RETURN OF THE LAOS MONKEY

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by pirip, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. pirip

    pirip Active Member

    LAOS TRIP DEC 24TH - JAN 15TH

    THIS LAOS TRIP, HAD MET A GERMAN GUY ON THE VIEW POINT BEFORE SOPPONG A FEW WEEKS EARLIER WHILST GAZING OUT TO THE MOUNTAIN VIEWS PONDERING THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE, SUCH AS WETHER TO HAVE STICKY RICE OR PLAIN RICE FOR LUNCH, LEO BEER OR CHANG AND REALISED WE WERE BOTH GOING THE SAME TIME.
    MET UP IN CHIANG MAI FOR A DRINK AND ARRANGED TO MEET AT CHIANG KHONG THE NEXT WEEK.
    ALSO HAPPENED TO BUMP INTO SOME AUSSIE GUY ON A AFRICA TWIN AND A FEW OTHER BIKING REPREBATES!
    WENT TO A HMONG VILLAGE (TUNG NA NOI I THINK!) ON A SHORT 20KM OR SO STRETCH OF EASY DIRT ROAD.
    GOT BACK FOR SOME LUNCH BEFORE CROSSING.
    WOLFGANG HAD A CARNET FOR HIS YAMMAHA 600, SO NO PROBLEM ON THE THAI SIDE.
    MY BAJA 250 HAS NO PLATE (SUPRISE, SUPRISE) BUT NO BOTHER, THECUSTOMS ARE ALL FRIENDLY AND I JUST GAVE THEM A PHOTO COPY OF MY OLD PAPERWORK AND HE COPIED FROM THAT.
    IN AND OUT WITHIN 10 MINS.

    AFTER ATTEMPTING TO GET ON THE PASSENGER FERRY, BUT BEING COSTANTLY SENT TO THE GUY DOING THE CANOE SERVICE I GAVE UP AND OPTED FOR THE 500BAHT NERVE WRACKING TRIP ACROSS THE MEKONG. (THE BOAT MAFFIA IN FULL AFFECT HERE I TINK)

    AFTER BEING LEFT STRADDLING MY BIKE IN THE CANOE WHILST THEY ALL WENT AND HELPED LIFT OUT WOLFGANGS' HEAVIER LOAD, WE BOTH MADE IT SAFELY ON DRY LAND.

    DIDNT NOTICE THE NEW CUSTOMS BUILDING ON THE HILL AT FIRST AND AS IT WAS COMING NEAR 5.00PM. THE CUSTOMS, POLICE AND OFFICE BOYS HAD ALREADY STARTED THIER BEER LAOS, AFTERNOON SESSION, SO DUE TOO LACK OF INTEREST IN WORK WE GOT SENT BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS, UNTIL I SPOTTED THE NEW CUSTOMS HOUSE.
    WE JUST CAUGHT THE RIGHT GUY AS HE WAS SHUTTING UP SHOP.
    LUCKILY HE WAS A NICE GUY AND AFTER THE USUAL CONFUSION, ESPECIALLY OVER THE CARNET AND THEN THINKING WE WERE ON JUST ONE BIKE AND NOT MINE ASWELL, A PAYMENT OF ABOUT 300B THEN ANOTHER 100B FOR THE 'LASSER PASSER' WE WERE OUT IN ABOUT 30MINS.
    I ALSO GOT A NICE STICKER FOR THE BIKE STATING ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS AND THE 15 DAYS GIVEN, WHICH HAS TO BE ON VIEW FOR THE TRIP.

