Laos 2009 Pakxan to Houei Xai


Feb 13, 2009
Laos Trip March 2009
Our Trip started with posting our bikes from BKK to Nong Khai. Yes I said posting, it only cost a couple of thousand baht and took a week, we had friends pick the bikes up for us and they rode them to the ferry pier, that was great and we had no problems with the paperwork, it all went very smoothly on the Thai side, getting on the large ferry was fine but when we got to Laos unfortunately we realized it was a holiday and lunch time so it took a few hours before all of the officials came back and it was a bit slow to do the paperwork over there.
Our first day riding was from the boarder at Pakxan to Vientiane nice roads but busy. When we arrived in Vientiane it was just getting dark so we followed a tuk tuk to the hotel, it was also a bit strange to ride on the other side of the road. That day was about a 140k ride.
Day 2 was from Vientiane to Vang Vieng a total of 160km pretty quiet roads through some small villages with an ok road surface, nothing technical just a little winding as you got close to Vien Vang stayed at a nice hotel on the River (Elephant Crossing).
Day 3 From Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang about 234km for us a little tougher with winding roads a few holes on corners but most of the roads were good surface, again through lots of small villages we ran out of petrol so had to ask at some houses to buy some, everyone thought it was funny but they found us a plastic bottle of petrol, just enough to get us to the next town.
Day 4 Luang Prabang to Oudom Xai about 198km, the first 110k on good wide roads with only a few road works, re surfacing, turned left at Nambak onto a single winding road through smaller hills than the previous days.
Day 6 Oudom Xai to Luang Namtha 125km small winding roads with lots of pot holes for about 60k , the next 65k was a great new highway to Luang Namtha nice and wide. Stayed at the Boathouse eco lodge a little way out from town.
Day 7 Luang Namtha to Houei Xai 175km, the first 88km were great, then lots of roadwork’s till about 115Km a few trucks on this road which made some parts quite dusty, I think they are again working on resurfacing some road sections, the rest of the way was good roads all the way.
Day 8 Back to Thailand an exciting longtail ride with 2 Kawasaki D Trackers + panniers in the middle on the longtail and 2 guys sitting on them to keep them upright and steady, I did try to work out what was my best escape route if we went over, we had help getting through both borders so that was quick too, then on to the post office a few hundred meters down the road to post the bikes back to BKK.
When we did this trip we had only been riding motorbikes for 4 months so we didn’t ride fast or make the days too long, this was great for us because it meant we got to stop in lots of villages to chat to people who were always very friendly and fascinated with the bikes. We went in March not our original date and I think we did miss out on great views due to all the burning, I would suggest earlier in the year when the weather is cooler and no burning. There was however not much between towns to buy so I suggest always taking some snacks and water with you.
We have posted the bikes to different locations in Thailand and taken them on the train both were great ways to get the bikes to nicer places to ride.
Overall we had a great trip we never felt that it was at all dangerous (two women alone), everyone we met were friendly especially when they realized we spoke Thai that made things a lot more fun when you stopped in the villages. We would recommend the trip and will probably go again some time, at the moment we are planning a round Thailand charity ride, just the two of us, over 5000km have a look at our web site and see what you think.
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