ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-24-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
Tjilpi OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Bucket List in Laos

Recently I met up with an old mate with whom I hadn't ridden since the early 1970s and we rode Laos on a pair of CRF250Ls.

Here's some scenes we seened.

Out of Thailand via this amazing Temple at Chiang Rai.



Coffee break along side the magnificent Maekhong River (Mekong)
One item on Alan's 'Bucket List' was to see the Maekhong.
Done.



A cold Beer Lao once across the river, in Huai Xai.



Remnants of the French colonialists in Huai Xai, at Fort Carnot looking across the Maekhong to Thailand.



Making our lunch, heading towards Luang Namtha.



We travelled with lots of stickers and distributed them to kids along the way.



Heading towards Xieng Khok on the Burma/Laos border.



The Maekhong at Xieng Khok, Burma on the other side.





Trying to beat the rain, heading back to Muang Sing.



Then to one of the weirdest places in Asia, Boten.
It was set up as a Casino city but failed and has become a virtual ghost-town.
'The Town that Greed Created'.



Abandoned.







Lao Policeman and his trusty steed.



Scenery towards Udom Xai.
Note the houses clinging to the side of the hill.



It doesn't pay to cut corners here; there's all sorts of things on the side of the road; in this case a group of school kids playing cards.



A wonderful and inexpensive lunch at Udom Xai.



Then on to Luang Prabang and more evidence of the French.



Around wonderful Luang Prabang.









At a restaurant.









Found this guy on the road when riding to Phonsavan.
U-turned to check that he was breathing.
He was!
Doing it tough.



Riding in the clouds, heading to Phonsavan.



Scenery towards Phonsavan.







We stopped at a school which was perched on top of a hill and which had had splendid views. Lucky kids.



More stickers.






'Craters'
restaurant and ordnance in Phonsavan.
(I won't here go into the story of the bombing, the UXOs, the craters and the mysterious jars. That is all available for anyone interested to research).



Suffice to say ...



Then an early morning visit to the wonderful Plain of Jars Site 1.
We had it all to ourselves.
Another item off Alan's 'Bucket List'.







One of the many craters at the site.





And some old MIGs at the nearby airstrip; no entry!



Next day we rode out to Site 2 of Plain of Jars, which has a completely different 'feel' to it.









From Phonsavan there's a nice ride to the Vietnam border but on the day we wanted to ride it the rain was too heavy so we rode out from Phonsavan and back towards Vang Vieng.



Lao children are so friendly and welcoming of visitors, as are their parents.
I think they regard us as aliens.







The wonderful road cutting through the mountains towards Vang Vieng.



In Vang Vieng and a glimpse of an item on my 'Bucket List'.
Later.



Scenery at Vang Vieng.





And next morning, a dawn balloon flight over Vang Vieng.







So, another item off the 'Bucket List'.
But a word of warning here; well, two words of warning.

1 VV has developed a bad reputation for tourist behaviour and 'rip-offs', so much so that the whole place was closed down recently in an attempt to 'clean it up'. That, it seems, has succeeded. But the 'rip-offs' continue. More tourists die in VV than in any other Lao city.

2 The balloon experience is advertised at $80-$85 per hour. The actual duration of flights is 35-45 minutes and there is nothing you can do about it. There seems to be no accessible contact for the Tourism Authority in Vientiane so that this mob can be reported (not that that would make any difference). So, it's a great flight but you don't get what you pay for.

Then down to the capital, Vientiane and out to Wat (Temple) Phra Tat Luang.







And to their Patu Xai, erected as a memorial to the departure of the French.





After a couple of days in bustling VTN it was across the Aussie funded 'Friendship Bridge' and back into Thailand.

Market in Loei.







Two of these for dinner.



Great idea; recycled tyres (tires) used as out-door furniture, heading towards Uttaradit, Thailand.



And eventually home to dear old 'Coke'.
(There Coke, you've gone International!.



So, almost exactly 3000 trouble-free kilometres in 20 days on 2 very good bikes.
And the 'Bucket List' has a few more ticks on it.

Anyone contemplating riding Laos; just do it (at the right time of the year).
There's now plenty of bike rental places in Laos and in Chiang Mai, Thailand and lots of free information from certain bars, restaurants and people.
__________________
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "

Tjilpi screwed with this post 01-25-2013 at 12:06 AM
Tjilpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #2
Comrade Art
Working stiff
 
Comrade Art's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 519
Great pics
Visited Vietnam last year and Laos is on my bucket list as well.
Thanks for posting.
__________________
Vietnam Adventure
Oregon BDR

"All human beings by nature desire to know" - Aristotle
Comrade Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #3
GSPD750
Adventurer
 
GSPD750's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Oddometer: 1,419
Thanks for taking us along. Great people pics.
__________________
1999 XRV 750 Africa Twin
1996 XL 600v Transalp
GSPD750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 01:50 AM   #4
Ghostyman
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Ghostyman's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: LA face with the Oakland booty
Oddometer: 184
Thanks for posting this report, I loved reading it. I rode my very first scooter in Thailand in 2009 and am going back at the end of 2013. This gives me ideas!

