17 Days ride in Laos

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by lipmeng, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Dear all

    I'm now planning to ride in Laos for 17 days from 6/2/09 till 22/2/09 with my riding buddy who is on a Kawa Versys 650.

    The intended route of the trip will be as follows:-

    Day 1 - Ipoh(M'sia) - Hatyai - (train) - Nakhon Pathom/BKK

    Day 2 - Nakhon Pathom - CNX (if unable to confirm train - passengers & bikes from BKK to CNX)

    Day 3 - CNX (free day)

    Day 4 - CNX- Chiang Khong

    Day 5 - Chiang Khong - Houei Xai (via ferry) - Laung Namtha

    Day 6 - Laung Namtha - Boten

    Day 7 - Boten - Oudom Xai - Luang Prabang

    Day 8 - Luang Prabang (free day)

    Day 9 - Luang Prabang - Viang Vieng

    Day 10 - Viang Vieng - Vientianne

    Day 11 & 12 - Vientiane (free day)

    Day 13 - Vientiane - Nong Khai - Khon Kean - BKK

    Day 14 - BKK (free day)

    Day 15 - BKK- Hua Hin - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Chumphon

    Day 16 - Chumphon - Surat Thani - Patthalung - Hatyai

    Day 17 - Hatyai - Ipoh (M'sia)

    I will be most obliged if any of the members can provide some advice & info regarding the intended route mentioned above.

    Particularly in Laos such as:-
    - common problems by customs & immigration of Laos counterpart at border crossing via ferry @ Chiang Khong;
    - road conditions in Laos (especially accident prone area) as I intend to stay on main roads;
    - any area in Laos that I need to be extraordinary cautious due to
    security/safety issues;
    - places where I will face dificulties in filling up my petrol;
    - recommended places to stay overnight;
    - places of interest that one must see;
    - any others.



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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Here is my trip report from when I went to Laos last January. Laos the EZ Way. There are a number of other reports in this section that should answer most your questions.

    There are no more safety issues to be concerned about than traveling in Thailand. Just watch out for the other drivers, fortunately in Laos there are fewer of them, and the pigs and other animals crossing the roads.

    Fuel is not a problem to find. Recent reports from other riders have commented that Customs and Immigration have become very "customer friendly" lately and have had little problem. Just make sure you have your bike ownership papers with you. When you enter Laos, near customs is a small office where you need to purchase insurance for Laos. Not expensive.

    ALSO WATCH YOUR planning dates for crossing at Chiang Khong. Customs is closed on weekends. You must cross on FRIDAY or MONDAY!

    Personally, I wouldn't stay in Boten. It is not far from Luang Nam Tha and you may as well keep riding to at least Oudomxay. Vientiane to BKK in ONE day? I don't think it is possible. Don't forget to allow time for clearing Immigration and Customs, there are sometimes long lines also. I would use the free day you plan in Vientiane to cross over to Nong Khai late afternoon, then get an early start from Nong Khai.

    Others may answer more of your questions, I can only say that it is not difficult any longer and you should have a good time. Just TAKE YOUR TIME and enjoy and don't try to stick to too tight a schedule.

    Oh yeah, be sure you have some warm riding gear. It can get very cold, especially through the mountains, this time of year.
  4. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Thanks Dave for your info .

    I still have slightly more than a month to plan the route. Nevertheless, I will be flexible on the schedule as the number of days should be sufficient to cover the trip although my intended trip includes MHS Loop whereby I need 25 days (unfortunately I can't get that sort of long leave from my employer as I just returned from north Thailand last month for 17 days holiday).

    Looking forward to ride up north again and meet some of you GT guys at the kafe this coming Feb.


    Lip Meng
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    1. Fuel no problem.

    2. Not enough time in Luang Prabang.

    3. Boten is only good for the casino & "chinese." I recommend o/night in Oudom Xai, or get an early start & do LNT - Boten - Oudom Xai - Luang Prabang in a day. Should be easy. This gives you another day in Luang Prabang. Or you could go LNT-Boten-Oudom Xai-Nong Khiew.
    Nong Khiew is a fantastic pristine spot on the Nam Ou river & is only 2 hrs out of Luang Prabang. Over night in Nong Khiew for the experience - lights out at 9PM, but next day you will be in LPQ before mid-day to have more time to enjoy that totally wonderful world heritage town.
    Vte -Bkk is doable in a day alright.

