Cycling Adventures - Ha Noi to Luang Prabang

Introduction

North West Vietnam is a home of many hill tribal groups and terraced rice fields while Laos is a country of mountainous natural beauty and stunning scenery. On this cycling adventure our team will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Vietnam and Laos. Enjoy a traditional meal with a local family, learn so much different cultures from differnt tribals in many regions. Ride on quiet countryside roads and off the beaten path in the stunning North West mountain region of Vietnam before cross border to Muan Khua, Laos. Following days; cycle through some of the most truly spectacular jungle covered limestone mountain landscapes of Northern Laos. Enjoy peaceful Nam Ou River from your bungalow in Nong Khiaw and explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves before arriving into the cultural capital of Laos, Luang Prabang.

Tour details

Price
USD $2870.00 2870.00
Tour code
VCT: MCT-14G - HANOI - LPQ
Duration
Number Of cycling days
11 days
Single supplement
425.00$
Average distance per day
45km
Bike Hire
US$110
Total cycling distance
540km
Destination
Ages to ride
18 years old
Tour meets
Tour ends
Small group
02
Large Group
14
What's included
Private A/C vehicle takes up all cyclists, luggage
Truck to carry all bikes
New Giant MTB, wheel size: 27.5" hydraulic brake
Helmets, new bottles of water
All entrance fees, ferry tickets in countryside
Daily cold water, snack, fresh fruits, facial tissues
B = Breakfasts, L = Lunches, D = Dinners
12 nights: double room/ twin room
1 night on train to Lao Cai
Pick up/ drop off at hotels
Bicycle mechanic
English speaking guide throughout the tour
What's not included
Personal travel insurance
Other personal expenses
Single supplement
Visa to Vietnam & Laos
International Flight
Drinks are not included with any meal

Full Itinerary

Day
1
Sleep a night on train from Hanoi to Lao Cai

Our team will will meet you at your hotels and make a brief and dine with our guide before you board on train. Stay a night on A/C cabinet to Lao Cai. It takes a round 9 night hours

Dinner
Violette Express Train
Day
2
Lao Cai - Sapa

The train arrives at the station of Lao Cai at 5:30 am. Our team’ll arrange your breakfast at local restaurant, then a transfer on windy road uphill to Sapa town. Check in and relax until your cycle riding starting from the hotel at 1:00 pm. Ride on the hilly back roads to Dao villages, past rice terrace paddy fields. We will ride on a dirty track to Ta Phin, stop at Ethnic at village’ market to chit chat with Red Dao. Ride to the high roads for a transfer back to Sapa.

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Update
Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
35km
Hilly - moderate
Day
3
Sapa – Ta Vang - Lao Chay – Home-stay

On your cycling adventure today, you could smell and taste the real life as you cycling on hilly track through particular mountainous scenery, villages and markets on the way to home-stay where we stay tonight. From the hotel, we ride down hill on beautiful back roads with particular scenery along the country roads. We turn right on concrete path to downhill, past the home of Dao before we cross a river to continue our biking to local market of Ethnic people. Stopping and walking around this market and have some photos taken before we bike through rice fields to Tay villages for lunch. In the afternoon, we continue cycling into the home of Red Dao people and stay a night at luxury home-stay by stream

Home-stay
Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 60km
Hilly - moderate/hard
Day
4
Nam Cang - Sin Chai - Ban Ho – Sapa

Bike routes are imaging today. They are mixed; single track, dirt country road through hills, mountains and valleys. We ride on hilly path along mountain areas through some villages of Tay Ethnic, passing some schools located by hills, remote villages and headquarter of local government. This morning ride gives opportunities to enjoy scenery on valley along the mountain ranges, streams and country back roads. You’ll meet different Ethnic people with colourful customs and having photo taken with them cannot be missed. Then we follow a trail to explore remote area, corn paddy, and many valleys of rice terrace, some young jungles forest, and waterfall. Lunch en route at the home of Tay Ethnic before the afternoon biking to Ban Ho. Today ride is end up here for a transfer back to Sapa.

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 50km
Hilly - easy/ moderate/hard
Day
5
Sapa - Tan Uyen – Than Uyen

On your bike ride adventure today is almost all downhill ride from Haven gate to Binh Lu, Tan Uyen and Than Uyen. To avoid pedal up to the Heaven Pass, we’ll have van/bus transfer to its peak. Then we enjoy easy ride bicycling downhill’s on rolling mountain ranges to Binh Lu, then we turn left on to small path, ride rolling hill through villages; see buffaloes on farming land, ride pass many lakes, stopping at family furniture workshop, tiny markets of Ethnic people on back road. Top for lunch in small town before the afternoon ride continue. The easy on flat land and down hills ride passing corn fields, tea and rubber plantations to Than Uyen.

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 80km
Hilly - easy/moderate
Day
6
Than Uyen – Quynh Nhai

Most gentle back roads on your cycling adventure today are almost windy and thoroughly mountain ranges, love lake, beautiful rivers and jungle area of Son La province. Check out of hotel after your breakfast for a short transfer by vehicles. The ride will begin at the peak, downhill back roads allow to take time admire breath-taking views, limestone mountain scenery as we ride on new bridge and keep cycling onward to Quynh Nhai.

