A Once-In-a-Lifetime-Trip! You will discover 3 exotic countries on BMW motorcycles in 16 days:
Amazing THAILAND / Unseen LAOS / VIETNAM timeless charm
This tour starts and ends in the beautiful area of Chiang Mai (Thailand) with its breathtaking scenery, 800 km north of Bangkok.
This BMW Motorcycle Tour provides an outstanding opportunity to obtain a thorough impression of the uniqueness of north Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. The selected roads are a mix of mostly rural two lanes with a variety of surfaces. During most of the tour, we will ride through areas of spectacular mountainous beauty – some of the best ridings anywhere in the world. We start riding east towards Chiang Rai and Chiang Khong where we meet the Mekong River for the first time. Crossing the border into Laos and ride towards Oudom Xai. Already during our third day of riding, we cross into Vietnam and visit the battleground at Dien Bien Phu. Heading north towards the Chinese border and the Phan Xia Pang, at 3143 meters tall, it is Vietnam’s and South East Asia’s highest mountain. Then we have a rest day in the pleasant and picturesque resort town of Sapa before continuing to the rice terraces at Nghia Lo. We’ll enjoy a boat ride along with the Limestone caves at Ninh Binh. And then we’ll enjoy riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Phu Mat. Once back in Laos we visit the Plain of Jars and continue to Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Crossing the mountains on yet another road less traveled to Pakbeng before returning to Thailand. We will ride in the less known mountains surrounding the province of Nan, which for centuries remained autonomous and cut off from the outside world. In every region during the tour, we will feast on the local Thai / Lao/ Vietnamese cuisine. During dinners, there will be western dish options available at most locations. Truly 3 countries and 1 million impressions!
Please be informed that this 16 DAY TOUR does include the arrival and the departure day, it means that we will be actual for 14 days on the road. The hotel on the arrival and the departure day is, of course, include the tour price. We run this tour only twice the year. Places are limited and in high demand. Please have a look at our tour dates section for further information. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.
|TOUR OPERATOR||Big Bike Tours cooperate with Bike Tour Asia|
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel, Chiang Mai (Thailand)|
|DEPARTURE TIME||The tour will start at 8.30 am the day after the arrival day.|
|RETURN TIME||The tour will finish after breakfast at the hotel on the departure day.|
|GEAR||We recommend bringing your gear to be the most comfortable. BUT we also offer helmets, jackets, gloves and knee guards (European high-quality brands in many different sizes). Please be informed, that we do not offer boots and trousers due to hygienic reasons.|
Please be informed, that our tours are fully inclusive. So you can completely focus on your holiday, the adventure, the riding, and unseen Laos & charming Vietnam. There are no hidden costs or other surprises – our tour prices are final. All is paid. Come ride with us – the real deal!
THAILAND – LAOS – VIETNAM – LAOS – THAILAND
(Distance: approximately 3,300 km / 2,050 miles)
Day 1. Chiang Mai, Arrival
Upon arrival, we will meet you at the airport and drive you to the hotel (recommended arrival to Chiang Mai, no later than 1 pm). At 3 pm we meet for a welcome briefing and motorcycle hand over at our Service Centre. Ride back to the hotel so you can get familiar with your motorcycle and local riding environment etc. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Hotel: Mövenpick Suriwonge
Day 2. Chiang Mai – Chiang Khong (Thailand) 300 km
In the morning we start our Motorcycle Tour of Vietnam Thailand & Laos. We ride in the eastern direction, passing the Doi Luang National Park, hot springs, etc. The first part will be on the main road, an enjoyable ride with nice twists and bends. In Chiang Rai, we will visit the White Temple, once of north Thailand’s main attractions. In the early afternoon, we ride along the magic Mekong River (mother of all rivers), which in this area makes the border between Thailand and Laos. We will meet the Mekong River often during our tour. Towards the end of the day, we arrive in Chiang Khong which is the destination of our first riding day. We park our motorcycles and enjoy the river view and Laos on the other side. Overnight in Chiang Khong.
Hotel: Teak Garden Riverfront
Day 3. Chiang Khong – Oudomxay (Thailand / Laos) 310 km
A bit earlier start today, the goal is to be at Thai Immigration when they open at 8 am. After clearing the Thai border formalities, we cross the Thai – Lao Friendship Bridge. On the Loa side our Lao tour guide greets us, helps us with the border formalities. The immigration- and customs procedures are always an experience. It simply just takes time, so relax, be patient.
