Thailand & Laos
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Thailand & Laos cycling holidays...
Deirdre Roche, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Ireland
A wonderful experience! A fabulous way to see a country, learn about the people and culture. Totally hooked on cycle holidays!
Thank you for making it all possible!
David Harrington, California, USA
Whether we were pedaling through the scattered corn fields or terraced rice paddies along the streams on a pleasantly warm day, climbing thousands of feet through the morning's cool mist into jungles of bamboo, or riding through the passes of majestic limestone karst formations that reached the clouds above, there was one beautiful common thread to every single day in Laos aside from the incredible scenery. Many, many times a day, we would pass through tiny, rustic villages, scattered with an array of stilted houses dotted along the roadside or spreading up the hillside or down towards a stream. And within almost every one of these villages were the friendliest, sweetest, and most charming people in the world. We would offer our greetings and wave as they shared their warm smiles, friendly waves, and 'sabaidees,' especially from the wildly excited children who flocked to the roadsides of most every village to exchange an enthusiastic 'high fives,' thereafter dancing with joy as we pedaled away smiling!
Ngam lai lai!
But how could we experience these wonderful days without both leaders Ken and Dermot being on top of their game the entire trip! I can only imagine there were occasions when things were not according to plan. Yet we never noticed because they did such an amazing job of taking care of business so we could thoroughly enjoy our journey.
I think I can speak for most everyone who hired a bike: the rental shop and excellent mechanics provided impressive attention to adjustments for finely tuned bikes, and that the front-suspension bikes were of very good quality! And front suspension was a must (sorry James and Tara)!
Lastly, every encounter with another person or place is an opportunity to be enriched and to give back in one way or another. In these two weeks, some of us found that in our fellow travellers, others with a simple smile or interaction with a local, and still others through donations. But I would venture to guess that we were all touched by the charm and beauty of the most hard-working, attentive, sweet, and loving local support staff that truly made our entire journey the wonderful pleasure that it was; an absolutely incredible experience!
Kop jai lai lai der!
Michele McCoy and Malcolm Dean, Kilmarnock, Scotland
A great trip in a beautiful country with many memorable moments. Ken, family and all the support team did a fantastic job looking after us all.
Truly a step back in time, people are friendly, welcoming and take time to smile. The sence of community in the villages is something that will stay with us for a long time. Great work Dermot with the community trust fund. Thanks!
Alastair Locke, Leeds, England, UK
The whole trip was an incredible kaleidoscope of experiences, even though I am a well traveled person. The highlights being the home stay, the friendly Loasions, your support team (even including you Dermot!! shame about your pucking skills!!?) the suprise canoeing trip, redspokes passion for the country and their charitable sponsorship.
I could go on, but suffice to say I enjoyed it very much and everyone was very tolerant of my sometimes wayward behaviour!!!
Mary and Donald, Edinburgh, Scotland
Once again redspokes does a fantastic trip. Sailing down the Mekong, cycling through villages barely changed in generations, excited children shouting sabaai-dii, lazy day in Luang Prabang, welcome ceremony at the home stay, the support provided by Khen his family and team are a few of the unforgettable memories of this trip.
We wouldn't have wanted to see Laos in any other way. Dermot you are a cycling inspiration.
Scooby Werkstatt, California, USA
Awesome Laos trip! I was so impressed with the way you do tours that I plan on taking either your Vietnam or one of your South America tours next year! I have seen first hand the damage that irresponsible tourism can cause so it was incredibly refreshing to be on your tour where I truly felt good about my role as guest/tourist.
I was really impressed with the way you help the local communities and the wonderful work of the charitable organization COPE, I'm trying to raise money for them on my website as well: www.scoobysworkshop.com/charities.htm
Rick Algar, Essex, England, UK
The company, a fantastic, considerate and fun group; the Laos experience, nothing prepared me for the excited laughter and uninhibited, unconditional delight of the village children as a stream of falangs in gaudy cycle gear streamed through the village;
The guides and support team, unfailingly attentive and just genuinely lovely people, a great trip.
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.
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.
Ashley Makepeace, Fremantle, Australia
A fantastic trip!!! There is no doubt that there are some long days but what goes up must come down, a long way down sometimes. I cannot fault the organization from Dermot and Ken. The distance travelled each day was split up to make even the longer days manageable.
This beautiful country, full of friendly, mellow people was enhanced by the contact with local people, including a home stay where there is electricity (from a generator) running water (otherwise known as a river). Hearing about what some charities (inc. Cope) are doing to help and being able to give a small donation and seeing exactly who the money was going to was a bonus.
Biggest traffic jam we encountered, was the cows. Skills obtained included proficiency in executing high-fives to children at speed and not running any of them down, shouting 'sa bai dee' to everyone, while fighting for breath on the 'wee bumps'. Finally, a big thanks to the group, who added so much to one of my favorite holidays, I couldn't ask for more.