A family friendly bike tour of Laos
New in 2019 - Introduce Laos to the whole family with an active tour that explores Luang Prabang and the northern reaches of the country by bike and boat down the Mekong River. Enjoy jungle-like walking tours, rope bridge climbing and waterfall explorations along the way on an active holiday the whole family will enjoy and never forget!
This family bike tour departs from Vientiane and concludes in Luang Prabang
With a good mixture of biking and fun family activities, we’ve designed this tour as an active journey of the highlights of Laos. After meeting in Vientiane, we’ll fly north to the rural city of Muang Xai for some fun cycling, nature activities, and incredible views. Next, an exciting river trip along the Mekong takes us to Luang Prabang, a true gem of Southeast Asia - A joy to explore by bike, and a great place for kids to get a taste of the far east.
We’ll see how silk is made, learn to cook a delicious Lao meal and cruise the Mekong River, in addition to visiting the wonderful UNESCO old town of Luang Prabang itself. With plenty of activities to keep everyone happy and family-friendly accommodation along the way, this is the ultimate Laos tour for the whole family.
Please Note - This tour is intended for families only. It is possible for us to schedule a private session of the same tour for adults, on request, at a nominal surcharge.
Peak Season: For tours commencing from December 23 through January 3 there is a peak season surcharge of 15% on the price of this tour due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
7 days duration
75 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
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For our Family Tours in Laos we provide perfectly maintained Cannondale CX3 bikes in all sizes for all ages. We have tag-along bikes for 4-6 year olds and child seats for younger kids. Helmets are supplied and we have a strong emphasis on safety.
Kids 12 years and under get a 20% discount. Kids 12 and under sharing a room with parents or 2 other siblings get a 30% discount.
The hotels we use are a great, and sometimes unexpected, part of this tour, with stylish and comfortable surroundings. All are exceptionally clean and well run and come with air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
Kids are well catered for on Grasshopper tours with a range of bike options to choose from. We have quality children's frames ranging down to XX-Small for those comfortable on a bike. For the less experienced tag-alongs are available that hook to the rear of an adult bike and allow kids to pedal along if they want, and for the youngest kids we have children's seats, so no one misses out on the fun.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is available for tired riders and to carry your luggage.
Amazing Lao meals are included throughout the tour. Lao food is an adventure in itself. The emphasis is on freshness and the use of a well balanced mix of vegetables. Meat is eaten not as the centre piece of a meal, but in harmony with the rest of the ingredients. Fish plays a big part in the Luang Prabang diet, while mountain dwellers tend to eat more root vegetables and poultry. In any case, there is something for everyone. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water is always available to keep you well hydrated.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
3 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 3 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
for Little Laos Family Adventure
Fly Vientieane to Muang Xai
This morning we will meet at the airport in Vientiane for a flight together to Muang Xai where our adventure begins. Once we have arrived at our family-friendly resort nestled in the protected forestry area along the Nam Kat river, you will have the day to explore all the resort has to offer. Take a dip in the pool surrounded by the stunning nature of Laos, or take a walk into the dense forest.
Muang Xai - First Ride
After breakfast we will get on our bikes for the first time and make our way around the historic Oudomxay region. If it is a clear day, the scenery out over the high mountains of Laos is spectacular. Once we’ve pedaled through the forest and by the Mekong River, the rest of the day is free for some family time by the pool.
Activities in Muang Xai
Let the active adventures begin! Today we start with a trek through the thick forests surrounding Muang Xai, heading further into the jungle and crossing rope bridges that stretch across rocky streams. On today’s discovery, we will come across bubbling brooks, clean waterfalls, and giant trees the whole family can hold hands and stretch around! A day full of family fun in the jungle before we retire to the resort for some pool time.
