Am planning a new trip, possibly leaving BKK next week - entering via Koh Kong and out via Anlong Veng, so would really appreciate hearing your experience and advice.
Have a good trip and take it easy.
Thanks for the offer, will be passing thru again someday but missed Sisaket this trip, was a speed run from Savanakhet to Anlong.
The road from the border to Anlong is PAVED and in good condition, 12.5 km to town and the small lead in from the border to the market is really shit but after the border market it is fine.
100 meters from Anlong on the road to SR, Expect a HELL ride if it has rained in the last day(s). I made it from AV to the turn onto paved road near Batan Srie(sp) in about 4.5 hours with only 2 stops. The road has been churned up big time. It had not rained for about 4 days before I did it and if it had, I'm not so sure that it would not have taken twice as long.
From Anlong down:
First 30 Km are pretty much the worst. There are huge ruts from stuck trucks and very little place to open the throttle up much. Beware of all the bridges - especially the first one out of town, the planks run the lenght of the bridge and the gaps are wide enough to take in a tire.
If you have ever ridden from Poipet to SR in dry season, it's the same but add puddles that are sometimes really deep, over 40 cm.
The second 30 km get better but not by much. There were a few stretches that you could get up to 65 kmph but not many and again, slow down to 15 kmph for all bridges. There is a bridge about 64 km south of AV and if you hit it fast enough, can fly over the span. The lead up hill is a super angle and the down sides on both are suitable for landing. It was dry and I crossed slowly and then went back to fly it. 15-18 meter fly, 2 -3 vertical. There is a police officer there and he gave me the green light you can't see traffic on the other side.
It is alright to ride, just slowly.
On the Thai side, the road is narrow and full of things like farm tools and such. It is 39 km up to to Highway 24, There is fuel about 15 km after the border, then nothing until you get to 24. Be careful on the last 8 km, the road is swiss cheese.
I'd do it again but only when it was dry(ish). I love mud and did get thru some really shitty bits and the bike was nasty looking by the time I got to SR. After a rain? Hmm, seems like I'd only make it 121 km from SR to AV in a day.
Fuel up in SR, there is some along the way but expensive and I don't like gas in Johnny Walker bottles so much.
Maybe next time. I have a few days term break coming up and plan to ride over to Pakxe for a couple of days then up to Savanaket for a day, accross on the ferry to Mukdahan for a day and then back to Sisaket. I will leave here on 9 Sep. I have read all the info, are there any up to the minute tips you can suggest ?
I really appreciated your detailed report and hope to be leaving for Cambodia in a week or so's time.
1. Am I right in assuming that the road is still passable on a lumbering GS tho a tad slower?
2. How would you compare it to the potholed section of road between Laos & Cambodia, albeit far longer - perhaps similar to Battambang to Pailin?
ago 3 weeks I and my son were on a track from Paksong to Tad Lo going thru the coffee estates. I am certain we took the wrong turning as we never found the coffin making villages but did find the chinese dam and some 4-5 hrs later Tad Lo. It wouldn't have been very much fun in the dry, but in the rain it was very tricky 2up and with a full load of kit, ensured our having 3-offs. A kayak would have been a more sensible option in some parts.
I will post how I get on.
I am on a heavy push from PP up to Savanakhet again, limited time and gonna hate the rain for sure.
I will most likely be in Savanahket on the night of the 14th if I make the ferry across. If not, I'll be in Savan only for an hour or so to check up a huge bit of work to the minsk I am doing.
Question 1 = Yes, slowly should be fine.
Question 2 = The southern Lao crossing is only 3 km long, pretty much better than this but in full rain is a bitch. Harry the Finn just did it as well on his 450 Honda dirtbike and said it was no problem. 2 up, tricky but also can be done.
I think you can handle it, it's better than it was years ago.
Maybe see you in Savan or Mukdahan. I'll stay at Savanbanho in Savan but not sure where in Mukdahan, kinda don't like the Ploy or Grand so much anymore.
I came back up this way to Thailand last night and it took 6 hours for 130 km to Anlong Vien. Monsoon rain, Deep Deep water on the road in many places, the last 20 km into AV were an absolute nightmare. The mud was incredicbly slick and there were about 30 stuck cars/trucks along the way, some off into the side ditches and some smack in the middle of the crap. A local bulldozer was pulling them out one at a time until it threw a track and pretty much blocked the road.
Respect and appreciation for the heads up.
Glad you got through safely.
It sounds like a journey to remember.
I hope to be leaving BKK in a week's time and will see how the weather is b4 giving it a go. Otherwise it is back to the pain of negotiating Aranya again.
Hope we can meet up sometime - maybe in Laos.
Surely you would quallify for the SEA equivilent to the Iron Butt Assoc.
Perhaps it should be called the Soggy Butt Assoc 4 rainy season riders!
Take good care of yourself.
Just got back into Thai via SR,Samrong,Osmach,It has been raining a lot and some sections of the road are covered. Did SR,AV , Preahvihear to Batang Menchay, a week ago, I'd guess it would be pretty hard going after the extra rain. Jimoi the bridge 64kms from AV is a beauty, also remember just coming into AV there is a bridge with the logs longways, has caused a few riders embarassment dropping the front in between the logs.Rhodie I would wait for a dry spell if you have time, a couple of days is usually enough.