|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||35 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Jun 15 and Nov 16, 2014 (private departures available upon request)|
|Start city:||Luang Prabang, Laos|
|End city:||Luang Prabang, Laos|
The northern reaches of Laos are well off the beaten path, a region that sees very few tourists. But it is a land of beauty, culture and history that fascinates those that do find their way to explore its realms. This tour offers cyclists a chance to get off the beaten path and come discover the quiet villages, dramatic vistas and colonial towns of the region by road bike.
Our journey begins in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage City, with quiet streets lined by colonial buildings and sidewalk cafés. We warm up with a bicycle exploration of town, before pushing off for a boat trip up the mighty Mekong River to quiet Pak Beng, perched on its banks. Our riding takes us north from Pak Beng through rural areas, that see very few visitors, especially those riding bikes. The kids line the road, shouting "sabai dee" and holding their hands up a high five as we bike past. As the area doesn't see many tourists, most overnight stops are simple, but there are some hidden luxury resort surprises awaiting us.
The second half of our trip loops back south following the course of the scenic Nam Ou (river) lined by towering limestone cliffs and mountains. The landscapes are unmatched in beauty, peace and quiet. We will stop a visit small ethnic tribal villages and old temples. Some of the area along the river is roadless, so we will switch to river boats to explore these hidden reaches beyond pavement's end. The trip winds back down in Luang Prabang, perhaps you might want to stay a couple more days to relax in this delightful town.
Learn more about guided trips
Day 1: Arrive in Luang Prabang
Your guides will meet you upon arrival at Luang Prabang's airport. Its a short drive to town, where you will have the balance of the day free to explore and relax. Tonight, you will head out for a welcome dinner with your guide at Roots & Leaves, an outdoor restaurant offering traditional dance demonstrations and delicious Laotian cuisine.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Tour around Luang Prabang (19 miles/30 km)
Explore the backroads of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will see parts of Luang Prabang only few tourist visit. Our half day bike trip will take you to the secrets of the town's wetlands, centuries old temples, a household industry, a Vietnamese-Chinese cemetery, and an orphanage school. At the orphanage school, you will visit the small gallery and the vegetable gardens, which are managed by the children. Before going back to the town, you will visit a weaving centre, where you get a short explanation of the silk weaving process. Look at silkworm, natural dyes and meet the weavers.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Boat tour on the Mekong
Today, we will board a traditional Mekong River long boat for the trip to Pak Beng. The voyage takes most of the day, slowly traveling upstream through beautiful mountain landscapes and past small villages growing peanuts on the sandy beaches. We'll stop to visit one of these villages and also enjoy a Laotian lunch prepared fresh by the boat captain's wife. Upon arrival in Pak Beng we will relax in our delightful resort overlooking the Mekong as sun sets to the west.
Overnight in Pak Beng.
Day 4: Cycle to Oudomxai (44 miles/70 km)
Probably on one of the best roads of Laos, you start in the narrow valley of the Beng River following its course north through the mountain valleys. Soon, the countryside opens up and we enjoy spectacular views over rice fields and surrounding mountains. Take your time in villages and local markets to see to daily life in the country side. And prepare to "High 5" every school kid along the roadside. We end our day with a short transfer to Oudomxai.
Overnight in Oudomxai.
Day 5: Cycle to Muang La (22 miles/35 km)
A short but scenic ride today takes us through more emerald rice paddies to the small picturesque village of Muang La, where we relax this afternoon at an unexpected luxury resort in this rural area. Enjoy their outdoor tub, sauna and perhaps a massage. The lush green vegetation and houses made of wood and bamboo are contrasted by the two rushing rivers: the Nam Phak and the smaller Nam La. Aside of its overall beauty and interesting ancient wat, the main reason for foreigners to visit this town is the hot springs.
Overnight in Muang La.
Day 6: Cycle to Muang Khua (44 miles/70 km)
Our ride today is a bit longer, winding through remote rural valleys en route to the village of Muang Khua. As with our previous rides, this area doesn't see a lot of foreigners, so we will be the center of attention as we pedal. Our overnight stop is located on the banks of the beautiful Nam Ou (nam means river in Laotian).
Overnight in Muang Khua.
