Hanoi to Laos Mountain Bike Epic
Vietnam & Laos, Bike - Semi Slick, 14 days - from £1,995 (land only) - from €2,495 (land only) - from $3,045 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Hanoi. A single airport transfer is provided from Hanoi Airport. The afternoon is free to rest and relax after a long journey. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner and a briefing at the group hotel in the evening.
Day 2: We have a guided city tour in Hanoi today, before going to the train station to catch the overnight sleeper (the King Express) to Lao Cai, near Sapa. The train is a very civilized affair with compartments sleeping 4 and a refreshment carriage serving food and drink.
Day 3: On arrival in Lao Cai we unload the bikes, meet our support vehicle and make a short transfer to our hotel in the former hill station of Sapa. After freshening up at our hotel we head out on a short ride to kick start the legs which provides the perfect introduction to the Vietnamese countryside! Overnight at a hotel in Sapa. Ride distance 45km (28 miles) with approx 860m ascent & descent.
Day 4: Today, we have a great loop ride that takes in many of the minority villages in the Sapa area which includes an opportunity to meet the friendly Red Dzao people at the village of Ta Phin. Depending on local conditions we have several alternative tracks we can follow back to Sapa. Ride distance 22km (14 miles) with approx 300m ascent & 700m descent.
Day 5: Leaving Sapa behind, we cycle the straightforward 15km road climb over the Tram Ton Pass (2000m), followed by a breathtaking 25km descent. As the terrain flattens, our ride continues through a land of rice paddies and coffee plantations as we cycle onwards to our hotel in Lai Chai. Ride distance 73km (45 miles) with approx 1188m ascent & 1725m descent.
Day 6: An early breakfast before our challenging and hilly ride today. Beyond Pa-So, we follow the Na River on an undulating road, at times through a picturesque gorge. We visit more tribal villages en route to Muong Lay and our hotel. Ride distance 75km (47 miles) with approx 2019m ascent & 2092m descent.
Day 7: Another day of hilly backroads cycling, with some rough sections of road and fantastic scenery. Arriving at Dien Bien Phu through the rice paddies it's likely we'll ride alongside local residents going about their daily business. Ride distance 103km (64 miles) with approx 1629m ascent & 1522m descent.
Day 8: After many hilly kilometres we take a leisurely ride to the war museum that features the Indochina War between the French and the Viet Minh revolutionary forces. We'll also stop at the Glory Statue and A1 Hill. In the afternoon you are free to continue independent exploration of this remote and fascinating town. In the evening we reconvene for dinner and our second night in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 9: Finishing our Vietnam chapter, we have a short transfer to the border and cross into the laid back land of Laos where we meet our Laotian support crew. We begin with a great ride through remote ethnic tribal villages to the sleepy village of Muang Khoua. Ride distance 69km (43 miles) with approx 952m ascent & 1670m descent.
Day 10: A day to kick back and relax as we spend the morning travelling by Laotian long boat journey to the remote, riverside village of Muang Ngoy. Nestled in the foothills of the Karst Mountains, in the afternoon you are free to relax or take a stroll into the forest dappled hills.
Day 11: We take short river hop (15 mins), to meet our bikes and prepare for our ride to Nong Kiau. With spectacular mountain views and charming Hamong village encounters our undulating route follows non-technical narrow tracks to our delightful riverside accommodation. Ride distance 24km (15 miles) with approx 410m ascent & 424m descent.
Day 12: Our final day of riding takes us westwards alongside the Nam Ou River, through interesting villages. After another long day, we arrive at our final destination, the beautiful and historic UNESCO world heritage city of Luang Prabang. Ride distance 144km (90 miles) with approx 920m ascent & 961m descent.
Day 13: After breakfast, the morning is free to explore the serene streets and temples of Luang Prubang. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport and catch a flight to Bangkok. Here, we are met at the airport and taken to a hotel in downtown Bangkok.
Day 14: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A single airport transfer is provided.
GPS Trip Data
Click on the link below to view the detailed stats for this holiday via Garmin Connect. Tracked using a Garmin etrex20 you can see detailed mapping of the route, daily distances travelled, the total ascent and descent each day and maximum altitude.