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Northern Thailand and Laos on a CRF 250L

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  • #76
    Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong Part 1

    Set off at about 0815 hours after filling my now replenished reserve fuel bottle which I had lost the other day.
    Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong by Wayne 66, on Flickr


    I was travelling to Ban Chom Ong which is a homestay village. The route was very misty and I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t even know where it was. I was following a map which was give to me by the tourist information people, I think Johnny aged 10 had done it. I decided to go the long way round which was through about 8 to 10 villages till I got to Ban Chom Ong. After getting a bit lost on the way as there were loads of tracks and in some places I was not even on a track according to the OSM mapping on my GPS, but its all part of the fun, so as and when I came across a different village I was asking the name of the village and then the way to Ban Chom Ong.



    IMG_1516 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_1517 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_1518 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_1519 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_1522 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    IMG_1524 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    The first river crossing off the day, watch this guy nearly loose it at it was quite deep in the middle

    IMG_1525 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
    This second river I had just crossed and stopped to watch the trucks go through, it was very slippery

    IMG_1526 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

    All done, now retired

    Comment


    • #77
      Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong Part 2


      IMG_1529 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1531 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1532 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1535 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1539 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1540 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      I eventually got there for about 1130hrs, I was about 55 to 60 km the long way round, but I was not in any rush. Ban Chom Ong coords N20.70597 E101.78142.
      Once I got there I stopped at a small shack in the middle of the village and started to ask about the homestay whist drinking a bottle of cold pop (soda).

      IMG_1542 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      IMG_1543 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

      The girl at the shack had a book with English phrases but nothing on the homestay, then all of a sudden she ran off, must have been the aftershave I was wearing! She disappeared into the village and came back with a young man, who I later found out was 19 and married to the girl who ran the shack. He ended up hosting me and spoke reasonable English. Sorted, time to go to my hut for the night. When I got to it it was a hut on stilts and inside were some thin mattresses and some quilts in a bag. Very Very basic and I was thinking what had I let myself in for…..

      IMG_1545 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
      My dwelling for the night

      IMG_1547 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
      All done, now retired

      Comment


      • #78
        Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong Part 3
        My host hung about whilst I unloaded the bike and got changed. Then it was back to the shack where we sat and drank cold beer
        Lao whilst his wife cooked some fried eggs with bits of chilli in them, we also had rice, the rice was just presented in a bamboo bowl and you just grabbed a hand full, literally. The egg was eaten with chopsticks.

        Whilst we were eating a couple of the villagers came up to see who the foreigner was, one of them was a teacher (28yrs old) who spoke good English so we had quite a good natter, at about 1400hrs I said I was going for a walk and I was also going to secretly check on the bike and all my stuff because nothing was locked up, there were no locks on the doors at all, Ummmm, I was a bit dubious about leaving all the electronics laying about, but I had no choice unless I sat with it all the time. As I got up to leave thinking that this is going to be a long day as I didn't even have any comms, my host said that he was going to a farty, I later found out it was his pronunciation of party, as the villagers were celebrating something, he did tell me what but, after a few Lao whiskeys it was all a blur…….
        So off we went further in to the village but closer to where I was staying, thankfully… When we got there it was packed out in the little area they were using, and I was shown to a wooden bench next to a table and sat down with all the other men. They made me feel right at home and involved me in all the days activities. The women served the men the beer and whiskey whilst the men ate, most of the food was in bowls but some of it was just on big leaves directly on the table, sticky rice, some kind of noodle thing, then a mix of pork and chicken soups with veg and other pork and chicken dishes, we all had a spoon each and the rest was just use you hands. I was quite taken aback by the way the women tended all the men, sorting the food, pouring the drinks etc. When the drink was being passed round you didn’t get your own cup, the cup started at the end of the line, the woman poured the drink, beer and or whiskey and you drank it, tipping the dregs on the floor and giving the cup back to the woman who then went to the next man. Once all the men had had their food they left the table and all the women and kids sat down to eat. By this stage I was in a group of about 10 Lao men of which a couple spoke reasonable English. I bought 5 bottles of beer Lao for the group which was well appreciated. Whilst we were eating men were singing and there was another guy on a key board. to be honest they sound really good, this continued all they way through the day/evening.
        When the women had eaten all the tables and benches were moved off the the side to make a dance floor…Ummm…when in Rome! I was sat drinking and smoking with the men and a village woman, probably in her early 20’s took a bit of a shine to me and kept asking me to dance, and feed me alcohol, all the men and women who were there were dancing and singing and having a really good time. Then they brought out some big clay urns filled with what looked like wheat chaff and other stuff, I later found out it was rice particals, with long bamboo straws sticking in them, and the villagers took it in turns to sit and fill up the urns with water, and keep them topped up. The stuff was like a wine and the straw was passed round the group sat round the urns. Whilst it was kept filled with water, it was quite potent stuff. More sing and dancing until it started to get dark, which was around 1830hrs.


