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Old 04-29-2013, 06:57 AM   #91
Steve canyon OP
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Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
Chris I'm loving the report. You're providing good therapy for the injured. Did you guys do a really fun section that went from Saravan to Phin? With about 80 KM's of fun singletrack/atv width stuff going up and down into washes and gullies with rock ledges etc? It's sooo much fun on a small bike but wrestling Jim's 990 through would be some work? Though I've seen Jim wrestle that thing through some amazing stuff before.

Hope you've found a relaxing spot on Koh Chang to rest yer bones. What month will you be flying back home? Doc says he wants me in the states for another few weeks to monitor the arm but once I get the release I'll be flying back, maybe we can cross paths before you're departure?
Saravan to Phin was epic, hot and hard. I would like to spend a few weeks around that area it's beautiful and the trails are endless. Jim done some major wrestling on that trail....cant wait to go back.

I went down to Koh Pangyang after a few days in Koh Chang, didn't really like it to much. Pangyang is great , not like I remember it 15 years ago, it's a great location for resting them bones......I'm afraid I'm already back in the UK and it's bloody cold.....

Will be back in while and look forward to going riding with you...Check you Pms dude...



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Originally Posted by stan.riner View Post
Enjoying the read. My wife and I are moving to Vietnam for work and I would like to ride some of the neighboring countries. I'm impressed at how tough you guys are. Thanks for putting all of the effort in to post everything and tell the stories that go along with what you're seeing.

Stan from Hawaii.
Thank you for your kind words sir makes the effort a pleasure...

I can tell you the pain from the toughness is still in my body

But I will keep doing what I enjoy, perhaps as you will be in the right part of the world we can go riding at some point

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Originally Posted by alrikki View Post
Hi Chris, alex from UK here, good to see ya in VTE
u back home now? where is Jim?
Hey Alex....

Yes It was good to see you and meet CRS...

I read your report it sounds like you found a good way back

Looking forward to hooking up later in the year and doing some single track with you.....

Know I have to finish this report.......soon.

Thanks again guys it's nice to get some encouragement and good wishes..
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:02 PM   #92
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An Austrian Meets An Asian.

Here is a link to my buddies 10,000 kilometer trip around Laos on a Chinese made Lifan ($1,500 or less) for a cause. I had the pleasure of meeting up with him in March and riding together for almost 1 month. What an experience we had together!. If you are only interested in KTM Porn then skip to page 6 where I enter the scene, a few deep river pics on page 5 though.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838990
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:03 AM   #93
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10k

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Here is a link to my buddies 10,000 kilometer trip around Laos on a Chinese made Lifan ($1,500 or less) for a cause. I had the pleasure of meeting up with him in March and riding together for almost 1 month. What an experience we had together!. If you are only interested in KTM Porn then skip to page 6 where I enter the scene, a few deep river pics on page 5 though.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=838990
Yo Jim, the trusty Lifan hit 10K on the way down south near Attapue I think....she managed another 2.7K before I left Laos....



I was more worn out then the bike...
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:16 AM   #94
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Saravan to Attapue

At this point if fair to say we are both feeling the pace but excited that we where chipping away at the goal...Cambodia, we started of sore but within 10 minutes of leaving a big river to cross and wet feet of the bat so we wait for a local to cross so we can see what's the best way, a truck turns up and we watch him then we go, that's all on video, then we get straight into the second crossing, Jim's to heavy for the bridge so he gets the wet crossing whilst the light weight Lifan uses the bridge...





Safely on the other side we get going and bang another... I get to use the bridge but Jim's bike is to heavy,.this is going to be a hell of a day and the next few would roll into one, safely across river 2 and the whole place just opens up into a forest ....wow


Fantastic riding.


Nasty little bridges .

We stopped at a little place to get some food and drinks, the 2 older guys said we could not go this way, GPS said we could, all the people came to look at the Crazy people sweating their nuts of.


Yes you can.


Matching Kit.


Local shop


One of the kids at the shop grabbed my empty tin of fish and set about scraping the inside dry, man he must be hungry...


