Houei Xai - Luang Prabang Happy Snaps

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    DATE: 27 - 30 Jan 2009

    The Mekong early morning from Tammila Guesthouse.
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    The ferry crossing with 2 semi-trailers, loaded with concrete fence posts.
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    The trucks & drivers were from Kamphaeng Phet & I wondered who & what sort of deal had been done to truck concrete fence posts all the way from Kamphaeng Phet to Houei Xai?

    It's always interesting crossing the `Khong at Chiang Khong / Houei Xai with the boats. You hope for the car ferry, so that you don't have to wade around in the mud 'n water loading / unloading your bike into the small boat & then worrying about the bike falling into the river as you cross.
    Then you get the car ferry loaded up with trucks & heavy loads. The ferry almost tips over when the trucks drive on / off the ferry & you wonder whether the ferry will sink as your crossing the Mekong.
    In October last year a Chinese truck loaded with gas went through the decking on the Lao ferry as it drove on. At least it wasn't mid stream & I wasn't on it.

    Houei Xai, main street up from the immigration checkpoint.
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    This blew me away. Years ago, when it was still the jungle trail Houei Xai - Luang Namtha, who would have ever thought you'd be seeing huge tour buses & traffic jams like this in Houei Xai?

    Silverhawk on the road R3 Houei Xai - Luang Namtha
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    We weren't the only riders on the road
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    Don Chai is still one of my favourite Lao villages & if you take your time with the locals you can get some nice snaps.
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    Getting them to smile & laugh is not that difficult
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    If you want to spend a night in a village, then give Don Chai a go. When the road was still all dirt, I spent many nights in Don Chai for a break. The villagers are friendly & they were / are used to foreigners over-nighting there. One of the "problems" I see now with the new road is that "everyone" just races through on a mission to get to the other end without stopping much or spending time in the villages. The villagers aren't getting much out of the new road & the people passing through??

    Go slow & take your time & get photos.

    The brush & naked kids village. They were everywhere.
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    The kids had been skinny dipping in the village stream & came up to see the farang with their motorbikes & join in the photos. Pretty funny & what an idyllic life they were living.

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    At Boten, they've "moved the border" & there's a new Lao checkpoint 600 metres further on at the border. Inside the building they were "fully computerized" with banks of computers to handle the volume of Chinese coming down & up.
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    The view from "across the line."
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    Silverhawk was a superstar for this Chinese couple, highly impressed with his Suzuki DR650 they were!
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    Cruising along I spotted some kids with a giant swing beside the road. Light weight steel it was not. Fun it was!
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    The roadside meat market
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    8,000 kip (30 baht) was the asking price & unhappy he was
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    A mule train & not something I had seen on the road in Laos before.
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    Note the sun hat on the guy at the back.

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    Note the truck going past; I reckon that he might be able to carry a bit more load.

    Thanks to Silverhawk for being patient while I was getting roadside photos with people.

    Pak Mong - Nong Khiew
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    Nong Khiew & The Nam Ou
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  3. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    er.....um...........sorry about that, just getting over the shock of your "early morning" shot of the Mekhong.

    Great pics as always and appreciate your comments on the villages that life seems to speed by nowadays. However not many of us have the history and knowledge of what it was like back then. I seem to remember you posting something similar regarding the Thai villages up North of CNX.

    The road looks in great condition. Is that typical of the roads all the way to Luang Praban?
     
  4. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    David, like Peter I'm shocked :? , what time was that actually "early morning" :p ???? Dave did you have a tough job in wakening David Unk up from his sweet dreams, or did you need a bucket full of icecubes :p ????
    I'm sure you enjoyed that trip, what would make me a little uneasy is to park any bike next to the heavies on these ferries............Keep em coming !! Cheers, Franz
     
  5. PICO-PICO

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    Thank you David, your report once again stirred my desire to ride into Lao.

    It seems that transportationwise Chiang Khong is ok for my sidecar bike,
    Do you know if I can get IN and OUT there too?
    How would you split the trip to Luang Prabang. Where would you stopover? (I go slowly, western toilets )

    Pico
     
  6. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    :shock: We actually stayed at seperate guesthouses and agreed to meet at Customs at 8:30AM when they opened. We both rolled in at the appointed time and we had both already eaten breakfast!
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Indeed, once he's on the road early morning rises are not a problem. :wink:
     

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