I posted something similar to this on the mountain bike sub-forum recently but I'm hoping for more (current) info here. I'm planning on the following route later this month: Houi Xai - Vieng Phouka - Long - Xieng Kok - Houi Xai I've heard a rumor that there is now a road from Xieng Kok to Xieng Dao, eliminating the need for a boat. It's not on the latest GT-Rider map but this post seems to confirm it -- http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/new-road-linking-bokeo-luang-namtha-t6026.html. If anyone has done this and has a report, I'd appreciate hearing it. Also, the GT-Rider map shows a track from Xieng Dao to Ban Mom. I've heard that this doesn't really exist. If this does exist it should be pretty easy to follow along the Mekong. Can anyone confirm that they've been on this track? Or am I better off riding from Xieng Kok thru Muang Meung to Poung, and from there back on Rte 3? I might make this a longer trip by doing the above loop backwards. When I get to Vieng Phouka I'd go southeast to Nalee and then to Muang Houn on Rte 2W and Pak Beng and cross into Thailand at either Muang Ngeun or back to Houi Xai before returning home to Chiang Mai. Comments on doing that on an mtb would be appreciated. If anyone is interested in joining me, let me know. A trip report will follow.