Laos is one of our favorite destinations among Asian countries. The remote areas that are out of the modernization’s claws with rudimentary dirt roads invite every single adventure soul.
For first-timers, you may have difficulty finding a comprehensive guide as this country is unpopular. Fortunately, we have listed down the best Laos motorcycle routes in this article. Scroll down to learn!
Best Laos Motorcycle Routes: Must-Do Things In Laos
Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang Motorcycle Tour
You have two itineraries from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang and vice versa: West Route No.4 and East Route 13. We prefer the first option due to the shorter distance and better scenery. We reached our destination, 141 miles from our departure point, in about 3 and a half hours.
Our crew passed through the limestone mountains that rose from the ground and then poked through the clouds. The bluish-gray fog spiraled around the rocky outcrops and played hide-and-seek with the jagged peaks. When the sun embraced the roads, we admired the countryside at the foot of the forested mountain. Laughter echoed from the green rice paddies, and peaceful villages along the way made our day.
Our fellows with lionhearts took Route No.13. The winding roads with narrow bends satisfied their thirst for a thrilling experience. In return, it took them 5 and a half hours despite the shorter distance of only 114 miles. It would be best to try both paths for the first and second legs. We also recommend a 1 or 2-day stay in each tourist town before departing for the other.
We spent a full day at Vang Vieng, which was once a gathering place for drunks. Now the government transformed it into a wonderful tourist town to get close to nature. We roamed on dusty trails to crystal lagoons and mysterious caves. The fragile rope bridges gave us goosebumps but failed to stop our footsteps.
In Luang Prabang City, we loved delicious desserts at street food stalls. The bustling atmosphere stirred our adrenaline, but the gateway to the Kouang Si waterfall pushed our excitement to the max.
Jungle Road Trails Motorbike Tour
Like Vietnam, the terrain of Northern Laos is ideal for enduro riding. Starting in Luang Prabang, you’ll have a chance to head to many provinces, including Pakbeng, Oudomxay, Nong Khiaw, Muang Khua, or Phongsali, depending on your arrangement. The highlight of the trip is the trails through the mysterious jungles.
Landscapes change according to your real-time movement. Back then, we were overwhelmed by the Nam Ou River on the way to Nong Khiaw. A small ferry took us to the other side and continued on the dirt road leading to remote villages among lush rice fields.
After lunch, we pedaled to another ferry port to cross the Mekong River and reached Pak Ou cave. This stop is famous for the Buddha sculptures set in the vast cave. Religious tourist attractions were not our cup of tea, but visiting a temple in such a strange setting was still amazing.
Trust us; you’d better pay for a guided motorcycle tour to stay on the safe side. The jungle track hides a greater danger than you think – bombs that did not go off during the American War. Make sure you always stay in the marked zones.
Thakhek Loop Motorbike Trip
Adventure lovers who have been to Laos are no strangers to Thakek Loop. This route maintains its number one spot on the list of the 5 best things to do in Laos on a motorcycle. The quality of infrastructure improved dramatically in recent years, making it easier to explore striking karst mountains and rustic farms by motorbike.
The loop lasts about 270km, including a stop at Kong Lor cave. The straight main road is quite boring, but things have improved once you turn to the east. The winding streets around the towering mountains will delight your eyes. Enjoy the quiet path to the fullest to leave all ties of the painful past behind.
One of Thakek Loop’s standout stops is Kong Lor Cave, whose name means beauty in the dark. Leaving the trailer at the entrance, we booked a boat tour to enter another world. Stalagmites and stalactites tumbled from the high ceiling while we floated on the jade-green water. The green natural light reflected on the entire space, adding to the magical and mysterious vibe.
However, hiring an experienced guide and preparing a flashlight for smooth sightseeing is best. You should also plan your motorcycle tours in the dry season but avoid peak times due to low water levels.
Mountain Roads In The Northern Motorcycle Trip
If you want to try your hand at the narrow mountain trails, join in the Northern routes. When you enter from Thailand, your trip starts at the Huay Xai border. Or else, you start in Luang Prabang province and then creep through the remote countryside.
You know you are on the right track when ancient houses with large slits appear on either side. After that, ethnic minority villages on rolling hills gradually come into sight. That’s also when you should be on the lookout for the upcoming off-road challenges.
The twists and turns wipe away pleasure because you must focus on the vision ahead. As you climb up the pass, switchbacks and deep abysses send chills down your spine. Raise your guard against tight hairpins that obscure the view ahead. Do not speed up or perform careless riding behaviors even if the road is empty of other tourists!
Island Discoveries By Motorcycle
Although Laos has no sea border, it has a rich system of over 4,000 islands. This surprising feature belongs to the region of Si Phan Don in the south, where lies the great Mekong River. It is close to Cambodia, so you’d better take a motorcycle trip across the border for extra fun.
So why are these islands an ideal destination for motorbike tours in Laos? There is only one reason – the main area of Don Det possesses landscapes that are sure to capture your heart. Plus, tourism developed by hospitable locals commits to the most authentic experiences.
The exciting journey begins when you and your adventure bike board the catamaran and leave the mainland. Feel free to rent a wooden bungalow on the island’s edge, which only costs around $7-$8 a night.
Though there are not many stimulating obstacles on the way, the way to find the secret sceneries always promises a lot of fun. You will be at the top of the world when the roads open up to majestic waterfalls or the abandoned railway line from the French colonial era. When your legs become sore, lie in a hammock near the beach and listen to the waves.
We have introduced you to the best Laos motorcycle routes. If you have a long vacation, do not hesitate to combine these options above to take you to more exciting destinations. It is best to subscribe to our blog and discover extra adventure activities in this beautiful country. Also, other trips like Vietnam motorbike tours are also awaiting!