Two white guys and there white Kawasaki’s explore Southern Laos.

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Riders; BrianBKK and Moto-Rex.

    Bikes; Two white KLXers.

    Until the day we meet up in Laos, we really had no firm itinerary planned, except the ride was to start in Pakxe, and riding to the Nong Fa volcanic lake had to be a part of the trip, so the day we meet up in Pakxe, which was the first time we had meet in person, we dragged out the map, and while having a few refreshments by the Mekong, we worked out a rough plan.

    Brian has a more detailed report here.
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/35871-Southen-Laos-Trip-Report-January-2012.

    And he has put together one of the best dirt riding videos on the net here.
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/threads/35883-Southern-Laos-the-video-January-2012

    A lot of the trip was made up as we went along. The rough plan was indeed rough, but when it was all over, this was how it worked out.

    Pakxe – Don Khong. Following the west side of the Mekong.
    Don Khong – Kingfisher Lodge at the start of the Attapeu track (hwy18)
    Kingfisher – Attapeu.
    Attapeu – Attapeu. Ride to Nong Fa volcanic lake and back.
    Attapeu – Sekong.
    Sekong – Tad Lo.
    Tad Lo – Tad Lo. Dirt Loop via bombed bridge.
    Tad Lo – Ubon Ratchathani.

    Day one. We left Pakxe early and rode down to Champasak for breakfast on the new tar road.
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    After breakfast it was straight on to a dirt track that would take us to the island of Don Khong.
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    What a great part of the world it is down here. Riding along side the great Mekong river with its spectacular scenery, was a good way to start the trip.
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    First drink stop for the white knights.
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    A few inquisitive locals came out to say hello.
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    The track would leave the river now and then, but we would never be more than 100 metres for the bank.
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    After a long days ride, with lots of single track and unique bridge crossings, we looked across the river to see Don Khong. And with a little searching we found a small ferry with a small skipper to take us over to the island.
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    The river at this point was about 150 metres across, and although the boys mother had control of the motor, these two little blokes navigated the vessel to the other side with pin point precision.
    Better to have your life in the hands of these guys, than the hands of Italian Capitan of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that fled the scene.

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    Our breakfast and dinner spot on the island.
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    Don Khong would be a good place to chill out. So quiet and peaceful.
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    But we had no time to be quiet or peaceful, so we ventured on, leaving to island behind.
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    The turn off to the famous Attapeu track.
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    Some ruins that where in ruin. Built only 800 years ago and falling a part already.
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    After a good night sleep with the elephants at the Kingfisher resort, we hit the dry and dusty road to Attapeu.
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    Just love this photo, ……young fellas having a laugh, with to them must be a strangely dressed foreigner.
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    The first of many river crossings.
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    Along with the dust and dirt, there was plenty of mud, and Brian had a close up look at some of it.
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    Brian has a great video of the bike, the rider, and mud, all becoming acquainted here.


    They was only one thing do, at that was to wash it off in the next river.
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    We ventured on.
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    Checking the depth of yet another river crossing.
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    This was to be the last river crossing for the day, it was wide and deep, but even though there was a ferry there, we decided to give it ago.
    We walked it several times and worked out a line that get us to the other side without drowning the bikes. Problem was as the river was so wide remembering the hot line was going to be difficult.

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    Not sure what Brian’s hand signals meant, so I just took off. I stalled it in the middle after hitting a rock, but it started up straight away, and made it across. Then Brian followed without any problems. We had a good laugh about on the other side. I’ll put up a video of the crossing shortly.

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    Next day it was off the Nong Fa lake, which is best viewed on google earth. The lake its self is nothing much. But the ride was ok, and Im glad we went up for a look.
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    The ride out to Attapeu and back was a lot of KMs on a KLX, we arrived back just on dark hungry, so after a shower it was off for a feed. I cant remember what its called, but it hit the spot, along with the beer Lao.
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    The famous missile at Paan on the way to Sekong. It would have been good to fire it up, but it wasn’t pointing in the direction of Vang Vieng so why bother.
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    The road just out of Paan.
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    There was really nice villages along the stretch from Paan to hwy
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    Sekong had a good hotel and restaurant were I stuck with the chicken and pork, while Brian went for the turtle soup. "Touché away!"
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    Early morning fuel stop in Sekong.
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    The happy fuel attendant.
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    River crossing south east of Salavan.
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    Brian was the expert in riding in southern Laos, and knew some great spots to stay and eat. He suggested that instead of staying in Salavan for the night, we should go the extra KMs and stay at the Tad Lo lodge. This was a great call, it was so beautiful and quiet, and the restaurant and rooms where great.
    Bungalow at Tad Lo Resort.
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    The elephants come down to the river every afternoon only 50 metres from the bungalow.
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    Great spot for a beer and a feed.
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    Next day was an out and back loop to see a bridge that was bombed not far from Salavan.
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    It was a good loop with some good little bridges to ride over.
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    At the border after a great 9 days in Southern Laos, I was going to stay in Laos and go north, but the last 9 days where so good, I thought Id leave Laos on a high, and rode to Ubon with Brian were he put he’s bike on the train, and then caught a plane to Bangkok.

