Lao Road Warning

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by jimoi, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. On the way north to Phou Khoun , 7 KM from the town is a large, graded dirt road leading to the east. I took a little trip down it and 20 KM into it stopped to give the bike a breather. A pick up with red plates came speeding down and three army boys jumped out and stared me down. Luckily one spoke a little Vietnamese and in a short time I was escorted to the police station in Phou Khoun. Once there, a translator arrived about 20 minutes later and I was written up for starting down to Longcheng on a restricted road. There are no signs and it looks like it takes off 13 to the east and bends up so I thought to try it. I saw it on my last run and decided to give it a try. A long time in the police station with some fairly friendly officers resulted in me getting a lecture on road safety and a warning not to go down the road again. Pity, it's one beautiful ride.
    I was asked to pass this closed road on, knowing is key. I was also told I was not the first.

    I have made the run up 13 a few times and the most hard to see hole in the road is 44 KM from Vieng Vien, it's right after a bridge and when headed north, you can't see this crater. It's been there since early September and there is a large pot hole fix job going on north of here but the are headed in the wrong direction.

    Ride safe

  2. Jim
    Good tip there mate. It's always hit & miss getting into Xaysomboune.
    I don’t recall the one you've mentioned, but I do recall another turn off from off route 7, going from Phou Khoun to Phonsavan, & at a guess about 7-10 kms east of Phou Khoun, that I thought might be worth exploring. This is not the one your talking about is it?

    Life can get a trifle complicated in Laos if you upset the police in a remote area & is not something I recommend to anyone.

    On a large bicycle tour I was riding escort for a few years ago, we innocently stopped for a break in an abandoned / unused "army camp" beside a beautiful stream. All hell almost broke loose for about 15 minutes until we could get the group, bicycles & backup vehicles, out of there pronto. I reckon that if the area had not been cleared in 10 minutes, then about 50 people would have been arrested & thrown in the "brig!"

    Another time, 4 yrs ago, in Vieng Phoukha I had a hard time = 1 1/2 hrs in the local police station - explaining to the local police why there was some sort of cameraman in our group filming the village & motorbikes with the police station in the background. I thought I was going to have to spend a night or two in the VP lock up bluffing our way out of that one & VP wasn't such a pretty place then either.
    So the tip is make sure you stay on the right side of the law in Laos. Don’t try & be a smart arse & think that never mind, you can play dumb & stupid to get away with it. Ignorance / stupidity is no excuse & the local police stations in Laos are not pleasant places to be detained in.

    Not sure about that big pot hole 44 kms north of Vang Vieng; but reckon you must be somewhere between Xang & Pha Xang, just as you come out of the Kasi valley & start to head into the hills going south???
    I think that there are some real nasty ones just either side of Tha Heua around the top edge of the dam. I hit one of these monsters a couple of months ago on a run up to VV from Vte, & they sure shake the fillings out of your teeth when you hit em without warning.
    Some of them are hard to pick out because there's no change in the road surface colour & they are just sharp deep holes.
    I was surprised that the rims on the ol 250 Baja did not buckle!

    Thanks for the tips & pls keep 'em coming.

    Keep The Power On
  3. David,
    The turn is 7 KM south of Phou Khoun on 13 and heads east. Smiles work wonders and the translator was working for World Vision and a very nice fellow. Keeping cool is key and not worried about time pressure or anything else, you are not in control any longer and best to take it as easy as possible.

    Ride safe
  4. I am planning on doing a little scoot out to the Plain if Jars Dec, and was wondering if anybody ever got into trouble on the East side of Xaysomboune? Site number 3 looks to be close to trouble spot and I am curious as to how well marked out the area is. Anybody have any experience in this area??
  5. Tia,
    I have read about a 2 rides this way, one was with Digby and I can't seem to post the link, search for his trip report for Laos.
    As of Nov. 07, I have been told by military and police that it is not safe at the moment. I was turned back from the western approach but have not ridden the PSV down side around.

    Ride safe
  6. Hi Lunch Box,
    Site No.3 Last March it was closed and the road simply dead ended.

    We road this area last March on our 1150RT and will do it again this winter on our 650GS which will be much better suited for the road conditions. None of this area is well market. My Thai wife can converse with the locals, but we still had difficulties finding out what was where and where various dirt tracks could take us.

    David (Mr. GT Rider) has just printed an updated version of his Laos map - got our copy from him last night and you can see on this map all three sites. After that you are pretty much on your own - but that is where ther fun should begin.

    Cheers and good riding,
    David and Mai
  7. Cheers , thanks for the replies. I will wing it as usual.Wish me luck.

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