North Laos Brief Road Summary

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. DavidFL

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    #1 DavidFL, Jul 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
    North Laos Brief Road Summary
    Back from a 2,700 kms ride a couple of weeks ago.
    2nd June – 21 June 2016
    Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang - Phonsavan & return.

    Chiang Mai – Pua
    Routes: 118-120-1021-1148-1080
    Pua – Huay Khon – Muang Ngeun – Xayaboury – Luang Prabang
    Routes: 1080-Laos-2W-4A-4-13

    Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang via Pua - Huay Khon - Xayaboury


    Luang Prabang – Phou Khoun – Phonsavan
    Routes: 13 - 7

    Luang Prabang - Phonsavan


    Phonsavan – Mouang Khoun – Phonsavan

    Routes: 7 – 1D

    Mouang Khoun - Phonsavan


    Phonsavan – Phou Khoun – Luang Prabang

    Routes: 7 - 13

    Luang Prabang – Pak Mong – Nong Khiew
    Routes: 13 – 1C



    Nong Khiew – Oudom Xai – Luang Namtha
    Routes 1C – 13 - 3



    Luang Namtha – Houei Xai – Chiang Khong
    Routes: 3 – Thailand - 1021

    Chiang Khong – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai
    Routes: 1021 – 1174 – 1152 – 1020 – 1 – 118

    A rainy season ride, but unbelievably I only rode in rain for less than 30 kms total over the 18 days / 2,700 kms I was away.
    Also unbelievably I thought all the roads were good!

    Only in Laos, route 1C from Pak Mong – Nong Khiew still sucks.

    R4A from Hongsa – Xayaboury was as good as I’ve seen it, with zero road works

    R4 from Xayaboury to Xieng Ngeun / R13 is still a race track.

    R13N from Xieng Ngeun to Luang Prabang is still a bit ratty with patchy bumpy asphalt.

    R13N Xieng Ngeun to Kiu Kacham & Phou Khoun is as good as I’ve seen it for years. All the potholes have been filed & patched up. There’s no loose gravel or stone on the road.

    Kiu Kacham the original trucker's stop on R13 south of Luang Prabang

    R7 Phou Khoun – Phonsavan is still all good & a race track the last 30 kms into Phonsavan.



    R1D from Phonsavan – Mouang Khoun is all ok, no real potholes. Towards MK several sections have / are about to be resurfaced with some loose stone on the road, but is all smooth & good. The traffic on R1D was surprising – it’s going to be an important road & I counted 30 petrol stations in the less than 30 kms to MK from Phonsavan. There’s money in that juice out there somehow.

    Heading North from Luang Prabang R13N to Pak Mong has all been patched up, with no potholes. In April it was a pig of a road.

    R13N from Pak Mong to Oudom Xai is a race track. One of the best surfaces I’ve ridden on for a long, long time. I enjoyed it so much the GF- pillion got motion sickness twice, necessitating lengthy stops.

    R13N from Oudom Xai – Na Teuy & the China border . Luang Namtha border junction is all good.

    R3 from Na Teuy – Luang Namtha, has some broken asphalt at the Na Teuy end. It’s been like that for a couple of years now & is being repaired.

    R3 from Luang Namtha – Houei Xai is generally a beauty.
    GTR - IMG_4956.JPG

    At the LNT there are a few bumps in the asphalt, but overall the road is magic to ride. At the HX end it gets busy & a bit ratty in places about 20 kms out of HX.

    GTR - IMG_4957.JPG

    So to summarize I reckon the North is as good as I’ve ever seen it, if you want to do a quick Luang Prabang loop from Chiang Mai.

    GTR - IMG_4955.JPG

    + Updated accommodation info
    Luang Prabang Accommodation

    Phonsavan Accommodation

    Nong Khiew Accommodation

    + Updated restaurant info
    Luang Prabang Restaurants

    Phonsavan Restaurants

    Muang Khoun - R1d - Restaurants

    Nong Khiew / Khiao

    Oudom Xai Restaurants
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