    OUDOM XAI - LUANG NAM THA 193KMS

    THE NEXT MORNING WE HEADED DOWN THE HOUY XAI- LUANG NAM THA DIRT ROAD.
    FAIRLY DUSTY AT THE MOMENT, BUT NOT TOO BAD AT ALL.
    NO REAL DRAMAS ALONG THE ROAD EXCEPT FOR A SONGTHOW STRANDED ALONG A BAMBOO BRIDGE. WITH ONLY 2 LOOSE PIECES OF BAMBOO NEXT TO THE VEHICLE. A BIT OF A DROP DOWN THE OTHER SIDE MADE IT A SLIGHTLY NERVOUS CROSS AS I ALSO HAD TOO LEAN ON THE SONGTHOW AS I RODE ACROSS.
    THERE IS A NEW BRIDGE ALONG THIS LAST JUNGLE STRETCH, WHICH HELPS, BUT AFTER VIENG POUKHA IT DEFINATELY GETS A LOT HARDER ON THE BONES AND BUM.
    THE FEW WATER CROSSINGS ARE ALSO PRETTY LOW THIS TIME.
    THE ONLY REAL ANNOYING PART IS THE AMOUNT OF TRUCKS YOU HAVE TOO PASS BEFORE THE LIGNITE MINE.
    I MUST HAVE COUNTED MORE THEN 18, EACH TIME GETTING COVERED IN DUST AND HAVING TO PASS BLIND!
    HAD TO DO THE LAST 30KMS IN THE DARK, AS WE LEFT FAIRLY LATE AND STOPPED A FARE FEW TIMES. ROAD USUALY DONE IN ABOUT 5-6 HOURS.
    MY USUAL G/H DARASAVATH WAS FULL OF LOUD SPITTING CHINESE ON A GAMBLING AND DRINKING SESSION, BUT STILL THE BEST PLACE FOR FOOD IN TOWN.
    STAYED A FEW DOORS DOWN IN A NICE WOODEN G/H WITH SEMI-HOT SHOWERS FOR 20,000 KIP.

    LUANG NAM THA - NONG KHIAW 231KMS (approx)

    THE FIRST 38KMS IS STILL ABOUT OF AN ON OFF ROAD, WITH IT HAVING FAIRLY GOOD ASPHALT, BUT MAINLY POT HOLED, WITH LOTS OF ROUGH BROKEN SECTIONS.
    AFTER THIS FROM THE JUNCTION NA TUEY THE ROAD IS ALL NEWLY SURFACED ASPHALT. EXCELLENT FAST SECTIONS WHICH SPEEDS THIS ROAD UP NICELY.
    THE NEXT 80KMS OR SO IS AGAIN ALL EXCELLENT ASPHALT EXCEPT FOR THE LAST 25-30KMS WHICH IS A BIT BROKEN UP IN PLACES WITH FEW ROUGH PATCHES, BUT NOTHING TOO BAD.

    HAVE BEEN USING UP FAR TOO MUCH OF MY BRAKE PADS TRYING TO STOP FOR DAMN CHICKENS, POSSIBLY THE MOST DUMBEST CREATURE ON THIS PLANET. EVEN IF THEIR ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD THEY DECIDED TOO RUN RIGHT ACROSS YOU AT THE LAST MINUTE.
    IF I HAD KNOWN ABOUT THE CHICKEN FLU EARLIER I WOULDNT HAVE HESITATED IN CULLING A FEW MYSELF!

    AN ENJOYABLE DAYS RIDING THOUGH AND MANAGED TO ONLY DO THE LAST 20KMS OR SO IN THE DARK.
    THE 30KMS FROM PAK MONG IS GOOD ASPHALT.
    SUNSET G/H WAS FULL, DUE TO A COUPLE OF PEOPLE SNEAKING IN AROUND US AS WE WERE STRUGLING TO TAKE OFF OUR BOOTS, SO STAYED OPPOSITE AT BAMBOO PARADISE G/H. BASIC BUT NICE ROOMS, EACH TWO ROOM SECTION HAS ITS OWN LITTLE TABLE AND VERAHNDA AREA TO CHILL OUT.
    HAS A FRIENDLY OWNER (BOUNMY) AND A FRIENDLY PUPPY (LUCKY) WHO HAS HIS OWN BAMBOO DOG HOUSE NEXT TO SOME OLD WAR ORDANANCE (MAYBE HE EARNED HIS NAME!)
    EAT AT SUNSET G/H, BY FAR THE BEST FOOD AND VIEW AND THE OWNER (CHURCH) VERY HELPFUL (AND SPEAKS FRENCH IF YOU NEED THAT)
    SPENT THE NEXT DAY AS A REST DAY, BUT I ENDED UP DRINKING 'LAO LAO' WITH BOUNMY AND HIS FISHERMAN FRIENDS (HE HAD BEEN OUT FOR 6 HOURS FISHING THAT MORNING AND WE WERE NOW EATING THE ONE AND ONLY FISH HE HAD CAUGHT! I WAS ASSURED HE WAS A TOP CLASS FISHERMAN, I WOULDN'T LIKE TO BE AT THE DINNER TABLE OF ANY NOT QUITE TOP CLASS FISHERMEN IN TOWN!)
    GOT FAR TOO DRUNK AND THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF THIS 'YAH DONG' MIX WE HAD HAVE NEVER BEEN PROVED TO ME, SO AS USUAL WOKE UP FEELING ROUGHER THAN ROUGH WITH JUST A SMALL MATTER OF 315KMS TOO RIDE TOO XAM NUA!

