Day 1: Thai border – Champasack
After having your passports stamped on exiting Thailand and once visa formalities have been completed at Lao immigration, and loading our luggage into the support truck, we start riding from Lao immigration along the way to Pakse province on a good-quality asphalt road for 26 km. Then we turn right for another 61 km riding on dirt road but completely flat. We pass many small villages and paddy fields before we arrive at the Pre-Angkor ruins of Wat Phou, once the site of Hindu worship. The site was then replaced by a Buddhist temple in the late 11TH century. We spend some time here exploring the temple before riding the last 10 km to our hotel. Check in Thavisab Hotel, with dinner at the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point: 120 m above sea level.
Arrival point: 124 m above sea level.
Distance: 87 km (first section of 26 km on asphalt road, 51 km on dirt road and last 10 km on asphalt road but the whole route is flat).
Meas: (L / D).
Accommodation: Thavisab Hotel (room with private bath and hot shower, 24 h electricity).
Day 2: Champasack – Khong Island (4000 islands)
Si Phan Done in Lao means 4000 islands, it is the widest and most charismatic part of the Mekong River and is our destination today. We leave as early as we can after breakfast. After 2 km of riding from the hotel, we cross the Mekong River on a very unusual mode of transport to the other side and after a short ride to the main road, we head south again towards Cambodia. Today is mainly flat with a quiet road and some interesting scenery. We pass many villages with children greeting us. It is unusually for them to see tourists travel by bicycle (it feels hard for them).So we stop every 20 or 25 km for refreshments. We have lunch under a tree by the road when we feel like it. We then cross back over to the Mekong River to one of the biggest island in the Mekong River (the hometown of a former Lao president). We cycle a short way to our hotel. Dinner is in the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point: 124 m above sea level.
Arrival point: 120 m above sea level.
Distance: 113 km (on good quality asphalt road, and mainly flat).
Meals: (B / L /D).
Accommodation: Villa Muangkhong (rooms are complete with facilities). Internet and laundry are available here but no massage.
Day 3: Around 4000 islands
Today is a day to explore, we once again cross the river and head south where we ride as far as the Khon Pha Pheng waterfall. We rest for a while before riding back and we take a short boat trip to the small island of Don Det where we have lunch. After lunch we ride along the old French Railway down to the beach where we get on small boats to Cambodian waters in search of freshwater Dolphins, After an hour we ride back to Don Det island and finish our cycling for the day there. Then we catch a boat for another 2 hour boat trip back to our hotel. Dinner is at the hotel.
Distance: 55 km (half of the riding is on good quality asphalt road and the rest is on a path, fantastic to ride and flat).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Villa Muang Khong.
Day 4: Muang Khong – Tad Fane
An easy start to the day as we transfer back on the way we come for almost 2 hours to begin our journey into the coffee growing area of Laos, the Bolaven plateau. We head north to Pakse before starting to climb up into the temperate coffee growing area renowned for its Arabica and Robusta beans. These beans fetch some of the highest coffee prices in the world. The road undulates but has a definite feeling of ascent. As we climb, we see coffee everywhere as the plantations converge on the side of the road. We finish at the wonderful Tad Fane Resort, which provides a stunning backdrop and the very impressive Tad Fane Fall. If you feel energetic you can cycle to the other waterfall for swimming. Alternatively, you can relax in the restaurant and take the wonderful view. Dinner is at the resort.
Elevation:Departure point 175 m above sea level.
Arrival point 959 m above sea level.
Distance: 30 km (on good quality asphalt road but ascend).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Tad Fane Resort. (Rooms are very good with private bath and hot shower).
Day 5: Free day
Today we have a choice of a rest day or taking an easy hike around coffee plantations to see the spectacular waterfall up close.
Meals: (B /L /D).
Accommodation: Tad Fane Resort.
Day 6. Tad Fane – Tad lo (Tad means waterfall)
(Resort is at an altitude of 960 m above sea level.) Today is the best riding in this trip. After 12 km of climbing we reach the top of Bolavene plateau (at an altitude of 1280 m). However, riding in the early morning warms you through a cold morning on the plateau. You still have more energy in the morning after a short break in a small town on top of a plateau. We continue riding for another 38 km to a small town of Tha Teng (at an altitude of 860 m), this 38- kilometer descent is one of the best rides in this trip. We have noodle soup for lunch at a local restaurant 30 km from our destination, Tad Lor Resort (at an altitude of 750 m) Riding after lunch takes us very easy downhill on a dirt road for 21 km to the junction. The rest of the road is just 9 km on asphalt and is mainly flat. We check into our hotel in the afternoon and you can swim at the waterfall, relaxing, enjoying the view or riding around. Dinner is at the hotel.
Elevation: Departure point 959 m.
Highest point: 1280 m.
Arrival point: 346 m.
Ride: 80 km (12 km ascent, 68 km descent and flat, including 21 km on a dirt road).
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Tad Lor Resort (Rooms are very good quality, surrounded by nature and waterfall)
Day 7: Tad Fane – Pakse
After breakfast, we head towards Pakse. This road undulates and has a couple of lengthy climbs. One is 5 km, one of 49 km, but they are gradual. We then turn right and head downhill all the way into Pakse. The last 20 km in to Pakse is downhill and can be covered quickly. Be careful as we head into town as traffic increases significantly. We use the hotel in Pakse just to shower, one room for men and one for women before we head back towards the Thai border.
Elevation: Departure point: 346 m.
Highest point: 606 m.
Arrival point: 170 m.
Ride: 84 km on good quality asphalt road
Meals: (B / L / D).
Accommodation: Two rooms in Pakse hotel for showering
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