Testimonials - Laos - South to North
A Hospitable Journey
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Laos - South to North cycling holidays...
Showing 1 to 60 of 60 Testimonials
Michael and Christine Lawton, Rhyl, England, UK
The information provided prior to the trip was excellent. Laos is a wonderful place to visit and the food is really good. Our guide Chit was brilliant and the driver/chef/mechanic/provider of sustenance throughout the ride, Kou was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for either of them. The scenery is spectacular. The cycling is certainly challenging in parts, but the long up hills do mean there are long downhills to compensate. The staff were always on hand to provide encouragement, cool drinks and fruit at the right times.
Peter Dahlhus, Stenloese, Denmark
I had a very good trip to Laos with Redspokes. It was a fantastic way to explore a country which I did not know much about before. If I should mention one thing that impressed me it will be the people - they are very welcoming no matter where we were. The scenery was also very beautiful and I enjoyed the bike cycling. All in all I am very happy for this tour!
Andrew Clark, Richmond, England, UK
This was my first cycling tour, but any concerns I had were dispelled in the first few minutes of meeting the tour organisers and my fellow riders. The country is beautiful, and largely undeveloped with generally quiet roads that make for peaceful cycling. The rides are supported by a 5 person team who typically wait an hour ahead of the start point of each ride, with refreshments and water top-ups. After couple of days, I started referring to their transport as Ken's magic bus, after our Lao tour guide, due to the apparent ability of its crew to rejuvenate my cycling each hour.The riding was generally comfortable, with a couple of harder days in the hills, though the spectacular views on these rides were the highlight of the trip for me. There is no off-road biking (save the odd few metres of washed out tarmac), but there are a few rest days to enjoy the main cities and nightly opportunities to try out the cultural institution that is Beer Lau.If you ever been somewhere and thought "I wished I'd come here 10 years ago", you should pack your bag quickly and visit Laos before the rest of the world does.
Marc Shakinovsky, St Albans, UK
A Truly Magnificent Tour. Phenomenal Local guide and Incredible support team."Kawp Jai"redspokes leaves only positive footsteps in Laos. redspokes investment back into the communities is admirable. I was very proud to receive such a warm welcome from the Homestay Hmong village and the School which you and your clients helped to build and continue to support. You are a credit to tourism. I will definitely be getting involved in supporting the families and children we met on our big Laos adventure.
Olivia Slee, Perth, Australia
This trip was undoubtedly the best trip I have ever been on. I still find myself comparing other travels and nothing matches the amazing experience of the Laos trip. You step into a new world and interact with your surrounds to a far greater level when touring on your bike. Some of the experiences still seem very surreal. I cherrish a letter written to me by one of the schoolgirl wishing me "lucky when back to your home". I have met some amazing people and will have to organise another trip with some of the group (the two Andy's!!) in pursuit of winning a hill stage!
Heather McCulloch, Australia
I loved the opportunity to interact with locals in a meaningful way. I can't fault the organisation, it all went so smoothly, and I know there's always so much work behind the scenes. I had such a wonderful holiday, every day was like a new adventure.I really enjoyed the way Dermot was involved and how he (and the whole group) was into all the spontaneity, for example here's some crazed guy in a car yelling that he's a cyclist, and we all end up having a great time visiting his bike museum and pub.redspokes would always be first preference for me, I fully recommend them.
Karina Lehrner, California, USA
My redspokes tour in Laos was more than I could have imagined. The local team provided excellent support, delicious food, local knowledge, and a positive representation of ethical and culturally responsive tourism. The experience was a complete gift. The ability to visit villages that have a relationship with redspokes added to the magic of the trip, and afforded us the opportunity to contribute to supporting local needs (funding for a school recreational area).
Thank you, I will take another tour with redspokes!
Piero Tassinari, Meldola, Italy
Well, it has been the second time I've bike toured with redspokes and again I must say I've been really happy with this Laos esperience. The scenery has been stunning, the contact with the locals wonderful, the cycling pretty challenging; I dare saying ... don't try this tour if you aren't well trained and very determined to face some very tough days!
