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Cycling in Laos

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Cycling in Laos - Exodus Travels
Cycling in Laos - Exodus Travels
Average
13 reviews
Starts
Chiang Mai
+9 Destinations
Laos Highlands
Ends
Bangkok
Map

Highlights

Start in Chiang Mai and end in Bangkok! With the bicycle tour Cycling in Laos, you have a 14 day tour package taking you from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and through Chiang Mai, Thailand and 9 other destinations in Asia. Cycling in Laos includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
18
Transportation
Bicycle
Travel style
Bicycle, Adventure

13 Reviews

Write a review
  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 1
    Written on December 12, 2012
    3.0 - Average

    Very interesting trip but could have done with more cycling and less hours in the minibus.  The accommodation was good and the basic hotels were better than expected.  The local people were very friendly.   The scenerey throughout the trip was amazing and we enjoyed visiting less frequented parts of Vietnam and Laos. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Some great fast and long descents on the bike.  The Pathet Lao caves at Sam Nua and the swim in the waterfall at Kwang Si were memorable moments.  The trip round Bangkok was excellent particularly the use of local transport which helped us navigate the city when we were on our own.What did you think of your group leader?Our group leader, Al, was good with everyone, very calm and saw us through some difficult moments.  We had a great respect for him especially at meal times when he worked very hard helping with orders and making sure we got the correct food.  Ahn in Vietnam was excellent and made the trip for us in Vietnam.   Our guide, La, in Laos was sometimes difficult to understand and was informative when questioned but did leave much of the work to Al.   The drivers of the support vehicles were very helpful, particularly in Laos where driving conditions were tough. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you have trouble with travel or motion sickness take the necessary medication as the bus journies are long and the roads in Laos are quite twisty.  Do use antiseptic wipes or liquid before meals and be careful about hygiene.  Perhaps handing out wipes at each stop as we have had on previous Exodus trips might avoid some of the stomach complaints.  Is there anything else you would like to add?In Vietnam the bikes could be loaded and unloaded quickly but in Laos the type of vehicle (this may have been the only one available) meant  that loading and unloading would take some time and often this dictated the amount of cycling and the flexibility if weather conditions were difficult.  

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 2
    Written on January 23, 2012
    1.0 - Bad

    It was very much a holiday of two halves - the second part (from the Plain of Jars onwards) was an interesting mix of cycling and sightseeing - exactly what I have come to expect from Exodus cycling holidays, but the first 8 days or so I found rather dull (and cold).What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The boat trip in Tam Coc - really unique and magical. It really is 'Halong Bay on land'.The cycle to the Kwang Si falls - a couple of good hills, beautiful countryside, and a great destination. Also the cycle up, and then down, down, down into Kasi. The temples in Luang Prabang, and Bangkok What did you think of your group leader?Joe (the overall trip leader) was excellent - worked hard for the group, was approachable, well organised, and knew his stuff. The local guide in Vietnam was also excellent. But the local guide in Laos really wasn't up to the job.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Pack for cold weather in N Laos - we had five days of it. I hadn't expected to be sitting on Christmas evening in a restaurant open to the elements in a coat, hat and gloves! I was glad I'd taken long fingered cycling gloves, and wished I'd taken cycling leggings (they would have been useful in the cold hotel rooms at night)There are ATMs in all the towns stayed at (apart from Vieng Xai), and opportunities to change currency as you cross each border - I really didn't need the $US I'd taken.

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 3
    Written on January 23, 2012
    1.0 - Bad

