Best day of my life

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lopburi, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    Hoping Thailand will get Back to At least the 30 day visa for bikes coming in, 11 days on a 150 2up just isn't enough for the size Thailand is, besides we like it there. Only 355 miles from the hometown in Malaysia to Sadao border.
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  2. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Eventually I get her back on the bike and we carry on through the old town down the hill. Don’t know the name and don’t care. It’s just fun. We bypassed Mae Sai and headed to the golden triangle for lunch. With Patty fed we headed to Chiang Khong. Tomorrow we will be on the other side of the river into Laos
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  3. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Nice, did you take Patty to the "Fun Fun Inn" in Doi Mae Salong?
  4. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Not sure where Fun Fun Inn is. We stayed at My Place Hotel which is getting fairly run down for the price but it’s owned by a nice family and has a fantastic view of the area. (When it’s not covered in fog)
  5. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

    Joined:
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    We woke in the morning and the river only had a bit of fog. Excellent
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    We crossed Friendship Bridge 4 into Laos without a problem. It took a bit longer (1 1/2 hours total) as there was a line up of backpackers at the visa on arrival counter and I took extra time to buy a one year insurance policy for the bike...

    We rolled up the road. One thing we noticed right away was more garbage than last year. Laos is a dirty country over all. Maybe it’s just because we are close to a border crossing.

    This is how Lao people keep the kids cool
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    One of the best things about Laos is the happy kids. It was lunch time and the kids were laughing and waving so I stopped to feed Patty
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    Happy kids
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  6. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Our destination for tonight is Oudom Xai (Muang Xai on google maps). We will try and get a room at the place we met the Ride Asia guys last year. The road is a lot rougher this year. Large sections of the road have subsided or been damaged by landslides. You round a corner and half the road is literally missing. Last year this part was super fast by Lao standards. Not today. I knew we would have a hard time to get to the hotel before dark. Then we hit more fog. Bummer
    Smidty likes this.
  7. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    We hit the construction area of the high speed train from China. It’s a disaster. And the wet has turned the dust into mud. And I don’t want to be on this road in the dark so push on without stopping for photos.

    We round a mountain bend and the road disappears yet again. It has literally fallen down a valley. There’s a large truck in the half of lane that remains and not enough room for me to ride into the up hill slope so I do an emergency full ABS stop before going off the edge. Patty said holly crap! My only thought was “thank you BMW Mottorad training for teaching me how to use ABS properly”.

    We rolled up to the hotel just as dark set in. We got off the bike covered in mud and the older Thai gentleman that owns the place came out to greet us. He remembered us from last year and gave us a discount on the room. Patty headed for the shower and the young guy at the front desk got me to move the bike into their locked scooter parking area for the night. I grabbed a can of beer and headed for the shower.

    Once we were cleaned up we went for diner at the hotel. The old gental man ask where we are headed. I said I want to go to Phongsali but was worried about the road with the recent rains and maybe we would go to Luang Prabang. He said “water is finished now. Luang Prabang is full of Chinese. Phongsali is good for your soul”. Patty needs good for her soul so the destination tomorrow is Phongsali
  8. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    "Not sure where Fun Fun Inn is."

    In the picture of Doi Mae Salong I saw a sign for it...
  9. emptypockets51

    emptypockets51 Adventurer

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    Great ride report. Thank you. And any time you can type "Saskatoon" into your day it's gotta be a good day. Three thumbs up!
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  10. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    In the morning we had breakfast and I checked out of the hotel and loaded the bike. The older Thai gentalman came over and asked us which way we decided to go. Patty told him Phongsali. He gave her a Cheshire Cat grin and two thumbs up. This made Patty bounce a bit. Somehow I’m feeling a conspiracy theory between them. We departed under overcast sky’s
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  11. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Not far out of Oudom Xai we were back in the fog. Hmm. We cruised along and the road was less than perfect but not bad for Laos. We start heading down the hill and eventually are out of the fog only to find a long line of trucks stopped on the road. I go around them to the front of the line. It’s a major landslide and they are working on it but no one can get through. I talk to a young Lao guy on a heavily loaded scooter while Patty walks to see how it looks. Eventually they move some of the trucks out of the way and tell me and the other scooters we can go. Umm, the mud is freshly dug and slippery as loon shit. As I come up the hill Patty is laughing her ass off at me trying to keep the bike upright. She has her iPhone ready to get the action shot of me dropping the bike. Bad Patty!

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    I’m not sure how but I got the bike through with out going down. I made Patty walk/slide down the hill for doubting my ability. After the land slide the road got progressively worse. I pulled over for a break. A while later the young guy on the scooter saw us and stopped as well. Turns out he’s from Phongsali and studying English in Oudom Xai.

    He uses a 20 liter pail as a dry bag to take stuff back to his family. He didn’t have any drinking water so I gave him a bottle and he shared some candy with me
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    We said fair well and head up another hill back into the fog. The road continues to get worse.

