Laos, self guided, self FUNded

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gavo, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

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    Where was this Bamboo bridge?

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    Some great shots dude....:D
    #21
  2. Gummitarzan

    Gummitarzan Adventurer

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    Love Laos! Went to Vientiene and Vangviene but with a tuktuk. Stayed there in january 2002. The scenary is just something else:rofl
    #22
  3. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    I think it was on the Nam Khan river, where exactly I don't remember but along route 13 about 20ks south of Luang prabang is my best guess a town nearby is called Mout I think
    #23
  4. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    So a few lay days in Luang Prabang first day agenda is elephant ride and Kuang si falls.
    Took the easy way out and instead of riding we hired a mini bus tour.
    First stop the elephants, we went to All Lao , they have 14 elephants and a walk through the jungle on the same old tracks, with a memory like an elephant they gotta be bored:lol3
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    then off to Kuang si falls.These places are popular for a reason ---they're good
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    #24
  5. Steve canyon

    Steve canyon Adventurer

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    I thought I recognized that bridge just where you said it was....

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    Just south of Luang Prabang.....:clap
    #25
  6. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Another free day in Luang Prabang so we decide to go to the cave temple at Pak Ou north of Luang Prabang.
    Highway up to turnoff the dirt road in about 15ks
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    At the village u must park on the outskirts and walk in and down to the river
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    then negotiate a boat price and away
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    an interesting place with upper and lower caves, the lower
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    and the upper which had no lights except what shone through the door way
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    #26
  7. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    On the way back from Pak Ou we stop to get a broken rack on one of the bikes welded up. We pull up and show them what we want and they do it straight away and all for the princely sum of 15000 kip (about $1.80 us) --Bargain---:clap , I gave him double and said buy yourself a beer, I was hot just watching him:eek1 No way on earth would you get service like that at home:lol3
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    We took a detour to Wat Phoul Phao amazing art work although not that old
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    On the lower levels their a pictures depicting hell on earth then as you rise in levels you come closer to enlightenment
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    the view from the first level was good too
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    and in this pic you can see the temple on Phousi hill in the center of town
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    Higher levels at wat phol phou
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    this is the second highest level and although I stuck my head up the top, there was 2 women praying and I didn't want to disturb them.
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    on the way back down I spied this on a book cabinet. Even if you're not a buddist the name Tripitaka would ring a bell if your a fan on the TV show Monkey.
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    A climb up Phousi hill that evening was well worth it apart from all the bloody tourists:lol3
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    And the view back to Wat Phol phao
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    #27
  8. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    And this is a bit out of order because we went the day before, the old palace is a must see, the formal reception area is brilliant, covered in kind of mosaic pictures that seem to be made of a mirror type class so the effect is dazzling, unfortunately there are no cameras allowed, I couldn't even find a postcard of this area, or google images. If you get a chance ,see it. Here are a few pics of the outside and other places in the complex.
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    #28
  9. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    So this will be the morning of the 28th Oct a longish day around 230km but through a long dirt section of unknown quality through Pak Xeng.
    An early start
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    the trip North from town we covered the previous day going to Pak ou a turn onto the dirt road was something I looked forward too.
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    the occasional village
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    some roadworks but making good progress
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    and then this. Traffic control Laos style:lol3
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    their roadblock
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    and the reason for it
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    We waited for 45 mins, couldn't communicate, just had to wait
    #29
  10. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    I rented a bike in Laos from Jim a few years ago, he was really helptul and knowledgeable, glad he's still around. I didn't have much time last time I was there, your pix remind me that I need to go back down there.
    #30
  11. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    On we pressed the road being fairly smooth dust, it would be hard work if it rained.
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    The solo riders made easier work of the hills
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    there were views around every corner as we got to almost 1600 mtrs
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    A fuel stop
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    and more village life
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    Did I mention the dust:lol3
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    The last 25k's of the dirt became fairly rutted, apparently Trish took a dive as there's no pic it didn't happen.
    We hit the tar at Sam Soun and enjoyed the twisties and scenery to Vieng Thong with a roadside lunch consisting of Bagettes and Banana
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    We arrived at our guesthouse which overlooked the market
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    After a shower it was out to find food and beer, we wanderd down near the river and found a place but when we asked for a beer they said no despite me being able to see a lot of it in the fridge, so we moved on ( i was later told it may have been a private function and locals can become protective of their beer during holidays).
    Any we went back the way we came and had a beer here
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    thats the owner in the background and his son in the yellow shirt, he owned the computer shop/ guesthouse next door, we had a couple and a chat nice people
    dinner was good
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    And a video of the days riding

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    #31
  12. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Morning of the 29th Oct
    An early start just watching the markets below the guesthouse
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    It seems if you don't get there early you starve, it was all over by 7:30/ 8:00 :lol3
    Same place as last night for breakfast but a seat out the front this time

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    they have it all
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    also rush hour for school
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    Around the corner for some fuel and the kids are always smiling
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    #32
  13. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    The road from Vieng Thong to Phonsavan would have to be one of the most enjoyable of the trip ,twisties views and friendly people
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    Coming out of the mountains towards the plains and Phonsavan
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    we stopped for lunch on the side of the road and at first didn't notice this school across the road then the visitors
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    and just back in the bush, someones prayer spot
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    And our hotel for a couple of nights while we explore the area
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    Vid of the days ride
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    #33
  14. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    I first saw Laos from Nong Khai in the mid-eighties, and was curious about the place, which at that time was closed to most foreigners. I got to visit a couple of times in the late nineties, on a visa run and a bit of a break from work in Thailand.

