Laos road update

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by martins, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    Just came from a great trip in Laos, entering from Chiang Khong and exiting in Vientiane. My bike is a Honda Transalp 650 2005 temporary imported from Sweden (see any forum about import).

    First of all the custom were extremly fast and efficient on both sides, no problem. I paid 100 bath per day (8 days) on the Thai side for overdoing my temporary import permission.

    The ferry lady claims that there were no car ferries any more and they have to take the bike in a longboat which they did. Afterwards I am sure they fooled me but whatever now it's done. (samr price as car ferry, 500 Baht). Whatch out for this.

    The roads up to Luang Namhta were great, however they struggle with the road maintanance after the rain. There were several landslides on the way and on one place one side of the road on a bridge was gone. They just don't have the resource needed to maintain.

    In Luang Namhta the road was moved so it passes town, you have to take first left to reach the town.

    After the crossing in Na Teuy (where the road divert to China) it was miserable road conditions. The same apply here with the after rain maintanance but apperently this part was not prioritized. The road is originally asphalt but it was missing for kilometers and only mud retain and very large potholes. There were several truck and buses broked down on the road. You need som kind of an offroad bike and the speed was appx 30 km / h in average all the way to Luang Prabang.

    After Luang prabang it was much better, even if not good. You have to beware of potholes and landglides all the way down to Vientiane. However I made a stop in Viang Vien and the ride from there to Vientiane was the best ever. Wonderful roads and sights! However you can't speed, it is close between vilages and the vilagers live on the road, especially the kids and pets. It's still unusal with big motorbikes and the kids keep waving and screaming at you all the time.

    The gas price in Laos is 50% higher than in Thailand so fill up, there are no gas stations between the border town and Lung Namhta

    Got a lot of nice meetings with tribals!

  2. Martin,

    this sounds encouraging. I would love to ride Nong Khai -Luang Prabang. As you can see my side car vehicle has small wheels plus a three wheeler makes potholes even more rough=

    I have taken some rough stretches here in Thailand, where help is always near but Laos.... I have been hesitating.

    What do you think? Doable in the dry season??

  3. Pico,
    The road to Luang Prabang from Vientiane is paved all the way with only a few places between KM 60 and 155 with potholes - not a lot over the stretch. Assistance on this road is pretty good with lots of traffic zipping along and bigger towns every 50 KM enroute. KM 200 - 380 is a lot of up and down but the way is pretty smooth.

  4. Most encouraging ! Looking at your web site there seem to more other possibilities under your guidance. I am probably not suited for group tours, too slow with a sidecar.

    Let´s talk when I am back from Europe.

    thanks Jimoi

  5. The stretch between Luang Namhta and Luan Prabang is the worst.
    E.g. after the road to the chinese border.
    But all is doable, they are driving trucks there. Just calculate the time.
    And as said before, there are a lot of traffic so you want be on yor own.


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