The home stay in the village has been an unforgettable chance of witnessing the daily life of the rural people .... absolutely anthropologically interesting! We visited the local school supported by redspokes ... having been a primary school teacher all my life this too has been a very moving moment! The cycling group has been a fun enjoyable crew; I would say choosing redspokes has proved a guarantee of a well assorted bunch of cyclists. Thank you redspokes!
Jenny Nicoll, Sussex, England, UK
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed last Christmas/New Year in Laos. Know my comments are a little late but I've not long been back in the UK. Do you remember that the tour was part of my round the world travels and it was the first time I had ever been on a cycle tour as well as travelling on my own. I had an amazing time travelling, visiting over 10 countries in just 6mths. Now I'm back, friends often ask where was my favourite place. Of course that is difficult to answer as I've had a great time nearly everywhere I went experiencing many cultures and doing some amazing things. However, I must say that the cycle tour comes right up at the top of my list for an overall adventure. I loved Laos, the people the country and the actual challenge of the cycling, which I did find tough at times.Ben and Ken were both great and very supportive and I thought the tour was very well organized. I was so glad that I decided to include this as part of my travels and would love to do another one sometime.
Connie Demmel, Munich, Germany
"An excellent and truly memorable experience.
Well done redspokes - we'll be back."
Gordon Leith, Meols, Merseyside, England
A great trip in Laos, the variety of cycling was perfect, the people were so warm and friendly and the redspokes support team worked hard to make sure that we all had a great holiday.
Alex Fahey, Berkhamsted, England
"An amazing experience more than a holiday"
Alan and Gail McMeekin, Victoria, Australia
This was one of the most enjoyable overseas experiences, the tour was just superb Its people were a delight and we would urge others to visit - The formula adopted where local people are used to lead and support the group, works really well. Ken and his team were fantastic and arranged things so that everyone was able to achieve their goals. The opportunity to spend time with local staff and local communities was appreciated. While we don't often use organised tours, this was a beauty and we hope to do another with redspokes. Thanks
Joy Collins, Labrador, AustraliaA Fantastic Experience. Travelling through the Villages and the amazing scenery - Awesome. Thanks
Poppy Moore, Sydney, AustraliaI had a fantastic time and met some great people, I would definitely recommend this trip to others!
Paul Borek, Surrey, England, UK
All in all an unforgettable 2 weeks in a fascinating ,beautiful country. The organising team were wonderful and the white minibus in the distance provided a welcome respite from the physical torment with its pineapple and bananas providing much needed sustenance. Some of the uphill days were tough but really it was what I was hoping for, a challenge. The village stay was an unforgettable experience, as was the mekong river trip. Cycling and scenery --simply the best I have experienced. Looking forward to my next RS trip!
Gail Buswell, Oxford, England, UK
Ken, Mai and team were fantastic, they ensured the trip was truly memorable by helping us to understand their culture and enjoy the best of their country whilst also being sympathetic to our 'falang' requirements and ensuring everything was easy and enjoyable for us. Thanks for a great trip.
Dave Whitton, Exeter, England, UK
I thought this was an excellent tour. The welcome and hospitality from the Loas people was very touching. The local knowledge and contacts that Dermot and Ken have established enabled us to see and experience so much more of the local communities.The Homestay was a great experience where we were guests of honour at their evening party and were treated to no less that three breakfasts to set us on out way the next day! The impact of the Vietnam War on Laos was broght home when we visited the COPE Carity HQ, and I aim to do my bit to help repair some of the damage caused by the legacy of the remaining UXBs on the civilian population.
Rod McPhee, Australia
After the first 2 days I was saying to myself what the hell has my daughter talked me into, after day 4 thanks to everyone on the trip and especially David our tour guide I started to believe I could do it, and I was really enjoying it. As we neared the end of the trip I wished the trip was longer I was not ready for it to finish.I will definitely be doing another redspokes tour with David and hopefully all of us will do it together I met on the trip.
