Hi anyone done the route in laos from vientiane along the mekkong to xanamkan (any hotels) then to xayaboury also any hotels? then to luang prabang, what is the road condition like?
any help would be great
We did the ride for the Elephant Festival, 14 February 2009.
Happy Feet is right - the road Vte to Sanakham is getting repaired - the first 70kms or so from Vte is fine, but there are a few spots in the last 20kms to Namhi that are still being repaired but nothing too hairy. From Namhi to Sanakham is fine. The ride takes about 4 hours without too many stops on a Baja or equivalent. In Sanakham, there are a string of hotels, and I'd recommend the one just before the turnoff to Pak Lai (big, newer white place).
Sanakham to Pak Lai is a dream tarmac run, especially in the morning for the views.
Pak Lai to Xayaboury is pretty dusty at present, especially a 30km section starting about an hour from Pak Lai. Deep, thin, tricky dust. Pack a face mask/goggles. There's a bit of traffic too that churns things up. Again about 4-5 hours on Baja or equivalent, without too many stops.
There's a great natural spring on the west side of the road between Pak Lai and Xayaboury, about 40kms from Pak Lai. Worth a stop and swim. There's some salas there to rest in.
Apart from the hotels in Pak Lai town, there is also a nice place about 25 kms north of Pak Lai on a stretch of river, that's quiet and good for a swim.