R13n - Hit By A 22-wheeler Chinese Truck

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    My absolute lucky day = first prize in the lottery!

    A quick one day ride to Luang Prabang from Chiang Khong, to deliver some maps & catch up to a few friends.
    It's been too long since I've been in Luang Prabang, so rather than bus the maps to Luang Prabang for delivery, why not just pop over for a ride. I must have done that road at least 30 times & know it like the back of my hand.

    And so it was, but I did have a slightly uneasy feeling. You sometimes get these...

    I have a favourite monk in Thoed Thai, who I visit at his wat to make merit a few times a year. It is usually for my birthday or at New Year & then again for Thai New Year in April.
    It was raining for new year so I didn't make my pilgrimage, and the again in early January it was wet again, so I skipped once again.

    Then 2 days before I planned to go something still didn't feel right so at 3.45PM 2 days before I was due to set off I raced off to Thoed Thai for the night so I could make thamboon the next morning at the Wat.

    At 9am I bumped into the monk, just as he was leaving in his car, off to the market. 55. We chatted briefly & i asked to make merit with some offerings at the Wat at a convenient time in the morning, when he was free. Well not this morning, I'm off for most of the day, as I have another Wat & village to go straight after the market. When you come back, it is ok. Make merit then, don't worry.
    ok I agreed - who was I to argue.

    He's a really cool, funny monk & told me to take a selfie with him before we parted.
    49895594_10157267064538755_1276552417395081216_o.

    to be continued.
     
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  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #2 DavidFL, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    After my monk rendezvous & minimal blessings it was back home to Chiang Khong to pack up for an early start the next day, & a quick Sunday ride over to Luang Prabang - just another weekend walk in the park.
    Sunday morning up at 6.30am & down at the bridge at 7am, to rouse up the Thai staff from their 6am start. Yes, that's right the first staff are "on duty" at 6am, but who crosses the bridge at the ungodly hour of 6am - no one, and there's a reason for that.

    Being the first in line and the only one, it was a mere 40 minutes later and I was on the other side - the Lao side, after riding across the bridge with no escort vehicle & no mention of one. Nice progress seeing that little scam gone I must say.

    On the Laos side at 7.40AM the offices were all deserted, with customers hanging around waiting. Laos opens at 8AM! What the hell, that sort of defeats the purpose of early opening on the Thai side?

    At 8AM the Laos customs and immigration stuff rock up into their offices & turn on the computers. They take awhile to boot up, as do the staff warming up.
    An hour later, I'm set to go.
    The insurance office not yet open & I don't have a Lao phone sim, but what the heck let's "hit the road" & sort it all out in Luang Prabang later today. It's just a quick ride down there, and one that you've done many times before.

    On the road at 8.30AM...the Houei Xai - LNT road is generally in good condition, almost as good as it has ever been.. 2 htrs 45 minutes later I was in Luang Namtha for a late brekky at the Manychan.
    Capture.JPG

    30 minutes later it was back on the road again & the road soon starts to deteriorate.

    Luang Nam Tha - Na Teuy = 37.5 kms @ 35 minutes, so you can't complain.
    Capture.JPG

    Nae Teuy - Oudom Xai the road sucks with scores of huge trucks coming in from / out to China. The road is narrow and break up in many places, bumpy pot holed broken asphalt.

    Na Teuy - Oudom Xai bus station = 84 kms @ 2 hrs 20 minutes
    Capture.JPG

    After a welcome 40 minute pit stop in the air con coffee shop it was time to carry on.
    Luang Prabang was my destination for the night, hopefully arriving just before dusk, all being well.

    The road from Oudom Xai - Pak Mong is in beautiful condition, a super surface, but it is tight & narrow with the big Chinese trucks a constant menace of the road.
    Those 22-wheelers are bloody long, slow turning & generally take up more than their share of the road. There are so many of them it really has taken the fun out of riding R13N in Laos!
    Many of them are carrying in equipment & materials for the high speed rail network, kindly sponsored by China & locking the Lao government into some massive forthcoming debt issues.