Phil Hurcom, London, England, UK
My third redspokes trip and the most enjoyable. Stunning scenery and wonderful welcomes from the Laotians, challenging cycling that was still within everyone's abilities plus some great evenings on the Beer Lao combined to make the most memorable of trips, all topped off with the usual excellent redspokes organisation and tour leadership
Paul Tierny, Galway, Ireland
Overall I had another excellent adventure with the redspokes group. This is my third trip with them and it once again exceeded my expectations of the trip. Laos is one of the nicest places to go cycling and there were some good climbs which presented some nice challenges. The cycling vs. non bike time was perfect and the rest day for Christmas in Luang Prabang was fun. Really nice mix of eclectic riders on the group and some fun nights!Well done redspokes and thanks for another unforgettable experience, will be back for another adventure next year.
Andrew Rankin, Dorset, England, UK
This was a great trip and I would happily recommend it. David was brilliant as the Tour Leader and his knowledge of Laos added greatly to the experience.I have many happy memories of a great group, a beautiful country and laughter.
Robert & Tara Coppa, Victoria, Australia
I travelled in the bus with Mai, Meuay and Oudom - no common language and yet it was great. Some of my best memories are of Mai spotting something edible growing on the roadside and all of us piling out of the bus to 'harvest' the bounty!
Graham Searle, Oxfordshire, England
We had a fantastic time on the tour. We were hoping that it would be a really memorable experience, but it absolutely exceeded our expectations all the way. We came back firmly believing that cycle touring is the very best way to see a country, and that Laos is one of the very best countries in the world to see. Everything about it was pretty much spot-on - the route, accommodation and food were great. The overall atmosphere was really good - in a group that size, I think that it's actually pretty impressive that there weren't any major issues in two weeks. I think that the effect of the personalities leading the group can't be underestimated. Dermot and Ken were fantastic, it's a tricky thing that you do but your cheerful and friendly ways really do make a difference. It's obvious that you both take a personal interest in each individual and how they're getting on / enjoying the trip - that's appreciated.We are pretty impressed by the work your charity has done, and by how much difference a relatively small amount of money can make to these rural communities if invested wisely.
John Thompson, Newcastle, England
Having been lucky enough to travel in Asia a little, I had high expectations of our trip to Laos. These were more than surpassed. The trip combined the beauty of an amazing country with the spirit and huge smiles of a fabulous people. Dermot and Ken provided professional and yet hilarious guiding and made us all feel very well looked after. One of the luckiest features of our trip was the fantastic group I cycled with. I couldn't have wished for a nicer group of fellow travelers, and really hope we can meet up again soon to do a similar trip. One of my best holidays. I can highly recommend it.
Owen Cooper, Manchester, England, UK
I was hugely impressed by the Organization throughout the tour, which was always low key/relaxed, yet clearly well planed. A huge thank you for designing an experience that'll stay with me for many years - the combination of cycling, scenery and meeting local people was superb. Few experiences live up to expectation, especially when you are really looking forward to something, but "lost in time" not only lived up to expectation, but exceeded it. Thank you
Anita Gupta, Liverpool, England, UK
This holiday was an exceptional experience for me and I think I will find it difficult to find another like it. Laos is a beautiful country - Dermot and Khen's passion for it and its incredible people is the unspoken part of the tour that is priceless. The tour offers a wide range of real cultural exchanges which would not be found on any other holiday. We were all made to feel so welcome in Laos by everyone we met which was really very humbling. This vital sense of community that this country exudes is sadly such a rarity in the rest of the world.This really is a cycling holiday and is very well organised and paced. Transport by buses etc are kept to an absolute minimum. Some days are tough but you are on those hills before you know it and the sense of achievement is worth every effort. The group was very well balanced and it was great the way that everyone pulled together whilst on the rides - no one was left cycling on their own unless they wanted to be. An approach that was encouraged by Khen and Dermot from the start. Help was always at hand. The thought and energy that has been used to create this tour - down to every last detail - is an inspiration. I would recommend this trip to anyone without hesitation. If you are interested in exploring this country properly and understanding its complex issues then this tour is a very good introduction.
