Just got back from a cracking ride. Ranks up there with the best short rides I ever had. I felt a bit guilty, we were having such a great time, while much of the country is suffering in the flooding. This is a great time for riding; before the tourists and tour buses are around, the countryside is green after the rains and the air is clear before the burning starts. Only drawback is the potholes haven’t been worked on yet. These are the rides that make you appreciate the fact that you’re in the best country in the world. The Thunderbird performed faultlessly although the brakes don’t inspire me with confidence on the steep mountain downhills…… 3 Days – 540 miles (the Thunderbird Smiths chronometric speedo reads in miles). Day 1; Viang Yonok – Chiang Khong – Pu Chee Fah. The 1129 out of Chiang Saen is getting badly potholed, due to trucks and rainy season till you get to the mountain at Khiu Kan. Then, past the viewpoint and down the other side and alongside the river into Chiang Khong is all good, recently resurfaced, smooth tarmac twisties, good ride. The Mekong Explorer heading downriver from Chiang Saen to Vientiane. Met up with Gary and Nong at Chiang Khong. They were on his Yamaha Midnight Star cruiser. Headed down the 1020, then a shortcut, poor road across to the 1156 at Pak Ing. Great ride alongside the Kong river, good surface, past Wiang Kaen and then took the first left on 1093 up the mountains to Pu Chee Fah. Great scenery, average B road. Pu Chee Fah village is a bit tacky, so went past to Pu Sawan. Found Phu Fah Sawan, a good little resort, bungalows, with tremendous views west, but no-one there (hard to find anyone around at 16:00, they’re all farming in the fields, cause off season). Continued to Lao U and then Pu Chom Dao. Stayed in the wrong guest house on the left (concrete mattress and brick pillows) but there is a better place on the right here with great views across the valley. Lots of Hmong people up there. They must have just come over the top of the mountain into Thailand to escape the communists years ago.