Day 7: Boat tour on the Nam Ou
Today the Nam Ou awaits, which is one of the most beautiful rivers in the region. Here, there are no roads, life feels completely different from that which we have been cycling through. The river is lined by towering limestone cliffs, interspersed with lush forests and villages. We'll stop on the way to visit and discover some of these remote villages. The boat ride will take around 4 to 5 hours downstream, including stops on the way. Our destination is Nong Khiaw, a popular jumping off spot for trekking trips, boasts a gorgeous backdrop of the limestone mountains, picturesque river views and genuine local color.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw.
Day 8: Cycle to Luang Prabang (44 miles/70 km)
The last ride of the tour takes us back towards Luang Prabang. We start pedaling through rice paddies and small villages, then pick up the scenic Nam Ou again. The landscapes are reminiscent of what we saw by boat yesterday, but accessible by bike. In early afternoon, we will shuttle to Pak Ou (pak means mouth in Laotian, used here as in mouth of the Ou river) to explore Wat Tham Ting at the Pak Ou Caves and then into Luang Prabang, for our trip's end dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the old colonial city center.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 9: Departure from Luang Prabang
As all good things must come to an end, you will be transferred to the Luang Prabang airport for your flights home or on to more adventures elsewhere. Sabai Dee.
Optional Extension: add on 4 additional days, pedaling from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. Please contact us for more information.
Bikes available to be rented:
Equipment included with bike rentals:
Pedals and Seats:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals. You can also bring your own saddle, and the guides will help you swap them out.
Helmets are NOT available for rent on this tour; we recommend that you bring your own for safety and hygiene purposes.
Water bottles are not included on this tour. For hygiene and ecological reasons we recommend that you bring your own water bottle.
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Villa Santi, Luang Prabang
A boutique hotel built in an historic French Colonial mansion in the heart of the old quarter.
Luangsay Lodge, Pak Beng
Teak Laotian style bungalows overlooking the Mekong just outside Pak Beng.
Charming Lao Hotel, Oudomxai
A new three star business hotel in quiet Oudomxai.
Muang La Resort, Luang Namtha
A taste of elegance in rural Laos, delightful resort next to natural hot springs.
Nong Khiau River Side, Nong Khiau
Beautiful wood and stone bungalows overlooking the Nam Ou River.
The entire ride is on paved roads. Traffic is light to moderate and very bike friendly. The route is suitable for sport road and hybrid touring bikes.
The terrain is hilly throughout. Due to the long distances between villages with suitable accommodations, shuttles will be used on Day 4 and 8 (the distance listed on those days is the suggested cycling section).
Tour start and end: Luang Prabang, Laos
Nearest airport: Luang Prabang Airport (LPQ)
Transfer to and from the Luang Prabang airport is included in the price of this tour.
The tour meets in the afternoon on Day 1 at Luang Prabang Airport. Guides will meet all incoming flights until 5 pm. It is best to fly into Luang Prabang Airport before 4 pm on Day 1 and to fly out after 10 am on Day 9.
We suggest booking your flight between Luang Prabang and either Bangkok or Hanoi separately from your international flight, as it will usually work out much more economical. For guests coming from North America, the flight schedules to Luang Prabang will probably require overnighting in both directions in either Hanoi or Bangkok.
Please note: passports are required for all guests. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity past your intended travel dates. Visas are required for citizens of most countries, a 30 day Visa can be obtained when you arrive at the Luang Prabang Airport.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Pedalers Pub and Grille provide imaginative bike tours for cycling enthusiasts in Asia, Alaska and the Pacific. Enjoy fully supported rides through dramatic landscapes, boutique lodging and hearty meals featuring regional cuisine. Discover the country through the knowledge and stories of local cycling guides, enabling you to return home with an understanding of the local culture.
Strengths of Pedalers Pub and Grille include longer rides for cycling enthusiasts, local staff in each destination, imaginative routes and great value with first class accommodations at moderate tour prices. Among their numerous awards and distinctions is being placed in the top ten bike companies of the world-wide National Geographic Traveler Magazine, along with the National Geographic Adventure Magazine and Best Tour Operators on Earth. They have also been featured in 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010 for their Northern Highlights trip in Thailand.
Booking Terms and Conditions
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing and mailed to Pedalers Pub & Grille. The Date of Cancellation will be the day we receive your written notice of cancellation. Cancellations by phone or email will not be considered as valid notice.
