Luang Prabang to Vientiane, Oct 21-24

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by mikehohman, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. 2 friends and I rode through northern Laos last weekend, like this:

    Day 1, Friday, Oct 21: Bangkok to LPQ on Bangkok Airways, pickup the bikes by noon, lunch, and in Nong Kiau by Happy Hour.
    Day 2, Saturday: Nong Kiau to Phonsavan.
    Day 3, Sunday: Phonsavan to Muang Huang, by way of Muang Moc and early, aborted detour towards Long Cheng.
    Day 4, Monday: Muang Huang to Vientaine by way of Xiang Mai, arriving about 6:00 PM, 9:45 PM Thai flight back to BKK, in the office Tuesday...

    What a stunningly beautiful country. Each day was better than the last, and it started out pretty damn good. Nong Kiau is spectacular, as is much of 1-C to Phonsavan. On Saturday, my friends insisted on making a half-hearted attempt to Long Cheng, but we didn't get far before being turned back by young men with AK47s. The detour led to some excellent trails south of Phonsavan which were a blast to ride. The ride over the mountains from Phonsavan to Muang Moc is out of this world beautiful, as are the valleys, and south of Muang Moc the terrain changes to jungle. Overnighted at the Keomany Guesthouse in Muang Huang and then due west through hills and valleys and on the Vientiane. This last day was the best pure riding of the trip, some great single track, plenty of water, lots of mud, and dragging the bikes overs trees.

    Conditions were great! Beautiful clear blue skies, brisk chilly mornings, crisp mountain air, and dry dirt roads (except for 1 section the last day). Can't wait to go back. A few photos:

    Map of Trip

    Mekong River north of LPQ

    Valley of the Lao

    Golden Rice

    Nong Kiau

    Nong Kiau

    Northern Road to Long Cheng

    Boy in the Valley

    Valley on the way to Long Cheng. I made it past the checkpoint, but my friend was stopped down below.

    Terraces and village north of Muang Moc

    Sala with a View

    On the trail, Day 4

    Local man in the Jungle

    Stream crossing


    Waiting for the Ferry


    Broadcast Rice

    Rice ready for harvest
  2. Thanks! For this trip i took my Lumix GH2 and a wide angle (7-14) lens. GH2 has a 2x crop factor, so the lens is a 14-28 35mm equivalent. The package is very small for the image quality it puts out, but i would hate to fall in a stream with it... For more serious offroad stuff, i take my Canon S95, soon to be replaced by the new S100...
  3. Great report and photo’s Mike.

    The area around Moc Muang looks interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mike, another good report with great pix.
    If you can find the time next time try and stretch it to include Xam Neua
    and especially Vieng Xai.
    Thanks for posting.
  5. Thanks Rhodie, appreciate it.

    Wanted to go to San Nuea but Robert told me not to bother. Bastard...

    Anyway, something for next trip!!

    Hope you are well,

  6. To be fair Xam Neua is a fly-blown dusty Sov/Viet town, but Vieng Xai is a jewel.
    Not least for its history as it is for its stunning scenery.
    Here are two TRs, by the lad, which give you an idea for next time.

    Hope your are surviving in S7.

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