    It was very much a holiday of two halves - the second part (from the Plain of Jars onwards) was an interesting mix of cycling and sightseeing - exactly what I have come to expect from Exodus cycling holidays, but the first 8 days or so I found rather dull (and cold).What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The boat trip in Tam Coc - really unique and magical. It really is 'Halong Bay on land'.The cycle to the Kwang Si falls - a couple of good hills, beautiful countryside, and a great destination. Also the cycle up, and then down, down, down into Kasi. The temples in Luang Prabang, and Bangkok What did you think of your group leader?Joe (the overall trip leader) was excellent - worked hard for the group, was approachable, well organised, and knew his stuff. The local guide in Vietnam was also excellent. But the local guide in Laos really wasn't up to the job.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Pack for cold weather in N Laos - we had five days of it. I hadn't expected to be sitting on Christmas evening in a restaurant open to the elements in a coat, hat and gloves! I was glad I'd taken long fingered cycling gloves, and wished I'd taken cycling leggings (they would have been useful in the cold hotel rooms at night)There are ATMs in all the towns stayed at (apart from Vieng Xai), and opportunities to change currency as you cross each border - I really didn't need the $US I'd taken.  Is there anything else you would like to add?This was at least my sixth Exodus cycling holiday over Christmas, so I think I have a good feel for the normal standard - this trip fell below what I would have expected.  In the first 8 days or so there were three days with 7+ hours of coach travel;the cycling was short; and the sights in N Laos (lots of caves), whilst of obvious historical interest, were not worth the effort to see them, in my opinion. I know that the low standard of the hotel in Vieng Xai had been flagged in the trip notes, but it was seriously sub-standard (like something from the soviet era) - cold rooms, rock hard beds, and no hot water (why not push on to Sam Neua and drive back for the ride the next day?). I felt the cycling distances were short, compared to similar trips I've been on (eg cycling Kerala, Cuba, Vietnam), so I felt somewhat short-changed as a cycling holiday. Unlike most other Exodus cycling trips I've done, I wouldn't recommend this one.

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 4
    Written on January 22, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    An excellent journey through 3 fascinating countries. Magnificent scenery, and roads providing mostly good surfaces, with some exhilarating rides on bikes which were ideal for the trip.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Undoubtedly the visit to the caves in North East Laos which were home to the Pathet Lao in the 60's and 70's. Truly thought provoking about a period of History about which too little is known.What did you think of your group leader?The Group Leader was excellent throughout - always helpful and supportive (particularly towards 2 of the older generation!). We would hopefully travel with him again some time in the not too distant future. He was ably backed by those who assisted him in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, whether guides or drivers.    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be aware that there are long journeys which have to be made on the coach, on twisting and hilly roads, sometimes taking all or most of the day; of course this is inevitable given the distances involved in travelling through 3 countries.                                                                                                                                   Also, before you go, read "One Foot In Laos" by Dervla Murphy, which covers (in reverse direction) much of the route we travelled. Is there anything else you would like to add?This trip is undoubtedly an excellent way to see a part of South Eat Asia not yet swamped by tourists.                My one criticism concerns the Flights to Hanoi and particularly back from Bangkok. Kuala Lumpar is a considerable diversion!  

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 5
    Written on January 18, 2012
    3.0 - Average

    It was a harder journey than I expected with some long transfers but overall it was an incredible journey.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Stopping at a hill tribe in the mountains.  I gave away a blanket I had bought the day before to a family who owned very little.What did you think of your group leader?The Thai leader was very good and went out his way to sort out any problems.  I liked the Bangkok travel where he used public transport of Sky train, boat, bus and canal boat.  If you were not familiar with using public transport in Bangkok, it showed you how to do it.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for cold weather, long transfersIs there anything else you would like to add?Exodus is being economical with the truth.  The trips notes should say if there is a 9 hour transfer. It helps to then set expectations.  Exodus use to include all food and most other extras.  There are now lots of hidden extras including the tipping of hotel staff. As the food is not included, meals end up being ordered individually. This can can cause up to an hour and half before the food is delivered which is a long time by anybody's standard but if you have cycled its an eternity.  Having meals included and bought and probably ordered in advance is a better way of handling. I know its all about the head line price but we still have to pay to its better to be up front about it. 

