Laos Spectacular

Mar 30, 2010
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G'day Rexy,

Funny you ask.. I was wondering and thinking it was.. But as we went the other direction wasn't sure.
Plus the village on the river is much bigger and there is a proper track..

You may remember on our last trip.. It felt like the end of the earth until we crossed.
The village had one small shop with warm beer and after about 30 mins of riding the road works were coming.

The track was rutted to hell with some land slides from the rainy season still to be cleared..

The we arrived at this and looked down.. I remember thinking..
Crap.. This is going to be steep and lots of loose rock on the hard surface...

(Glad we went up this and not down again as still rutted to hell)

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The old report here
Northern Laos December 2012 (Moto-Rex BrianBKK)

The map of the day.. looks to match up with the GPS pic from the present trip.
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You can see no real track or road to the river like there is now..
The area has opened up a lot in both directions and lots of trees gone..

But still a ripper ride.

Cheers
Brian
 

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The track from Nong Tang to the river was a pretty wild ride that day as I remember. There was that abandoned village, and the only people we saw after the army check point were 3 rough looking guys with guns. I remember thinking while riding, that this track had a really bad vibe, and I was happy to see the river.
 
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We decide to head up to Vieng Tong.. Round trip there and back with one over night.
The pics below are taken going both directions.

Stopping off at a LIMA site on the way back and a rest day to take in the jars..

It is much quicker going up the guts on the dirt and over the mountains than all the way around not he twisty windy tarmac.
But bone rattling in parts, until you hit the mountains.
Then it is fun.. Lots of land slides and other wash outs from the rainy season.

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Looks closely and you can see Scott. Puts some scale to it..

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Cute little village in the middle.

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The local teacher came and spoke with us.. Very impressed to see how the village wants to get ahead.
Asked us if we knew any one that would like to stop over for a few days and help teach english at the school.

On the way back Scott and I went to look for the teacher to get his details and spread the word.
As we were both so impressed by him.. But couldn't find him and in the end gave up :-(

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The water was a little too deep to cross..
We thought we would give it a try on the way back.. But it was even higher than the day before..
Must have been releasing water upstream. So back over the suspension bridge.
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You will see in the video.. Scotty nearly went for a swim

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High Wire Act..

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At the tightest and highest part.. Only bikes and farm trucks could make it through..
Still washed out and land slides not cleared from the rainy season.
You never know.. But we were discussing the possibility of a road all the way through.
But if you look at the earlier pictures.. they can't even keep up with that..
Hopefully dirt bike territory for a while to come :)

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Check in and head off to the hot springs.

Seems history has changed a little over the years.. First went here about 6 or 7 years ago.
There was a very prominent sign thanking a foreign teacher for donating the materials and building the hot springs.

Now no mention of the foreigner and the local teachers did it..

Not sure who is right and things do change over time :)

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The more expensive seats.. 7 years ago.. there was only this.. I don't remember the hot tubs.
Now you / locals have to pay to use this section. There is still a free section below at the end of the pipes.

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There are some nice gardens and walk ways with areas to sit and have a picnic.
Fresh eggs sold at the ticket counter if you want to boil an egg.

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It gets cold in the town at night...

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More to come....
 
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I bet you had all your fingers and toes crossed when you rode along this track. Looks like it could give way at any moment.

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Just love the High Wire Act video. Roll up Roll up.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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Time to head back to Phonsavan..

But first a ride up to LS 36.. Went up here about 5 years ago.
The track is much easier than then, widened a lot. Could almost het the Versys up if not raining and post rainy season.

The village has developed a lot too.. Offering home stays now..

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The runway....

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Next stop Phonsavan.. The way we came in over the land slides..

More to come..
 
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Scotty had never been to the Plaine of Jars before. So we stopped at Site One.. Easiest to get to just out of town.

Paved road all the way there for few years now.

They have moved the parking area and now have a little UXO museum on site since my last visit.

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After being rained in for a day.. Plus is was cold..

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Yes.. Don't let the name.. Dry season fool you.. More than a few times caught out by the cold rain over this side of Laos.

We decide to head off.. Wearing as much gear as we can and the rain gear became a wind breaker.
It gets cold when 1,000 metres and above at this time of year.

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The mighty KLX clicked over 60,000 km... Another 5,000 km on since then..
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Next Stop... Phou Khoun.

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Can you guess where we are?

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Vang Vieng....

Beer O'clock...

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Always a good night at Jai Dee bar..

 
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The final installment of this trip..

A couple of days in Vang Vieng and a little explore around the caves and other sites.

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The locals are looking for Monkey's..
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Time to go and get those steaks for dinner..

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" I heard you "
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Bumped in to Dee Den.. Been riding with him and his Thai friends in Kanchanaburi.
Small world.. They also had problems and the Muang Ngern border.
Only 3 out of 7 made it across..

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Then the next day.. Time to wrap up a great trip.. with a great mate.
We had a blast..

Vientiane.. Where we had beers with PJ..

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The majestic Mekong was right out.. You could almost walk over to Thailand.
I bought up Google Earth on my phone and was standing bang in the middle.

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That is a wrap..

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the journey.. We did..

Cheers
Brian

PS.. I have a few other rides around this period.. Will append the more interesting places to this report.
Rather than an entire new report..