    There are scores of construction sites along R13N - often leaving the road a mess
    DSC_0240.JPG

    The pace of construction is incredible & it is streaking across the skyline.
    DSC_0244.JPG

    There should not be much doubt the rail line will be completed & more than likely on schedule.
    DSC_0241.JPG


    edging closer..
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #3 DavidFL, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Onward from Oudom Xai.
    Its only 190 kms to Luang Prabang. From Oudom Xai up and over the mountain with the Hmong village & down into Pak Mong, then the home straight o Luang Prabang.

    This used to be a shocker of a road to Pak Mong, but was finally rebuilt to be a favourite.
    gtr-r13n-img_4946-.
    I have fond memories of doing this with the gf in June 2016 & she got serious motion sickness 3 times, so I had to stop enjoying myself & just potter along to keep the peace & avoid the emergency vomiting stops. You can check it out here: R13N Oudom Xai - Pak Mong
    gtr-r13n-pakmong-oudomxai-img_4885-.

    But now in only a short time, 18 months, the Chinese 22-wheeler trucks have taken over & well, it's not a lot of fun like it used to be.

    The road winds through the mountains beautifully from Oudom Xai
    GPS-Map001B.

    On the twisting mountain the trucks are king = might is right.
    And so it was .....20 kms out of Oudom Xai, coming into a hairpin bend, hugging the edge of the road on my side, a friendly 22-wheeler Chinese truck appeared, totally on the wrong side, perfectly corner cutting for him, but no so good for me.
    GPS-Map003.

    It all happens fast & when you least expect it. One second you're thinking, oh this one is a bit close, next second damn this is going to be really tight as I moved onto the shoulder of the concrete drain & then oh fark that bloody long trailer is still coming & yes, you're going to take a hit, as I was bailing out the truck still clipped both me and the bike down the left side.

    DSC_0248b.JPG

    Down I went, fortunately straight into the soft side of the drain.
    Amazingly neither I nor the bike went under any of those 22-wheels - how good was that luck then?

    1548148028384.
    But there's no doubt I did take a hit on the left side.

    I sat up & thought well, that was pretty damn good. Don't try that again if you can help it. I started moving my arms & legs, and ouch it all hurt but I was actually moving everything ok it seemed - how good was that luck then?

    Whilst sitting there feeling awesome (how'd did you survive that) & wondering what the next step would be, I noticed the truck had stopped & my new Chinese friend was sauntering down the road towards me.
    GTR - IMG_0141.JPG

    How good was that luck - he actually stopped & came back to see if I was ok?
    "Solly solly solly."
    Outstanding I thought, he was trying, but I felt like punching him in the face.
    Jai yen yen, you're on our own here now & he my want to help.

    I endeavoured to get up from sitting position on the bank, & stand up. I was a bit sore & struggled, and the driver held out a hand to help me get up.
    He then started picking up my gear & we picked up the bike together & stood it up.
    Unbelievable, how good was that luck. Truly helping & constantly muttering solly, solly, solly.
    I was still astounded...

    What a corner to get hit on
    GTR-DSC_0259.JPG
    what the hell was he doing completely on that wrong side of the road?

    My GPS track shows that my speed at the point of impact was 53KPH
    GTr-BikeCrash.

    to be continued.....compensation, help & going home....
     
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #4 DavidFL, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    A couple of young Lao guys on a bike stopped to help & see what the problem was.
    GTR-DSC_0257.JPG

    It was an interesting situation. The Chinaman could not speak English or Laos, he was the only Chinese speaker, but I was able to clearly communicate with the Lao guys; and it was obvious that they too were not impressed with the errant driver. I had no Lao sim in my phone, & the 2 Lao guys had no money in their phone to make a call. The roaming did not wok on my phone - no network . What a comedy? Another couple of passing kids on a motorbike were stopped & we commandeered their phone to make a call to MK in Luang Prabang. MK runs Luang Prabang Travel, is an old mate & does the permits for most of the bike tours that go through northern Laos. His suggestion was to find a policeman, so one of the first to guys went of to get a "traffic policeman" in the village 6 kms away. He returned after a lengthy absence alone - it was a Sunday = no Lao police around. And definitely no insurance reps around, not that I foolishly had insurance anyway. Oh well that's it then. Just the Chinaman & me.

