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Laos and Vietnam Cycling Holiday - 18 days
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Cycling,Mixed Groups

18 Days / 17 Nights Trip to Vietnam & Laos

Laos and Vietnam Cycling Holiday - 18 days

Get ready for cultural immersion, local escapades, plenty of fun and un-pho-gettable times all rolled into one.
From the temples of Siem Reap to the limestone karst wonderland of Ha Long Bay, and the beautiful old-world charm of Hoi An to the buzzing local vibrancy of Hanoi, experience the best of Vietnam with us. Explore a mix of ancient-modern cities, floating villages and colourful market streets that crackle with energy, eat steaming bowls of noodle soup, and enjoy plenty of good times with new friends in between.
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  • Duration
    18 Days
  • Starting From
    $2,780
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Social Cycles
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Discover the hidden treasures of Hanoi
Highlight #1
Discover the hidden treasures of Hanoi
From pretty paper lanterns to glass jars of ancient herbal remedies, in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, there's a surprise waiting around every corner.
Saigon: hot, noisy, and exhilarating
Highlight #2
Saigon: hot, noisy, and exhilarating
Busy streets filled with bikes, plenty of street food filling the air with the smells, travellers and locals shopping, eating, laughing and going about their day; Saigon is a sensory delight.
Video

Why Vietnam will surprise and amaze you

What does Vietnam have in store for you? The unexpected. The surprising. The delightful.

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Itinerary

Arrival day

There’s a feast of exciting activities to sink your teeth into. Spend your day exploring  around the many markets, museums and temples. The day is yours to potter, caffeinate and watch the world go by. The  group will meet up for dinner at 6pm at the hotel, where we’ll dine at a social enterprise based vocational training restaurant, supporting Friends international.

Rice fields, rivers and rainforests

In the morning, we’ll visit the local NGO team of Peuan Mit (“Good Friends” in Lao). They are part of the Friends International organisation and operate a holistic program for children, youth and caregivers living on the streets and in marginalized communities in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. From here, we’ll depart Vientiane by van to get out of the city hustle. Our ride will take us from rice fields through to rainforests as we cycle passed the limestone cliffs of Phou Khao Khauy NP. Lunch will be in the small village of Ban Kern on the Nam Ngum river.

National Park Boat rides, picnics and waterfalls

We’ll start the day after breakfast on a boat, making our way through to the village of Longsan, just north of the national park. Our ride takes us straight through the heart of this magnificent natural beauty and through to Tad Leuk waterfall for a well deserved break. We’ll cycle out of the park and transit through to Paksan for the evening.

Riding through time

An early start to beat the heat of the day, this ride departs directly from the hotel and travels through remote areas and deep forest, where villages are untouched by modern civilisation. Our lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Ban Thasi, after which, we truck about 2 hours to Muang Khoun where we will visit Old stupa and Buddha sculpture which was bombed during the Vietnam war.

Plain of Jars, UXO ordinance and a local NGO

In the morning, we’ll visit a local NGO that works with victims of land mines, still remaining from the Vietnam War. This is an incredible experience to learn about the devastation let behind from the war and the effects that remains to this day.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Plain of Jars site, an archeological landscape consisting of thousands of stone jars scattered throughout the valley. These ‘jars’ are considered to be up to 2000 years old and theorised to potentially be old burial pits.

Cycling mountains

We’ll avoid riding the main road, the climbs and the trucks between Phonsavan and Phou Khoun by transferring in the morning. After lunch, we’ll take the bikes on the much quieter and scenic downhill ride to Kasi. This laid back little river town will be our last stop before riding into Luang Prabang.

Riding into town

We’ll skip the first 30km of climbing by jumping in the van to the viewpoint. From here we’ll attempt to cycle all the way into Luang Prabang, with twice as much downhill as up in the remaining 95km.There’s no rush and a support van that’s with us the whole way. Once we get into Luang Prabang, we’ll meet up again for dinner at the Friends International restaurant, KhaiPhaen. It’s a social enterprise based restaurant that empowers disadvantaged youth with vocational training amongst other support

Buffalos, bears and falls

The relaxed road out of Luang Prabang will take us as far as Kuangsi Falls, one of the most spectacular swimming holes on the continent. Along the way we’ll visit the Lao Buffalo Dairy. Here, you’ll meet Aussie farmer and founder, Suzie, whose initiative provides an insight into the issues surrounding village farmers and water buffalo care. The dairy also provides animal husbandry nutrition programs to the rural  communities close to the falls. Before taking a dip in the beautiful Kuangsi Falls, we’ll get a behind the scenes experience with the team from Free the Bears. This sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates sun, moon and sloth bears from bile farms.

UXO education, family life and homestay

We’ll cycle via the UXO Education Centre to get an incredible insight into the horrific bombings endured by the Lao people and the effect it still has today. The UXO centre is an amazing NGO that does fantastic work, yet just scratches the surface of this little known issue. Some 35km out of Luang Prabang is Nong Khuay Village. A very remote community, home to 80 families of both Hmong and Khummu origin. Fairtrek initiative is working extensively within the village to create new streams of revenue to boost the village economy through tourism. We’ll have the opportunity to spend time with the local families and engage in some traditional handicraft masterclasses. We will stay the night with the community and experience real village life and eat with our new host families.

