2 on 1 Honda Baja: Roads and Rooms in Laos

Jan 12, 2003
2 on 1 Honda Baja: Roads and Rooms in Laos
« on: Jun 14th, 2002, 6:22am » Quote Modify Remove


Rte. 3 Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha:
In the end of April 2002 we drove from Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha although everybody had told us NOT to do so. Most of the times I am a bit stubborn but this time it was my boyfriend!
Anyway, everything went very fine but I also think we were very lucky. Two nights ago it had rained: enough, to make the dust stick to the street but not THAT much to let the rivers rise too high.
We DIDN'T come off the bike once, and in fact, it was a lovely ride on a very nice dirt road. Maybe they had worked a bit on the road as well. But now, 6 weeks later and with beginning of the rainy season, things are probaby very different again.

Rte.7 Phou Khoun to Phonsavan:
We did this trip after some days of heavy raining and also on this day it had started to rain again. For the first 70 km it was and is a lovely asphalt road. But because of the heavy rainfalls there happend to be a lot of landslides with many rocks lying on the road.
So please beware if you take this route and everything seems to be fine so you feel free to speed because it's such a good road: there might be huge rocks lying just around a curve, at least as long as the rainy season lasts!

And then - out of a sudden - we were confrontated with a huge mudhole: the road isn't finished yet. Because of that much rain, the dirt was completly soaked and absolutly slippery, as if you would drive on ice. The better solution than driving just somewhere was to stick to the truck tracks (which were between 30 and 40 cm high) and drive in them. This is still VERY slippery but at least you don't sink that much more in!
In our (and the locals) opinion under THIS conditions it's only possible to do the way in this direction, because it is mainly downhill. So IF you would like to go uphill towards Phou Khoun, your wheels would probably spin around without gripping...Also the trucks were fighting like mad to get upwards and almost didn't manage! Some backpackers told us, their busdriver put chains on the wheels to get through.
We didn't know how long it would go on like this and were very happy, when we reached Muang Sui after 9 km of muddiest mud and the asphalt started again. Perfect road all the way to Phonsavan.

Rte. 6 Muang Kham to Nam Neun:
Very nice little road, almost no traffic at all. Almost in the middle of the way to Nam Neun, 40 km from Muang Kham, there is a mud stretch for about 300 m. Also quite slippery but not too bad 'cause not so long and straight.

That's what I found important to let you know; about all the other roads is enough written in the 'Lao PDR road report', nothing new so far.

We would like to recommend you a few guesthouses. At all off them the people who run them are very concerned about the bikes and you can store them safely in the yard - and sometimes even in their livingroom!

Udoum Xai: Phu That Guesthouse
Cosy little place, rooms with bathroom and hot water for 30.000 kip. Soft matrasses!

Viang Xai: Naxay Guesthouse
Simple but ok rooms for 10.000 kip; very nice family and probably the best food in Viang Xai - at least all the richer people come there to eat and the rest of Viang Xai is just noodle shops.

Nong Khiaw: Jimmy's Guesthouse
On the way to the famous 'Sunset Guesthouse' you'll find this wonderful place. They also have a very nice, relaxing sitting area (nicer, than the 'Sunset' I would say!), lovely garden in front of you and you are also able to see the river! 10.000 kip for bamboo-wall-rooms with matrasses on the floor - simple but lovely!
Also nice familiy, good food.

Vang Viang: Frichtthavong Guesthouse
If you come from the North on the main street, pass the Nana Guesthouse on your right hand side, drive on for another 300 m and you'll get to the Frichtthavong. It's recently opened, nice, clean rooms with bath and hot water and again - soft matrasses! All this for 35.000 kip.
There's also a nice, big garden, with many plants. The backpackers don't find their way there because it's such a long way to walk from the bus station (500 m), so it's pretty quiet.
I would be happy if some of you would go there, because also this is a very nice family (of course) and it's hard for them to compete with the other guesthouses which are in the middle of town.
If there are women reading this: Gaphet, the young owner of the guesthouse, has good skills in sewing and is happy to make you a 'sin lao'.

This is more for your MAP, Dave:
The village which is 7 km north of Nam Neun is called 'Houa Phou' on your map. But on every milestone the village is called 'Phou Lao'...what about changing this?
And the next village south of Pak Mong is not called 'Phonsavan' but 'Phonsoy'. Hope you appreciate this.

That's it so far!
To all of you, have good fun in lovely Laos