Route 18 (Thang Beng - Attapue)

Discussion in 'Laos Southern GPS Tracks' started by brian_bkk, May 11, 2012.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    GPS Make / Model:- Zumo 660

    GPS Track Name:- Route_18

    GPS Track Recorded by:- brian_bkk

    Start :- Thang Beng

    End:- Attapue

    Way Points:- King Fisher Eco Lodge

    Date :- January 2012

    Season :- Cool

    Conditions :- Cool, dry. Rivers still high but all passable on the KLX. Once the exhaust went under slightly.

    Link to trip report :-

    Other comments you would like to add:-
    One of my favourites.. ridden Route 18 Three times now and will be back for more.
    Depending on your budget the Eco lodge is a bit expensive.. but it is the best place to stay for miles. Otherwise you need to find a guest house back on the main road. If you stay at the guest houses.. Be sure to get up early and stop at the Eco Lodge for a great breakfast that will set you for the day.


    Attached files Route_18.gpx (350.2 KB)
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  3. Axel_F

    Axel_F Member

    Thanks a lot Brian, for uploading these. Brilliant.

    I noticed that your track on the Rd 18 deviates quite a bit from Google maps and the GT rider Map ; unlike most of the other routes you posted. Your track runs quite a bit further north.

    Did you simply follow what must be considered the "main road" (and are the maps incorrect); OR, are there two different main tracks? In which case I wonder which would be the better of the two...
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Hi Axel,

    Glad to hear this was of use to you :)

    Google Maps are some what limited and big parts of the route missing from route 18. I would not really rely on Google Maps other than a reference to be confirmed with your GT-Rider Map and other map sources.. Most importantly from the GTR forum like you have done with your post..

    Openstreet Maps is probably more accurate that Google Maps as it is updated by fellow travellers.. I have uploaded most of my tracks here also. A good source of information and a constant work in progress regularly updated.

    Never noticed my track being out from the GTR map.. Thought they were pretty much the same. Will check.. But the paths may change by a few metres here and there as the track gets torn up by vehicles and another way around is made / found to get around the mud..

    Probably best way to answer your question is the following.

    Log in to Google Earth..

    - After the Eco Lodge the track pretty much goes east then south to a river crossing.. Further on after crossing the river you are confronted with a choice to go right or left .. You go left.. I went right two times in a row and realised I was going the wrong way towards a village and a trail that leads south.

    - At one point you have to take a pretty hard right following the well used trail around.. there is a trail that goes on straight.. but it is not well used.. We followed this this first time we did Route 18.. If I am correct.. This is part of the 'road' that was started.. 18 (B?)... but then abandoned.. This is very remote compared to the other track and that is remote enough in parts.. Not only that towards the end you have to cross loads of huge rocks on the upper road.. Plus we had the added fun of a tree that had fallen across the path and had to hack away at branches and Bamboo to get past as there was a drop off to the right of the branches
    You can see the outline of the upper 'road' trail in Google earth when you zoom in.. It is quite straight and just above the GPS track. This is the trail shown in Google maps but not the one most people use.

    - The road above the track comes out at the last big river crossing and you join the main route in to Attapue... Don't attempt the top road on your own. We didn't see one other person on this road and it was partially grown over and trees growing back on the trail as hardly used - This was in April 2011.
    Started to get concerned about water and petrol near the end..

    I would stick to the trail to the south as per the GPS track.. If that is not exciting enough for you ;-) go back and do the other trail :)

    Route 18 is a blast.. look forward to doing this a 4th time next year.. I would wait until January earliest.. As the road still had a lot of mud and the rivers are still high.. The locals at one of the rivers wanted to rip Rex and me off .. it was touch and go and we went for it rather than pay them 50 USD each to get the bikes over.. We rode through every river in January, but we were lucky as a little bit more water and we would have needed carrying.

    There will be locals at these rivers that will get you across for a fee.

    Below trip report from our first trip. Here you can see some pics from Route 18 upper road with rocks etc.

    Doesn't look too bad in the pics.. but those rocks were not fun and there was a fair bit to get over and no other way to get around them.

    Hope that helps

  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    In GPX file posted on the forum you wont see the wrong turn where I went right as mentioned in my last post.
    I edited the track removing the wrong turn before posting on the forum.

    That right turn is on the Open Street Maps and looks to be a dead end


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