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Three Countries Motorcycle Tour in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos

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 part of the tour, you will ride through areas of spectacular mountainous beauty - some of the best ridings anywhere in the world.

Key information

  • Terrain: 97% paved road, 3% off-road
  • Bike: personal or rental bike (BMW F700 / 750GS / F800 / 850GS / R1200GS)
  • Mileage: 3000 kilometers / 1864 miles
  • Daily rides: 150 - 390 kilometers / 93 - 240 miles
  • Riding gear: not included: pants and boots (bring your own); available to rent: helmet, jacket, and gloves
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 13 dinners

Meet the guides

Pollawath, Kuldech, & Thaveesak
Read more

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Visit the battleground at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam
  • See the procession of monks on their daily outing collecting alms
  • Enjoy a boat ride along with the limestone caves at Ninh Binh, Vietnam
  • Have rest days in Sapa and Luang Prabang and explore the towns
  • Drive through different villages and climb mountains
  • Ride the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • 15 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


13 riding days in English
The organizer also speaks: Thai
Group size: Minimum of 5 participants
Airport transfer included: Chiang Mai International Airport
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Accommodation

Your accommodations during this tour are carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities. Below are the accommodations where you will spend the nights. Please note that the following are subject to change.

  • The Marndadee in Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Khong Teak Garden Riverside in Chiang Khong
  • Namkat Yorla in Oudomxai
  • Muong Thanh in Dien Bien Phu
  • Aira Boutique Hotel in Sapa
  • Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in Old Bagan
  • Mientay Hotel in Nghia Lo
  • Hidden Charm Hotel in Ninh Binh
  • Khách sạn Mường Thanh Grand in Pu Mat
  • Vansana Plain of Jars Hotel in Phonsavan
  • Luang Prabang ViewHotel in Luang Prabang
  • Le Grande in Pak Beng
  • Nan Boutique Resort in Nan
  • Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel in Chiang Mai

Program

Day 1: Chiang Mai

Upon arrival, Bike Tour Asia will meet you at the airport and drive you to the hotel (recommended arrival to Chiang Mai, no later than 1:00 p.m.). At 3:00 p.m. you will meet up for a welcome briefing and motorcycle hand over at the service centre. Ride back to the hotel so you can get familiar with your motorcycle and local riding environment, etc. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Day 2: Chiang Mai - Chiang Khong (300 kilometres / 186 miles)

In the morning, start your motorcycle tour of Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. You will 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, you will visit the White Temple, once of north Thailand main attractions. In the early afternoon, ride along the magic Mekong River (mother of all rivers), which in this area makes the border between Thailand and Laos.

You will meet the Mekong River often during the tour. Towards the end of the day, you will arrive in Chiang Khong which is the destination of your first riding day. Park your motorcycles and enjoy the river view and Laos on the other side. Overnight in Chiang Khong.

Day 3: Chiang Khong - Oudomxai (310 kilometres / 193 miles)

A bit earlier start today, the goal is to be at Thai Immigration when they open at 8:00 a.m. After clearing the Thai border formalities, you will cross the Thai - Lao Friendship Bridge. On the Lao side your Lao tour guide will greet you and helps you 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 that in Laos, you will drive on the right side of the road! You will have lunch in Luang Namtha and then continue the remaining stretch to Oudomxai.

The road is quite good and the scenery is great as you are passing through a couple of villages, where 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 curves 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.

Day 4: Oudomxai - Dien Bien Phu (230 kilometres / 143 miles)

The tour continues in an eastern direction on low traffic density provincial roads to the Vietnamese border. For the first stretch, you will ride along the Nam Phak River and enjoy the scenery. At Pak Nam Noy you will 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. Your Vietnamese guide will wait for you 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 landscape, 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.

You can also visit the Dien Bien Phu Museum, the notorious hill A-1 battlefield, the former French command post and a captured tank. Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.

