Our "dreams" Come True...

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by edh, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. edh

    edh Member

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    #1 edh, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    hi all
    finally we did the trip by car (mazda cx-5 awd/xdl).
    here a short report - click on the links to follow the daily tracks!
    there are not all roads we did on google-maps - we use the whole trip the maps.me app with our iphone!
    and the laos-map from www.motolao.com / www.laos-adventures.com

    all photos from the trip you can see here on flickr.com!
    https://www.flickr.com/gp/edhforever/rnP8Y4

    currency exchange - we paid mostly in KIP (1 thai-baht = 250 kip) or in baht!

    day 1: from maechan (chiangrai) to thung chang - Walkmeter - Autofahren - 21.02.2018, 09:45
    stay 1 night at Nan Thailand - Siam Garden - Thung Chang - delicious pasta from marco and dao!

    day 2: from thung chang (thailand) to huay xai (laos) - Walkmeter - Autofahren - 22.02.2018, 08:35
    crossed the border easy in huai kon - no "fees" for immigration or customs! on arrival on laos-site - easy - friendly - fast! - insurance for the car just a few hundred metres after the immigration/custom offices - small restaurant with first fresh and cold laos-beer!
    the first 60 kms after the border are paved and in good condition - then towards the mekhong-river - ferry over to the other side - and then along the mekhong to houay xai. ferry we paid 400 thaibaht - all dusty and very dusty road till about 15 kms before houay xai!
    sleep at a small and clean hotel in houay xai!

    day 3: from houay xai to xieng kok - great trip - all the way up to kapok-city (casino town under construction) is paved - after kapok-city about 20 km are under construction for a new huge highway along the mekhong!
    after that is an allweather road mostly along the mekhong-river. we took the road over the hills to mueng-town - but there was no bed free this day, because it was a football-championship-party! - so we drove down to xieng dao - but there are no guesthouses! - so we had no choice - the last 30 kms along the mekhong to xieng kok is a very bad offroad-trek - luckely we have 4-wheel-drive - it was wet and slippery some parts - with motorbikes no problem - good fun - you pass some rivers - arrive in the dark in xieng kok and found a new chinese hotel for a good price (500 baht) - there is only one guesthouse left near the ferry-port - but this is very old and expensive!
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 23.02.2018, 09:31

    day 4: we had a look at the friendship-bridge to burma - international border-crossing ;-) - the very friendly laos-immigration-staff told us - this will open soon in the future...!
    so the mostly good all-weather-road to muang sing! - new chinese-hotel in muang sing for very good price (520 baht)
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 24.02.2018, 09:52

    day 5: back to the future all the way down to luang namtha (actually they repair all the potholes...there are many of them...!) - and took the 13N to NAMO (all paved) - there turn left to BOUN-TAI (good allweather-road) - just 2 kms before arrive at the hotel a nice river-crossing - there is a small bridge - also for cars - but too expensive (200 baht!!!) - - old hotel in BOUN-TAI for 500 baht (VIP-room ;-)! food for dinner only at the chinese-hotel.
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 25.02.2018, 09:10

    day 6:
    from boun-tai up to phongsali - stay at the Viphaphone Hotel for 2 nights (400 baht/night)
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 26.02.2018, 10:10

    day 7:
    visit the 400 years-old-teatree-garden and the viewpoint jedi with great views!
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 27.02.2018, 11:43

    day 8:
    from phongsali in the morning with beautiful views (sea of fogs) down to muang la - the recommended "resort-hotel" on the riverside is due to flooding closed for ever...! - so we stayed for 2 nights at a new hotel nearby (320 baht/night without breakfast) - visiting the hotsprings.
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 28.02.2018, 08:56

    day 9:
    visiting the old tempel in muang-la and the restaurant on the riverside!

    day 10:
    from muang-la to the world-class resort (65 us dollars) - Namkat Yorlapa Resort and Hotel in Oudomxay, LAO PDR
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 02.03.2018, 08:59

    day 11:
    from this resort to muang hiam - just a short stop in nong kiaew - (we want to avoid all the "farangs" in laos ;-) - beautiful road over the mountains
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 03.03.2018, 08:24
    after arriving at the hotsprings booked the brandnew room (200 baht) opposite the hotsprings (see my other posting)

    day 12:
    from muang hiam to phonsavan - stay at the Jennida Guesthouse for 320 baht
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 04.03.2018, 08:24

    day 13:
    from phonsavan to thakhek - mostly good roads
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 05.03.2018, 08:15

    day 14:
    from thakhek to savannakhet
    Walkmeter - Autofahren - 06.03.2018, 09:12

    stay for 3 nights in savannakhet - then over the bridge back to the future and via mukdahan-yasothon-roiet - pilok back home!

    who wants more details - just PM me - or post it here!

    here are some videos on youtube - recorded with the garmin-dashcam!

    1) in the dust:


    2) crossing a bridge:


    3) through the jungle:
     
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  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Good one Martin.
    Im pleased eveything worked out ok for you.
    That's one hell of a trip that you have been planning for awhile.

    On day 2
    the first 60 kms after the border are paved and in good condition - then towards the mekhong-river - ferry over to the other side - and then along the mekhong to houay xai. ferry we paid 400 thaibaht - all dusty and very dusty road till about 15 kms before houay xai!
    sleep at a small and clean hotel in houay xai!

    What river was that you were crossing to pay 400 baht for the ferry - the Nam Tha river?

    So overall what was
    1. The highlight of the trip
    2. The best day driving that you enjyoed te most
    3. The worst day
    4. Any place that you wouldn't go again.

    A zilion kip for the contribution.
    Great to se you on GR.

    Many thanks.
     
  3. edh

    edh Member

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    #3 edh, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    On day 2
    What river was that you were crossing to pay 400 baht for the ferry - the Nam Tha river?

    david - if you have looked up my daily tracks - you would know it...! ;-)
    it's the ferry over the mekhong-river - here are the coordinates:
    19.83208611, 100.58194444

    Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-03 um 08.47.45.
    here a small video to drive on the ferry:


    So overall what was
    1. The highlight of the trip


    there were many highlights...!
    one of the best was the brandnew guesthouse near the hotsprings in HIAM for only 50'000 KIP...
    including the hotspa! you can use the bath as long you want! private room! great views out of the bath! special in the morning the sunrise!



    2. The best day driving that you enjyoed te most

    was sure the 2 days along the mekong-river!
    and of course the bad roads up in the topnorth also from nongkiaew to hiam!


    3. The worst day

    we have NEVER worst days - as you know - edh! every day holiday! ;-)

    4. Any place that you wouldn't go again.

    as we travel in LAOS more then 20 years already - we do not visit/stay anymore at the top-places for tourists now, for example luang prabang - vientiane - vang vieng - nong kiaew - houay xai etc. etc.!
    we try to avoid places with backpackers and 5*-tourists!
    we are still looking for special roads all over laos!
     
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  4. GTR-Admin

    GTR-Admin Ben Kemp
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    Hi Martin - that was an epic journey, thanks for taking the time to share the story, routes and videos, much appreciated.
     

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