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 6
    Written on January 18, 2012
    3.0 - Average

    It was a harder journey than I expected with some long transfers but overall it was an incredible journey.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Stopping at a hill tribe in the mountains.  I gave away a blanket I had bought the day before to a family who owned very little.What did you think of your group leader?The Thai leader was very good and went out his way to sort out any problems.  I liked the Bangkok travel where he used public transport of Sky train, boat, bus and canal boat.  If you were not familiar with using public transport in Bangkok, it showed you how to do it.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for cold weather, long transfersIs there anything else you would like to add?Exodus is being economical with the truth.  The trips notes should say if there is a 9 hour transfer. It helps to then set expectations.  Exodus use to include all food and most other extras.  There are now lots of hidden extras including the tipping of hotel staff. As the food is not included, meals end up being ordered individually. This can can cause up to an hour and half before the food is delivered which is a long time by anybody's standard but if you have cycled its an eternity.  Having meals included and bought and probably ordered in advance is a better way of handling. I know its all about the head line price but we still have to pay to its better to be up front about it. 

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 7
    Written on November 11, 2011
    5.0 - Excellent

    Fabulous cycling trip through remote mountains and villages with all the amazing sights and sounds of SE Asia. Don't be fooled - the cycling is tough but totally worthwhile!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Fantastic views across the mountains of Laos with not a single house, village or vehicle in sight. Seeing the sun slip behind the limestone stacks and hills of Luang Prabang as the Mekong floats past.What did you think of your group leader?Great and lovely guy who was gentle, caring, knowledgable and always ready to help.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?My first trip with a Camelbak - an essential piece of kit, am so glad I bought this. At the start of this trip I didn't feel the food was of a good enough standard for the amount of cycling we were doing so would recommend taking some protein powders, dried fruit, nuts and other such healthy snack food to keep you going. We had heavy rain on two days and I didn't take adequate wet weather gear - but I survived and think we were pretty unlucky to have rain. Hope this helps!

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 8
    Written on May 14, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    A memorable cycle trip through Vietnam and Laos which had stunning scenery, the physical challenge of some big hills, a touching insight into recent history and its current impact, friendly people and healthy fresh food.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The evening visit to the MAG Centre (Mines Advisory Group - http://www.maginternational.org) and learning about the ‘Secret War, how the Lao people had suffered from the American aerial bombardment and how they are working to clear the land of ordnance today.  A graphic example of this is having to walk between the white stones (which is the safe area) when visiting the Plain of Jars.What did you think of your group leader?Our group leader was Al, although Harry Potter might have been nearer the mark as he was magic! His knowledge of the area was encyclopaedic, his recommendations for restaurants/cafes was excellent, the exchange rates at the places suggested to convert currency could not be beaten, he even managed to get us seats for both the Water Puppets (Hanoi) and the Ladyboys (Bangkok) on the afternoon of the event when both shows were fully booked and when the group wanted some cycle clothing took us all shopping.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Do not think in UK terms of times and distances. When cycling the heat and humidity (humisery) can slow you down and when on the bus transfers it might be only 20km on the map but twisting roads and road conditions will make it seem more like 60km. Suggest some training before going. I went in April so had got very little road work in but I’m very glad I’d got lots of Km in on the indoor (turbo) trainer. Laos is a developing country. Therefore some of the conditions are basic do not expect 5 star hotels. However, bar one, all the hotels we stayed at were equal to or better than UK budget hotels.Is there anything else you would like to add?Having travelled the north of Laos, it might be worth Exodus running cycling trips in the south of the country which I understand is the coffee growing area?

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 9
    Written on May 14, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    A memorable cycle trip through Vietnam and Laos which had stunning scenery, the physical challenge of some big hills, a touching insight into recent history and its current impact, friendly people and healthy fresh food.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The evening visit to the MAG Centre (Mines Advisory Group - http://www.maginternational.org) and learning about the ‘Secret War, how the Lao people had suffered from the American aerial bombardment and how they are working to clear the land of ordnance today.  A graphic example of this is having to walk between the white stones (which is the safe area) when visiting the Plain of Jars.What did you think of your group leader?Our group leader was Al, although Harry Potter might have been nearer the mark as he was magic! His knowledge of the area was encyclopaedic, his recommendations for restaurants/cafes was excellent, the exchange rates at the places suggested to convert currency could not be beaten, he even managed to get us seats for both the Water Puppets (Hanoi) and the Ladyboys (Bangkok) on the afternoon of the event when both shows were fully booked and when the group wanted some cycle clothing took us all shopping.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Do not think in UK terms of times and distances. When cycling the heat and humidity (humisery) can slow you down and when on the bus transfers it might be only 20km on the map but twisting roads and road conditions will make it seem more like 60km. Suggest some training before going. I went in April so had got very little road work in but I’m very glad I’d got lots of Km in on the indoor (turbo) trainer. Laos is a developing country. Therefore some of the conditions are basic do not expect 5 star hotels. However, bar one, all the hotels we stayed at were equal to or better than UK budget hotels.Is there anything else you would like to add?Having travelled the north of Laos, it might be worth Exodus running cycling trips in the south of the country which I understand is the coffee growing area?