    GTR-DSC_0258.JPG

    Fortunately the Chinese driver readily admitted his error & seemed keen to get away. He pulled out his phone & showed me the calculator with a US$ sign on it, saying US dollar. He repeated this three times before it suddenly dawned on me that yes, he was offering to pay money. He even managed to garble how much US dollar to reconfirm I understood. I made a cursory examination of the bike & figured US$2,000 might cover the damages & an escape back to Chiang Mai.
    The Chinaman had the equivalent of 10,000 baht in Laos kip = he came up a bit short. He found another 400 yuan that I took & offered me his bloody phone as well. No no I'm not budging I want more. Stalemate I thought. I was pretty sore & wondered why didn't he just bugger off & leave me with what he had given me? I could not have stopped him! How good was that luck - he must have been the one good one in a million Chinese truck drivers who would stop, show remorse and help you. I had totally lucked out getting hit by his truck - an absolute winner. Another Chinese truck stopped, mates of his so they had a whip around to help out the old beaten up farang. The grand total of 30,000 baht in kip was realised. Now that's a lot of money in kip & I got the two young Lao guys to help count the money. We all agreed it was about 30,000 baht. The light was starting to fade. How much longer did I want to hang out there for just a couple more hundred dollars if I was lucky. We called it quits, the Chinee VDo-ed me acceoting the money. They took off & everyone was "happy."

    How good was that luck do you reckon?
    Everything could have been so much worse. But I reckon it was a total winner. It felt like I'd been blindfolded, hit in the face, & then the blind fold taken off & I was given first prize in he lottery, sort of.

    To be continued...
     
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  5. Yuri Orlov

    Yuri Orlov Member

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    A
    First it's seams a very unbelievable behavior of the Chinese. But...it is possible that he thought you can have a video recorder and he stopped to avoid further criminal prosecution. Later he understood that you already took his picture so he had no other way than to try to compensate you. Take care, David.
     
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    That was a sharp corner which He had obviously cut to the Max. I thought what if You had been a Car or Truck? But He was possibly looking over the top of the Corner and couldn't see a Bike. Talk about Bad Luck! Complete Idiot Driver but Amazing You got some money out of Him at least but as we now know far from enough to cover the repairs! Keep Us posted on that and good luck!
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    So the kind Chinese culprit had left. The Lao guys had left. What next?

    There was no working front break on the bike on the bike, and I could sit on it & still "ride."
    So off we went, slowly down hill in first gear - I wonder how far I could go?
    The body ached, the left hand was bloody sore & I struggled with the clutch, so it was only one gear. 1st gear.

    It wasn't far. 1.3 kms to be exact
    Capture.JPG
    the front wheel suddenly locked & as it turned out a brake pad was jammed against a spoke.

    Damn. But it was actually in a Hmong village & the very first house I passed in the village had a pick up parked outside.
    Some Hmong villagers came to look at my situation.
    I asked if there was a pick up that could transport the bike & me onto Luang Prabang. The reply was negative.
    What about the one at the first house up the hill?
    Mai Loo.
    Off I sauntered slowly up the hill. I found the owner & yes he had a pick up, but was about to prepare for dinner.
    With some persistence I got him to agree to run me & the bike to Luang Prabang. 8,000 baht was the fee for the 172 kms! I thought 5-6,000 baht would be reasonable, but you can't beat a Hmong in the mountains down too much I can tell you. We settled on 7,000 baht after 40 minutes negotiating. The deal done I was told to go and wait by my bike. An hour later he turned up bitching & complaining that it was getting dark & he didn't like driving in the dark, his eye sight was no good,the car headlights were no good + the list was endless. Eventually he said he wasn't going now. WTF. Over 2 hours wasted with an aching body.
    Some other Hmnong cruising by stopped to take a look. They had a delivery truck & agreed to take me to Luang Prabang, but not in this vehicle, they had another one. 7,00 baht yes ok we go. Please wait we will come back. Another 45 minutes & they arrived with a Hino delivery truck. It had a high tray on it, almost as high as some of the Hmong guys. But tough little guys they were & with ropes they manged to get the bike up into the truck, tied down & away we went. Over 5 hours had passed since the accident.
    It was a relief to get into the truck & be able to sit down on a padded seat.
    The hours ticked by. The Hmong guys stopped or a dinner to see some relatives in the Hmong village of Song Cha, on the ridge line before Pak Mong.
    Pak Mong came up after 54 kms & 2 hours. The easy road.!