    NONG KHIAW - XAM NUA 315KM
    WHAT COULD BE A BETTER CURE FOR A SCREAMING HANGOVER THAN A BUMPY, WINDEY SEAMINGLY NEVER ENDING ROAD TO A VERY COLD PLACE?
    SET OFF JUST AFTER 9.00AM THE ROAD OUT OF NONG KHIAW IS BEAUTIFUL AT THIS TIME OF THE MORNING WITH THE SUN JUST PUSHING ITS LIGHT THROUGH THE MIST, RISING UP ALONG THE LIMESTONE CLIFFS AND WITH A BIT OF A CHILL IN THE AIR IT WAS NICE TO JUST TAKE THIS FIRST SECTION NICE AND EASY AND ENJOY THE VIEWS AROUND US, RATHER THAN FLY THROUGH AT BREAK NECK SPEED, CATCHING THE OCCASIONAL GLIMSE!
    MANY FRIENDLY HMONG VILLAGES ALONG THIS ROAD, STILL CELEBRATING NEW YEAR AND EVEN A TRAVELLING MARKET HAD SET UP ON THE ROAD, FORCING US TO NAVIGATE SLOWLY THROUGH SHOCKED LOOKING VILAGERS.
    THE FIRST 165KMS OR SO IS ALL GOOD ASPHALT MOUNTAIN ROAD, TOPPED WITH GREAT VIEWS.
    THROUGH THE NATIONAL PARK AT PHOU LOEI THE ROAD IS A LITTLE BROCKEN UP, BUT THE SURROUNDINGS MAKE UP FOR IT.
    THERE ARE A GOOD FEW PLACES TO PICK UP FUEL ALONG THE WAY, SUCH AS VIENG KHAM, SAM SOUN AND VIENG THONG.
    THE NEXT 59 KMS (AFTER A LEFT TURN UP A HILL) IS A VERY ROCKY ROAD WHICH CAN SLOW YOU DOWN, BUT SOME AREAS YOU CAN MAKE SPEED.
    THEY ARE NOW WORKING ON THE LAST 15-20KMS AND AT THE MOMENT IS JUST LOOSE, LARGE CHIPPINGS, MAKING THE RIDING VERY UNSTABLE ESPECIALLY CORNERING ONTHIS STUFF, MY BIKE WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE.
    AT POU LAO THE FUEL PUMP THAT USED TO BE HERE HAS DISSAPEARED.
    THE SUN WAS NOW COMING DOWN SO WE ENDED UP DOING ABOUT 70KMS IN THE DARK AND BY NOW PRETTY BRASS MONKEYS.
    INTO THE XAM NUA HOTEL FOR A SEMI HOT SHOWER.
    FRIENDLY STAFF AND CAN RIDE YOUR BIKES INTO THE PLACE, BUT JUST A TYPICAL COMMUNIST STYLE PLACE, WITH NO TRIMMINGS!
    EAT OVER THE ROAD AT THE ONLY RESTERAUNT THAT SHOWED ANY INTEREST, THIS PLACE IS DEFINATELY LACKING IN THE FOOD DEPARTMENT!
    OFF TO THE CAVES VIENG XAI (WELL WOLFGANG DID, AS I HAD SEEN THEM BEFORE I DECIDED A TRIP TO THE LOCAL G/H FOR A POT OF HOT TEA AND A SPOT OF KAREOKE, WITH THE LOCAL NONGS WAS A BETTER OPTION)
