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Cultural Holidays in Thailand

Thailand Culture Holidays

Be prepared for heavy vehicle traffic and lots of poor roads with Dust prevalent. Cycling Laos is for strong cyclists more interested in getting from A to B than taking in the scenery, local customs and culture. I have done several Exodus cycling holidays and this was the most demanding (correctly graded) but least rewarding trip I have done. The trip would be greatly improved by a change from the key roads to more circular trips that can use the back roads. The very full distance and set sight seeing agenda means early morning starts, combined with late finishes leaving little time to dawdle or do anything other than go out to eat in the evening. Unusually, I was probably the weakest cyclist in this lovely group which meant I never had time to stop to take photographs or take in the views. After the day’s cycling and the transfers, by the time we got to the overnight stays (all of a good standard for this kind of trip) you barely had time to freshen up and prepare for the next day before you were out to dinner and then early to bed for next early start. There was little or no time to take in the delights described in the trip notes. The roads are misleadingly described as being “often to yourself” and does not mention the fairly constant presence of heavy lorries. When these lorries or other fast traffic combines with the deteriorating roads you will have to put up with the dust. Our trip was just after the rice harvest (in some areas there are two) and crop burning meant there was a constant grey haze (even after a full night of rain) obliterating the potentially amazing views of rural Laos. I would recommend you do not go on the late Feb departure and check current forecasts of the harvest time. If you are looking for rural rides and time to take in the scenery I would suggest looking at other trips altogether. All cyclists take note of the grading for this trip and, unless you are a strong cyclist, consider an e-bike.

Alan Carter Cycling in Laos

Having been on several Exodus cycling trips before this one, I found Laos disappointing as the roads are dominated by fast paced lorries supporting the building of the Chinese railroad and consequent trade. The lorries kick up a storm of dust as they pass you in both directions, and they have created bad road conditions and ruined the experience of travelling through rural villages. The trip notes, although revised just before our holiday, are misleading and do not tell the true story. Some of the bus transfers are long and hilly and windy. If you are prone to travel sickness, take your tablets. The days of Laos cycling nearly ruined the adventure for me, but there is so much more to experience. Maybe a change of location in Laos would be a good idea, perhaps staying closer to the first border crossing.

Les Foote Cycling in Laos

This was an excellent tour with so many happy memories. I still rate as excellent even though there was an issue with the e-bikes. Having said that, I have contacted Exodus about this problem and they have dealt with my complaint promptly and have a made a full refund for the extra cost of booking an e-bike for this trip which unfortunately didn’t work. If you are tempted by this tour please do book it. It is a long time time since I have toured abroad and now, at the youthful age of 55, I knew it was time to get out there again. I’m so glad I did. The group were fantastic company, all the trip guides were delightful and our overall tour guide, Rit, was someone you could put your trust in so you didn’t worry as you cycled along the roads an visited so may amazing places. You always felt safe as you explored these three different cultures.

Paula Veysey-Smith Cycle Indochina & Angkor