Thailand & Laos Motorcycle Tour - "Jewel of the Mekong Tour"
(Friday 31 January - Friday 14 February 2020) - TAKING BOOKINGS NOW
Our Thailand and Laos motorcycle tour is an unbelievable, unique experience. There is no other motorcycle tour like it on the market with a unique combination of off-road motorcycling, visits to historic sites in both Thailand and Laos, fantastic boutique hotels and complete immersion into Laos culture.
You will be accompanied by both UK and Laos guides, a qualified and experienced UK health professional and 4x4 support vehicle.
Laos is rich in culture, rich in heritage, rich in Buddhism, rich in rivers, mountains and forests ... Laos is a place of fascination and adventure amid a diverse and hospitable people.
Known as 'The Land of a Million Elephants' or 'Jewel of the Mekong' Laos is a landlocked country in South-East Asia, bordered by China and Burma to the Northwest, Vietnam to the East, Cambodia to the South and Thailand to the West. Laos is an ancient country but has also been greatly influenced by the French, being under French rule from 1893 – 1953.
It is ideal motorcycle country, being a thickly forested country consisting of mostly rugged mountains. The highest mountain is Phou Bia at 2,818m. The Mekong river forms much of the Western boundary with Thailand.
Thailand and Laos Adventure Motorcycle Tour 2020 Itinerary
A unique experience as you journey through the heart of Laos through unspoilt forest and jungle.
Day 1 – UK to Bangkok
The tour begins with a long-haul flight to Bangkok – Thailand. If you are flying from the UK then we can recommend Emirates – they are our preferred airline. The advantage of using Emirates is that they fly from numerous UK airports (Heathrow, Birmingham, Newcastle, etc). There is a short stop over in Dubai before a direct flight to Bangkok. There are also other flights available from lots of different airlines – the choice of flight is ultimately down to you.
Once arriving in Bangkok there is a 40 minute transfer by taxi to our lovely 4 star boutique hotel located just around the corner from the vibrant Pat Pong Night Market.
Day 2 – Bangkok – Exploration Day
This is a free day to recover from jet lag, sit by the beautiful pool and explore beautiful and exciting Bangkok. We will be on hand to provide advice and guide you around some of the sights.
We can particularly recommend a short Tuk tuk trip into the old town to visit some of the numerous temples such as Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun. They are all stunning.
In the evening you can explore the lively vibrant areas of Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy - real eye openers!!!
Day 3 – Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos
A morning flight from Bangkok to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. There are several flights a day from Bangkok to Laos. We are particularly fond of "Thai Smile Airways" a wholly owned subsidiary of "Thai Airways". A return flight costs in the region of £120 and can be booked prior to travel from the UK. We will assist you with booking this flight. The flight takes just over an hour. Upon landing at the small airport in Vientiane, we will need to apply for short stay Tourist Visa. The process is very simple, takes approx 10 minutes and costs 35$.
From the airport it is only a short taxi ride to our hotel in Vientiane. We then have all the afternoon to explore the this old French colonial city. There are some great restaurants and bars along the banks of the Mekong. In the evening our bikes will be delivered to the hotel, fully checked over and fueled ready for an early start in the morning.
Day 4 – Vientiane to Hin Boun Valley
Breakfast and then an 0800hrs start. The ride out of Vientiane will give all participants a chance to get used to their bikes. They are very easy to ride, nice and light and easy to manoeuvre. Todays route will be on tarmac. From Vientaine we will ride along the banks of the Mekong towards the magical valley of Hin Boun on the Colonial Route 13 and Route 8.
The Hin Boun valley is known for its stunning scenery comprised of limestone karst mountains. The area was an important communist HQ during the Vietnam war controlling the central part of Laos. It has been recently opened up to tourists and the HinBoun River now offers a unique experience with the famous Kong Lor Cave which once used as a secret base by the "Pathet Lao".
Day 5 – Exploration day - Hin Boun Valley
Our accommodation for two nights is absolutely spectacular. Comprised of individual bamboo bungalows located along the banks of the river, it is a beautiful unspoilt location. The food is also fantastic!!
Kong Lor’s claim to fame is that it boast’s the world’s longest navigable cave at 8km from mouth to mouth which has been created by the Nam Hinboun River which over the millenia has tunneled its way through the surrounding limestone karsts peaks. Mid morning we will take a short ride on our bikes to the entrance of the cave and then take the amazing boat journey (2 to a boat) through the heart of the mountain. Breathtaking.
Day 6 – Hin Boun Valley to Plain of Jars
Back on the bikes we will follow part of the of the once infamousHo-Chi-Minh Trailto the famous and mysteriousPlain of Jars. The route is predominantly tarmac with some sections of easy off-road. We will climb high into the mountains where the jungle and mountain scenery is stunning.