    ITS A GREAT ROAD HERE AND WE STOPPED FOR A CHAT WITH THE LOCAL UXO GUYS WHO HAVE A FEW GROUPS CLEARING THE AREA OF UNEXPLODED ORDANACE.
    THIS AREA WAS HEAVILY BOMBED AND CAUTION SHOUD BE HAD ON PEE BREAKS.(THE FIELD THEY WERE WORKING ON, I WAS STANDING ON THE OUT SIDE OF LAST YEAR, AS I SAW SOME WOMEN PICKING FLOWERS AT THE TOP WITH THIER BUFFALO AND PRESUMED IT WAS SAFE, WELL I HOPE IT WAS THE BUFFALO THAT WENT UP IN SMOKE!)
    WE LEFT AND RODE STRAGHT THROUGH XAM NUA ABOUT 13.00 SO HAD TO MAKE A BIT OF TIME UP TO GET TOO PHONSAVAN BY NIGHT.
    MANAGED TO MAKE IT ABOUT 40KM OUT OF PHONSAVAN BEFORE DARK.
    THE ROUTE 6 ROAD IS A GREAT ROAD IN NEAR PERFECT CONDITION. IT CLIMBS UP INTO VILLAGES HIGH UP IN THE MOUNTAINS, GOING THROUGH NICE FOREST PARTS AND LONG STRAGHTS WHERE YOU CAN REALY GET SOME SPEED GOING.
    WE DIDNT PASS ONE VEHICLE IN EITHER DIRECTION ALL THE WAY FROM NAM NUEN TO THE TURN OFF AT MUANG KHAM.
    SOME VERY FRIENDLY VILLAGES ALONG THE WAY. HAD TO STOP TO CHECK OUT THE SMALL CREATURES WE WERE SEEING.
    MOST VILLAGES SEEMED TO HAVE KIDS WITH A FAT GERBAL LOOKING CREATURE, WITH BIG CLAWS AND RABBIT LIKE TEETH, HANGING FROM BITS OF STRING.
    GOT SOME GOOD PHOTOS OF THEM, BUT COULDNT ASSERTAIN WETHER THEY WERE FOR EATING OR WHAT?
    IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS WHAT THEY ARE , PLEASE LET ME KNOW?! (ANSWERS ON A POSTCARD OR S.A.E.)
    SECOND TIME DOING THE LAST 40-50KMS IN THE DARK SO NOT TOO SURE ON VOEWS ETC.
    PHONSAVAN IS NOT THE MOST EXCITING PLACE IN LAOS, BUT IT HAS NOW IMPROVED, AS THE LOCAL PHONSAVAN G/H (COME PART TIME KNOCKING SHOP) HAS NOW EXPANDED ITS EMPIRE AND HAS A 'NASEEMS' INDIAN RESTERAUNT NOW!!!!
    AFTER A LONG NOT EATING, A CURRY AND COUPLE OF BEERS WAS VERY WELCOME.
    ALTHOUGH THEY CORNERED A LARGE RAT BEHIND A DOOR AND THEN PROCEEDED TO BATTER IT TO DEATH WITH A CRICKET BAT AS WE WERE EATING, BUT THEY SEEMED TO BE ENOYING THEMSELVES AND IAM SURE IT WAS CHICKEN IN MY CURRY.(TOO MUCH MEAT FOR A RAT)
    THIS IS NOT A BAD PLACE TO STAY AS ITS ABOUT AVERAGELY PRICED FOR PHONSAVAN(WHICH SEEMS A BIT STEEP!) ABOUT 50,000 KIP, BUT HAS BIG BEDS, BIG DUVETS AND HOT SHOWERS.

