Credit for photos 1,2,4,7,9,12,13,16,18,20 (from top to bottom of this page in numberical order), Tom Damek. Tom met Mad Dogs founder Humphrey on his bike ride across Eurpoe and Asia - and this section was one of Tom's favourite parts of his journey (from London to Singapore).
Elevation profiles produced with Ride With GPS and OSM.
When is the next edition?
This ride is only available to private groups. Get in touch and make it happen!
What is a Half Mad Dog Challenge?
The format and function is exactly the same as a full Mad Dog Challenge, however the daily distances are generally half that of a full challenge - approximately 75km to 110km for a day's ride rather than 150km to 210km. This is great for those who are new to long distance adventure riding, although more seasoned cyclists will also enjoy a more relaxed cycling schedule, with potentially more time to stop and see things - or relax in the afternoon. The large climbs should not be off-putting - just put it in a low gear and take your time; you'll be rewarded on the descent. If you run out of puff there's always the support van, although this will impact your certificate!
Can I pay a single supplement to guarantee my own room?
Yes, price will be confirmed on demand.
What is the terrain like?
This is a very hilly challenge, as described in the itinerary! Please see the elevation profiles above.
What type of bike should I bring?
A strong road bike would be fine although this is adventure cycling and if you're not good at watching the road for rougher spots, a fast tourer, hybrid or even a mountain bike may be better. This is probably not a ride for your all-carbon "Ferrari" of a road bike. Save that for Japan, Thailand or Taiwan! The road quality in China is varied (muddy in parts), in Laos it is a beautiful brand new road!
Where does the Challenge start?
In Pu'er, Yunnan Province.
Where does the challenge finish?
Luang Prabang, Laos.
How do I get to the start, and which flights should I book to get home?
Pu'er Simao Airport is served by China Eastern Airlines from Beijing, Kunming and Shanghai-Hongquai. It is served by Lucky Air from Kunming and Lijiang. For most people it will be most convenient to reach Pu'er with an easy transfer in Kunming.
From Luang Prabang, most useful routes are as follows. Bangkok Airways flies to Bangkok; China Eastern to Kunming; Lao Airlines to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Seoul, Singapore; Thai to Bangkok; Vietnam Airlines to Hanoi.
Do I need a Visa for China and Laos?
Yes, although these are usually simple to obtain. The Chinese visa must be obtained from a Chinese embassy, such as in Wan Chai, Hong Kong or through an agent such as CTS, which will save time queueing but will cost you an admin fee. The Lao visa is available on arrival to most nationalities (http://www.tourismlaos.org/show.php?Cont_ID=348), make sure you bring a passport photo and US dollars to pay (usually US$38 - any change will be given in Lao Kip. If you have a Lao Embassy nearby, acquiring a visa in advance will save time and "faff" at the border. In Hong Kong, the Lao Consulate is conveniently located on Queen's Road in Sheung Wan.