    And to be honest I'd skip out the MHS loop, give yourself more time in Laos - LPQ.
    Mae Hong Son you can do anytime - fly into Cnx, rent a bike & ride around the loop in 3-4 days easy. A nice break from work!

    The recommended GT Rider spots in Laos are here
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t2057.html

    Photos of roads & places from my 3-weeks October 08 trip
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorc ... t4496.html
  6. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Thanks alot David

    Yes, I also thought (most certain in fact) of flying down again somewhere late April or early May for 6- 7 days and ride again to MHS on a rented bike. I really like CNX........most ideal place for my early retirement.

    I will revise the plan and see how it goes.

    By the way, how is the road conditions...i mean the road surface especially the part from Kasi to Viang Veng and to Vientiane. I view a ride report posted in the m'sian bikers website (Superbikermalaysia.com) regarding their recent ride which was Nov 08 and observed that the roads are pretty bad.

    Looking forward to see you again in CNX soon.


    Lip Meng
  7. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    my 2 cents

    Day 5 - Chiang Khong - Houei Xai (via ferry) - Laung Namtha

    Day 6 - Laung Namtha - Nong Khiaw

    Day 7 - Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang

    Day 8 - Luang Prabang (free day)

    Day 9 - Luang Prabang - Viang Vieng

    Day 10 - Viang Vieng - Vientianne

    Day 11 & 12 - Vientiane (free day)
  8. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    I think road condition is really subjective. What is bad to some is OK to others. There are no "100% perfect roads". The main thing is that they all CAN be ridden and should not create a problem for your planned trip.

    I also agree with Jimoi's suggestion. As you saw in my report, Nong Khiaw is probably one of my favorite places in Laos. If you can include that in your ride I think you will be very pleased.
  9. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Hi mates

    Just a couple more days to wait for the start of my trip on 6 Feb 09 (Fri) from Ipoh, Malaysia. Expected to be in CNX by evening on 7 Feb (Sat) or 8 Feb (Sun) morning latest. Will stay till 9 Feb before riding to Chiang Khong and stay overnight @ Riverside Guest house before crossing to Laos the next morning.

    Still doing some final packing and adjustment on the bike.

    There's one issue regarding the river crossing @ Chiang Khong that I'm concern with is that the Laos side, where the ferry do not land on the river bank but few metres before the bank. This will require me to ride on the water for a short distance but my riding buddy's bike may pose some difficulties as the bike's exhaust is located at the bottom of the engine...Kawa 650 Versys.

    Hope you guys can enlighten me on the issue.

  10. awabms

    awabms Member

    hi Lipmeng,
    When we were in chiang kong on december 20th(saturday) 2008 at the thai immigration, the officer on duty asking for a "carnet" for our motorcycles(a malaysia registration bike).We have to give an explaination about the documentation procedure/process at the Sadao immigration/custom.Then he let us go.

    My opinion is the overland border crossing procedure in Thailand is different from one border to another border.Its depend on the aggreement between Thailand and the neighbouring country.

    For your information the barge crossing the river is not operating on saturday and sunday(we have been told by the local).The Laos custom also not operating on saturday and sunday(ofcourse on the laos's public holiday).

    some of our trip report here:
  11. captain_bob

    captain_bob Active Member

    Silverhawk said
    "Customs is closed on weekends. You must cross on FRIDAY or MONDAY!"

    I presume you meant "must cross Monday-Friday".
  12. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the correction, as general information Monday-Friday is more correct, but I was refering directly to lipmeng's itinerary.
  13. lipmeng

    lipmeng Ol'Timer

    Hi mates

    Just for update.....trip cancelled less than 24 hrs before departture time just because of a phone call from my boss as all leave frozen till 2nd quarter of the year.

    Packed all my stuff and border crossing permit from LAOS embassy prepared. Great dissappointment and need a short break instead.

    Rode to Hatyai to cancel the lorry transport arrangement and managed to get 50% refund on the train tickets. Spend the weekend in Hatyai.

    Maybe better luck next time..........

    Thanks again for the info from the forum members.
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Wow what a B-U-M-M-E-R alright.
    Hope everything works out ok - maybe lots of little North Thai rides coming up now?
    Keep in touch & we can do a ride this year.
    I saw a bunch of Malaysian plated bikes in LPQ when I was there last week - mainly KTMs too I think.

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