We get going again and cannot believe our luck it's paradise, as always in Laos the Trails change, a dense jungle with deep dust single track and hot like an oven, no more photos until we hit the end of the trail, I wasn't looking at the GPS and the next time I did we were of course a check with Jim and he like me is loving it and doesn't care when it's this good and of course a new trail....true ADV....

I really cant remember to much about it I was enjoying it so much, to much to take in in one go, big open logging tracks, fast and empty apart from a few settlements and views like your going to ride into the sunset....when we arrived at the Tarmac the other end I think we where both pretty speechless, hot and thirsty so we rested for a while...


Nice waitress.



We also stopped for lunch at a waterfall, best spring rolls in the land, a very old tree....

Cant remember the name


How old?


Arriving in Attapue getting a Hotel was needed we where both shattered, we found cheap Vietnamese Hotel and Jim's air con did not work...... I had the shits all day so an early night as tomorrow would be another challenging day, we expected a tough and we would ride some historic Ho Chi Minh Trail
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:01 AM   #95
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Attapue to Cambodia

A bright and early start for us down the morning market getting some food for the day, met a guy who looked like Ho Chi Minh, drunk some strong coffee before setting off, first stop of the day was the Sam missile sight in Attapue. Saved and a real reminder of what was going on down here.

Sam missile


History.



What a beast.


Bombie fencing



Warranty....who would go back and get the duds for a claim!




we head of onto a track that takes us up through a Dam area, great riding and the Lifan turns 10k...


10.000 Ks......who would have thought it.


Once again the trails are hard dusty but once again the riding is so good we are just cracking along nicely first river crossing of the day and it's a dry one.

Great, a ferry.


Jim waiting his go in the shade.


Locals waiting their turn.





All safely across and once again we are told you cannot get to Cambodia this way. This route 110 has many famous places along route and was used extensively by the NVA.

Eventually we came to this point, The Falls Choke point which had been bombed around the clock by the Americans but well guarded by the NVA road building team which kept it open.

Sign to the Falls.




Arriving down a track to this open area



Empty building


Track going down to the river


The Falls back in the day







Bamboo crossing


Trail of the other way, wonder whats down there?


This would turn out to be a good fine later in the day. We pressed on on Beautiful jungle tracks with little or no people around, it was not a easy ride but most enjoyable, the water at the falls was to dirty to drink and I didn't want to clog it up unless we dying so as soon as we found ban we stopped for a fill up, man this was a scary place everybody had guns, it took us a while to find the water but eventually we got it, filled up, never before have I drunk so much water in one hit.

There was a lot of war scrap and craters around here.



Bombie casings.


Part of a plane?


Lots of these poles around, to ward of spirits



The Trail is now winding up hill into thicker Jungle, the trail is well used and dusty but great fun, we hit a section and the whole right hand side of the forest is smouldering with either guns or small bombs going of, frightened the life out of me and Jim....


Fire everywhere


Big Bangs


We didn't hang around here and continued on, crossing some beautiful old bridges.


Looks damn old...military?

Until we finally hit the Laos side of the border...




The people manning the crossing said we could go on but there was only Cambodian Police and we would not be able to enter.....end of the road I though and was happy, Jim wanted to go look and somethings telling me don't do it......My bad feeling would prove real.



There was a small opening in the forest that was the trail, looked like a tunnel.


Hole in the forest behind the building on the left.

Times getting on the weather has changed in a blink of an eye, so of it go into the Jungle and ban it starts pissing down, rain drops as big as my hand.....this is a steady climb with huge ruts and washed out section, the red clay is turning to ice and climb gets harder to the point where I cant keep the bike upright, Jim's experiencing some of his own problems with the big KTM and I wait for him...




When Jim get to me we have done half a k in 15 minutes and it's getting worse...the bikes where just laying in the ruts sliding around...time to time round and that was not easy either...the decent would take about 40 minutes, I just went down engine of using the clutch as a brake and laid it down when ever things got to fast.


Glad I was on the Lifan, it took a big effort to get of this slope.


When I reached the bottom I found shelter and waited for Jim, soon I could here him blowing the horns which meant he needed help so I run back up the slope and we man handle the brute down, soaked.

