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Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

The second part of my Laos cycling tour was heading into the mountains. Although the uphill cycling was exhausting, it was rewarded by amazing views.

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3. Day cycling 78km, Total ascent/descent: 986m/530m

It was a nice day to cycle and I saw some other cyclists as well eating at a restaurant. Half way i saw a sign greeting me to my destination. But Luang Prabang was still 140km away. Strange greeting.

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Later that day i wanted to rent a bungalow at a very nice place just beside the road but outside of any city. But it was booked out. The cycling tour from earlier reserved all the nice bungalows.

The hotel owners were very nice and supplied me with a tent, that i could place under a bamboo hut. I even got a small mattress, pillow and blanked. Luxury camping!

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A view hours later the cycling tour arrived and we had a nice dinner  together. I learned a lot about Laos from their guide Ken, who is a Lao nativ.

4. Day cycling 112km, Total ascent/descent: 3274m/2901m

O my god what a day. It was tuff! But also it was my foult. I missed the place where i wanted to sleep. But first look at those amazing views.

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The landscape from the top of the mountains was amazing and very rewarding.

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So i cycled through the town i wanted to sleep in and did not realize it because it was very small. I was probably looking for shops with water and not for guesthouse signs. Well normally i would have just cycle back to the town i missed but after that town the road went downhill for 18 km. A decent of more than 1000m.

Not the right picture but there was one with 18 km on it as well.

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Well of course i didn’t cycle that back up but what i did not know was that this town had the last guesthouse for the next 40 kilometers. So without knowing i cycled on. After some time without any shops my water depleted and i had no more bananas or any other food with me. I saw a town on the top of the next mountain. But it was another 15km and 700m ascent to that town. My mind was going a bit crazy. I thought about stopping a cars but i wanted to do it on my own. I had a guesthouse, water and food in my head all the way up. I stopped very often to check google maps just to realized that i have only moved a view 100 meters. I had my mind set on cycling up that hill so i did. No guesthouse to be found on the top of the hill but food and water. After i bought a bottle of water and some sweets to get my blood suggar up i stopped a car. I gave the driver some money and he took me the last 30 km to Luang Prabang. I have to say that car was in the worst condition possible. It took him 5 minutes to start the car. First he would try in the first gear than in the second and back to the first again. At some point it would work. The back mirror on the right side was gone and the doors would only open from the outside. Rollup the windows and but your arm out… Well we made it to Luang Prabang. And i was happy i did not have to cycle in the dark.

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It was a good decision to skip the last part with the car because i cycled 3274 uphill that day and i only had 30 more minutes of sun until it got completely dark. No road lights, nothing. It was just not save to cycle with my exhaustion in complete darkness.

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Well deserved rest day in Luang prabang ahead.

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Overall the cycling in laos was very nice. Good roads and easy to follow. Light traffic. School children shouting sa bai deeeeee (hello in Lao) and even giving me a high fives while i was riding by. I can really recommend Laos if you like to cycle in the mountains!

 

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