‘Lao lao’ is a rice wine distilled locally in villages and while we don’t suggest you consume it while cycling it does give a good idea of this trip – local, fun and tasty with the potential for a little bit of pain the next day.
We’ve taken the original Lao Lao tour and made it even better, with more great cycling as well as some village trekking and a boat down the Nam Ou River to mix things up a bit. This is now officially our favourite tour!
This is a great trip with wonderful variety and the cycling is spectacular. We ride along back roads and quiet highways, along side rivers before climbing up into spectacular limestone mountains. There are some climbs, but the stunning view and thrilling descents for a number of days through H’Mong villages are ample reward for the effort. We enjoy some gentler flat days and visit the popular hangout town of Vang Vieng before we arrive in the capital of Vientiane where we conclude our journey.
Day 1: Fly to Chiang Khong ( L , D )
We start with a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai in the far north where your tour leader will meet you. We then drive out to the border town of Chiang Khong where we stay by the Mekong River with the dim lights of the nearest Lao town shining across the water. Day 2: Mekong River & Pak Beng ( B , L , D )
We make an early border crossing into much sleepier Lao. Here the pace of life slows dramatically. We board a charming and comfortable wooden boat for our cruise down the Mekong. We pass through dense forest, steep mountains and all the while the river winds its way down. If the beauty of the natural scene in front of you becomes tiring, you can always stretch out on the deck and read a book. We eat a delicious Lao meal on the boat and arrive into the small town of Pak Beng where we spend our first night in Lao. Day 3: Cycle 80km & Transfer to Oudom Xai ( B , L ,D )
We meet our bikes today and after a quick fitting, we cycle our way out of the Mekong Valley on a peaceful winding road through postcard picture perfect scenes. Villagers tending to crops of corn and rice, children playing games or heading off to school, and women weaving silk in home workshops greet you along the way. We drive the last section to reach the curious, but welcoming trade town of Oudom Xai. Day 4: Cycle to Nong Khiaw 80km ( B , L , D )
Today we meet a challenge as we ride out of the valley where Oudom Xai sits and we climb up into the ranges separating the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. While the climbing is sustained, it is not overly steep and it is easy to find a rhythm on the pedals. We pass through small Hmong and Khmu minority villages where people live pretty much as they have for centuries, subsisting on mountain agriculture and a little passing trade. A thrilling descent brings us down into picturesque farmland and to the beautiful little town of Nong Khiaw set on the river with limestone cliffs creating an amazing scene at sunset. Day 5: Free day in Nong Khiaew ( B )
We awake next to the beautiful Nam Ou River. The limestone hills will likely be shrouded in mist, so it takes some time to heat up here. When it does, you can relax with a swim in the river or read a book on the riverbank. For the more adventurous, there are some optional activities from trekking to rock-climbing, maybe even kayaking. Day 6: Cycle to Luang Prabang 70km ( B , L , D )
In the morning we board a small boat to cruise down the river for a couple of hours. Limestone cliffs surround villages and farmland and makes for a relaxing river journey. Where the river and highway meet we get back on the bikes and ride to Luang Prabang. This is an undulating ride with the Nam Ou River as our companion for much of the way. In the afternoon we will ride into Luang Prabang, our home for the next 3 nights. It has been said that Luang Prabang is the most beautiful town in South East Asia, and we would have to agree. With a combination of historic temples, French colonial architecture and its setting by the Mekong surrounded by mountains you won’t want to leave. Day 7: Free Day in Luang Prabang ( B )
Enjoy a free day in Luang Prabang to explore the temples, learn Lao cooking, provide alms to the monks, shop, explore the surrounding handicraft markets and workshops, ride an elephant, relax in a cafe – there is so much to do! Day 8: Cycle Luang Prabang & Kuang Sii Waterfall 68km ( B , L )
After a well earned rest day we hit the bikes for a ride to the stunning Kuang Sii Waterfall. The ride is along a small road alongside the Mekong River passing through small villages, rice fields and forest. At the waterfall enjoy a swim, picnic lunch and a visit to the bear rescue centre before riding back to Luang Prabang. Day 9: Cycle to Kiew Ka Cham 78km ( B , L ,D )
Cycling out of Luang Prabang we are faced with what is without doubt the most difficult day of cycling on this tour but also one of the most rewarding with two huge uphill climbs. We pass through lush forest and many small Hmong villages that sit dwarfed by the amazing landscape of limestone mountains that surround them. We stay the night in Kiew Ka Cham, a small village on top on the mountains. Few people stop here overnight so the accommodation is very simple. It is a special experience to stay in such a place. Day 10: Cycle to Kasi 94km ( B ,L,D )
You will be high in the mountains for the first half of the day following a ridge line up and down with peaks all around. In the afternoon it is time to relax a bit as the road is largely downhill along a valley to our overnight stop of Kasi. Day 11: Cycle to Vang Vieng 57km ( B , L )
The ride to Vang Vieng is a relatively easy day travelling through the lush green of rice fields. Vang Vieng is set in a prime location. Surrounded by limestone peaks, caves and rivers this town sees its fair share of travellers but for good reason. We should arrive before lunch so the afternoon is free to go caving, tubing on the river or relaxing in one of the many restaurants. Day 12: Cycle 20km & Boat to Nam Ngum ( B , L, D )
Today we set off on the bikes leaving Vang Vieng in the cooler morning air. After only a short ride we swap the bikes for boat. Today we are cruising on the huge reservoir known as Nam Ngum or affectionately “Lao Sea” by the locals. We pass various islands formed by the tops of hills in the valley that was flooded to make this dam. We stop at one of these islands for lunch before continuing onto our lakeside accommodation. Day 13: Cycle to Vientiane 90km ( B , L,D )
This morning we enjoy some very different landscapes. We have a thrilling downhill to start and then some rolling hills with a downward trend. We are then on the lowlands of Lao. More populated, more cultivated and more flat. We have a flat ride for the last 70km and roll into the capital city around mid afternoon. This evening we wrap up our adventure with a celebratory meal. Day 14: Conclusion of tour in Vientiane ( B )
The tour concludes today, you can leave any time that suits or stay on to explore Vientiane. Meals B
Tour Price : Contact Us
Tour Package Includes
– Accommodation based on twin sharing occupancy at hotel, guesthouse and Home stay.etc…
– Meals as indicated in program,B=Breakfast , L=Lunches ,D=Dinner
– Professional English speaking guide (other languages upon requests)
– A/C transfers and transportation.
– Boat trip mention in itinerary
– Pump, bike tools, spares tubes, Spare bike , Mountain Bicycle & Helmet
– Cold water box, small fresh towel,snacks, bike helmet
– All entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated in the program
– Service charges, rooms tax and handling fees
Tour Package Excludes
– Visa stamping fee
– Travel assurance
– Mineral water beyond that supplied
– Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
– Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
– Tips and gratuites
– Personal expenses and other services which are not mentioned in the program.
– International air tickets and airport departure taxes
– Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program
– Optional excursions