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Cycling, Vientiane Rediscovered - 4 Days / 3 Nights
Cycling, Vientiane Rediscovered - 4 Days / 3 Nights

Cycling, Vientiane Rediscovered - 4 Days / 3 Nights

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Vientiane Arrival - Vientiane City Safari - Vientiane's Sacred Stones - Vientiane Forest Temple Cycling


The quiet streets of Vientiane and the peaceful countryside that surround the capital of Laos are ideal for exploration by bike. This journey kicks off in the city, with its colonial architecture and ornate temples, before branching out to rural surrounds dotted with sacred caves, riverside restaurants and rice paddies.

Day 1 - Arrival in Vientiane

mekong_river_lao003-d1-185Arrive in Vientiane. Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Welcome to the capital of Laos!

Enjoy free time at leisure or may like to take a walk along the Mekong and through the Night Market.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Airport to Hotel: 20 mins

Day 2 - Vientiane City Safari (B,L)

laos-_vte-_wat_phra_keo_2-d2-185This morning, you will meet up with your cycling guide at the hotel and start the day with an introduction to the route and your equipment before setting off at approximately 08.30.

Your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace.

Stop at Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, as it is considered the guardian of the spirit of the city. Upon its grounds, you will find an Angkorian-era pillar and it is a popular belief that if you circle it three times and make a wish, then that wish will come true.

Continue rapidly leaving the city hustle and bustle, cycling through vegetable plantations along the Mekong River on lesser used trails through Ban Home and Ban Tin Pia. Lunch will be at a local restaurant in Sala Kham.

Next stop will be the Mai Savanh show room and workshop. This shop specializes in high quality silk products and involves several families in the process, from the northern province of Luang Nam Tha and the southern provinces of Attapeu and Sekong. (Note: Mai Savanh is closed on Saturday & Sunday).

When back on a main road, we will be cycling along the biggest Beer Lao factory of the country before going through smaller roads and into residential neighborhoods and paddy fields.

Cycle into the great Vat Sop Pa Luang temple; this is still described by many as ‘the forest temple’, although as Vientiane expands it feels like an oasis within the suburbs, rather than being out on a limb. Have a break and a snack in the shade before heading off to the country’s the holiest site in Laos; the That Luang. Constructed by King Setthathirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun shines upon its towering golden spire.

Stop by the local market nearby for a stroll and discovery of local curiosities before cycling by the That Dam (‘Black Stupa’). The structure was once covered with a layer of gold which was stolen by the Thais during their invasion in 1828.

Cycle back Downtown to your hotel or to the Chao Anouvong park behind the Presidential Palace. At approximately 16.00 you will finish, depending on your pace of travel.

Note: backup vehicle not included today.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance up to 28km

Difficulty: Easy

Day 3 - Vientiane?s Sacred Stones (B,L)

statue_quai_fa_ngum_in_vientiane-d3-185This morning, you will meet up with your cycling guide at the hotel and start the day with an introduction to the route and your equipment before setting off at approximately 08.30.

Instead of visiting the usual temples and touristic sites of Vientiane, your guide will take you west to rediscover the sacred caves and the capital’s diverse surroundings.

Caves in Laos have had for many years a strong religious identity, starting out with animism. Combined with the more recent Buddhist influence, caves are often chosen as retreats, home of sacred spirits and mythical creatures.

First stop will be at Talat Si Khai for a curiosity visit and get some fresh fruits and snacks of the day.

Cycle on a quiet road along the Mekong, before arriving to Vat Tham Paleu Si. This temple-cave has got a replica of the famous Xieng Thong temple of Luang Prabang!

Continue on a dirt road to Vat Tham Pha; a temple cave covered the statues, and with a scenic panoramic view on the Mekong and the opposite temple on the Thai side of the river.

Stop at a local restaurant for lunch.

Next, the Vat Tham Kok Ma, or the “horses’ cave” is on top of a cliff and you can find the representations of all 12 Animals which constitute the annual Laotian Zodiacs.  Similar to the Chinese Zodiac, Laos has a 12-year cycle, each related to an animal; 2016 being the year of the Fire Monkey.  Again, a spectacular view awaits you.

Cycle away from the riverside, by rice fields and fish farms.

Cycle back Downtown to your hotel or to the Fa Ngum park behind the Presidential Palace. At approximately 16.00 you will finish, depending on your pace of travel.

