of space for your cycling essentials and comes with a silicone bottom hem. Lined with COOLMAX ® to keep you cool and comfortable and ensure moisture wicking. Available in varies sizes so please refer to size charts for more information.
- Nan Province: minority cultures, ancient wats.
- Sunset and sunrise at Phu Lang Ka, Phayo province.
- Laos: Historic Luang Prabang; Mekong River trip.
- Diên Biên Phu: location of 1954 Viet Minh conquest.
- Tam Tron: the highest mountain pass in Vietnam.
- Hanoi: Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
"Another great trip with redspokes. There was a real sense of adventure on a route spanning three countries. The weather, and the food, got increasingly hot - and the hills..."
Phil and Ruth Dunnell