    PHONSAVAN - KASI 160KMS

    NICE EASY RIDE TODAY FOR ME. ROUTE 7 HAS RECENTLY BEEN ASPHALTED ALL THE WAY.
    ITS A GREAT ROAD CUTTING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS ALONG THE WAY, WITH BREATHTAKING SCENERY.
    ALLEGEDLY SAFE TO TRAVEL ALONG THIS ROAD NOW AND HAD NO REASON TO DOUBT THIS.
    TAKES ABOUT A LEISURELY 3 HOURS (ROUGHLY), DEPENDING ON HOW MANY STOPS ETC
    AT POU KHOUN JUNCTION MYSELF AND WOLFGANG SAID OUR FAREWELLS, AS HE WAS HEADING UP TO LUANG.P. FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS, WHERE AS I HAD TO GO MEET THE FIANCEE' IN KASI BEFORE HER BIRTHDAY, THE NEXT DAY!
    IT WAS A PLEASURE RIDING WITH THE WOLF DOWN TO HERE.
    I HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD ONE IN CAMBODIA MATE! SHAME I COULDNT RISK TAKING MINE IN WITH YOU THIS TIME!

    THE ROAD TOO KASI ALL IN GOOD CONDITION AND YES THE VIEWS ARE AWESOME!

    THE NEXT TWO WEEKS WAS SPENT IN KASI AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS WITH THE OCCASIONAL PARTY IN VANG VIENG,(AND ONE OUTDOOR PARTY IN A VILLAGE FAR FROM THE MAIN ROAD IN KASI DISTRICT, WHERE A DRUNK MAN WITH AN AK47 WAS DEMANDING MONEY OFF THE SOBER FALANG AND ASKING FOR BEER TOP UPS. AFTER A SMALL DONATION HE DECIDED TO REPAY ME BY GETTING THE BAND ON STAGE TO DEDICATE A SONG TOO "MR PIRIP" AND I WAS FORCED TOO DANCE LAO STYLEY WITH ER'INDOORS IN FRONT OF VIRTUALY EVERYBODY IN THE KASI AREA, FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE AN ETERNITY (I THINK IT WAS THE 12 INCH VERSION))

    THE 15 DAY BIKE VISA HAD RUN OUT AND IT WAS TIME TO HEAD BACK TO CHIANG MAI.

    KASI - LUANG PRABANG 169KM

    THE ROAD TO L.P. IS AN AMAZING WINDING ROAD, SURROUNDED BY GREAT LIMESTONE CLIFFS ETC ETC (HAS TO BE EXPERIENCED, NOT EXPLAINED)
    A VERY FAST ROAD FOR THE LAST 2/3RDS, THE THREAT OF RAIN WAS HANGING OVER MY HEAD FOR MOST OF THE DAY. (IT SEEMS ANY TIME I RIDE THIS SECTION OF ROAD TO L.P. IT RAINS AT SOME POINT)
    MADE IT IN 3 1/2 HRS WITH A COUPLE OF CIGGY STOPS.
    STAYED AT VERY GOOD AND REASONABLY PRICED G/H, WITH FRIENDLY OWNERS OFF CHAO FA NGUM TOWARDS THE RIVER, BUT IVE FORGOTTON THE NAME AND LOST THE CARD (OOPS) THEY HAVE JUST REPAVED ALL THE SOIS ALONG THIS STRETCH WHICH IS NICE!
    TOOK A LITTLE RIDE AROUND TOWN WHEN I SPOTTED THIS BIG GUY FLAGGING ME DOWN. IT WAS MR DAVID OF AUSTRALIA , I NEARLY DIDNT RECOGNISE HIM BECAUSE THERE WAS SOMETHING NOT RIGHT ABOUT HIM..................NO AFRICA TWIN!
    SO I GAVE BIKELESS DAVID A LIFT DOWN TO THE RIVER FOR A FEW SUNSET DRINKS. ( ONLY USED TO LITTLE NONGS ON THE BACK OF MY BIKE AND THE WEIGHT DIFFERENCE CAUSED ME A FEW WOBBLES, ESPECIALLY ON THE WAY BACK AFTER A FEW BEER LAOS! SORRY DAVID STRICTLY NONGS ONLY POLICY NOW FOR THE BACK OF MY BIKE!!)
    I FEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR BIKE HAD TURNED YOU FOR THE WORST, AS YOU EVEN TURNED DOWN THE CHANCE OF SOME LATE NIGHT KAREOKE!
    I WAS STILL FEELING ROUGH FROM A SPOT OF FOOD POISONING IN KASI SO AFTER CATCHING UP WITH A FRIEND THE NEXT DAY, I LEFT FOR A FEW REST DAYS IN NONG KHIAW.