Note: backup vehicle included today.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance up to 50 km

Difficulty: Medium

Day 4 - Vientiane Forest Temple Cycling (B,L)

nam_ngum_reservoir_-_mekong_3_-_d4-185This morning, you will meet up with your cycling guide at the hotel and start the day with an introduction and doing a trial ride around Fa Ngum Park and the Mekong Shore Boardwalk before setting off at approximately 08.30.

Today, we will be leaving the capital behind and ride towards lesser visited areas of Vientiane’s surroundings. The main highlights are Lunch on a Restaurant Boat on the Nam Ngum River and the chance of meeting Buddhist Monks at Forest Temple learning more about the religion and their daily practices.

Lao Buddhism is a unique version of Therevada Buddhism and is at the basis of Lao culture. Most of the young men in Laos spend time as a Monk or Novice at some point in their lives. During the retreat period they do not drink, smoke, eat after lunchtime, touch women, swear or have money or possessions. This period can vary from a few days to a few years.

Take the main archer of Vientiane, cycling by the Patuxay “Arc of Triumph” and That Luang, the most famous monument and omnipresent symbol of the Lao P.D.R. Do pay attention as this road can be crowded in certain times of the day.

Our first stop will be at the Don Mak Khai Market to buy fruits and snacks for the monks as a humble offering. This market is also famous for its diversity in insect food.

Be adventurous and have a bite!

Cycle North to the Nam Ngum River where we will board a restaurant boat at Thanong, a very popular place for locals during the weekend. Enjoy a 1-hour cruise upriver before getting back on the saddle.

Riding through rice paddies to the Vat pa Na Khoun Noi, one of Vientiane’s most revered meditation temple. When arrive inside the premises, make sure you are properly dressed, shoulders covered and respect the reigning quietness.

After discovering the site, religious buildings and meditation forest, your guide will advise you how present to the Head Monk the fruits and snacks you would have bought earlier this morning. Take time to meet with the monks and have a conversation. Now would be the perfect time to ask those questions you might have about a Buddhist monk’s daily life!

Before leaving, the monk will do a “Mat Khaen” (tie a cotton bracelet to your wrist) short ceremony, to protect you from bad spirits and providing you with good luck for your upcoming travels. Say goodbye and thank your hosts for their generosity before heading back off to the city.

Now we will take south, avoiding the more crowded Route 13, on smaller roads and go through the Faculty of Forestry of Dong Dok University Campus, the first University of Laos and still the biggest as of today.

Final stop today will be the Phaeng Mai Gallery. Phaeng Mai Gallery was created by two sisters from Samneua Province, a region reputed to have some of the best weavers of Laos, who learned by the age of 6 the art colors and patterns. Open since 1990, the Gallery offers a refined variety of naturally dyed silk and hand-woven pieces.

Cycle back Downtown to your hotel or to the Fa Ngum park behind the Presidential Palace. At approximately 16.00 you will finish, depending on your pace of travel.

Note: backup vehicle included today.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Airport to Hotel: 20 mins

Cycling distance up to 63 km

Difficulty: Medium

 

“An itinerary may at times be altered by our guides due to local conditions, the skill of participants and other unexpected circumstances. Our priority is always the experience and safety of our clients.”

Tour Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Tour Operates: Year Round / On Demand
Tour Price: Available Upon Request

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.


Our services include:

  • Luggage transfer
  • Vehicles: (varies based on local conditions and vehicle sizes available). Private air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and back up as itinerary.
  • Bike, helmet, 1 refillable biking water bottle per person
  • Plenty of water provided throughout the day when cycling
  • Snacks and local fruits
  • 1 Exo Adventure Certified English Speaking Guide
  • 1 assistant guide for 11-15 cyclist, 2 assistant guides for 16+ cyclists
  • 1 first aid kit per guide
  • Each guide will have a full set of travel bike tools
  • Main support vehicle will have spare parts
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Sightseeing tickets where mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation as listed above.
  • Flight reconfirmations

Our services don’t include:

  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Soft drinks, or beverages beyond water – we can add this into costs at agents request
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks at mealtimes
  • Tips
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gu, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the itinerary and in the inclusive portion.
  • Other language speaking guides
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Important Notes:

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips.
  • Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
  • The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
  • Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program. 
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Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Laos Adventure Tour to your individual specifications.


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Philippe Groult

Exo Foundation

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