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 75km
Hilly - easy/moderate/ hard
Day
7
Quynh Nhai –Tuan Giao – Dien Bien Phu

It is not really quiet along way but there some big hills so you are really need some transfer to the peak/top as to save energy to enjoy easy ride downhill’s with best scenery. Ride pass farm land, see buffalos, cows and experience local’ daily life the Tuan Giao then enjoy lovely rice terraces, windy river along the road to Dien Bien Phu.

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 80km
Hilly - easy/ moderate/ hard
Day
8
Visit the base of Dien Bien Phu

Spend ½ day tour to visit A1 hill, cemetery of Dien Bien Phu, the former military head office of the General De Castries and Dien Bien Phu’s Museum. After lunch, we return to hotel and free to explore town by your own until dinner. 

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
Day
9
Dien Bien Phu – Muang Khua

Double check your passport before living Vietnam for Laos today. An early start transfers you to Tay Trang border. After we cross land border to Laos, meet our team and continue to discover this country, people and its cultures by bike on following days. From the border, we ride on 20 km smooth road downhill to Mong villages. Lunch is well- prepared in village before we get there. After lunch, the’ll will continue, there will 10 km on gentle road up and down before another 30 km on almost flat road, passing rice paddy fields to Nam Ou River to Muang Khua

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 60km
Hilly - easy/ moderate/ hard
Day
10
Muang Khua – Park Dom - Oudomxai

Today we ride downhill through rubber tree plantation, teak tree plantation and jungle forest in the morning. In the afternoon, we will take an easy riding past beautiful rice fields, mountainous scenery by river.

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Breakfast/ lunch/ Dinner
30 - 80km
hilly- easy/ moderate
Day
11
Odomxai – Park Mong- Nong khiaw

To avoid many big hills, we will have a transfer to the top for moderate biking through jungle. Ride past villages of ethnic people, stop and find out where plenty of wild animals’ meat selling on roadside. Stop for lunch at Park Dom. From the fork/T-junction of Park Dom, the cycle route to Nong Kiaw is the best. With moderate hilly back roads, past local markets, rice terrace paddy fields and scenery along River bank and limestone mountains allows you challenge your biking all the way to the Cave by the stream. Then we cycle to hotel for a night in town

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 80km
Hilly - easy/moderate/ hard
Day
12
Nongkhiaw - Park Mong – Luang Prabang

We start to ride from the top after an hour vehicle transfer from Nong Kiaw. We pedal on paved with kids riding bicycle to schools. Umbrellas are every popular used as they can be seen almost everywhere in Laos. Take time with your easy time on cycling on smooth road along river to Luang Prabang. Have a 20 km vehicle transfer to city centre to avoid traffic.

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25 - 80km
Hilly - easy/moderate/ hard
Day
13
City tour by van/bus – Countryside bike tour in afternoon

We start in morning with a ferry to further of Mekong River, explore local life on dirty track, and bike into countryside’ village and have a transfer back to Luang Prabang for lucnh. Visit some highlight sites in city in the afternoon. 

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Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
25km+
Hilly - easy
Day
14
Luang Prabang - fly home

Free to explore the town and spend your time on shopping until a transfer to airport for home. Tour End!

Breakfast

More Info

Road Condition

Two third of the mainland of the country are mountain ranges, tropical forests, remote hillsides, and valleys in northern Vietnam with sparse population. Most small towns, cities in the northwest and far north near the Laos border, and the Chinese are homes to hill tribes. Most rural gravel roads and dirt tracks are the primary means of transport for locals due to peak mountain ranges, slopes, deep valleys, and sparsely populated. Many roads are closed to traffic because of rivers, streams and high mountains, while the minor and high roads are less traffic. Mountain biking tours in northern Vietnam are on-road and off-road, and fewer off-roads in rural Districts where rural roads are unsafe and dangerous. 

Weather

Hanoi and North Vietnam have two distinct winter and summer seasons. The relaxed but primarily dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures average 17-22°C, the coldest months being December to February. With hot and humid, summer lasts from May to October, and the highest rainfall is from May to August.


In the Northeast, the rainy season usually occurs in May and will end in August with heat and low humidity, while the Far North begins from June to August. The rainy season is from June to August in the Far North, and the cold winter is from December to February.


North West and Far North Vietnam's agricultures depend on the wet season, particularly rice crops on terraces. Rice plants need plenty of water to grow and develop themselves. The yearly rice crop in North West and the Far North is only one crop and will begin after the first rainy month to make the soil more workable before seeding starts. The different times to seed the rice plants are from 2 weeks, depending on locations, high or low terraces, how much water is from raining or getting from streams and rivers.


The best time to explore North West & Far North Vietnam is the farming season, not at the beginning, with too many rains and young seeling rice plants only. From the early September to last October are the harvest seasons. Here are the opportunities for travellers to admire stunning colourful rice terraced fields, lush country farms, green rainforests, waterfalls, and vast vegetations. Travellers also meet hill tribes on farms and their homes.