    Capture.JPG

    It was a pleasure to be in a vehicle with a good river. The young Hmong guy impressed me. He's done it before I thought. Night driving using both sides of the road & watching for lights coming. He moved along at a good steady pace.
    GPS-Map001. GPS-Map002. GPS-Map003. GPS-Map005.

    Pak Mong was a lengthy pit stop.
    More food & drink + for me a chance to get a Lao sim in my phone so I could contact people.
    I was the last one ready, the Hmong guys were sitting in the truck waiting with the engine running.
    The phone shop staff had trouble inserting the sim in my phone, plus setting up the phone on the Lao network.

    And so started the shit road. A road of rubble all the way to Luang Prabang.
    Pak Mong to Luang Prang used to be one of my favourites, a fast flowing downhill run into Luang Prabang. A beautiful 111 kms ride.
    Capture.JPG

    However with the massive onslaught on Chinese trucks for the railway line the Pak Mong - Lung Prabang road is now destroyed. A road of rubble. To add to the mess many of the bridges are being rebuilt & you have to detour around the construction sites.
    We did this road at night & it was an interesting exercise to say the least, with the old fellah's ribs not helping with the comfort = ouch ouch ouch.
    Departure time from Pak Mong was 8.50PM arrival time in Luang Prabang was 11.45PM for 111 kms.

    In Luang Prabang the briliant MK Mongkol from Luang Prabang Travel was waiting at the Sayao Naga guesthouse with a team of guys to help unload the bike.
    It was quickly done, the Hmong guys paid off (to spend the night with some relatives in LPQ) & I crashed out in bed at 1AM.

    Tomorrow would be another day....the happy ending to come.
     
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  8. pensionist

    pensionist Ol'Timer

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    So sorry that you made a similar experience as me in 2017.
    I had a huge Lao truck giving me the choice to end up below rear wheels of trailer or trench. I decided for latter.
    Brian J. and a few Lao bypassers lifted the BMW off from me and out of the trench. No way to get out by myself as 1 leg was bended within the bike. Finally I had moreorless no injury, only a few hurting bones and joints. The bike had a broken windscreen, some damaged covers and worst, a broken pannier holder. Total damage approx 500 EUR.

    After a few cigarettes and strapping 1 pannier to the back we had been able to leave the site. Its true, get on the bike asap before you get anxious to ride again.

    As it was dark already we decided to spend the night in the next available hotel. Finding out later that it was a shorttime hotel with many cars coming and going.
    I had the 1 pannier strapped on the bike for another 1,500km until reaching home.

    I wish you soon recovery!
     
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  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #9 DavidFL, Feb 5, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    The following day it was check up time at Luang Prabang's # 1 clinic Dr Phanomsay near the Luang Prabang hospital.
    The clinic is just a couple of years old, smart, clean & professional.
    dsc_0265-01-jpeg.
    And I was cleared no broken bones. Just a bit beaten up.
    1548148028384-.

    but I did think I had a broken hand, rib & humerus, such was the discomfort.
    The cost for Xrays, consultation & medication was a mighty 2,060 baht. Lao prices & I was a happy humbled man.

    The clinic on GTR
    Luang Prabang - Medical Care

    Whilst in LPQ the GTR boat skipper & his family hosted me for dinner at his house one night
    DSC_0333.JPG
    and generously offered to run my bike & me back back up Houei Xai for free. The offer was most appreciated; however there would still be the logistics of getting the bike on / of the boat, across the bridge at Chiang Khong & then all the way down to Chiang Mai for repairs; plus I had already accepted an offer from Peter Faessler.

