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Vientiane to Vang Vieng

Yes its that time of the year again where it gets cold in vienna and although my new windproof down jacket helped a lot when i was on the bike in vienna, cycling from a to b, but south east Asia might be a bit more cycle friendly. A couple of months ago i read up on Malaysia and it sounds like a good place to discover. Also i wanted to go to northern Thailand. So why not combine both and cycle from northern Thailand to Malaysia. More or less… lets see.

So a couple of weeks ago i booked a flight to Bangkok and going back from Kuala Lumpur. Since then i noticed that there is this country called Laos. Laos? I have heard only good things about Laos. Its also close to northern Thailand and i have been in every country around it except China. Ok Laos just made it in my travel plan.

I thought about leaving my bike in Bangkok and discovering Laos in two weeks and than go back to Bangkok and fly to Chiang Rai. But that was too much flying for my taste. So i’ll start my bike trip in Laos and here i am now.


Vienna to Dubai – 5 hour wait – Dubai to Bangkok – overnight stay in Bangkok – Bangkok to Vientiane.

It was a lot and after that much traveling i slept for 10 hours until a call to my hotelroom phone woke me up.

Me: Hello?

Reception: Sir, breakfast.

Me: Breakfast?

Rezeption: Yes breakfast.

After some time passing by and me realizing that i am in a hotel: Oh thank you. First floor?

Reception: Yes.

Me: Kop chai!

That was the first time i got called to take my complimentary breakfast. Usually when someone does not arrive until the breakfast hours end he will simply miss his breakfast at the hotel. But i was glad. Had some nice ricesoup and tee.

After that i went back to my room and fell asleep instantly for another 3 hours.

The following two days i struggled with my jet lag and cycled around the city of vientiane a bit. To my surprise its a very small and sparsely populated city with just 850 000 inhabitants.

I went to the two most famous buildings and even saw some other cyclists.

fabi3780 fabi3796 fabi3791

For the next weeks my plan is to cycle in 5 stages to Luang Prabang. Stopping for a couple of days in Vang Vieng and then taking a two day slow boat drive to the Thai-Lao border over the mekong river.

So i started my cycling journey.

1. Day cycling

Stats: 70km, Total ascent/descent: 175m/167m

Cycling out if Vientiane was easy and quick but when you have cycled out of Hanoi everything after that seems like a pice of cake.

I stayed at a small and basic guesthouse in Phonghong.

Yes its hot, but the jungle is getting thicker. The trees give some cool shade.

2. Day cycling

Stats: 87km, Total ascent/descent: 612m/552m (total km cycled: 161km)

Back on the road the forrest was getting thinker and the hills bigger. It was a nice ride but more up and down than i thought. So it took me 1,5 hours longer to get to Vang Vieng than anticipated.

In vang vieng i immediately found a nice place ( Pans Place), had some lunch with a swiss couple and booked a early morning balloon ride.


Vang Vieng

The first time i was finally motivated to wake up early was for my balloon ride. I got picked up at the hotel at 6 o’clock. Some people already worked to get the balloon up in the air. It looked very cool and you could feel the heat of the flames. We where 9 people inside the basket, which was more than i thought it would be. But there was enough space. We watched the scenic sunrise over the mountains of Vang Vieng Province.


The Ride was about 30 minutes long and only cost 90$. The cheapest balloon ride i have heard of although the timepassed by really quick.

So i went back to the hotel to get some rest. Lazy day ahead.

On my second day in Vang Vieng i cycled a loop which is very famous. It has some lagoons and caves on the way.

The day was hot and the road was shit! Dirt road all the way. But the view was very nice.

Interested in buying a villa in Laos? It has a for sale sign at the gate.

When i went to the first cave i locked my bike around a papaya tree. Only crazy people would cut down a tree to steal a bicycle i thought. So i went up to the cave just to realize that i don’t have a flashlight with me and my cellphones flashlight was not sufficient enough. It was completely dark after a few meters inside the cave. Who would have thunk. Stupid me. So back to the road.

I found some shelter beside the road an decided to stop for lunch. In Vang Vieng you can get a sandwich everywhere for 1.25€ and it was realy good. Cheers!

In lack of a flashlight and no tourists around to help me out i decided to skip the other two caves and went strait to the lagoon. Only a few people where there. It was nice and quiet until two Germans and me decided to make some noise. Had lots of fun there and the water really was as blue as in the picture.

Back at the hotel i started planning my next cycling days

I have been looking on https://www.doogal.co.uk/RouteElevation.php for some time. Calculating how i can cycle the next days. There are some mountains ahed and i am not so sure if i am fit enough to cycle them. According to this site the next 228 km have a total of 4724m ascent and 4673m descent.

One thought on “Vientiane to Vang Vieng

  1. werner sagt:

    grüße dich fabian!
    ich lese mit interesse dein schriftliches und optisches „tagebuch “ .
    hab es gut und pass´ auf dich auf!
    lg aus dem kalten wien

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