Sam Soun to Luang Prabang

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by brian_bkk, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Hi All,

    Looking at the GT Rider map and want to head back a different way to the road already traveled.

    Has any one traveled the dirt road from Sam Soun to Luang Prabang?

    We will be in two Kawasaki Ninja's 650 R in early December.

    Looking for advice on the road condition and if it is suitable on a big bike.
    Also, how long would this ride take?

    I have taken the Ninja on the 70km dirt road to Paksong from
    Phoukham previously.. Wouldn't want to take her on too much more than this type of road.

    Thanks in advance your your help / guidance.

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I think BDP might be able to answer you on this one, as he's just come back from thereabouts.
  4. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Hi All,

    Anyone gone along this road in the last 6 months?

    Just want to know if the Ninja 650 R can handle it with out too many problems.

  5. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Will be today in Luang Prabang and will ask around and might even check it out tomorrow. Will let you know once I have more information.
  6. mactbkk

    mactbkk Ol'Timer

    This posting to another www site is from January 2009, it also has photos.

    Mac ... rough-Laos

    8 ) Pak Xeng - Sam Soun
    Good dirt, winding and steep accend climb, but track gets narrow on certain stretches, which is pretty dangerous when u turn out from a blind corner and an oncoming vehicle comes right into your path head on! However, the views are fu*kkingggg excellent!!! There is a narrow strip at the top of the mountain where you have sweeping views of the landscape on BOTH the left and right side as you look down the mountain!!! Avg riding speed 40-50km/h.

    At this junction, you need to turn left to get to Sam Soun. Once you hit the tarmac, the left turn brings you to Vieng Kham, the right turn towards Vieng Thong.

    9) Sam Soun - Vieng Thong
    Lots of huge potholes on the broken tarmac at many sections. The road is sealed towards the Vieng Thong side. Avg riding speed 60-80km/h.

    10) Vieng Thong - Phou Loa
    Great sealed roads, but was fogged out at 1600m above sea level, and got myself a little 'wet'. Avg riding speed 50-60km/h.

    11) Phou Loa - Xam Neua
    Nice winding roads with lots of elevation changes. Furthermore with some fog, the road is slightly damp, so its easy to slide around! However the scenery makes up for the tough conditions. Avg riding speed 40-50km/h
  7. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Hi there Brian.

    Ive ridden this track a few times (KLX) and think its one of the best tracks in Laos.
    Last time I rode it was 12 months ago and it was still dirt all the way.
    Im no expert on what road bikes can do in the dirt, but I would give it ago if theres no rain.

    Ill be riding the track later in the month, so I will give you an update, and post a few photos so as to give you a better idea of what its like.

    Cheers Moto-Rex
  8. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Great stuff. Thanks for the info and look forward to the pics.

  9. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    I'm not sure how good on dirt roads the Ninja is but it might be super difficult even with a little rain out there. I've ridden this road repeatedly over the last 5 years and it's not getting much better after Pak Xeng. I'd not take a bike with slicks on it to start with but I've not ridden the Ninja 650. I'd pass for sure if it looked like rain. The entry point on 1C has a descent first 12 km and if you are uncomfortable on the first bit, you'll not be happy on the next 60 km. The 70 km from Paksong to Phoukham - if I get you right is the Phu Bia road. This is a graded, compacted dirt/gravel road and the Sam Soun - LPQ run is in much lower quality of dirt road.

    Give it a go for the first 12, see how you do and it's not that bad after Pak Xeng but lots of loose gravel.
  10. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Did this trip yesterday from the Luang Prabang side to Sam Soun and onwards. Up to Pakxeng there should be no problems although there are quite a lot of loose stones. After Pakxeng the fun starts rising from about 350 meters to 1050 meter over a distance of about 10 km. My truck had no problems at all but in case it would have been raining I would not have made it. Basically the track was dry and dusty all the way but I assume that early morning some parts could be a bit slippery due to dew dripping on the road.


    I would leave it up to yourself to decide what to do and trying it out from the side of Rd 1C as mentioned by Jim will convince you if it is doable by a road bike as most of the bad spots are on that part of the track. The road is quite narrow but generally good as shown here


    The views are terrific along the track although it is getting hazy already a bit here and there.

    Attached is the profile of the track stating from Rd 13 to Rd 1C. It is about 120 km or so (lost part of the GPS track at the start) and it took me in the truck about 5 hours but I made frequent stops and small detours.


    By the way, the blue road sign at the junction mentioned in several reports about this track has disappeared but coming from road 1C just turn right at the first big T-junction 15 km after you turn of from road 1C.


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