Mark Pearson, Bath, England, UK
Can't put in words how much I enjoyed the trip. Challenging physically and intellectually. Beautiful country and people. Great group and redspokes is a fantastic company. Will recommend Laos and redspokes to everyone who'll listen.
Lieve De Neve, Belgium
Cycling trough Laos was an extraordinary experience. The unspoilt and lush landscapes, the harvesting on the rice fields, thesmall remote villages andwatching from close bythe daily life of the people: this cycling journey was unique and surely a "once of a lifetime" experience. The organisation was perfect, thanks to David Walker and Ken. The entire team took really good care of us. In my case, the presence of the van was really assuring and I regularly used it to avoid the steepest and hardest parts of the route.The members of our group had different nationalities and backgrounds, which resulted in interesting conversations and exchange of points of view. Another benefit for me was it even resulted in an improvement of my English conversation skills! Going through my photographs, I realise again how wonderful this biketour was... The decision to go to Laos with redspokes was one of the best decisions I ever made :)Thanks again!
Paul Massie, London, England
The tour delivered everything, and more, that I was looking for. Great friendship, a wonderful country, lovely people and a physical and mental challenge! The tour was superbly led by Dermot and Ken. It exposed us to a culture in a way I think very few other tours could match.It was that insight into and brief experience of the Laos way of life that for me made this trip unique and certainly this was a view echoed by one or two of my fellow cyclists that I talked to. So well done! And to cap it all, I am now on the lowest notch on my belt and trying my best to keep it there.
Katja Stille, London, England, UK
I think the tour was fantastic all around even for someone who normally avoids organised group holidays. I wouldn't have gone with any organisation and redspokes and the personal involvement of Dermot made organised group travel seem appealing. It sets a great example that organised travel is possible without the negatives associated with it. Ken was great! His beaming smile is still one of the major impressions of the trip.. He was also always approachable and willing to explain local customs and details about day-to-day Lao life. Above that he was attentive and helpful in sorting bike problems.
Claire Thomas, Edinburgh, Scotland
During the course of our travels through Laos, as well as experiencing wonderful scenery, good food and amazing cycling, we also managed to touch the Laotian culture. The Laotians have so little but gave so much warmth and encouragement which helped make this trip so special. The Laotian support crew who were driving the van, cooking and acting as local guides as well as Dermot the Tour Leader, did their utmost to make this a holiday to remember. I would recommend this trip to everyone.
Bea Bowen, Oxford, England
All in all an absolutely fantastic trip which has opened my eyes to the huge advantages of seeing a country by bike instead of zooming past in a bus from A to B.Both Ken and Dermot were great tour leaders, always ready with a smile and keen to make sure that everyone was getting the most out of the trip, I loved it!Thanks for everything.
Cathy Sheeman, Auckland, New ZealandI want to thank you again for a wonderful wonderful tour in Laos/Thailand. I am totally hooked and recommending redspokes to everyone I meet. I can't think of a better way of doing it.
The group was brilliant and so was the organisation, really stress-free for me. And having Lao guides and translators was fantastic.
On the first night I decided not to make snap judgements about the people in the group and just accept everyone and let them reveal themselves, and it really worked. They were all wonderful.
You have just the right touch - it's organised beautifully and takes away all the worries of doing it on your own, but leaves enough freedom to still make it an adventure. I liked the skillful way you went around and checked on everyone without being overbearing.
I fully expected to be bundled into the back of the truck on the day from Luang Prabang to Kiu Kacham but it was great I was able to complete that challenging day.
Your initial instructions about respect were spot-on. I felt proud of our group and the way we conducted ourselves - I think even our drunken behaviour was within acceptable limits.
Ian Smith, Letchworth, England, UKLaos/Thailand - Lost In Time: believe everything you read about this tour. Go with high expectations and expect to come back saying every expectation was exceeded. You will be transported to a country where everyone is your friend; where everyone smiles and time has indeed stood still.