Day 5: Dien Bien Phu - Sapa (300 kilometres / 186 miles)

Today you will have quite a long ride ahead of you. You will pass endless villages, with plenty of photo opportunities. Toward the end of the day you will start climbing up the mountain, the scenery gets better by the hour.

After an early breakfast, you will depart following the NR12 to Muong Lay, then head up to Taphin Plateau to conquer a scenic and stunning road through the Sin Ho Valley. Stop at the Sin Ho Market, which is more lively and crowded if you arrive early.

Continue this less travelled 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 you will 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.

Day 6: Sapa (rest day)

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 specialities 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.

Day 7: Sapa - Nghia Lo (245 kilometres / 152 miles)

With newly charged batteries your journey takes will you to the southern direction. You will ride on good quality mountain roads to Nhiah Loh. During the whole day, you wil pass through endless villages and rice fields.

There are countless photo stops and possibilities to mingle with the locals. The closer you 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. You will stop at a monument on pass 1570 and viewpoint No 1; take the opportunity and climb the watchtower. The view of the rice paddies is best from here. Overnight in Ngiah Lo.

Day 8: Nghia Lo - Ninh Binh (300 kilometres / 186 miles)

Today the tour brings you south to the Ninh Binh province, passing Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. 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.

It was once the ancient capital of Vietnam, settled in the 10th century. You can visit temples of two dynasties of Dinh and Le with very unique architectures. Explore the local area by bicycle. Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 9: Ninh Binh - Pu Mat (250 kilometres / 155 miles)

In the morning you will board sampan boats (two people sharing one boat) and drift down the river among the villages, beautiful mountains, and lush rice fields. You will pass through three caves (“Hang Ca”, “Hang Hai” and “Hang Ba”). Enjoy the peacefullness and watch the skills of the boat operator.

Once back on your motorcycles, continue your journey to Pu Mat. 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 your hotel is a swimming pool with 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 kilometres return. Overnight at hotel in Con Cuong.

Day 10: Pu Mat - Nam Can - Phonsavan (270 kilometres / 168 miles)

Today you will continue to the Nam Can border gate and check out to Laos. The last part of your riding in Vietnam passes through endless villages and just before the border you will climb up the mountain range creating the natural border between Vietnam and Laos.

You better be there on time. At 11:30 a.m., the immigration office will take their rather long lunch break. After the immigration process, you will ride in direction to Phonsavan. You will notice the change in landscape and fewer villages once in Laos. Stay overnight in Phonsawan.

Day 11: Phonsavan - Luang Prabang (265 kilometres / 165 miles)

Phonsavan is home to the famous “Plain of Jars”, a megalithic archaeological site that you will visit in the morning - a must-see stop on this tour. Then you will jump straight back to the twisties, winding your 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 the UNESCO to be ‘the best-preserved city in South East Asia’.

In the evening, enjoy a deserved dinner in the old quarters of the town. Take the opportunity to visit the night market. Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 12: Luang Prabang (rest day)

As this is a rest day the day is totally at your own 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 tuk tuk. Another option is cruising couple of hours on the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. If this is too long time spent on a boat, enjoy a short sun set 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 sun set the night market takes off. Enjoy and have fun! Stay another night in Luang Prabang.

Day 13: Luang Prabang - Pakbeng (280 kilometres / 174 miles)

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 your motorcycles, you will start riding in southern direction to Xayaburi. The road heralds the start of a 170 kilometres 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, take the narrow and winding local road passing a couple of remote villages to Hongsa where you will enjoy lunch. Last part of the day is the ride to Pakbeng. Pakbeng is a colourful 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 travelling by boat on the Mekong River between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai. Enjoy the view from the hotel's infinity pool. Overnight in Pakbeng.

Day 14: Pakbeng - Nan (220 kilometres / 137 miles)

Today is your last day in Laos for this tour. The first part of the route takes you back in the direction to Hongsa. Cross into Thailand at Huai Kon border point. Normally the border formalities leaving Laos and entering Thailand are rather straight forward.