Bike & Drive to Pak Beng
Let’s get back on those bikes for the last morning exploration of our surroundings in Muang Xai. Pedal through small villages populated by a variety of different Laotian ethnic groups with the dramatic mountains standing tall in the background. We’ll transfer the next bit of road to Pak Beng before arriving at the Sanctuary Lodge on the banks of the Mekong River where we’ll spend the night. This lodge faces the Mekong Elephant Park that is dedicated to the protection of elephants. If you wish to immerse yourself further in the culture, take a shot at Lao cooking with the hotel’s regional cuisine lessons or bring the kids to see a traditional dance show put on by a local primary school.
Boat to Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang
From our riverside lodge, we’ll start off this morning with a boat ride down the Mekong which will provide interesting views and glimpses of local river life that will keep the kids entertained as we travel. After a little cruise down the river, we’ll disembark to explore the sacred Pak Ou Caves. Your kids can scout out these caverns filled with small wooden figures of the Buddha that make up one of the country’s most revered holy sites, this trip offers lovely views from the river and a glimpse of the spirituality of the Laotian people. Once we’ve made our way through the mysterious grottos, we’ll continue downstream to Luang Prabang.
Cycle Luang Prabang
We’ll start our day on a good note with a monk’s blessing to set the tone for our day of exploration. Once we’ve mounted our bikes, we’ll pedal to discover Wat Xieng Thong: Luang Prabang’s royal temple and one of the countries most significant monasteries. From there, we’ll saddle up again and cycle to the local fresh market where your guide will show you the variety of colorful fruits and veggies for sale.
After a snack, we’ll continue our ride to a lesser-known temple and then along a riverside road to check out traditional ‘sa paper’ making and distillation of the country’s famous rice wine: Lao Lao. From there, we’ll board a boat that takes us down the Mekong to explore traditional pottery, then cross back to the other side of the river to see how silk is made at Ock Pop Tock. Tonight we’ll gather around the table together one last time for a farewell dinner.
Kuang Si Waterfall & Tour Conclusion
Get the kids excited for a dip in the famous Kuang Si Waterfalls! This morning we will transfer to these falls that are famous for their turquoise color and idyllic surroundings, and we’ll have the chance to discover them for ourselves. We’ll also have the chance to check out the sanctuaries of Free the Bears: a not for profit organization that raises funds to rescue and rehabilitate captive moon bears. Kids will love to see what the bears are up to at this rescue center! Once we’ve had this last taste of Laos, the tour concludes and we can assist you with a transfer to the airport.
What's the Riding Like?
3 days riding
We aim for secondary roads wherever possible, but given that Laos doesn't have many primary ones to start with, we are somewhat limited in that regard. We place a strong emphasis on safety and the low number of vehicles on the road, which is consistent with the country's low population, makes cycling in Laos a relaxing experience. There is always a support vehicle on hand to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding.
Coolest time: Nov-Mar
Wettest time: May-Sep
Our favourite: Jun-Aug
The coolest time of year is from November to March with temperatures rising to a peak in April and May. With the arrival of the rains in June temperatures drop, with rain falling mainly in the afternoons in short, heavy showers. September is the wettest month, although tropical showers can still occur into October. November brings a return to drier weather.
One of the greatest joys of cycling is the feeling of immediacy with the natural environment and scenery, of which Laos has plenty! Although the summer months are wet, this rain brings incredible clarity to the air, making those views even more spectacular and great for photographing. Also the odd shower is a nice way to cool down during a hot ascent...
Create Your Own Date:
Don't see the date for this tour to suite your schedule? No problem talk to us about creating your own date. Provide dates that you would like to travel and as long as you are happy to open the tour to other people joining we can look into possibility of arranging a departure for the standard tour price - no markups!
1. You must have booked and paid your deposit for travel dates that are at least 3 months in the future. This just gives us time to promote the trip and find other people to join you.
2. Create Your Own Date for this tour applies for bookings of two or more people only. If you are a solo traveller we can do our best to get a group for the dates you choose but we cannot guarantee standard pricing until we achieve a minimum of 4 people.
3. This offer is subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule.
What our guests tell us...
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