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]