    A day later the extremely kind Peter Faessler rocked up with his pickup to run me all the way back to Chiang Mai -one stop / non stop service, so to speak.
    Peter was not in a rush & neither was I, such is the joy of Luang Prabang.
    We hung out for a couple of nights by the Khong making the post of the superb ambiance & excellent food at the Viradesa Sunset.
    DSC_0337-01.

    Time to move on.
    DSC_0336-01.

    The Lao import papers for my bike had the designated port of exit as Muang Ngern (to Huay Kon).
    Peter had he same as we thought we would still exit via Muang Ngern, the closest exit port.
    There were 2 route options
    1. Luang Prabang direct to Hong Sa - Muang Ngern on the new road across the Mekong. Supposedly the road was 60-70% complete, with only 30? kms of dirt left through the mountains.
    2. Luang Prabang - Xayaboury - Hongsa - Muang Ngern.
    3. The long way Luang Prabang - Oudom Xai - Pak Beng - Hongsa - Muang Ngern.

    With a forecast for possible rain the next afternoon we were not confident of options 1 or 2. Peter's pick up was not 4WD, you could easily get stuck in the mountains on the clay road in the wet, plus the Xayaboury - Hongsa road was still a mess from wet season 2018.

    Peter was not happy about tackling the road of rubble Luang Prabang - Pak Mong, so option 4 appeared on the table.

    Option 4 was to exit via Phu Du into Uttaradit. The way Luang Prabang - Xayaboury - Pak Lay - Phu Du - Uttaradit. The road s-w from Luang Prabang to Xayaboury to Pak Lay & the border is a beauty, gentle rolling hills & a smooth winding road. This sounded the perfect, easiest way to escape. But the exit permit might be an issue.

    Phone calls to both Vientiane and the border suggested it maybe ok, not guaranteed (its Xayabopury province), it would be up to the border officials. That sounded good enough for Peter & I with some sweet mouth talking we reckoned. Off we went.

    Le Banneton was the spot for a hearty breakfast & on the road we went. Rolling rolling rolling..

    Crossing the Mekong at the Xayaboury bridge
    DSC_0338.JPG

    It was amazing how much water there was in the Khong, backed up from the Xayaboury dam.



    Both Peter and I were impressed & had fond memories of using the old ferry & then driving across the dry river bed.

    Here's how it used to look in March 2005 ....unbelievable..
    i-gqhgdtk-XL.
    i-Rfgx63k-XL.

    You won't see this again.

    i-ZgjXrLh-XL.

    Progress has to come & the PTT _Amazon coffee in Xayaboury was a welcome aircon break.
    dsc_0342-.

    The cute Lao Amazon worker bees.
    dsc_0345-.

    and I pondered on how much their salary wold plus the work load would be? How would that compare to some of the Thai gals in some of the very busy Thai PTT-Amazon cafes.

    We motored on, Pak Lay was the destination for a late lunch.
    Our selection of a cute roadside restaurant wasn't the best one for the fried rice still lingered on for a couple of days later for me.
    The border at Phu Du is 35 kms from Pak Lay city & the place was dark & silent with just a few lights on when we arrived.
    It was almost eerie, like a deserted abandoned building, but indeed there were Laos staff on duty.
    DSC_0347.JPG

    Lao immigration took our passports & stamped us out no questions asked.
    A low light was burning in a customs window, so I handed my papers over.
    You're supposed to exit at Muang Ngern, yes but I had a crash & my bike is no good, my froiend's car wasnt good enough to go off-road to Muang Ngern so we came here.
    Ok no problem.
    Simple, absolutely zero drama. Both Peter & I were somewhat surprised.
    How good was that luck you might say?

    Move to the Thai side, up over the hill on the bumpy road, where the traffic change over is right on the crest of the hill to remind you - stay alert.