    LUANG PRABANG - NONG KHIAW 145 KMS

    ABOUT 15 - 20KMS OUT OF TOWN THERE IS SOME WORK ON THE ROAD AND IT TURNS TOO LOOSE CHIPPINGS. BE WARY OF THE LIPS BACK ONTO THE TARMAC AS THEY ARE FAR HIGHER THAN THEY SEEM AND WACKED THE LIFE OUT OF MY FRONT TYRE AND THEN LITTLE DID I KNOW MY BIKE KEYS WERE FLUNG OUT OF THE IGNITION.
    NOTICED ABOUT 15 MINS LATER, SO TURNED AROUND TO BACK TRACK.
    ABOUT 6/7 KMS BACK I NOTICED THE KEYS PERCHED UNDER MY HANDLEBARS, SOME HOW CLINGING ON!
    THE REST OF THE WAY IS SMOOTH, FAST RIDING FOLLOWING THE NAM OU, NEARLY ALL THE WAY TO THE PAK MONG TURN OFF.
    STAYED A COUPLE OF NIGHTS IN SUNSUT G/H EATING, SLEEPING AND A FEW OTHER TINGS.
    MET A NICE COUPLE FROM BKK WHO HAD RODE THEIR LAND ROVER UP AND THROUGH VIENTIENNE.
    THEY SEEMED TO HAVE A FARE BIT OF PROBLEMS BRINGING IT IN FOR MORE THAN A WEEK AND WERE ONLY GIVEN CERTAIN PROVINCES THEY COULD VISIT AND HAD PAYED A GOOD CHUNK OF KIP FOR THE PRIVILAGE.

    NONG KHIAW - HUAY XAI 426 KMS

    SPLIT THIS INTO A DAY TO LUANG NAM THA AND THEN A DAY TO THE BORDER.
    IT WAS RAINIG THE WHOLE MORNING FROM NAM THA AND I WAS CONSIDERING WAITING UNTIL THE NEXT DAY AS I DIDNT FANCY GETTING SOAKED AND BOGGED DOWN ALL DAY.
    THE RAIN APEARED TO CLEAR AND STOP FOR A WHILE, SO ABOUT 09.45 I LEFT..............THEN THE RAIN STARTED AGAIN!
    JUST OUTSIDE OF VIENG PHOUKHA I MET 3 AMERICAN GUYS ON CHINESE MADE 125 CC SEMI OFF ROAD BIKES AND ALREADY HAD A THROTTLE PROBLEM (GOOD OL' CHINESE PRODUCTS) THEY HAD BOUGHT THE BIKES NEW RECENTLY AND WERE RIDING THROUGH TO BKK AND THEN BACK TOO CHINA. (I HOPE THE BIKES MADE IT LADS!)
    THE ROAD HAD TURNED TO THICK MUD AND THE RIN MADE T VERY HARD TO SEE PROPERLY BUT IT CLEARED FOR LITTLE PATCHES AND THE LAST 50KMS IT ACTUALY STOPPED AND THE ROAD WAS NICE COMPACT DIRT AND DUSTLESS.
    MADE IT TO HOUY XAI BY 3.30, WHICH WAS NOT BAD CONIDERING THE CONDITIONS. MANAGED TO ESCAPE DROPPING THE BIKE AS WELL, WHICH WOULDNT HAVE BEEN FUN IN THIS MUD, LOADED DOWN, TRYING LIFT A BIKE UP.

    SPENT THE NIGHT IN HOUY XAI, HAD A LAST FEW BEER LAOS AND LOADED SOME SPARES ONTHE BIKE THE NEXT DAY.
    NO TROUBLE AT CUSTOMS, JUST HANDED THEM MY FORM AND LEFT.
    THOUGHT I HAD MADE A DEAL FOR 400 B TO GET THE VEHICLE FERRY ACROSS THE MEKONG AS IT WAS NOW GOING BACK EMPTY, BUT THE GUT WHO AGREED 400B JUST GOT OFF THE FERRY AND LET IT LEAVE AND HIM AND ANOTHER 2 GUYS LOADED THE PACKED BIKE ONTO A BLOODY CANOE, BUT GOT ME THERE SAFELY AND DIDNT NEED TO UNPACK AND REPACK THE BIKE AGAIN.
    CUSTOMS THIS SIDE VERY FRIENDLY AND EVEN GAVE ME MY FORM BACK TO KEEP AS THE DATE WAS STILL VALID.(DIDNT QUITE UNDERSTAND THE REASONING BEHIND THIS THOUGH?! MAI PEN RAI.)

