Thailand and Laos cycling holiday
Description of Thailand and Laos cycling holiday
Cycling in Thailand and Laos snakes you through a vast variety of landscapes. This two-week trip starts and ends with the high-energy cities Chiang Mai and Bangkok, where busy working rivers and heaving night markets will keep you exploring till the early hours. But along the way, you’ll also get to escape into the Laos villages and mountains of Luang Namtha, where a 1,000-year-old way of life remains.
When you’re not cycling, there are some exciting ways to get you from A to B. A cruise from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang allows you to slow down and admire the peaks far above. And a mountain drive skips some tricky roads through Hmong villages. The final stretch is an adventure, too – you’ll leave the bikes behind and hop on an overnight train to Bangkok.
This Thailand and Laos cycling holiday covers good quality tarmac roads. It’s worth noting, though, that there are some tough climbs and long downhills thrown in there, making it a moderate to challenging cycling trip overall.
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Clients are encouraged to visit the Luang Prabang Bear Rescue Centre, which was established by the Free The Bears Fund in 2003 with the aim of rescuing the animals and educating the public about animal welfare issues. Most of the bears at the centre are Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs – it is likely that they were destined for use in the traditional medicine trade. Here our tour numbers benefit this project by supplying funds through donations and other purchases which go towards the upkeep of this facility.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through engergy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleA Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. During the trip we use separate leaders so that clients have a Thai leader in Thailand and a Laotian guide in Laos. This ensures that leadership skills and pay are not retained exclusively by one country and provides clients with first- hand knowledge of the culture, customs and history of the places they visit. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.
Accommodation & Meals:
We use predominantly locally run accommodation, which contributes directly to the local community as staff are locally employed and locally produced or sourced goods are bought for the accommodation benefiting the wider community. Where meals are not provided, clients are encouraged to buy locally grown produce and try the abundance of fresh food being made. For example, your tour leader will point out the best markets in Bangkok and Luang Prabang and will be able to advise you on which dishes to pick and what they contain.
Local Craft & Culture:
At Luang Prabang Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, clients have the opportunity to purchase fair trade souvenirs and handicrafts and to learn about their authentic methods of production. Through their livelihoods development program, ethnic minority artisans produce and sell handmade textiles, clothing, toys and accessories using handspun and natually dyed cottons, silks, hemp, bamboo and banana fibre. Currently, the program supports supplementary livelihoods for over 500 manufacturers and their families, primarily women, in 12 provinces of Laos.