We aim to arrive at the Plain of Jars early evening. The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape consisting of thousands of large stone jars scattered around the hillsides and valleys. The leading theory is that the jars, which were constructed in approximately 500BC, once held human remains while local legend claims that the jars were used to ferment lao rice wine.
The Plain of Jars suffered terribly during the Vietnam War and is considered to be the most bombed place on the planet. The US dropped tens of millions of cluster bombs on the area and the legacy of this is still being felt by local farmers and villagers to this day.
We will stay at the Plain of Jars for the sunset - a truly enigmatic experience. It is then only a short 5 minute ride to our hotel.
Day 7 – Plain of Jars to Muang Hiam (formerly Vieng Thong).
We will head North into the remote area of North East Laos and the beautiful Nam Et - Phouey National Protected Area. This is one of the largest National Parks in Laos and is home to several endangered species including tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, Asian golden cat.
The roads are are narrow and winding and offer fantastic views over the unspoilt jungle landscape. It is a great days ride.
Day 8 – Muang Hiam (formerly Vieng Thong) to Muang Ngoy
Another great days ride lays ahead as we travel through the remote areas and villages of Northern Laos. It really is a spectacular day as we head towards our quaint guesthouse by the banks of the Nam Ou River. Most visitors to Muang Ngoy arrive by river boat from nearby Nong Khiaw, however, as we are on off-road bikes we can take the beautiful off-road trail which runs adjacent to the river. A well earned beer awaits at one of the most scenic and relaxing places in the world.
Day 9 – Muang Ngoy to Luang Prabang
Today is mainly an off-road day through the mountains to the ancient capital of Luang Prabang. First a fill up for the bikes at one of the small villages - you will have never experienced a petrol station like this!!
Most of todays ride will be mainly off-road on the mountainous Pak Xeng dirt road. A very scenic track which will take us through remote hill villages and picturesque mountain scenery. There is very little vehicle traffic on this route which reinforces the remoteness of the area. A great days ride as we head towards Luang Prabang and our 4 star boutique hotel.
Day 10 – Luang Prabang (exploration day)
The ancient city of Luang Prabang has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A Unesco World Heritage site, Luang Prabang is a delightful mix of exquisite temples and French colonial buildings – and a great place for cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. A brilliant place to explore by foot. We are based in a 4 star boutique hotel close to the old town. Our recommended itinerary is to have a relaxing morning by the beautiful pool before heading to the old town to explore the night market and bars/restaurants in the afternoon and evening.
Day 11 – Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
Enjoy an awe-inspiring ride through the “1000 curves” of Phou Khoun’s Peak to Vang Vieng. Yet another beautiful ride with the destination being the tourist town of Vang Vieng. Now popular with back packers, Vang Vieng was the centre of operations for "Air America" during the Vietnam war. You can still see remnants of airstrip "Lima site 6" in the middle of the town. "Air America" was a dummy corporation operated by the CIA.
Day 12 – Vang Vieng to Vientiane
A half day ride back to the Laos capital of Vientiane. We will hand our trusty bikes back. They have served us well. Then its into town for a final meal and last night in Laos before our morning flight back to Bangkok.
Day 13 – Vientiane to Bangkok
We say our goodbyes to wonderful Laos. A short morning flight and we are back in bustling Bangkok. We will be staying in our lovely Boutique hotel so can chill by the pool in the afternoon before heading out to the city for our last night.
Day 14 – Bangkok to UK
Our adventure is over. It is time to head home. Hopefully with great memories and a special fondness for Laos and its happy smiling people.
The Cost of The Tour
The cost of the tour is £2000 for a single rider in shared room (two to a room). A few single rooms are available at a cost of £2400.
The bikes are not suitable for pillions. We can, however, take clients who don't want to ride, can travel in our 4 x 4 support vehicle(s). The cost for this option is £1500 in a shared room.
In order to book your place we will require an initial deposit of £250 deposit. The balance is then due a minimum of 12 weeks before departure
What is Included in the Price
Honda CRF250L or equivalent motorcycle hire
Experienced Tour guides
4 x 4 Luggage Vehicle
All hotel accommodation
8 Evening meals whilst touring northern Laos
Tour routes and information pack
What is Not Included in the Price
Flights to and from Bangkok and Vientiane
Evening meals in Bangkok and Luang Prabang..
Alcoholic drinks (we will provide water during day)
Visa documentation (tourist visa bought on arrival at Vientiane airport)
Entrance fees for attractions, museums, temples etc