Luang Prabang - NONG KHIAW - MUANG KHUA - HANOI
Starting in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang and ending in the vibrant city Hanoi, this amazing cross-border excursion was designed for cyclists who enjoy riding through the mountains. The ever-changing and often spectacular landscape, along with the and diversity of ethnic groups along the way, makes every day different and memorable. Luang Prabang, Dien Bien Phu and Hanoi are the cultural and historical highlights of this tour. Other highlights include a boat ride on the Nam Ou river in Laos and a visit to Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam.
Day 1 | Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw (70 km)
After a one hour transfer, you'll start cycling along the Nam Ou River to Pak Mong village, where we'll stop for lunch. In the afternoon, the landscape around you will become more and more spectacular as you make your way into an area with huge limestone mountains. Overnight in a resort.
Day 2 | Nong Khiaw – Muang Khua boat ride on the Nam Ou River
Today, you'll enjoy a spectacular boat ride (4 to 5 hours) through a remote stretch of the Nam Ou River. Along the way, we will stop to visit some remote villages. Overnight in guesthouse.
Day 3 | Muang Khua – VIETNAM border (60 km) & transfer to Dien Bien Phu
Today, a challenging day of cycling will bring us to Vietnam. Most of the journey will be through primary forest, in which we will encounter hill tribe villages. After the border crossing, the Vietnamese agent will pick you up for transfer to Dien Bien Phu. The city is known throughout the world as a battlefield in the first Indochina War, an Asian version of Waterloo. The city is located in Muong Thanh Valley, an area famous for its tasty rice and Tai ethnic minority traditional dance. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4 | Dien Bien Phu – Tuan Giao (80 km)
Cycling from Dien Bien Phu to Tuan Giao is an easy 80 km through many Tai ethnicity villages to Tuan Giao (one notable climb is a mountain pass 15 km outside Dien Bien). Overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 5 | Tuan Giao – Son La (70 km)
Cycling from Tuan Giao to Son La. After a short transfer to the Pha Din pass (“Heaven and Earth” pass) to the summit of 1450 m, you will start the day with a 15 km down hill featuring a nice landscape of green rice fields and karst valley along the way. This stretch has light traffic, wandering water buffaloes, and Tai and Hmong children. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 6 | Son La – Moc Chau (45 km)
After a short transfer, our day will be less hilly but no less spectacular, as we head off gradually downhill, our passage overshadowed by looming karst cliffs. After lunch, we'll continue through lush, terraced rice paddies against the jagged cliff backdrop. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 7 | Moc Chau – Mai Chau (80 km)
After a hearty breakfast we set off on a testing but spectacular day. Cycling along a narrow, quiet back road we'll head into a region predominantly populated by Black Tai (Tai Dam) minority cultures. As we near Mai Chau, situated at 1000m, we pass through plum orchards and corn and tea plantations. Overnight in homestay.
Day 8 | Mai Chau – Cuc Phuong (80 km)
Following the banks of the Ma River, this day will be an easy easy one. The scenery, however, is timeless and photo opportunities abound as you pedal through a working landscape of people and crops. In the late afternoon, you will get a transfer to Cuc Phuong National Park. Cuc Phuong is one of Vietnam's most important nature reserves and contains the country's largest area of primary forest. Visit the Primate Rescue Centre and learn about the plight of endangered species such as the Cat Ba Langur. Overnight in Bungalow.
Day 9 | Cuc Phuong – Hanoi (40 km)
We'll make a morning visit the Primate Rescue center, where you can enjoy the amusing languor species and admire the deeply dedicated ecologists working here. We'll then ride 40 km through Cuc Phuong forest to the park center and break for tea before taking a transfer to Hanoi. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 10 | Departure from Hanoi
End of program.