We held up in the border point waiting for the rain to ease, as soon as it did we where off, destination the Falls were would camp the night.......No sooner had we hit the trail again but it started raining again and I thought no real problem as the bull dust will soak up the water as there was so much of it, well I was wrong the dust to to marbles, the ruts turned into Torrents of water and control was just pot luck....we had been caught out by these conditions good and proper.


Friendly locals.


We then needed fuel which we found in a small Ban we then stopped and got more water from the Ban we had stopped in earlier, we only had about 20ks to go and sure enough it rains gain....slow and painful was the way down.




Arriving at the Campsite the weather had eased of and this area was dry, we lit fire set up camp and dried out before having a hot meal.... spirits were high....


Great fire with surroundings.



well prepared.


Kinda nice.

We made a good camp and enjoyed what had passed that day, tomorrow would be another tough one, the water rushing down the falls below us and the bright stars served as amazing back drops....what a day.


You coming?
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #96
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Thank you for sharing this great ride with us. It looks like you guys have it figured out, getting bikes in Thailand and doing this ride.

I also really like the small bikes like this Lifan/Dtracker/etc. They seem to make great traveling bikes. Much easier and cheaper to fix than big foreign bikes. Is it hard to buy in Thailand and cross borders, paperwork wise?
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:30 AM   #97
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Riding In Laos

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Thank you for sharing this great ride with us. It looks like you guys have it figured out, getting bikes in Thailand and doing this ride.

I also really like the small bikes like this Lifan/Dtracker/etc. They seem to make great traveling bikes. Much easier and cheaper to fix than big foreign bikes. Is it hard to buy in Thailand and cross borders, paperwork wise?
Hey witold glad your enjoying the ride many thanks...

It's not that hard to do it if you really want, you can hire a bike easy in Thailand and cross to Laos, there is some paper work involved but hirer's should be able to give you the forms you need which basically give you permission to leave the country on their bike, I will post them on the regional forum.

I have family in Thailand so my bike is registered to a family member who gives me the paper work, Jim's bike is still on US plate a temporary import I believe... just allow for Thai time and your fine...

Little bikes make it so much easier, and fixing them on route is no problem, we got wheel bearings at a market, Jim sourced a Battery for the Ktm...

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Old 05-18-2013, 07:00 PM   #98
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Hey witold glad your enjoying the ride many thanks...

It's not that hard to do it if you really want, you can hire a bike easy in Thailand and cross to Laos, there is some paper work involved but hirer's should be able to give you the forms you need which basically give you permission to leave the country on their bike, I will post them on the regional forum.

I have family in Thailand so my bike is registered to a family member who gives me the paper work, Jim's bike is still on US plate a temporary import I believe... just allow for Thai time and your fine...

Little bikes make it so much easier, and fixing them on route is no problem, we got wheel bearings at a market, Jim sourced a Battery for the Ktm...

Ah... I see. That makes sense.

My first 'exotic' international ride was all around Thailand and it was disappointing that I couldn't cross borders with my Kawi ER6. I was at all these border areas, Mae Sai, Mae Sot, Nong Khai, Yala/Narathiwat and it was a shame that I couldn't cross over to take a peek.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:54 AM   #99
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Taking a peek..

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Ah... I see. That makes sense.

My first 'exotic' international ride was all around Thailand and it was disappointing that I couldn't cross borders with my Kawi ER6. I was at all these border areas, Mae Sai, Mae Sot, Nong Khai, Yala/Narathiwat and it was a shame that I couldn't cross over to take a peek.
There is some great rides in Thailand especially up North, next time grab the paper work and go take a look at Laos...stunning place...

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Old 05-21-2013, 04:21 AM   #100
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The Falls To Sekong

The Last few days had very hard and the aches and pains were coming, we managed coffee for breakfast and a few Bananas before breaking camp and heading North, we had made from the Mu Gui pass to Cambodia/Laos buffer zone on some of the most legendary trails Ho Chi Minh trail has to offer. Some of the trails are no longer there and some have been graded but the plan to ride the famous routes was coming together along with some great historical places.

The Map below shows roughly the way we tried to come down all the way to Ban Bac Ammo Dump.

Ho Chi Minh Trail Laos.

This picture shows the southern part of the trip down to Cambodia and then back up North Via Chavan.

Ho Chi Minh Trail Laos.


