Trip Report - Vientiane to Pakse and Wat Phou

Aug 31, 2005
Trip Report – Vientiane to Pakse (Wat Phou)
I decided to go for a ride to Wat Phou last month. Heading off at midday on a Friday it began to rain heavily later in the afternoon so I decided to stop at Thakek early. I stayed at the Sooksomboon hotel on the Mekhong. The place looks ok on the outside and the rooms are large but that’s about all it has going for it. Its one of those places with blue PVC plumbing in the bathrooms and I found out the drain to the sink wasn’t connected when I poured some water into it and it splashed all over my feet!


Thakek has a kind of run down charm and the sunsets over the Mekong towards Nakorn Panom are spectacular and well worth a few beers by the river.


Thakeks main street.




The only way I like my Pig Intestines

Next morning I hadn’t been on the road for more than 10 minutes when I incorrectly guessed which way a calf was going to go on the road and managed to side swipe it. This was the end of one fairing side panel.


Other than that annoyance the trip was rather uneventful except for the rain and heat. It was bloody hot.

I tried both types of boats to cross the Mekong at Champassak. While the small boats are more adventurous I think if you’re riding a 1200GS or other mega buck bike I’d recommend the larger ferries.



Wat Phou is interesting and well worth the 600 or so kilometre trip from Vientiane and you can see the inspiration for Elton John’s song.



Crocodile Rock

I returned to Pakse and stayed at the Champa Residence. This is a nice enough hotel but the coffee is the usual low standard. Rooms with mediocre breakfast were $25 a night.


Next day was election day, riding back to Vientiane I lost count of the number of armed police and military lining the roads to ensure a trouble free election.

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Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Liked your brief report. Although R13 south is a bit of a flat straight drag, I note that you were still able to enjoy the trip & have the odd chuckle.
1. The Blue PVC plumbing
2. The sink draining onto your feet
3. The well cooked pig intestines
4. Side swiping a cow
5. Crossing the Khong on a wooden raft
6. Crocodile rock
7. Lousy Lao coffee in a US$25 a night hotel.

Any / all of these remind me why I love motorcycle touring in Thailand / Laos so much - its always fun with something to make you smile & enjoy life even more.

Keep The Power On
Aug 31, 2005
Yep, even though I smashed the bike and have yet to locate any replacement parts I enjoyed the ride and am planning more trips after the wet. The bike is still a runner and I'm in the process of getting rid of any useless plastic at the front.

For those interested, Nazim's Indian restaurant has branches in Vientiane, LPG and Pakse, after trying all three I reckon that Pakse has the best chef and tastiest food of them all. The menu is the same at each place so once you find your favorites you don't need to worry so much about reading the menu. Oh, and they serve cold beer.