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Laos: Northern Loop

Tour Overview

redspokes Laos Northern Loop cycling holiday begins in UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang. Encircled by mountains and situated on the banks of the Mekong at its confluence with the Nam Khan river Luang Prabang is an ancient, royal city of exquisite Buddhist temples and a magical place to explore and to relax before our remote and challenging Northern Loop Laos cycling holiday begins.

Departing the city, we have a tough first day in the saddle, cycling a mountainous route with a backdrop of spectacular karst peaks. We head on through the north east and the Phou Bia mountains. This is one of the highest mountain ranges in Laos and we will enjoy beautiful scenic views across the cloud covered peaks and valleys. 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 serve as a reminder of the impact of 9 years of war.

We cycle to 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.

Riding on to the Xiengkhuang plateau we Continue to cycle hilly, rural, remote regions, and 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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Start Your Laos Cycling Adventure Here

Key details of our Cycling holiday in Laos:

Tour Features

  • 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
Cycle Holiday Tour Difficulty: 8/10 - Difficult

Ride Difficulty
8/10 - Difficult

Average Daily Distance: 80 / 50

Avg. Daily Distance
80 / 50

Number of Cycle Days: 10

Number of Cycle Days
10 days

Maximum Altitude: 1,590 / 5,216

Max Altitude
1,590 / 5,216