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Old 08-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
gatogato OP
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Planning a 2 week riding adventure in Laos! advice appreciated

Hi, my friend Matt and I are planning a 2 week riding trip to Loas from November 9-24th. Our plan is to rent a couple of Honda Baja 250's for $35 a day. We are flying into Bangkok and taking the train to Vientiane where we will rent the motorcycles. We want to go see a few old temples like Angkor Wat. We are also planning on visiting some Vietnam War history sites.

We are looking for route planning advice please. Matt just got his motorcycle license and is buying a DR350SE to practice with in Washington, DC. So, we want to ride some off-road but nothing too technical. We are going to have 10 actual riding days.

Any other trip planning advice would be appreciated.

I am curious about what kind of luggage racks/ luggage that the rental Honda Baja 250's come with. The name of the rental company we are looking at is Jules Classic Rental. We are planning to pack very light. I was thinking that we could use 30-35 liter camping backpacks and rock strap them to the luggage rack. Can someone who has done it before provide some luggage advice.

btw: I will post a list of gear we are taking in a couple days.


(Moderators: Please do not move my thread. I realize it is not in the Asia section and I put it here on purpose because we are looking for more traffic than the Asia section gets.



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Old 08-12-2013, 09:45 PM   #2
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Angor Wat is in Cambodia, not Laos. Did you check with the rental place if they will provide you with everything you need to cross into Cambodia or cross into both Thailand and Cambodia? This is not a given by any means.

Most "big bike" rental places cater to foreigners and they will have some extras ready for you. They probably have luggage they can put on the bikes for you. Did you email them yet? Same goes for routes. They can point you to good roads and in some areas they even have 'motorcycle route/rides maps' you can buy.

An excellent rider resource for this region is www.gt-rider.com If you spend a lot of time on that site, you will be in good shape. :)

I see that they have Jules rental place listed on the site, and they advertise the motorcycling map (that should be available at Jules.)
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Great, thank you for the advice. I will email Jules and ask them those questions.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
Mark Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatogato View Post
(Moderators: Please do not move my thread. I realize it is not in the Asia section and I put it here on purpose because we are looking for more traffic than the Asia section gets.
They moved it anyway

Here is another useful site http://www.rideasia.net/motorcycle-forum/
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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With only two weeks, I would stay in Laos. There are plenty of places to go and things to see. The roads, especially north of Vientiane are narrow and insanely twisty. Expect to have a bus or truck taking up part of your lane when you enter a curve. You are not going to eat up huge mileage in Laos.

I spent about 10 days in Laos this summer; Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Thakek. The natives are cool. The backpackers are too. You are in for a treat.

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Old 09-17-2013, 07:50 AM   #6
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If you want temples then Angkor will turn you on. Near Siem Reap. A little more off the beaten track is Route 66 to Preah Khan. Little bit gnarly in parts but not too technical. Easy to get to from Kampong Thom.

Other cool temples include Koh Ker and Being Melea. Preah Vihear of course. Roads improving all the time.

Bike hire easy in Phnom Penh.They require passport as deposit. It's hard but not impossible to hire in Siem Reap. Better to do in PP.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:04 AM   #7
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Hi gatogato

Iam heading to Bangkok and onto Laos at the same time as you and also hiring a bike from Vientiane . Been reading about a couple of different hire options even some from Luang Prabang. I am planning on heading north and want to find some of the tracks away from the main roads.

How are your plans going? How have you found dealing with the bike rental company?

I have got as far as booking the flight, and intending on getting the sleeper train. I have found some good maps, some free from OSM and others such as this one which may have more detail on them http://www.laosgpsmap.com/ which I will probably buy. It may not have much more than the OSM map but its not worth missing some great trials just to save a few bucks on a map after travelling that far to get to Laos.

Drop me a pm if you want to share any planning info.

Cheers
Mike

Barnman screwed with this post 10-22-2013 at 02:15 AM
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:03 AM   #8
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I would also like to add that you should reconsider the train ride to Vientiane. It's a very long ride, and it's not the funnest way to spend 10% of your vacation. The scenery is just fields and nothing special, and if it's an overnight train you won't see anything anyway.

Flights from BKK are very frequent and very cheap. You can be drinking in BKK at 7pm, and be back to drinking in Vientiane at 10pm. It's a short 1 hour flight. It will save you a lot of time.

I like trains and everything, but for a short trip like this, I think it would be a waste of time.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Witold View Post
I would also like to add that you should reconsider the train ride to Vientiane. It's a very long ride, and it's not the funnest way to spend 10% of your vacation. The scenery is just fields and nothing special, and if it's an overnight train you won't see anything anyway.

Flights from BKK are very frequent and very cheap. You can be drinking in BKK at 7pm, and be back to drinking in Vientiane at 10pm. It's a short 1 hour flight. It will save you a lot of time.

I like trains and everything, but for a short trip like this, I think it would be a waste of time.
Thanks for that Witold. Will reconsider. I need to anyway, as I am having trouble locating a bike to hire. Both Jules, and Jim at Remote asia have nothing! I guess I will be able to get a scooter easily enough once out there, but its not really what I need for getting out on the trials. Feeling pretty despondent at the moment!
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for that Witold. Will reconsider. I need to anyway, as I am having trouble locating a bike to hire. Both Jules, and Jim at Remote asia have nothing! I guess I will be able to get a scooter easily enough once out there, but its not really what I need for getting out on the trials. Feeling pretty despondent at the moment!
Ouch, that sucks. I don't know how good the moto rental market is in Vientiane, but if you can't find anything you can always go to Chiang Mai instead. Tons and tons of quality bikes available for rent in CM these days.

The problem is that if you rent a decent motorcycle in CM, you will probably be stuck in Thailand and won't be able to cross the borders.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:06 AM   #11
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I will be spending 3 weeks in Laos as well. I will be there Dec 20th - Jan 10th. I have friends living in Vientiane so I will probably spend a week with them and about 2 weeks touring. I would appreciate it if you would share some highlights from your trip.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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Bike rental

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnman View Post
Thanks for that Witold. Will reconsider. I need to anyway, as I am having trouble locating a bike to hire. Both Jules, and Jim at Remote asia have nothing! I guess I will be able to get a scooter easily enough once out there, but its not really what I need for getting out on the trials. Feeling pretty despondent at the moment!
Check this place out

http://laosmotorcyclerentals.com/
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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Bike rental

I think you should find what you looking for here

http://laosmotorcyclerentals.com/
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:24 PM   #14
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How was your trip?
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:32 AM   #15
Barnman
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Originally Posted by Comrade Art View Post
How was your trip?
Not sure if that is aimed at the OP or not, but by the side, I had a great trip and would reccomend Laos to anybody wanting to explore. But be quick its changing; big infrastructure projects, new roads and bridges to get at all the natural resources but at the moment lots of trails and water crossings to do as well as meeting the locals who are genuinely curious and friendly.

I may try and write a ride report
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