Pakse - Xepon - Phonsavan, is it a easy access?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning - Laos' started by kchow24, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Looking for some info concerning the road condition from Pakse - Xepon - Phonsavan, is it a easy access for a heavy bike? Planing to take this route during December.. Anyone travel to this area recently?
  2. Hi,

    What type of bike will you be taking ?

    The route you have for much of lao is the pretty boring route 13.

    You can stop off after crossing and visit wat pou in champasak. There is a tarmac rd all the way

    Dont forget the 4000 islands and msgnificent waterfall.

    Then take a ride around up to paksong stopping at tad fane and sleep over at tad lo.

    You are only a few km from saravan and take the road to xeppon.

    From xepon you have dirt or tarmac

    A bit of your proposed route in this ride report..

    There are other ride reports that will give you some ideas too.

  3. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the info and recommendation, for sure will consider your proposed route if our bike is doable.
    We will be cruising with the GSA and S10, both the bikes easily more than 270kg, we just don't want end up picking up bike more then enjoying the scenery, if the road condition is too tough for us.
  4. Check out the report below, cuts out some of highway 13. Beautiful ride.


  5. Hi YY.

    Didn't realise it was you posting as your name didn't show on the first post.

    Happy to give you a call or go over the map with you in Bangkok.

    I know you probably are really keen to ride your big bikes.

    But do honestly believe you will have a lot more fun and open a lot more different wayy if you go over on the KLX.

    You could put the KLX on the train to Ubon.. Then cross..
    Coming back put your bike on the train in Nong Khai after crossing from VTE..

    Missing out on all the big boring roads in Thailand.

    Every time I have taken the Versys to Laos.. I wish I was on the KLX.. Even on the paved roads.
    When you hit potholes, road works and just want to go down a track and see what is there.

    The route I suggested up to Xepon is paved all the way.
    The report Rex posted was the one I was thinking of to get you on the tarmac to Phonsavan

  6. Hi Brian,

    I think you got me the wrong person, I'm Kelvin from Malaysia.
    Anyhow thank you guys for all the details info and advise, really appreciate.
  7. How about the road from Mahaxay / Nakai > Lak Sao .. Is this possible on a Versys ?

    I shall be travelling next month ?

    For sure, I want to use route 8 as Moto-rex suggests .. thanks !
  8. I am doing this route at the moment ( returning ) here are some suggestions.

    day 1 - malay border to petchaburi ( I think, pushing it I could make Nakhon Patom or somewhere past Bangkok. I know Malaysians can push hard! So maybe easy for you.

    day 2 - easy day - to surin - I stayed in a pretty decent and cheap hotel, I will check my GPS and post in the accomadation section.

    day 3 - surin > border .. It took about 2 hours to clear Thai and laos customs. Expect to pay silly amounts several times and wait too long for paperwork to be completed.

    The Thai side was great, efficient, helpful and friendly .. Laos, not so, just speaking Laos to you expecting to understand completely.

    I didn't like this attitude in Laos, some people were great, but others spend all day watching Thai dramas and news on TV then had difficulty in reaching a common language to communicate with.

    1.100b at Thai immigration

    2.25b at customs

    3.40b for some guy to write your name in a book in Laos.

    4.200b for laos customs

    5.150b insurance

    then finally stamp the papers at the checkpoint.

    border > pakse for an easy lunch and change money.

    i then carried on to Savanakhet as I needed to apply for a Thai visa, but the accomadation is pretty bad. 1.5 hours north to Thakek there is a great hotel for 25$.

    You would need to push it to get to Thatek, before nightfall.

    I don't know the route to the west that you take but if you look to make some excursions, the caves around Thatek are nice to visit.

    Thatek > Phonsavan .. I took moto-Rex's route, it's very good advice. The 13 may well be a boring road but it will get you to where you want to get quickly, the scenery is nothing to talk about.

    When you turn off from the 13 things get better, follow the road to Vientnam to pak ha then turn left, the new road is very quiet, you could make phonsavan in the day, but I suggest an easy day and stopping in Thatom. There are several hydro schemes in the area, and the place has some good restaurants and clean but basic guesthouses. I made the journey in one day, but didn't appreciate the climb to the plateaux at 1100m, the last part was pretty scary in the dark, arriving in the town cold and wet.

    The route over the top of the national park is a good hour of twisties and a few recent landslides but the Tarmac good, I saw very few vehicles, say less than 10 after huahoi.

    Apart from the jars, there didn't appear to much of interest to keep me in Phonsavan another day.

    muankham looked interesting and stopping in the small towns with my versys on the new route caused some interest although people wernt that friendly.

    For the return I tried a different route from Thasi (?) to paxsan .. On a heavy bike it wasn't possible, so I took an early day stayed in Thatom followed by a another easy day to thakek.

    Tonight I will stay in pakse, to stock up on western food before crossing first thing.

    I found the 13 to be a decent road although lots of humps and bridges but nothing really bad, I didn't push over 100kmh the locals seem to just weave about the road without any care and there are plenty of cows/goats/pigs/school kids on pushbikes to avoid.

    hope this helps.

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