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    This was really a great trip, southern Laos is a beautiful part of Laos, with the islands, the unique villages, and endless dirt tracks. It was also great to meet up and ride this part of Laos with Brian, who has no fear when it comes to deep river crossings. Lol

    Great Trip.

    Moto-Rex
     
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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    If one judges by the photos & the enthusiasm of your report there can be no better place to be off-roading & what great access such an outing gives you to the real Laos.
    Great report.
     
  4. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    Fantastic !! I salute you both
     
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Fantastic report Rex.

    Can't wait to go back :)
     
  6. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Hi Rex / Guys,

    I didn't add these earlier.. so a good time now.

    The routes we took.. Only one missing is the day to lake Nong Fa.

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    Pakse to Don Khong along the Mekong.

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    Don Khong up to the Attapue turn off and a little loop around the trails near the Angkor period temple and then to the Eco Lodge.

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    Route 18

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    Attapue to Sekong via Saravan to Tad Lo, then a loop to the bombed out bridge and back up the Plateau to Tad Lo. Then a ride through the middle of the Plateau to Paksong then to Tad Fan and on to Pakse and the border / Ubon
     
  7. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Fantastic guys, what a trip. Terrific pix and report. Thanks for posting.
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Woohoo! What a great trip report! Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  9. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Good One Rex! Loved the Pictures! Next Time I go to Laos I have to follow You so I can get a Great trip in! Top Stuff Mate.
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yes sir-ree what a ripper ride & report. You sure know how to have a good time & enjoy life Moto-Rex. Does it get any better?
    Please keep riding & reporting - they're all appreciated reports.
     
  11. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Great job with the maps brian, the first one shows just how close we were to the river all day.

    Cheers.

    Moto-Rex
     
  12. Jurgen

    Jurgen Ol'Timer

    Great pics and report Rex, as always. Also interesting tracks from Brian. I just arrived from northeast Laos yesterday. I am envious of your trails, but with a white Versys ...:wtf:
     
  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Hi Jurgen,

    To be honest.. I would not take a Versys on some of the routes we did.. To big and heavy and you wouldn't want to drop it in the river and have to get it back up :) Also the exhaust is not high enough for many of the river crossings. The KLX or other dirt bike is much easy to balance when going over slippery rocks, mud, steep sandy and rutted roads

    You could do most of the route along the Mekong but would need to find alternative paths for the bamboo bridges.

    Rex and I both discussed a Versys and the routes we took and agreed neither of us would want to take a Versys on many of those paths. We almost had to carry the KLX's over one river crossing.. Not sure how many villagers a Versys would need ;-)

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  14. blkphantom

    blkphantom Ol'Timer

    Rex,
    Great report.
    Is that a motionpro handlebar mount? or some other brand.
    Im looking to do a handlebar mount on my klx250.
    Thanks,Al
     
  15. blkphantom

    blkphantom Ol'Timer

    That would be Gopro camera mount.
    My bad,LOL
    Al
     
  16. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Gday blkphantom.

    I used RAM mounts, because they allow more flexibility the GOPRO mounts.

    http://www.ja-gps.com.au/RAM-Mounts

    I found this combination to work pretty well on the KLX.

    I simply attached a GOPRO mount to the flat surface of this RAM GPS mount.
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    You can use this handle bar mounting piece.
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    I used this clamp, as I thought it would be good for filming from positions on the bike.
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    Mount extension.
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    It worked out pretty well, and although its sticking up a bit high on the YZ, on the KLX its about right, as seen in the photo of the above trip report.
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    The clamp allows you to mount it almost any were on the bike, or on a fence etc if you want to film yourself riding past.
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    Cheers Moto-Rex
     
  17. blkphantom

    blkphantom Ol'Timer

    Rex,
    Great report on how to mount a gopro camera.
    Thanks for takeing the time.
    Cheers,
    Al
     

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