    Unbelievably it was party time on the Thai side. Loud music booming out of one of the staff's pickups, doors wide open & lights flashing. & drunken revelry. The "staff" sat round a BBQ eating, drinking & having outrageous boisterous fun.
    GTR-DSC_0351.JPG
    What a total contrast to the Lao side, welcome to Thailand mates!. It's good to be back home in the Kingdom.
    40 minutes later we were clear and on a roll to Uttarardit.

    We drove on through the night & arrived in Uttaradit at 11pm.
    GTR-DSC_0352-01.

    Hotel # 3 had a room.
    dsc_0364-.
    Uttaradit Accommodation

    Another day was down. Almost safe n sound.

    A summary to come next....lessons learned.....
     
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  10. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

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    A incredible story glad you survived it,what a experience is the bike a write off ?
     
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  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The final day was a leisurely run up R11 to Chiang Mai.

    Only one coffee stop was needed & arrival time in Cnx was a pleasant 2.30PM, with Piston Shop the first destination to finally unload the bike.
    DSC_0370.JPG

    Two extremely happy guys
    DSC_0385.JPG

    The generosity of Peter coming from Nong Khai, all the way to Luang Prabang to pick me up & then insisting he run the bike & me to Chiang Mai was stellar. I had some difficulty paying for fuel food & accommodation for Peter & his unselfishness was almost over whelming. Peter thank you ever so much for immediately coming to my rescue. We actually both enjoyed the trip & the conversation en route. It was a joy to travel with you.

    Peter had just one night in Chiang Mai, then the next day drove back to Uttaradit - Phu Du - (Laos) Pak Lay - Xanakham - Vientiane - Nong Khai, all in a day. What an amazing effort, but there's no doubt Peter loves driving & loves Laos.

    More to come, & apologies for the lengthy slow report.
     
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  12. Endojim

    Endojim Ol'Timer

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    Now that's a frickin adventure... You definitely have the adventurers sprit looking at the bright side and making the best of things. Glad to hear your not too busted up.
     
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  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #13 DavidFL, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    With the bike unloaded at Piston Shop it was time for a check up with the bone doc, who replaced my knee 18 months earlier.
    I'd taken a hit on the left leg with the new knee, but everything was ok, except some swelling & infection.
    DSC_0425.JPG
    How good was that luck?

    A re-examination of he x-rays from Luang Prabang confirmed no broken hand, shoulder or ribs.
    I was all good to go, apart from the leg infection = double the dosage to clear it up hopefully.

    My lucky day indeed!

    For the record, my left forearm suffered an abrasion somehow,
    DSC_0283 - Copy.JPG

    DSC_0316-01.

    but otherwise my Alpinestars jacket did the trick.

    Of note was that some of the zipper teeth on the jacket broke.
    DSC_0397.JPG DSC_0402.JPG

    Resulting in a new YKK zip being put in at the boot & zip magician @ Pratu Chiang Mai, for 150 baht!

    PATTANA SIN - BOOTS & ZIPS
    18/1 Ratchiangsaen Road.
    Southside of the moat, (slightly) diagonally opposite - west - of Pratu Chiang Mai.
    Capture.JPG
    Tel: 053271053.
    A small shop excellent for boot, zip & leather bag repairs.
    Not easy to find, outside the shop they sell noodles & magazines, but the repair guy sits inside his dark little shop fixing shoes / boots / bags / zips.

    GTR-Capture.JPG

    Google Maps

    I've been using him for years & can recommend him highly.
    RobertH has also had his soft luggage bags repaired here.
    All work done for local Thai prices, no inflated prices or price gouging.

    Chiang Mai Handy Motorcycle Related Shops

    The Oneal Sierra helmet took a bit of a hit on the left & has some scratch marks
    DSC_0503.JPG
    it performed perfectly & I have no complaints.
    It is top value for money for me! An O'Neal Sierra that I bought for 7,000 baht in Bangkok. I've done tens of thousands of kms with this helmet and it works a beauty for me.

    So when I got back to Chiang Mai & saw the Sierra II on special at Helmet 2 Home, I could not resist & bought the new model for 4,500 baht. An absolute steal at this price!
    DSC_0504.JPG

    DSC_0508.JPG
    The old model Sierra I on the left & Sierra II on the right.
    The Sierra II has more vents & more plush lining. It gets my vote for another 100,000 kms.

