Road trip report from VNT up!

Dec 14, 2004
Hello everyone,

My names Walter i'm 30 and from the UK where i live with my Thai GF Pati 26.She's from Lamphun near Chiang Mai.My previous experience on bikes is Moto X i had a YZ250,i have a full UK bike licence and i have a Honda CBR 600RR.[:D] I've got Mr David Unkovich's book and completed a few of the recommended loops from Lamphun/CM......ever since then i've been hooked into biking aroung the Golden Triangle,and i love this site.

Pati's experience is a Honda Tena and a trip to Hospital when she was 18!!! thats it,she gave up bikes after that.

So with the above in mind i had to appraoch our planned journey with caution.So that meant research,which i got from this site,so i hope our trip helps someone out.....

We flew into Luang Prabang on the 4th May 2007 expecting to hire bikes there,however we found that ALL the hire companies would'nt hire 250cc bikes out to Farangs as they said we could'nt ride them properly and they always came back damaged!!!Perhaps there is some truth in that but i also think the Tuk Tuk mafia were in on the act somewhere(or am i just being cynical!!!)

We got a flight the next day to Vientiene where we were told we could hire 250cc's there.We found a place called PVO which doubles as a restaurant,344 Samsenthai Rd.I cannot recommend these guys enough......within 2 hours, 2 Honda Baja's in very good conditon had turned up one of which having being especially lowered for Pati who finds these bikes a little big.Even then it was'nt low enough so the Mechanic came over and lowered it further,but not too low so there was still plenty of suspension left!!!

I was a little concerned for Pati as she had'nt ridden anything like this before,so it was slow but sure progress upto Vang Vieng.Trip time about 4 hours appx 155 kms.The main road out of Vientiene was a nightmare(roadworks) and it was chucking it down that was the worst bit.We found the roads nice and smooth and easy going once the weather improved.We soon got into the 'Sabai dee' waving hand gesture!!!! to!!!

We had a great evening in Vang was tempting to get absolutely wasted at a party we stumbled across but i was'nt interested in riding with a hangover and Pati does'nt drink anyway.

The next morning we hit the road for Luang Prabang.Fortunately the weather was beautiful.The road conditon was the same as before but it got much more hilly and twisty........and the scenery really got much better.Everything i had dreamnt of from a trip like this.Hilltribe villages and empty roads with beautiful views.It took us about 6-7 hours total Kms 230.

We stayed at the same guesthouse in LP near the Mekong (kinda behind the post office area).We then decided to head to Nong Khiaw.....this was a nice easy trip and it took about 3 hours 142 kms.Pati's speed and confidence increasing all the time.

We stayed in Nong Khiaw 3 nights,checking out the sights and doing a spot of trekking.From NK we then decided to head to Muang Sing.Again the road condition was ok with the a few big big potholes and the odd boulder in the road and very twisty!!!Total time about about 8 hours 286 kms.

We stayed in Muang Sing for 3 nights and done a couple of little mini trips around the area including a trip upto the Chinese border and a trip to Xieng Kok.Muang Sing to Xieng Kok 143kms in total was by far the worst road conditons we encountered.No tarmac just rough track.I took a Spainish guy there on the back of my bike and he hated it so much he decided to get a bus back......i blame the road conditons!!!!

We thought about going from Muang Sing to LP in one day,but we opted out for that and stayed at Pak Mong 256kms (i can't remember exactly how long this journey took) i think about 7.5 hours.

The next morning we headed back to Lp journey time about 3 hours 110 kms.

We had pre-agreed at a cost of a total of 100 USD dollars for PVO to collect the bikes from Luang Prabang and for them to give us our passports back.I was a little nervous so i left a day just in case anything went tits up.But they were as good as their word and met us at our guesthouse only half hour late from our pre-arranged time.I know 100 USD is a lot but i figured it worth it.

Total riding about 1300kms.An absolutly amazing trip.The bikes did'nt miss a beat.I had a minor problem in Muang Sing with the electric start but a local mechanic sorted that out in minutes for 5000 kip.

I dunno how to post pics.......otherwise i would have done.If anyone can tell me then i will.

thanks to everyone who contibutes to this great forum.

Cheers Wal and Pati.
Jun 21, 2006
waldo are you coming to chiang mai? if u are look us up i ride a gsxr1000 and am currently looking at a crf250, we'd probably have a bit to talk about!
hope to see you over here...
Jun 21, 2006
damn right, deposit is down on the crf so all you need now is a fellow mountain assasinator when you get back in november! looking forward to it...