Laos Ride 2012

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by rob7711, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 13 04/12/12 Tue Luang Prabang
    We decided to spend another day and bum around Luang Prabang just to enjoy the tranquility of the place and enjoy the sights. We had breakfast down by the river and found a place serving rice porridge with yue teow (deep fried pastry) that goes very nicely with the pork porridge. We then rode around town just to get a feel for the place but unfortunately we ended up going down a short one way street (the wrong way but of course) and there to greet us was a bunch of boys in brown. Just our luck and no thanks to the weired traffic signage. We ended paying an "on-the-spot" fine of 150K kips and rode away from that mess.

    I then decided to just park the bike and made my way up the hill opposite the museum and had a good cardio workout climbing all those steps to the summit. The views overlooking the town was good and made the climb worth the effort. Lunch was lasagna nearby and the bread was excellent.

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    Views around town ...

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    View of the guest house we were in ...

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    This shrine by the foot of the hill had some interesting wall frescos ...

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    Fancy a workout??? ... The views are worth the climb.

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    Some offerings for sale on the hill ... those little cages contain birds meant to be set free

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  2. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 14 05/12/12 Wed Luang Prabang ~ Nong Khiew
    Today we will head for Nong Khiew which was just about 142km away so we took a laid back approach for this ride but not before we had our favorite breakfast of pork porridge by the river again. The ride to Nong Khiew was cool and nice though the elevation was still about 350m. Scenery was excellent as the Nam Ou river came into view. It gets even better as we approached Nong Khiew. We rode across the bridge and checked in at the Nong Khiau River Resort which was quite pricey at 350K kips. I guess its the most expensive hotel we had been in on this trip todate. We had a great view of the bridge, river and hills from our balcony which was a real nice spot to enjoy the views from. The chalet was quite comfy and countryish feel about it with full height windows opening into the balcony.

    I spent the night out on the bridge trying to get some starry night shots and just enjoying the chill of the night air. A pretty laid back place, peaceful and quiet.

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  3. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

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    Just matching up our trip report dates..

    It is a real shame, but looks like we missed you in Nong Khiew by one day only.. We were there on the 6th...
    Also stayed in the same Hotel in Luang Prabang...

    Great shots of the night sky full of stars...

    Great pics, keep them coming..

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  4. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Yes Brian ... I notice that too as your report progressed. It would have been fab to have met you guys while on the road and thanks for your support too. Glad you enjoyed some of the pics.
     
  5. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 15 6/12/12 Thur Nong Khiew ~ Boten ~ Luang Namtha

    After breaky at the guest house we left Nong Khiew for Boten and then to Luang Namtha. The weather was cool but the stretch of road between Pak Mong and Oudomxai was really bad and there was 77km of it. This of course has been reported in this forum numerous times and remains true when we rode through here. I had to soften the front and rear damping by 2 turns just so that it was more tolerable. Handling suffered with such soft settings but with the slow speed which we were forced to ride with it was better this way for me at least.

    Here's a short video clip showing the road condition of the Pak Mong ~ Oudomxai stretch of road. After Oudomxai the road suddenly is transformed to the best piece of road in all of Laos! Well demarcated and signposted and the surface was absolutely a joy to ride on. I had to stop and re-set my "cadillac suspension" back to my normal setting in order to appreciate the surface even more.

    We arrived at Luang Namtha just past 15:00hrs and checked in at the recommended Dokchampa GH for 100K kips. We then headed across the main street to Manychan's for a nice relaxing late lunch. This town was pretty quiet and peaceful and most of the attractions were adventure type which we couldn't do any of those this time around. So it was a quiet and early night as we contemplate the past 14 days of travel with our Laos trip soon coming to an end tommorow.

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    Wonder what these are for ...

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    On the road to Boten ... One day I will be coming back this way and cross this border to China

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    Heading towards Luang Namtha ...

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    The approach road leading into town was a work in progress ... really dusty here

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    At Manychan's for a nice lunch ..

