Cycling in Laos

15 days
from
£2,899
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
MOL
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Group size:
7–18
Min age:
16

Explore rural Laos by bike

Laos, known as the land of a million smiles, boasts stunning mountainous landscape and a laid back atmosphere, the result of a long isolation from its neighbours. Our route takes us through some spectacular scenery, from narrow roads shaded by jungle vines to shimmering rice paddies and mountains which are home to a mix of ethnic groups. Out of the saddle, we walk through villages and bamboo forest and visit Luang Prabang with striking colonial buildings, tree-lined avenues and colourful temples. We finish our trip in bustling Bangkok. The cycling is demanding at times, but our reward is to have roads almost to ourselves in South East Asia's friendliest and least known country.

Highlights

  • Exploring remote areas of Laos rarely visited by tourists
  • Spectacular mountain scenery, limestone cliffs, rice paddies and waterfalls
  • Traditional hill tribe villages
  • Slow cruise down the Mekong River

 

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels, 2 nights guesthouses, 1 night sleeper train
  • 10 days cycling with 90% vehicle support
  • Surfaces are nearly all good tarmac
  • Some tough climbs and long downhills 
  • Group normally 7 to 18, plus local leaders
  • Countries visited: Laos, Thailand

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - only available 11 nights)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

10

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16 km/8-10 miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 100% tarmac

Day by day breakdown
Day 330.0km/18.0miles
Day 455.0km/34.0miles
Day 567.0km/42.0miles
Day 680.0km/49.0miles
Day 740.0km/25.0miles
Day 885.0km/53.0miles
Day 1060.0km/37.0miles
Day 1160.0km/37.0miles
Day 1260.0km/37.0miles
Day 1325.0km/15.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Chiang Mai
to
Bangkok
  • Day 1

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai, 'The Rose of the North', is known for its temples, markets and the many colourful hilltribes that live in the area. Chiang Mai is a former religious and cultural centre. Twice coming under the control of the Burmese, there is a strong Burmese influence reflected in the architecture of the city. In the evening we can visit the night market where many of the hilltribe's handicrafts can be seen. There will also be a group briefing in the evening with your tour leader to hear all about the trip ahead.
    De Charme Hotel or similar

  • Day 3

    Warm-up ride around Chiang Mai old town and visit Doi Suthep hilltop temple

    After our bike fitting we start to explore Chiang Mai on two wheels. We will visit the old town, the temple of Vieng Kum Kam and numerous cultural highlights in the morning. We'll stop for lunch before driving up to the hilltop temple of Doi Suthep, the most revered Buddhist shrine in the Chiang Mai region. On a clear day the temple affords an excellent view over Chiang Mai and its striking temple landscape. There will be the opportunity to listen to the monks chanting before returning to the city for a chance to try northern Thai cuisine at dinner.
    De Charme Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Chiang Rai; cycle along the Thai/Burma border into the heart of the Golden Triangle

    Leaving our hotel early we set off by bus to the Chiang Rai Province, the northern most province in Thailand (approx. 2.5 hours transfer). We visit the revered Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple) before cycling to Mae Sai. We journey (cycle and 1 hour transfer) into the heart of the Golden Triangle, the compact region where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet offering a heady mix of cultures and landscapes. 
    Serene at Chiang Rai Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit an Opium Museum; cycle towards border to Chiang Khong

    The Opium Museum is our first stop today (after a 30 minute transfer) which highlights the history of opium from its natural properties to its illegal uses, and gives historical information on the Opium Wars that led to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty. The Golden Triangle was previously one of the most extensive producers of Opium until Afghanistan became the world’s largest producer. We'll next start cycling at Chiang Saen following a quiet route towards Chiang Kong, which borders Laos. The cycling today is mostly flat with a few rolling hills passing through tobacco and corn plantations. 
    Ibis Styles Chiangkhong Riverfront or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Transfer into Laos; cycle to Luang Nam Tha

    This morning we transfer across the border into Laos and onto the village of Ban Nam Chi (approx. 2.5 hour transfer), where we will start today's cycling. Today we cycle through quiet jungle-lined roads marvelling at the mountainous landscape along the way and stopping for lunch in Vieng Phuou Ka before finish our cycle at our guesthouse in Luang Nam Tha. The Luang Nam Tha region is a land of 39 ethnic tribal groups. The Nam Tha river weaves itself through the countryside and has many ethnic tribal villages dotted along its length on one side and dense jungle of the national protected area on the other. There is a night market not too far from the hotel which provides the opportunity to feast on the local speciality of bamboo and green papaya salad or slow cooked Laotian pork belly. 
    Thoulasith Guesthouse - Luang Nam Tha or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Rural cycle to the Udomxai province

