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Laos - South to North

Itinerary

Day 1: Vientiane

The Laos tour starts in Vientiane. A redspokes guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You will have some free time to explore this delightful capital city.

This Afternoon we will sort out any bike problems before we stretch our legs with a ride around the laid back captial and the surrounding area. With its French colonial influences Vientiane is barely recognisable as an Asian city, it has a relaxed 'small town' charm.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)


Day 2: Vientiane to Nam Ngum

We cycle out of Vientiane. After leaving the bustle of the town we ride through pastoral agricultural land passing paddy fields and more intensively farmed areas. Towards the end of the day there are two short, but rewarding climbs just before we reach our destination at Ang Nam Ngum reservoir.

Cycling Distance: 97 km (60 miles)
Total Climb: 489m (1,604ft)
Total Descent: 425m (1,394ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)


Day 3: Nam Ngum to Vang Vieng

We have an early start this morning along mostly flat roads. Towards the end of the morning we reach the fishing village of Tha Heauna where all manner of salty fish are on sale by the road. We will have lunch here, sampling the local produce, before cycling on to arrive by early afternoon in Vang Vieng, where we stay the night.

Cycling Distance: 105 km (65 miles)
Total Climb: 706m (2,316ft)
Total Descent: 695m (2,280ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L)


Day 4: Vang Vieng

Rest Day. Vang Vieng has recently become a popular destination for backpackers and is a comfortable place with nice restaurants and guesthouses. There are options to swim, tube or visit nearby caves. We can relax with a beer Lao to finish off the day and enjoy the sunset over the river behind the stunning limestone pinnacles.

Accommodation: Guest House (B)


Day 5: Vang Vieng to Kasi

We begin the day cycling a route with hills on either side. After about 28km we begin to get a taste of what's to come with an 8k climb. This is followed by a long gentle descent to Kasi.

Cycling Distance: 59 km (36.5 miles)
Total Climb: 571m (1,873ft)
Total Descent: 450m (1,476ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)


Day 6: Kasi to Kiu Kachan

We will have an early start in preparation for the hardest day of the trip. The cycling begins with a fairly gentle 10k ride as the scent of jasmine and lotus blossoms drifts through the clear air from the rich jungle flora. This is followed by a massive 38k ascent to reach Nung Phum. We will stop here for a well-deserved lunch. This afternoon we cycle a further 50k up and down through dramatic scenes of craggy limestone peaks some of which are the highest in South East Asia. At the end of this challenging day we arrive in Kiu Kachan.

Cycling Distance: 95 km (59 miles)
Total Climb: 2,395mm (7,857ft)
Total Descent: 1,452m (4,763ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)


Day 7: Kiu Kachan to Luang Prabang

We cycle to Luang Prabang, which is a world heritage site and one of the highlights of the trip. The day starts with a long descent for 22 k followed by a 15k hard climb. On the way we pass through Hmong villages each of which has its own distinctive character and style of house.

Cycling Distance: 78 km (48 miles) 
Total Climb: 971m (3,185ft)
Total Descent: 2,061m (6,762ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B)


Day 8: Luang Prabang

Rest day in beautiful Luang Prabang, encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong where it meets the Nam Khan River. The day is free to explore this delightful World Heritage town with 32 historic temples, ancient monasteries, the magnificent Royal Palace Museum and French Colonial architecture. This is a place to chill out, enjoy the food, the peaceful surroundings and the people.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)


Day 9: Luang Prabang to Pak Mong

The day starts out on pleasantly flat roads. We have the opportunity to visit the holy caves of Pak-Ou where there is an ancient collection of precious Buddhist statues (optional extra). This is a long gentle ride with interesting sights along the way, finishing in Pak Mong.

Cycling Distance: 81 km (50 miles)
Total Climb: 679m (2,228ft)
Total Descent: 554m (1,817ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)


Day 10: Pak Mong to Oudom Xay

An unforgettable day as we cycle into remoter areas, well off the beaten track. The day starts with a steep climb that takes us deep into lush jungle. We continue cycling over rolling hills and through magnificent scenery. At the end of the day we cycle downhill to Oudom Xay; the capital of the Province and home to 22 different ethnic minorities mostly Akha, Hmong and Mien.

Cycling Distance: 81 km (50 miles)
Total Climb: 1,619m (5,312ft)
Total Descent: 1,460m (4,790ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)


Day 11: Oudom Xay to Ban Nalay

Another roller coaster day. Our cycle route is through lush jungle and passes many hill tribe villages that still retain their age-old cultural traditions. The simple bamboo houses rest on stilts, with children playing beneath them amongst the chickens and pigs. Tonight we stop in Ban Nalay where we will be hosted by local families. "redspokes" has developed a special relationship with this village and we support the local school. Our friends in the village will welcome us with traditional festivities and we will experience something of life in a real Laos village.

Cycling Distance: 58 km (36 miles)
Total Climb: 487m (1,598ft)
Total Descent: 644m (2,113ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)


Day 12: Ban Nalay to Pakbeng

Today we cycle along unsealed roads through friendly villages. As we pass by children will shout "sabaai dii, sabaai dii" (the Laos greeting) to every passing cyclist. We finish the last days' cycling in the village of Pakbeng.

Cycling Distance: 88 km 54.5 miles)
Total Climb: 869m (2,851ft)
Total Descent: 757m (2,484ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)


Day 13: Pakbeng to Luang Prabang

Today we take a memorable boat journey though mist covered mountains up the mighty Mekong river to Luang Prabang. This journey gives is a wonderful insight into the significance of the Mekong river to the people who we have met along the way, and a memorable end to your visit.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)


Day 14: Home

In the morning you will be transferred to Luang Prabang airport for the return flight home.

Laos Cycling Holidays

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