2 Months 2-Up 1150RT Thailand/Laos

Jan 22, 2005
Follows is an over view of a 2 month 2-Up trip we took on our BMW1150RT between mid January to Mid March of this year. We left our home in Phuket and arrived back with just short of 13,000 km on the odometer. The basic route was up to Tak, over to Mae Sot, down to Umpang then headed back north and did one loop after the other, after the other…David’s maps and book pretty much spell it all out. Then into Laos at Vientiane, and up to Xam Nua in the North East, over to Udom Xai, up to the China border at Boten and then South back out of Lao and onto Phuket.

So much has been written about the great riding, twisties, excellent scenery, good food, cheap and easy to find accommodations, easy to follow route descriptions from David and others, that its easy to have a relaxing and enjoyable time. We would like to make special mention of two roads. Rt105 Tak to Mae Sot. We left Tak at first light and with the sun rising behind us we headed West up into the hills. This turned out to be one of our more favorite early morning rides. Secondly was a ½ day ride to the North going out of Mae Hong Son on Rt108 and then turning left at the Tham Pla Fish Cave and then up to the Burma border at Mae Aw. Beautiful scenery along this road with a nice quiet place for lunch when you get to the end of it where we had a relaxing time prior to heading back to Mae Hong Son.

And the Long Necks are and interesting group to visit while riding in Mae Hong Son area.

We are now back here in the North (16 April) and looking to enjoy more of the great riding in this area.

The Laos portion of the trip is were we really had a Great Time. Spectacular scenery, Spectacular roads and some roads not so much so, but they did make for some interesting riding especially 2-Up on a RT.

The route we took was:
• Vientiane R13 to Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang
• Back down South along Rt13 to Rt7 and over to Phonsavan.
• All three of the Plain of Jars sites, except No.3 which was closed.
• Rt10 to Moung Khoune
• Rt7 out of Phonsavan to just short of Nam Kanh at the VN border and then back to Rt6 and up to Xam Nua
• Day ride out of Xam Nua to Rt6B and Sop Bao. Then a ferry across the Nam Ma and on up to Pahang at the VN border. Got just short of the border on this greasy muddy stretch and after laying the bike down, thought it better to call it good.
• Day ride out of Xam Nua along Rt6A where we managed to get all the way to the VN border at Na Meo
• We enjoyed the Xam Nua area and to the East along Rts 6B and 6A Very Much!! 6B being more up along the mountain ridges and 6A being down along the valley floor.
• Xam Nua south along Rt6 to Suan Hin and then took the 6 kilometers off road to Suan Hin. A Great Time looking at Suan Hin!!
• From Rt6 over to Rt1 and Vieng Thong. This stretch of Rt1 was very hard on the bike and we could not have made it going from West to East where instead of going downhill for 950 meters of elevation we would have had to go up hill and the road conditions would have been impossible on the RT.
• Continued on Rt1 going West out of Vieng Thong and over to Udom Xai.
• Udom Xai up Rt13 to Boten and onto the China border.
• Boten South back to Udom Xai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane and into Thailand and on down to Phuket. It took just over three days from the China border at Boten to Phuket.

The bike in Luang Prabang

The wife (Mai) who makes riding and traveling so much fun to do.


Not much need for comment here.

This lady selling the real Lao in the morning market in Xam Nua.

The next morning when we saw her the bottle was more then half empty.
And yes it was cold.

Excellent twisties, spectacular scenery. These villages are always located at over 1,000 meters.

Scenery, scenery and more beautiful scenery.

As one person wrote last week in his posting of this area; you run out of superlatives trying to describe how beautiful it is.

Plain of Jars site No.1

These next two pictures were taken at Suan Hin

which is located 6km off of Rt6 and about 80km South of Xam Nua.


These stones were carved around 1,500 years ago at the same time they carved the jars at the Plain of Jars and also the same time they were building Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Ferry crossing at Sop Bao. Rt6B North out of Xam Nua on the way to the VN border at Pahang.

Rt1 off of Rt6 on our way to Vieng Thong and ultimately over to Udom Xai. The road here dropped 950 meters in elevation just about as you see in the picture. We could not have made up this section especially if it had been raining – going down was bad enough and with many pot holes too. Not kind to either the bike or to the tires.

Working our way along Rt13 between Boten and the China border.

More of Rt13 north of Boten.

The road between Boten and the China border is being constructed by the Chinese. They’ve many similar signs along this route - to inspire the workers??

This women is sitting just a few meters from the China border gate where Rt13 enters China north of Boten. We parked here for about 20 minutes and never could get her to smile or change her facial expression.

It was colder then usual this season, which made for seeking out hot coals and hot tea every chance we had.

2 months 2-Up on a BMW 1150RT. A great trip!
Our special thanks to David for his maps and book and other GT Riders for the helpful comments that they had posted on this web site.

David & Mai