    Meanwhile, the bike has been disassembled at Piston Shop
    DSC_0405-01.

    Most of the damage is on the left of course. The bent rim & left fork are the two biggest issues.
    DSC_0406.JPG

    Then its plastic with broken brackets for mounting it all. The headlights & instruments are ok, but not the mounting brackets - broken. These are sold as complete assemblies. OMG!
    DSC_0446.JPG
    The first assessment made us think that it was better to right it off & buy another second hand bike the same model, & strip all the good bits off the crashed bike.
    DSC_0454.JPG
    However a reasonable price quote for parts, plus a source of 2nd hand parts in Bkk has forced a rethink, and over the coming 2(-3?) months the bike will be rebuilt. Stay tuned...
     
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  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #14 DavidFL, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Lessons learned.

    Accidents always happen when you least expect them, but if you look on the bright side I had a total winner. First prize in the lottery after being punched in the face whilst blind folded, is how I look at it.
    Riding alone on a trip I have done 30 times - just another Sunday walk in the park.
    I left early before the Lao insurance was open & wanted to get to Luang Prabang in a day. No problem, get the insurance & a Lao phone sim in Luang Prabang the next morning. Absolutely against all my advice too! 55 You've been warned.
    I got hit by a 22-wheel Chinese truck that was totally on the wrong side of the road. I thought I could squeeze through as I was riding right on the shoulder of the drain, but nope, I still got clipped. Just 10cms more & I would have been safely through.
    Then the good luck started - no broken bones. The Chinaman actually stopped to help me. How good was that luck?
    DSC_0249.JPG
    One in a thousand drivers would do that. I felt like punching him in the face, but kept my cool. He could have just driven off and left! But he offered financial compensation to clear it up. How good was that luck?

    The money wasn't enough in the end of course; but what do you do? You're alone in the mountains. There's no police or insurance rep to call. We made an attempt to get the police 6 kms away in the next village, but it was Sunday = no Lao police. By calling the police I thought they would put more pressure on the driver & he would suddenly find the full US$2,000 I was after.
    However a thought with the police is that it may well be much more complicated, the police will want a cut, & it could drag on for days. When you're out there, all you really want to do is get back on the road asap & carry on as good as you can.
    So in my case I thought I was extremely lucky & had got as good as I could without it getting over complicated. Move on, you're alive with nothing broken in your body. Get hit by a 22-wheeler & see how many times you can escape with no broken bones.
    At the Hmong village I stopped in the first house had a pick up. How good was that luck?
    My left leg that took a hit, did not result in any damage to my recently replaced knee. How good was that luck?
    Despite having exit permits for Muang Ngern, we were able to easily exit at Phu Du. We could have been refused exit, as happens at Khentao, further south. How good was that luck?

    So some advice
    1. Get a Lao phone sim so you can make emergency phone calls.
    2. Get insurance - Lao, don't skip out because you never know; & / or whatever you can from Thailand, accident or even join the GTR group health insurance policy if you are foolishly riding around uncovered.
    GT Rider Motorcycle / Health Insurance
    3. Don't panic or lose your cool in an accident situation.
    4. Be patient but be firm when negotiating. If the police get involved it will cost more financially & time wise. You could be stuck for days, which perhaps doesn't matter much if you are immobilised in hospital somewhere. However if you are still mobile, try and sort it out if you can and are able to carry on.
    5. Ride with caution and extra care. There are hundreds of Chinese trucks coming across the border every day & they are a total menace wherever they are on the roads in Laos. No one has a good word for them. They have taken all the fun out of riding in Northern Laos.
    6. If you're like me, a superstitious believer, trust your gut feelings. My quick race out to Thoed Thai to make merit the day before I left, saved my life. If I didn't go I would be dead now. I've had bad feelings about setting off on a trip before & delayed or cancelled a trip before because it didn't feel right to go. Believe in yourself!
    67972.
     