    We start the day with a ride from Luang Nam Tha to Udomxai. The town is formed by many small villages and is home to a wide variety of ethnic groups; Hmong, Tai Dam, Akha, Tai Lue and Yao. The cycling today will pass through rice paddies and rolling valleys with a few hill climbs before transferring to the town. After arriving in Udomxai, your leader will take the group for a walk around the centre of town including a walk up to Xaymoungkhoun temple, where you can see a Buddhist stupa aged more than 600 years and enjoy views of the city from here.

    Charming Laos Udomxai or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Continue through Udomxai province to Pak Beng

    We cycle directly from the hotel today journeying towards Pak Beng. The area is an important intersection between China and Vietnam and has a unique multicultural atmosphere. Located in the Nam Ko River basin and surrounded by scenic mountains the area is famed for its Chinese produce. We will stop for a late lunch before cycling a further 20km where we hop into the the minivan and transfer (approx. 1 hour) to Pak Beng town for our overnight spot on the side of the Mekong.

    BKC Villa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Board slow boat on the Mekong to Luang Prabang visiting Buddha Caves en route

    Today we journey to Luang Prabang region by boat, cruising along the Mekong River which starts its journey high in the Tibetan Plateau, eventually emptying itself into the sea in the south of Vietnam. Its journey takes it through 7 different countries in Asia. Travelling slowly allows us to absorb the pace of the riverside settlements and marvel at the mist covered mountains towering above us. En route to Luang Prabang we will visit the famous Pak Ou Cave, cut out of the limestone banks which line the river at Pak Ou. These caves are filled with thousands of Buddha images brought by the surrounding villagers as a sign of their devotion. After visiting the caves, we then transfer (approx. 30 minutes) to our hotel in Luang Prabang for the next 2 nights. 
    My Lao Home Boutique Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Cycle to beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. Chance to see monks receiving alms at dawn

    Approximately 25 km from Luang Prabang are the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. We ride from our hotel, leaving Luang Prabang passing through a rural landscape of rice paddies and Lao Lum villages. Once at Kuang Si Waterfalls, we will have a picnic lunch and perhaps take a refreshing dip before cycling back to Luang Prabang where the rest of the day is free for individual sightseeing or shopping, or there may be a possibility for an orientation bike ride of the town (any entrance fees are not included). This evening there is a chance to visit the night market in town with beautiful traditional Lao and hilltribe textiles on sale. For those up at dawn there is chance to witness the daily parade of saffron-robed monks receiving alms. 
    My Lao Home Boutique Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

    Today we drive south from Luang Prabang to Phou Khoun through more mountainous terrain (approx. 3 hours), passing through numerous Hmong villages. Once in Phou Khoun we pull out the bikes and start riding. The ride includes a superb winding descent with magnificent views of limestone karsts which gives the impression of entering into 'Lord of the Rings' territory'. This is followed by shorter climbs and easy riding through rice paddies and villages as we approach Baan Yao. The rest of the journey (approx. 2 hours) taken by bus to Vang Vieng, a popular town with plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy. 

    Amari Vang Vieng or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Vang Vieng to Vientiane

    This morning we transfer 2.5 hours from Vang Vieng to Pakkayong village where we start today's ride. Passing through local rubber plantations, small villages and along the Nam Ngum river, we pause for lunch along the way until we reach Ban Don Noun village where we hop on the bus for a 45 minute-1 hour transfer to Vientiene, the sleepy capital of Laos. In the evening the perfect option is to retire for a refreshing beverage and watch the sunset over the Mekong River. 

    City Inn Hotel Vientiane or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free morning to explore then cross over the Friendship Bridge into Thailand; board overnight train to Bangkok

    This morning is free to shop or explore Vientiane before we start cycling in the early afternoon from our hotel across the Laos/Thailand border. After completing border formalities and farewelling Laos, we continue to ride (on the left in Thailand!) a short distance to Nong Khai railway station. Here we say good-bye to our Lao guide and the group will be transferred to a local hotel (with pool) for a couple hours to relax before returning to the train station for our overnight train journey to Bangkok. 
    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Bangkok city tour; free time

