Hanoi to Laos Mountain Bike Epic
Vietnam & Laos, Bike - Semi Slick, 14 days - from £1,995 (land only) - from €2,795 (land only) - from $3,125 (land only)
Epic Indochina Cycling!
Long and tough and logistically challenging, this is probably the best backroads cycling holiday in SE Asia!
- An epic mountain biking journey from NW Vietnam into Laos
- Explore the beautiful valleys surrounding Sapa
- Daily encounters with a colourful mix of hill tribe people
- The remote Tay Trang border crossing from Vietnam to Laos
- The best backroads biking holiday in SE Asia
This classic 'out there' cycling adventure takes us through Indochina's most spectacular mountain scenery, close to Vietnam's border with China. Starting in Hanoi we take the overnight sleeper train to Sapa, a former colonial hill station close to the Chinese border. We spend a couple of days cycling around its beautiful valleys before we set off on a long traverse of some pretty wild country, that will eventually take us into Laos. Beyond the Tram Ton Pass (2000m), the highest road pass in Vietnam, we cross into a land known to the local Hmong people as 'beyond the clouds', with our route snaking its way between lofty passes and steeply terraced river valleys. Staying in a succession of traditional towns we'll discover the 'Montagnards', the amazingly colourful minority tribes that continue to make their living amongst these high valleys and villages. We end our Vietnam journey at the remote and historical town of Dien Bien Phu. Crossing into the mountainous northern part of Laos, we will find ourselves in a country only recently emerging from its turbulent past, where it will feel as if we are riding back in time. Unused to meeting foreign tourists, the Laotians retain a rare and innocent charm. Here we mix our biking with a traditional longboat journey down the Ou River. Our adventure ends in Luang Prabang, where we can celebrate amongst the faded French Colonial elegance of this most atmospheric of Asian cities. A flight to Bangkok and a night in the Thai capital is included in the holiday price. This amazing holiday offers a unique opportunity to ride across the northern border of SE Asia.
Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!
Is this holiday for you?
SEMI-SLICK ADVENTURE. Riding on a combination of quiet roads, jeep tracks and village trails through a remote and rarely-visited mountainous region, this is a classic KE point-to-point journey. It is also a long and challenging trip that will suit fit and experienced riders. Starting out with a couple of easier rides, we get the legs going with some very achievable undulating rides around Sapa. With average daily ascents of 600 metres and descents of 800 metres this gets us in good shape for our route over the Tram Ton Pass with 1188 metres of ascent and 1725 metres of descent. Having built up to some challenging 100 kilometre days, our most challenging day of climbing is our ride into Muong Lay as we ascend and descend 2090 metres. With a combined total of 8500 metres of ascent and 10250 metres of descent is perfectly achievable in the time we have allowed. Support is provided for the vast majority of the trip by a combination of jeep, minibus and boat according to the condition of the road. Bike hire available locally.