Holidays in Laos + Lima 85

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by rhiekel, Jan 8, 2006.

  2. Jerry,

    Yes this original post is old, but now it is the start of a new riding season and the great interest in LS85 is still here. A number of people I know are planning rides to that area.

    Anything you could add, or correct us on, would be appreciated and just posting it here in the message board is the best way to reach the number of people who have contacted you. There are still many rumours about the area, and the Laos situation is quite fluid, so the more info the better. Thanks.
  3. When we were in Xam Nua in Feb this year we were very keen to head towards Phu Pathi. We met a friendly tourism development guy (Lao) from the Phonsavan area who had good english. We asked him for rough directions to get to the area. After initially agreeing that it would be a good trip he came back after talking with some local colleagues and said that until the UXO had been cleared from the area tourists were not allowed near the mountain. We spoke with another 6 Lao people, and everyone we spoke with said things like “too difficult for you”, “bad road”, “too much UXO”, "military road blocks", and other less defined reasons why we could not go.

    One guy initially said that it would be no problem on bikes, and that the old US airstrip and mountain was right next to “Houayma” the town we could ride to. After initially saying he would find a Hmong guide for us (initially we were not thinking of a guide, but we figured there would be no harm in going with a local, and there might even be a small chance of getting near/up the the mountain) he left a note for us at our guesthouse saying that the area is “prohibited for some reasons” (see note below). The seventh and last Lao person we talked to about going there briefly mentioned problems the government was having with the Hmong. Maybe this the the real reason is for all the perplexing discouragement we got when inquiring about traveling to the area. Apparently the government has said that the mountain itself would open to tourists once the UXO is cleared, maybe this means that the mountain will open once the Hmong rebels/bandits/whatever have been “cleared”.

    We figured that it would be foolish/rude if we headed to the town after being discouraged from going by so many locals (and by the sounds of it there would have been an army checkpoint) so we decided not to go.

    Maybe someone with better spoken Lao or better contacts in Lao would have a better chance to figure out the real issue involved with a trip towards LS85 (if there even is an issue). We figured that it would be a bit muppety to barge on up.

    The note from Bounphone, the project director for Nam Et Phouluey NBCA who was visiting Xam Nua:

    Phou Pathi and LS85 are further west than they are marked on David's map. The second half of a ride there looks like fun I recon.
  4. eh! i'm glad other people are trying to climb it! it's been 2 years now that i am back in canada taking physical therapy courses in college. It's hard and demanding and i can't travel anymore. I will be following this post real close. Wish you good luck!

    I remembers locals trying to discourage me with the same arguments don't give up! that peak will be doable eventually
  5. Bump for "the Ambassador."
    A shame all the photos are gone.
  6. Very interesting footage and detailed description of Lima Site 85 and what went on there.

  7. Great Video Brian, I enjoyed that, Great Info! The Crew manning the Radar Station Probably thought they were pretty Safe Living on top of Cliffs. Poor Buggers.
  8. Very informative video. Thanks for posting it.
  9. Researching a bit more on LS85

    A book well worth reading: One Day Too Long by Timothy Castle.

    PHOU PHATI – One Day Too Long
    P239-240- 241
    From a Vietnamese Report quoted in the book

    The orders: destroy & seize the American communications centre.
    Attack & seize the TACAN
    Kill the Americans
    Defend & stay in place until the infantry arrives.
    The assault was carried out by
    3 officers
    15 non commissioned officers
    15 soldiers
    + 9 man sapper squad
    The team combined ethnic Vietnamese + 4 different ethnic nationalities.
    Their weapons
    3 x B40 grenade launchers
    23 AK assault rifles
    4 carbines
    2 K54 pistols

    On 7 December 1967 the assault team was stationed at Muang Kao
    11 days later an 8 man team reconnaissance team surveyed the area
    One month later another team led by political officer crawled up next to the TACAN site to resurvey.
    On 7[sup]th[/sup] March 1968 a Party Committee meeting approved an assault for 0400-0500 hrs on 11[sup]th[/sup] March 1968.
  10. The photos are back !! Changed servers and had to relink all of them.
  11. Great stuff. Thank you Robert.
  12. Stumbled across this one

    Two former North Vietnamese commandos who took part in the attack showed the investigators three places where they had thrown bodies over the cliff. The investigators threw mannequins over the edge at those points while a photographer in a helicopter videotaped their fall. That pointed the investigators to a ledge, 540 feet below.

    Mountaineer-qualified specialists scaled down cliffs to the ledge, where they discovered human remains, leather boots in four different sizes, five survival vests, and other fragments of material that indicated the presence of at least four Americans. The team worked in hazardous conditions, including strong winds and falling rocks, which constrained the search.

    In December 2005, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of the remains of TSgt. Patrick L. Shannon, one of the 11 airmen at Phou Pha Thi. Further excavation of the ledges is planned, assuming the willingness of the Laotian government to approve access to the site.​

    The Fall of Lima Site 85
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Great resource.. lots of good info here

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