Don't expect luxury; expect to muck in a bit, expect it to be uncomfortable at times as it can be hot and sticky; if you can handle this your reward will be an experience that will move you deeply and have you returning home singing the praises of a wonderful country. I promise.
Louise Goldingham, Oxon, England, UKThis was a truly fantastic holiday. The cycling was great, the local people so warm and welcoming, scenery amazing and the organisation of the trip was brilliant.
I didn't need to worry about the cycling as the pace was so good, with lots of refreshment stops. It was an experience I will never forget.
Clifford Erett, Belfast, IrelandBelated happy new year to all at redspokes. I'm emailing to thank you and your team for a fantastic holiday Dermot, it was one of (if not the most) interesting and enjoyable experiences of my life to date. The warmth shown to us from the people of Ken's village and the population generally was most humbling. Please convey my thanks and good wishes to Ken and his family, not forgetting Mr Lucky, forkeeping us well fed and watered while we enjoyed ourselves.
I will not fill your inquestionnaire Dermot because for me the trip was better than I expected. OK so the hotels were not up to western standards but I feel that adds to the experience.
Don't change a thing Dermot; it's a bloody marvellous tour!
Ilkka Nyknen, FinlandThis trip had a very good combination of cycling and culture. Passing through so many small rural villages and receiving such a warm welcome , was fasinating. Its not easy to find places like these nowadays. It would be good if everyone living in the western countries to do this trip sometime.
Before this trip I was a little woried how I would understand native English (Scottish) speakers but thanks to Dermot and Ken and the whole group it was not a problem.
Evelyn Mullins, Dublin, IrelandThe trip was really well organised. Dermot, Ken and all the team were so encouraging and helpful. I couldn't fault anything on the trip.
The country was fantastic and I think what redspokes is doing for the villages is fantastic.
Julie Niven, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe best holiday I've ever had - it's going to take some beating. I've been on organised cycling trips before and this trip blew them all out of the water.
The organisation was faultless, the cycling was awesome, the scenery was stunning, the people were fabulous. The welcome we received in Ban Faen will stay with me for a long time. A truly humbling experience.
Rory Morrison, London, England, UKWhat a great way to see beautiful Laos and to meet it's friendly and welcoming people. The route is brilliantly conceived. You are taken on a self-propelled roller-coaster of a ride through some of the remotest and least spoilt tropical landscapes imaginable. A completely stress-free holiday.
A cycle adventure tour company who are passionate about the countries they ride through, taking care to positively contribute to the communities encountered along the way. You will come away with a far greater understanding of the people and issues of the region, this is what makes redspokes tours unique.
Andrea middleton, England, UKI cannot now imagine a better way to visit a country than by bike. redspokes gave us the opportunity to see visit real communities and experience the humbling generosity of the Laos people.
The scenery was incredible. The cycling was enjoyable at not as tough as we'd expected and the group pulled together for the larger wee bumps along the way!
Richard Matheson, Leeds, England, UKIt has all been said in the other testimonials the most vivid memories will always be of the three most important things: the welcoming and friendly people of Laos, great food and interesting and varied terrain for cycling!
A wonderful experience, and a privilege to visit such a beautiful country which gives so much to its visitors.
Ailsa Rutherford, Surry, England, UKFor want of a less clich'd phrase: this was a life-changing experience. I wish I had discovered cycling tours earlier in my life. It's the perfect speed to see a country if walking's too slow for you and buses/trains whisk you past too quickly behind glass.
The Laos tour provided a great sense of work and reward for me; the work is the cycling; the reward is seeing such a beautiful place and lovely people more intimately (and not forgetting the odd Beerlao at the end of the day too!). I can't fault the tour leaders, David and Khen, for their continual cheer and encouragement along the way, striking the right balance between supported group travel and personal space . I look forward to my next adventure with redspokes.
Jon Langley, London, Endland, UKThis was just what I hoped for, not just a trip from A to B but a tour into and through the Thailand/Laos area where you felt part of the region for the period of the journey thanks.
Clare Thomas, London, England, UKAbsolutely fantastic experience a stunning country, amazing people and a great tour. Dermot and Ken were brilliant and ensured we all had a great time. Fabulous!