Once in Thailand, you 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) you will stop for lunch and visit the salt well where you will experience old traditional salt extraction.

Back on the road, 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.

Day 15: Nan - Chiang Mai (310 kilometres / 193 miles)

After breakfast, you will drive from Nan in a western direction. During the last day of your motorcycle tour, you will cruise once again the hilly roads via Phayao to Chiang Mai. In Phayao you will 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 hotel and get ready for your farewell dinner. End the day together with your new friends, sharing good riding memories and looking at some of the pictures from your adventures. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Day 16: Chiang Mai (departure)

Today you will be transferred to Chiang Mai International Airport.

Bike rental deposit

Bike Tour Asia requires a security deposit by credit card authorization (Visa or MasterCard only) or cash. The deposit for F700 / 750GS is 1500 USD, 1700 USD for F800 / 850GS, and 2500 USD for R1200GS.

Skill level(s) required for this tour: intermediate

Intermediate:

  • can ride for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Guides

Pollawath Leelawattanakul

Kuldech Prasertklin

Thaveesak Jaisiri

Location

You will start riding east towards Chiang Rai and Chiang Khong where you will meet the Mekong River for the first time. Cross the border into Laos and ride towards Oudom Xai. Already during your third day of riding, you will 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 you will have a rest day in the pleasant and picturesque resort town of Sapa before continuing to the rice terraces at Nghia Lo.

Enjoy a boat ride along with the limestone caves at Ninh Binh. And then you'll enjoy riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to Phu Mat. Once back in Laos, visit the Plain of Jars and continue to Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

You will the mountains on yet another road less traveled to Pakbeng before returning to Thailand. You will ride in the less known mountains surrounding the province of Nan, which for centuries remained autonomous and cut off from the outside world.

Food

You will be served daily breakfast, 12 lunches, and 13 dinners throughout the tour. Water, soft drinks, coffee / tea in connection with the meals are also included.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Sapa

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 specialities 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.

Luang Prabang

  • Giving alms to the monks in the early morning
  • Visit the night market
  • Wat Xieng Thong
  • Wat Wisunalat
  • Walk up Mount Phousi

What's included

  • Airport / hotel / Bike Tour Asia’s Service Center transfers in Chiang Mai during arrival and departure day
  • 15 nights with breakfast at carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities
  • 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • Water, soft drinks, coffee / tea in connection with the meals
  • Late model BMW GS motorcycle rental with unlimited mileage and fuel
  • Panniers and top box if desired, basic motorcycle crash protection bars, etc.
  • Motorcycle damage and loss coverage, see details under “terms & conditions”
  • Experienced tour leader on a motorcycle
  • English speaking licensed tour guide
  • Support vehicle
  • Transfer of luggage in the support vehicle
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour description
  • Bike Tour Asia t-shirt and pannier bag
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Laos and Vietnam Permit, all related expenses including tour guide, additional support vehicle, tourist police, third party liability insurance (according to legal requirement), etc.

What's not included

  • Flights
  • On rest days, if any, no lunch or dinner included
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Riding gear (helmet, jacket, and gloves available to rent; recommended to bring your own pants and boots)
  • All services not mentioned as included and all items of a personal nature
  • Optional motorcycle loss / damage waiver
  • Laos visa (30 to 40 USD depending on nationality)
  • Vietnam visa (30 to 40 USD depending on nationality)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Transfer from and to the airport is included in the price. Bike Tour Asia will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Chiang Mai International Airport Airport transfer included: Chiang Mai International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
16 days / 15 nights
from --
Pricing information

Please note that prices listed below are based on a group of five riders. For less riders, please contact Bike Tour Aisa for information about the price.

A Single Room option is also available for an additional cost of 840 USD per person.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 5 participants

Sunday October 17, 2021
(16 days / 15 nights)

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