Cancellations received before 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit the deposits paid. Any monies paid in excess of the deposit will be refunded.
Cancellations received less than 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit all payments made. No refunds will be made.
Our cancellation policy is strictly enforced with no exceptions including medical and family emergencies, deaths in the family, weather or civil unrest. Please note:
• There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early.
• Single supplements are considered part of the trip price and are subject to cancellation fees.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as needed.
• On the rare occasion when Pedalers Pub & Grille must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes full settlement.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
• Guests who fail to complete the Rider Questionnaire prior to trip departure will not be allowed to join the trip and will be subject to Pedalers Pub & Grille standard cancellation policy as described above.
• We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover non-refundable items in the event situations force you to cancel your travel plans.
After you sign up
Once we have processed and accepted your application, you will receive a notice of confirmation. In this confirmation will be additional details, such as access codes to your online rider information, meeting times and suggested flight times. You will find all of the information necessary to plan for your ride in the Pedaler's Biergarten area of our website. Here in addition to ride information, forum and a variety of tips & suggestion, you will find a Guest Questionnaire that MUST be completed in order to participate on the trip. Please note that in respect for our environment, we do not print a ride handbook and prefer to present this information online. If you do not have access to the internet please let us know.
Transferring to a different date
If you find you need to change your departure, you can request your booking be transferred to a different departure date without penalty up to 45 days prior to the originally booked tour's departure date. Requests for transfers to a new date made less than 45 days prior may be considered based on circumstances and if approved will be subject to a $100 rebooking fee per person, otherwise our normal cancellation policy applies. Requests for transferring your booking must be made in writing.
If you find you need change plans again and transfer your booking a 2nd time, there will be a $100 handling fee per person applied for the 2nd and all subsequent transfers. If after you have transferred a booking, you find you have to cancel completely, the cancellation penalty will be the higher of the tours on which you held reservations.
Travel Insurance Trip cancellation insurance, along with medical, baggage and flight insurance is available from World Nomads. Underwritten by Allianz, World Nomads offers low cost travel insurance in over 44 countries. With genuine 24/7 assistance anywhere on the planet provided by Mondial Assistance, the world's largest travel insurance and assistance company, and online claims and extensions from anywhere in the world while you are still away, World Nomads offers some of the best travel insurance in the world today. You can read more and get price quotes from our Travel Insurance page in the Biergarten section of our website.
Youth on Tours
Family Multisport Tours - Children from age 8 on up are welcome on our Family Multisport tours. We feel that this is the minimum safe age for the activities during the trips.
Bike Tours - Youths from age 16 on up are welcome on our standard Bike Tours. Children under the age of 16 will be considered on a case by case basis. If a family with younger children wishes to join a date, we will contact guests already registered on that date and with their OK, will accept the family's booking. Youths must share a room with a family member or have a private room (single supplement applies).
Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health; arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the Ride Handbook, and with a bicycle suitable / suitably maintained for the ride; respecting the laws and customs of regions visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with leader directions; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time prior to or during the trip if, in Pedalers Pub & Grille's opinion, an individual's behavior or physical condition is not compatible with the general enjoyment and well-being of other trip members.
Pedalers Pub & Grille Limitations of Liability
Pedalers Pub & Grille is not liable for bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, kayak, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided. Pedalers Pub & Grille is also not liable for expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but which may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as necessary to improve the trip's quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant Pedalers Pub & Grille express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approving such use by third parties with whom Pedalers Pub & Grille may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
Pedalers Pub & Grille respects our customer's right to privacy. The personal information gathered from our website and from any printed applications or questionnaires is used solely by Pedalers Pub & Grille for the registration on, operation of and marketing of our tours. Some personal information, such as addresses, maybe exchanged with banking institutions while processing your payment. Pedalers Pub & Grille does not provide any customer information to any outside parties for marketing or any other non-transactional purposes.
This right to privacy extends to our trip rosters. It is entirely voluntary to have your personal information listed on the trip roster. You will have the opportunity to select this option while completing our Rider Questionnaire after you are registered. The trip roster will display name, city, state, email, phone and the answer to the About Me question. If you elect not to appear on the trip roster, you will not receive a copy of the trip roster.