Phonsavan to Tha Vieng to Tha Thom

mactbkk

Ol'Timer
Jul 18, 2008
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Following from a Lao friend up in Phonsavan regarding the road conditions:

due to on-going road construction,
the road is open from:

5 to 7 AM
12 to 1 PM
after 5 PM
xxxxxxxxx

We came down this road in early December 2008 and did run into several not too lengthly delays because of the new construction. BTW, a Vietnamese company has the contract for this job.

Had planned to visit Tha Thom in early April but now may give it a miss.

Mac
 

ray23

Ol'Timer
Oct 14, 2005
1,985
0
36
Boy that sounds like fun. Is there that many paved roads yuo can travel on with a street bike?
 

mactbkk

Ol'Timer
Jul 18, 2008
86
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Ray23

Nothing much at all paved shortly after you pass through Muang Khoune on towards Tha Vieng. Hard packed dirt and gravel, then might well hit the construction areas, I don't know how far they've progressed.

If you plan to go all the way south to Paksan, reckon a street bike, if you're meaning a 150 cc type, might have troubles, especially if there's rains. FYI, we were in a 4WD pickup (with apologies, again, to the forum, great information and fun reading, I'm just a coward!).

If you plan on returning back to Phonsavan and get delayed, there is a guest house at Tha Vieng, and another at Tha Thom. Both a bit rustic I'm told.

Mac
 

ray23

Ol'Timer
Oct 14, 2005
1,985
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36
Sounds likew mihgt be better to rent one of the dirt bikes, no the street bike is a Dragstar :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Auke

Ol'Timer
Nov 10, 2003
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mactbkk wrote: Ray23

Nothing much at all paved shortly after you pass through Muang Khoune on towards Tha Vieng. Hard packed dirt and gravel, then might well hit the construction areas, I don't know how far they've progressed.
Mac
The construction may take some time. In Muang Khoune at the start of the the road there is a sign which indicates that 70 km. road will be upgraded with a starting date of October 2008 and completion date of October 2012
 

jimoi

Ol'Timer
Nov 17, 2004
311
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I rode thru here a few weeks ago. The joy of a dirtbike is you can get around the bamboo security poles with a few words in Vietnamese and while keeping an eye where the diggers are - power past. The danger is pretty high doing this but you can also sit for 2 hours in the sun and wait.

Locals are doing it on step thru bikes. The guesthouses in Thathom and Tha Vieng are not so bad.

Give me a ring Ray, I'll hook you up with wheels.
 

cdrw

Ol'Timer
Oct 6, 2006
572
1
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Pakkan to Thathom:

At one point the road is very muddy from water draining down the side of a mountain.
Shortly after that there is an area where the road goes down. At that point the hardpack
road surface is covered with fine powder...and it is very slippery. Hence, I crashed!
Quite passable for trucks; okay for road bikes but very dicey for a street bike!
Mud.jpg


Few river crossing...all easily passible in the dry season, even with a street bike.
Riverx-ing.jpg


Other than the above, the dirt roads are fine for a street bike
goodroads.jpg


The only GH I saw in Thathom, but surely other accomodations can be arranged.
GHThathom.jpg


The Thatom GH had electricity fittings in my room, but they were turned off.
I was provided with 2 small candles (look on table). At 160-Bt/night I felt ripped off;
maybe electricity was available for an extra fee ;-)
GHcandles.jpg


Dirt roads from Thathom to Mouang Khoune were not a problem. (Feb 2007)