Lao Loop - Part 3

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Champasak, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Lao Loop - Part 3
    « on: Jan 11th, 2003, 9:10am » Quote Modify Remove

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    The night we arrived in Luang Prabang, we were getting some dinner when we heard a loud crash outside. Going out, we saw that a brand new SUV had smashed into a stone wall.

    The injured occupants were carried to the hospital - hand held on the backs of motor scooters. The SUV was still in the middle of the road the next morning.

    Waking up to a rainy day, we decided to relax. We hired a boat, and went up the Mekong to the Pak Ou caves. These caves are filled with small and large Buddha statues. The upper cave is not lighted, so bring a flashlight.

    On the way back downstream, we stopped at the "whiskey village". Lots of crude stills making rice whiskey - Lao-lau. Finely aged for at least 10 days.

    The next morning, we headed south in the drizzle. I felt sorry for Peter and Carol - they have now ridden twice on one of the best MC roads in SE Asia, once in dark and fog, and now in rain and fog. But, they did discover Cafe Lao and Beer Lao.

    We did have a minor epic on the way to Vang Vieng. There had been a major landslide about 25 km north of Kasi, and the road was not completely cleared. On the way north, it was packed dirt. After 2 days of rain - it was 8 inches of pure mud.

    It was about 150 yards long, and a slight downhill. We went into it at a crawl - to no avail. Once the wheels packed up, you had no control at all - like riding on grease. Turned into slow slides until both bikes went down. No injuries or damage - just very muddy bikes and riders. There were a few more stretches of mud before Vang Vieng, but luckily on level road.

    We stayed a dissapointing night in Vang Vieng. The GH and food were fine, but the town is just jammed with backpackers trying to find something to do.

    Woke up to a dry day, and motored down to Vientiane.

    After another rest day, we headed back to Thailand. It was a holiday weekend, so the bridge offices were a little busy.

    I was leaving 7 days after arriving in Laos - but it was my 8th calendar day. I had overstayed my 7 day permission for the bike. They could not sign me out of the country until I went and paid 2 fines, totalling 200 baht. Biggest problem is finding the right office on the entrance side to pay the fine.

    Peter had no trouble with his Carnet - except finding the only customs officer who knew what to do with the paperwork. Then across the bridge, and into Thailand. Five minutes of paperwork, and all legal.

    More to follow.

    BobS
     
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  3. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #1 on: Jan 11th, 2003, 3:50pm » Quote Modify Remove

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    Hi Bob,

    Think that I met you in Nan early in December, along with Peter and Carol. We were all staying at the Tervaraj Hotel and traveling with three other ferangs on Harleys.

    Just wanted to let you all know that Deb and I finished off our bike trip on the rented Harley safe and sound and are now back in Alberta with its minus 20C weather.

    We had a fantastic trip, although with none of the excitment of crossing borders on unlicensed bikes. We were only pulled over once - one of those typical police checks looking for druggies. I think that they just wanted to see the bikes.

    Hello to Peter and Carol, if they are still with you. Tell them that I am submitting the photos that I took of them in Nan to Power Sport News in North Vancouver. Maybe they'll publish them and P&C will have their 15 minutes of fame.

    Cheers!

    Richard
     
  4. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #2 on: Jan 11th, 2003, 9:55pm » Quote Modify Remove

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    Hi Richard

    Yes - we did meet you in Nan. That will come up in another segment. We had one more epic in getting there.

    We all made it back to Chiang Mai, and met up again in Bangkok.

    I am back in the US. Peter and Carol finally got out of Thailand, and into Malaysia. They will be going to Australia, then back to BC by May. Their e-mail is:
    [email email=petercarol02@yahoo.ca]petercarol02@yahoo.ca[/email]

    Glad you enjoyed the trip. Maybe next time you can have some excitement.

    Bob
     
  5. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #3 on: Jan 11th, 2003, 11:23pm » Quote Modify Remove

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    Richard
    Sounds like you made a big trip round the North too. I reckon it would be a good story to read - why not make a report & post it on the message board? We welcome ALL Road & Trip reports, no matter how brief or small - every contribution helps.
    « Last Edit: Jan 12th, 2003, 2:10am by Davidfl » 208.147.1.1

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    Davidfl
     
  6. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #4 on: Jan 20th, 2003, 10:22pm » Quote Modify Remove

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    hiya Bob,
    sounds like a good trip(if not a bit of wet one).
    In Laos at the moment on my baja. entered at houy xai on a saturday and lack of any paperwork is now my worry.(went immigration on both sides and just got a drunken signiture on an old photocopy of last times paperwork, on Thai side and not even a signiture on Laos side. Just a "no problem, no tax to pay, go, enjoy)
    not going to risk nong khai, iam pretty sure i can blag chong mek(as before), but have you ever crossed at thakek or savahnanaket ?
    have been here 5 weeks now (the big advantage of no paperwork)
    cheers,

    Pirip.....
     
  7. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #5 on: Jan 21st, 2003, 9:59am » Quote Modify Remove

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    Hi Pirip

    I have gone in at Huay Xai and Nong Khai. I have exited via Nong Khai and Chong Mek. No advice on Thahek and Savannakhet.

    Nong Khai is always by the book. Chong Mek let me slide out on an overstay with no extra fees. But my paperwork has always been valid.

    So, what it sounds like is that there may be a Baja stuck in Laos. Can we all use it?

    What visa do you have to stay 5 weeks?

    Seriously, keep us all posted on the trip. It always helps to know where and how far we can bend the rules.

    Good luck

    BobS
     
  8. Champasak

    Champasak Ol'Timer

    Re: Lao Loop - Part 3
    « Reply #6 on: Feb 4th, 2003, 4:48am » Quote Modify Remove

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    hiya BobS,
    thanks for the reply, sorry its been a while!
    managed to blag my way out at nong khai, late on a friday evening(figured they would be more worried about their weekend drinking!)
    Laos side didnt even ask for paperwork, just stamped my passport.(had a 7 day extension to my 30 day tourist visa)
    Thai side a little more difficult to negotiate, but after acting dumb(not hard) and telling the truth about the drunken(didnt mention this) immigration official telling me i could go with his signiture, they consulted a few offices, complained to each other about chiang khong's lax staff and let me through without a penny to pay.(which was lucky because i only had kip left)
    i will post the rest this week, sorry no baja left in Laos for general use, maybe next time!

    pirip
     

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