Crossing From Muang Ngern (hongsa), Laos Into Huay Kon (t) With A Group Of Big Bikes

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cdohrman

Member
Apr 7, 2012
8
2
3
Bangkok/Singapore
To all the bikers who really know

We ( a group of ca five Big Bike bikers (HD & BMWs)) are planning to join the 1. Laos Bike Festival in Vang Vieng on 18./19. November 2017. While we have been with the bikes already several times in Laos and we know our way around, I was wondering how to exit Laos at the Muang Ngern (Hongsa), Laos into Huay Kon (T) border crossing, coming from LP with a group of bikes. As I'm organising the trip, I want to make sure, we can all cross back into Thailand with the bikes with no bigger issues. I understand there had been issues in the past to cross from T to L at that crossing. So I need to know if somebody has recent experience to exit Laos with bikes at that crossing and getting into Thailand. As we are a bigger group, we need a decent certainty that we will face no (known) problems, otherwise, we will take the long way around from Oudomxay via Luang Namtha to the Houayxay - Chiang Khong Friendship Bridge crossing.

Thanks for your answers and suggestions in advance
 

Oddvar

Ol'Timer
Mar 18, 2013
453
274
63
Motorcycles and bicycles! are still denied entry or departure at Ban Huay Khon border.
If you have a group permit for Laos the agent will probably know.
The reason for the ban is that the Provinsial Governor in Xayabouri was pissed of by a "Big Bike Group" from CiNX bad behaviour at the border and later on they flew a drone over the Sayabouri dam.
He is frequently in Nan and ride bikes himself. Even Thais that know him are denied entry.
But knowing Thailand, this is probably the excuse, not the real reason.
 

cdohrman

Member
Apr 7, 2012
8
2
3
Bangkok/Singapore
Hello Oddvar,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I was reading about this incident and the consequences. Well, it also confirms we are still experiencing in a way a feudalistic medieval behavior of little hill kings and pitch dukes. It also means we will drive all the way from Vang Vieng the standard route via Oudomxay (stay one night) and next day via Luang Namtha to Chiang Khong. As you seem knowledgeable about the road conditions, I plan to drive all the way from VV to Oudomxay in one day so we can reach the Thai border the following day with no problems and with a bit of a time buffer. Would it be too long to get all the way to Oudomxay on big bikes. I'm not worried about the BMW GSs but we will have at least one HD with us and remembering the potholes in Laos, the HD can not easily simply keep straight going 'over' the potholes like a GS and needs to slow down. To Luang Prabang is no problem and I/we have done it several times, what about the stretch from LP to Oudomxay? We did the new R4 from Kenthao to Sayaburi two years ago with no problems, but this is a brand new road. So anybody knows how the stretch from LP to Oudomxay is now?

thanks for any feedback.

cheers

Carsten
 

Oddvar

Ol'Timer
Mar 18, 2013
453
274
63
LP to Oudomxay is a race track after they improved it, but with a million trucks racing around it will not last long.
( I rode it last in January, anyone more recently? )
I live in Nan and used to go often to Xayabouri, Pakbeng and LP. But not anymore as it such a big detour to enter Laos in Bokeo or VTN.
 

cdohrman

Member
Apr 7, 2012
8
2
3
Bangkok/Singapore
Thanks for the prompt update, yes, I know, once they (mainly Chinese construction companies) upgrade the roads, they are like highways, once the completely overloaded trucks start using them, they disintegrate as fast as old bread. Anyway, we have to take the road and we will update you and this forum on the conditions. As mentioned, I only want to make sure, we can make it from VV to Oudo... in one day included the needed buffers for all the little and bigger things which happen on such routes.