Don’t forget! In Laos, we drive on the right side of the road! We have lunch in Luang Namtha and then continue the remaining stretch to Oudomxai. The road is quite good and the scenery is great as we are passing through a couple of villages, where it is time to stop and “mingle” with the locals. The first stretch of today to Luang Namtha is the main transit road between Thailand and China and normally has a bit more traffic. After lunch, the road is more provincial, with plenty of cures and villages. Part of this stretch is full of trucks due to the high-speed railway construction between China and Vientiane. Once the high-speed train is in service this part of Laos will change a lot, especially Luang Prabang. Overnight at a lovely resort in Oudomxai.
Hotel: Namkat Yorks
Day 4. Oudomxay – Muang Khua - Dien Bien Phu (Laos / Vietnam) 230 km
Our Motorcycle Tour of Vietnam Thailand & Laos continues in an eastern direction on low traffic density provincial roads to the Vietnamese border. The first stretch we ride along the Nam Phak River, enjoy the scenery. At Pak Nam Noy we start climbing up the mountains towards the Vietnam border. This is a remote area of Laos, the scenery is spectacular, not many villages. Not much is happening at the Lao / Vietnam border, said that it can still take some time to work through the paperwork. Our Vietnamese guide will wait for us at the Tay Trang border crossing and together we will ride to Dien Bien Phu. You will notice how things have changed once crossing into Vietnam, different landscapes, more people, villages, traffic.
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War between the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist-nationalist revolutionaries. We can visit the Dien Bien Phu Museum, the notorious hill
Hotel: Him Lam Hotel
Day 5. Dien Bien Phu – Sapa (Vietnam) 300 km
Today we have quite a long ride ahead of us, we will pass endless villages, with plenty of photo opportunities on our Motorcycle Tour of Vietnam Thailand & Laos. Toward the end of the day we start climbing up the mountain, the scenery gets better by the hour. After an early breakfast, we depart follow the NR12 to Muong Lay, then head up to Taphin plateau to conquer a scenic and stunning road through the Sin Ho Valley. We stop at the Sin Ho Market, which is more lively and crowded if we arrive early. We continue this less traveled road until Lai Chau and drive the winding road to Sapa with a photo stop at the O Qui Ho pass at 2005 meter from where we have a spectacular view of Phan Xia Pang, 3143 meters, Vietnam’s and South East Asia highest mountain. In Sapa, there are plenty of restaurants, souvenir shops and bars, something for every taste. Overnight in Sapa.
Hotel: Aira Boutique Hotel
Day 6. Rest Day in Sapa (Vietnam)
Today is a rest day. Sapa is a mountainous town in Northwestern Vietnam, blessed with a cool climate throughout the year. The Hoàng Liên mountain range dominates the area with a dramatic backdrop for many scenic treks.
There are many things to do in Sapa. You can do an optional ride in the area. Or you simply chill out. For a remote small town in northern Vietnam’s mountains, Sapa is surprisingly modern. It offers a great variety of gastronomic options – from local street food and Vietnamese specialties to high-quality Italian restaurants and wine bars. Not to mention the many local cafes that serve super robust Vietnamese coffee. If you are up to it, take the cabin to the top of Phan Xia Pang or simply just stroll around in the town. Overnight in Sapa.
Hotel: Aira Boutique Hotel
Day 7. Sapa - Nghia Lo (Vietnam) 245 km
With newly “charged batteries” our journey takes us in southern direction. We ride on good quality mountain roads to Nhiah Loh. During the whole day, we pass through endless villages and rice fields. There are countless photo stops and possibilities to “mingle with the locals”. The closer we get to Nhiah Loh the more spectacular the landscape becomes, especially the valleys with their endless rice terraces. The road is especially scenic between Than Uyen to Nghia Lo. We will stop at a monument on pass 1570 and viewpoint No1, take the opportunity and climb the watchtower. The view of the rice paddies is best from here. Overnight in Ngiah Lo.
Hotel: Dragonfly Nghia Lo
Day 8. Nghia Lo – Ninh Binh (Vietnam) 300 km
Today our Motorcycle Tour of Vietnam Thailand & Laos brings us south to the Ninh Binh province, passing Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
We arrive at Tam Coc, a small town, full of guest houses, coffee shops, restaurants, and souvenir shops (good opportunity to buy inexpensive Vietnamese handicraft), etc, once the ancient capital of Viet Nam, settled in the 10th century. We can visit temples of two dynasties of Dinh and Le with very unique architectures. Explore the local area by bicycle. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Hotel: Hidden Charm Hotel
Day 9. Ninh Binh – Pu Mat (Vietnam) 250 km
In the morning we board sampan boats (2 people share one boat) and drift down the river among the villages, beautiful mountains and lush rice fields. We pass through 3 caves (“Hang Ca”, “Hang Hai” and “Hang Ba”). Enjoy the peace fullness and watch the skills of the boat operator.