    I enjoyed the laid back feel of the place, and the nature of the Lao people. There was an elegant composure about them that made the Thai people seem quite brash by comparison.

    There was a small town feel about even Vientiene, that has been long since lost in Thai cities. A friend in NZ told me I should catch up on another friend of his there. I had just checked in to a guest house and was going down the street when a big Chev pick up stopped outside a dry-cleaning shop. When the driver got out I thought he looked like a Kiwi, so I fronted up and said "Are you Hank?"

    He was... within an hour or so of being in the country I had, perchance, caught up with a guy I had hoped to meet. He had been living there for ten years by then, and is still there, well ensconced, with a Lao wife and a couple of kids.

    I took a bus up to Luang Prabang; a long slow trip through some magnificent countryside. The town, the old royal capital of the country, is majestically located, at the junction of the the mighty Mekong and another river, with mountains all round.

    Your pictures bring back some memories.

    I thought at the time I would like to return to travel the country by motorcycle..... you've done it; well done, and thanks for sharing.
    #34
  15. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Ok Oct 30th Phonsavan. A trip to the plain of jars site 1 & 2 and along the way we found Tad Long falls so a side trip
    The ride out of town was easy, less traffic here than say Luang Prabang or Vietiane but always something to look at, we'll start with the view from the fire escape at the hotel (only the best:lol3)
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    and always love the scaffolding here, this was 4 stories up
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    Then I noticed these out the front, they come with all the racks you could need its a shame it's only a 125
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    the country side was beautiful when we got off the main road
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    And first up site 2, stay between the lines :lol3
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    david is 6" 4 to give perspective
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    where as I'm only a short arse:lol3
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    we moved on to Tad Long falls
    The road to the falls was just a quite village lane and very picturesque
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    and we came to a river crossing:clap:clap
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    the falls were good after a short walk down a track
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    Loacals on the way back and then a host of small back roads on the way site 1
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    Site 1 had a few more jars
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    old trench line over looking air port
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    and a cave at site 1
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    Shit was it hot out in the sun, we were clad to get back to town
    A late lunch was had at Craters
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    and dinner was had at a place called Bamboozaled owned by a nice bloke from the Shetlands if I remember who married a local girl after working on a farm project for 2 years
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    And a vid of the days activities
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    #35
  16. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

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    great update Gavo
    were off on our big adv in a couple weeks:clap:claphttp://brisbane2bristol.wordpress.com
    #36
  17. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Thanks for that, I'll follow your trip but I'm green with envy :lol3 Ihope you renewed your fuel filter during the service on the wee strom
    #37
  18. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Morning 31st Oct
    Today we were headed to Vang Vieng, although I initially did not want to go there because of the party town/18 to 20 something drunken yobs I heard they cleaned it up so Vang Vieng it was.
    Let me just say that if I thought previous roads were fun , some sections of this were brilliant for both scenery and the road ,oh how I wanted a solo 450 motard :lol3
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    At first I thought this will be fairly sedate then we started to climb

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    We stopped here for a drink break

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    then onward

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    These shots were taken from atop a hill with a telecom tower mounted on it, see a dirt track go up the hill, glad we did.
    Lots off dirt tracks to explore as you can see, if you've got the time.
    Also the road we were on going through villages
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    Bike riding heaven

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    we stopped at this place for lunch, a bit tourity but the food was good and the view brilliant.
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    a road side smoke break
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    Couple of shots not far from Vang Vieng
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    #38
  19. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Coming into Vang Vieng you could see the party/ tourist setup but strangely not as many people, we found out later the riverside party bars had been cleaned up. But you could still see people in cafe's who had travelled thousands of Km to sit and watch re- run's of Friends :huh I'll never understand people who travel and then seek out stuff just like home. Great cultural experiance :puke1

    A bit of temple maintenance on the way in
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    we had a bit of a treat with accommodation here and can highly recommend this place
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    From the pool deck
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    the bungalows
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    Something for the sunshine coast / brissy people
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    Always find the translation a laugh

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    Unfortunately we only had time for an overnighter but I will go back to Vang Vieng.
    Here is a vid of the day, I know it's a little long for some but I edited out 10 x whats here and film never does the real thing justice

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    #39
  20. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Thurs 1 Nov Vang Vieng to Vientiane via Nam Ngum damn
    Well I just typed all this and lost the lots to the sign in devil, so a short installment for now.
    A few morning shots in Vang Vieng
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    On the road
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    Local bbq/ summer/ swim house
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    Pack em in
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    At a place called Hin Hoeup at a fork in the road the GPS says same same, turns out old bridge and new bridge , we
    took the old
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    #40