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Northern Thailand and Laos on a CRF 250L

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  • #61
    Still engrossed with every installment. A couple of things that stuck in my mind; it appears that you had an amazing Christmas day with Alan and May and that was either a brilliant piece of precision planning or extremely good fortune. Plus, you managed to get a bacon sarnie with oreo and banana milkshake!! lol

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Allan View Post
      Still engrossed with every installment. A couple of things that stuck in my mind; it appears that you had an amazing Christmas day with Alan and May and that was either a brilliant piece of precision planning or extremely good fortune. Plus, you managed to get a bacon sarnie with oreo and banana milkshake!! lol
      Allan,
      Thanks for the comment
      Yes I had a great Christmas Day with Alan and May, and it was just pure chance, I had gone for a walk about once I got booked into my hotel the evening before. I saw the sign on the main road (the one in the photos) and walked down to have a beer. We got talking and I was invited back. It was as simple as that.
      As for the bacon sarnie, it was lovely after lots of noodles and rice....not like the bacon we know in the UK but still great all the same. Luang Prabang is a very touristy place and I think, hence all the different foods
      Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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      • #63
        Day 21 Local Vang Vieng
        Stayed local in Vang Vieng today and went on a bit of a ride, I took a track to the west of the town and just followed it. I eventually ran out of track at a village as I was trying to get round a big hill. so I turned back and took a fork in the road in another village and that took me on a loop. Great scenery and lots to see.

        Local Vang Veing1 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1284 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1287 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1288 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1289 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1293 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1294 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1295 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1299 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        I stopped in one village where I had a drink and watched one of the village women weaving a skirt, it was good to see and amazing to watch. They also made scarves and small blanket type things. She made it look so easy. I bought a scarf for my mother.

        IMG_1305 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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        • #64
          In Image 1299 (The bridge and ford crossing) have you noticed on your travels around Laos that most bridges are old army type ones and there always seems to be a ford crossing next to it as an alternative.

          Some might ask why, well if you see the state of the bridges with great big holes in the planking and or very loose planking then it is often better to risk the ford crossing (providing the water is low) than risk the bridge.

          On the route to my house in Laos we have to travel about 1.5 hours down a dirt road and there must be 10-12 of these bridges with fords, and sadly for me my normal driver likes to risk the bridge with a spotter rather than getting stuck in the river.
          Only took 2 and half years. Thai Air finally coughed up my 2020 cancelled flight dosh

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Gary & Nok View Post
            In Image 1299 (The bridge and ford crossing) have you noticed on your travels around Laos that most bridges are old army type ones and there always seems to be a ford crossing next to it as an alternative.

            Some might ask why, well if you see the state of the bridges with great big holes in the planking and or very loose planking then it is often better to risk the ford crossing (providing the water is low) than risk the bridge.

            On the route to my house in Laos we have to travel about 1.5 hours down a dirt road and there must be 10-12 of these bridges with fords, and sadly for me my normal driver likes to risk the bridge with a spotter rather than getting stuck in the river.
            Yes I agree with you on the bridges. Some of the bridges were bad, it was safer to ford the river.
            Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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            • #66
              Day 22 Vang Veing to Phonsavan Part 1
              Set off today at about 0730hrs travelling from Vang Veing to Phonsavan and I don’t have a clue what happened as I did not end up following the route I had planned on basecamp the night before. But I still had a great day.
              I ended up taking the 13N, the 9308, 9303, 5 then the 1D


              Day 22 Vang Veing to Phonsavan by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              Day 22 Vang Veing to Phonsavan by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              What a journey it turned out to be, blocked routes, 80km detour, and 200km off road. The first 15km was on tarmac then it went onto unpaved road/track, the first 67km was covered in 2hours.
              At the 60 km I came to a military style check point, uniform and what looked like a single shot rifle, I wondered where the hell I was going, lots of sign posts in what looked like Chinese or Korean
              The GPS was going mad, at about the 63 km point I came across a mine type area, didn't stop for photos as there were people about.
              I was well in the middle of no where, I now know what Dr Livingstone felt like, but the GPS says still on right road, the route wasn't even on my Laos Paper Map. At about 67km I came across another Military CP which again I passed with no problems.


              IMG_1310 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1313 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1316 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1320 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1322 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1324 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

              IMG_1325 by Wayne 66, on Flickr



              Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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              • #67
                Day 22 Vang Vieng to Phonsavan Part 2
                Further on down the road I met 2 guys Fransiour and Craig (if I remember correctly)they said I was riding through what was once a restricted area and was used by the CIA in the Vietnam War. It was a tough route but very enjoyable.

                IMG_1331 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                IMG_1326 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1332 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1338 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1337 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


                Then things went a bit downhill, the road I was following became impassable there was a land slide in the road so I left the bike to see if it was passable, nope, had to turn round and with that I had to make a long detour of about 80km. Managed to get fuel in a little village called Ban Nam Gnone as I had already used my reserve cache. The CRF was supping fuel like no tomorrow with going up and down all the steep inclines and decents.

                IMG_1344 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1347 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1351 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1352 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                IMG_1353 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                • #68
                  Day 22 Vang Vieng to Phonsavan Part 3
                  I then got what I thought was a lucky break and hit some more tarmac, yeah, for all of about 18km’s then straight back into the jungle again haha.

                  On route the track was blocked yet again this time there were some excavators clearing the way so me and a load of Laos people were sat waiting for them to finish, it was about 30 to 40 mins before we got going.

                  IMG_1356 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1353 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1357 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1360 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1363 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1364 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1365 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  IMG_1367 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  I had drunk all my water in my Camelbak and was gagging for a drink so I stopped in this village in the middle of nowhere and they kindly gave me water and even let me take a pic before I moved off again.

