DirtHonk and Moto-Rex go dirt riding in Laos.

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    DirtHonk and Moto-Rex spend a few days riding in Laos.

    The bikes
    Honda XR250 (red devil)
    Kawasaki KLX250 (green machine)

    This was my first ride with DirtHonk, and it was like a Muppet being joined by a Mup-pa-pa.

    We meet up in Houei Xai, and the plan was to leave early the next morning and head to Xieng Kok, riding
    the track that runs between Xieng Dao and Xieng Kok.

    Day One. Houei Xai - Xieng Kok.

    While getting ready for take off, I have to admit I had a bad case of "Knob Envy"

    Just look at the knobblies on the red devil..
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    After 30km on hwy3, it was time to turn left onto the dirt.
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    Three KMs later DirtHonks bag came a drift.
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    First drink stop in a small village.
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    Having a laugh with the locals.
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    After a quick stop in Xieng Dao we headed off up the track that goes to Xieng Kok.

    First view of the Mekong with Burma on the other side.
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    Quick stop to take a few photos, and have a drink.
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    Not a bad track.
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    This bridge has seen better days.
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    View from the bridge.
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    This boat was making its way up the river inch by inch.
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    Great day for a ride on this enjoyable track.
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    The thriving metropolis of Xieng Kok.
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    Theres only 2 places to stay in Xieng Kok, and both are dumps, I wouldnt stay there again, better to
    Stay in Long 20kms north.

    Resort on the river, the rooms come with cuddley rats.
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    Xieng Kok....if you dont eat pho that tastes like rotten socks, you go hungery.
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    Day Two. Xieng Kok - Long - Vieng Phoakha - Luang Namtha.
    We decided to ride to Long to have breakfast in the hope of getting some decent food.

    This restaurant cooked us up some tasty tucker.
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    The start of the track that heads east out of Long, we had no idea what to expect.
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    A lot of the track had good jungle cover which kept things wet.
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    Some nice views along the way.
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    This little village was about the half way mark.
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    Luke and the travelling salesman.
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    We stopped near a little river for a quick break, it was a quiet peaceful spot, till I looked down to see a snake
    about to go between Lukes legs. I called out, look out, and Luke jumped out the way of the slimy serpent.
    What is about the English and snakes?? Luke then decides to get some close up photos of it, holding the camera
    about 6 inches from its head, not happy with a few holiday snaps, he then grabs the reptile on the tail as it slithers into the jungle.

    As you can tell by this photo, I thought it best to kept my distance.
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    Vieng Phoukha, the end of the track, and probaly the best dirt track Ive ridden in Laos.
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    Day Three. Luang Namtha - Na Mor - Nale - Vieng Phoukha - Luang Namtha.

    The track south of Na Mor to Nale is a little boring really. Theres not much to see and the tracks in to good a
    conduction for my liking.

    Theres a couple of good river crossings.
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    River crossing red devil.
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    Pretty straight forward track.
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    Some nice scenery as you approach Nale.
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    After some noodles we crossed the bridge, and followed the track to Vieng Phoakha, and then on to Luang Namtra on hwy3.
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    Next day DirkHonk and the red devil went south to Pak Beng to meet up with some others, and I decided to do some exploring around Luang Namtha. My plan was to then head north to check out some tracks, but the rain came and didnt stop which would have made trying any dirt tracks pointless. So after a few days in Luang Namtha I went south to Pak beng, and crossed back into Thailand at the Nan check point.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
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  3. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Rex, amazing fotos and a perfect trip report as always !! Sorry for your misfortune with the rain, but Laos is close so I think soon you'll be over there again. Now Luke's into snakes ?? :D BTW have you claned that green mean machine of yours already 5555555 ? regards, franz
     
  4. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Great trip and pictures. I am really surprised about the bridge as there is a post about a new road/bridge over the Nam Pha (new-road-linking-bokeo-luang-namtha-t6026.html). The bridge on your picture is a bit old so I guess there are two bridges.

    David/Mai (2up Chiang Khong) and Jimoi reported that there was a deep gully somewhere where the bikes had to be manhandled to get through (north-laos-collapsed-road-t7366.html).

