Feb 11, 2003
Just back from Laos again!

A quick trip via thaton on the way to chiang khong. Road in good condition , but slowed down by consistent rain.

no problems at customs & immigration. got paperwork without hassle.

The canoe took me to the farther away landing spot, so checked into g/h before passport stamped.

Met Art, with his old xlr heading to luang nam tha tommorow aswell, so we joined forces for the ride.

HOUY XAI - LUANG NAM THA - Jungle dirt road in pretty good shape. Not as wet as last time and also dust not thick enough to cause to much trouble.After a few ciggie breaks arrived in vieng poukha. After fuel stop Arts bike wouldnt start again.
The local mechanic, who appeared fairly competant (better than a certain chiang mai mechanic) discovered some coils burnt out, end of the road for Art and after roughly 2 hrs coming to this conclusion he got a lift in a truck back to huay xai.A long way for a 100km ride, i hope things were not to bad after this Art and your back is still alive!
The road i feel deteriates even more after this, but a good laugh with all the water crossings.
Managed to drop it once coming out of a stream , hitting a large rock.
Made it too 'darasavath' g/h before the sun went down for once.
192 kms 5 1/2 hrs (riding time)

LUANG NAM THA - LUANG PRABANG - Start of this road good and fast with a few potholes scattered , but then deteriates as road works are being completed.
Slowed right down for long sections , but then new road for a good 30kms, before gravel again and then back to new tarmac road. Seemed to being working at a good pace and i feel this road will be completed fairly soon! (well a Lao fairly soon)
Noodle stop in oudom xay and then good road all the way to luang prabang, can let rip in between villages . Scenic and good condition asphalt.
Stayed 1 night , too knackered for a session, just a couple of beers and food. Good new g/h down one of the sois leeding to the river, lovely rooms, hot shower and only $4.(forget name, will add later)

LUANG PRABANG - VANG VIENG - A few warnings from locals about the bandit danger on the road, but not overly worried , just try not to stop too often and try and stop in a village if possible.
Appears to be an increase in soldiers on the road and odd pick ups flying up and down, with soldiers in, but still all looking very relaxed.
Rained today and made the road very slippy in places, nearly lost the bike a couple of times, so had to slow it right down.
Stopped for food in PHOU KHOUN and got accosted by the local g/h owner who also teaches english.
Turned out to be a big wedding party and i was made to dance and booze heavily and of course paired off to a local maiden. Found out htey were all from Kasi (my girlfriends village) so had to come clean and try and escape as it was now 5.00 pm and i was very drunk.
luckily the road in good condition and the bandits on a day off.
A unusualy large amount of mossies and insects just after dark completly covered my goggles and made it a very difficult last 40 kms.
Made it in one piece.
Stayed at the friendly , family run 'vang keo' g/h nearly opposite 'nana', that does the best bacon, cheese, and chips baggette in town!
Stayed here for a week due to female commitments before going to vientienne.

VANG VIENG - VIENTIENNE - nothing much to report here. The road is still in good nick with great sweeping corners and then boring straght all the way into town. A lot of pick ups, songthews and lorrys on the road, coming straght at you around corners.
A couple of days here to escape from the 'lonely planet hippys' before heading back. (at least there's good food to devour)

Spent a wild time in kasi for 4/5 days with friends for' pee mai Lao,'(and my birthday) must have visited every house in the town for some form of boozing, dancing and eating!
No more incedents along the way, bike not a problem (except petrol seems to be getting scarcer, due to huge rises in the price, forced on the petrol stations and pump owners, but always seems to be someone with enough bottles filled, to get you to a pump with petrol.)
Left via vientienne, no bother, just a little confusion on the Thai side as to wether the bike was Thai , but soon sorted out and got to nong khai.

Intended to go back too sam nuea, via phonsavan and nong khiaw and then out at houay xai again, but run out of dosh and time .

The government gave a 100% guarentee of saftey along route 13, over the new year period, but that obviously terminated afterwards when the 'bandits' recovered from there hangovers and shot another bus, this time full of students returning from phongsali, killing another 12 people!
(lucky i changed plans and left the other direction that day)


May 6, 2003
hi pirip, good to meet you last time you were in vang vieng and to know that you weren't in any bandit's gun sights during your trip. sounds like you had a lot of fun. more later, andy (bloke who watched the man utd vs madrid leg 1 highlights with you)


Feb 11, 2003
Cheers for the message Andy...
where are you now? drop me a line when your in the area.
Go for spin somewhere and a few beers.