Is there any hassle involved in taking rented bikes across the border into Laos?
Ghostyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 02:03 AM   #5
Tjilpi OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Thanks for the encouragement guys. (New here)

'Ghostyman', rental places in Chiang Mai will do all the paperwork for you.
No hassles.
An alternative is to rent in Vientiane.

I have all the details for anyone interested.
__________________
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
Tjilpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 02:45 AM   #6
Baytriple
n00b
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Oddometer: 7
Bucket List in Laos

Great photos. I need to go back there.

The plain of Jars is a truly mystical place for sure. Also the bomb remnants are a real reminder.

I will always remember VVieng. Amazing truly outstanding natural beauty of the limestone casks/hills.

I will also remember walking past a restaurant that was serving pizza and next to it was a girl skinning what looked like to be a rather large rat in a small bucket. Nice!

Baytriple screwed with this post 01-25-2013 at 02:55 AM
Baytriple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 02:59 AM   #7
gavo
Slacker
 
gavo's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Gympie QLD
Oddometer: 1,769
Great report and wonderful pictures,I know what u mean about the road from Phonsavan to Vang Vieng, brilliant
But there's still so much more to see in Laos I have to go back soon.
gavo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 05:23 AM   #8
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,685
Beautiful country! thanks for taking us along and sharing all those great pics What is the cause of tourist deaths in VV?
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 05:57 AM   #9
GSForLife
Adventurer
 
GSForLife's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Oddometer: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjilpi View Post
Thanks for the encouragement guys. (New here)

'Ghostyman', rental places in Chiang Mai will do all the paperwork for you.
No hassles.
An alternative is to rent in Vientiane.

I have all the details for anyone interested.
Good to see you here finally Tjilpi! Great ride report!
GSForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
Unstable Rider
Beyond Thunderdome
 
Unstable Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Oddometer: 2,450
Great post, enjoyed the story and the wonderful photographs. Makes me miss my camera gear and long for travel.
__________________
.
-“Ah, you're wasting you're time. They can't track us over rocks.
Tell them that.......... --Who are those guys?”


~Butch Cassidy
Unstable Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
Tjilpi OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Baytriple, Gavo, GB, Unstable Rider and GS thanks for your encouragement.

Main cause of deaths in VV is a combination of 'adventure' accidents in the river; drowning while tubing, jumping onto rocks
and there have been a number of overdoses.

http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/t...-1226456121799

And apparently the toll was 27 last year.

Rgs
__________________
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
Tjilpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
The Nailer
Adventurer
 
The Nailer's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Bendigo Vic Australia
Oddometer: 16
Thankyou for a great report and excellent photos, I road many of the sites 2 years ago and enjoyed seeing them again, a couple of questions ..... did you hire your bikes and if you did could you provide the supplier, also we hired scooters in Vientiane on our trip but can you hire in Thailand and take them into Laos? Kind regards .
The Nailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
Tjilpi OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Thanks 'The Nailer'.

I owned my own CRF but Alan hired from C&P Rental here in Chiang Mai.
The owner, Lan, is excellent.
He had new tyres fitted to the bike, new sprockets, spare levers, tubes and even a spare cam chain tensioner 'just in case'.
Oh, even a can of chain spray.

He didn't need to keep Alan's passport but required a 10,000 baht deposit which was instantly returned when Alan returned an undamaged and clean CRF to him.

There are other and bigger rental places in Chiang Mai, but not as good as Lan and C&P.
I can give you his contact details later if you wish.
__________________
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
Tjilpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 08:39 PM   #14
Tjilpi OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oddometer: 60
Thumb

Oh, 'yes', hiring in Thailand and riding (on a ferry) into Laos is OK.
The most reliable exit/entry point is from Chiang Khong across the Maekhong and into Huai Xai (500 baht ferry).
Lan at C&P did all the paper-work for this, then there's more paper-work for everyone to do at both ports; this takes about 3-4 hours, depending on the mood the Officers are in!

Currently, other exit/entry points are unreliable; some get through and others are turned back.

Oh, probably by late this year a new bridge will be in use from Chiang Khong across to Laos!!
__________________
" A truly happy rider is one who can enjoy an unexpected detour along the way. "
Tjilpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #15
rdwalker
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: The Badlands (of NJ)
Oddometer: 2,529
Hey, Tjilpi, a great report! Wonderful pictures, especially of people - and especially the candid shots of kids.

You should also run a thread of Thai shots: your own backyard is very exotic to many of us here on ADV.
rdwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014