AMAZING SOUTHERN LAOS BY BICYCLE 9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS
The Mekong sweeps down towards the Cambodian border. On the eastern border the land rises towards the Anna mite chain through dense jungle, sparsely populated by remote tribes. The Ho Chi Minh trail makes its way down through the forest, littered with the skeletons of trucks and still contaminated with unexploded bombs.
Pakse, the provincial capital, is a busy, thriving town in the cleft of the Mekong and the Sedon River. The present town of Champasak consists of a small settlement on the Thai side of the Mekong River, whose main interest is its proximity to the famous Khmer site of Wat Phou, a name which indicates a connection with the ancient Cham kingdom, contemporaneous with the early Khmer empire.
Downstream Khong island (four thousand islands), once a French outpost, contains dilapidated colonial houses from the 1920S. Khong Island became an important trading point at the beginning of the 20 century and has the distinction of having the only railway line in the country. South of Khong Island the Mekong River almost loses itself among channels that created thousands of tiny islands in its widest section, before becoming increasingly agitated. Finally at Khone Island, the Mekhong hurtles over 15 km of falls and rapids to spectacular effect. Along this stretch at Phapeng waterfall one arm of the river suddenly crashes down a 15-metre drop
The town of Paksong was heavily bombed during the Vietnam war and now presents a bedraggled, ramshackle appearance. The Bolavens Plateau dominates the centre of the region, rising sharply out of the plain north of Pakse. The climate is cool and rainy, yielding rich crops of coffee and tea. The plateau is graced with extravagant waterfalls, some concealed by dense jungles. The best known is at Xeset, a hydroelectric power plant.
Day 1: Ubon Ratchatani(Thai border) – Champasack(Laos)
After stamp your passports out of Thailand and once visas formalities have been completed at Lao immigration, after completing all the border formalities and loading our entire luggage into the support truck, we start riding from Lao immigration along the way to Pakse province on good quality asphalt road for 26 km then we turn right for another 61 km riding on dirt road but completely flat. We pass many small villages and paddy fields before we arrive the former capital city of southern kingdom Champasak.. Check in Thavisab hotel, dinner at the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point: 120 m above sea level.
Arrival point: 124 m above sea level.
Distance: 87 km (first section of 26 km on asphalt road, 51 km on dirt road and last 10 km on asphalt road but the whole route is flat)
Meals:( L / D)
Accommodation: Thavisab hotel (room with private bathroom and hot shower, 24 h electricity)
Day 2: Champasack – Kiet Ngong village
After breakfast we cycle to visit the Pre-Angkor ruins of Wat Phou, once used to be the worship place of Hindu worshipers then were replaced by Buddhist temple in the late 11 century. We spend some time here exploring the temple before riding back to the town and cross Mekong river by ferry and ride to Kiet Ngong village, lunch at Kingfisher Ecolodge where we stay overnight, after lunch and check in hotel we start elephant riding at the village.
Elevation: Departure point: 124 m.
Arrival point: 124 m above sea level.
Distance: 52 km.
Meal: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Kingfisher Ecolodge.
Day 3: Kiet Ngong village – Khong island
Si Phan Done in Lao means 4000 islands; it is the widest and most charismatic part of the Mekong River and is our destination today. We leave as early as we can after breakfast, after 10 km of riding from the hotel to junction then turn left and start heading south again towards Cambodia. Today is mainly flat with quiet road and some interesting scenery, we pass many villages with children standing in groups waving their hands and say hello, it would be strange for them to see the tourists travel by bicycles (it feels hard for them).so we stop every 20 or 25 km for refreshments and we have lunch under the tree by the road when we feel like it. We then cross back over to the Mekong River to one of the biggest island in the Mekong River, Kong Island (it is the hometown of former Lao president). We cycle a short way to our hotel. Dinner is in the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point: 124 m above sea level
Arrival point: 120 m above sea level.
Distance: 98 km (on good quality asphalt road, and mainly flat).
Meals: (B / L /D).
Accommodation: Villa Muangkhong (rooms are very good full of facilities) internet and laundry are available here but no massage.
Day 4: Khong island – Khone Island
Today is a day to explore, we once again cross the river and head south where we ride as far as the Khon Pha Pheng water fall, we rest for a while before riding back and take a short boat trip to the small island of Don Det Island where we will have lunch. After lunch we ride along the old French Railway down to the beach where we get on small boats to Cambodian waters in search of fresh water Dolphins, After an hour we ride back to our hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Distance: 55 km (Haft riding is on good quality asphalt road and the rest is on the path but it is fantastic ride and flat).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Salapea GH (floating GH).
Day 5: Khone island - Tad Fane (waterfall)
An easy start to the day as we transfer back on the way we come for almost 2 hours to begin our journey into coffee growing area of Laos, the Bolaven plateau. We head north to Pakse before starting to climb up into the temperate coffee growing area renowned for its Arabica and Robusta beans. These beans fetch some of the highest coffee prices in the world. The road undulates but has a definite upward feeling. As we climb, we see coffee everywhere as the plantations converge on the side of the road. We finish at the wonderful Tad Fane resort, which provides a stunning backdrop and the very impressive Tad Fane fall, if you are feeling energetic you can cycle to the other waterfall for swimming. Alternatively, you can relax in the restaurant and take the wonderful view. Dinner is at the resort.(At a junction where we start riding is at an altitude of 150 m above sea level and the resort where we stay overnight is at an altitude of 960 m above sea level)
Elevation: Departure point 175 m above sea level.