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  15. Ticino

    Ticino Ol'Timer

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    Suggest to do the next trip without any Chinese intermezzo ........ Was a good trip and I'm glad everything turned out as well as it did. A nice cogwheel operation of friends all over the place :cool:
     
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  16. Conemeister

    Conemeister Ol'Timer

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    You're a very lucky bloke David, judging by the hit on you, there must be a dint in that truck somewhere.
    It's great that you many contacts along these roads you have traveled to help you and get the Suzi back for repair, many other people would be stuffed.
    Enjoy the rest of sanctuary at Khong with your trusty Jameson....it's good for wounds and bruises I hear.
     
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  17. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #17 DavidFL, Mar 6, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    A brief update...after 6 weeks I was still having a bit of trouble with my left hand so went to an orthopaedic hand specialist in Chiang Mai.
    After another examination of the xray from the day after the accident his opinion was that yes I did have a hairline fracture in my hand, but it had since healed.
    The other issue is that he believes I have ruptured a tendon from a tendon transfer I had in my hand 45 years ago to to help with a paralysis from in juries in a serious bike crash.
    Major reconstructive surgery could be done, but in the end the result may not be at all satisfactory, so leave it as it is; especially at my age. So get on with it.

    For the record & for anyone who maybe need an orthopaedic hand specialist
    GTR_DSC_1051.JPG

    GTR_DSC_1052.JPG
    Location: Google Maps

    Dr Kanit has studied in Australia & you can talk more easily with him.

    The bike has since been moved to a private address to be repaired.
    It is stripped right down at the moment, awaiting parts - new and/or second hand to keep the costs down.
    20190303_144917.

    The original plan was buy a 2nd hand Vstrom the same model, but this changed to Plan B with 2nd hand parts from Bangkok, however the seller has now reneged on the deal, so it's onto Plan C now with new & 2nd parts = Thai time & It is all starting to drag on a bit now. But we will get there.
     
  18. Ticino

    Ticino Ol'Timer

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    Expect you anytime soon on the Suzuki again somewhere in Laos .........
     
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  19. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

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    Blimey what a saga ,, glad your ok ,, mind u trucks are a menace everywhere in SEA I nearly got wiped out near Rayong 5 weeks ago on a country road Big 18 wheeler coming round the bend Im going opposite way plenty of room to pass when another 18 wheeler starts to overtake him ,, on my side of the road ,, eeek i run the ducati off into a MunField some how managing to stay upright ,,no damge but im shakin and angry ,, went back and had a go at the drivers and reported them to Rayong traffic cops ,,zilch
     
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  20. Chantony

    Chantony Active Member

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    Hi David,
    glad you came out of this in good spirits. It may not be as good as a lottery win but I have a good as new original screen for the vstrom that you are more than welcome to, can pm if it's any good to you.
     
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  21. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Thanks for the offer. My Kapa screen is still in good condition.
    dsc_0385-.

    But I'm after one of these
    dsc_0446-.

    The forks have been repaired in Bkk so will be testing those out asap, once I have a new wheel & discs.
    Most of the bits to be repaired / replaced now are plastic.
     
  22. Chantony

    Chantony Active Member

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    Good stuff, was your beak damaged? Just realised mine is sat in the same box as the screen, I asked Suzuki to take it off the day I bought the bike so brand new and all yours if needed.
     
  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    This complete piece
    DSC_0565.JPG

    These are the other bits I am after - all on the left hand side
    DSC_0574.JPG

    DSC_0451.JPG

    DSC_0375.JPG

    It is the left hand cowling & tank cover I'm after, plus plastic headlight panel & plastic instrument panel. Both have broken brackets but the lights & instruments are all ok.

    If you have anything or know any second parts, yes I am definitely interested.
     
  24. Chantony

    Chantony Active Member

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    #24 Chantony, Mar 8, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    test
     
  25. Chantony

    Chantony Active Member

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    this is what I have David, my bike is the 2016 xt model, they told me the beak was removable from the part you called 'complete piece' and so removed it for me as i didn't like the look.
    20190308_150623. 20190308_150633. 20190308_150647.
     

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