I’m at an age that introduced Laos into my vocabulary at the height of the Vietnam War. The mysterious country, resting between Thailand and Vietnam, conjured an aspect of danger-not to mention an unwelcome aspect to Americans.
Perhaps this is why I am intrigued by the idea of riding a Honda Baja XR 250 for 14 days in the mountains in north central Laos as part of MotoQuest’s Laos Golden Triangle Motorcycle Adventure Tour. The 15-day motorbike tour is all paved, the route circling through the northern part of the country, covering about one thousand miles. In addition to plenty of motorcycle riding there are a number of side activities planned out in the itinerary, such as floating down the Nam Ou Rover by boat, an elephant ride, a cave tour by boat in Luang Prabang and a tour of the Pathet Lao Caves by motorcycle.MotoQuest prides itself on delving into the culture and history of the destinations they visit. The Laos Tour will cover aspects of Buddism and Lao cuisine, as well as introducing guests to sights such as Luang Prabang’s night market and the Mekong River, as well as the history of the somewhat infamous Air America. Laos Golden Triangle Motorcycle Adventure Tour ItineraryDay 1 – Wednesday, January 19th: Arrive in Vientiane, Laos. Airport shuttle to hotel, orientation dinner. Day 2 – Thursday, January 20th: Ventianne to Vang Vieng – 96 miles. Motorcycles delivered to hotel with bike orientation. Pack bags and ride to Vang Vieng. Scenery: water buffaloes, rice paddies, with plenty of children waving (get used to that). Day 3 – Friday, January 21st: Vang Vieng to Phonsavan – 134 miles. Limestone karsts and riding over a rugged mountain range. Twisties all day long. Arrive in Phonsavan, home of the Plain of Jars. Day 4 – Saturday, January 22nd: Free day in Phonsavan. Ride if you like. Visit the mysterious Plain of Jars. Explore around the surrounding town.Day 5 – Sunday, January 23rd: Phonsavan to Xam Nua – 152 miles. Ride through Pine Forests. See weavers work their magic in small villages.Day 6 – Monday, January 24th: Xam Nua. Visit Pathet Lao Headquarters & Caves. Explore the network of tunnels and learn the history of the Pathet Lao Movement. Day 7 – Tuesday, January 25th: Xam Nua to Nong Khiaw – 195 miles. Ride through Tiger country in Phou Loei National Bio-Diversity Area. Villages and lush forests.Day 8 – Wednesday, January 26th: Rest day in Nong Khiaw. Rent a bicycle and ride out to some historic Pathet Lao caves. Shop in the local town. Sit on your porch bungalo, and watch the river go by. Day 9 – Thursday, January 27th: Nong Khiaw to Muang Khua. 4-hour boat ride on the spectacular Nam Ou River. Day 10 – Friday, January 28th: Muang Khua to Luang Prabang – 182 miles. Stunning country riding south to Luang Prabang, a city suspended in time featuring dozens of temples. Day 11 – Saturday, January 29th: Free day in Luang Prabang. Mekong River trip, Pak Ou caves, ride to Kuang Xi waterfalls, French dinner & night market.Day 12 – Sunday, January 30th: 2nd free day in Luang Prabang. Relax or go for an elephant ride, see Tad Sae waterfalls. Day 13 – Monday, January 31st: Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng – 140 miles. Gorgeous limestone pillars, picturesque rivers, lunch overlooking a the lush valley below.Day 14 – Tuesday, February 1st: Vang Vieng to Vientiane – 96 miles. Return motorcycles. Enjoy a relaxing massage at White Lotus (included in tour package). Farewell dinner party. Day 15 – Wednesday, February 2nd: Depart Vientiane for Laos. Morning coffee at Scandinavian Bakery, good-byes to newfound friends & hotel shuttle to airport. Full Tour Price
* Rider sharing twin room: USD $6,600
* Rider with own room: USD $7,300
* Couples: USD $10,150
* Includes basic bike rental Special note: MotoQuest Tours
will donate $100 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) in the name of each participant. MAG is a humanitarian organization clearing the Remnants of Conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide.