Noob Question - Take A Quick Peek At My Itinerary, Please

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by faynce, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. faynce

    faynce Member


    In the first week or two of October, the wife and I would like to take an 8-day trip to Laos with our bikes (Ninja 300, CBR500R). We've ridden in Thailand a bit, but never to Laos, but I haven't taken a ton of huge motorcycle trips like this. Since it's going to be rainy season, we're trying to stick entirely to paved roads - nothing too adventurous. Do you guys/gals mind looking at my itinerary and telling me if you see any problems or if there's any information I should know?

    Each pink X on the map is a stop. Each stop is either a town or a hotel. The time to travel is in red text along the route.

    Thank you in advance!

    The itinerary is here. The image is expandable:
    Laos Itinerary —
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    IMHO thats pretty ambitious for the first time, especially in the wet season & with the missus in tow.

    It always takes longer to travel in Laos. E.g. Vientiane - Vang Vieng is about 2.5 hours. 140 kms.

    You need a GTR Laos guide map to see the road elevation profiles & get an idea of the mountainous terrain you will be riding over.
    Laos Guide Map

    Either go up to LPQ & return. or just spend your time in the south.
    Dont try & do both, because you will do neither of them justice & end up wanting to go back to the same places because you tried to do too much.
    You will only scratch the surface doing both in 8 days.

    For the south of Laos look here
    Southern Laos 10 days with the GF – “Madam Champa.”

    Check out this GTR Lao trip planing section
    Trip Planning - Laos

    For Accommodation go here
    Accommodation - Laos

    For Restaurants go here
    Restaurants - Laos

    For some other Lao tips go here
    Other: Laos
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  4. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    I can only comment on part of your tour, maybe someone else can help. I did some of your route last week and last year.

    Where will you stop on the first night ? Sisaket ? ( Sorry for the questions, i can't zoom into the map to find the detail )

    Do you enjoy the Korat road ? I always run underneath on the 304>Ramkamhaeng>Chachoensao>Sakaeo. The road was awesome fresh tarmac, no traffic and no towns to slow you down, its just straight fast riding, good fun.

    Then there are a couple of routes from there, heading North to the 24 .. One of the roads 3462 is under roadworks but there is another route, I have logged on my handheld thats OK. (If you are interested, i will dig it out).

    From Buriram > Sisaket > Ubon the road is being rebuilt, single lane. It was a bit tiring for me after a day of riding, but I pushed ahead to Ubon and stayed at Sri Issan hotel, I thought it was nice, the food in Ubon is really good, there is a good vibe about the place. This puts you on better roads, fresh tarmac leading from Ubon centre to Chong Mek. I just find the whole Khao Yai / Korat route so tiring, all those busses sitting in the right hand land, the chewed up tarmac, etc

    I had a breeze getting through Chong Mek this year, I printed all my documents before arrival - Maybe I will post a guide here in time.

    From there Pakse. No problem, its a big town, nothing going on. You will be there by lunch, you maybe happier heading out to Tad Lo and staying the night at a waterfall resort.

    Then the "13" the most boring road ever, you feel like you are riding a camel after a few hours, i hate the surface and you'll be sick of the biggest Laos pickups flashing their lights and bullying you off the road. I don't see any way of avoiding this part of the journey, there is nothing of interest for me at the side of the road. You could stop for lunch in Savannakhet, you can get a good sandwich there.

    But, then at the end of the day you will drop into Na Hin ? for the night ? I'm not so hardcore, you might want to check this place in Thakhek and push the boat out a little. Also as David says, time Vs distance is greater in Laos. Everyone I met who talks about the 13 is the cows, the pigs, the kids and the buffaloes. You won't want to hit any of them wandering / riding push bikes on the road.

    The next day - but there are some interesting bits, The Nakai Plateau - Limestone Forest loop - southern Laos This is an excellent post - Update on the road that goes south from Phonsavan to HWY 8 at Lak Ha.. I did it in a day, its a hard slog to Phonsavan, the later stages to the plateaux are hard work, trucks on the road. You might find the later stages a bit tough on sports bikes, theres also plenty of photo ops on this road, you may want to factor that in to your itinerary. So it might be an idea to factor in an extra overnight stop on this section.

    I found this place 1D Road from Pak Ha to Phonsavan outside Thathom.

    Then the next day, make the ride to Phonsavan. If you leave in the early morning, you will have time to see the jars, and still have some time to relax.

    I hope someone can jump in and take over, I haven't done any more of your route.

    Hope you enjoy your trip.
  5. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Moderator Staff Member

    Looking at your route.. You are starting and finishing in Bangkok.

    Living and working in Bangkok.. Will share my approach to escaping and having as much Lao time as possible.

    You might want to consider putting your bike on the night train to Ubon..
    You arrive early morning and you don't lose one day riding boring Thailand roads trying to get to the border as quickly as possible.

    Plus I assume your 8 days trip to Laos includes 2 days getting out and back to Bangkok..
    Which only leaves you 6 days in Laos.

    Make sure you take some bubble wrap for your tank.. That is the only bit that could take whack if something moves on the train.

    Get a first class cabin. 2 bunks, private and aircon.

    I would suggest you start in the south.. I love the south but there isn't that much interesting tarmac / road riding.
    Dual purpose offload there is lots.

    As it is your first trip. Take your time. check out the sites on offer..
    Get a feel for the place and plan a longer trip to the north.. 10 to 14 days in country.

    Wat Phou. Paved Road
    Southern Laos welding trip and some sight seeing.

    Khonephapheng Waterfall. Paved Road
    Khonephapheng Waterfall

    If you decide to make the ride north of Pakse..

    Konglor Cave is spectacular. Paved Road.
    Kong lor Cave

    There are countless waterfalls around the Bolaven Plateau.
    Check out Tad Fane, stay at Tad Lo. Tad Etu to name a few

    From Peter on our "Lao Adventure Riding" Facebook Group.
    Xe Katamtok Waterfall.

    I would not bother with Attapue with such a short period of time.
    There is the SAM missile site.. But not much more for a road rider to go all that way.

    If you were to go offraod.. Then there is lots to do in Attapue and around
    Exploring Southern Laos.

    Avoid riding 13 S as much as possible.. Long boring and not much of interest..

    Hope this helps.

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  6. faynce

    faynce Member

    Alright, thank you for all of your responses. I have a lot to mull over.

  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

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