Laos on a Lifan...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Steve canyon, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Hello Inmates

    Been lurking for some time now and have plucked up the courage to contribute to the forum so here I go.:eek1

    I rode in Laos last year and knew I had to come back for more, this time I have managed a six month pass, the plan is to see as much as I can and try and help a few good causes. I really want to ride as much of the Hochi Minh Trail as I can as it's disappearing rapidly as they grade the roads over as well as seeing as much war stuff as possible.

    I've left my job, flat,wife and family to pursue my dreams, bought a Lifan and I leave Thailand tomorrow to start the trip..:D. I have prepped the bike and hope I can coax it around......

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    First impressions are good, not to fast but that suits me..

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    I have to source a plate today and I'm heading off tomorrow, hope you can join me :D
    #1
  2. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,517
    Location:
    One of the Burj's
    Good luck Steve.

    Great to meet you last night and to see the bike.

    Enjoy it, and I look forward to reading your reports.

    Ian
    #2
  3. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Nice to meet you to Bigfella pity I didn't have more time to have a few beers, next time old chap :1drink

    I've left Chaing mai and I'm now in Chaing rai, arrived here this afternoon..

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    Stopped of here for a drink...

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    Arrived in Chaing rai and serviced the bike in the Hotel car park, sorted the valve clearances, changed the oil..

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    The bike is not to bad, still need to sort a few things on it to make it more comfortable but I'll sort that as I go along...., Heading for Chaing kong tomorrow and into Laos all being well, things should start getting more fun then.......

    Cheers for now...:D
    #3
  4. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Oregon
    :lurk
    #4
  5. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    I spent couple of days in Houay Xai there is not a whole lot to do there, I did find one Gem and old French fort (Fort Carnot) which I was able to get into and have a look around, for me the gun room was magic along with the views from the look out posts. It seems like there is a restoration job going on but nobody seemed to know about it.

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    The Views over the border to Thailand.

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    It's a beautiful day.

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    The Gun room.

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    Some great toys!


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    I could spend all day in here, some of this stuff was really old, makes you wonder what went on in here?


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    Boys and their toys.

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    It had been a good day, I love the war stuff. I headed back to my Hotel to prepare for the off tomorrow.


    Saturday morning came and I got an early start to head of to Luang Nam Tha, I decided to go the long way which would take me up near the borders of Myanmar and China about 200 k's of Jungle tracks and mountain tops with a couple of river crossings thrown in, nothing to hard. Once I was off the main road this was the scene...

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    Nobody about, got the place to myself.

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    On my route I was able to visit another Lima site, LS1 nothing really to see but my imagination fills in the blanks, it's in there somewhere.

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    I plodded on for a few more hrs and then I hit the jungle, the trails where undulating and great fun to ride.

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    This a a blast, nobody around.

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    Only a few river crossing and no wet feet, I was having a ball.

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    There was a few boggy bits and one of them caught me out and threw me of fortunately my back pack got caught in the handle bars and I did not end up going down a steep slope, however something in the bushes was a bit upset with me coming crashing through his house and bit me, never had a reaction to a bite like that before, my forearm is swollen and there's a lot of heat and itching, other than that I'm fine. The bike didn't come of so well, bent handle bars and mangled gear lever both need replacing.

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    Good job I didn't go down there. :eek1

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    I straightened the lever out best I could and decided to have lunch, by now my arm was swelling a bit, later it got a lot worse.

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    After my off I had Banana sandwiches for Lunch you can buy bread here, guess we can thank the French for that.. The scenery is stunning and remote is the word lots Banana plantations and nobody around, peaceful just me and the bike.

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    On one section I found this guy broken down, he had the whole engine apart with the big bearings had gone, makes you appreciate the AA nothing of the sort here your on your own, I wished him luck and pressed on.

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    He had made camp, guess he was going to be there a while.

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    That's some fix in the jungle.

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    Some more great views.

