The
hanoi to
bangkok adventure

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Day 1

The Mad Dogs check into the hotel in the Old Town for a briefing on the next day's action before many will head into the old city's maze of tiny streets for some superb local food.

 

 

Day 2

195km

HanoiTinh Gia

The early start means the usually hectic streets are much quieter and you'll soon find yourself outside the city, following the railway tracks south. You have the best seat in the house for seeing real Vietnamese daily life and the road is lined with tempting stalls squeezing fresh sugar cane or pouring the contents of huge green coconuts over ice.

 

Elevation:+ 458 / - 470 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-56m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 3

182km

Tinh GiaSon Kim

The route continues south in the morning before turning inland in the afternoon, towards the mountains. It's amazing how many imposing and impressive cathedrals were built in the countryside here by the colonial French government. There are some stunning hills towards the end of the day, and you'll finish in a hot spring resort. The water is very hot, but really soothing if you ease yourself in very slowly!

 

Elevation:+ 713 / - 656 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-113m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 4

150km

Son KimBan Thangbeng (near the Mekong River)

The day begins with an enormous 16.5km climb up to the border pass with Laos. There are absolutely stunning views on the way up and at the top, there's a cafe which serves delicious Vietnamese coffee! You'll head through the border formalities before being unleashed on Laos. The roads are quieter and the pace of life is noticeably sleepier I this landlocked country. You'll pass mountain rivers (it takes willpower not to join the children for a swim) and sleepy villages as you climb and descend gentle hills - with another large climb in the afternoon.

 

Elevation:+ 2367 / - 2271 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 64-670m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 5

198km

Ban Thangbeng (near the Mekong River)Sakhon Nakhon

The land will pay back some of its altitude debt today and you will enjoy some delicious descents through the deep greenery. More forgotten villages are passed and if you see a stand with a blender be sure to stop - they'll whiz you up a delicious ice smoothie! The mountains give way to a large flat which is populated by gigantic karst mounts. You'll then cross the Third Friendship Bridge into Thailand where the roads are superb quality. There is a vibrant night market opposite the hotel in the evening; the pad thai is highly recommended!

 

Elevation:+ 728 / - 726 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 137-192m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 6

175km

Sakhon NakhonMaha Sarakham

The day opens with a satisfying climb up winding roads into the forest. There is a pleasant descent, but the road lingers up and down gently for much of the day which is very satisfying. The roads are a bit wider than you were used to in Laos, but the surface quality is superb and you will still have a front row seat to see the country unfold in front of you. We take a small, winding route into the Maha Sarakham, which includes 2km of gravel path. We think it's worth it to see some utterly stunning countryside. This can be avoided by taking a different, more boring route should you wish.  The day finishes in a vibrant small Thai town.

 

Elevation:+ 954 / - 961 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 141-493m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 7

180km

Maha SarakhamNon Sung

You’ll head deeper into Thailand's countryside today - you can’t fail to notice how the cows’ enormous ears make them look like giant rabbits - or bovine versions of Dumbo the elephant!

 

Elevation:+ 512 / - 510 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 145-220m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 8

170km

Non Sung DistrictKabinburi

Another day spent enjoying the sounds and smells of this enchanting and unique country. It’s sometimes too tempting not to stop for an ice-cold smoothie at one of the small stalls which line the road. Grilled chicken and other quintessential Thai snacks offer similar temptation. The road gives up some more its altitude later in the day with a splendid downhill coast.

 

Elevation:+ 977 / - 1119 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 14-473m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 9

170km

KabinburiBangkok

The road becomes a bit busier today - which is a reason to get excited as you draw closer to securing your goal. The afternoon will see you finally, gloriously, drawing into the streets of the Thai capital, and what better place to celebrate this absolutely extraordinary achievement?!

 

Elevation:+ 464 / - 470 m

Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-62m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day10

You may wake up slightly rusty, after eight days of adventure cycling through 3 countries followed by a Bangkok-style celebration. But this will be all made bearable by the fuzzy sense of achievement. You can sleep on the aeroplane if you’re flying home today!

Info

 What are the dates for the next edition?

 

Only available for private commission. Please contact us on [email protected]

 

How much is the single supplement? (Note you will only need to pay this if you do not want to be paired with (an)other rider(s) of the same sex.)

Price on enquiry - approx US$250

 

What is the terrain like?

The route through Vietnam is mostly flat, until a monumental 16.5km climb up to the Laos border. Laos itself has gentle hills most of the way, and Thailand has gentle hills as well as some flat parts.

 

What are the roads like?

The roads in Vietnam are generally good quality however there is a 90km stretch at the end of day 1 and the start of day 2 where there were road works during the research ride in May. Hopefully these will have finished by the challenge, although the road was still useable. The roads in Laos are of an acceptable quality and in Thailand the road surface is generally excellent.

 

What type of bike should I use?

We think a touring bike or hybrid would be most ideal for this ride. It would be possible to attempt the challenge with a road bike however you would want to be exceptionally careful during rougher road periods in Vietnam, and ensure your bike is equipped with strong tyres.

 

Where does the Challenge start?

The Hoa Binh Palace Hotel (subject to change), which is located in the Old Town of Hanoi. 

 

How do I get home after the challenge?

Bangkok's two main airports Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang are extremely well connected in terms of both budget and full-service carriers. Check out the destinations and airlines here and here respectively. Your bicycle in its box will happily fit inside a large Bangkok taxi.

 

What about the military coup?

We were in Thailand as the coup broke and the only thing we noticed were a few soldiers giving us a "thumbs up" by the side of the road at a checkpoint. While we do not believe the military coup poses any particular danger over the ordinary situation (in fact it means that there are no political riots between opposing political factions in the capital). It is however important to ensure you are are aware of the situation, avoid political activities, and that your insurance is not invalidated by any travel warnings.  You may like to check out the FCO guidance on Thailand.

 

Do I need a Visa for Vietnam, Laos and Thailand? 

Some nationalities, such as British, no longer need a visa, so long as you have not visited Vietnam in the past 30 days. If you need a visa, you need to obtain a it in advance. The consulate in HK is located in Wanchai and getting the visa is very straightforward. Visa on arrival does not apply. It normally takes 3 working days but you can get same day rush service.

Although it is possible to get visa on arrival at the Nam Phao border into Laos, it is by far easier to obtain a visa in advance. This means that your crossing of the border in the middle of a challenging day will be faster - and you will not need to worry about having the requisite amount of US$. The only currencies that are accepted at the border's bureau de change are VND, THB and USD. The consulate in HK is located in Sheung Wan.

Most nationalities do not require a visa to enter Thailand - you may refer to this list. If you are in doubt about this please contact us.

Vietnam: 15/F, Great Smart Tower, 230 Wanchai Road. www.vietnamconsulate-hongkong.org/eng tel 852 25914517 [email protected]

Laos: Room 1402, Arion Commercial Centre, 2-12 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan. tel 852 2544 1186 [email protected]