Road Report December 06


Nov 17, 2004
Highway 13 VTE - Seno
Good condition, no construction, no major holes in the road and traffic was light after KM 60 out of VTE.

Highway 8 Nam Thom - Na Hin - Lak Xao - VN Border
clear sailing along the road and from KM 49 all the way to Lak Xao is rollerblade quality, newly finished over the last pass out of Na Hin. The road to Klong Lor is fine with no major problems.

Highway 9
Savankhet - Seno
Paving is almost complete, high quality job and wide in most important passing areas. The road from KM 7 to town is still a little on the Lao side but fine.

Seno - Dansavanh/Lao Bao
No problems until about KM 144 where large chunks of the surface are gone. There are only about 7 or 8 sections like this and easy to see even at high speed.

Xepon - Gold Mine - Xay Bauu Thong - Mahaxhay
The first 40 km are a mix between paved and loose gravel/compressed dirt. I read the posting about the ride from Phillipe but went with no map or real bearings. After reading his post, I thought I'd never find a small house among many and the directions were best done by someone that wrote them. Best advice here is that the road is fine until about KM 90 out of the turn 5 KM from Sepon. It gets a bit chunky and you will pass a river on your right side. After you ride about 3 bridges under construction(hella steep last side detour) you will come to a small valley and on the left side will be a very colourful house. You've gone too far and the small turn is 4 km back. Ask anyone you meet TANG PI XAY BAUU THONG or TANG PAI MAHAXHAY. There is a small ferry crossing after you make the turn, he was expensive at 10,000 kip. Across the ferry go STRAIGHT even though it's the smallest way. Upon coming to a main road, turn right and just stick to the main track, you will follow village after village
There is plenty of fuel on the entire track and it's only a bit remoter for about an hour.
So, easy -
Go past the entry to the mine, not in.
go go go
There is a well marked sign for the National Protected area, stop for fuel.
go go go
3 bridges under construction
turn right somewhere along a fence(ask!)
cross the river,
go straight then next right
Time - Left Savan at 08:30
Arrived Sepon 11:30
Turned up off the Highway 12:00
Arrived Thakek 17:30
many stops, many smokes, many smiles. Lots of really remote villages out here.

Moung Phin to Tad Hay
Road is in fine shape for dirt, seems to be a lot more ferry boats at the river, bigger than I remember but still one bike at a time.

Dong - ??
New road, not paved but in ripping condition all the way to the river, no boats in sight and the military said there were none until next month!

Mahaxay - Lak Xao
Full of dumptrucks, dusty but eased up after the dam site.

Mahaxay - Thakek
DUST, HEAVY, worse than Cambodia and it's 50 km along the way. Lots of little detours with new bridges/water easements under construction for the last 10 km before the intersection of HWY 13 at Thakek.

Correction for the GT Map.
The road 5 km west of Xepon
Goes up past the mine and if you continue on straight, it's 280 KM all the way around to SENO.