Bangkok-Chiang-Mai-Houei Xai-Luang Namtha-Oudom Xai-Sin Xai-Boun Tai-Boun Neua-Ou Thai-Lao China border Rider: 1 Bike: DRZ 400S Mid March 2008 Bangkok-Chiang Mai: a good sleeper on the night train. Cost for the bike: about 1000 Bahts + tips for the guys loading the bike on the train(especially greedy in Bkk). Chiang Mai-Houei Xai-Luang Nam Tha-Oudom Xai Trip reports have been posted recently with historical pictures... Can't do better than that. Oudom Xai-Sin Xai: pleasant tarmac road Sin-Xai-Boun Tai I was remembering a rocky all weather road. It seems a bit less rocky -except for the 30 kms before Boun Tai. In Boun Tai, forget the restaurant guest house near the bridge. It was Lao owned. A Chinese has bought back the business. Maybe the guy was having a bad day but he was unfriendly. The place seems dirty and he overcharged me for the khao-pat (15 000 Kips). A much better option for sleeping is the Phonesavanh Guest house: bungalows near a river for 40 000 Kips. Driving north you 'll see a sign board in the middle of Boun Tai. It indicates a road going left. Follow this road about 2,5 kms and Phonesavanh guest house is on the left of the road. You can eat there. A nice bunch of young Lao people look after the place. According to them if you keep going on this road you 'll reach Luang Nam Tha in "2 or 3 hours". I am interested to know if anybody has done that? Plenty of options for sleeping in Boun Neua. Apparently the place is "booming"(Lao way); being on the road to China. From Boun Neua it all dirt up to the Chinese border. However easy riding except a few muddy part under the trees. And there are milestones all the way And villages Going up the last pass before going down towards Ou Thai In Ou Thai cheap fuel (10 000 kips/ a liter). It comes from China. The petrol station: I have spotted 3 guest-houses. I stayed at Phousang Guest House. Asking the cute little girl the price is 36 000 Kips. However if you are unlucky and talk to the elder brother it's 40 000 Kips. Who cares however it's nice to check that young kids have not been trained to double-pricing, yet. Then from Ou Thai you 'll see all the way trucks carrying bamboo... The Chinese buy everything like everywhere else in the world There were a few small river crossing as they were working on bridges after Ou Thai. Here is the Nam Ou river a few kilometers before the border. The source is not far. My speedo cable broke so I have to rely on milestones for the mileage. I haven't indicate it before as it is on the Lao Gt Rider map. Here is the last milestone before the border: As in the center of Ou Thai you are between 93 and 94 I can confidently say that there 50 km between Ou Thai and the border. After milestone 143 there are about 500 meters. This: And then the Lao side of the border with Lao bamboo waiting to enter the Empire: Although this trip is not a loop, it is nice and pleasant. However I am glad I did it in March as it 's probably freezing in December/January.