Friday

My Unforgettable Story to Untrammeled Stretches of Laos in a Cycle

When hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle . . .

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.

                                                                                               ~Arthur Conan Doyle

laos cyclingAdventure is in my blood. During my childhood, I often implored my father to take me for cycle ride in the cool mornings. He always supported me and kept all my wishes. When I grew up, I eagerly heard adventurous stories of mountain hiking and cycling from my elder brother. All these things induced the seed of adventure within me. Everyone used to call me a bookworm because I used to spend most of the time reading adventurous books and biographies.

After attaining maturity, I left home for adventures. After doing lot of research on various biking tours around the world, my first choice was exploring the cities of France, and then I visited the cities like Melbourne and Sydney. All the tours gave me pleasure but still I was missing something. One day at night I was browsing information about the places of Southeast Asia, and I discovered that Laos is one of the unexplored yet beautiful places for the backpackers. Some of the tour agencies were offering cycling trips to Laos and I just called one of them.

Laos: A Popular Cycling Destination


vietnam cycling toursI read about the country Laos in my geography book. It is a landlocked country preserving its rich culture and beauty. The mountains and the hilly roads offer great cycling adventures. I never felt this country can be so perfect for cycle rides. Though I have gone for numerous cycle rides to the countries like France, Australia and U.S.A, but there was a magnet in Laos that was attracting me. The silent mountain valleys and the lonely river banks call for adventure. It is true that Cycling tours across Laos are great and memorable.

Cycling Around Luang Prabang


My cycling ride started from Luang Prabang. The main city is located on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River. Our team started cycling among the busiest streets and first visited the golden monasteries and temples. I just loved the small monks who were playing in the near the shrines. I wish I could bring one of them to my home. We rode to the waterfalls and had a bath in the clear waters. It made us all energetic. Then our next destination was Wat Xieng Thong, which is an ancient pagoda built in 16th century. Traveling through the roads and villages, I saw wooden houses with decorative hangings of wood on the balconies. The locals sitting on the balconies waved hands towards us. The feeling was very nice.

Next day, we rode to Pak Ou Caves, which was north to Luang Prabang. We kept our cycles on the entrance of the caves and entered to explore the inner beauty. I was surprised to see the hundreds of miniature sculptures of Buddha inside the caves. Each and every statue reveals different postures. We enjoyed cycling in this place for 1 and half days; then we headed towards Vientiane.

Vientiane to Vang Vieng


I reached Vientiane, the Laotian capital in my cycle. It is located on the Mekong River bank. I found similarity of this place with France as it was a French colony previously. Our team visited the main attraction of this town, “the city of sandalwood” which is a huge Buddhist stupa. This stupa is popularly known as Pha That Luang. I previously heard about Wat Si Muang, which is famous for silk. I turned my cycle to this city and visited some of the silk garment stores. Our team stayed in this city for one day, and our next day journey was towards Vang Vieng.

I was excited to visit the limestone karst hills. There our team enjoyed kayaking and tubing in the relaxed weather. We dined in Hmong village. We loved the local food. We also climbed the limestone rocks. It was a great feeling to reach the top of the peak and view the entire city from that height.

Phonsavan to Bokeo Nature Reserve


My next trip was towards Phonsavan. I found it to be a good place to explore the American grasslands in a Lao style. I found the resemblance of this place with ‘Prairies’ where the cowboys move around wearing violet and brown cowboy hats. I wished to wear those dresses and click photos, but there was very less time. When I was leaving this place in the cycle, I got down from my cycle to see the Plain of Jars. Huge stone jars scattered all around the place. The place was quite mysterious because even a single inhabitant does not know the original cause of making these Jars. I wrapped up my journey with a visit to the Bokeo Nature Reserve.

wooden cottagesAs I love animals, I visited this wildlife park. Our team stayed in the wooden cottages. It was just a superb experience I have ever gone through. My Two-Day stay in this reserve was the best time in my whole trip. Our gang explored the entire forest and we met with the black gibbons. They were sweet yet massive. I also saw animals like elephants, bear, and buffaloes. Here I got some time to click pictures of the wild animals and the forest. At last, making an oath to myself to visit this place again, I returned to Luang Prabang.


I am proud to say that Laos is a country worth a visit. Though I have traveled to many developed countries, I never met such loving locals who were too much friendly with us. This country is quite isolated, but it became one of my favorite places. The mystic beauty and eye-catching landscapes lure me. Still when I turn the pages of my trip album, I find myself in one of the roads of Laos. Cycling tours to Laos were fantastic. I wish to go to this place again and again. Whenever I get a chance, I will surely say…Laos here I come!!!


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