::: 4 Nation ride - Vietnam - Cambodia - Laos - Thailand

Discussion in 'Vietnam - Road Trip Reports' started by VietHorse, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    This is it, a short trip cross borders of 4 countries, self organized trip with total 12 bikes with Vietnam number plates.
     
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  3. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Day #1 ~ 400km from Hochiminh City (Vietnam) to Stung Treng (Cambodia).

    We had twelve bikes for the trip. Some of them with passengers.
    Noon time Thursday, at the muster point:

    [​IMG]

    Quite clear road during lunchtime, so we moved with quite good speed.
    As near to the border, the road condition turned pretty bad, lots of pot holes, loose gravel, all kinds of offroad stuff...
    Well, this is what we did not expect, however we knew it would be happened.
    A Multistrada got punched, by a sharp stone:

    [​IMG]

    This Multistrada seemed ok with the road:
    [​IMG]

    And of course, for my GS:

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    GS really showed up it's consistent of handling ability as well as providing comport to the rider. It also proved me quality of the new Heidenau tire set, which I have just install with some km before this trip:
    [​IMG]

    Better road at the end of Vietnam roads:
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    We reached the border gate. It's a really small check-point. Noticed there are very minimum movement of personnel and vehicles across the border.
    Still did not know how sure the guys would let us go:
    [​IMG]

    ...................
     
  4. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Closer to the check point office:
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    12 bikes, all types of bike:
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    I was really there:
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    After a while, we had the plan to head back!:
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    Looks on this sign board - it's our hope at that point.
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    Just stopped on the edge...
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    ...
     
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Looking good Viethorse..

    Wish I could have met you guys later on in your trip..
    Shame you were not a weekend earlier when James and I were riding around the area of Thailand you would pass though..

    Don't think the KLX with off road tyres would have had much fun keeping up with you.

    Glad you got to meet up with James

    Looking forward to the rest

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  6. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Howdy Brian.
    Actually if we keep the original plan, we may cross path. However, due to my work schedule, I have asked the team to delay one week, so...
    It's really great as you get us met up with James. He helped us a lot, from guiding us to good lunch place, bring us to the M2 Motorsport to change tire of my friend's bike, show us the way to the next border...
    Hope I can make myself to be available for a trip to conquer Mae Hong Son this year.
     
  7. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Finally, we were allowed to pass Vietnam border. Now to register at the Cambodia side:
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    Hit the road again, guys:
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    Good road condition, empty traffic...
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    We decided to have dinner at this place, as we don't know where and how long we would see the restaurant again.
    We had also been informed that the remain road from their to Stung Treng gonna be very bad:
    [​IMG]

    Well, just happy with what we have had. These two sport-bike riders did not care what they would face in next couple of hours:

    [​IMG]

    Anh ấy lúc này vẫn còn đang sung lắm!
    [​IMG]

    ...
     
  8. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    We decided to continue riding and rest the night at Stung Treng as initial plan.
    Someone told us that the road from there to Stung Treng is very bad, however, we did not think it is such bad!! And it's around 200km long.
    That was unforgettable night! All of us were exhausted with the road. Can't tell how bad it was. It was paved road, however we don't know because of poor maintenance or over loaded vehicle, there were several big pot holes, lose sand, soil and stone... My GS many time almost dumped into the bloody big hole and the canals across the road. Poor the sport bikes, BMW S1000RR, Yamaha R6 and CBR600, it was the nightmare for them.
    We had to stop several times along the road. At least two times for punched tires, some times because of two tired riders, one time the S1000RR need more gas (from other bike's tank)

    Reached hotel in Stung Treng almost mid night.
    Here 's what we got for the first (half) day:

    [​IMG]

    After checked in, we went out for supper. Don't really know why the meal was so expensive.
     
  9. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Day #2 ~ 230km from Stung Treng (Cambodia) to Pakse (Laos).

    Gold River Hotel, stationed just beside the Mekong river. Nice and well equipped hotel. I think it was $25 for a twin bed room, without breakfast, with free wifi, large parking area.

    Nice views from my room:
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    Our guys were there to prepare the bikes:
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    Met an US biker - Jake - He told us that he had been riding there in Southeast Asia for around 20years. He made the map, which I can't recall the name. Asked him for the road from there to Pakse, he said all well paved road.
    [​IMG]

    Went for a breakfast:
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    Food there is almost same as what we have in Vietnam. They even provide us Vietnamese coffee.
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    We also found that there are a lot of people who can speak Vietnamese fluently:
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    There was no ATM or credit card machine, or something like that. So to be survived, need to be well prepared with cash:
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    We departed around 9:30 AM.
     
  10. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    The second day began with not a good sign. With very kind support from the hotel manager, we could not find anyone around Stung Treng who can deal with the rear tire.
    Most likely the CB1000 would not be able to pass Laos-Thailand border.
    We passed the Mekong river, and the sun was shined very hot. Hmm, this area seemed much hotter than in HCMC.
    It was even hotter when we faced with this bloody issue!!
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    Dang, it quite a nail:

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    And worse, it is not tubeless tire.
    [​IMG]

    And we did not have any spare tube.

    [​IMG]

    This Africa twin seems to be the only one in Vietnam. The owner of this bike did not intend to ride this bike for this trip. He had planed to pass Phnom Penh to exchange with his GSA, which is stored there. However, due to long long process at the Vietnam border, we could not make a passing by Phnom Penh in the day 1.