Vehicles

Private Support Vehicles

We organize cycling holidays, cycling adventure trips and mountain biking tours. All are flexible with luxury, fully air-conditioned vehicles to support riders on the entire journey. It depends on how many riders are in the group, and the vehicle support services will be well-arranged to satisfy your travels. There are air-conditioned 16-seat van/minibuses to take up all riders, luggage, and a truck to hold all bikes during the trip. 


Every morning, the vehicles will transfer you out of the bustling city, and then you will ride to explore the stunning countryside, and you will back on the vehicles to avoid traffic in town when the daily's ride ends in the late afternoon. 


Every 20 - 25 km, the support vehicles will be waiting at the high road if you are tired and really would love to ride on A/C van. Your guide will escort you to vehicles easily because many country back roads are linked to the main roadways where keeping vehicles are on standby. 


Then you can relax on a support vehicle when others in the group can continue cycling as long as they wish! You will meet the others at the next point/ destination where you love to re-join the group and continue to ride.


All your luggage/ suitcase and day bags are safe on the vehicles and well kept by the company's drivers and its team.


2 to 4 riders in a group


There is only one A/C 16 seater van to take up all riders, luggage & suitcases, and bikes. There are four rows of seating for passengers on the A/C 16 seater van. Two people sit on each row. The third row is for luggage and suitcases. The last row of seats will be folded up, so all bikes will be uploaded here.



A medium group tour: from 5 to 7 people


There will be two vehicles to support riders on the entire trip. One 16 seater van to take up all riders, luggage & suitcases. Another truck to carry all bikes, spare bikes, tool kits, icebox to keep cold drinks, and so on



A large group tour: 8 to 14 people


One minibus to take up all riders, including luggage & suitcases, and one truck to carry all bikes, spare bikes, water, cold drinks, and snacks...Iceboxes




A group has more than 15 riders and more than 20 people


We provide two vans and one minibus, and one truck to escort large groups of riders and help ensure their safety. Our pro guide will motivate a team with support vehicles to bring the best services to riders.


27.5 Giant MTB bikes & Trek Hybrid Touring Bikes

1. There are 60 pro MTB bikes and hybrid MTB bikes and available in store and they are ready for all cycling tours


MTB Bikes for kids: wheel size 20", 24" with  suspension seatpost. Kid heights: 120cm, 130cm, 145cm


Pro Giant Mountain Bike - 650B/ 27.5" wheel size


27.5" Pro mountain bikes are use for off-road cycling; on dirt track and hilly single track narrow paths and also country back roads.


27.5" wheel size and MTB tires 27.5" x 1.95 is the best choice and suitable and good for challenge and technical mountain biking. 


1 - Good quality and lightweight Alloy MTB 27.5" frames 


2 - 27.5" Rockshox XC30 , 100mm travel, manual lockout


3 - SR Gel saddle - Very soft and comfortable for riding


4 - Deore Shimano Group set


5 - Shimano hydraulic disc brake


6 - Shimano Deore hubs - 32 holes


7 - 27.5" Alexrims disc brake rims - 32 holes


8 - Maxxis Cross Mark 27.5 x 1.95 - Good quality and suitable for both on road and off-road riding


9 - Soft grips


10 - FSA sealed bearing headset


11 - Cycle Track, massive MTB flat pedals with sealed bearings


12 - All bikes are well-maintained by Mr Van and his team




2. There are 25 Trek hybrid mountain bikes available in our store.  Hybrid bike tires 700 x 38- Good choice for a long trip: Saigon to Hanoi and Hanoi to Saigon


Hybrid bikes are use for an off-road cycling through countryside, dirt track and but working on muddy road. Its really good for touring a long trip, it moves faster and easier. Hybrid bike gives you an easy to pedal uphills, smooth bicycle riding on quiet concrete paths and country back roads. The best choice to challenge mountain and serious hills


1 - Good quality and lightweight alloy hybrid frame


2 - 29" Rockshox XC30 , 100mm travel, manual lockout


3 - SR Gel saddle - Very soft and comfortable saddle


4 - Deore Shimano Group set


5 - Shimano hydraulic disc brake


6 - Shimano Deore hubs - 32 holes


7 - 29" Alexrims touring rims, disc brake - 32 holes


8 - Schwalbe CX Comp 700 x 38 - Good quality and suitable for both off-road cycling and touring a long trip


9 - Soft grips


10 - FSA sealed bearing headset


11 - Cycle Track, massive MTB flat pedals with sealed bearings


12 - All bikes are well-maintained by Mr Van and his team




 

 
 

Guaranteed to depart

Currently, this tour have no schedule, yet.

Reviews

I have just completed my 3rd ride with Vietnam Backroads, having ridden from Hanoi to Saigon in 2012, Mekong Delta/Cambodia 2013 and now Hanoi to Luang Prabang in 2014. The trips have been for 2 weeks and private tours with 12 to 15 friends from the South Coast, NSW, Australia. Van again organised an amazing ride for us. He goes out of his way to make sure our trips are memorable ones. I cannot speak highly enough of his professionalism. We are so impressed with our cycling holidays organised by Van that we will be back in 2015 for another memorable cycling trip

Leonie S Jambe…
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