2,200 Km. Rainy Laos loop July 2008

artunltd

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Jun 20, 2006
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2,200 Km.Rainy Lao Loop July 2008

Dates:July 3-July 15 2008

The Way:
Day 1: Vientien-Vang Vieng
Day 2: Vang Vieng
Day 3: Vang Vien-Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang-Phonsavan
Day 5: Phonsavan-Vieng Thong
Day 6: Vien Thong-Nong Khaiw
Day 7: Nong Khaiw-Oudom Xai
Day 8: Oudom Xai-Pak Beng
Day 9: Pak Beng-Hongsa-Xayabouri
Day 10: Xayabouri-Luang Prabang
Day 11: Luang Prabang-Kasi
Day 12: Kasi-Vientien

The Riders and Bikes: Craig-Kansas-South Korea
Phil- Michigan-Palau
Shane-Canada-South Korea
Josh-New York-Thailand

The Bikes: Honda Baja xr 250's

The Weather: Cloudy,rainy,little sun,rainy,wet,rainy,wet,rainy,little sun,cloudy,rainy

We rented the bikes from Jim at Remote Asia. Jim was very heplful with all aspects of the ride. It was nice to be able to contact him through out the trip. The only part of the trip that was not good was the stretch from
Hongsa to Xayaboury. The road is completely torn up for the whole 95 KM. Jim told us that it should have taken 4 hours, but it took us 12 hours and 24 villagers to help push us through the mud. I would say that this road is a 9, (pretty much impassable) for the rest of the rainy season. They said that the construction will take over a year.
The best stretch was from Phonsavan-Vieng Thong-Nong Khiaw. It was beautiful just a little misty.
There are too many photos to post here so go to this link to see.

http://groups.msn.com/artunltdgallery

All in all a great trip.

Cheers............ enjoy
 

s_roney420

New Member
Aug 2, 2008
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I was in on this trip. It was great. The scenery was beautiful and I think that he rainy season gave it some charm that the dry season might not be able to provide. Through the mountain passes we would ride through beautiful cloud formations that would at times, dissolve into amzing views of rainbows and mist in the valleys.

I would say to try to avoid the South West part of Laos during this time of year. I have to say that we were given some very dated information on road conditions that could have very nearly caused us some major problems or injuries which would coulde have been very problematic on the road from Hongsa to Xayabury. If you get in trouble on this road be aware that there is no cell phone reception to be able to call anyone for help. You are on your own and must rely on the kindness of villagers to help you if you get in trouble. The road information we were given was told to us, as though it was up to date, but we came to find out later it was 4-5 months old and from the end of the dry season. When of course this road would have been the most passable.

Udom Xay was a very strange city with us not being able to communicate at all even though two riders in our group speak Thai (and by therefore Laos) quite well and had served us well on our trip up to that point. It seems that Chinese is the lingua franca in that city. The ride from there to Pak Beng to catch the boat was not breathtaking or even really that pretty but once you get to Pak Beng there is a great little dirt track heading east out of town past the ferry pier that is well worth the ride.

It ends at a river and is a simple half lane dirt track but is fun to ride (if dry) and really has some beautiful scenery. Take the road that takes you out past the resort and keep going until you are stopped by the small river. A really fun ride and a great way to spice up your day after the uneventful ride from Udom Xay south.

If you are going through Pak Beng try to get there before the boat from Thailand, that is going to Luang Prabang, stops for the night at about 5 pm or so. Not only will you have a premium choice of rooms to choose from since you will be the first tourists in town but you will also have a chance to soak up a little atmosphere of the quiet little town on your own before the hoard of boat people show up for the night.

We ate at the Indian restaurant there and the food was good although the owner of the place turned out to be a bit of a jerk when he accused a friend of ours (not on the bike trip) the next day of breaking some things in the restaurant and causing a problem; which of course he did not.

All in all a really good trip and a lot of fun.