  • Cycling in Laos reviewer 10
    Written on March 1, 2011
    3.0 - Average

    This is a great trip for those wanting to see the more remote areas of Vietnam and Laos, away from the usual cities and tourist spots. However because of that there are some long spells being transported on buses (although great for watching the world go by) and some pretty basic hotels.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?It was great to meet local people and see them in their homes and schools. It would have been great to organise a homestay as one of the accomodation options.Some of the biking was amazing, especially the views from the mountain roads of Laos. On one descent we went downhill for 18 miles solid, without much of a climb the other side either! The knowledge you pick up from the local tours and guides is facinating. Laos is the most heaviliy bombed country in the world per head of population, and since the war with the USA finished in early 70's over 12,000 people have died through finding unexploded bomb ordinanceWhat did you think of your group leader?Lamb, La and Al were all good tour leaders. Very patient and helpfull.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Get some miles in on your bike before you arrive to make sure you enjoy the riding as much as possible - there are a few hills! Have some good books to read or music to listen to whilst of the bus transfers.

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Chiang Mai.
  2. Day 2: Warm-up ride around Chiang Mai old town and visit Doi Suthep hilltop temple
  3. Day 3: Transfer to Chiang Rai; cycle along the Thai/Burma border into the heart of the Golden Triangle.
  4. Day 4: Visit an Opium Museum; cycle towards border to Chiang Khong
  5. Day 5: Transfer into Laos; cycle to Luang Nam Tha to the hill tribe village Tai Dang
  6. Day 6: Rural cycle to the Udomxai province
  7. Day 7: Continue through Udomxai province to Pak Beng
  8. Day 8: Board slow boat on the Mekong to Luang Prabang visiting Buddha Caves en route.
  9. Day 9: Cycle to beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. Chance to see monks receiving alms at dawn.
  10. Day 10: Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
  11. Day 11: Vang Vieng to Vientiane
  12. Day 12: Free morning to explore then cross over the Friendship Bridge into Thailand; board overnight train to Bangkok.
  13. Day 13: Bangkok city tour; free afternoon.
  14. Day 14: End Bangkok.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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  • Anna9th July 2018
    Good selection of different tours to different destinations available online. You can contact the tour operator directly for pertinent information regarding respective tours. Online chat available (with transcript) online. Knowledgeable agents ready to answer questions. Accumulate credits when you book and can spend them when booking another tour through Tourradar.

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

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Baht
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Kip
Laos

Plugs & Adapters

Thailand and LaosThailand and Laos

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 10 days before travel.
Japanese B encephalitis
Recommended for Thailand and Laos. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Chiang Mai is the starting point and Bangkok is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 24 November 2018 the full payment of $2,789 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $2789 for Cycling in Laos, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,364 km.
  • Chiang Mai (Thailand)
  • 157 km
  • Chiang Rai (Thailand)
  • 196 km
  • Luang Nam Tha (Laos)
  • 121 km
  • Pak Beng (Laos)
  • 105 km
  • Luang Prabang (Laos)
  • 20 km
  • Pak Ou (Laos)
  • 20 km
  • Luang Prabang (Laos)
  • 58 km
  • Phou Khoun (Laos)
  • 57 km
  • Vang Vieng (Laos)
  • 108 km
  • Vientiane (Laos)
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