Slow Laos Bike & Boat Tour

  •  One of the ‘sleepiest destinations of the world’. We invite you to join in at a slow and easy paced trip.
  • Get into the localness of a place, whether it’s the people, culture or topography.
  • The local Lao food should be top on the experience list for foodies or experimental travellers.
  • The Mekong and Nam Pak rivers become the focus of the trip as we skirt the edges of the two watery snakes for a long time. Once you are done with the trip, you will miss them.

Destinations that skirt rivers have some of the most interesting topographies and experiences. Laos is certainly one such place.

Situated along the iconic Mekong River, Laos is the perfect destination for a slow vacation. We will meander past many Buddhist ‘Wats’ on our bikes here and there is plenty of sections where we will go down the river by boat.

The river plays a big part of this cycling journey and there are mountains, caves, limestone hills and villages to explore along the shores. And all of this is at your own pace!

Come cycle with us to fall in love with Laos. And if you want to fall in love harder, we suggest you read the book, River Tale: A year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    7 days / 6 nights

  • Start / End

    Luang Prabang / Muang La

  • Price

    From $2,795 pp dbl. occ.

    + $675 for sgl. occ.

  • Hotels

    Premiere Inns

  • Riding Style

    Easy Rider

Group Departures

PRIVATE TRAVEL

Make it a private tour if you already have a group or the dates shown above do not coincide with your travel plans.

ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlaceHotelDuration~ Cycling Distance
1 – 3Luang Prabang 3 Nagas312km / 7mi
40km / 24mi
30km / 18mi
4Nong KhiawRiverside Eco-Lodge160km / 36mi*
5 – 6Muang LaMuang La Resort270km / 42mi
7Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Luang Prabang

Arrive at Luang Prabang and meet the trip leader. Check into Hotel 3 Nagas, which will be your base for the next three days. The century old boutique hotel is the perfect place for an intimate Laos experience, yet with all modern facilities. After rest and a short orientation, we leave to see the UNESCO world heritage city from the seat of a bicycle. This is a good way to warm up for riding on these roads and also see the most famous sights of Luang Prabang. The city has traces of French architecture as an erstwhile colony, but is largely dotted with golden roofed wats (temples) amidst the raw topography of rugged mountains and lush environs. The combination is stunning!

Begin the afternoon tour by cycling around the old quarter of Luang Prabang, starting at Heuan Chan Heritage House and after to Luang Prabang’s National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Displayed within is a collection of personal artifacts of the former Laotian Royal Family. Visit nearby Wat Mai – the five-tiered roof epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Continue cycling along the Mekong River and stop at the hillside temple of Wat That Luang. Take a short walk and visit the ancient stupa called That Dam (the Black Stupa) before biking to Wat Visoun, the oldest living temple in Luang Prabang. Wat Visoun dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddha images. Continue along the Nam Khan River to Wat Xieng Thong – often considered to be Luang Prabang’s most elegant. The temple is characterized by tiered roofs sweeping low to the ground and the impressive “tree of life” mosaic. Before sunset, cycle back to your hotel on the town’s main street, stopping at Wat Sop and Wat Sen along the way.

We meet for dinner back at the hotel and get rested for the exciting week ahead.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Distance cycled: ~ 12km / 7mi

Day 2: Luang Prabang

This day is going to draw you into the spiritual ambience of Luang Prabang. We wake up as early as 5.30 to offer alms to monks at the giving ceremony. The pious tradition is still followed in the city, and to be a part of it, is truly heart warming. We get down on our knees and offer rice to red robed monks who line up on the main street. After this, we head out for a half-day tour to some of the handicraft villages around. The trip takes us to Saa paper village where we get to see local life at close quarters. The locals are very friendly and wouldn’t mind inviting you in their homes for a quick chat or showing you their craft from upclose. Weaving and handmade papermaking are the main crafts here. You can pick up exquisite shawls and scarves right from the weavers’ homes. The colours are riveting!

We continue riding and reach the elephant village on the banks of the Nam Khan River. Enjoy a one hour elephant ride across the river before lunch by the river. After eating embark on a boat trip upstream to visit Tad Sae Waterfall, a lovely, natural water garden in the jungle. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the clear, cool water before continuing by boat to Ban Aen where we mount your bicycles for an enjoyable ride back to Luang Prabang, passing through rolling hills and local villages along the way.

Later in the evening, we make our way to Mount Phousi for a beautiful tinge of orange in the sky and seeing the city bathe in the arm glow of the setting sun. This is an easy hike, but is optional incase you are not feeling upto it, though we highly recommend it.

Today’s dinner is on your own. There are numerous riverside restaurants with mix of French and Lao cuisine. We can recommend one as per your taste and liking.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 24mi

Day 3: Luang Prabang

Today we stretch ourselves slightly further and ride for a total of 40kms. Our main destination for the day is the hidden waterfall, Kung Si. Tucked away between thick foliage, the famous waterfall feels like a secret. The aqua marine waters are tempting, so do carry your swimwear along. We also hike to the top of the falls. We spend until afternoon here and return to the town in boat skirting the spectacular Mekong river only in the evening to visit the famous night handicraft market. Shopping for local delights can be great fun, so enjoy your shopping time for the day.

Today’s dinner is on your own. We suggest eating dinner at a street stall so you can dig into the local delicacies. street stall so you can dig into the local delicacies. Lao food can be very meat oriented. Chopped meat, chicken or duck are common, but there are plenty of options for vegetarians as well. Our personal recommendation is the light and tasty Tam Mak houng or papaya salad, which is made from sliced raw papaya, garlic, chilly, peanuts, sugar, fermented fish sauce and lime juice.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Distance cycled: ~ 30km / 18mi

Boat: ~ 2hrs

Day 4: Nong Khiaw

We start early to get out of the busy area and reach the Nam Ou River Bridge. We get on the bike here and ride along the undulating countryside along the Nam Pak River to a small settlement called Nong Khiaw. This is truly a place, which will be appreciated by the offbeat traveller. Nong Khiaw is best known for its idyllic setting with forests, mountains and abundant greenery.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37mi*

Day 5: Muang La

We ditch the cycles for an amazing boat ride in the Nam Pak River to Muang Khua. This is one the most stunning journeys by the river in this region. The edge of the river is dotted with small villages and this is a great way of getting acquainted with local life. There are also limestone formations that make for great photographic experiences. The jaw dropping landscape keeps you hooked to this for a long, till its time to hop on bike and pedal along to Muang la. This part of the journey can be slightly challenging, but the backup van is close at hand and you can choose to use that at any time.

We settle into the rustic Muang La resort. Enjoy great views and local food right at the resort, or we can step out in the evening for some local fare.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance cycled: ~ 70km / 42mi

Boat: ~ 6hrs

Day 6: Muang La

On the last day of our Laos trip, we take a half-day trip to local monirity villages, the habitat of the ethnic Khamu community. This is one of the most unvisited parts of Laos and the experience is truly unique. To get to the villages, we have to ride along the Nam Pak River. At the villages, you will notice how the homes are made of wood and bamboo. We can spend some time here talking to the locals, just walking around or just sitting at the edge of the river and seeing how it is so important to the locals. In the evening we get back to the resort and spend the last evening together.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance cycled: ~ 15km / 9mi* (optional)

Day 7: Oudomxay Airport or Luang Prabang

This morning, we depart for the Oudomxay airport (40min drive from our hotel) for a flight to Vientiane or drive back (~6hrs) to Luang Prabang for your onward journey .

*Please note that the price of internal flight from Oudomxay to Vientiane is not included in the tour price.

Meals: Breakfast

*With shuttle – short transfers

Premiere Inns

3 Nagas: Luang Prabang (3 nights)

Being over 100 years old, 3 Nagas stands as a veritable relic of the city! The boutique hotel synthesizes the original architecture with modern aesthetics to create a charming ambience for guests. It lies in the old quarter of the town, which means that one is never too far from a walk that will be brimming with historic nuances.

Nong Kiau Riverside Eco-Lodge*: Nong Khiaw (1 night)

The location of the resort is its biggest advantage, as guests find it easy to soak in the verdant environs by the river. The natural setting is the most significant talking point of the town and the Eco Lodge does a great job of offering the ambience to enjoy it. The resort feels slightly rustic to blend into the topography but is fitted with all modern facilities.

*casual inn

Muang La Resort: Muang La (2 nights)

The small boutique hotel is perfect for an intimate experience of Laos hospitality and is right at the edge of Nam Pak river. Enjoy the private hot spring bath here after 6 days of awesome biking. The night views from the hotel are heavenly combining river and millions of stars. This is one of our favorite place in the whole of Laos.

INCLUSIONS & MORE

we go the extra mile

Beautiful Hotels

On this Premiere Inn tour, experience the best of hotels at each destination. They are chosen carefully so that you are well rested, get a drift of the local character or an enthralling view from your verandah! Under circumstances of non-availability of hotel, we will put in equivalent or a better hotel. Any extras at hotel are at your expense.

Quality Bikes

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Most of our tours in Laos run on some of the best mountain/hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry. Upright position, excellent traction and optimal comfort under gravel roads are some of the characteristics.

Outstanding Food

Local food plays an integral part in experiencing the culture of region and we make sure that you get plenty of this. The inclusion of daily meals is highlighted in detailed itinerary. Drinking water and soft drinks such as juice, tea/coffee is included while riding. Fresh fruits, cookies, salted chips & water is provided while cycling.

Charming Guides

Our most visible and perhaps most important role is played by a Trip Leader, the folks who make a trip exciting, comfortable, knowledgeable and who are able to steer you towards the real experience! In most of the trips, we have two guides riding with you. One is leading the group of riders and other is closing at the back.

Comfortable Support Van

A Van follows the group of riders throughout the trip and carries all belongings. If at any point riding seems a little hard, the van takes you for as long or as little as you wish it to. It also provides you refreshments along the way and sometimes a chilled beer.

Guaranteed to Depart Tours

We run most of our tours with minimum 2 people traveling and sometimes even with 1 person, without any extra fee. Rest assured, your trip is always guaranteed to depart. If for some reasons you don’t wish to join a tour then you can always transfer to another trip or we’ll give you a credit which you can settle against any future trip.

Entrance Fees & Transportation

Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, temples & other exclusive events and transportation from rendezvous to final drop-off is always included in your tour price. Our tour designers give as much focus on non-cycling activity as on cycling.

Deep Local Knowledge & Presence

Presence of operations in Cambodia, local associations at Laos and ad-hoc field network allows us to leverage local know-how and deliver on what is promised to you without any culture and communications barrier.

Singles Friendly

It is applicable in cases where you want to opt for a room alone or we don’t find a room partner. In other cases, we will try to club you with another person, preferably of same sex.

REVIEWS

from our friends

“Dao was phenomenal, the best guide I have ever had in all of my travels. He made us feel like family and taught us so much about Laos, the people, cuisine etc. It was a very special trip because of him. Driver mr dan was great too! Thank you Pankaj, we had a fantastic time and appreciate all you did to organize and make the trip special for us. Please keep us posted on any additional trips that you add! Happy new year!”

Nicole & AndrewUSA

“Awesome trip! Loved Laos! The people, the food, the natural beauty: Simply Amazing! Thanks a ton and please design more trips for us around the world!”

Shiraz & PreetiIndia