route 13 safety

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by helenk, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Haven't heard much lately about hijackings and shootings on route 13 or route 7. What is the current situation?

  2. Neither have we, so you can regard the situation as normal.
    Now to be honest if you ride & tour on a motorbike in S E Asia there's no real need to worry about getting taken out by a bullet or caught up in a robbery.
    The most common, biggest danger is getting run over by a bus or truck. And more than likely these will run you over a hundred times before you get shot, so if the truck & buses dont worry you & you still want to ride, I don't see why you'd worry too much about picking up a stray bullet.

    You've probably got more chance of being blown up on the London subway / plane hijacked than getting shot on R13 or R7....

    Keep The Power On
  3. I agree with David. However, running into men with guns is not an unusual occurence in Laos or Thailand. Once in the same area pictured below, one of the guys had a RPG (ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE launcher). Usually if you weigh the situation and use common sense, they turn into "Kodak moments", not anything threatening.

    (Doi Ang Khan, Thailand)

    (Route 13, Laos)

    I feel much safer riding alone here than I did in my home city in the U.S.A.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  4. I was just watching the Discovery Travel & Living channel. The guy was traveling in Laos. He claimed the only safe way to get from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan is by air. Said there had been incidents of people being robbed and killed on the road.

    Anyone actually know of this happening?
  5. There were a few incidents a number of years back between Vientiane and Laos. Some of the other members who were actually here can probably more acurately tell the details than I can. That has definately changed for the better and as I stated above, I would not hesitate at all in making a trip anywhere in Laos

    The route to Phonsavan is now a near perfectly surfaced, winding asphalt road, following a mountain ridge line. The scenery is spectacular and we were welcomed in many villages along the way. Read my post at Link removed LPB-Ponsavahn.

    Just go for it. Many people have ridden it already and you are not breaking any new ground or doing something that is more dangerous than riding anywhere else. It is worth the trip.

    If you are thinking of doing it on your bike, I think you would have a ball. Just don't get carried away as it is a long way down if you miss a curve and help is far away. But like I said, when I was there the road was in near perfect condition, except where they were doing some routine repairs. It is more than two lanes wide and well marked.

    Dave Early

    Ever notice that "What the Heck!" is usually the right answer?
  6. If you take a look at ... hichpage=2
    Link removed
    you will see that these incidents happened several years ago – in early 2003.
    It’s not really a problem, unless fate has it that you get caught right in the middle of it & then it might hurt a bit.
    But seriously you should not worry about it! More people get shot & murdered in the US & Europe everyday & no one ever says don’t go to the USA or Europe it’s dangerous, you might get shot while you’re riding your motorbike.
    So if things like this really worry you all the time, don’t get out of bed in the morning – it’s safer & guaranteed you’ll live longer. But what a boring life you’d have......

    Keep The Power On
  7. Noted. The plan is to do a trip in early January when my buddy arrives from Oz. Anyone else thinking about a Lao run around the new year?
  8. If i'm in town and free I will be happy to go for a ride in January. Post another message closer to the time and we can swap contact details.
    My partner recently travelled route 13 to LPB and route 7 to Ponsavan by bus and was not troubled by any security issues. She did say that an armed security person travelled on each bus though. She said the roads were very good which has prompted me to get my act together and buy a bike.

  9. Hi i did my trip in Laos,this year in august,and i was consurned about the same problem,althow i rided on this roads,and hadnt expiriensed any problems,except for meeting some guys with civilian clothes and guns by the way to Luang-Probung by road No 13.
    As far as i know from locals it is safe now,you can see heavy army presents on those roads,and they dont let rebilians to make troubles.
    I know that few years ago were some shooting on road 13,5 km from Vang-Vieng,and about 4-5 tourist been keeled,but now situation chamged and i think it is safe to ride this roads.
    Anyway even if you dont smoke have packet of sigarets with you to offer guys with guns,you can make them more friendly.
    That what i did when met guy with gun,you never know if it is army or just some hill tribe rebilian.
    Take care Bye.
  10. Thanks for all the extremely useful information. We are really excited about the trip, hoping to be in Phnom Penh to pick up a bike in about 4 weeks time and then off to Thailand and Laos. May see some of you along the way.
  11. A buddy and I rode the route you are speaking of (rte 13) last year in Dec. We had similar worries but ended up having no issues at all except we did it at night and missed the great views - keep your wits about you and you wont have any trouble. have fun. very beautiful country, great food and warm hearts even the guys with the AK's - they love to look at the nice moto's racing around the winding roads
  12. I did Vangvieng to Louangprabang yesterday and noticed a group of around six guys in civilian clothes carrying ak47s and the odd single person carrying similar guns. I just speeded past them yesterday. Today I came back to Vangvieng the same way and saw three guys wity guns but they were just waiving at me (like everybody else) when I passed them. I tried to ask some people why they were carrying guns but nobody seemed to know and they just guessed that they used them for hunting. Seems not ideal to go hunting with assault rifles so I am still a bit curious. Anyone knows if they are fighting and if so who? Most important is that they dont seem to be dangerous. Along the road I saw another biker, a few cyclists and plenty of minivans transporting backpackers. Seems like they cant be that bad if so many people use the road everyday.
  13. Did some more research today and it simply seems like a number of army and police officers are wearing civilian clothes. It also seems like certain people in the villages are selected as local police officers and they are the single men wearing guns. That was the description I got from one of the guide guys in Vangvieng and he seemed to know what he was talking about.

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