So North was our bearing and at this point and it was all looking a long way of and there was still a lot to go see, the morning trail was a delight and soon we got back to the ferry crossing...and finally a big logging village, the GPs offered a different route back so we went and soon the Tarmac rewarded us with some stunning views.


Jim on the Ferry



Glad we came this way.


Wow..


About 30ks of rubber plantations and lorry's full of Logs.....a vast scale....huge!.


New trees Lots of Rubber



This route got us back to Attapue then we headed North East to Chavan the come down the Mountain into Sekong. Looked straight forward but soon the ungraded road 9001 turned into loose rocks and a bone shaking ascent up a rather large mountain, soon the loose rocks were covered by thick dust.

Dubbed Hell road.





It was a 100 degrees and really hard trying to keep the bike from bouncing around as it hit the hidden rocks, I thought the Lifan was stop and tell me to walk but it kept going.



Deep Dust


Too hot.





Tarmac thank god...



Eventually we hit a bit of Tarmac, this had been so hard we were both exhausted and wondered what the rest would be like....Oh dear this was going to be a hard day. Within a K the road just went back to rocks and dust....


Great Views.


Still climbing with great views but we both want this road to end, it's killing us but as always in Laos the hide rides are the best ones and as we turn a corner there's an old Chinese Tank sitting on the side of the road, well worth the Climb...break time and look around.



Large Gun.



I love this stuff so i'm having a good look around and this Tank is in good condition considering it's been here forty odd years, the Engine is a Gear Driven,Twin Overhead Cam V8/V6!!, I never knew this Technology was around in them days....

Impressive engine internals for its date.



Jim taking a peek..



Well camouflaged.


Wonder how it got like this..



Shell racks.



Viewing prisms.



Machine Gun



Great welding....great gun.



Viewing prism still operational


Hope they put that in a Museum...

Back to the ride and the climb over and it flattens out into graded section, loose gravel.......the weather has changed again and as we get close to the fires the rain looks imminent and we don't want to get stuck here so a quick lunch stop and a chat and and both decide forget Chavan and head for Sekong all though it was near, both of us very hot a tired and go with plan B the weather being the deciding factor as we had seen what happens to the roads in Monsoon rain.


Vast open areas.


We filled the bikes up and the guy robbed us.......20,000 kip a litre, only fuel for miles a we needed a clean shot at Sekong with no Dramas to get there by nightfall and no way we were going to ride the way we had come....

I'm looking at my bike a notice the swing arm bolt has sheared of, there is still a little bit poking through keeping it all in place......not the news we wanted this was a big problem, I decide that it's all still in place and if I keep my eye on the bolt, Jim's riding shot gun keeping his eye on things as we proceed.

It's quiet beautiful up here and easy on the bike, so I'm feeling comfortable and able to check at will, we were headed for route 16, in between us and that was a section of Ho Chi Minh Trail that take us into a thick Forrest with nasty deep ruts that gave way to the best trail so far..


I cant wait.


Lets go back.


Just stunning


What an area. Ho Chi Minh trail


I forgot all about the swing arm and was 100% on the ride, it really was that good, but all of a sudden you come into a big opening....which has a graded road that lead onto the descent, strange are we both agreed to come back to, we checked the bike and it was still the same so lets just leave it. Soon the road got worse as we got onto the being constructed most beautiful tarmac ride in the world that was in the same state as the climb....we booth looked and thought shit.


Laos is beautiful.



Stunning. But why are they setting fire to it all?


The Hills where on fire all over the place, the plan was to get down as quickly as possible with out being killed by a broken swing arm, I was of and my sites set on the bottom, but when would it end was my main though coming down, each corner was more spectacular than the last and more challenging.

Wow



Eventually it flattened out the relief was great until the swing arm let go, the chain came of locking the back wheel and the swing arm collapsed as the bike came to a stop, I put the chain back on and walked it to a shady area and went bush mechanics on it, back on the road in 20 mins with a pair of mole grips holding it together.


Can we fix it.




Jim's big hands made sure they would not come of



We pressed on trouble free hitting the ferry about 5pm and stopping at the first hotel we saw...




No attention to the beat up farangs.



Felt like a finish line....




A long hard day with much to repair and fix the next day.
what a day!.




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