Once back on our motorcycles we continue our journey to Pu Mat. We follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Ca (big) river and arrive in Con Cuong town in the Nghe An province towards the end of the day. Most of today’s route is on good enjoyable low-density roads. Next to our hotel is a swimming pool with a bar, full of locals. Enjoy a swim and a beer with them. There is also a possibility to ride and visit a waterfall, paved road, totally 50 km return. Overnight at hotel in Con Cuong.
Hotel: Muang Thanh Con Cuong
Day 10. Pu Mat - Nam Can - Phonsavan (Vietnam / Laos) 270 km
Today we continue to the Nam Can border gate and check out to Laos. The last part of our riding in Vietnam passes through endless villages and just before the border we climb up the mountain range creating the natural border between Vietnam and Laos. We better be there on time. At 11:30 the immigration office will take their rather long lunch break. After the immigration process, we ride in direction to Phonsavan. You will notice the change in landscape and fewer villages once in Laos. We stay overnight in Phonsawan.
Hotel: Vansana Plain of Jars
Day 11. Phonsavan - Luang Prabang (Laos) 265 km
Phonsavan is home to the famous “Plain of Jars”, a megalithic archaeological site that we will visit in the morning – a must-see stop on our Motorcycle Tour of Vietnam Thailand & Laos. Then we will jump straight back to the twisties, winding our way northwest towards Luang Prabang. Some stunning mountain trails give way to a wide-open track through the beautiful countryside with remote villages along the way. Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, fading French architecture and stunning mountain backdrop has been claimed by UNESCO to be ‘the best-preserved city in South East Asia’. In the evening we will enjoy a deserved dinner in the old quarters of the town. Take the opportunity to visit the night market. We stay overnight in Luang Prabang.
Hotel: Luang Prabang View
Day 12. Rest Day in Luang Prabang (Laos)
As this is a rest day the day is totally at our disposal.
In the morning you will have the option to rise early to view the procession of monks on their daily outing collecting alms, a practice that dates back centuries. It is done early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk you make merit, which should augur well for your next life.
You may also want to visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. It’s possible to swim in the lagoon, so bring your swimming gear. A great way to get there is to take a local “Tuktuk”.
Another option is cruising a couple of hours on the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. If this is to long-time spent on a boat, enjoy a short sunset cruise on the river.
Once back in Luang Prabang you can visit the major temples, including the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers, and Wat Wisunalat, which is the oldest temple in the city. Another great optional activity is to sample a traditional Lao massage and herbal sauna. Along the walking street, you find plenty of antique shops, bakeries, bars, etc. After sunset, the night market takes off. Enjoy and have fun! We stay another night in Luang Prabang.
Hotel: Luang Prabang View
Day 13. Luang Prabang – Pakbeng (Laos) 280 km
In the morning you will have the option to rise early to view the procession of monks on their daily outing collecting alms, a practice that dates back centuries. It is done early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk you make merit, which should augur well for your next life. Once on our motorcycles, we start riding in southern direction to Xayaburi. The road heralds the start of a 170 km wild stretch of highway along steep ridges and around hairpin bends, with headlong views of rugged valleys and remote mountains as far as the eye can see. From Xayaburi we take the narrow and winding local road passing a couple of remote villages to Hongsa were we enjoy lunch. Last part of the day we ride to Pakbeng. Pakbeng is a colorful village situated at the junction of the Mekong River and the smaller Beng River, hence the town’s name ‘Pak’ meaning ‘mouth’ in Lao. The scenery is stunning, the pace is slow. The town is a transit point for many backpackers traveling by boat on the Mekong River between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai. Enjoy the view from the hotel’s infinity pool. Overnight in Pakbeng.
Hotel: Le Grande
Day 14. Pakbeng – Nan (Laos / Thailand) 220 km
Today is our last day in Laos on our motorcycle tour of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. The first part of the route takes us back in the direction of Hongsa. We cross into Thailand at Huai Kon border point. Normally the border formalities leaving Laos and entering Thailand are rather straight forward. Once in Thailand, we are in Nan province, one of the few remote areas left in Thailand. Enjoy the road 1081 south towards Bo Kluea. At Bo Kluea (salt well) we stop for lunch and visit the salt well where we will experience old traditional salt extraction. Back on the road, we continue a great windy and scenic road towards Nan, the capital of this province. For centuries Nan was a separate, autonomous Kingdom with few relationships to the outside world. Now, the city is a beautiful town with many well-preserved temples. For local bikers, the area is a treasure. Overnight in Nan.
