Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

Follow Us

Asia travel and leisure guides for hotels, food and drink, shopping, nightlife, and spas | Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

Bicycle Tour of Northern Laos and Vietnam, Grasshopper Adventures

If you’re looking for a physical challenge, this is the trip for you. Breathtaking views, endurance-testing climbs, and contact with remote hill tribes are just a few of the highlights on Bangkok-based tour operator Grasshopper Adventures’ Northern Indochina Trail cycling tour.

If you’re looking for a physical challenge, this is the trip for you. Breathtaking views, endurance-testing climbs, and contact with remote hill tribes are just a few of the highlights on Bangkok-based tour operator Grasshopper Adventures’ Northern Indochina Trail cycling tour.

Route Detail

During the 13-day trip, which begins in Luang Prabang and ends in Hanoi, an experienced guide and his local assistant lead riders through remote Laos along stretches of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, over forest-lined mountain passes, and through tiny villages. In Vietnam, a well-earned day of rest in Dien Bien Phu precedes two more days of rigorous riding capped off by a 27-kilometer ascent to Sapa. The journey to Hanoi is by overnight train.

Don’t expect much in terms of luxury along the way: lodgings are mostly in guesthouses and meals often consist of rice and stir-fried vegetables and meat (adventurous palates should ask for whatever their local guide is having). Riders cover an average of 87 kilometers a day on paved and unpaved roads, though a van carries luggage and provisions, and, on occasion, exhausted cyclers.

But the rewards go far beyond rock-hard glutes. “There’s a tremendous sense of achievement in having crossed the mountainous route between the two countries and the most remote border point,” says tour designer Adam Platt-Hepworth. For some participants, the journey has an even more profound effect. “The region is relatively poor, and you see how simply one can live as long they’ve got family, a home, and enough to eat,” says Jason Williams, the founder of Grasshopper Adventures. “It makes you look at your own life with new eyes.”

Cost: US$1,990 per person, including accommodation, most meals, entry fees and boat trips; bikes available for rental



Telephone: +66 897 929 5208



Website: http://www.grasshopperadventures.com


 

Published on Dec 2, 2009

See All Articles...

Related Articles