The trip of a lifetime. Fourteen days in which we cross the length of Laos, riding through ‘war trails’ and sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Along the way we’ll see a river caves and visit major towns and cities like Luang Prabang, Phonsavan, and Xam Neua, before heading back to the capital, Vientiane. So much to see and do on this tour! The landscapes will leave you speechless as will the trails we have picked out for this amazing 14 day tour of Beautiful Laos.
Honda CRF 250L
75% off Road
To get you acclimatised to Laos, we begin with a fairly easy start on tarmacked roads. Then we switch to dirt roads that take us through a few towns, across a few rivers and into, out of, and through forests. Completing that journey means we’ve reached our first stop of Attapeu. Our guest house in Attapeu is by the river, where we can relax and chill out for the evening. A warm welcome’s always guaranteed.
A great day ahead as we use a section of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to get us to remote Dakcheung. Once an important part of that infamous trail network that saw much activity in the war, by the end of the day you will have sampled a taste of rural Laos and the trail with much more to see. As we overnight in this small town, you will get some real insight into rural Lao life. Expect some fun with the locals.
Today we’re back on the Ho Chi Minh trail and work our way round the mountains. Our route has various options that we decide as we ride. Some days river crossings are possible, some days not. Their accessibility determines our route. So until we reach them we don’t know what it will be! It’s a great ride though, and gets us into Salavan and our overnight accommodation.
Our fourth day sees us ride to Xepon with some nice off road riding up to Ta Oy, from here we will join the road for a short distance then return to the trail and over the mountains which offer great views. It’s a vast mountain range and gives you a real idea of the hardships of getting over it back in the war days. We arrive early enough to visit the Lam Son Museum. The museum records the battle of Lam Son 719 which took place in this area. Following that we stay overnight in Xepon in a local guest house..
Today we will ride mostly off-road to the Xe Bang Fai River Cave in the village of Nongping. The cave is the largest in Laos. It’s 120 metres tall, 200 metres wide with a subterranean channel 7 km long, used in the war as a short cut into Laos. We can spend the afternoon exploring the cave or just relaxing. We overnight in the homestay in Ban Nongping. Local food and hospitality await us in this remote village in the mountains.
An early start to complete the ‘off road’ section. Then it’s onto tarmac across the Nakhai plateau, flooded by Hydro power projects, and we follow long winding roads with stunning views of the flooded area, kind of spooky with all the old trees poking up through the water. We will stop short of Lak So and overnight on the guest houses on the lake shores, Thalang.
What awaits us today is spectacular. We ride the border roads of Vietnam and Lao. Road upgrades are in progress in places, but otherwise it’s fantastic. There are some challenging river crossing en route. As well as some remote trails in the mountains which offer stunning views of the mountain ranges. Our decent will see us arrive in Viengthong where we will overnight.
Today is a magical riding day as we ascend the second highest mountain in Lao, Pho Samsoun. After the road section, we head for some ‘technical trails’ that take us through the mountains in this remote area. Then we descend into Phonsavan to visit the famous Plain of Jars. Phonsavan is a large town which offers various cuisines for those who may fancy something different, you can treat yourselves. We will overnight in a local guest house.
An early start needed as we take on a big day. An initial, short road stretch will take us way into the mountains. In those mountains, we ride seldom used trails. We negotiate all manner of ascents and descents, giving us seemingly endless riding. There are continuously amazing views, small trails cut into the mountains with river crossings, and a few small villages. The last section is back onto the road before arriving in Xam Neua, a stronghold of the Communist Party and the location the war effort was run from. Our home for the night is a local guest house.
A shorter day today as we head back into the mountains. There we visit an old US airbase, LS85, on the top of a mountain (Phu Phi Thi). There are incredible views up on the mountain top, where the ruins of the base are still laying. Then a long, long descent into Viengtong off road, although this road is being upgraded, and its welcoming reinvigorating hot springs. Those springs will soothe weary muscles before we go to our local guest for the evening.
Leaving the town behind, it’s tarmac riding before heading ‘off road’. Another truly spectacular day’s riding. Steep mountain climbs and descents, long mountain passes, and just a handful of villages ‘en route’. The final section down the mountain is just stunning before we level out onto the tarmac roads leading into the Unesco World Heritage Site and our home town, Luang Prabang, where we will overnight.
We are sure there will be a few sore heads this morning after our night in Luang Prabang, so we have a short day, with a later start than normal. Once on the trails though, you can be assured of short day in the hills. Lots of agricultural land and narrow winding tracks, take us to Nan. A final road section will take us to Xayabuli, where we stay overnight in a local guest house.
Today is also a fairly short days. A few rivers in this protected area, but wonderful riding. Nam Phou National Park is a special place on a dirt bike. There is little in the way of other vehicles, mainly farm land with nice trails, remote villages, and stunning views. We arrive back on the road for a small road section into Paklay where we overnight by the mighty Mekong.
Our last day together with a few route options before we hit the approach to the Laos capital, Vientiane. It’s a long day which ever way we go. Road upgrades are being made in this area which are welcome as the old section was very rough indeed. On our arrival into the Capital we will head for our hotel for the evening. Our evening will end in fine style, but the memories will be there forever. What a ride!
Lao Adv Tours:Reserves the rights to change routes and planning due to road problems. Weather conditions can change very quickly. All rights reserved.
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