Itinerary: Hanoi – Sapa – Lai Chau– Sin Ho – Muong Lay– Dien Bien Phu – Muang Khua – Odomxai – Pak Mong – Luang Prabang
Highlights: This is an adventurous, moving on tour through the mountainous north-west provinces ofVietnam and Laos. Luggage transfer and vehicle support will be provided. The tour is suitable for fit, experienced cycling enthusiasts. Vietnam’s far North West is undoubtedly the best place to cycle in the country as the roads see virtually no tourists and avoid Vietnam’s notorious highways. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that travel restrictions were lifted. Starting in Hanoi, we;ll pass through stunning landscapes, amazing karst rock formations, stilted houses with thatched roofs, mountains nestled between limestone outcrops and the highest concentration of hill-tribe people in the country. We’ll cross into a remote area of Laos via the newly opened border crossing at Tay Trang. From the small market town of Muang Khua, we’ll take a slow boat down the beautiful Nam Ou river before cycling on to World Heritage Luang Prabang, with its beautiful temples and colourful night market. Our route south to Vientiane, the sleepy capital of Laos, is on virtually traffic-free roads. Great cycling and some of the friendliest people in Asia. The opening in 2007 of the Tay Trang border crossing between Vietnam and Laos has made this exciting tour possible
Bikes: we use the new 4300/4500 trek and Cannondale Trail 5 and tango 5 mountain bikes for all most cycling trip with different size from 13.5’’ - 23,5’’.We generally use 2012 /2013 models of TREK mountain bikes because they are high quality, durable pieces of equipment. Besides,
We like the versatility and durability of the mountain bike as it has been designed to cope with different types of terrain and riding. Our trips can be on asphalt and can often be broken or potholed, and there are usually unsurfaced sections included, so mountain bikes are the most suitable. They also have the range of gears to cope with the hills.
Each bike comes with a single water bottle cage, if you prefer more you are welcome to bring your own. Bikes also have gel seat cover slips if you prefer a softer ride. If you have your own saddle that you are comfortable with seat, you are welcome to bring it and we'll fit it. On long tours women specific seats are recommended and we have some available, but we cannot guarantee we will available for every tour.These bikes also are available for rent in case you want to go it alone or just need a bike for a day.
Bikes repairs: basic spares and tools kid are generally carried by guide and on the support vehicle, although we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carring a basic tool kids, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
we can not guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carring a basic tool kids, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Safety: wearing a helmet is compulsory on all our biking adventures. Your tour guide are trained in first aid and emergency rescure, tour guide often carry first aid box with their bikes while riding
Support: we often used mini bus and bus with air condition for transfer and back up as itineraries
We use van Support bikes and cyclist
( 1 – 4 pax) we use Van to support and carry out bikes)
( 5 – 8 pax) we use one Van and one truck to supports
Accommodation:When cycling we stay in friendly hotel, guesthouse or homestays. Some are more basic than others! Bear in mind that some of the places we overnight in are not on the standard tourist trail.In larger cities and towns, our hotels are generally more western style and are three or four hotels or resort. Please do not expect the same standard as you would your home.
Our guides: the tour will be led by one of English - speaking guides. All our guides have great knowledge of history, local culture, and religions of the area where you are cycling and introduce that experiences for you . our guides have been trained in this field and is fully licensed in tour guiding by Vietnam National Tourism. Our guides are also medically skilled in first Aid by SOS and they know how to deal with hard situations.\
Grading definition: To assist you visualise how our trip is difficult, we have graded our adventure tours into three categories, easy, moderate, and challenging, we group many factors into consideration into this grading, including distant covered, terrain, altitude, weather conditions and vehicle support
Easy: suitable for most people in good health. These trips generally include short days, on good paths and at low attitudes
Moderate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these trips can require sustained endurance levels, hill longer days and altitude.All of our moderate trips have a support vehicle following closely, weary travellers can hitch a ride and take a rest for a while.
