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.