Laos: Northern Loop
redspokes Laos Northern Loop cycling holiday begins in UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang. An ancient, royal city full of exquisite Buddhist temples, Luang Prabang is a magical place to explore and to relax before our remote and challenging cycling adventure begins.
Departing the city, we have a tough first day in the saddle, cycling a mountainous route with a back drop of spectacular karst peaks. We head on through the north east and the Phou Bia mountains, one of the highest mountain ranges in Laos. We will also follow sections of the Ho Chi Minh trail, a seemingly endless series of paths where the trail crosses into Laos at several points. The trail was used to deliver weapons to communist guerrillas fighting against US and Southern Vietnamese forces. The many visible bomb craters in the Phonsavan area are a reminder of the impact of 9 years of war.
We reach the legendary Plain of Jars; a huge archaeological complex. The stone jars are over 2,000 years old. Believed to be Iron Age burial urns, their true origin remains a mystery and legend has it that they could have been created to brew potent rice wine to celebrate the victory of a band of mythical giants over their enemies. Others say the jars held whisky for a thirsty giant who lived in the mountains above Phonsavan. We have a day to explore the mystical Iron Age remains and learn more about their history.
Continuing to cycle hilly, rural, remote regions, we will be welcomed by minority communities. Cycling through forested conservation areas we reach beautiful Nong Khiaw village on the banks of the Nam Ou river, surrounded by jungle and limestone cliffs. Our Laos Northern Loop cycling holiday ends back in beautiful Luang Prabang.
13 days from
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Day to Day Details
Key details of our Cycling holiday in Laos:
- Minority cultures: Phuan, Hmong, Khmu, Tai Dam
- Luang Prabang: temples, royal palace, scenic views
- Xiangkhouang Plateau: Plain Of Jars
- Phou Bia mountain range
- Ho Chi Minh Trail
- Traditional homestay