SpiceRoads Cycle Tours, Asia’s premier bicycle tour operator, has relaunched the tour, Hidden Laos by Road Bike. Following a mandatory road closure and subsequent travel restrictions from March 7th, 2016 toJune 30th, 2016 in Laos’ Xaisomboun province, SpiceRoads delayed the launch to ensure the tour’s integrity.
In response to acute incidents of unrest in December 2015, the Laotian government issued an order closing 50 kilometers of Road 13 between Phou Khoun and Vang Vieng, beginning in March 2016. On June 30th, 2016, the closure will be lifted and travelers may once again move freely along this route.
“The safety of all riders is a top priority for every SpiceRoads tour. Fortunately, the road closure will soon be lifted, and we are excited to provide our road biking clients with access to this unseen area of Laos,” says Daniel Moylan, GM of SpiceRoads Cycle Tours.
Following the reopening of the route on June 30th, the first departure on this moderately challenging, 8-day road biking adventure is scheduled for October 9th of this year.
The tour begins in the Laotian capital of Vientiane with a pleasant ride along the Mekong River. Flat roads provide riders with the perfect warm-up for the course ahead.
The route then heads north to follow the San River upstream, climbing through the foothills of the Annamese Caldera towards Laos’ tallest peak, Phou Bia (2,819 m).
It is then onto Phonsavanh, a region heavily affected by the Laotian Secret War, where bomb craters can still be seen. This area is also home to the spectacular and mysterious Plain of Jars, a vast savanna littered with 2,000 years old stone jars ranging from 70 cm to up to 4 metres, the purpose of which remain an enigma to this day.
The scenery begins to shift as the ride heads toward Phou Khoun through an outcrop of magnificent limestone peaks, and then along the western side of the vast Nam Ngum reservoir, the first major hydropower project in Laos.
The final day is a pleasantly flat 64 kilometer ride, culminating in the impressive Phatuzay, Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
• Witnessing idyllic village life along the Mekong River
• Climbing through the foothills of the Annamese Caldera and Laos’ highest mountain
• Passing through the untouched Xaysomboun Special Zone, until just recently off-limits to tourists
• Experiencing the vast and mysterious Plain of Jars
• Relaxing on the riverside among the spectacular karsts of Vang Vieng
Go the Distance
This moderately challenging 8-day tour includes 6 days of cycling ranging from 80 to 150 kilometers per day, for 694 total kilometers. This tour was designed for road bikers and features 100% tarmac routes. A support van follows behind the group carrying cold drinks, snacks and is available for any riders in need of a break.
• October 9
• November 6
• December 18
• January 29
• February 26
• July 2
• October 8
• November 5
• December 24
The tour costs US$1,850 (US$250 single supplement) with an additional US$125 standard bike hire.