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  6. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 16 7/12/12 Fri
    Today we will reluctantly exit wonderful Laos as we head for Huay Xai for the border/river crossing back to familiar Thailand. It was a misty morning and as we rode out it started to drizzle and the morning air was chilly. We were on that wonderful piece of road ... no correction ... the best road in all of Laos and it was a joy to ride it. However this was also where everything could have ended real badly as I had an encounter with a tour bus overtaking a truck train coming up a rise and bend. Damn bus left me with no
    where to go as there was hardly any road shoulder and certainly that bus wasn't going to stop. Lucky for me I managed to brake hard and swerve out of the way but directly onto the path of the truck train. Truck train and myself managed to stop in front of each other and we just looked at each other in disbelief. Lucky to get to ride another day. I so happen to have my GoPro cam running when all this happened and managed to capture this whole episode (you can check out the video link on post#1).

    Anyhow we made Houay Xai around 10:45hrs but due to some delays we missed the ferry before lunch break and had to wait till 13:30hrs for the next to sail. After going to town for the immigration stamp and money changer to convert our balance kips then it was the customs at the vehicle jetty and the long wait. Over at Chiang Khong the process was repeated and no hassles there. Then I headed for Chiang Rai for the night coz I needed to get the oil changed on my bike by then. So that was the end of the Laos leg of the ride and strike off another item from that long bucket list.

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    Poor monkey ...

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    Chiang Khong customs and immigration which is located on a separate jetty from the vehicle ferry a short

    distance down the road

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    The mekong along the Thai side ...

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  7. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 17 8/12/12 Sat Chiang Rai
    Today I just bummed around and went to Chiang Rai Saddlebags to check out the place. Met Marty there and Brian of Chiang Rai Big Bike Rental too. I was enquiring as to where I could get an oil change (I brought along a spare filter) and Marty recommended a place not far from his place and Brian was kind enough to show me the place. However when we got there we found that the guy was away to Chiang Mai for some bike fest. Brian then tried his contacts and finally we found a place where they had motul oil which was fine by me. After a short while the job was done and the cost was just 750baht. Thanks Brian and Marty for your kind assistance.

    Didn't do much in Chiang Rai so just a pic here checking out a new vespa at Chiang Rai Saddle Bags

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  8. yychow0812

    yychow0812 Ol'Timer

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    Great RR so far Rob. I saw the video that you first posted a while back and that was one close shave.

    Keep the reports coming in!
     
  9. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for reading. I will try to speed up my RR posting though its really time consuming to sort and load up the pics. Cheers!
     
  10. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 18 9/12/12 Sun Chiang Rai ~ Nan
    After breakfast at the hotel I headed out for Nan via Chiang Mun and the 1091. This was an area where I had not been to before and looked forward to riding this region as I make my way south back to the Malaysian border. About 20km from Phayao the area became a sea of mist and it was already almost 10:00hrs. Must be all that moisture from the lake I thought and the temperature dropped and it felt like 19degC on the bike. After turning off the highway at Phayao I made a coffee stop and put put on my jacket liner to keep warm.

    I rode through some hills planted with corn and some forest reserves. The road condition was good and dry and I made a stop at the Bonpon fossil site and more coffee. I arrived at Nan around 14:00hrs and tried to locate the Nan Keree Thara Resort and finally got the old name of City Park Hotel from tourist info in town. Had dinner in town and a quiet night after that.

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    These were the most emanciated herd of cows I have come across on this entire trip. Even the cows in Laos looked much healthier.

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  11. Syad Li Shan

    Syad Li Shan New Member

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    Hai rob7711,
    I love your adventure trip report. That is my plan wanna go for end of the year 2013. Then, i like to ask you, how did you upload photo more than 7. Last week, i try upload 20 photo in 1 post and said error and see the attachment. Sorry for asking you like that and then, i just a new guy here.
    I just came back from Thai Laos trip last 2 Jan 2013 wanna to share my journey...
    Thank You for reading my message ^_^
     
  12. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for reading my RR. You can get answers to all of your posting questions from the FAQ section found on this forum's main page. As for me I usually compile my RR using a text editor like Notepad and incorporate all my photo links before posting. My pics are uploaded to photobucket. Hope this helps. Cheers!
     
  13. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Thanks for reading my RR. You can get answers to all of your posting questions from the FAQ section found on this forum's main page. As for me I usually compile my RR using a text editor like Notepad and incorporate all my photo links before posting. My pics are uploaded to photobucket. Hope this helps. Cheers!
     
