Altitude Profile (935 ft to 2,690 ft)
This is a fantastic loop for the fit and adventurous. Part of it can only be ridden on a good quality mountainbike (my rental from Tiger Trail was perfect for this) and this ride should only be attempted by those with MTB experience.
The first main challenge is a steep climb (~300m elevation difference) up a small valley, starting @8.5km along my track. The climb is fairly constant in grade, but at close to 10% a serious effort is required. Once in the valley, the road flattens a bit but there are several steep pinches left. You will pass through several idyllic but very poor villages.
The dirt road ends in Ban Long (@23km along my track), where it transitions into an iron buffalo track. This, in turn, is replaced by a path, and this path contains the next two major challenges. First, there are two hike-a-bikes over large rock falls. Then, there is some seriously challenging decent that is fun for mountainbikers, but if you have no experience, it will turn into a long walk. The path eventually becomes a bit more gradual and you'll be rewarded with some glorious single track.
This single track is over too soon, but you'll be rewarded with the option to cool off in the pools of Kuang Si Falls (20,000 KIP entry). If you manage to arrive here early (I left Luang Prabang in the dark and arrived at 9AM), you'll have the pools almost to yourself. The ride back into town is comparatively boring, but mostly very easy with one manageable climb left.
N 19°53.347' E 102°08.021'
N 19°53'20.868" E 102°8'01.266"
N +19.8891300 E +102.133685
N 19°53.277' E 102°07.926'
N 19°53'16.677" E 102°7'55.56"
N +19.8879660 E +102.132100
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