Jimoi spills it on Laos: Vientiane Area

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by jimoi, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    This will be the first in a series from me in order to help out riders coming to Laos looking for ride and so on. I'd also say to consult the GT-Rider picks of Recommended GT Rider Spots & Contacts in the forum as well. It will have more ideas for you.

    Day trips:

    1. Vientiane – Phou Khoa Khouay – Dansavanh – Phonhong – Vientiane
    It’s a full day ride and best to be done in a counter clockwise ride. With a full tank on a 13 liter fuel capacity Baja:
    Out of Vientiane, up hwy 10 with a drink stop at Tha Ngon along the Nam Ngum River and then continue up hwy 10 until you see the sign for Phou Khao Khouay. Turning off the highway, it becomes gravel/dirt and not so bad. There is some truck traffic out there for the hydro project but not a big deal. At the entry to the park, it’s a small fee to enter and only one way up from here. As you ride, the road deteriorates a bit but passable. When you arrive at the lake on top, you have the option to ride another 20 odd KM around the lake area and it’s beautiful up here. Same way back down to the main road and turn right and continue until you see the large sign for Dansavanh Golf Resort and Casino. 5 km in you’ll pass the golf course, continue on to the casino. If you arrive around 11, there is a buffet lunch that isn’t bad at the casino. Returning to the road, continue up the main highway and while there are turns, you continue straight to Ban Keun. The road T junctions at the river and turn right. Keep riding until you come across a long single lane bridge. 300 meters past the bridge, the road T junctions and go left. Continue on to the next T junction and turn right. This will take you to Phonhong and Hwy 13, turn left to Vientiane and it’s 70 KM back to Vientiane. A good running Baja should make it on one tank but keep track of your KM and figure 22 km per liter. Fuel is available on the return leg and the markers for Vientiane are accurate.

    2. Vientiane – Rivertime Lodge – Tha Ngon – Vientiane.

    This is a half day ride and no more than 90 KM. This run is best done in a counter clockwise ride. Leaving Vientiane, going out past Pataxay and direction HWY 13 south, turn to Paksan at the roundabout at KM 11. When you come to KM 19, you will see a sign for Rivertime Resort. Turn Left here and the road becomes a mix of dirt/gravel. When you come to Rivertime, there is a small boat to cross the river and after crossing, up and left, follow it out to the main dirt road and go Left. You follow the main road only here and it is mostly along the power lines. You come to Hgy 10 and then go Left to Tha Ngon. You are 33 KM from Vientiane and follow it in.

    3. Vientiane – Philat – Sounmon – KM 54 – Vientiane

    This is a ¾ day ride and 5 – 6 liters of fuel should do it on a Baja or XR. This is done either way, clockwise or counter clockwise and the suggestion is to do is in the morning and clockwise. Leaving Vientiane on the road past the airport, you come to a bend right 2 KM past the airport. There is a car dealer on the left and GO LEFT here. This takes you along the Mekong and the road is a mixed bag, paved for a while with hole and then a dirt road. Go straight all the way until you come to an ML fuel Station. At the ML fuel station, there is a fork in the road, go to the Right fork and follow it up. You’ll come through some small towns with some places for drinks and so on. Most of the small towns have roundabouts, keep bearing to the right. There will be a small ridgeline on your right the entire way. Ban Sounmon is where you take a right. It is not marked and you should ask if it leads to KM 54. Landmarks to look for are an ugly orange house and then an odd looking house. Turn right here. The road is more aggressive and some bad bridges are coming up. In rainy season it will be muddy and in dry season, expect ruts from rainy season. When you arrive at Hwy 13, you are at KM 54. Turn Right and follow this into Vientiane.

    More to follow.
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