Luangprabang - Phonsavan loop

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Arthur, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. I am in Laos (for the first time) in November and plan to hire a bike in Luangprabang and do a small loop aroung the area in about six days. The planned route is as follows:

    Luangprabang - Nong khiaw
    Nong Khiaw - Muang Vieng Thong
    Muang Vieng Thong - Phonsavan
    Phonsavan - Muang Phu Khoun
    Muang Phu Khoun - Luangprabang

    Could anyone tell me how long this route might take?(me and my girlfriend on a bike, limited biking experience so we would be going at a fairly leisurely speed).

    I would be very grateful for any other tips / recommendations / suggestions that anyone might have!


    Just done most of what you propose with my son.
    His trip report, I am promised, is coming.

    In the meantime some thoughts:
    You will need a bike - if you are looking for a XR/Baja 250,
    then you need to get one sent up from Vientiane. You could do this on a scooter, but again I'm not sure that they are available in LPQ, or, that it would be advisable to do a ride on one.
    For an XR you are best advised to get one from Fuark's.
    If you need to have someone arrange this for you & transported up to LPQ, try Green Discovery.

    I would advise you to return the bike to Vientiane, rather than going back to Luang Prabang & having to pay for the bike to be returned to Vientiane.

    My advised itinerary therefore would be:
    Day 1 LPQ-Nong Kiau [3-4 hours] - stay at Danish owned Riverside Hotel
    Day 2 NK-Vieng Thong [2-3 HOURS] has no real good hotel but the scenery around is spectacular.
    Day 3 VT-Phonsovan [6 hours] - stay at the Auberge if budget permits.
    Day 4 Avoid Phu Khoun it's a dump - either go back to Luang Prabang [4-5 hours] or Vang Vieng [5 hours].
    Day 5 Vientiane [if you have gone to Vang Vieng] 3 hours, 4.5 hours if you take the advised route via the dam & route 10.
    Good luck & post your TR afterwards.
  3. Thanks for all your advice.

    This is probably a stupid question but why cant bikes be rented in Luangprabang?

  4. Arthur,
    That will be a really good trip. I've covered all those roads. Arrange with Green Discovery to pick up an XR250 in LPG before you go. LPG is a non bike place, they are trying to keep the ambience nice.
    for timing. LPG to Nong Khiaw and look around - 1 day
    Nong Khiaw to Sam Nua - do a diversion its worth it and there is nothing in Vieng Thong - 1 day
    check out the caves in Vieng Xai (where the pathet lao ran the war) - 1 day
    Sam Nua to Phonsavan - 1 day
    check out the plain of jars and sites around Phonsavan - 1 day
    Phonsavan - Phoukhoun - LPG - 1 day.
    Also give yourself atleast 1 full day in LPG there is plenty to see and treat yourself to a meal at l'elephant.

    have fun.

  5. Gee you guys must have overheard me..... only about 2 hours ago have been discussing with my GF a trip into Laos taking in Plane of Jars, doing the 2 day riverboat thingy to LPG and some other side trips, seems all there listed for us above, now just have to check out routes on my Laos map.

    This time we do the trip on my own bike, (Honda Degree), no more Chinese Honda Waves for us...
  6. Rhodie,your timings seem to come from one experienced person on a bike. I think 2 people with less experience would take longer to do the routes you have posted-speaking from experience (or lack of bike touring experience)as ive just rented an XR250 for a couple of days.Another factor to consider is that it is quite cramped with two of you on a bike,with a bag especially if your missus is a size 16 welsh bird.Personally speaking Arthur I wouldnt bite off more than you can chew.That said Iam looking for a bike to tour on(minus the misssus)a few days in Laos has certainly got me going on the touring thing and theres nothing quite like the smell of buffalo shit as you're cruising through the countryside.

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