    Hmm, Multistrada looks safer:
    [​IMG]

    And of course, my GS also:
    [​IMG]
    ...
     
  11. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    We decided to split into two group.
    One stayed to deal with the Africa twin. And the other one proceed to Cambodia - Laos border for checking the procedures and others.

    I was heading to the border.
    Reached the border without any issue. The officers there they speak Vietnamese quite well:
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    Asked for the procedure, informed the other group, and take a rest, to wait for them to appear:
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    The tire work took more time than what we though, and we proceeded to check out from Cambodia:
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    Now to Laos' checkpoint:
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    Passport control office:
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    Almost done!
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  12. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Enjoying the read Viethorse. Takes me back to 2009 when my wife & I also stayed at the Gold River Hotel; what's more we had ATM issues too & I recall when we eventually found one almost emptied it given the masses of bank notes that spew out for $US100!

    When crossing borders were the regulations facing those carrying a passport other than one issued in SE Asia (even if riding a SE Asian registered bike) ever raised? Given you cross somewhat regularly perhaps you could ask from time to time (& report here), after, of course, you've secured your own clearance!
     
  13. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Howdy Rod,
    Seeing the photos make me wanting to ride there again and again...
    We were lucky as having a ridding buddy who currently working in PhnomPenh and he knows how to prepare and get local currencies. We did not have any issue with the Passport at any checkpoints, but the bikes. There were some delay at the gates, mostly from Vietnam and Cambodia for the bike import/export processes. Lucky us, all fine at the end.
     
  14. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    The front group done the Passport control at Laos side. Now for the bikes:

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    Happy time - to forget the bloody high temp there at noon time:
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    The Laos officer was pretty nice guy. He have studied in Vietnam for 5-6 years or so, he can speak Vietnamese quite well. Very helpful guy.

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    Done with bike's paperwork, we headed to the Khone Phapheng waterfall - the larget Waterfall in Southeast Asia. Link for more info about the waterfall.
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    In Laos, "Huay" means Bridge, I think:
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    Really sunny, really hot:
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    It's one of adventure styles:
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    Reaching the waterfall:
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    Ticket to get into the tourist area and for bike park:
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    ...
     
  15. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Some photos of the Khone Phapheng waterfall, the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia:
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    It's how the waterfall looks like. I just be able to capture a small corner of it:
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    A small shelter providing soft drinks, souvenir, and rest area for tourists.
    Some ladies in uniform T-shirt are photographers:
    :
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    Downstream of the fall:
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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Largest by volume & it is indeed very impressive. The falls also provide access to some wonderful spots in southern Laos - well worth the visit. (GTR contributor Armin Sooch has some incredible stories of adventure taking tours down these waters!)I noticed your comment that your friend's Africa Twin was probably the only one in Vietnam. It pays for those looking to ride in the wonderful country of Vietnam to do their reconnaissance & to be fully aware of the options for repairs & maintenance of certain machines. I wonder what Davidfl knew when he undertook long journeys through the area on his Africa Twin.
     
  17. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Yeah, that's really large waterfall. However, I could not recognize how large it is, even though people saying it's largest one in SE Asia.
    Until I see the waterfall from Google Earth. What I have captured in my photos somewhat less than 10% of the overall waterfall.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Looks an epic ride!!! Brave of you to undertake during the rainy season too! Keep it coming!! :happy1:

    ps. how did they end up sorting the puncture on the AT as you said the rider had no extra tube and I guess no patch kit?
     
  19. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Hey VietHorse.

    That Google Earth shot looks to be in the rainy season.
    In the dry season you can get to the other side looking over at the observation deck...

    That is a truly stunning part of Laos and best enjoyed leaving the bike on Khong island and taking in a Kayak trip over 3 to 5 days..
    Few pics to wet your appetite to go back and kayak down after you have ridden up :)

    On the other side of the water from the observation area.. not accessible now and under water.

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    You have to swim to get there :)

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    Getting down to the falls..
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    To get to the base on the other side you actually have to get on land and carry the kayaks down.
    My memory is letting me down as this was 2009.

    If you liked this area.. go back for a closer look..

    Would love to kayak around here again just stunning...

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  20. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Howdy,
    Have you done your second trip with your little son? That's awesome. Love to do it with my son one day.
    Let's see about the tire in upcoming posts. :)
     
  21. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Your idea of kayak is really tempting...
    Gotta try one day!
     
  22. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    An overview of this corner:

    [​IMG]
    __________________
    .
     
  23. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    Then we moved inside the tourist are for lunch.
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    Very nice and well set up restaurant:
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    All cooking stuff were arranged pretty neat. Notice the clock, that time we hadn't had lunch yet.
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    These are the tool they used to cook sticky rice - almost same as what we have in Vietnam:
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    Too hungry, we were focus on the lunch then forget to take food pix. [​IMG] All good food.
    During luch, we called the other group, they are still struggling with the tire. We talked to the restaurant that they should prepare for the next coming group.
     
  24. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  25. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

  26. VietHorse

    VietHorse Ol'Timer

    During we having lunch near the waterfall, the other team, just around 30-40km away still playing with the tire.

    My friend got the bike from middle of nowhere to this area by a passing by truck:

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    And it was the time for the pain ass:
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    Wazz up?:
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    Looked like they were chasing a mouse...
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    Dang.. That's a tire job!!!...
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    Oh hell, that's the tube!!!!
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    So,... What's gonna be next!?
     

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