Laos On The R1

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by FB666Y, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    ith a few days in hand, decided to give Laos a go.
    Rode though the morning to HatYai and made it to the train station.
    Paid to have the bike loaded onto the train. A bit scary, with guys manhandling the bike.
    I thought they were going to drop the bike for sure.
    The train was the express to Bangkok but I decided to get off at Ratchaburi - didnt fancy navigating the Bangkok trafffic.
    If I thought loading the bike was scay getting it off was worse. It was precarious situation considering the platform to the train was taller than the R1 itself.

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    After that it was by side roads to Phitsanulok. The next day we headed west by the mountain passes, then north through Loei before we hit the Mekong which we followed for 200km to Nong Khai.
    The road through the Loei was brilliant - cool with lots of corners. Route 211 along the Mekong was horrible, broken and potholed.

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  2. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    The next day we were in Laos. Despite reports saying otherwise we made it through the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge with minimum hassle. Took a while getting all the documentation sorted and considering all I had was a photocopied logcard I was quite relieved to get all the necessary stamps.

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    Rode thruogh Vientiane and headed into Vang Vieng. The roads are pretty bad - potholes and cracks. In some parts it was rough stones and nothing else. However 30km into Vang Vieng the scenery got pretty spectacular.

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    The following day we decided to forgo Luang Prabang and instead head to Phonsavan. Time - never enough of it. We carried along Route 13 for about 100km along narrow mountain passes and ridges, avoiding potholes, dogs, cows, pigs, chickens and the occasional turkey. Scenery was brilliant. Cloud drenched mountain peaks were our companions, and the R1 was the fastest vehicle on the road.

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    Dragonfly season - I had two disintegrate into my visor, several stuck in my jacket and one imprisoned by my R1. Havent checked out my airbox yet - that might reveal some surprises.

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  3. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    Reaching the fork we dived into Route 7 to Phonsavan. Another 70km of mountain ridges while the sky above altenated between rain and sunshine. Route 7 was a whole lot better than Route 13, less potholes and the last 50km into Phonsavan had gentle curves - good for stretching the R1's legs.

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  4. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    The following day it was the same route in reverse.

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  5. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    Some pics from around Vang Vieng.

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  6. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

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    "Rode thruogh Vientiane and headed into Vang Vieng. The roads are pretty bad - potholes and cracks. In some parts it was rough stones and nothing else. However 30km into Vang Vieng the scenery got pretty spectacular"

    It's funny to hear you say the roads are pretty bad. I guess I a just used to the holes, there are much worse roads here.

    Great posting!!

    Ride Smart, Ride Safe.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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  8. Craypot

    Craypot Ol'Timer

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    David,
    I would have to agree with our singapore friend. Rte 211 is bad. even when I am driving my RAV4 it's crap. I would rate it worse than Vte to Vang Vien.
    the problem with crossing the bridge is only for Thai plated bikes. Anyone with proper plates and papers from any other country on the planet will have no problems.

    I'm impressed with your efforts in getting an R1 with an almost bald tyre to Phonsavan. It would have been great fun over the last 50km once the road opened up to those great sweepers.
    Mike
     
  9. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    LOL
    Honestly R211 was bad, especially after Phitsanulok to Loei had been such a great ride.
    I thought I was on a pogo stick most of the time. My hands were still tingling when I got to Nong Khai. To make matters worse it started to pour.

    Route 7 in Laos was a pleasant surprise.

    The tyres werent so bald when I started out - Malaysia's North South Highway is hell on tires especially when you push beyond 150kmh.

    All in all it was a good ride - my only wish was that I had a bit more time.
     
  10. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    Some pics from Vientiane.

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    That ought to conclude the pics. I will try to throw some other pics from all over.
     
  11. scot harper

    scot harper Ol'Timer

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    Hey F.B.Beast, a great post loved the pic's, talk up where you ate at an slept at, think off the people that were a hit an those that were a miss, stay upright on the R1, but only on the straights!!
    Scott..
     
  12. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    Pictures from all over

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  13. FB666Y

    FB666Y Ol'Timer

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    Last bunch

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  14. scot harper

    scot harper Ol'Timer

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    Hey that little cow was norman, i know it's mother!!
    Scott
     

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