Chicken Killer Run 08 - part II

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by tools4fools, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. OK, here we go again:

    I spend a few days in the Hinboun valley visiting the local villages and checking out accommodations there. One day I changed my little bike for a boat and headed downriver to Ban Nakhok and back. All in all one of my favourite spots in Laos, the scenery is just gorgeous.

    1) Hinboun River

    2) Reflections

    3) Laundromat

    4) Shadow and Sun

    5) Mr. Buffalo
  2. 6) Canoe

    7) Carst Peaks

    8) River Transport

    9) Rocks

    10) Turbocharged
  3. 11) Swimmer

    12) Serenity

    13) Village Transport

    14) Road to Khengkhot

    15) Time to turn back...

    It was just getting too late, so I decided to turn back here, otherwise I would have not been able to return during daylight...
    Khengkhot is end of the road anyway as I was told by the locals when I visited this beautiful village during the boat trip...
  4. Beautiful pictures and good on you for doing it on local style transport!


  5. 16) Khonglor Village

    In the village near to the 5km long river cave (takes almost an hour to go through the cave by boat and exit on the other side) there is a little restaurant now and homestays are available fro 5$ per head (includes simple dinner). There is now a tiny guesthouse as well, it has two rooms with bath in a new bamboo building, nicely made, more privacy than a homstay. No sign, it's along the little road towards the school inside the village, next to the river. It belongs to the fellow which works at the little guesthouse opposite of the market in Na Hin.

    Next village downriver has Sala Khonglor Lodge, quite OK and inexpenisve but it's a bumpy ride across dry paddy fields to get there, no real accccess road (in rainy season likely impossible with a moto).

    Few villages further dwonriver is Sala Hinboun, 15-25$, very nice and quiet, right at the river. Not far from it a local has build a few wooden bungalows at the back of his house, looks a bit cramped at first, but the rooms are right on the river, well build, withh bath and electric shower heater, good size terrace on river, quite good for about 8-9$. No resto however, but Sala hinboun is only 2 minutes walk...

    17) Resto in Nahin

    18) Dust...

    18) Road construction

    There's still a few dusty section on the road from Nahin to Khonglor, but 95% of the 40km stretch is paved or sealed now and all bridges put in. They are working on the reminder and should be finished soon, my guess is beforwe start of rainy season....

    19) Road past Laksao

    The drive to Laksao is on good, paved road, quite scenic as well, similar to the ride towards Nahin described earlier. Past Laksao heading south it turn into a dirt road, the first few kilometers being quite bumpy as there are a lot of villages here with the little tractors ruining the road. Afterwards it gets better and turns and twists across some jungle covered hills. There's on major junction to the right which leads to the dam of Nam Theun II hydro power project. Drinks stalls here at the junction are good form a stop.
    Before reaching Thalang it's all spanking brand new road then, not yet paved, but they are working on it. Lot's of dust due to all the trucks...

    20) New road

    Thalang has been completely submerged and where the old bridge and village was is about 60m of water now. New Thalang has a guesthouse, but the resettlemnt with it's all same-same houses is nothing pretty at all.

    Hard to imagine that there is a 60m deep valley underneath here somewhere with all the dying trees sticking out on it's slopes.

    21) Dying trees

    The new road zig-zags along the hills west of the flooded valley all the way to Nakai, which is nowadays the better place to spend the night if required. There are two drive-inn linke guesthouses with bungalows about 1km east of the main junction (past the market, right fork is road to Mahaxay/Thakhek). Just a bit before this junction is a nice chalet style restaurant run by a Belgium/Lao couple, good food and even Gin tonics and other mixed drinks...
  6. Still a lot of dust due to construction on the way south of Nakai. Went west into the carst scenery at a point, but after 10km or so into a small valley with nice villages I had to return. There was a short slope with large rocks and boulders, not drivable with my little scooter. The locals push their little motos across in groups of 2 and 3, hard work, they offered me to help to get across, but I knew it was quite a distance ot the villages in the valley there, dead end, would require to spend the night in one of the villages. opted to turn around and head for Mahaxay instead.