Hotel: Nan Boutique Resort
Day 15. Nan - Chiang Mai (Thailand) 310 km
After breakfast, we drive from Nan in a western direction. During the last day of our motorcycle tour, we cruise once again hilly roads via Phayao to Chiang Mai. In Phayao we enjoy a nice lunch by the lake before we arrive back at Bike Tour Asia Service Center in Chiang Mai in the afternoon. Transfer to the hotel and get ready for our farewell dinner. We end the day together with our new friends, sharing good riding memories and looking at some of the pictures from our adventures. We will overnight in Chiang Mai.
Hotel: Mövenpick Suriwongse
Day 16. Chiang Mai, Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport (International Terminal) or stay and explore Chiang Mai and the surrounding area.
Most nationalities do not require a visa to enter Thailand for a stay that does not exceed 30 days. However, it is important to note that Thailand’s immigration regulations require that passports must remain valid at least six months beyond visitors’ intended length of stay in Thailand.
Furthermore, it is important to note that Thai Immigration authorities only grant a visa-free stay of maximum 15 days in Thailand if tourists enter the country overland (from Burma) rather than through an international airport. Hence, after returning overland from Burma, you will only be allowed a maximum visa-free stay of 15 days in Thailand.
VISA FOR LAOS
For Laos also Visa on arrival possible, same as it´s in Thailand. The Visa fee on arrival for Laos is about 30 US$ for 30 days (1,200 THB). We will, of course, support you with all the paperwork at the border.
VISA FOR VIETNAM
First of all, please note that today it is irrelevant whether you refer to Vietnam.
To facilitate the issuance of visas through a Vietnamese Embassy or Permanent Mission, it is best if persons with pre-booked travel arrangements submit along with their visa application a so-called “Visa Confirmation Letter” from the tour operator in Hanoi responsible for the tour arrangements. We shall obtain the visa confirmation letter and forward it to you. The confirmation letter implies that the tour operator is responsible for you during your entire stay in Vietnam and eliminates further questioning by the Vietnamese Embassy.
Please note that Vietnamese Embassies generally do not consider the exact travel dates but simply stamp visas valid for 3 months and entitling the holder for 1 single entry into Vietnam within these 3 months. Therefore, we will forward to you the visa confirmation letter approximately 1 ½ month before the start of the tour to ensure that the validity of your visa will extend beyond the length of your stay in Vietnam. Once you have received your visa confirmation letter, you should contact the nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Permanent Mission to obtain visas application forms, fill in the visa application forms in triplicate, attach one passport photo to each copy of the application form and enclose a printout copy of the visa confirmation letter with the application. Please refer to List of diplomatic missions of Vietnam for a list of all Vietnamese Embassies, Permanent Missions, and Consulate Generals.
REGISTRATION / DEPOSIT
Due to the cumbersome logistics involved with obtaining all necessary permits and border formalities, we must impose the following conditions for registration of your participation in the tour:
- The deadline for the latest registrations is two months before the tour start
- Confirmation of your participation in the tour will only be confirmed against the payment of 10% deposit (down payment) of total tour price.
- First come – first served: the date of receipt of your deposit (down payment) will determine whose participation will be confirmed first. We will not confirm participation in the tour before receipt of your deposit.
We shall guarantee the departure of the tour with a minimum of 4 bikers and shall limit the maximum size of the group to no more than 15 bikes.
With your registration for the tour, we also need the following personal data from you:
Family Name(s) – as per passport:
First Name(s) – as per passport:
Date of Birth:
Passport Issue Date:
Passport Issue Place:
Passport Expiry Date:
Please note that to participate in this tour, you must own a valid international driver’s license for motorcycles over 500cc.
For inquiries or in case of any uncertainties, please contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because we shall have to fully prepay all suppliers far in advance, we require your full prepayment of the tour (minus the deposit) by latest two months before tour start.
Please note that the following cancellation fees apply in the case that you are obliged to cancel the reservations for the tour at last minute:
If cancellation is received: Fee (in % of the total tour price)
60 Days to 15 Days 30% of Tour cost
30 Days to 8 Days 50% of Tour cost
14 Days or less 100% of Tour cost
We strongly recommend that you purchase individualized travel and/or medical insurance from any insurance company in your home market to prevent from having to incur any unexpected medical or travel expenses.
