The best of the best!

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Susan, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Susan

    Susan Member

    I've been riding in Laos for two months all over the north and the scenery, the people and the actual riding itself have been glorious!

    Collectively, ALL the riding was awesome, but there is one ride that somehow topped the others.

    A long day's ride NE of Phonsavan (Plain of Jars area) to the NE-most capital city of Sam Neau was the best of the best of all the riding in northern Laos. Nothing short of spectacular in EVERY sense of the word.

    Leave Phonsavan on a great, asphalt road (Route 7) dotted with beautiful Hmong villages and rice fields to the town of Muang Kham, about 55 minutes away.

    Turning north onto Route 6, you begin the sweeping, twisty, breathtaking climb (about 2 hrs riding time) up, up, up to the village of Nam Neu, named for the pretty river that gurgles along just outside of town. After a steaming bowl of noodle soup, (you'll need the warmth if you're there in Decamber or January. It can get very cold!) proceed onward up even narrower, twisting roads (watch carefully for trucks and buses, even on these roads that seem too narrow for anything but a bike or foot traffic! This goes as a general rule of thumb for all of Laos!)

    Another 2 hrs riding from Nam Neun brings you into the capital city of Houa Phan province, Sam( sometimes written Xam) Nua. Some of the remnants of the French Colonial architecture still exist and it's a welcome sight in this small (by Vientiane measure)and tidy city. There's a HUGE open market and lots of beautiful caves and waterfalls to explore up here too.

    For me, the greatest joy of the trip was simply the grand experience of the exquisite views and the challenge of technical riding: steep, uphill climbs, hairpin twists, turns that rimind me of the figure eight obsticle course in safety training class (thank GOD I paid attention that day!) and always, staying on the immediate alert for cattle, chickens, goats and pigs ambling along in the middle of the road anytime. Anywhere. Around ANY turn!

    I'd love to share more with anyone who's planning a Laos trip and wants to chat. Please feel free to contact me.
     
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  3. LaudJohn

    LaudJohn Ol'Timer

    Susan,

    Thanks for your posts, it sounds like an awsome trip and like you really got under the skin of Laos.

    A mate and I are planning a 2-3 week bike trip around Laos in around March. Starting in Vientienne and heading south. At this stage it is intended to hire bikes in Vientiene. Do you know how much this is and what the deposit requirements are, can there be cash instead of passports? Ideally I would like to have someone come down from Vientiene and grab the bikes as I would like to cross the border into Cambodia, does anyone know if this is possible?

    An alternative is to buy bikes in Cambodia. Does anyone know if it is possible to cross into Laos or into Laos via Thailand on Cambo registered bikes?

    Susan, Aprox how much did it cost you each day for bike, fuel, accommodation and food?

    cheers,
    LaudJohn
     
  4. Susan

    Susan Member

    LaudJohn,

    I payed $15 USD/day from a great motorcycle shop called PVO in Vientainne, the only place to rent bike of any size in Laos. My passport was required as a deposit. I don't know about anyone coming down to grab your bikes. Sounds unlikely.

    Goodluck!

    Susan

    Don't Postpone Joy!
     

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