Luang Prabang to Hanoi by Bike

tours / Cycling

Luang Prabang to Hanoi by Bike information and booking

from
$2590
  • Duration
    15 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 11 day cycle
  • 5 nights hotel
  • 9 nights guesthouse/homestay
Equipment Required
A bike helmet is compulsory on this trip. We also highly recommend bike pants, gloves and a gel seat cover for your own comfort. A full gear list will be provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Temples, monks and markets on the Mekong in Luang Prabang
  • Scenic boat ride and local village homestay on the tranquil Nam Ou River
  • Lush green landscapes and colourful ethnic villages of the Mai Chau highlands
  • French colonial architecture, historic monuments and the Old Quarter in Hanoi
  • Supported cycling through some of Southeast Asia’s most stunning landscapes

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the diverse scenery and rural cultures of Southeast Asia, and this unique itinerary takes us through the heart of northern Laos and Vietnam, from serene Luang Prabang to bustling Hanoi. From golden temples and saffron-robed monks to wartime history and grand colonial architecture, charming river cities and colourful markets to isolated villages and tranquil rivers, this incredible journey encompasses the natural beauty, vibrant cultures and relaxing pace that makes this region a favourite among travelers. We begin in the mellow World Heritage Listed city of Luang Prabang, where we’ll savour its temples, waterfalls and gentle pace on the banks of the Mekong River. From here we head to laid-back river village of Nong Khiew where we’ll take a boat ride up the Nam Ou River to our local village homestay. We’ll then begin our gradual cycle journey northeast towards Hanoi, through scenes of forested slopes, rolling hills and tiny villages. We’ll visit the intriguing Vieng Xai Caves before crossing over into Vietnam where we’ll explore the ethnic minority villages of the beautiful Mai Chau highlands, finishing up in Hanoi with the city’s historical monuments, French colonial architecture and bustling market streets of the Old Quarter. Our comfortable geared bikes, support crew and steady pace mean that you’ll be free to enjoy the stunning scenery along the way, with our backup vehicle available to give tired riders a break at any time. For an in-depth, active adventure in northern Laos and Vietnam, this trip is a must!

What's included

  • English speaking cycling guide
  • Bike mechanic
  • Use of a 21 speed steel framed mountain bikes
  • Medical kit
  • Comfortable well located accommodation and local homestays
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Support vehicle on cycling days
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as listed in itinerary
  • 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Airport transfers (day 1 and 15 only)

