Southern Lao: connect road 9 & road 12 through jun

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Philippe, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Hi

    We are a group of 6 experienced off road bikers, leaving Phnom Penh on Jan 10 and planning to cross Southern Lao from Pakse up to Vientiane through the hills and jungles between the Mekong and VN border.

    It seems that the more challenging section is to make the junction between road # 9 and # 12!!

    Coming form Salawan in the South, once we arrive in Phin on Road # 9, which is the best option to go further North through the "Phu Xang Hae NPA"?

    The easy (and more boring option) is to take West on Road #9 up to Xeno (close to Savanaket) then North to Thakhet and take road # 12 to Gnommalat (Nyommalat), then the classic way to Nakay then connect with Road # 8.
    A more exiting way is to go through the "Phu Xang Hae NPA", where "roads" are in diabolic state, said some??
    Looking on old map, there are two "main" ways out of there:
    a. A "road" going North on the East of the park, starting at Nabo (near Xephon) and connection with road # 12 at Nongchan (or Ban Na Phao on other map) near the VN border.
    b. A "road" going North through the "Phu Xang Hae NPA, leaving road # 9 a few Km West of Phin and going "all the way" NNW up to Mahaxai , then connecting with Road # 12 not far from Gnommalat.

    Does anybody have information on those 2 challenging options?
    Is it possible to pass through in January, are there big river to cross?

    We would like to complete the Pakse - Vientiane junction in no more than 7 days.

    Will appreciate any comments.


  2. These options all sound like exciting challenging stuff.
    1. Stan from
    2. Jimoi from the GT Rider board
    3. Digby & Dan from
    might have done them, but no one has made any real reports yet - you guys will be the first, if you do it (& then contribute.)

    I reckon that yes you are going to have some rather large streams / big rivers to cross – the Xe Bangchiang, Xe Noy & Xe Bangfai (probably got a bridge at a guess / never been there.)
    The Xe Bangchiang could be a problem. Take a look at ... m=f12b.jpg
    for a photo of the Xe Bangchiang & the river crossing, but with small 250? dirt bikes it could be manageable if you can find a boat, or with the right number of helpers.

    Regarding getting from R9 (Phin) North to R12. I reckon that yes there are 2 options, that “probably” go from Vilabury & the big new Aussie gold mine.
    North of Vilabury there should be some sort of fork that either goes (1) left / north-west to Mahaxay or (2) right / north-east to Bulapha. The right fork to Bulapha would be more challenging.
    Tip: The gold mine is a massive project & with plenty of Aussie expats around you should be able to get some good info about the roads in the area, so try to check in with them for the best reliable local source.

    Last but not least, how was you’re riding in Cambodia?
    Have you got any road & trip reports to share the info?

    Keep The Power On
  3. Hi David

    Thanks for your comments.
    Will see up over there how things will go on!

    Cambodia is a nice place like Thailand was 30 y. ago!
    People are very nice here as in lao.
    Of course there are not too many hills as in GT or Lao.
    But we still have good off road trail, the problem is that many are quickly desappearing with road up grade.
    But compared to Thailand, we still have many years to go with off road and even first time junction!!

    I will try to make a report and up date on your Lao 2003 GT map!!


  4. Hey,

    jean louis speaking...I am living in Laos since more than 13 years, going off road all around since then with my TTR 250.
    Basque de surcroit, Bayonne plus exactement ...

    I am going on a trip with 6 friends(3 from Marseille and 3 from HCM/Saigon)on the same way but north to south end of this month...
    Sorry I do not have the map with me for this reply.

    From Salavan, you can go 2 ways;

    OPTION 1- take left direction Toumlane then Pin (hard trip
    but good souvenir after...)Sleep at Phin.
    Coming out at Phin you take North direction to Mahaxay which is near the Nam Theun 2 dam project near Thakek.After Mahaxay you climb the plateau to Nakai then direction Lak Sao, Sleep at Lak Sao(have to leave early from Phin, nice "beulettes" at Lak sao...Salavan too...Pakse the best !
    If you want more adventure then after leaving Lak sao after the main big bridge, you take direction to Vieng Thong then heading to Borikhan
    (I have not done it and do not khnow anybody but with my lao friends ...they said can be done, I will do it in 15 days !!!)if not you go straight and reach road 13 then Paksan and Vte.

    OPTION 2:

    Salavan you take right then you take direction Ta Oy and go North you will go out on road No9 few KM to VN border(forgot the name)
    On road No 9 take left direction Sepon where you sleep, beulettes ...

    5 km after at Nabo take right, will check point but OK can go through 30 KM after at Vilaboury ask for Ban Na Phao, full north on road 12 near VN border, Sleep there then from there you can connect with the Nakai plateau again.

    Option 2...Rambo trip, I did it, excellent after all those adventures, i am sure you will need good massage and I am going to recommend you the place...Papaya spa
    you will find the address on the website(near the Novotel on Mekhong 216550.

    If you need any assistance, call me on my mobile 020 7703103
    If you need any mechanic assistance call me or my very good friend Feuak 020 5521661 best off road mechanic in the country, not too far from Papaya spa on T2 Road near the Northern Bus Station.

    keep in touch

    jean louis
    [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]
    mobile 020 7703103


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