Cycling through remote villages

We cycle out of the village on dirt roads for 37km and when we reach the city transfer north for 3 hours towards the Nam Ou Dam and then on to Pak Mong, from here it is a further 30km through little villages nestled in between spectacular Karst peaks.
The small town of  Nong Khiaw is a favourite and the rustic charm of this quiet enclave is intoxicating.. relax poolside in the shadow of elephant head mountain.

River cruising in a long tail boat

Today we transfer to the river to board a traditional long boat for the cruise up the Nam Ou river to the entrance to Phongsaly district. We call in at the sleepy town of Muang Ngoi on the way to stretch our legs, visit the temple and the cave complex used as shelter during the 2nd Indochina war.
We’ll enjoy a pre-packed picnic lunch along the way, arriving into Muang Khua around 5pm.

Crossing into Vietnam

Leaving Laos today, but not before an epic 65km ride to the border from Muang Khua. This tarmac road will take you on 2 climbs, one just over 600m (10km) and the last over 800m (15km).
Once you cross over to Vietnam, you’ll be transferred to the historical city of Dien Bien Phu to relax and explore. If possible, we may be able to meet the program coordinators of SOS to learn about their community development programs.

Valleys, rivers and a lost city

Today we cycle along windy valleys on a paved road that snakes through the beautiful countryside. We are surrounded by rice fields and jungles. We climb to an elevation of over 1000m and are rewarded once again with stunning views before descending (20km) to Muong Lay town.

The mountain challenge

Get up early to capture pristine nature and picturesque scenery over the Black river. After breakfast at the hotel, we will cycle the first 25km on a tarmac road to Chan Nura. A vast landscape opens up beneath you: endless mountains stretching into the distance and craterous valleys dotted with stilt-home villages clustered around clear streams. Today is a hard day’s cycling, but definitely worth it. The reward at the end of it is some of the best views in the whole region.

Epic mountains, incredible valleys

Today is another great day as we conquer the O Quy Ho Pass. These 38km make for the longest pass of Northwest Vietnam. It is located in the system of four mountain passes of the North West. This climb takes you to an elevation of over 2000m, with the lowest point of the day at 700m. The views and stunning scenery will provide lifelong memories and will forever be ingrained as some of the most majestic and spectacular natural imagery on the planet.

Overnight train to Hanoi

In the morning, we’ll take time to learn about Sapa O’Chau, a great social enterprise  program which offers training in tourism and hospitality to youth of the Sapa region. A morning meander through the local market will highlight the melting pot of ethnic tribes and goods for sale.
You can choose to spend the afternoon cycling a gentle 25km downhill into the Sapa valley and experience the fantastic scenery of mountains, rice paddy fields and Hmong villages along the way. Alternatively, you can rest and relax in the town of Sapa.
The riders will be transferred back to Sapa and then to Lao Cai railway station for your overnight train to Hanoi.

The Great Donation Debate

Step out  of the station and into the throngs of the city, the aromas of famous Hanoi street food awaits for breakfast.  After checking into the hotel, we’ll spend the morning learning from our NGO partner, Mekong Plus.
The afternoon is yours to explore the Old Quarter, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex or just find one of Hanoi’s endless funky cafes to sit back, relax and enjoy a egg coffee. In the evening, we’ll enjoy our last supper together as we discuss the NGOs we learned about and where the donation money could and should go.

Departure Day

Say goodbye to your new found friends and riding buddies after breakfast as you get set to continue your onward journey.

Inclusions

 All accommodation in comfortable hotels (twin share basis)

 Full Bicycle hire

 Local guides, support van driver and mechanic

 Full support vehicle for the ride with water and fruit

 Minimum two NGO presentations with local staff across Laos & Vietnam

 Multiple field trips to villages and communities

 Most dinners and breakfast as per the itinerary

 Airport transfers for arrival 

Not Included

 International flights

 US$150 donation to NGOs (optional)

 Tips and Gratuities (from US$0 to US$100 pp)

 Drinks with meals

 Departure airport transfer (US$8-US$10)

 Travel insurance

 Visa’s (if required)

 Other items of a personal nature 

 Additional 5% GST

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Start date

16 Nov 2020

End date

03 Dec 2020

5+ Spots left

18 Days / 17 Nights

$3,058

$2,780

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14 Dec 2020

End date

31 Dec 2020

5+ Spots left

18 Days / 17 Nights

$3,197

$2,780

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Start date

11 Jan 2021

End date

28 Jan 2021

4+ Spots left

18 Days / 17 Nights

$3,197

$2,780

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

Start date

15 Feb 2021

End date

04 Mar 2021

6+ Spots left

18 Days / 17 Nights

$3,225

$2,780

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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This Trip Is Operated By Social Cycles

Our purpose is to educate people about the in depth cultural issues in developing countries through group cycling adventures. To enable the freedom of financial dispersion with firsthand understanding of NGO efficiency and sustainability, and to eyewitness differences made to beneficiaries involved. 

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