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Hilltribe Cycle And Trek – Vietnam To Laos

Hilltribe Cycle and Trek – Vietnam to Laos

Hilltribe Cycle and Trek - Vietnam to Laos

HIGHLIGHTS

Hill Tribes, Mountains, Rivers, Countryside and friendly locals

FROM

NZ$3,897

DURATION

13 Days

Why choose this trip?

Your journey begins in the old historical city of Hanoi, take your time to explore the old French quarter with its many preserved buildings and sights. Take the overnight train up to the beautiful hill town of Sapa with is many rice terraces. From here you will begin cycling through the wild northern hills close to the Chinese border before crossing into Laos. Laos is like stepping back in time with is old traditions still very prevalent alongside limited modern developments. Cycle through the valleys before taking a boat ride down a stunning stretch of river eventually reaching the UNESCO Town of Luang Prabang where you can have a well-deserved rest under the shade of the tree lined colonial boulevards. Cycling from Hanoi in Vietnam to Luang Prabang in Laos this off the beaten track tour will ensure your encounters with ethnic hill tribes will be genuine and memorable.

What’s the Activity level?

This trip is considered Moderate to Challenging. Some of these days, are physically demanding and best suited for strong people with a higher endurance level. Days can be long, often at altitude, in remote regions and sometimes without a support vehicle nearby. The longest cycle day is 65km, however you always have the option to travel in the support vehicle if necessary. Most days are between 10km and 65km in length, with a total of 9 biking days and 4 sightseeing/rest days

What’s the transport and accommodation like?

Be prepared to travel on a variety of transport from cycles and vans, to long boat and overnight train. Accommodation is 4 to 5-star standard comfortable locally owned hotels with en-suite rooms. Hotels are chosen for their safety, location, ambiance and friendly staff.

*All our tours are non-smoking

TRIP SUMMARY

Duration: 13 days from Hanoi to Luang Prabang
Trip focus: A moderate cycle tour with some easy and challenging days exploring northern Vietnam’s countrysides and crossing the border into northern Laos
Accommodation: 11 nights hotels, 1 night overnight train
Transport: Cycle, air conditioned vehicle, Long boat, Overnight train
Group size: Maximum 12 + tour leader, Minimum 4
This tour can also depart with a minimum of 2 travellers on any day to suit. Please inquire re prices and group discounts.
Single supplement: NZ$706
Operator: This tour is run by one of our trusted local partners

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Local Experienced English speaking guide (Different guide in Vietnam and Laos)
  • Private transportation by air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and support for cycling days for 4 pax up.
  • Bicycle rental and helmet for cycling days. Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water for sightseeing.
  • Snack and fresh fruit for cycling day
  • All sightseeing entrance fee where required in the itinerary.
  • Overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai (shared 4 berth cabin)
  • Accommodation in twin shared room in hotel with daily breakfast.
  • International flight reconfirmation.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • International flight to/from Vietnam/Laos
  • Vietnam and Laos visas
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal expenditure (telephone, laundry, shopping and so on…)
  • Tips for guide, driver, porters. We recommend 5 USD/person/day for guide, 3 USD/person/day for driver and 3 USD/person/hotel when you check in/out.
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks.
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned on itinerary and trip inclusive portion.

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY HANOI

On arrival at Hanoi, get your airport transfer to the hotel. Rendezvous at the group hotel in Hanoi in time for a pre-trip group meeting at 6.30pm. If you arrive early, take the opportunity to get out and explore the old city. Before leaving the hotel, please look in the reception area for a notice advising your tour leader’s name, mobile phone number and other helpful local information.

Meals Included: None

DAY 2 – HANOI CITY EXPERIENCE, STREET EATS TOUR AND TRAIN TO LAO CAI

This morning you will tour the city of Hanoi. Stop at the old coffee shop in the Old Quarter, then visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Tour the One Pillar Pagoda and visit Ho Chi Minh’s House. Continue on to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century and then return to your hotel.

Street Eats After Dark Tour – depart from you hotel at 5pm for leisurely walk with your tour guide to the Old Quarter. On this walking tour you will have the opportunity to try locally made foods from small local shops and street vendors. A fantastic way to end your stay in Hanoi.

Later depart to the railway station for your overnight sleeper train to the North.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 3 – LAO CAI TO SAPA, TREKKING AND HOMESTAY

Pick up from the station and transfer to a local restaurant for breakfast before heading south out of Sapa town into the Muong Hoa valley, home to the largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam. The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of the Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of the Giay minority. Enjoy a boxed lunch on the way. Continue to trek through farmlands and rolling hills to Giang Ta Chai village to visit Red Dao people. Tonight you will be treated with local culinary delights from the village. Experience this homestay with your friendly and welcoming hosts who will introduce you to some of their local traditions.

Trekking: 10 Kilometres
Difficulty: Easy

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 4 – SAPA TO LAI CHAU

Take in the sounds of the countryside over breakfast and learn all about H’Mong life and culture with your English-speaking hosts. We then transfer back to Sapa and start your cycle ride, riding out of Sapa to complete the 15 kilometre road climb up to Tram Ton pass – the highest road pass in Vietnam at 2,000 metres. We then have a superb 25 kilometre descent into a beautiful valley. On Thursday, stop to visit authentic Binh Lu Market. Later, at the small town of Tam Duong we will have lunch and then turn left off the main road to cycle on a lovely country lane through the remote villages of Ban Hon and Ban Giang. We finish the day in the new city of Lai Chau.