    In Mahaxay I had planned a detour to the village of Dang, likely in a scenic location along the river, but as the guesthouse in Mahaxay is quite run down and worse the nice restaurants with terraces on the river had all disappeared i decided to move on once more.

    22) Country Road past Mahaxay

    Road was decent, reached Xaibouathong, alarger settlement at a crossroad, just before dark. There was a sort of very simple wooden guesthouse at the premises of the town hall where i found a bed for the night. Few restaurants and cold beer along the main road and I was set up for the night.

    The next day the first stretch was still in good condition, but then near the Xe-Noy river there was the last bridge across a creek and the trails started.

    23) Last bridge...

    From now on it was trails and sort of guesswork (heading east and south) until I reached some villages.

    24) Trails

    I just had to laugh when I got to this main intersection...decided to head south which would take me closer to the Xe-noy river where I would have to find a river crossing somewhere...

    25) main intersection

    The trail got better as I got closer to next village

    26) Near the villages

    From Now on I asked my way from village to village. I asked for the way to Nasalooooo, which is the next larger settlement on the other side of the Xe-Noy river at a real road junction there. I was pointed from village to village until at one point I was told there were two ways to go. Upon further questioning one was supposed to have water 'up to here' (locals pointing chest level), the other one had a boat.
    Easy decision, boat.
    Take left along the way was the advice.
    Shortly outside of village was a junction and I duly turned left, then it was from village to village again. At one point, just past a village, the trail seemed to end in an open field. Nearby were a few fellows and a family building a new, good size house and I went to ask. One fellow told me to follow him and 150m away we were down the river bank. e was the ferryman.

    27) Ferry across the Xe-Noy

    Afterwards it wasn't far to the next village which sat just aside the main road (still a dirt road, but a real road again) to Vilaboury, a major town with some paved roads, several guesthouse and restaurants. From here it was all paved road to route 9 and Xepon, near the Vietnamese border. On the way I passed the Australian operated gold/copper mine, a huge mine which even sports an airfield...
  7. Thanks again for taking the time. I did the north in Nov 07 and you have inspired me to write up a report and post it. Keep it coming.

  8. Crossing the Xe Noy seems to be a major headache. What I have been able to gather from various source is shown in the screen grab form my GPS map for Laos.


    The crossing on the east side is over a small bridge which was discovered by Matt and Jeremy some time ago (no cars possible) while the one on the west (take a SW turn in Xaibuathong) involved driving through the river - done with a 4WD with the water a bit high according to the guy who did it. Possible in the dry season but definitely not recommended in the rainy season he assured me.
  9. Added my route (hand drawn, approx) and the ferry crossing, which is maybe 100m south of the track heading for the bridge.
    At the X-intersection where I went south the road continued straight and a m pretty sure it will connect with the yellow dot/village further east. Well visible in GE even if low res.

    Hope you don't mind adding it to your map.


  10. Thanks for the info and hints where the other crossing is. Will check it out and add to the map if I can see it properly on GE.
  11. I can sent you a screenie of GE (or a placemark)...or a gpx track...

  12. Here detail of the northern part:

    And the ferry crossing:

    The red tracks are mats gps recording (southern route less way points) and mine (northern detour, more waypoints).

    Blue is traced by me before I went on trip; didn't load trace on mhy GPS however, more fun going without... :lol: more fun getting lost too... :shock:

    Interesting is how I traced Mats temporary bridge (added placemark later) as a possilbe river crossing to the accurate point - despites using a different and wrong approach to it...
    edited to correct links...
  13. Traced it from the lines you drew on the screengrab of my GPS map but would like to check it with the .gpx track so if you could post it or PM me that would be appreciated.
  14. Auke, did I ever got around sending you those GPS tracks?

    Back in Bangkok and some free time at hand, so if I didn't let me know...
  15. No, never got them but still would like to have them to improve the GPS map. Would appreciate it if you can send them to auke dot koopmans at gmail dot com.
  16. Files on the way.

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