    On arrival in Bangkok we transfer to our hotel. Later in the morning we take a short walk to the Chao Praya River where we board a long tail boat for a tour of the local canals. Bangkok was once known as the Venice of the East because of its intricate canal network. We get a glimpse of daily life as we pass locals selling their wares by the river. We will visit what to this day remains the home of the Thai Royal family at the Royal Palace complex followed by Wat Phra Kaew, home to the Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand's most venerated images. Another highlight is Wat Pho, the largest temple in Bangkok, housing a 46m long, 15m high gold-plated reclining Buddha. We then head back to our hotel by ferry. This rest of the day is free for further exploration of this exciting city before we a final group dinner (optional).
    Rembrandt Bangkok Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Depart Bangkok, arrive in London in the evening

    Depart Bangkok, arrive in London in the evening

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Laos

A visa can be obtained on arrival for most nationalities. The cost depends on nationality - it is currently US$35 for UK passport holders, and you will require 1 passport photo. For further information see the FCO website and look under 'Entry Requirements'. When you enter Laos, make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport. Not having a legitimate entry stamp could lead to arrest or a large fine.

Thailand

A visa for Thailand is not required for British nationals for stays of 30 days or less. If you are unsure of the requirements please check with your nearest Thai embassy.

Vaccinations

Laos

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Thailand

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner are included. 

The food on this trip is a real highlight. The national staple of Laos is sticky rice which is served with all meals and is often used as a scooping device to pick food up as meals are traditionally eaten with hands and not utensils. Typical dishes to accompany the rice are laap (or larb) which is a salad of any kind of minced meat; mok pa, which is fish steamed in a banana leaf; grilled chicken, pork or fish; and jaew, which are dips that might be made from roasted aubergine or tomatoes. Undertones of lemongrass, chilies and ginger are everywhere, imparting spicy and sour notes that bring heat and layers to dishes. Noodle dishes are common and the sweet offerings tend to focus around the abundance of fresh fruit available – be sure to seek out the mangosteen, the sweet segments are a local favourite and unlike any other fruit.

Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home; high energy snack bars are not readily available locally. For snacks and drinks during the rides, a kitty is normally arranged (see Extra Expenses in the trip notes) and these snacks tend to be a combination of nuts, fruit and biscuits.

In the more remote areas the food is likely to be basic and the breakfasts will be simple.

Weather

For most of the year in Laos the weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day between about 28ºC and 34ºC. It is a little cooler at nights and can be cold from November to March in the mountains with temperatures occasionally dropping as low as 10ºC. 

The region is mostly dry between October to April and the rainy season is from approx. May to September when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between. In Thailand you should expect year round temperatures from 23-32ºC. The rainy season will normally run from May to October when you should expect short sharp showers.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 4- Moderate/Challenging and classified Road.

10 days cycling, average 57km/day (35 miles), 90% vehicle support.

Terrain and Route:

Surface almost all decent tarmac with the occasional unsurfaced section. Routes follow main roads, but Laos lacks the heavy traffic of other Asian countries. Laos is mountainous and there are some tough climbs and long downhills, but vehicle support is available 90% of the time. The heat can make the going tough. The majority of riding is away from traffic, but you should be comfortable riding in some traffic on the approaches to the main towns. To cover the distances involved, there is some driving on winding mountain roads.

Trip Profile

This trip ventures into remote areas of Laos where the accommodation and some restaurant options will be basic. In order to see places that are not frequently visited by tourists, this is one of the sacrifices that you must be prepared to make.

Transfers

There are some vehicle transfers but journey times are usually 1-3 hours maximum, these are outlined in the itinerary. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel, Guesthouse & Train

10 nights hotels, 2 nights guesthouses (all ensuite) and 1 night sleeper train in an air-conditioned open plan sleeper train in soft-bed berths.

All the hotels/guesthouses we use have twin rooms with en suite facilities and are clean and comfortable, with friendly staff.

As we are travelling away from the usual tourist haunts there is less choice so please be prepared for this in order to see places that are not frequently visited by tourists.

The overnight train is in air-conditioned second-class soft sleepers, bedding is provided. Berths are 'open plan' along the coach wall either side of the central aisle. At night, each pair of seats pulls together to form the bottom bunk, and an upper bunk folds out from the wall. An attendant will make up your bunk with a proper mattress, and will hook up the curtains which are provided for privacy. 

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard accommodations used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for 11 nights during the trip. Single supplements are not available on day 7 in Pak Beng or on Day 12 on the overnight train.

Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3944
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Coralie Cubitt

    Cycling in Laos

    This trip delivered everything it promised and more. The scene was set on day 1 with our warm-up ride around Chiang Mai and a visit to to monastery where our guide, Rit, had spent 10 years as a Buddhist monk. We travelled through some breathtaking landscapes - kart mountains, jungle, paddy fields and wonderful villages where delighted children would run out to greet us. Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang were charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The undulating landscapes in northern Laos especially on the Udomxai to Pak Beng day. Having breakfast in Pak Beng as we watched elephants bathing on the other side of the Mekong. Walking through the small streets of Luang Prabang.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is an exceptional and inspirational group leader. His training as a Buddhist monk is evident in his calm and thoughtful approach and his endless patience. He responded to our endless questions with clarity, honesty and humour. He is an excellent cyclist but encouraged us to enjoy the ride and cycle at our own pace which alleviated any stress.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this trip. The most used word in the group was ‘undulating’ which was how Rit would always describe the next section we were to ride. It is quite hilly and the weather was often hot and humid. However, there was no shame at all about taking time out in the minibus. It is a wonderful trip and covers a lot of ground.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are one or two sections on very poor roads with a lot of lorries travelling between Thailand and China. We had been warned about this. Whilst those sections were sometimes unpleasant it is the only way to see the remote areas as there are few roads - and this is the reality of modern-day Laos.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Trevor Topp

    Culturally Immersive

    This was my fifth Exodus Cycling Adventure (Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Vietnam, and South Africa: Drakensburg & Kruger). As with my previous Exodus experiences, the logistics of transportation and accommodation were expertly arranged. Leader Rit and his Laoatian co-lead Mr. Sack ensured things ran smoothly and unobstrusively. The bikes were in good repair, though we did our best to put them through their paces. The trip is appropriately graded as a "4" - moderate/challenging....indeed there were a few short climbs that were a bit steep, but were not long, and were doable. Yes, the roads in Laos were rough, but that is quintissentially Laos on pavement! At no time did I feel unsafe with regard to the pavement or Chinese transport trucks. It's a great trip for meeting locals...we got involved in some village celebrations along the way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Drinking beer with the locals in a village on the edge of the Mekong who were celebrating the arrival of a new baby. We just happened to drop in for a look around....we were warmly welcomed by all!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Bob Fitzs

    whats a review title

    Exodus should seriously consider cancelling this venue as a cycling holiday. The road conditions in Laos are so bad that they should be considered as dangerous. In our party of 18 there were 5 cycling accidents, one serious enough to require hospital treatment and cancellation of the remainder of the holiday. With the arrival in the country of Chinese financial input and the construction of a new rail link, the small poorly tarmaced roads of Laos cannot cope. The road surface is being destroyed by heavy lorries bringing in construction materials and equally big lorries taking fruit out of the country for export to China. Many times during this trip, we were cycling in thick clouds of dust being churned up by these lorries. I understand from our guide that they took the decision to change the cycling route on the last day because the road conditions were impassable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day when we weren't cycling. The boat trip down the Mekong

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Rit is one of the best guides I have ever met. What he has to cope with in Laos considering the above detail on the road conditions makes him outstanding as a guide. He has to do far more than other guides I have ever met.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go cycling in Laos until the road conditions improve. This will not be for at least 5 years while they finish the railway. Only by finishing the railway can they take the trucks off the road and start to replace the road surfaces.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    I would like to thank to thank Bob for his review, although we are very sorry to read that he was left disappointed with the cycling on this holiday. Further to client feedback, we have now adjusted some of the route on this itinerary to avoid most of the heavy traffic. We trust that these changes will improve the itinerary in terms of overall client enjoyment and safety. We remain sincerely sorry, however, that Bob felt Laos was not a suitable country for a cycling holiday. Kelly Reid – Product Manager

  • Reviewed January 2019

    A South-east Asian adventure!

    An adventure off the beaten track, and a great opportunity to experience Laos while it's still relatively undeveloped. A very well organised trip - packs in a lot and runs like clockwork.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots! The children in the villages. Luang Prabang - beautiful setting and buildings. The trip down the river. Dropping in for lunch unannounced one day and the local café owner turning on a fantastic meal for 16. Elephants on the Mekong. The two border crossings. The freedom that comes from being on a bike!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit is fantastic - very well organised, friendly, funny. Mr Sack, our Laos guide, was terrific too, and both support crews (Thailand and Laos) did a great job looking after us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is an adventure rather than a holiday, but a lot of fun for all that. The distances are on the longer side and there's not a lot of free time. You need to be fairly fit as the terrain is hilly in places. The food was great and the accommodation was very good, including in the smaller guesthouses in Laos. The one at Pak Beng is a treat. Don't miss the elephants coming down to wash in the river in the morning! The roads are pretty bad in places, and sharing them with Chinese lorries in a couple of spots wasn't much fun - but the tour leader was flexible and found ways to avoid some of this. The UXO museum in Luang Prabang is worth a visit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for a great trip!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Tony L