Challenging: these trips are physically demanding and best suite for fit people with high endurancce level. Day can be longer, often at altitude, in remoted regions and sometimes without supports vehicle nearby.. travellers may be required to carry a backpacks.
Terrain: Distances on full cycling days average around 50 – 80km. Our route is mainly on tarmac roads of varing quality with are some more like hard – packed dirt, Terrain is generally flat or undulating with a few notable climbs.
Distance for second days and half of third day is around 60- 80 km. Our routes are mainly on single track, dirt road and trail , we cycle around villages and villages, through rice paddy terraces.
Food: All the meals which, are mentioned in itinerary, are included in the price of this tour. Most of meals are Vietnamese local food in Homestays . while in towns, we will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in delicious restaurants
Meals consist of a variety of banlanced dishes and aim for universal appeal, we avoid highly spiced foods.
Vegetarians are certainly welcome and are always accommodated, please let us know of any dietary concerns at time of booking.
Beverage and alcoholic drink are not included at mealtime or in restaurants
Snack/ Water: when we transfer, ride by minibus ( no cycling day), our bottled waters are always available for you ( two little for one day for person with wet tissue)
When we have cycling days, we will offer cold water and wet tissue in box plus fresh tropical fruides, soft – drink, energy – drinking, ( five little water for cycling day/ person).
Beer is freely available everywhere in Vietnam, but not include in our trip.
The Homestays: Homestay in the villages is simple interm of bedding condition and ementies. We will sleep on beds or floor with mattress, clean sheet, pillow and mosquito nets. Toilet is usually western style.
Weather: Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate. Broadly speaking, the weather in Vietnam is dictated by two seasons - the southwest monsoon from April to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to late march or early April.
Due to regional climate differences, there are no right or wrong seasons to visit Vietnam.the north Vietnam is cool, damp in winters between November and December and February with tempreture in Hanoi falling to around 15oC. The summer months from April to October are hot and dry.the best time visit Vietnam is spring ( February – April) or Autunm( late September – December) when it is not so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues to march. The humidity can prove oppresive from May to the early September.
Money: the official national currency is the Vietnamese Dong ( VND), but the US dollar is widely accepted in allmost tourist centers. However, small towns and the villages the VND is preferred, ATM are available in all major cities and towns, tourist destinations, Vietcombank, Agriculture banks are the best networks with a limit a single withdraw limit of 2000,000 d ( 95 USD). Most major currrencies can be exchanged in leading in Vietnam, but th USD is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing 100 USD wil make you to be a millionaire. You can not legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into USD on departure,.
Clothing: comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as it is in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evening against bitting insects. A light weight raincoat or rain cape is a good ideal in the raining season. For on the bike you will need to bring a couple of pairs of cycling shorts and short leeve jerseys, a pairs of cycling glove and if you use them, your clip in cycling shoes/ sandals.. when travel in the North Vietnam during winter months ( late November – March) warm clothe is needed.Visitors to Buddhist countries should not to wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious centers and shoes should be removed before entering private homes.
Passport and visa: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one month tourist visa is usually sufficients for most visitors, though it is possible to arrange three months or six month – multiple entry visa for regular visitors. The Snail Adventure Tours company is authorised to issue visa on arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Danang International Airport in Danang, and Tan San Nhat in Ho chi Minh city.The same authorisation proceduce and a minimum mof 5 days working notice is required. In emergency case they can arrange a visa o arrival if notice of 2 working days is given
Tipping: Tipping for good services is always appreciated in these developing countries. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of the tour. Hotels and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for . We recommend 5 US Dollar / person/per day for cycling tour guides .. 2 USD/ person/ day for driver and 1 USD/ person/ day for door bell when checking in and out.
Responsible tourism: we strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural invironment. We recognise that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
Environment: we have been turning invironmently responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re - usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Community: Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging custommers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, moto taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.
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