Laos Mountain Bike Tours
Choose where you sleep
After flowing thousands of kilometres from the Yunan-Tibet plateau in China, passing through Burma and Northern Laos along the border with Thailand, the mighty Mekong River goes through a sudden transformation just before it enters Cambodia. Hundreds of islands split the river into numerous channels, complete with raging rapids and thundering waterfalls.
The are on the Laos side of the border is known at Si Pan Don - or 4,000 islands. In colonial times, the French attempted to create a cargo route through the islands by building a narrow gauge railway across 2 of the islands. Goods were hoisted from boats sailing up through Cambodia from Vietnam and then reloaded onto new boats above the falls on the Laos side.
Nowadays the tracks have gone and the islands offer visitors a beautifully tranquil view of rural Laos.
On the South side of Si Pan Don in Cambodia, the river spreads out to become a massive wetland with thousands of sand banks that come and go as the water levels rise and fall with the seasons. Low human populations make this a lost, unspoiled wilderness and a haven for bird life. Pods of rare and endangered Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins inhabit deeper pools.
The Mekong Explorer is a sample day 4 adventure tour taking in the Mekong in all its glory, the ancient World heritage site of Wat Phu in Champasak, Si Pan Don, where the Mekong is at it widest, and the Ramsar flooded forests in Stoeung Treng (Stung Treng) Province, Cambodia.
On this adventure, there are opportunities - depending on the season and the water levels - to raft the rapids of Si Pan Don, to kayak in the flooded forests, mountain bike and trek thorugh rural countryside and villages.
Follow any of these suggested itineraries with a visit to the ancient, World Heritage, Angkor Wat and the enigmatic capital of Phnom Penh. See here for some ideas.