    Cycling in Laos, and Thailand

    I was lucky enough to be part of an adventurous crowd who socialized well. The steep bits came early on and then it got easier, although there was one day competing with Chinese lorries over pock marked dusty roads which Exodus might care to re-consider, and on another day we chose a quieter alternative offered. Some of the scenery was not the most inspiring I've seen but it was enjoyable to explore an undiscovered country and the people in both Laos and Thailand are charming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved swimming at the Kuang Si waterfalls, and the opium museum was an unexpected delight, Chinese tourists notwithstanding. It was fun cycling through the inebriated villages on new year's day, we were even invited to a village wedding on one day. The food is simple and tasty, anyone with a rigid diet might have problems as on a few occasions there was limited choice at lunch time. We never got to eat the elusive Laotian belly pork!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit was great, so much to think of yet always calm and on top of things. Great to have Sach along too, very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you go to the end of the waterfall at Kuang Si or you might miss the best bit, take your togs, you can change there and it's not that cold. Toilets have douches but no wc paper so always have it with you. For the dusty riding you might even consider a mask. Some confusion over single room at Pak Beng.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A bit of pedalling in the weeks before the holiday would not be wasted.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Steve Mallon

    Cycling laos

    The trip was not the best one I have experienced with exodus,I got the feeling the group was split most of the group did to mix and the group I felt did not gel which I found quite hard this for me was very disappointing,maybe I think this will put me off cycling with exodus again,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling was ok but very hot

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit was ok quietly spoken and had lots of knowledge of his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Hopefully if you go you will get a better group of people than I did please don't let this review put you off its just I had a very bad experience
  • Reviewed December 2016
    John O'Donnell

    Cycling In Laos

    PtkkrBoth countries were great value.Laos is a country at the crossroads of the direction it follows.The influence of China is self evident and sad.Im grateful to see Laos as it is and not what it may become.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the Mekong River it was an incredible day finished by going to a huge local wedding that night Also one of the group who overcame difficulties that many people would not or could not.Always happy always supportive Made me accept the need to succeed and work at finishing each day

    What did you think of your group leader?

    They were what one would expect and did the job to a good level in both countries Both guides were attentive and caring Thank you

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ride at your own pace and leave a little in reserve.If u like to descend at a frantic pace allow a little caution potholes are a curse as are some of the chinese trucks and cars not to mention odd domestic animals or small children.Otherwise great fun

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be understanding that in some places facilities are basic and food as well.This can vary greatly from day to day Laos is a great place accept it is only opening up to our world slowly and it will be a great experience if one enjoys the moment
  • Reviewed April 2016

    Cycling in Laos

    Far more than a holiday, this was a real experience. We travelled through villages in Laos where the children and adults were genuinely pleased to see you with the shouts of 'saibaedee' echoing from their homes. Children loved to 'high five' as we pedalled through their village. Although the temperatures were far higher than we had expected the team helped us through with plenty of breaks for snacks and fluids. Each section brought another satisfied smile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day brought a new challenge. Rit, our group leader was an inspiration himself, watching his cycling style gave me something to try to aim for, although at a much slower pace!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rit was a softly spoken but interesting and cheerful guide who kept us busy from morning till night, He made sure we were looked after well and everything went to plan. His organisation and planning was very good and made the holiday run smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit for the challenges ahead. March was hot and 'smoggy' so possibly a time to avoid.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our first Exodus holiday but we are already planning where to go next. Totally inspired with having been able to cycle and enjoy the experience of being part of local life.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Peter Fowler

    Cycling in Laos

    A great cycling holiday through the northern rural areas of Laos

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many inspirational moments. The stand outs for me being the welcoming nature of the children and communities of the small rural townships, the descent through the limestone mountains and the boat ride down the Mekong River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were fantastic. Funny and sociable, yet all the time keeping us informed, safe and on schedule.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your time to look around and enjoy what is happening around you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bike riding was fairly challenging in a couple of sections, particularly if the weather was warmer, but a van and support crew were always available to assist or provide a lift if required.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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