Whilst en route to Muang Sing for the Boun That Xieng Teung festival i got held up in Houei Xai for a night due to a slow Mekong river crossing, caused by a 10-wheel truck stuck in the mud for 2 hours, resulting in a late afternoon arrival / clearance in HX & not enough time to wander on up to Luang Nam Tha at a nice leisurely pace. The next morning having a cuppa down by the ferry landing I spotted a ferry coming over laden with cars - old classic cars. what the hell is all of this I wondered..... What a fabulous collection of cars, but where were they going?? All the way through Laos to the south & Cambodia ++ The group: The Tiger Rally 2012. "The Tiger Rally is a three week adventure through some of the most exotic and unspoilt lands in South East Asia. This adventure takes you along the roads less travelled in four of the most fascinating countries in the world – Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. From the historic island of Penang to Bangkok, the pulsating capital of Thailand, you will meet the gentle people of the region, wonder at the scenery, sample the delights of several cuisines and stay in memorable hotels. Competition will be on a level playing field with your fellow participants on routes that climb mountains, cross plains and follow one of the world’s greatest rivers, the mighty Mekong, as it cuts its way to the South China Sea. The roads will be good while the routes will be challenging and inspiring, stimulating and thought-provoking, cultural and memorable. In towns it may be demanding with tuk-tuks, taxis, cycles (motorised and otherwise), buses, pedestrians and all manner of small load carriers, weaving and wandering in your path. On the country routes it will be less congested but equally enthralling. You will come away with a huge smile and a desire to see more of this amazing region." Their route Penang - Bangkok Bangkok - Golden Triangle Golden Triangle - Chiang Khong - Houei Xai - Oudom Xai - Luang Prabang Luang Prabang - Phonsavan / Plain of Jars Phonsavan - Pakxan - Savannakhet Savannakhet - Pakxe - Cambodia... I was highly impressed, but wondered how they were going to handle the Phonsavan - Pakxan sector - wreck a few cars was my thought. Anyway after a bit of a chat with the group I ended up going with them to Luang Namtha, with the female photographer riding pillion on the Versys, supposedly for her to get photos on the move, plus some nice road & scenery shots along the way. It took a bit of time for us to get re-organised & ready to go (nothing to do with me either), such that we were late leaving & did not catch up to the last cars until 30 kms out of HX. Shyte I thought these guys were moving & could drive. Before we could get to LNT it started raining about 15 kms out & we never caught up to the front of the caravan. All highly entertaining I thought. So on the LNT bypass road I dropped of my pillion & swapped her for a nice bag of Laos maps in the sweep vehicle at the rear. The classic car group carried onto Oudom Xai for the night. You can follow their trip blog here http://www.hhclassicrallies.com/our-rallies/tiger-rally/blog/ And I note from their blog that Phonsavan - Pakxan - Savannakhet was like ths "Today was a hard day for all teams mainly due to the road conditions and the increased temperatures and humidity after the rally descended the mountain region on the way to Savannakhet. The Clerk of the Course was very pleased with the test that ran through the mountains followed by a large ford or the option to use a local ferry. It was the ferreyman’s lucky day and he probably took more today that the rest of the year. All the teams and some of the organisational vehicles chose to use the ferry rather than risk being stranded in the middle of the fast flowing river ford. However there was a steep mud track to manage after the ferry to reach the road again and some cars found this needed several attempts and a heavey right foot to get them to the top. The afternoons driving was less spectacular in scenery but there were alot of stories being told of getting caught in local traffic, the terrible dust on some sections of roads where the surface was being repaired and massive change in lanscape as we came into Savannakhet fopr the end of day. The mechanics had a fair amount of work with a variety of problems being posed. The Lagonda of Jan Woien and Jan Hansen had a nail in the tyre, the BMW of the Buehler’s had a smashed windscreen from debris flying up from the road surface, Roger Allen and Maggie Gray had problems with poor fuel and the beautiful Jaguar of Michael and Sarah O’Shea suffered overheating problems. All teams and final mechanics sweep, Zulu, were in by dinner even if a little travel weary."