    Your tracks look quite OK so it looks like that there are 2 ways to go from Xieng Dao to Xiengkok. I remember another post (xieng-dao-xieng-kok-road-and-track-t7104.html) who mentioned a 30 yr old bridge and that the track was quite OK and caused no problems - 3 hours on a mountainbike from Xiengdao to Xiengkok.
     
  5. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    great report thks for sharing :happy2:
     
  6. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    Back from Laos now and thought id put up some of my pics of the first dirthonk/moto-rex laos collaboration.

    The obligatory ferry crossing shot

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    I had a relatively hassle free customs/immigration experience and was drinking beer on the mekong sooner than expected. perfect!

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    I was here to meet rex for a bit of dirt in Laos, we soon met up in huay xai and began making plans for the next few days.

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    Hopefully we wouldnt end up fighting like these two feisty kitties

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    Plan was to head to xieng kok via xieng dao for the first day. here is a shot of the first section

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    The first village stop and they come out to inspect the weird white guys

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    further on up the road we take a right here in order to get to xieng dao, then its into town for what would become a typical lunch stop for the next few days. crisps and warm sponsor are the go in these parts..

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    a couple of sweet village girls

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    now we try to find the road to xieng kok and its pretty easy, a wide track running along the mekong and i take this stunning shot

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    the track is nice and lush, and is easily done on pretty much any bike, no real steep bits and really enjoyable peaking into burma over the river.

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    at the bridge rexy took the photos of, there was loud whooping sounds and general merry making obviously going on in the vicinity, but we could only hear the commotion. It was bizarre, there was a gathering of about 15 trucks and their occupants were obviously here for some illicit jungle party. we speculated it was some orgy of sort but could never see what was gooing on so will forever be wondering, it was very strange though.

    we pull into xieng kok and have a few roadside waters

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    chilling out in xieng kok

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    we settle down for dinner with the very hospitable local lady who served the offending bowl of pho earlier,

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    wandering back to our resort we stop for a game of darts, they have blunted the darts making it very difficult to burst the baloons, i vent my frustations and let rex take over, he does no better so we retire early ready for an early start.

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    END OF DAY ONE.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Rexy & Luke
    Nice photos & good fun report as usual. Thanks for the contributions - they are always welcome. :thumbup: :thumbup:

    I'm not surprised you did not enjoy Xieng Kok. :shock:

    I've been there three times over the years & twice with the semi-intention of spending the night, but never ever felt welcome there. Once we rode in for lunch, & decide we did not even want to do that, & after 20 minutes gave up to ride straight back out & have some pho up the road elsewhere.

    XK really is one of those places & definitely does have the feel of a remote wild west frontier town....

    There was a young western (American) traveler who disappeared / was murdered there 3 or 4 years ago. He went out for a walk & never returned? All his belongings were still in the guesthouse.

    This a great shot of the Mekong up there
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    and I seem to recall stories of a "lost city" under the Mekong so called because there are so many rocks under the water North of Houei Xai & still in Laos somewhere.

    Of note too is your luggage
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    two experienced off-road motorcycle adventurers, traveling light with about the same amount of luggage.
    Now Rex I have to ask why your bag is positioned across the seat, further back & not length ways; the same as Luke's as that is surely the way to go for better weight distribution?....
     
  8. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    In fairness to rexy, his luggage did stand the test of the bumps though, mine kept flying off and working the bungee cords loose, although maybe my 3year old 20baht cords didnt help while rexy had some posh ones from carrefour!!
    With my packing I always pack the heavy stuff at the top of the back, i.e my tools( no i cant use them), trainers, make -up, bike spares. So that the majority of the weight is further up the bike so as not to affect its handling to much.
     
  9. Pounce

    Pounce Ol'Timer

    Do you leave the assortment of "Sex Toys" turned on?
    I know it uses up the batteries but they act like gyroscopes & help keep the bike vertical.
     
  10. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Great pics boys!!

    On to more important questions.....Did Luke bin it on the ride??

    Rex glad to see the KLX not end up in the bushes for the night.
     

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