    IT WAS GREAT BEING BACK,THE RIDING STILL AMAZING, THE SCENERY STILL AMAZING, THE PEOPLE STILL AMAZING AND THE BEER..........SAY NO MORE!
    THE BIKE STAYED FAITHFULL WITH NO PROBLEMS, DIDNT DROP IT ONCE, DIDNT LOOSE ANYTHING THIS TIME (EXCEPT MORE PRECIOUS BRAIN CELLS) AND
    VERY SIMPLE WITH CUSTOMS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVER.
    THE COMPANY WAS TOP CLASS ASWELL.
    A SUCCESFUL TRIP................BACK AGAIN IN 3 WEEKS!
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Pirip
    Back again in 3 weeks eh? I have a rough plan to be in Luang Prabang & areas west of the Mekong for 2 - 3 weeks late Feb / early March?
    Should be surveying new dirt roads & will be on a Honda XR 250 Baja, the same as you.
    Lets check out the karaoke in LPB this time, plus the Muang Seua disco & my fave restaurant, the Soudephone down by the 'Khong; oh yeah & some new dirt roads - I want to find the new link from Luang Prabang direct to Hongsa, interested?

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Pirip
    Bad news about the boat mafia at Chiang Khong too.
    500 baht to take a bike across is price gouging in the extreme.
    My last trip to Huay Sai with 4 bikes, we managed to get the car ferry to go for 500 baht a bike = 2,000 thousand total. Originally we thought we would be able to go with the long tail boat mafia for 500 baht a boat with 2 bikes in each boat. But no way, they wanted a bike a boat, so we "stiffed 'em" & got the car ferry for the same price.
    Since then a couple of other mates have been back & had the same trouble, but the car ferry refused to go & insisted they must take the long-tail boats @ 500 baht a pop.
    After reading the excellent book “The Legend of the Golden Boat” by Andrew Walker, & some history of the Chiang Khong boat mafia & their “shipping / cargo disputes” on the Mekong, I reckon that the 500 baht a bike fee is going to be a real tough one to crack!

    Davidfl
    Keep the power on
     
  5. pirip

    pirip Active Member

    David,
    would love to check out the possabilities of the l.p. road direct to hongsa, girlfriend permitting! ( i do wear trousers, but its mainly a quick trip too pick her up and come back!)
    i'll drop you a line when i've got dates and know whats going on!
    As for the disco and kareoke, on the way down to kasi a big YES! on the way back a big NO CHANCE! (i like all my extremeties as they are!)
     
  6. robrone9

    robrone9 Member

    Hey phil,

    Its me rob, one of the guys you met on the road with the chinese bikes. We made it to BKK ok (in only a day and a half, driving almost all night, and we didnt even use drugs!! lol.) and had a blast, and the return trip went even faster, with us not worrying about which road went where. Thanks for your help at the border too! We barely made it over, and went to the customs house the next morning. That saved a ton of time getting to BKK. It was a ton of fun to hang out there with friends. I will say this though, that city is the scariest place on earth to drive. I thought I was going to die every 5 mins. China used to freak me out but it is like driving on a 10 lane open road now. lol. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and thanks.
     
  7. pirip

    pirip Active Member

    Hiya Rob!

    glad to hear you made it in one piece and i presume the bikes are as well?!
    i hope you got some intensive arse massage after getting to bkk on the seats on those bikes in such quick time.
    where are you and the bikes now and did you getting trouble through any of the borders on the way back?

    take it easy, good meeting you all!
     
  8. andy

    andy Member

    Hi Pirip, we met a year or two back in Laso somewhere (Vang Vieng?) probably watching football. Anyhow, I'm in CM about 23 March for three weeks so if you fancy a trip let me know. Not going to Laos are you? Meet for a beer anyhow if you're around. Cheers, Andy
     
  9. pirip

    pirip Active Member

    Andy,

    sorry mate if you find this message.
    didnt see your reply!
    would love to meet for a beer and/or a spin somewhere!
    i guess your already here.
    iam in Laos at the moment, but back in 3 days, will drop you another line.
     

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