Laos is extremely highly rated in the biking community, according to Robert Thompson of Far and Away Cycling, who is currently organizing his third tour in Laos.
Thompson says, "Laos is rated #1 among the top 25 destinations worldwide by the website "Ride The Road" (www.ridetheroad.com), and the reason for that is, number 1, it's a spectacular place. There isn't much traffic which is always an attraction for bikers. And it's a value for your vacation dollars, and the culture is interesting, and the people are great."
Thompson, who had previously worked as a financial executive for a big corporation, quitted his job and started his cycling tour business two years ago, after he went on a tour in Laos that was organized by a British company.
Besides Laos, Far and Away Cycling, of Arlington, Virginia(www.farandawaycycling.com), organizes tours to Spain, Slovania, and Corsica, and started its first Laos tour in 2004. The second one took place earlier this year.
Bob Thompson adds that his tour offers the cheapest price, about $1,000 for 17 nights in Laos that include homestays, which he says his clients really enjoy because they get to experience Lao culture at first hand although the accommodations are basic. The tour starts in Bangkok, which means participants have to pay for their own plane tickets from home to Thailand and back.
Thompson says his clients have been really pleased with the tour. Part of the real attraction of Laos, he adds, is that "the people are great. They are very friendly. The kids are always smiling. They may not have evrything that we have here in the U.S., but they are very friendly people, very welcoming, and we always have a wonderful time visiting the country."
Listen to our Lao Diaspora report for more details.