LAOS, moto-rex/dirthonk additional photos.

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by dirthonk, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    On the second day of our trip we were to attempt the long-vieng phukha track.

    Making it out of xieng kok in the morning without being murdered, we had a quick blast to long for brekkie.
    The last time I tried this track me and bigntall managed 8km in 3 hours so i was a little concerned about whether we would actually make it through or not. Thankfully there was no rain overnight and the sky that morning was a brilliant blue. It was on.
    We stocked up on water in anticipation of a few tricky spots along the way.

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    It soon became apparent that the track had changed drastically, and i spoke with some construction guys a few hundred metres into the trail and they confirmed vieng phukha was doable. spirits were up now and we motored on.

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    rexy wobbling through the plentiful puddles.

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    this is the first village about 28kms into the track. no apparent water or snacks here so we didnt stay long.

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    scenery along the way is fantastic

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    more fantastic scenery along the way, what a beautiful area.

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    we arrive at this second villlage and meet this lao guy who has driven up here from oudomxai on a scooter selling cambodian medicine to the villagers. me and rexy take a path on the heart stuff but stock up on his virility pills. should be a good time in luang nam tha!

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    not long after the village the scenery opens up a little into rolling hills

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    The next section of the trail is clay and noticing rain clouds in the distance we make haste through here knowing that if it rains on this clay we are fu*ked. There are no supplies, people out on the trail so if you get stuck out here its not pretty, In hindsight me and rexy lucked out big time with the weather.

    quick shot of the undergrowth

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    again beautiful forest through here

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    whilst at this drinks stop, rexy shouts out watch out!, i let out a girly scream and jump back and then see this beautiful snake slithering behind me. He seems completely uninterested in us and just goes about his business while i take some photos of him.
    Back in Thailand I consulted my snake book and cant find him anywhere in it, maybe its a species only found in laos, or maybe i need a bigger book.
    Any snake enthusiasts out there know what it is??

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    At the end of the trail now, 84kms and 4 hours later we are in vieng phukha and reflecting on a fantastic track. I was just counting my lucky stars we made it througb before the rain!!

    the happy couple stocking up on liquids...

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    Cheers.
     
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Nice shots there guys! :thumbup: It looks like quite a nice route. As for the snake, I checked my books and the internet and couldn't identify it. You would think with those beautiful markings it would be easy to find. Maybe you found a new species, Luke? The "Dirthonk Rex"?
     
  4. Pounce

    Pounce Ol'Timer

  5. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Snake Sure Looks like a Reticulated Python to Me? Quite thin considering it's length though? Great Trip You Guys had, Well Done!
     
  6. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    Mr Bungy, a possiblilty and that was my first thought aswell, however the head was just not like the reticulated python at all. Also, at about a metre and a half, considerably smaller than a ret python should be.

    I have just been round the bookstores looking at snake books and cannot find it anywhere, another 3 hours looking on the internet for it and still no luck. If no-one can identify it within one week I reckon me and Rexy can claim a new species to be proudly called the RexHonk Snake.

    I will download some more photos of it for easier identification..
     
  7. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    as promised.

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    I know the pattern looks like a reticulated python, and its small size could be explained by it being a juvenile. But if you look at the head, it is consistent with the size of the body whereas a pythons head appears more arrow like in shape. Also the eyes were a black colour, the pythons being distinctly orange( I had one outside my house last year).

    If it helps he was completely docile and seemed completely unpertubed by me and rexy's presence, leading me to think that he was non-venomous.

    Cheers.
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Luke
    Why not pop into the Chiang MaI Zoo & show them the photos for an answer.
     
  9. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    Good idea David, didnt think of that.
    I quite like the idea of having my ( joint ) own species so going there will be a last resort!
     
  10. alrikki

    alrikki Ol'Timer

    can you post the snake on flickr to get it identified?
     
  11. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Looks to me like something poisonous as usually the markings say 'beware' and also the head is not the big triangular of a phyton. Looked up several books & sites but could not identify this really beautiful animal. Could be a rare kind of pit viper (not all have a bigger head).....hopefully someone will be able to get an identification. Regards, Franz
     
  12. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Hey Luke, Great photo's and report mate.

    What a great days ride that was, and as you said, we where lucky with the weather, if it had rained like it did only two days later, we would have had a few problems to say the least.

    I had always wanted to give this track a shot, and although I ride mostly on my own, I wasn't going to try to do this track by myself, so meeting up worked out great. :thumbup:

    I still cant get over the snake, it was like it just came out to say hello.
    I too, have been searching the web trying to indentify the critter, but havent come across anything that looks like it. But what I did work out while surfing the web for info on snakes in Laos, is that there's a bloody lot of big ones over there. :shock:

    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
  13. alrikki

    alrikki Ol'Timer

    the snake is a kukri,, but I dont know which one
     
  14. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Luke, question about snake solved, got a positive identification by a kind German/Austrian/Swiss snake expert who says that you & Rex were very lucky to see this very rare animal.
    It's a mandarin ratsnake or Eupepriophis mandarinus (formerly Elaphe mandarina) and non-poisonous. Lucky you !!!!!! She's really a beauty !!! Cheers, Franz
     
  15. jerome

    jerome Active Member

    just got the answer from a Swiss expert too,leaving in Cambodia:elaphe mandarina,not very common in Laos,but more in China where she s more yellowish! same family as elaphe longissima (couleuvre d esculape)in europe!
    jerome
     
  16. jerome

    jerome Active Member

  17. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    Oh Dear, it seems I have to reluctantly accept that it isnt a newly found " rexhonk snake " then. Just checked this mandarin ratsnake on the internet and its definitely the one. A kukri snake is definitely is NOT. looks nothing like it.

    Thanks for helping me identify it guys.

    P.s jerome, I have seen that photo before on many a website, there are a lot of fake rumours as if it were true, it would be by far the largest snake ever caught or recorded. It looks well over 20metres long. And the reticulated python( longest snake in the world and found right here in South East Asia) I think has only ever been recorder up to 12metres.
    What do you think?

    P.s maybe we should have a wildlife section on this board as myself and others included seem to see a lot of interesting creatures on our travels.
     
  18. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Luke, a perfect idea to make a flora & fauna section where we can post all the rare animals we meet a day or another, such as snakes, lizards, big cats :wink: , Colin,......55555.
    Yep that reticulated one's a good foto fake, far too big to be true....will try to copy and open with a program so I can see their copy-enlargen-paste-paint job..... :shock: .
    sorry but you might get another chance to get your "rexhonk" snake.... :mrgreen: .....I hope you do, really !!
    Luke are you here late 23.7. to 26.7. ? Might take your DRZ400 and come with me to Mae Sariang and meet up with the Bangkok kooligans for a blast MHS-CNX, they will be on their biggies, but for this road then, we won't be far behind on our thumpers......won't we ?? Rgds, Franz
     
  19. ateynie

    ateynie New Member

    Dear Biker Dirthonk,

    I am currently writing a book on Laotian reptiles. Your post about the snake that you met in Laos (Euprepiophis mandarinus) is very interresting becaufe there is very little specific evidence on this species in Laos.
    Please, could you tell me the details of this meeting: what road, what is the nearest town and especially what province?

    Of course you will be quoted in the book if the information is used.

    Finally, would it be possible to use one of your photographs with your authorization and signature?

    Thank you in advance for your reply,

    Alexandre TeyniƩ

     

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