Ian Langley, Leeds, England, UKThe trip was a great mix of culture, cycling and good fun without a lot of transfers during the trip.
Richard Garlick, Hertford, England, UKThis was a wonderful holiday for me that allowed personal space yet was efficiently organized - Helped of course by Laos being such a intresting, beautiful and friendly country to visit.
Nina Davis, Hackney, London, UKFantastic trip, it was everything you promised and more. I absolutely loved it, it was just what I needed to feed my soul and I felt totally energised when I got back (plus my fitness level was through the roof!) I'll definitely be coming on another redspokes Trip.
Anna Hebden, AustraliaThe tour was wonderful. Ben and Ken were both great; very patient and helpful. I enjoyed all the accommodation and it was good to have a mix of hotels and guest houses. One of the highlights was a hot bucket shower at the stop before Luang Prabang. We had had a very wet day of cycling and it was lovely to be made so welcome at that guest house, a simple place, but definitely one of my favourites.
The food was fantastic too and I was amazed by all the wonderful vegetables and herbs in Laos. As a vegetarian I was catered for at every stop.
Not being a great or experienced cyclist I was a little apprehensive before the trip, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I stayed at the back most of the time chatting with Jenny and Heather (often 3 abreast..... sorry Ben!). We had a fantastic time with lots of laughs.
I was also really impressed with the cycle shop in Chiang Rai. The people working there were very helpful and got my bike sorted for me no problem.
I would give the tour 5/5 and will definitely be looking at another in the futureThanks again, Anna.
Sophie Lewis, Cambridge, England, UKAs a novice cyclist I found the riding hard; but I now can't think of a better way to see a country. Laos is amazing Breathtaking scenery and the friendliest people you'll ever meet
Allyson Wakeham, Brighton, EnglandBeautiful country, gorgeous people - the children brought tears to my eyes with their enthusiasm towards visitors. Breath taking views, a well thought out route for a short visit and taste of Laos. Many thanks redspokes for introducing me to Laos.
Laura Russell, London, EnglandThis was my first cycling holiday and was an absolutely amazing experience. Laos is a remarkable country with unbelievable scenery and the friendliest people I have ever met.
The cycling was difficult in places but it was reassuring to know that it was never far before we would turn the corner and see the van waiting with fresh fruit and hot drinks. I am already thinking about my next trip with redspokes!
Karen Allworthy & Geoff Messenger, London, England, UKredspokes' cycle tour was very well organised and flexible without being restricting and rigid in its itinerary showing us the real Laos and its people along the way.
Mike Shelton, Cheltenham, England, UKReally good trip, having spent the previous week cycling on my own in southern Laos/Thailand, it was great to have everything arranged. The big advantage of an organized trip is that you don't have to ride the dull bits and there are interesting extras like the Mekong river trip, the stay in Khens village and the Hmong village visit.
The 15 mile interval between stops is just right. The support crew and all these stops added a lot to the trip.
Michelle Emery, London, England, UKThe trip was fantastic. The staff were extremely helpful, the tour was well organised and I would have no hesitation in going on another redspokes trip or in recommending them to other people.
Chris Fielden, Nottingham, England, UKExcellent tour, I think I'll struggle to find a much better holiday
Rita Gough, Preston, England, UKAn outstanding experience that I will always remember. I felt part of Laos/Thailand, rather than a spectator and it was great riding through the less well known villages/towns.
Penny Weir, Avimore, ScotlandThank you for such a great trip to Laos/Thailand - what a magical country. A great experience.
Debbie Denton, Chesterfield, England, UKA big, big, thanks for a fabulous holiday in Laos/Thailand. Everything about the holiday we both enjoyed;- the friendly smiley Laos/Thailand's, impressive scenery, great cycling, food, weather,various types of accommodation, organisation, the diversity of each day, not forgetting our fellow cyclists - even the mad Scotsman !!, the list could go on and on !!!
Best holiday ever, look forward to the next.
Showing 1 to 60 of 60 Testimonials