    I’m not sure how Laos roads rate in the world danger ranking but I think they are not for the faint of heart. You have big busses trying to over take large trucks in blind corners, insane mini bus drivers, cars, trucks, scooters all doing whatever they want, pot holes big enough to eat small children, dogs, cats, goats, pigs and piglets, chickens, ducks, swans, farmers, farm tractors, snotty nose toddlers, cows and one crazed sneaky squirrel intent on committing suicide all sharing what used to be a road, in perfect harmony!

    About 30km out of Phongsali I had near death experience number 28.5 of the day. The fog cleared just long enough for us to see the beautiful mountains then socked us in again. And then a thought occurred to me: I don’t think Patty actually wants to kill me, but she keeps encouraging me to go places where some one will. Hmm...

    We got to Phongsali eventually. The idea to come here is to see the great view of the mountains. So far all we’ve seen is fog. I booked a room with a view
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  12. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    We went for diner and I contemplated what to do. I want to carry on further north and get a photo of the bike at a China border crossing but the weather doesn’t look good. We agree to see how it looks in the morning then decide.

    I wake up and check the view. Its cold. And light drizzle
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    Right. South it is. I get dressed and head to the bike to get the rain gear and look for food for Patty. Not much open so I grab some instant noodles and fruit from a small shop and head back to the room to make breakfast.
    I tell Patty she will need her rain gear today. She says her butt is water proof. Hmm, let’s see. We take our time having breakfast and the weather stays the same so we launch into the mist.

    I want at least one photo so look for a break in the fog. Eventually I pull the bike to the side of the road and hike down a trail to find a view.

    Patty worked on the shot
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    Good for the soul
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  13. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    We carried on and eventually I had to stop to feed Patty. I picked a random roadside place. It was cool. School just got out and the shop owners daughter walked up, put her school bag down and immediately started helping her parents serve food. Can you imagine that happening in North America? We talked to the owners a bit and I asked about an alternate route south. The gentalman said if it was dry it would be ok but too much rain recently.

    Photo with the shop family
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    We carried on and I didn’t recall this part of the road. The road number on the gps was wrong but it was a cool road so I kept going. Some guys in uniforms yelled something at us and eventually I had to stop.

    Laos/China border crossing
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    I buggered up the navigation but got my border photo. Woo hoo! The guy in the background wasn’t so happy about my picture taking.

    While I turned the bike around Patty spotted food. She’s the tall one with the helmet on in this photo
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  14. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    I got us back on track and we carried on back to Oudom Xai. There was no choice but to go through the landslide again. It was just as slippery but I knew what to expect so it was ok. We rolled up to the hotel right at dark and the young man at the front desk said welcome back, helped with our gear and got me to put the bike in the scooter parking lock up.
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  15. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Absolutely supurb! Finally caught up. :clap Simply outstanding.
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  16. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    We had a hot shower then went for food. We’ve had three long hard days in a row and Patty needs a break so I decide we will head for Luang Prabang and park it for a couple nights. I tell Patty tomorrow will be an easy day. She blinks and says “can you do that?”. Umm, we’re in Laos “I can not confirm nor deny this your honour”

    While getting the bike ready in the morning I asked Patty if she was looking forward to relaxing in Luang Prabang? I think this means yes
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  17. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    The Tiger looks like it has been getting a good workout.
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  18. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    We headed up the hill towards Luang Prabang and found the fog again. Not much photo opportunities so I crank up the speed as much as I can in the limited visibility. Eventually we descend out of the fog. And I find a place to stop for food. Clean and good food. It even had a view

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    Last year when we went past the dam project north of Luang Prabang every time I stopped for a photo there was a security truck right behind me. This time Patty had her phone ready and tried to get some photos on the run. Most didn’t turn out due to the rough road and traffic. Here’s a couple

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    The water is still bypassing the dam. I thought it would be operational by now
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    We rolled into Luang Prabang and searched for a room. I found a small place that had a bathtub to soak our tired bones. It even had a balcony with garden view for Patty
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  19. Lopburi

    Lopburi Lost in paradise

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    Patty headed straight for the bathtub and I went and got some beer back to the room and enjoyed a bath as well. I asked the young guy that worked there if the road across the river went all the way to Hongsa and the boarder crossing. He wasn’t sure but said he’d ask the manager. We went for some food and people watched then walked thru the night market. I bought a couple bottles of wine on the way back to the room and we enjoyed our garden balcony and another bath before bed.
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  20. jays100

    jays100 Been here awhile

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    Awesome stuff! You have such a terse style of writing, very economical for sure, that it's a fun read. I've been following Ed too, your convergence of plans is fun.
    May i ask what it is you do?
    For ref, i'm a contract engineer in aerospace and I "could" break away between contracts, i just don't seem to be able to do it.
    The more you post from Thailand, I can clearly see its wild beauty and gentility of its people. It's now on my bucket list of riding places thanks to you!
    J
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