The asphalt roads in the North of Laos are a mess at the moment. There has been an unbelievable change in the road quality the last few weeks, with lots of broken asphalt, potholes, mud & landslides...it should be very tough going on a road bike right now... From the Harley Riders Mark & Nikki Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong. Thailand. This is a very nice ride, but the road inland was broken up quite badly. At one point half of the road was missing down a cliff. At another point, the bridge was washed away and newly replaced with a wooden tree-log/plank bridge, which was a hassle to negotiate. Much slower to do the 54 Kms than expected. Time: 2 Hours+ Chiang Khong - Huey Xai (River Crossing To Laos) The border crossing logistics was difficult to work out on our own, so we relied upon the intelligence of a local bar owner, Sayan. 1st to customs office (main one), then to immigration (the main one), then to the boarder to see immigration, again, and then to customs at the border too. On the Laos side, off the ferry to immigration, about 2kms away, back to customs office, near the ferry wharf and all was done. Time: 2 Hours Houei Xai - Luang Nam Tha This road is both good and bad. About 8 Kms out of HX, the road starts to have sections of gravel every 500m or so, with each section about 50m long. This is annoying, until, the road has huge pot holes and then disappears regularly to gravel and dirt (mud). You have to be an experienced rider to negotiate this for the next 65Kms!!! The road is also inhabited by dogs, cattle, ducks, chickens and children. The children get off the road and wave happily as you pass, but the rest of the wildlife just stays there!! At points the road is just like a dirt track, and at other points, like a highway. For the 65Km stretch, it is 85% crap and 15% beautiful. When 95Kms out from Luang Namtha, the road magically improves and the quite a pleasant journey. Time: 3.5 Hours Luang Nam Tha - Oudom Xai Just about forget it... BUT there is a LOT of roadwork going on!! From Luang Namtha to the Na Teuy village is quite nice, except at a few spots where the downhill side (RHS going north) of the road has fallen off into the river!!! At one point only 80cm of road is left and a carved detour next to the hillside, which won't last long!! Once you hit the turn-off and go right to Oudom Xai, it changes to crapola instantly! The road is MOSTLY potholes of dirt and part-tarmac amidst the ruins of what was once tar. In a few sections you get 2 to 4 Kms of actual road with potholes only. The rest of the time, the road is essentially unmade, or being worked-on, which is even worse. It is some of the worst road I have ever ridden. 75 Kms of pure rubbish!!! We got bogged at the front wheel in some 2 foot deep MUD, and had some locals help us pull the bike out, fortunately. I thought our poor beloved machine was going to rattle apart. At one point, I thought I had lost Nikki, and stopped to look up at the coconut tree above, quite expecting her to be hanging on to a leaf before plummeting to earth. She did rise, but also fee to where she formerly sat... fortunately. If the road goes without repair it will only last for this season, and on the next rainy season, will be impassable by ANY vehicle. Normally, I am not a 4WD person, but, today, I wanted one!!! The Chinese are "out in force" starting to rebuild sections of the road. I met one crowd of them who had set up a village at the 54Km point and sported a lot of equipment called Tomatsu and Hitachi. They seem to be getting ready to either do the road, or have some kind of big Sumo convention. That being said, we did make it. It is passable, but only just, in parts. Oudom Xai - Luang Prabang The road from Oudom Xai out towards LPQ is almost just as bad as the road into Oudom Xai from Luang Namtha. It is terrible, just affected by bad rain the past week. Whole sections of road are missing and the tarmac surface has fallen down the hill. I got bogged twice today. It rained from 9:00am to 1:30pm on the way. Arggghhhh!!!! It took us 6.5 hours to get here!! We beat a 4WD mini-van that left when we did by just over an hour! Trucks were turning around and abandoning to go further. Busses from Oudom Xai were not running. Comment: sounds perfect for dirt bike adventurers.