                  IMG_1368 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                  After 200.3km I finally got onto a proper tarmac road for the last leg into Phonsavan, which I got to at about 1730hrs

                  Found the Nice Guesthouse, wifi, hot water, 100,000kip per night for a double room N19.45045 E103.21892
                  Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                  • #69
                    Day 23 Local around Phonsavan Part 1
                    Visited Site 1 of the Plain of jars, coords N 19.42577 E103.15878. Very interesting to visit. They had a little museum to tell you all about the jars and a little bit about the Vietnam War in the area, they reckon over 270 million bombs dropped on Laos. There were still a lot of trenches visible when you were walking round and also plenty of bomb craters. MAG had cleared bit of the area and you are advised to walk between the markers.

                    IMG_1371 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1370 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1372 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1376 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1377 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1378 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1380 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1388 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                    IMG_1394 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


                    IMG_1401 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                    Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                    • #70
                      Day 23 Local around Phonsavan Part 2
                      I also visited the Vietnamese War Memorial and the Laos War Memorial. The Vietnamese one was in a very good state of repair but the Laos one had lots of graffiti over it. I would have thought if anything it would be the other way round

                      IMG_1418 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1417 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1410 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1412 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1413 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1414 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                      All the above is the Vietnamese War Memorial

                      IMG_1419 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                      IMG_1421 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                      The two above is the Laos War Memorial
                      Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                      • #71
                        Day 24 Phonsavan to Nong Khiaw Part 1
                        Set off nice and early, it was about 0745 after I had filled up and filled my reserve bottles. The route was the 7N the on to the 1C all the way in to Nong Khiaw.

                        Day 24 Phonsavan to Nong Khiaw by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        Day 24 Phonsavan to Nong Khiaw by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        t was a good steady road all the way except for the last 80km or so. Then it was very potholed and went from paved to unpaved every now and again. There were lots of nice villages to ride through, spent a lot of time waving when going through the villages. I think thats why I prefer being on a bike, in my opinion you are more attuned to the surrounding area. I got some great video of them and the surrounding countryside, yet again lots of stunning views to be had. Early on in the route I met with a lot of wet patches where the sun had not been on them and there was loads of diesel on the road,in some places it was quite thick due to the trucks going slow up and down the hills.

                        IMG_1429 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1431 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1432 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1435 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1433 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1446 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1447 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1448 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                        Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                        • #72
                          Day 24 Phonsavan to Nong Khiaw Part 2

                          IMG_1450 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_1453 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_1454 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          I got to Nong Khiaw at about 1715, after numerous stops to chill, get fuel and eat and after a ride through the town I opted for the CT Guesthouse and restaurant, clean room, hot water and wifi. The bike is park in the owners drive with CCTV, with disc lock applied, coords N20.57020 E102.61657
                          IMG_1456 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_1458 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_1459 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          IMG_1460 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                          • #73
                            Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay Part 1

                            Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            I set off at about 0825hrs after I had topped up my fuel. The 1C/13N started off really nice with a lot of flowing bends with decent tarmac.


                            IMG_1464 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_1462 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                            So calm and peaceful

                            I then got to Pakmong, as I left there I went on to a really wide great piece of road, it was great for about 6k’s then I turned bad, through lots of roads works, chewing on loads of dust when trying to get past the lorries and buses which were on the route. Really narrow points where they are trying to build the road and a lot of heavy machinery, saying that I was surprised on how much was still done by hand.

                            IMG_1468 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_1469 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_1470 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_1471 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            IMG_1472 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                            Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                            • #74
                              Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay Part 2
                              Between 50 and 60 kms there is a large rest stop area with a restaurant and a small shop, also toilets. I stopped there and had a coffee in a tin and got talking to some Westeners who were milling about in the bus stop, it turns out that the bus they were on (which I passed about a 100 meters down the road) had broken down and they had been stuck there for 5 hours. They were not happy, but I was, the sun was out and had my trusty steed.

                              IMG_1475 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1479 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1480 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1481 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1483 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1484 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              The road stayed pretty much very bumpy and dusty till I started to drop down the other side of the mountain towards Oudomxay then I was blessed with damp mud, it make the road like an ice skating ring and I could feel my wheels wanting to tuck from underneath me all the time I was on it. Thankfully made it down in one piece
                              Finally the last 10 to 12 k’s was good tarmac again all the was in to town

                              IMG_1489 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Lunch stop

                              After stopping for food and a luke warm Lao dark I had a ride through town and settled on the Dokbouadeng Guesthouse, wifi, best I have had in about 6 days, 30 photos uploads to Flickr in half hour, thats a record since I have been in Laos, hot water is very good, very hot with a decent pressure, bike parked out the front, only downside is it could do with a good lick of paint, but everything else is probably best, coords N20.68781 E101.98650

                              IMG_1493 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1490 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                              IMG_1491 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                              Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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                              • #75
                                Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay Part 3
                                Took a walk into the town, the main road I am on is the town centre, visited the Phouthad Temple on top of a hill, not may good views of the town but the temple was ok

                                IMG_1509 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                                IMG_1506 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                                IMG_1505 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                                IMG_1504 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                                IMG_1503 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                                IMG_1499 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


                                - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

                                Day 26 Oudomxay
                                Stayed in Oudoxmay for the day and just relaxed, had two massages as the first one didn’t seem like it had done the trick. Had the same girl twice and she was very good. I felt so much better after the second one. The remainder of the day was spent drinking Beer Lao and eating food.
                                I also took the bike for a good wash, the second of the journey.


                                IMG_1495 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                                Capell Coffee N 16.504323 E 102.036437

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