Here at Velo Vietnam we love to ride the thousands of kilometres of smooth, high quality tarmac on offer in this amazing country. Designing cycling tours for serious roadies is still our main gig. That said, we’ve never been shy about riding on rough or dirt surfaces in pursuit of new destinations and cycling fun, types 1 and 2 inclusive. As people unafraid of a bit of rough stuff, we’ve been delighted to see trends in the cycling world turn towards gravel in recent years.
Safe in the knowledge that cycling fashion had finally caught up with us, late last year we put some serious effort into making our dream Gravel-Road mixed surface adventure ride a reality. This 1700 km epic took us from Hanoi to Vientiane via Luang Prabang. After an air transfer to beautiful Champaasak, we rode back eastwards over the Annamite Cordillera and down to coastal Hoi An and Danang for a total of 24 000 metres of gain. Riding up one side of the mountainous spine that separates Vietnam and Laos and down the other is a uniquely satisfying thing to do.
This ride is at times grungy, but almost always spectacular and invariably fun. In terms of surfaces it has a bit of everything: from brand new hotmix to roads blocked by landslides and washed out by floods. It’s without doubt the most adventurous thing we’ve done to date, taking us into the deepest back country in both Laos and Vietnam.
Here we’ve put together a gallery of the less smooth parts of the trip to whet the appetite of gravel fans. We’re about to do this ride all over again – in some pretty famous company – and it will appear in our Vietnam and Laos gravel and road cycling tour offerings for 2019 and beyond. If you like to ride gravel and are up for a seriously challenging back country adventure in Vietnam, Laos or both, get in touch with us soonest to talk about a tour for you and your riding buddies.