It already begins with the journey to Luang Prabang, the former capital of this very special developing country. It is considered to be the most beautiful city in South-East Asia. The centuries-old city was the royal city of the country until 1975. It is known for its numerous Buddhist temples.
You feel at home immediately after you arrive and every expected pressure, every hustle and bustle vanishes. The Laotians, like the Cambodians, are perfect hosts. Everything is organized somehow, every evening all rubbish is removed from the streets. Laos is known for its good cuisine, for relaxed people and for a diverse and breathtaking nature. As in the neighbouring country Cambodia, you are almost never begged. Everybody tries to help and everybody is friendly. The accommodations are handpicked by us and always special. A country that we consider ideal to grow beyond oneself and perhaps to reach its limits.
The next Fundriding-bike-tour will take place in Laos from 29 January – 10 February 2023.
We chose Luang Prabang for the start and end of the route. Even though this beautiful city is only 305 m above sea level, it is located in the middle of a mountain range that has no equal. Luang Prabang lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. The climatic conditions are just as ideal for cyclists as the condition of most roads. We have tried to design the route in a way that it offers a challenge to the participants with a demanding physical level, but is also manageable with a lower physical condition. Due to the luxury of two service vehicles, each Fundrider can take a break at any time and skip one or two gradients. As we are equipped with three guides for 18 participants, we are able to form groups with different conditions, which meet again in the evening at the latest for a welcome drink in the new accommodation.
The rental bikes are touring bikes, equipped with a coarser profile, so that it is also possible to take paths off the paved road. The experienced service team can repair almost any breakdown on site. The participants who bring their own bike should have model-specific parts for their bike in their luggage, our service team will be happy to take care of the mechanics.
Let us surprise you and kidnap you. Combine sporting challenge, adventure and social commitment in a unique way in a breathtaking scenery.
Sunday, Luang Prabang: Welcome to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage city and the former royal capital of Laos. Luang Prabang is considered the “most beautiful city in South East Asia”.
Today is finally the meeting point. All Fundriders surely looked forward to this day. Of course you will be picked up at the airport and after the long flight brought to our beautiful and very special accommodation, the Villa Saykham. For many it is the first contact with South East Asia, and for most it will be the beginning of a new love ….
Today we have to arrive – acclimatize – relax – greet each other in the evening.
Monday, Luang Prabang: Now the waiting is finally over. We accept our bikes, at least the participants who didn’t bring their own. Our Laotian guides are very experienced in cycling tracks in Laos. They will help everyone to adjust their bike to their personal needs.
Today is an important day. We will visit our tour project, which we chose together before the tour. Every fundrider has had the chance to experience the highs and lows of the fundraising before the tour, now the mileage is donated and the money is used. We want everyone to contribute as the project allows or demands. To slip into the role of a development aid worker for a day is a pleasant and lasting experience.
Afterwards everyone is free and welcome to take a look at Luang Prabang and the beautiful surrounding countryside on their own – every kilometre counts!
Since the tour finally begins tomorrow, we will of course have an extensive discussion in the evening
Tuesday, Luang Prabang – Nong Khaiw 141 km… don’t worry, we drive the first 30 km with the service van
The first part of the stage leads us out of the city on Route 13 north to Nong Khiaw. Route 13 is the connecting road between China and Thailand and is heavily used by trucks. So we get on the service van, which takes us to the less busy start of our tour.
We first follow the Mekong before the road turns towards Nam Ou River. We will make our first big ascent before descending to a bridge that crosses Nam Ou. The road then follows Nam Ou through several small villages and offers a fantastic view of the river and mountainous jungle. Our biggest ascent of the day is just before the village of Pak Nga, where the road turns off the river and leads into the mountains. From here we climb steadily but gradually through the jungle to the town of Pak Mong. From here we follow Route 1 for a mostly steep drive to the city of Nong Khiaw, our last destination of the day.
Today we drive a completely new track. We will drive some stages not by bicycle, but by service van, at least the part of the group that wishes to. An overexertion is therefore unlikely here.
It makes no sense to start the daily description with the fact that we will stay today in breathtaking nature, that is the case daily. However, we have to point out that almost every day it is somehow another fantastic nature film that comes up to us in Northern Laos or that we drive through.
Today we continue on Route 1C and follow remote mountain roads. The road leads us through areas of Nam Et Phouleuy, where we have a picnic on the way. This remote part of Laos offers us a fantastic view of the temperate rainforests that cover these mountains. A small drive up to Muang Hiam. From here it’s only downhill to today’s destination, a small town on the banks of the Nam Khan.
Also here we will spend the night in a typical guesthouse, the Souksakhone guesthouse. One of our biggest tasks is to find accommodation options for such a large number of participants.
Before we like to go to Nam, we drive to the Hotsprings – a beautiful natural spectacle. Afterwards, we start the day with a bigger ascent. As always, the service vehicle will jump in immediately and without discussion if someone would rather enjoy the rest of the ascent from the service vehicle. But for sure everyone will arrive at the top and want to actively experience the long, winding descent through the NPA on his bike. During this descent we look forward to some fantastic views of the temperate rainforest and the breathtaking landscape.
We then head to the town of Nam Nern, built on the banks of the Nam Nern, where we will spend the night. If you want, you can go on a night safari. The minimum number of participants is 6-8 people – come together and speak to us!
We are far away from the mainstream, but that’s exactly what we want. Our route leads us through a remote mountain area. If at all, we meet inhabitants of different ethnic groups who don’t often have contact to tourists. The road meanders uphill and downhill through small villages. Today we also have a picnic on the way and afterwards a small rest to recharge our batteries. We still need this for today’s ascent to Muang Kham Village, the small town/village where we will spend the night.
Sunday, Muang Kham – Phonsavanh 56 km: Today we cycle towards Phosavanh to visit various organizations working in this heavily bombed and impoverished province. The morning will be a nice relaxed cycling tour, with the afternoon more focused on the encounter with the social organizations.
The afternoon can be individually designed and enjoyed. Our accommodation today is really extraordinary. Situated at the top of a mountain, one does not only have a breathtaking view to the city below, but in the resort managed by a Frenchman, also a remarkable restaurant, not to mention the overnight stay itself.
Monday, Explore Phonsavanh 70 km: Today is rest day. Gather your strength before tomorrow’s biggest challenge of the tour. …. but don’t be afraid, everyone only as far as you are able. As always it’s the same on our rest day, everyone can do whatever they want in their free time. If you are interested, you can visit the “Plain of Jars Site 1”.
There is a very good information center here about these fascinating and mysterious clay jars.
In the late afternoon we visit a silk farm. The purpose of the farm is to promote the traditional practice of silk fiber production in Laos by providing training and support in silkworm rearing and handicraft weaving practices. This in turn promotes the social and economic development of rural and remote villages. All elaborate steps from the cocoons of the silkworm to the woven sarong are explained and illustrated in detail by the women here.
Gladly we let ourselves be driven today also by the service van, as said, tomorrow we still need the strength …
Tuesday, Phonsavanh – Phoukhoun 134 km: Today is the most challenging day of the tour. We will first drive through the plains and the beautiful nature and make kilometers. After a while we will notice an ascent and a moderate uphill. At the top we are rewarded with a long descent with serpentines and great curves.
A long ascent follows immediately before we cross the ridge of the mountain to Phou Khoun. This is the highest point of our trip and offers a breathtaking view of the valleys.
Today is our last tour day. After breakfast it goes down to the village of Kiu Kateap. After this wonderful descent follows a long climb on the ridge. Via this ridge we reach the village of Kiu Kacham – the second highest point of our trip. The view of the valley is breathtaking. After lunch we drive along the ridge that leads down to Luang Prabang. Today’s ride offers: many switchbacks, long descents and breathtaking views.
We don’t want to end the last few kilometers of this really incredible track in heavy traffic. Therefore we decided to load all bikes for the last 25 km and drive back to Luang Prabang, our starting and ending point. Of course, everyone can decide for themselves, but we think that the last impression takes the longest, and it should be like the whole tour – breathtaking.