I'm in Luang Prabang, Laos, at the moment and in a couple of days I want to continue my travels towards Vietnam.
Is there nice scenery? Which route would you suggest from here? Is it safe to cycle by myself through Vietnam as a 25 year old blond woman?
Answers, tips & suggestions are very welcome!
I rode from Hanoi to Saigon with no problems, not even a flat!! From Luang Prabang eh.. .. not to sure, I would have to look at a map. The delta was epic flat beautiful scenery and pretty easy to get into the city. If you can I would cycle north to south for sure! We has a tail breeze most of the days and a sleight down hill for nearly the length of the country. Not to say there wasn't any climbing, I just remember passing cyclist heading north and really gad on my route. Let me know what other questions you might have!
I loved Laos, if I were you I would spend more time there instead of going to Vietnam, where the people are more busy and less relaxed.
But if you want just go North, beautiful countryside but heavy cycling and then turn right, there aren't many roads to choose from.
Good luck and happy trails,
I entered Laos coming from Northern Vietnam at Na Meo (Vietnam) /Xam Nua (Laos). Lots of mountains from Lunag Prabang to Xam Nua / Na meo. But very nice landscape on both sides. Try to avoid the vietnamese highways, they are no fun. Other than that, go with the flow and never watch back when cycling in the big crowds :-)
Hi, My sister and I rode from Luang Prabang north, to cross over the border into Dien Bien Phu. We were 25 at the time, and didn't have any troubles.
You can either cycle or catch a boat to Nong Kwai from Luang Prabang (it is a lovely cycle along the Nam Ou river, but the boat ride is great too). Then, we cycled from Nong Kwai to Oudomxay (110km, hilly!); from Oudomxay to Muang Khua (115km, much easier!); from Muang Khua to half-way (I don't know what the village is called, but there is a guest house you can stay in + good food - 70km hilly, dirt road, water crossings) then on to the Lao/Vietnam border crossing (~70km) and down to Dien Bien Phu (20km, smooth sealed road and a massive dessent - yay!).
The border crossing was open to foreigners in December 2010 when we crossed but as you will know, you must have your Viennam visa in order prior to arrival. The guards at Vietnam, especially, will be very excited to see you!
The road between Muang Khua and the border crossing was a dirt-road when we traveled, and took some time to cycle - sharp rocks require a slow and careful decent, silted sections required pushing, and water across the road required dismounting and careful crossing. However, there is beautiful scenery along the way, and a village + guesthouse at the mid-way point, so you can take a break and re-fuel. If you don't mind a little difficulty, I would recommend it.
Best wishes to you!
Thanks a lot for your replies! It's so helpful. I got those warning before about Vietnam being less relaxed.. It's a pity, isn't it?
I decided to book a boat to Nong Khiaw, from there I will cycle to the Nam Meo border. This way I will stay in Laos as long as possible. Thanks again, I hope I can help you next time with your cycling questions :)
It sounds interesting, good luck.
As of june 2016 the road from Muang Khua to the vietnamese border at Dien Bien is a good paved road all the way, a pretty though climb but with beutifull scenery and as mentioned above thers a village half way with a market, food and a guesthouse (though I didnt check if it was open).