Cycling The Gorgeous Countryside of Vang Vieng, Laos

16th Aug 2020
Photo of Cycling The Gorgeous Countryside of Vang Vieng, Laos 1/1 by Julien Mordret

My Experience Cycling The Countryside Around Vang Vieng

What can you expect exactly?

First of all, unlike many roads I traveled on in Laos, the Road 13 is in good condition and will not constitute any particular difficulty. The traffic is also pretty light on this road, but it's still important to be very careful because the Lao people are not always aware of safety rules when they are driving.

I have heard of a couple in my remote family who left for a very long trip in Asia, that was cut short because the woman got hit by a truck while cycling on the road in Laos, and had to be sent to the hospital (and back home).

The heat can also be a problem, and it's important to make sure your bicycle or scooter is in good condition, wear a cap and bring enough water.

Photo of Vang Vieng, Laos by Julien Mordret

Anyway, let's talk more about the fun stuff. I had already seen the most famous attractions of Vang Vieng such as tubing in the Water Cave, or jumping in the Blue Lagoon, that's why I wanted to explore the area a little beyond the basic touristic places.

My trip to Pha Tang following the main road was wonderful. The scenery just seemed to be even more beautiful after every turn. I made countless stops along the road, just to contemplate this scenery made of rice paddies with endless shades of tender green, with the typical hills and mountains in the background.

At some point of the trip, I started looking for a bit of relief from the heat, and found the perfect one! A little after the village of Pha Tang, there is a nice little place to relax in the cool and clean water of the river. After that, I treated myself to some well deserved sticky rice and chicken in the village.

Photo of Cycling The Gorgeous Countryside of Vang Vieng, Laos by Julien Mordret

The return trip was even more interesting. I decided to go off the main road, and that's where the magic happened.

I found myself cycling on dirt roads totally immersed in the rice fields, and I was inside the postcard.

This led me to explore wild portions of the Nam Song River, small villages with women doing their laundry in the crystal-clear water of a stream, and always these rice fields sometimes emitting a subtle and wonderful smell of rice heated under the tropical sun.

Photo of Cycling The Gorgeous Countryside of Vang Vieng, Laos by Julien Mordret

It shows that as often, it's when you venture into the paths less traveled that you experience the most wonderful moments.

I was back close to Vang Vieng at the end of the day, waiting for the sunset from the middle of a rice field, and went back in town to give my bicycle back before the shop closes.

I often hear of people renting a bike just to go where everybody goes. I think that on the contrary, renting a bike should be an opportunity to go where tours don't take you, and experience something a little more authentic by venturing deep into the countryside.

Photo of Cycling The Gorgeous Countryside of Vang Vieng, Laos by Julien Mordret

The route I followed is just an example among many possibilities, but hopefully this page can help you plan a nice cycling itinerary if you are planning to spend some time in Vang Vieng 🙂