Laos retains many of the qualities that are often lost with mass tourism, a country of less than three million people many of which are encapsulated in the timeless quality of rural life. We take to our motorcycle to discover how Laos has remained untainted as we ride the trails as they rise in the steep folds to the high plateaus.
Join us on this isolated Laotian adventure through a country little known and experience the warmth of the Hmong People as we ride to the Plain of Jars, Luang Probang and the French stronghold of Diem Bien Phu.
Mystery and beauty holds Laos ahead of its neighbouring countries.
Beyond the evident history and heritage of the old French town Luang Prabang has aquamarine waterfalls, top trekking opportunities, kayaking trips, river cruises and outstanding natural beauty, the whole ensemble encircled by hazy green mountains....and we have the whole day to explore.
Overnight Sleeper train to Hanoi - That evening we will catch an overnight sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi which is a vibrant full on city that has to be explored. Stay in the Old Quarter of the town where you can sample the street traders food and night market or visit the downed B52 American Bomber in the middle of one of the cities lakes.
Mysterious giant stone jars of an unknown ancient time lay scattered over acres of scrubland around Phonsavan, giving the area the misleading name of Plain of Jars. Remarkably, little is known about the Austro-Asiatic civilisation that created them, although archaeologists estimate they date from the Southeast Asian iron age (500 BC to AD 200) and were likely used for elaborate burial rituals.
We ride through the rice fields around Diem Bien Phu, in 1954 was a French stronghold that became the bloody scene of intense fighting which resulting in the Vietnamese independence.
Set in an idyllic valley, surrounded by Limestone Karsts, Mai Chau seems a million miles away from Hanoi's hustle. Emerald rice terraces scar the landscape for as far as the eye can see being as they are tended by local farmers.
20th March - Day one: Leave UK
21st March - Day two: Arrival in Hanoi.
We will meet you at Hanoi Noi Bai Airport and where our bus will take you directly to the centre of Hanoi. We stay in the chaotic Old Quarter of the city with its quirky tall buildings and street traders the pace of life will amaze you.
22nd March - Day three: Hanoi to Mai Chau
Welcome to Mai Chau, a rural valley where you will find towering cliffs and a unique culture in the bucket loads. Mai Chau is a traditional Vietnamese town made up from a patchwork of rice fields, stilted houses and babbling streams. On the way from Hanoi we will stop at Thung Khe Pass, a rest stop with small smokey food shacks and awesome views of the white cliffs and the valley below.
23rd March - Day four: Mai Chau to Xam Nua
Early start as we head to the Vietnamese Laos border at Na Meo. This can take a while so get comfortable whilst we sort out all of the paperwork. As we head into Laos, we keep to the roads to a small town called Xam Nua. Laos will show you there is a distinct lack of people and traffic, something you can get used to.
24th March - Day five: Xam Nua to Phonsavan
Today is a combination of easy trails and tarmac roads as we ride out of the Xam Nua which is nestled in a valley. Today we head to Phonsavan which is known for its green hillsides, forests of pine trees and the ethnic villages complete with colourful wooden houses.
25th March - Day six: Phon Savan to Luang Probang
After breakfast we head to the Plain of Jars, what is believed to be a sacred burial ground spread over many miles where you will see huge stone jars dotted along the hillside with no reasoning for them being there, many believe them to be tombs. We then hit our first off-road trail, a small single track route over the mountains and into Luang Probang a colonial oasis of serenity.
26th March - Day seven: Luang Probang day off
Luang Probang is know for its many waterfalls, local markets and Bhuddist Monks together in their saffron robes. Today we head out into the hills and spend some time swimming in Kuang Is Waterfalls. There are plenty of French cafe's overlooking the Mekong River where you can sit and watch the world go by.
27th March - Day eight: Luang Probang to Nong Khieu
Back on the bikes and into the hills as we wind our way around the Limestone Karsts hills to one of the most picturesque towns in Laos, Nong Khieu. The town is nestled on the banks of the River Ou and tonight we stay in huts overlooking the river.
28th March - Day nine: Nong Khieu to Muang Khieu
We say goodbye to Kong Khieu as we continue our adventure into the mountains, todays is mainly trails as we weave our way to Muang Khiau, a charming small town on the River Ou
29th March - Day ten: Muang Khua to Diem Bien Phu
Back on the roads as we head towards the border with Vietnam. Another early start to get to the crossing before lunchtime. Today we stay on the roads as we wind our way from the heights of the mountain passes to the rice flats of Diem Bien Phu. In 1954 Diem Bien Phu was the last hold of the French Colonials until the Vietnamese resistance fought and ran them out after years of rule.
30th March - Day eleven: Diem Bien Phu to Son La
We hug the border with Laos and hit the trails in the Tonkinese Alps until we head to the town of Son La. The region is one of Vietnam’s most ethnically diverse and home to more than 30 different minorities, including Black Thai, Meo, Muong and White Thai people.
31st March - Day twelve: Son La to Mai Chau
Back on the trails as we continue South East to Mai Chau as we relax in the lodge we started in
1st April - Day thirteen: - Mai Chau to Hanoi
Back on the bikes as we head towards Hanoi, a metropolis and the home to a million scooters, seasoned riders we are as we tackle the roads into the city.
2nd April - Day fourteen: - Hanoi and fly home
The Honda CRF250 Kawasaki KLX250 or KLX150 are included in the overall cost however we have the option for you to upgrade to a larger capacity machine.
We do have a selection of bikes with reduced saddle height
We do have a selection of bikes with reduced saddle height
PRICE £2900 per rider
£450 single supplement
Tours available for groups or as individuals