Lao Loop - Part 4

Jan 12, 2003
Lao Loop - Part 4
« on: Jan 30th, 2003, 6:08pm » Quote Modify Remove

After a lunch stop in Nong Khai to watch the local boat races ( 4 man boats racing across a 50 meter lake ), we headed back west along the Mekong. Near Chiang Khan, Carol insisted that we stop at the giant stone thingy statues ( Peter, you have a lot to live up to ).
Then south to Loei, and the King Hotel.

The next day, we headed to Nan. Through Dan Sai, Nakhon Thai, Chat Trakan, then north on 1237. A word of warning here - the B&B Thailand map shows a right turn when you hit 1268. You need to turn left to head north.

After the minor detour, we headed up 1268 through Ban Khok. At this point, having the B&B NORTH Thailand map would have helped a great deal. We just followed the signs that said "Nan". BAD MOVE!!!

We wound up on 1243. This road is brand new, wide asphalt - for a while. After that while, we were stopped at a guard post. The guys there were casually dressed in shorts and machine guns. We had to register in their record book, and they raised the gate.

About 100 yards up, the pavement ended. There were still road signs and mileposts - on a one lane dirt track through the jungle. And it did not help that it was getting dark. After a minor mishap on a washed out section (falling over) the road was not too bad of a dirt road - for about 30 km. Luckily, it was dry - but the heat lightning was getting us worried.

Finally asphalt again - for 5 km. Then more dirt roads. But, we finally made it to Nan and the Devaraj Hotel. If you get lost in the area, follow the signs for Wiang Sa, and go north to Nan from there.

Just a quick recommendation - eat at DaDarios Italian restaurant in Nan. A bit hard to find, but good food and good people. We called them about 9:30 PM. They had closed early that day, but opened the place back up just for us!!

The next day, we did the Doi Phukha loop. A little bit of construction on the back side, but we were lucky enough to hit that before they dumped the fill on the road. There was a group of Harley riders that stopped for lunch and had lots of fun with the loose dirt.

After another night in Nan ( DaDarios again!! ) We headed for Chiang Khong. We did take 1148 - which deserves the reputation of a great motorcycle road.

In CK, it was Ta-Mi-La Guesthouse on the Mekong and Mexican food at the Bamboo. Then off the next morning to Mai Sai, Chiang Rai, and back to Chiang Mai.