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Luang Prabang
If you’re flying into Luang Prabang today you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel. The day is at leisure to start exploring before our group trip briefing in the hotel lobby at 5pm, and in the evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, allowing us to sample local specialties and meet our fellow travelers. Overnight in Hotel: Luang Prabang.
Day 2 Cycle around Luang Prabang (10km)
After breakfast and being fit for our bikes we’ll head off on a guided bike ride of the city. It won’t take you long to see why Luang Prabang has earned itself a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List! Today we visit some of Luang Prabang’s most majestic temple-monasteries and shrines: Wat Visoun, That Makmo stupa, Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong. Here we’ll see multi-gabled roofs sweeping low to the ground, and other hallmark features of classical Laotian architecture. We’ll also visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays an excellent collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign. We’ll then head to Mount Phousi where we’ll climb the 328 steps to the top for stunning panoramic views of over Luang Prabang and the Nam Kan and Mekong Rivers. Once we’re back in town the evening will be free at leisure. Luang Prabang has many excellent restaurants to choose from, and you might like to explore the locally handmade textiles, handicrafts and souvenirs at the bustling Night Market. Cycling distance: 10 km Overnight in Hotel; Luang Prabang.
Day 3 Cycle to Khuang Si Waterfall (60km)
Today we cycle out of town to the stunning Khuang Si Waterfalls, where we can walk along forest paths and enjoy a swim in terraced turquoise pools fed by the waterfall. After cycling back to town, the afternoon will be free at leisure to relax or explore Luang Prabang. Cycling distance: 60 km Overnight in Hotel: Luang Prabang.
Day 4 Pak Ou Caves (35 km), boat to Nong Khiew
This morning we check out of our hotel and begin cycling north out of Luang Prabang, making our way to the Pak Ou Caves, two natural caves set on the Mekong River that are filled with thousands of golden Buddha statues. We’ll continue northeast through rolling mountain scenery, stopping for lunch in the Khmu Leu village of Ban Huay Pene. We’ll then drive the remaining distance to Nong Khiew, the beautiful laid-back village on the banks of the Nam Ou River where we’ll be spending the night. Cycling distance: 35 km Overnight in Nong Khiew Guesthouse
Day 5 Boat ride to Ban Sop Jam
We now get to relax and enjoy the serene beauty of northern Laos, with no cycling or driving for the next two days. From Nong Khiew we’ll take a boat ride up the tranquil Nam Ou River to the scenic village of Ban Sop Jam. This tiny village is accessible only by river, and we’ll get to experience daily life in rural Laos with tonight’s homestay in the village headman’s home. Our accommodations in Ban Sop Jam are simple but comfortable (no showers or Western-style toilets). We’ll be able to bathe in the pretty Nam Ou River in the afternoon, after which we’ll get to sample Lao cuisine with a delicious organic dinner. Overnight in Ban Sop Jam
Day 6 Around Ban Sop Jam - Muong Ngoi
Today you enjoy a local breakfast and explore the surrounding village. You will likely be the object of curiosity for the village children. They only rarely get the chance to interact and play with westerners. A game of football is a great icebreaker for those physically up for it. Watch the village women weaving their ancient patterns on aged looms, or just relax on our balconies. Depending on the season, you will suggest other interesting activities to watch or participate in. Later we cruise downstream for 20 minutes to Muang Ngoi, check in and having lunch in Muang Ngoi. The afternoon is at leisure for discover this single street town and get acquainted with its local people. You can also walk or rent a bike to the cave Tham Kang or explore further to Ban Na Overnight in Muang Ngoi
Day 7 To Vieng Kham (55km)
This morning we farewell the village and return by boat to Nong Khiew where we’ll pick up our bikes and begin our gradual journey eastward towards Vietnam. Today we take a leisurely ride through rural villages and lush green rice fields, passing farmers as they go about their daily work. The day from Nong Khiew to Vieng Kham is uphill from 355m to 1200m above sea level. The rest of the day is a more relaxing ride down hill Cycling distance: 55 km Overnight in Vieng Kham local basic guest house
Day 8 To Vieng Thong (60km)
After breakfast we hop back on our bikes and continue our eastward journey. Today’s ride is a challenging one as we head up into the mountains to cover 3 peaks, but we are rewarded along the way with lush scenery as we pass the Nam Et Phou Louey National Protected Area. After today’s long ride we’ll really have earned the delicious Lao dinner and good night’s sleep that awaits us in Vieng Thong! Cycling distance: 60 km Overnight in Vieng Thong Guesthouse
Day 9 To Sam Neua (50km)
Today is the most challenging ride as we cycle through more mountainous terrain towards the provincial hub of Sam Neua. We’ll start out early today and cycle until mid-afternoon, before meeting our vehicle and driving the remainder of the way to our hotel in Sam Neua. Cycling distance: 30 km Overnight in Sam Neua Hotel
Day 10 To Vieng Xai (29km)
Today's ride is much shorter to give us a well-earned rest day, and there is plenty to see and do in this scenic town. This morning after breakfast we’ll explore the quaint morning market along the Xam River, before cycling to the fascinating Vieng Xai cave city, an extensive network of caves set into limestone karst mountains that famously housed Lao military operations and tens of thousands of civilians during the Second Indochina War. We’ll take a guided tour of some of the caves and learn about the historical significance of the area. After lunch at a local restaurant we’ll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax in this charming town. Cycling distance: 20 km Overnight in Vieng Xai Guesthouse
Day 11 In Vieng Xai (20km)
Today after breakfast we’ll take a leisurely cycle to the nearby Hospital Cave, used as the local field hospital during the war, where we can still see medicine bottles strewn among the rubble. The afternoon is then free to relax at our guesthouse or explore the town. Cycling distance: 20 km Overnight in Vieng Xai Guesthouse
Day 12 Cycle to the Vietnam border (59km)
Today we cycle on towards the Vietnam border, where we will be saying goodbye to our Lao guide. We’ll meet our Vietnamese guide who will take over from here, cycling with us throughout the Vietnam section of the journey to ensure the best local knowledge for our group. Tonight we stay in a small Vietnamese border town. Cycling distance: 59 km Overnight: Quan Son Guesthouse
Day 13 To Mai Chau (75km)
Today after breakfast, you take a transfer to Dong Tam town and start your cycling in Pu Luong Nature Reserve. En-route you will have plenty of opportunities to catch the activities of locals working in the fields or their normal daily activities. Stop at any places interest you to capture nice photos or chat with friendly peoples. Arrive Mai Chau in late afternoon, free to relax and enjoy time at your own pace. Overnight in Mai Chau Cycle Distance approx 75kms
Day 14 Cycle Mai Chau (26km), transfer to Hanoi
Today after breakfast you cycle around the beautiful outlying villages and to the local market to visit the minority White Thai. It is interesting to see their custom and life style, their houses on stilt and the local handicrafts produced by them. Late afternoon, we drive to the capital of Vietnam. Cycling distance: 26 km Overnight in Hanoi Hotel
Day 15 In Hanoi, trip concludes
The morning is free time in Hanoi, and also where our journey concludes. If you are flying home today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure.