Cycle Laos
with Social Cycles


11 day journey from Luang Prabang and back


March 2018- sold out!
November 2018 Dates coming soon!

$1655 USD per person*

Join Traverse Journeys in partnership with Social Cycles to cover 442 miles of cycling through majestic mountain roads from Luang Prabang and back. On this beautiful, slow ride you will meander through a melting pot of local hill tribes, see sacred caves and breathtaking waterfalls, and experience a night safari boat ride. We'll connect with local NGOs including the Xiang Khouang Survivors center and Buffalo Learning Center. You'll see first-hand what really happens on the ground and out in the villages while you combine local impact with cycling and site seeing.

Get educated, get fit and get inspired. 

  • 10 nights local guesthouse, homestay, or eco lodge with private bath & A/C
  • Full bicycle hire, including helmets
  • One Social Cycle guide and one local guide
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 6 dinners
  • 4 visits to our community and village NGO partners + your $150 AUD donation to the partner of your choice
  • Cultural education to get the best local experience in Laos
  • Entry to the Nam Nern Night Safari
  • Airport transfers
  • Small group experience, max 12
Laos map.jpg

Itinerary:

Day 1: arrival in Luang Prabang

Our friendly guide and driver will meet and transfer you to the hotel for check in. Depending on what time of day you will have the chance to set up your bike. In the afternoon we will visit Friends International to learn more about local challenges, programs and initiatives set up within the ‘Saving Lives’ and ‘Building Futures’ programs. In the evening, we will have a welcome dinner together arranged at Tamnak Lao, one of the very best restaurants in town.

 

Day 2: First Cycle day: to pak xeng (52 mi)

First thing in the morning, we’ll take a boat cruise to Pak Ou Caves. These famous caves are set in limestone cliffs and crammed with Buddha images against a stunning river backdrop. From here we’ll start our cycle down to Sang Ha on a bumpy dirt road. After reaching Sang Ha we will turn northeast and head towards Pak Xeng on the first stretch of our Lao bicycle loop. The road is relatively wide and winds along the edge of the hills overlooking the river.

 

Day 3: cycle day: to sam soun (37 miles)

The first 8 miles from the guesthouse heads straight up nearly 2,000 feet elevation. It’s enough to make the strongest riders jump in the van, although if you’ve had enough coffee, you’re welcome to attempt it. The following ride is an incredible insight into local village life amidst beautiful tree lined roads. You’ll dine with your host family and enjoy an authentic home cooked meal for dinner, with the chance to join in and take some of your own cooking notes.

 

Day 4: Cycle Day - vieng thong (60 miles)

After a home made family breakfast, we will say goodbye to our hosts for the night and start cycling to Vieng Thong. The 60 mile journey comprises of some challenging mountain climbs and downhills. The beautiful bends in the well paved road make for some of the most scenic cycling in Laos. 

 

Day 5: Nam Nern Night Safari (34 miles cycling, optional)

Immersed in the magical world of Nam-Et Phou Louey National Park, Nam Nern eco-lodge has rightly been the winner at the World Responsible Tourism Awards twice. The bungalows are built by locals, the food is locally grown and prepared. We’ll have the chance to enjoy authentic, delicious dishes like Soop pak (a traditional Laotian steamed veggie dish) and Khmu tempura. As an incentive to preserve the local wildlife, the more endangered animals you see, the more money the local villages receive, thus encouraging further eco and conservation projects. We’ll take multiple boat rides (day and night) and go on hikes to salt licks with expert trackers, all the while learning about thue conservation programs. This is by far the most interactive NGO experience of the trip.

 

Day 6: muang kham (34 miles cycling, optional)

Before breakfast, local guides will take you on a walk around the jungle where you will learn about medicinal plants and  history of the site, which was once a major settlement during the Secret War. After breakfast, the boats float back through the core zone at a relaxing pace with engines off, while the guides point out wildlife along the way. When we leave the park, you can fill out a form indicating the quantity of wildlife you have seen, therefore, rewarding the locals for the preservation in the area with development fund bonuses.

It’s 60 miles to the evenings destination of Muang Kham, which will be a flexible combination of cycling and van transit.

 

Day 7: muang kham to phonsavanh (cycling optional)

Today we will start cycling towards Phosavan, covering 150 miles over the day - options to mix cycle and van transit. We will visit several organizations that work in this heavily bombed and impoverished province. In the late afternoon, we will have the chance to learn from the insightful Xieng Khouang UXO-Survivors’ Information Centre. Here, you will see displays of prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and bomb parts that give harrowing insight into the UXO problem around Laos, and XIengkhouang province in particular. We also hear the story of the spoon-making village of Ban Napia and how you can interact with this local tourism project.

 

Day 8: explore xieng khuang (cycling optional)

Today you’re welcome to give your saddle a rest and take the van to visit the Plain of Jars fields. The site contains 93 jars - weighing up to a tonne each - spread across two adjacent hills, a bizarre collection of ancient cylinder artifacts surrounded in myth and believed to have been created more than 2,000 years ago. In the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the Lone Buffalo Foundation and hear the story of their projects, inspiration, challenges and goals. And how they have used the sport of football to teach and unite the community.

 

Day 9: cycle day - xieng khuang to phou khoun

Today we will cycle from Xieng Khuang and start venturing the 93 miles back towards Luang Prabang, your choice of mixed cycling and van transit. Phou Khoun is known as the junction, where the road meets from Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Xieng Khuang. The road is very mountaneous and beautiful, but also steep for cycling. This means we will be going at a much slower pace on average and will need to jump in the truck for several miles of the route in order to make it to Phou Khoun where we'll stay at a local guesthouse.

 

Day 10: cycle day - phou khoun to luang PRabang (80 miles)

Today is the last day on the bicycles and a final push of 80 miles. However, we won’t actually cycle all the way into Luang Prabang as the traffic can get quite dense. This is the last chance to soak up the incredible scenery, the mountainous rural villages and authentic, traditional foods. To celebrate your incredible cycling adventure, we’ll dine in the Friends International Social Enterprise restaurant, Khaiphaen. This is the ideal time to reflect on our adventure, our learnings and also to decide together how to allocated the group's donated funds.

 

Day 11: Departure

After breakfast at your hotel, a minivan will transfer you to the airport. If your flight is later in the afternoon you can explore this beautiful UNESCO world heritage city! Should you wish to extend your stay for a few days, just let us know and we can offer an extension package as per requests.

 

Trip Price:

$2100 AUD (approx. $1655 USD – click here for latest exchange), based on double occupancy

+$250 AUD Single Supplement

 

Trip Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Additional excursions and activities
  • Some meals (10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 6 dinners ARE included)
  • Required travel insurance

 

Ready to book? Download our registration form and get started! Or contact us with questions!

About our Partner, Social Cycles

Social Cycles is dedicated to educating riders about issues around culture and poverty in developing countries through group cycling adventures. This includes visits to NGOs, donations made on behalf of or by riders, and an educational component delivered by Friends International. Social Cycles enhances its financial impact by supporting local social enterprises including transport assistance, the support van and all restaurant and hotel choices. Many of the restaurants are connected to local NGOs and are used as training facilities to disadvantaged youth. Social Cycles is a recognized ChildSafe supporter, and as a result, does not visit or engage with any children in institutions, such as schools or orphanages. Their purpose is to learn about complicated cultural issues through local adult experts. Social Cycles also has a commitment to the environment, which includes reducing plastic waste. For additional details on their comprehensive program, read more on their Responsible Tourism page here.


Terms & Conditions

Please refer to registration for complete terms.

Deposit
A $100 AUD non-refundable deposit is required for each traveler. Deposits may not be refunded.

Payment
Payments is made directly through Social Cycles with booking link provided.

Cancellation Policy
Payments is made directly through Social Cycles with booking link provided. A non-refundable $100 AUD deposit is due on booking, and remainder is due 30 days prior to trip start.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is required for all trips with Traverse, and must cover injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation as well as trip cancellation and trip interruption. Most insurance companies require purchase to be made within 2-3 weeks of booking for full benefits (in particular, trip cancellation). Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided. We suggest using Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider, or you can choose from any carrier that meets our requirements.

Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.