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    Arriving at Luang Nam Tha about 5 Pm it had been a 10hr 200k ride and I was ready for a rest, found a Hotel got cleaned up and went for dinner, steak with blue cheese cost me more than the hotel but was worth it along with a couple of beers.

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    Wifi didn't work...Damn!.

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    I went back to my room and sorted all my kit ready for the next day which would be an easy day after today, so a little lay in would be in order and I fell asleep watching TV, a great day....:norton
    #5
  6. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Out Standing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Tallahassee. FL. USA
    Good stuff Steve. I was there in 2007 and I'm dying to get back.
    Were you a Raven?
    #6
  7. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Thanks Pete, don't leave it to long before you come back....:clap. No I'm not a Raven, you?


    Sunday morning and I'm having a late start as it looks to be a tarmac day so it should be straight forward, I left around 10am and the ride took me on some nice twisty tarmac with great views.

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    No rush on so I can enjoy the scenery.

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    This is a great plate, made me laugh, I using a drift camera but still getting the hang of it.

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    It's a pretty boring ride, be a lot more fun a big bike, stopped of for lunch at a roadside vendor and amused the kids for a bit.

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    Time to get back on the road, soon the twisty flat tarmac turned into a bone shaking broken, dusty nightmare, this is by far the worst road I have ever encountered I will upload more pictures from my drift when I can get them uploaded. You know it's funny how some days turn out I thought this would be a easy route, if I had known what I know now I would have gone a different way. I met some guys from London who where on push bikes, I thought I was mad.

    :eek1

    I ended up in Luang prabang about 7pm and found a the first Hotel I could find with working wifi I was exhausted. My sting at this point was making my arm swell up and was spreading down toward my hand so I went to the chemist and got some different cream, eat some noodles and flaked out.

    A long boring tiring day, I plan to stay in Lp for a few days to recover and have a look around.
    #7
  8. lualca

    lualca motero

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    caribbean island
    Hi Steve,
    I plan to use that same type of bike for future travel in S. America, so I will be following your RR very close.
    Thanks:ear
    #8
  9. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Hi Lualca

    It's not a bad little bike and it's growing on me, however the suspension is not up to much and she needs a bit more power, when I get to Thailand I'm going to change the shock and try and find some stronger forks, loose the cat and jet the carb that should do the trick...it's great on fuel, great to have you on-board..:D

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    Cheers for now...
    #9
  10. pfdavidz

    pfdavidz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    219
    Thats a well designed bike!
    #10
  11. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos brb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    605
    Location:
    Belgistan
    :lurk along for the ride :)
    you seem to be traveling very light
    #11
  12. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    I posted some gear onto Vientiane so I could be even lighter..

    This guy has tons.

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    I like to travel as light as possible..

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    The more I have the more I loose...Already lost my tripod, driving Licence, sunglasses and credit card...oh and 400 quid but don't tell the wife about that..:lol3

    More tomorrow...
    #12
  13. koh kood

    koh kood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Koh Kood, Thailand
    How's your arm? Looks like a pretty nasty reaction from whatever bit you.
    #13
  14. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    547
    I will second that on identifying your bite and having it taken care of,the jungle climate ,any wilderness can really put a damper on your trip.
    #14
  15. aboveangkor

    aboveangkor Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    66
    Whats up with the MAG {Mine Action Group} stickers?
    #15
  16. mcc66

    mcc66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    202
    Location:
    forrestfield, western australia
    :lurk

    Look forward to following your adventure. Thanks for taking the effort to share your travels with us.
    mcc66
    Michael
    #16
  17. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8
    Good luck in Laos! Great country. safe travels
    #17
  18. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    You will be pleased to know it's better, it was an infection called Eyrsipelas nasty if untreated, they gave me a course of tablets to take and all is well now...


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    worried about about everything that moves now...:D
    #18
  19. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Check out the link on the bottom of my page...:D

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    Cheers.....
    #19
  20. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    London
    Thank you Gentlemen, great to have you on board..just trying to get my photos uploaded so I can get the RR up to date..

    Been to some magical places in the last few days..resting up in Vientiane at the moment..:D

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    :D
    #20