Thanks

Carsten
 

maithing

Member
Sep 17, 2007
7
4
3
Thanks so far for your info,, we stay also in Vang Vieng, already we was a few time in Laos, 3 years ago I was lucky that I can cross the Ban Na Kra Seng Border, I live in Phetchabun,,but the reason that I contat is I saw you was in Vietnam, for my work I stay there many time, but now we like to go with the motobike, I take contact with a agency and he ask me 400 $ per biker for make the paperwork, no hotels or guide, I hope you can give me more info or we meet us in Vang vieng,,,, thanks so far,,,,, [email protected], facebook , mathjeu mathjeu

trip central Laos (3).jpg
 

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DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,481
2,899
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Thanks so far for your info,, we stay also in Vang Vieng, already we was a few time in Laos, 3 years ago I was lucky that I can cross the Ban Na Kra Seng Border, I live in Phetchabun,,but the reason that I contat is I saw you was in Vietnam, for my work I stay there many time, but now we like to go with the motobike, I take contact with a agency and he ask me 400 $ per biker for make the paperwork, no hotels or guide, I hope you can give me more info or we meet us in Vang vieng,,,, thanks so far,,,,, [email protected], facebook , mathjeu mathjeu

View attachment 116165

Ouch US$400 for one bike, but I guess they need to make money for all the running around.
Two bikes is probably cheaper if you can get another bike.

Are you living in Vang Vieng now or just travelling through?
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,481
2,899
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
To all the bikers who really know

We ( a group of ca five Big Bike bikers (HD & BMWs)) are planning to join the 1. Laos Bike Festival in Vang Vieng on 18./19. November 2017. While we have been with the bikes already several times in Laos and we know our way around, I was wondering how to exit Laos at the Muang Ngern (Hongsa), Laos into Huay Kon (T) border crossing, coming from LP with a group of bikes. As I'm organising the trip, I want to make sure, we can all cross back into Thailand with the bikes with no bigger issues. I understand there had been issues in the past to cross from T to L at that crossing. So I need to know if somebody has recent experience to exit Laos with bikes at that crossing and getting into Thailand. As we are a bigger group, we need a decent certainty that we will face no (known) problems, otherwise, we will take the long way around from Oudomxay via Luang Namtha to the Houayxay - Chiang Khong Friendship Bridge crossing.

Thanks for your answers and suggestions in advance

How did you get on - any news?
Did you do the trip or not?
 

Jimenator

Ol'Timer
Jul 5, 2016
56
11
8
Thailand
Hello Oddvar,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I was reading about this incident and the consequences. Well, it also confirms we are still experiencing in a way a feudalistic medieval behavior of little hill kings and pitch dukes. It also means we will drive all the way from Vang Vieng the standard route via Oudomxay (stay one night) and next day via Luang Namtha to Chiang Khong. As you seem knowledgeable about the road conditions, I plan to drive all the way from VV to Oudomxay in one day so we can reach the Thai border the following day with no problems and with a bit of a time buffer. Would it be too long to get all the way to Oudomxay on big bikes. I'm not worried about the BMW GSs but we will have at least one HD with us and remembering the potholes in Laos, the HD can not easily simply keep straight going 'over' the potholes like a GS and needs to slow down. To Luang Prabang is no problem and I/we have done it several times, what about the stretch from LP to Oudomxay? We did the new R4 from Kenthao to Sayaburi two years ago with no problems, but this is a brand new road. So anybody knows how the stretch from LP to Oudomxay is now?

thanks for any feedback.

cheers

Carsten

Luang Prabang to Pak Mong is still the old Lao built road, but relatively decent. Quite wide in some places, particularly nearing Pak Mong. The Chinese built Pak Mong to Udomxai stretch is wide but very winding, but in good condition in most places except for a few small landslides covering part of the road (this is the rainy season after all) and unlike in Thailand or China, the steep mountain sides don't have any concrete walls or mesh barriers to protect from rock and landslides so when it rains, mud and debris just comes tumbling down. Don't expect this road to last though - it will die a quick death over the coming couple of years.

The Udomxai bypass is in poor condition and the Udomxai to Boten via Na Teuy stretch, once in excellent condition (other than being far too narrow with no shoulders and an open drainage canal) is now a disaster, full of potholes, very narrow and quite scary, especially when big Thai and Chinese trucks pass you. The Thai built road from Na Teuy to Huay Xai and the Friendship bridge is better, most of the bad stretches are between Na Teuy and Luang Nam Tha, but it starts getting better after that. Unexpected potholes and ruts appear out of nowhere at times, but most of the big holes between Nam Tha and Huay Xai from 2016 have now been repaired.