INSURANCE – THAILAND & LAOS
The motorcycles carry compulsory third party insurance according to Thai law but do not carry full comprehensive insurance as this is not available in Thailand for rental motorcycles. The tour participant, therefore, carries the maximum risk of 175.000 THB in case of total damage to his/her motorcycle. The participant is not liable for technical failure in the case of engine or gearbox problems nor for wear and tear.
INSURANCE – VIETNAM
The motorcycles only carry compulsory third party insurance for Thailand – not for Vietnam as our Thai insurance company’s coverage does not extend beyond Thailand. Consequently, the participant carries full risk in case of an accident, regardless of whether the accident is caused by the tour participant or by a third party. Please bear also in mind that in the case of an accident, the adversary will most likely not be carrying any insurance coverage at all. Hence, the tour participant carries the maximum risk of 175.000 THB in case of total damage to his/her motorcycle.
Against the surcharge of 9.000 THB, we offer limited comprehensive insurance cover with a maximum liability/participation of 35.000 THB (instead of 175.000 THB) for the participant in case of damage sustained to his/her motorcycle. For minor damage, we will collect the costs for repair at the end of the tour as it is easier to handle such minor cases on the spot. Tour participants who opt for fully comprehensive insurance cover will also have to deposit 35.000 THB in cash at the beginning of the tour.
It is also important to know that the participant is liable for damage caused to his/her motorcycle in the case of an accident caused by a third person. Third-party insurance in Thailand generally only covers bodily harm caused to the third party and does not cover damage caused to the vehicle of a third party.
THAILAND CURRENCY / CREDIT CARDS
American Express, Visa, and Master Card are widely accepted in Thailand. Cash payments are only accepted in Thailand’s own currency (Thai Baht). It is easy to exchange major foreign currencies into Thai Baht as there are official money changers at most touristic places. ATM’s can be found almost everywhere. Please do not bring Euro cheques as these can only be cashed at major banks.
LAOS CURRENCY / CREDIT CARDS
The best way to Laos will be to use Thai Bath over there. In Laos, Thai Bath can use and is accepted everywhere. 1 Thai Bath is about 250 KIP. ATM’s can be found almost everywhere.
VIETNAM CURRENCY / CREDIT CARDS
ATM’s are not yet widespread in Vietnam, and only major hotels and sometimes upcountry accept the most common credit cards such as American Express and Visa. At many places, however, credit cards will not be accepted at all. Hence, it is useful to bring cash US Dollars, preferably also in small denominations as many shops upcountry cannot easily provide change for a 100-Dollar bill. You may also want to change some foreign currency into Vietnamese Dong (VND) as the Vietnamese only trade in their currency. When paying for something small with US Dollars, the change will most likely be rendered in Vietnamese Dong (VND). This change, in turn, can be used again for buying a drink or for small tips, etc. Bringing traveler cheques is useless as only the Vietnamese Investment, and Commercial Bank (VICB) or the Vietnamese Foreign Trade Bank (VFTB) in Saigon would trade in these through cumbersome and time-consuming procedures. However, it is now possible to change US Dollars and even Euro into local currency at most airports and many other places. We recommend changing some Vietnamese Dong (VND) already in your home country.
Day 1. Chiang Mai, Arrival
Day 2. Chiang Mai – Chiang Khong (Thailand) 288 km
Day 3. Chiang Khong – Oudomxay (Thailand / Laos) 294 km
Day 4. Oudomxay – Muang Khua – Dien Bien Phu (Laos / Vietnam) 206 km
Day 5. Dien Bien Phu – Sapa (Vietnam) 295 km
Day 6. Rest Day in Sapa (Vietnam)
Day 7. Sapa – Ha Giang (Vietnam) 237 km
Day 8. Ha Giang – Lung Cu – Dong Van (Vietnam) 187 km
Day 9. Dong Van – Ba Be (Vietnam) 254 km
Day 10. Ba Be – Hanoi (Vietnam) 240 km
Day 11. & 12. Rest Day in Hanoi (Vietnam) 432 km
Day 13. Hanoi – Tam Coc – Ninh Binh (Vietnam) 117 km
Day 14. Ninh Binh – Con Cuong (Vietnam) 243 km
Day 15. Con Cuong – Phonsavan (Vietnam / Laos) 268 km
Day 16. Phonsavan – Luang Prabang (Laos) 267 km
Day 17. Rest Day in Luang Prabang (Laos)
Day 18. Luang Prabang – Hongsa – Chiang Klang (Laos / Thailand) 200 km
Day 19. Chiang Klang – Phayao – Chiang Mai (Thailand) 326 km
Day 20. Chiang Mai, Departure
2020 Tour Starts
| 24. May -- 08. June |
| 04. October -- 19. October |