Thong Tay Hoi, VN
Fri, 4/12/2024
clear sky
34
Clear sky

34°C - 34°C

40%

1011hPa

3.09m/s

0%

10Km

10:43 PM

11:04 AM

Off-road riding in Laos – Experiences & What To Expect From A Tour Leader Point Of View
Laos offers some great off-road riding possibilities. And that’s exactly what we have incorporated into our routes through this beautiful country! During our tour through both Northern Vietnam and Laos, we start off in bustling city of Hanoi. From there on we will find our way into the country side of Vietnam and cross the border with Laos already on the second day of the tour.

Compared to Vietnam, Laos is much less densely populated. We will notice this immediately as there is much less traffic on the roads in Laos. Because of that, we have plenty of time to enjoy the stunning scenery while driving through this mountainous country. Also, Laos has a wide range of unpaved roads varying from descent gravel roads to more challenging roads.

Before our rest day in Luang Prabang and almost straight after we crossed the border with Laos, we already get to experience some off-road riding in Laos. Then after our rest day in Luang Prabang, we really go for it! The stretch from Luang Prabang to Muang Xay is predominantly unpaved, meaning that we have a full day of off-road riding waiting for us. Once we have reached our hotel for the night, it is time to grab a beer and look back on a demanding but satisfying day of riding.

One day we will be driving from Nong Kiau to Muang Khua. Even though we are only driving about 100 kilometers on that day, for most people this day turns out to be the most spectacular one! On this day we are really going off the beaten track and have some great riding on single-tracks. We will reach places where hardly any tourists come and get to experience another great part of Laos. Our support car won’t be able to follow us during that day, so the mechanic will tight up his toolbox on a motorbike and will come with us. Since we will be driving in such a remote area, we also have to take lunch with us.
The route can be challenging by times, especially when rain has changed the surface layer of clay into a smooth mirror. Hence, we always check the condition of the road with the locals. In case of too much rainfall in the previous days, we have to take an alternative route since it will be too dangerous to stick to the original plan.

Back in Vietnam, we have some off-road riding in a whole new category. Vietnam belongs to the biggest countries in the world in terms of coffee production. On our way from Dien Bien Phu to Ta Xua, we will get to see a coffee plantation and we will even drive straight through it! These extremely narrow roads between the coffee plants will definitely be remembered at the end of the tour once we are back in Hanoi.
Not an experienced off-road rider? No problem! Everyone is free to ride at his or her own pace. After all, safety comes first and there will always be back-up by the tour leader, the mechanic and the support car.
If you don’t want to do the off-road riding, then most of the time you will have the possibility to follow the support car on the paved road. Otherwise, the mechanic can take over the motorbike at any time and you can decide to sit on the back or to sit in the car for a little while. About 20-25% of this tour is on unsurfaced roads ranging in difficulty.

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