Arrival point 959 m above sea level.
Distance: 30 km (on good quality asphalt road but ascend).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Tad Fane resort. (Rooms are very good with private bathroom and hot shower)
Day 6: Free day
Today we have a choice of a rest day or taking an easy hike around coffee plantations and see the spectacular waterfall up close.
Meals: (B / L / D)
Accommodation: Tad Fane resort.
Day 7: Tad Fane – Tad lor (Tad means waterfall)
(Resort is at an altitude of 960 m above sea level.) Today is the best riding in this trip. After 12 km of climbing we reach the top of Bolavene plateau (at an altitude of 1280 m). However, riding in the early morning warms you through a cold morning on the plateau. You still have more energy in the morning after a short break in a small town on top of a plateau. We continue riding for another 38 km to a small town of Tha Teng (at an altitude of 860 m), this 38- kilometer descent is one of the best rides in this trip. We have noodle soup for lunch at a local restaurant 30 km from our destination, Tad Lor Resort (at an altitude of 750 m) Riding after lunch takes us very easy downhill on a dirt road for 21 km to the junction. The rest of the road is just 9 km on asphalt and is mainly flat. We check into our hotel in the afternoon and you can swim at the waterfall, relaxing, enjoying the view or riding around. Dinner is at the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point 959 m.
Highest point: 1280 m.
Arrival point: 346 m.
Ride: 80 km (12 km ascent, 68 km descent and flat, including 21 km on a dirt road).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Tad Lor Resort (Rooms are very good quality, surrounded by nature and waterfall)
Day 8: Tad Lor – Pakse
After breakfast, we head towards Pakse. This road undulates and has a couple of lengthy climbs. One is 5 km, one of 49 km, but they are gradual. We then turn right and head downhill all the way into Pakse. The last 20 km in to Pakse is downhill and can be covered quickly. Be careful as we head into town as traffic increases significantly. Stay overnight in Pakse.
Elevation: Departure point: 346 m above sea level.
Highest point: 606 m above sea level.
Arrival point: 170 m above sea level.
Ride: 84 km on good quality asphalt road.
Meals: (B / L / D).
Day 9: Pakse – Thai border
After breakfast, we transfer by minibus for 1:30 hours to border and cross to Thailand.
End of service
Staffs and support team:
1 English speaking Lao guide (cycling guide)
1- 2 helper(s) that depending on the group size
1 support truck for all luggage and bicycles
1-2 mini buses depending on the group size.
Packing instruction: When packing you should understand that your main luggage would not be accessible during the day so if you have items you want to use please put them in a smaller “day pack “which we will store in the van. This applies to every day.
We will be supported by air conditioned mini bus and truck that have been specially modified for cycle tours. The vehicles follow us the whole time and are always available for tired cyclists. It is very easy to get bikes on and off the truck, so you can rest when you are tired and cycle whenever you fell like it, and you will be well looked after, all support vehicles will follow around 100 - 150 m behind the last cyclist, water stop is every 1 – 1:30 h or every 15 – 25 km depending on the road condition and the cyclists.
BIKE REPAIRS: Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicles such as alum key set, chain splitter, puncture repair kit, pumper, in case of any problem you just stop. Though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. If bringing your own bike please make sure that it is fully serviced prior to the trip to ensure that nothing serious is about to break.
WEATHER: There are two seasons in Laos: from March to September is hot and raining with temperatures between 25–40 C. From October to February is winter with the temperatures between 10-25 C, it also depends on which part of the country, northern part is cooler than southern part. In winter season is the best time to travel in Laos and riding conditions are perfect.
VISA: Visa can be obtained from Lao embassies and consulates abroad; in addition, visa can be obtained on arrival at international checkpoints and the cost for this is from 30 – 42 US$ in cash with a validity of 30 days(the cost of visa is different from every nationality ) and you will also need two passport photographs.
FOOD: Meals are included as per the itinerary where B= breakfast, L = lunch, D= dinner. Most meals are Lao food and it is very similar to Thai food. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
WHAT TO BRING:
Jackets, padded cycling shorts, T- shirt, cycling shoes, socks, stiff-soled cycling shoes (if needed) cloves, sun classes, sun cream, camel bag or water bottle and the other personal stuff needed (camera, video camera, MP 3)
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
Lao English speaking guide.(cycling guide)
Full support with truck and mini bus.
All meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
Drinking water. (big bottles for refilling)
Seasonal fruits. (Bananas, papayas, pineapples, mangoes…)
Soft drinks and Snacks.(Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, biscuits, crackers, dry peanuts…)
Entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary.
Hotels and guesthouses as mentioned in the itinerary.
TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Personal travel insurance
Alcoholic beverages and drink at dinner
Other personal expenses
HOW TO BOOK TOUR:
1. Online booking
2. Phone booking: +85620 55771646, +85671 254675
3. Email booking: email@example.com