Luang Prabang to Vientiane, Oct 21-24

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by mikehohman, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. mikehohman

    mikehohman Ol'Timer

    2 friends and I rode through northern Laos last weekend, like this:

    Day 1, Friday, Oct 21: Bangkok to LPQ on Bangkok Airways, pickup the bikes by noon, lunch, and in Nong Kiau by Happy Hour.
    Day 2, Saturday: Nong Kiau to Phonsavan.
    Day 3, Sunday: Phonsavan to Muang Huang, by way of Muang Moc and early, aborted detour towards Long Cheng.
    Day 4, Monday: Muang Huang to Vientaine by way of Xiang Mai, arriving about 6:00 PM, 9:45 PM Thai flight back to BKK, in the office Tuesday...

    What a stunningly beautiful country. Each day was better than the last, and it started out pretty damn good. Nong Kiau is spectacular, as is much of 1-C to Phonsavan. On Saturday, my friends insisted on making a half-hearted attempt to Long Cheng, but we didn't get far before being turned back by young men with AK47s. The detour led to some excellent trails south of Phonsavan which were a blast to ride. The ride over the mountains from Phonsavan to Muang Moc is out of this world beautiful, as are the valleys, and south of Muang Moc the terrain changes to jungle. Overnighted at the Keomany Guesthouse in Muang Huang and then due west through hills and valleys and on the Vientiane. This last day was the best pure riding of the trip, some great single track, plenty of water, lots of mud, and dragging the bikes overs trees.

    Conditions were great! Beautiful clear blue skies, brisk chilly mornings, crisp mountain air, and dry dirt roads (except for 1 section the last day). Can't wait to go back. A few photos:

    Map of Trip
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    Mekong River north of LPQ
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    Valley of the Lao
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    Golden Rice
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    Nong Kiau
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    Nong Kiau
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    Northern Road to Long Cheng
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    Boy in the Valley
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    Valley on the way to Long Cheng. I made it past the checkpoint, but my friend was stopped down below.
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    Terraces and village north of Muang Moc
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    Sala with a View
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    On the trail, Day 4
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    Local man in the Jungle
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    Stream crossing
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    Ferry
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    Waiting for the Ferry
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    Crossing
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    Broadcast Rice
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    Rice ready for harvest
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  3. mikehohman

    mikehohman Ol'Timer

    Thanks! For this trip i took my Lumix GH2 and a wide angle (7-14) lens. GH2 has a 2x crop factor, so the lens is a 14-28 35mm equivalent. The package is very small for the image quality it puts out, but i would hate to fall in a stream with it... For more serious offroad stuff, i take my Canon S95, soon to be replaced by the new S100...
     
  4. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Great report and photo’s Mike.

    The area around Moc Muang looks interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Moto-Rex
     
  5. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Mike, another good report with great pix.
    If you can find the time next time try and stretch it to include Xam Neua
    and especially Vieng Xai.
    Thanks for posting.
    Cheers
    Rhodie
     
  6. mikehohman

    mikehohman Ol'Timer

    Thanks Rhodie, appreciate it.

    Wanted to go to San Nuea but Robert told me not to bother. Bastard...

    Anyway, something for next trip!!

    Hope you are well,

    Mike
     
  7. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    To be fair Xam Neua is a fly-blown dusty Sov/Viet town, but Vieng Xai is a jewel.
    Not least for its history as it is for its stunning scenery.
    Here are two TRs, by the lad, which give you an idea for next time.

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/28256-Laos-ADV-Pt-II-Vieng-Thong-Vieng-Xai-Xam-Neua

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/28257-Laos-ADV-Pt-III-Xam-Neua-Phonsovan

    Hope your are surviving in S7.
    Cheers
    Rhodie
     

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