Highway 23 Hell on Earth

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by jimoi, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    The map says it's a 4 wd road from Moung Phin to Salavan but no chance a car/truck/tank could ever make it. It was more than an adventure, 1.5 days and sheer hell as the overgrowth obscured the trail at time where we were totally unsure about our location. The mud was fun for a while but pushing a DT uphill 6 meters in 30 cm mud sucks. I would only say that extreme off road riders go on this trail, take water and food as well as light a few sticks at the temple before you set off. There is a good Minsk out there, 50 odd KM south of the first river crossing, I blew the clutch plates out, the bearing in the rear wheel, snapped the clutch handle mount and left all my tools there so someone can fix it, it's got fuel in it as well. I hope in a month to see if it's still there but I hope I made some remote farmer the happiest man in Laos.

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A good trip that one must have been - right at the end of a biggish "wet" season. Any photos?
    I’m not surprised the ol Minsk got stuck - you would not catch me doing that one at that time of the year.

    I’m pretty sure that Nikko & Stan have done "highway 23" already, so you might want to check in with Stan at http://www.laophoto.com/ to get some tips from him.
    Also Eskil at http://www.laoexplorer.com/ has done it a few years ago. I spoke to Eskil a few days ago & he says the road was good from Muang Phin to the Xe Bangchiang river, then its got progressively worse going over the mountains. He also said that in other parts it's just a buffalo track through rice paddies, & it was tough just trying to navigate the right way through.
    But I know that they all did it in the dry.

    Of note is that early next year part of the 2006 Land Rover G4 4WD Challenge (Ex Camel Trophy Rally) will be held in Southern Laos - basically following the old Ho Chi Minh trail? And my guess is that parts of this could be on H23, Jim’s highway to hell. I wonder if Jim's Minsk will end up as a trophy for a G4 competitor?

    Keep The Power On
  4. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    They will never pass this way, impossible in a 4WD as there but if this is the case, I will certainly ride behing them on my recently bought 250 XL and have a good laugh. The river near to Muong Phin is 5 meters deep in dry season, should be good for a laugh.

  5. samson

    samson Member

  6. samson

    samson Member

    i did the 23 last year en i was lucky to finnish it in 1 day in the dry season . the gps on the bike also helpd

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