  14. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 19 10/12/12 Mon Nan ~ Loei
    I had previously posted on this forum for route suggestions for this leg of the ride while I was in Chiang Rai. I had originally wanted to head for the Sirikit Dam and to make my crossing there before heading to Loei. However I decided not to chance it this time round and instead headed SE through some forest reserves to some of the remotest roads I have ridden here in Thailand. Many thanks to Cruising and others here on the forum for their helpful suggestions.

    The road condition out here was a mix bag really and it adds to the adventure of the ride I guess. You will hardly come across another traveller for awhile in these parts traversing through several forest reserves whilst contemplating the solution to world peace some might say ... must be some of the loneliest roads in Thailand. However you will come across quite a fair bit of checkpoints along these roads though probably due to the proximity to the Laos border I guess. Do have a full tank of gas before you set out on
    this one though as gas stations are few here. You can have a feel of the varying road conditions in the accompanying pics.

    I arrived at Loei around 16:00hrs and checked in at Muanmanee Boutique Hotel which was very nice at 600thb. Its a newish hotel tucked away on a side street with great staff and fab coffee ... what more could one ask for. I was recommended to try the noodle soup by the staff there which was located just along the main road to the hotel and it was most satisfying I must say. Good stay here and would use this place again if I was ever passing this way again.

    Leaving Nan early in the morning ...

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    Came across this giant kilometer marker along the way ..

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    Around Si Nan National Park area
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    One of the numerous checkpoints along this route ...

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    Visiting Pa Chu
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    Meeting up with the Nan River after crossing the mountans ..

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    Then it was poor road surface from here on the 1083. Not potholed but just that the wearing course has been

    really worn out.

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    Continuing on the 1268 ...

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    Around Phu Suan Sai National Park area on the 1268 ...
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    Then the road gets a bit degraded ...

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    End of the 1268 and onto 2113 ...

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    At Muanmanee Boutique Hotel in Loei ..

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  15. Syad Li Shan

    Syad Li Shan New Member

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    Thank you so much rob..^_^
    I will let you know when i finish my report.
     
  16. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Great! Will be looking forward to your RR then.
     
  17. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Day 20 11/12/12 Tue Loei ~ Khon Kaen
    Left Muanmanee early in the morning and headed for Khon Kaen. However after about 45minutes on the road I realized that I had inevertently left my iphone behind in the hotel back in Loei. So I made a U turn and raced back to the hotel to hopefully retrieve my phone. Reception came running out waving my handphone even before I could get off my bike! Honest people there and I found out that she even tried to dial my last call number in desperation. I was again offered freshly brewed coffee which I badly needed ... now
    that's really friendly service. I again bid my farewell and resumed my journey.

    Came across 2 speed trap blocks but no problems there. The ride was a bit boring except when passing a national park and I arrived at Khon Kaen around 14:00hrs. I located The Boss Grand Tower Hotel in town near the railway station and Central Plaza. Hotel was a basic hotel with a tight squeeze of a shower stall but it was clean.

    Leaving Loei early in the morning ...

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    Arriving in Khon Kaen ..

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    Leaving Khon Kaen heading for Chaam on my journey back to the Sadao border crossing back to Malaysia.

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    The return leg down the isthmus of kra and back to kuala lumpur is the boring part of the ride so no pics here as I have done this leg numerous times. It was another 2 more nights before I got back home to Kuala Lumpur and of course its got to be rainy and wet ride.

    With this I shall end my RR on this funtastic ride to Laos. The memories of this ride shall remain with me with a vow to cross that border in Boten one day in the future. Plans are already afoot for this and beyond as I post this and maybe even try the Ho Chi Minh Trails for a return visit to Laos one day. Thanks for reading and ride safe always. Cheers!
     
  18. yempaul

    yempaul Ol'Timer

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    Hey Rob

    That's great displays you've got there ... Nice chat we had today and thanks for the hospitality ...
     
  19. rob7711

    rob7711 Ol'Timer

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    Thanks Yem. It was a pleasure to meet you and look forward to a future ride together. Cheers!
     
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