Southern Laos Trip Report - April 30th to May 6th

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by brian_bkk, May 7, 2011.

  1. Hi Gents, Quick trip report below before I forget everything.

    Pictures and video to follow.

    Friday 29th
    Bikes on the train in Bangkok.. You are not suppose to get there until 2 hours before the train leaves.. Told them we had to go to the hospital to get some jabs for Laos.. So they agreed to let us leave the bikes. ( We didn't really need jabs )
    Air Asia Flight to Ubon...
    Nice dinner and beers in Ubon with two of the other members of the gang.. (They will get their bikes in Pakse)

    Saturday 30th
    Arrived on time for our train arrival.. But was told the train is not scheduled until 9am.. Though the ticket etc all had 7:30 or there abouts.. So a bit of time wasted here..
    Received the bikes and headed to the border
    Ubon to the border.. 1 hr.. all the road works are finished now and it is a nice quick ride.
    20 plus mins clearing customs on the Thai and Laos side.. All straight forward. No hassles at all
    Arrived Pakse, the other two went ahead of us and took a taxi to the border and we met them at the hotel in Pakse where they had their bikes and one more member of the team was about to arrive.
    We all set off for the Eco Lodge just in Route 18.. Nice place.. though a bit over priced for what you get.. Checked out the Ruins nearby.. Very nice.. better than expected.

    Sunday. route 18.
    Interesting ride.. we had 3 hire bikes and my friend and I had a brand new white KLX's.. Very happy with the KLX's.. great little bike.
    There had been some water on the roads.. but in all we were lucky.. few tricky patches.. and the creek / river crossings were fun...
    Seems we didn't turn right when we should have and take the lower route. We decided to go straight on.. The path turns to less and less used path with trees beginning to grow in the path.. and you eventually get to where they have not blown up or smashed through the mountain rock surface.. through they have started and there are huge rocks you have to ride across..
    first obstacle was a tree that had fallen across the rocky path.. managed to break a bit of a big branch off but not much.. so we hacked away at some bamboo to make just enough of a path with one standing on the right and the other pulling the branch on the left and got through.
    more rocks.. eventually we see a dirt road further down the track and back to normality.. All exhausted and happy to get more petrol and water at the town near th river crossing.
    (Video to come)

    All the bikes pushed across the river on a makeshift raft by a couple of 8 year olds..
    Then once across the river it is all straight forward to Attapue with a lovely view of the mountains on the left.

    Off to Paam.. But funnily.. None of the signs have Paam.. there was another name beginning with S. I think.. The locals said it is Paam and there was a SAM missile on the right as you come in to town.. Went off exploring around the trails.. some lovely scenery and very dusty.

    Next up to Paksong.. The dirt road up is lovely and was a little moist.. but nothing too bad.. About 1/3 of the way up we hit a huge storm and eventually pulled in and camped under some farmers wooden house.. he was not home.. but all the neighbours were looking at these 5 Farang with bikes under the house getting out of the rain..
    Continued up.. the road is really being developed further up.. really wide road.. The Japanese are funding this.. Not so nice with the wide road and a lot more water on the road.. even the KLX's had a slip and slide in certain unexpected places.

    Visited Mr Coffee (Dirk - Dutch guy they lives in Paksong). We were all wet and freezing.. His wife made us all lovely hot coffee and a hot water bottle to warm up..

    Then checked in at Tad Fan resort.. Lovely resort.. Always enjoy staying here..

    Two of the team went back to Pakse and Bangkok..
    The other 3 of us headed to Champasak and Wat Phou.

    Nice little town with a few restaurants by the river and a posher place in the middle..bit expensive to stay, but good breakfast.

    Up early to Wat Phou.. It was so hot... One of the team was heading back to Bangkok.. So Myself and Erwin decided to head back up to the Plateau.. As it would be more pleasant riding weather. Which it was.. A good decision...

    Stayed at Tad Lo resort.. Really lovely area and just took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.
    next day exploring the back roads up to the two main dirt roads that lead to Paksong..

    Mid day back to Paksong...

    Stayed at E Tu resort, about 3 km down the mountain from Tad Fan... Nice rooms.. but too Thai.. Loud speakers and a Thai tour group with the obligatory bottle of Black Label and speeches and other carry on.. nice for them but not if you are looking for peace and quiet..

    Back to Pakse for lunch and head to the border the next day after a ride around for a few hours in the morning looking for other paths to the centre of the plateau.

    Pakse to Border 45 mins
    Border formalities both sides combined 20 mins.. Thai side was very helpful and let me jump the car queue..
    Border to Ubon station.. 1 hr.

    Great trip.. only a thunderstorm.. Weather was great.. just hot as expected at this time of the year.

  2. Nice report, looking forward to pix and vid. Thanks!!
  3. Nice clip Brian.

    Looks like you had a ball riding one of Laos classic dirt tracks.
    Im yet to do it, but it is on my growing list of must do tracks. I was surprised how wet it seemed for this time of the year.

    What brand of camera were you using?

    Cheers Moto-Rex
  4. Hi Rex,

    Thanks.. I have the Go Pro HD with the attachments etc. Too expensive here.. I got mine from the US. They have them in Singapore too.

    It is fun doing route 18.. Our real second off road trip and first on our new KLX 250.

    Mostly is was not too wet.. I just picked some of the interesting bits for the video ;-)

    Would really love to go back again.. but the weather looks like it is going to be a really wet and early rainy season.
    Last year I was there in June and it was fine except for the evening thunderstorm and some rain in Attapue.

  5. Brian
    Nice one. Thanks for the feedback.
    That looks like quite an adventure road & ride.
    You probably wouldn't want to crash badly in there or get caught out in heavy rain.
    So well done.
  6. Hi guys,

    Here is my video for DAY 1 on bikes (April 30, 2010):


  7. Thanks for the pics and video. I'm still trying to get there.

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