Cycling distance: Approx. 55 Kilometres
Difficulty: Challenging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5 – LAO CAI TO MUONG LAY

Following breakfast we have a short transfer of 45kms to avoid traffic and construction on the main road. Just after the town of Phong Tho we turn off the main road to start cycling on a quiet country road then ride or transfer uphill 20 kilometre to a pass at 1,630 metres before a short 5 kilometre drop down to the market town of Sin Ho where we have lunch. After lunch the cycling is superb as we make our way across a high plateau covered in hill tribe villages then a 1,300 metre descent to Chan Nura where we meet the main road again. Depending on time we will either ride or transfer the last 30 kilometres to our riverside hotel.

Cycling distance: Approx. 50 Kilometres
Difficulty: Challenging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6 – MUONG LAY TO DIEN BIEN PHU

Another hilly day but we start nice and easy following a river for 15 kilometres before starting our first climb of the day, after a further 19 kilometres we reach a pass at 860 metres. At the top we’ll take a break at a well-located tea shop for refreshments. The average gradient of the pass is relatively easy averaging around 6 – 8%. Dropping down to a plateau around 400 metres, we will stop regularly at some of the last hill tribe villages and have lunch in a local restaurant, where our guide can introduce you to the local customs and we prepare for the broad smiles of the kids as we cycle through paddy fields on the final flat stretch into the historic town of Dien Bien Phu.

Cycling distance: Approx. 65 Kilometres
Difficulty: Challenging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 7 – DIEN BIEN PHU TO MUANG KHUA

Today we say goodbye to Vietnam and hello to Laos. We start the day with a short transfer to the quiet border crossing where it takes between 1-2 hours to complete immigration formalities. We’ll swap crews, pick up new hire bikes and begin the journey to the riverside town of Muang Khoua. The ride is beautiful as we descend at first on a recently built but very quiet road, cycling through remote villages mainly comprised of Red or Black Thai ethnic tribes. After lunch there is a short climb for 10 kilometres before dropping down to Tat Muang Khoua (390 metres) a small sleepy market town built on a steep hillside at the confluence of two rivers, offering plenty of great viewpoints.

Cycling distance: Approx. 55 Kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8 – MUANG KHUA TO OYDOMXAY

Today is an exhilarating long cycle to the town of Oudomxay is one of the most beautiful places in Laos, located in the upper North. A place where you can experience untouched nature as well as cultural life. It is considered as one province that has lots of potential for trade. It creates lots of interest for both domestic and foreign business investors. Along the way you will have a good chance to meet local hill tribe people working on their farms. Take a well-earned rest this evening in your hotel.

Cycling distance: Approx. 50 Kilometres
Difficulty: Challenging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 9 – OUDOMXAY TO NAM THOUAM

Depart Oudomxay, hop on your bike and cycle to a traditional Hmong village, where they make paper from bamboo and if time allows you can join them with a hands-on in bamboo paper-making. Afterwards, we continue our trip to Pak Mong, here is the junction that the local people use as a connection road to go to Nong Khiaw, Viengthong and Luang Prabang. Tonight we will spend the night in a simple guesthouse in Nam Thouam village.

Cycling distance: Approx. 50 Kilometres
Difficulty: Challenging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 10 – NAM THOUAM TO LUANG PRABANG

Cycling a relatively quiet undulating road, it is satisfying to cycle into the beautiful and historic town of Luang Prabang to end our epic journey. Situated on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River, Luang Prabang is well-known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. Every morning, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms, you should be able to see this tomorrow. Evening to relax at leisure.

Cycling distance: Approx. 40 Kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 11 – LUANG PRABANG EXPERIENCE

Today’s trip combines cycling, trekking and boating in a beautiful rural area along the Mekong River. We will experience local daily life and the unique culture. Enjoy the chance to interact with the friendly local people of various ethnic minorities before short boat trip down the mighty Mekong!

Cycling distance: Approx. 5 hours cycling (39kms), 2 hours walking, 20 minute boat trip
Difficulty: Moderate

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 12 – LUANG PRAGANG, TEMPLES AND KUANG SI WATERFALL

This morning we will visit the museum at the former Royal Palace Museum, then continue to the monasteries of Wat Xieng Thong and finally the last stop is Wat Visoun temple. The early afternoon before we will take the private minivan to visit the incredibly scenic Kuang Si Waterfall which is surrounded with turquoise blue pools and an ideal place for swimming. Return to your hotel in Luang Prabang. Tonight you will have a Farewell dinner at Tamnaklao restaurant. Tamnak Lao means “The Residence” because this restaurant is located in one of the original French-style homes built in Luang Prabang. Traditional Laos food prepared and cooked in elegant colonial surroundings.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 13 – DEPARTURE DAY

Free at leisure till transfer (with guide) to the airport for your onward flight. Regular check-out time is 12.00. Late check-out is not included and subject to availability.

Meals Included: Breakfast
BikingTrainSightseeingBoatCultural ExperiencesNaturePlaneHiking

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hanoi City tour
  • Water puppets theatre
  • Black Hmong tribe of Sapa
  • Largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam
  • Long boat journey
  • Nong Khiaw
  • Explore the beautiful Luang Prabang

DATES

Departure Dates Cost
Dates for 2021 TBA TBC
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