Enjoy breathtaking views after a long climb. Stop for a quick snack and reward yourself
Explore trails where few mountain bikers have been
Rays of the morning sun makes this part of the trail picture perfect
Stunning views of Laos can be found on this tour

Hidden Tribes and Trails of Laos

9 days
Site savings
$1,673 USD

Explore river valleys and single track trails in northern Laos, a true mountain bike haven, over 9 epic days. Discover northern Laos via the uncharted trails, thick jungle artery and secluded river valleys. Immerse yourself with locals and learn about the local culture as you explore the region on a mountain bike. This adventure will take you to unblemished destinations rarely seen by outsiders. Beginning in charming Luang Prabang, veer far off the tourist trail and into mountainous tribal territory as you work your way through mountain valleys and villages. Encounter authentic tribal communities, breathtaking mountain scenery, and unparalleled off-road and single-track riding, before returning back to Luang Prabang.

  • Category
    Trail Riding
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    9 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    4 - Advanced
  • Activity Level
    4 - Challenging
  • Elevation
    4 - Challenging
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    206.3 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    34.2 miles
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SpiceRoads Cycling
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    9 days
  • Main Destination
  • Distance
    206.3 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    34.2 miles
  • Elevation
    4 - Challenging
  • Terrain

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Route map

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrive at Luang Prabang

    Meet at the airport of Luang Prabang and then enjoy a short transfer to your accommodation. Take a stroll through this lovely riverside town, visit a temple or two before gathering at a local restaurant that trains local underprivileged youth. You'll have a trip briefing over a sumptuous dinner.

    • Parasol Blanc Hotel
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Luang Prabang to Pak Xeng

    Your guide will meet you at 8am to begin your briefing and bike fitting. After breakfast at the hotel, you'll head out on to your first piece of two-wheeled adventure. The first ride of the trip is a quick leg warm up, exploring Chompet district across the river from Luang Prabang.

    City life fades away rapidly on this side of the Mekong, and you'll get a taste of what's to come on some gentle hills and dirt tracks that run through the local Hmong tribal villages. In the afternoon, you will pack up and transfer by car to the small town of Pakxeng, the jump off point for tomorrow's adventure.

    • 21.7 miles

    • 1,108.9 ft
      1,108.9 ft
    • Local Guesthouse in Pak Xeng
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  3. Day 3Pak Xeng to Vieng Kham

    Start the day early - your first ride into the hilltribe region. you'll head out from Pak Xeng on a dirt road along the Nam Xang river, an important tributary that gives life to local tribal communities.

    The ride takes you through banana plantations and a village of the Khmu of Northern Laos, one of the country's largest tribal groups. Your first climb is a long one, it’s about 600 meters (1,969 feet) elevation gain but after that it will be brief ones.

    As you roam through the countryside in the foothills you will enjoy the long descent into the village of Vieng Kham, where we'll enjoy local hospitality for the evening,

    • Local Guesthouse in Vieng Kham
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4Vieng Kham to Muang Ngoi

    After breakfast, your day begins with a 15-kilometer transfer to the trail head. You'll ride this route, a mixture of rough dirt road and single-track, all the way to the riverside village of Muang Ngoi, home to Hmong, Khmu, and Leu tribes. The route is technical with only minor climbs before a long and gradual descent into the village, and absolutely fantastic scenery. You'll stay in cozy guesthouse surrounded by the karst scenery. 

    • 28.6 miles
    • -2,460.6 ft
      2,231 ft
      4,691.6 ft
    • Lattanavongsa Guesthouse, Muang Ngoi
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Muang Ngoi to Muang Khua

    A short transfer in the morning brings you to the riverside, where you'll board a longtail boat that will take you up the river to the northern district of Phongsaly. Relax and enjoy the ride and take in the absolutely stunning view of magnificent karst mountains and hidden tribal villages along the river. This is the real Laos, untouched by tourism. On the way, you'll visit a local temple and cave complex that was used as shelter for villagers and resistance fighters in during the second Indochina War. Your accommodation for the night is a simple, but humble guesthouse in the town of Muang Khua.

    • New Chaleunsouk Guesthouse, Muang Khua
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  6. Day 6Muang Khua to Nayang

    Today's challenge wastes no time- you'll have a steep climb on a rough dirt road right away as you head south from Muang Khua. You'll climb nearly 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) in around 12 kilometers (8 miles), but your reward will be fantastic views of the province as far as you can see and mostly downhill ride for the next 20 kilometers (13 miles) or so. Your route is a combination of single track and dirt road. After lunch, it is a steady and relatively flat 25 kilometers (16 miles) to your accommodation for the night.

    Tonight's homestay is special – tribal families will perform a traditional "Baci" ceremony before the meal to welcome the group and wish you luck on your onward journey.

    • 45.4 miles
    • 3,280.8 ft
      5,479 ft
      5,479 ft
    • Lue Village Homestay, Nayang
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  7. Day 7Nayang to Harpang

    After a hearty breakfast, you'll continue your southward journey from Nayang for another 10 kilometers (6 miles). Then it's 19 kilometers (12 miles) of tarmac riding to Nong Khiaw, a busier town and a haven for travelers in the region.

    You'll enjoy a short rest in Nong Khiaw, famous for its scenery, before boarding a boat and head off for about an hour to the trail head. The trail is a smooth 20 kilometers (13 miles) along the river banks, and an absolute treat to ride. At the end of the trail, your support vehicle will meet you and it’ll be a short transfer to your accommodation for the night in the humble village of Harpang.

    • 30.4 miles
    • 13.1 ft
      826.8 ft
      813.6 ft
    • Local Guesthouse in Harpang
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  8. Day 8Harpang - Lathan to Luang Prabang

    Your final day of riding is a challenging one. You'll start off with a transfer to the trailhead outside the village of Houaylae. The track is challenging and technical, and leads up to a steep peak at 17 kilometers (11 miles), before opening up to an expansive farmland. We'll cruise through undulating terrain for the final 45 kilometers (28 miles), seeing local farmers making their livelihood as they have for generations. In the village of Lathan, you'll hop on another longtail boat for your final boat ride down the Mekong to where we began in Luang Prabang. After a short rest you’ll share stories of this epic ride over a farewell dinner.

    • 34.2 miles
    • 164 ft
      3,773 ft
      3,608.9 ft
    • Parasol Blanc Hotel, Luang Prabang
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  9. Day 9Departure from Luang Prabang

    You're free to enjoy this charming riverside city, exploring it's many temples, markets, and boutiques. If you'd like to extend your stay with more activities or riding, your guide can help you make arrangements to extend your Laos adventure!

    • Breakfast