Best cycling routes in Northern Laos April 20, 2020 Best cycling routes in Northern Laos Thinking about cycling from Laos to Vietnam? This is our guide to the top cycling routes in the region. Whether you join a tour or travel independently, this is sure to be an adventure holiday you'll never forget! The best way to truly connect with a country on your travels is to cycle through it. No other form of travel gives you the chance to experience so many remote villages, meet amazing locals and taste truly indigenous food. Slow travel takes longer, but the rewards are far richer. Immerse yourself in Laos with our highly prized cycling routes. Due to the mountainous terrain and safety aspect, we strongly recommend having a support van on hand at all times. Luang Prabang to Kuang Si Falls This ride is a fantastic day trip from Luang Prabang and one that you don’t really need a support van for. The ride is all paved, easy to navigate and there’s lots to stop and see along the way. If you don’t want to ride back, you may be able to get a tuk tuk from the falls. Don’t miss the Lao Buffalo Dairy farm on route and enjoy some home made ice cream. Distance The distance is 28.5km one way. Allow time to ride back. Average time is 2 hours one way. Terrain All sealed roads, except for the last few hundred meters before the Kuang Si Waterfall car park. Difficulty Easy. The climbs on the map look worse than what they are. The gradient is only 7-8%, and then only for 3km. Highlights Definitely the Lao Buffalo Dairy farm along the way, the Free the Bears rescue sanctuary at Kuang Si falls is a highlight and of course, the waterfalls themselves are a huge local attraction. Previous Next Luang Prabang to Ban Long This ride starts at the UXO education centre in Luang Prabang. A ‘must visit’ local museum that clearly outlines the countries horrific past. The USA dropped more bombs in Laos during the Vietnam war than all the bombs in WWII combined. The museum outlines how it affects modern life in Laos. There is not much to see and do in Ban Long, so this ride is another good day trip for those looking for a bit of a hill. The distance is short enough to get you there and back on a day trip without the need for a support van. Distance The distance one way is 20km. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours. Terrain The ride out of Luang Prabang is all sealed, but from the 3km point, you'll be on compact gravel. It's a good quality dirt road for riding. Difficulty Moderate. Despite being only 20km, there's a 300m climb in elevation in less than 5km. It'll definitely slow you down. The rest is easy. Highlights Learning from the UXO centre is a highlight, plus the remote village road leading into the village. Previous Next Send me the Laos itinerary Name Email Please send me the itinerary! Nong Khuay Village This is a challenging ride and best left to very confident riders. The distance is only short but the downhill is intense! It’s all gravel and depending on recent rainfall, can have some ditches throughout the road. The map below looks gentle, but don’t be fooled. It’s really steep with gradients of 16-18% on potentially slippery surfaces. This is a good ride for those looking for a challenge. Distance Just over 9km, one way. Allow 30 mins going downhill. Over 1 hour going uphill. Terrain Dirt road, generally compact gravel. This road is quite remote and conditions can change depending on the season. It is advised to exercise caution and gain local knowledge. Difficulty Hard. Make sure you're comfortable with your brakes and know the bike well. Exercise extreme caution going downhill. We give additional safety briefings on SC tours for this leg. Highlights The sheer thrill of tackling an awesome downhill is it's own reward! the ride finishes on a sealed road, leading back to Luang Prabang. Previous Next Cycling into Nong Khiaw This ride is the second part of our third day on the Social Cycles Laos tour. After descending down the hill at Nong Khuay, we transfer to Pak Mong and ride from there. Road number 13 is not pleasant to ride due to the trucks and narrow shoulder. From Pak Mong to Nong Khiaw, the road is sealed, quiet and the scenery is beautiful. Distance The ride is 30km from Pak Mong to Nong Khiaw. Terrain Good quality, paved road from start to finish. Difficulty Easy ride due to the quality of road. The elevation is undulating, but only as high as 400m and low as 350m from start to finish. Highlights Beautiful ride, with easy undulation. Passes through remote villages taking in the best of the countryside. Previous Next Muang Khua towards the border It’s about 70km to the Vietnam border, but if you’re planning to cross today, you want to plan to be there before 1pm. It’s not a 24 hour border and can sometimes shut early without notice. If you are not bound by time, it might be worth continuing the ride passed Muang Mai to Tay Trang border the following day. Distance It's 38km from Muang Khua to Muang Mai. Allow 2.5 to 3 hours. Terrain Sealed road with minimal traffic. The road takes on beautiful scenery around the mountains. Difficulty Moderate. The first 10km are flat and easy. Then it's a 10km climb, gaining 600m in elevation. This can be challenging, depending on the heat. The final 15km is all downhill and a heap of fun! Highlights The downhill is pretty special, and well deserved after the climb earlier in the day. The villages sees children screaming "HELLO!!" as you cycle passed! Previous Next Share the journey Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Feeling inspired? 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