Hey, BORING, IRRELEVANT BACKGROUND INFO (QUESTIONS LATER) So my girlfriend and I are planning a trip in Laos for sometime in August. We live in Taiwan. She only gets one week off from work but, while I have about a month, so I will be in Laos for about a week or two before she arrives. I am planning on getting a bike and checking out the country by myself before she arrives. I have checked Lonely Planet, this forum and other resources but still need clear answers to some questions. So... THE ACTUAL QUESTIONS * Exactly which roads are paved? Aside from short detours, I want to stick to paved, relatively easy roads. In a perfect world I would like to travel from Vientiane to Huay Xai or as much of this as possible. * Just how bad of a choice is August, as far as a time to go is? Will the rain make this impossible? * Along this basic route, how far are stretches without somewhere to get my bike fixed/gas/etc.? I've been in Taiwan for a while. It is so small that even on pretty out of the way roads there will usually be somewhere to get help within a few kms. Anything else you think is important I would love to know- but the info about what is and is not paved is the most important. I really appreciate any help you guys might be able to give me. Judging by some of the reports I've read users here seem to get a lot deeper into the country than I intend to, so I hope these are easy to answer. Any links or other suggestions would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Shane.