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Old 03-02-2014, 08:57 PM   #16
dougrender OP
Bike Polo is not a Crime
 
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Grab breakfast heading out of Phou Khoun.

This is typical of a place-to-eat-food in Laos.



We're in the mountains. The roads are twisty-twisty. Awesome. But it 's cold. I mean really cold. Unusually-cold-for-southeast-asia cold.

As in everyone-is-chopping-fire-wood cold.



This picture is not about the temperature, but it's pretty suggestive of rural Laos (there is no urban Laos). Women gathered around fresh water, dog, duck.



We make it to Phonsavan, home to the "Plain of Jars".

I'm wearing all the clothing I brought to SEA, plus a shell loaned from Jim. Because it's seriously cold.



No one really knows what to make of this place (actually 3 places).



Phonsavan, well, not much happening here. We hit the market, looking for a layer of warm clothes. Karen finds something. But nothing in American-adult-male size for me. Gorgeous cock at the market.



The tourist books say eat at Craters. Yeah. Do that.

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:13 PM   #17
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Head south in near freezing temperatures. I'm told this is exceptional.

I'm also told it's a great respite from the normal daily high of 105F. Which does not help me.

Karen would be wildly unhappy, were it not for the jacket Jim has loaned. And why I packed balaclavas to SEA rain forest where I expect lows in the 80s...I don't know. They don't take up much space, so I must have figured, "what the hell, maybe we'll get cold in the mountains."



Here we've made it down from the mountains, into the sun's warmth. And it's time to dress down. Yes, the shiny piece is an emergency solar blanket Karen had unfolded between layers of jackets.

Notice the cement tubes just behind the bike.



And here you have it.

\
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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-03-2014 at 09:27 PM
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:21 PM   #18
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We've followed a river south. Makes for great twisties.



The river began clearer and narrower. But here it is now, 2 hours later.



We encounter some new friends on the way south. School has let out and there is a stream of children on bikes and on foot for a mile or more.



We're kind of a big deal. Celebrities.



Even those with Doom Machine take note.



Rolling through local town.

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-04-2014 at 08:38 PM
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:34 PM   #19
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This is our 5th and final day, following the Mekong from Pakxam back to VTE.

Oh, right. Before it was dried fish, it was drying-in-the-sun-half-fish like this. Oddly attracting neither flies nor local dogs nor stray cats.

Remember the "split dog" in the original Return of the Living Dead? No?? Well, this totally reminds me of it.



Front-child-pillion-position is pretty much universally common in SEA.



Here we've stopped for a snack. Hopefully dried banana chips.

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-04-2014 at 08:43 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:19 AM   #20
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Great Report, You Beat Me

I just finished up a near identical trip renting my bike from Jim as well. I was going to post photos but they would pretty much duplicate yours. And I agree Jim was a great guy to work with.

In fact, I am sitting in a hotel room in Vietiane waiting to catch my flight to Bangkok as I write this. Did not encounter those temps but it was pleasantly cool in the mountains. Even ate at Craters Resterant as well. And those 250 Hondas were perfect for the road and terrain
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:18 PM   #21
dougrender OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpilottx View Post
I just finished up a near identical trip renting my bike from Jim as well. I was going to post photos but they would pretty much duplicate yours. And I agree Jim was a great guy to work with.

In fact, I am sitting in a hotel room in Vietiane waiting to catch my flight to Bangkok as I write this. Did not encounter those temps but it was pleasantly cool in the mountains. Even ate at Craters Resterant as well. And those 250 Hondas were perfect for the road and terrain
In the Riverside, I take it? I think that's where Jim puts everyone up.

Glad to hear your trip went well. I'd like to see pictures!

=Doug
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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #22
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Karen rode like a boss--I am very proud.

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A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-03-2014 at 10:21 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:58 PM   #23
dougrender OP
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Here is a map of our route. Sort of. If you depend on google to get around Laos, good luck my friend.

We start in VTE and travel clockwise with stopovers in VV, Phou Khoun, Phonsavan and Pakxam.

They have different spellings on this map than I've used previously? Welcome to navigating Laos. If you want the GPS, hire Jim. He'll rent you just the device with the route.



This is Laap, the national dish of Laos. It's a minced meat. It's odd that we didn't see any other than the final night in VTE, and then only in a "tourist establishment".

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-03-2014 at 10:04 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #24
dougrender OP
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What images of Laos will burn most vividly with me?

I'll go with these.





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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-03-2014 at 10:33 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:31 PM   #25
dougrender OP
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It's December 31st, 2013. Our flight back to BKK leaves very early New Year's Day.

If you are only interested in motorcycles, stop here. But there's some motorbike action, Doom Machines both terrestrial and aquatic, food, booze and locals ahead, as we spend two weeks island hopping southern Thailand. Stay if you like.
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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #26
dougrender OP
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Destination Trang, Thailand. Be cautious booking travel etc. to "Trang". There is a "town" of Trang, but most internets searches will return results from the numerous Andaman Sea islands in Trang Province, which are not actually in Trang.

Trang has a train station, and a really small airport.

But it's the "gateway" to many island destinations.

Rent a motorbike. Ride to the coast. Eat odd fried fish, that are marketed as baked fish.



I don't think I even noticed the statue/footrest thing.



It's Thai-people beach, not foreign tourist beach. Accept.



This is the god damnest Doom Machine of all. He has managed to retrofit a dead wave runner with an outboard motor, for purpose of tourist excitement. SEA is so resourceful...



Maps. Must have maps. Thousands of years of evidence suggest maps rock. Maps have value.

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-04-2014 at 08:46 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:56 PM   #27
dougrender OP
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There is a weekly street festival in Trang, some great street food.





Singha is the national beer, but Chang tries hard (Dutch).

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-04-2014 at 08:47 PM
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:02 PM   #28
dougrender OP
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This is the last we'll see of our HJCs. We left our boots and a few other items in VTE, and now we leave our helmets with a gal-we-like-who-runs-a-coffee-shop-adjacent-to-the-train-station. I'm not sure who in THAI would like to wear such a set up, despite its awesomeness, because most get by with a beanie helmet, or none, and a motocrosser with goggles only screams "farrang".

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

dougrender screwed with this post 03-04-2014 at 01:53 PM
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:18 AM   #29
TonyBKK
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Good stuff! Laos is magical!!!

Just got back from there yesterday-
Epic Awesomeness! Cruising the Mekong and Riding Laos with the GT-Riders!


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Old 03-04-2014, 09:01 PM   #30
dougrender OP
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This is a really ghetto map, but working clockwise, we took a van from Trang to a pier, a boat to Sukorn, where we stayed for several days, took another boat to Kradan, stayed for a day, then another boat to Lanta, stayed again, then van/ferry/van/ferry/rest stop/van/Trang.

Then fly to BKK where we arrive Suvarnabhumi at 10pm, return at 5am, and fly through Seoul to LAX then to Denver. Which made for a longish day.



For perspective, we are down here.

Almost into Malaysia.

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Boulder County Trail Riders--serving riders' interests in Boulder County, CO
A Bridge Through Laos :: 5 Days out of Vientiane
Moto Catalunya :: A Week Between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Two weeks in Thailand and Vietnam and all you get are these blurry pictures and rambling text.

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