        IMG_1549 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1550 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

        IMG_1551 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        Food, spoons and more importantly the Lao Whiskey

        IMG_1552 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        The guy in the blue denim jacket spoke ok English and the guy in the red sleeved shirt on the right was Ban Chom Ong's answer to Elvis when he got going


        IMG_1557 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        One of the solitary cups being filled and passed round

        IMG_1560 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        The woman in the pink jacket took a bit of a shine to me and kept asking me to dance (middle of pic)

        IMG_1565 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
        All done, now retired

        Comment


        • #79
          Day 27 Oudomxay to Ban Chom Ong Part 4

          IMG_1567 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

          IMG_1568 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

          IMG_1571 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
          My host

          IMG_1577 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
          The dreaded wine Urns

          IMG_1582 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
          Sat round the Urns

          IMG_1564 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

          IMG_1576 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
          The Urns and dancing

          My host then took me back to his home where I had more food, fish cooked on an open fire and sticky rice, only hands were used for eating, I was sat with his wife, brothers, and grandmother.
          Once we had eaten he took me back to my hut as I didn’t have a clue where I was as it was pitch black by this time. Once at the hut he went back home and I grabbed my torch and went back to the party which was dwindling down, my female friend had gone, more rice wine was in order before I stumbled back to the hut where I went straight to sleep, alcohol induced haha.
          What I thought was going to be long and boring day turn into an exceptional day/evening and I was made very welcome by all at the party. Well worth the time and very glad I decided to go.
          All done, now retired

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Lonerider View Post
            I was quite taken aback by the way the women tended all the men, sorting the food, pouring the drinks etc.
            It's what Laos women do, their job is to take care of the men of the house.

            I'm sure women (and some men) over here would go PC crazy if thy were asked to do the same but different cultures etc. etc.

            It's great being married to a Laotian
            Only took 2 and half years. Thai Air finally coughed up my 2020 cancelled flight dosh

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Gary & Nok View Post
              It's what Laos women do, their job is to take care of the men of the house.

              I'm sure women (and some men) over here would go PC crazy if thy were asked to do the same but different cultures etc. etc.

              It's great being married to a Laotian
              It was all a total first for me.
              Haha yeah I bet they would, mind you saying that, Ohmmy does a lot for me, and has a job as well, it took me ages for her to let me get involved
              It was a great time, I was made to feel so welcome and to be part of the atmosphere was super
              All done, now retired

              Comment


              • #82
                A bit of video...Riding into Ban Chom Ong

                Ban Chom Ong by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                Couldn't get in to embed, it plays through my Flickr account
                All done, now retired

                Comment


                • #83
                  Only got a load of script there Lonerider, no video
                  Only took 2 and half years. Thai Air finally coughed up my 2020 cancelled flight dosh

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Gary & Nok View Post
                    Only got a load of script there Lonerider, no video
                    Just updated it, cheers
                    All done, now retired

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Brilliant!

                      If only the whole journey were on video
                      Only took 2 and half years. Thai Air finally coughed up my 2020 cancelled flight dosh

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Day 28 Ban Chom Ong to Luang Namtha
                        Woke up with a cracking hangover, but had a good 9hrs sleep and sorted out my kit ready to pack the bike, this was at about 0630hrs, it was still dark outside, so glad I brought a torch with me

                        The plan was to ride to Phonsali today and then go further up north to the Chinese border. However when I went out side my initial thoughts came true as I could hear the noise on the roof of the hut, it was raining. In fact it wasn’t just raining it was lashing it down. Not good..
                        I had about 14km to do before I got on to some tarmac, what a hard 14 km it was. The track had turned to a slippery top surface of mud which yet again was like riding over ice. So very slowly and precariously I made my way along the track, had to do two river crossing, one of which was a straight ride through after a very slippery slope down to the water, how I didn’t end up in the river i’ll never know. The second was a wooden log bridge, the logs had been laid bank to bank and not side on, and there was big gaps in the logs, big enough for a tyre to fit between. So it was off the bike and keeping it in first gear I walked the bike across using the engine to move the bike along. Once cleared it was back on the very slippery track and heading for the 13N, that took me about an hour to do.

                        Finally I got to the main road and by this time I was well and truly drenched and extremely cold. Bearing in mind I am only wearing my motocross gear, glad I was, more to come…

                        I set the GPS to a road junction where I was then going to turn left and head for Phonsali, but… as I was going down the 13N towards the junction I was on a down hill stretch which was very twisty so I was only going very slowly as I could see diesel all over the place, any way I came slowly round this left hand bend and that that it the front went straight from underneath me, I went down quite hard but the bike used me as a cushion, thankfully, and we both slid down hill for about 10 feet before coming to a stop in a verge. Managed to get the bike off me and picked it up, Bike ok, just a scrapped clutch leaver, happy with that, I have got a bruised elbow, but the full body armour certainly did its job, the motocross shirt is a bit shredded so is off in the bin. So apart from a bruised elbow where it clattered against the elbow protectors, all it good.
                        So I was now wet, cold and hurting. Got to the junction of the 13N and a road near Namotay and looked at the road, not good and I decided against traveling it. I am here to enjoy it and not do any unnecessary risk. So I set of for Luang Namtha a few days early. It was still 50k’s before I got there, and it was a long, wet, cold 50k’s. Eventually got here for about 1045hrs and rode up the main street looking for a place to get a room.
                        I found the ManyChan Guesthouse and Restaurant N21.00251° E101.40943° on the main drag and went in to see if they had a room after having two coffees to try and warm up. I got a room, clean with luke warm water and wifi in the restaurant area. The poor lady in the Guesthouse was following me about with the mop as I was dripping water all over the place. Hot shower and food was in order. Then to plan what I am going to do next?

                        Hence not many photos today


                        IMG_1586 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1587 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1588 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1589 by Wayne 66, on Flickr


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

                        Day 29 Cold and damp in Luang Namtha
                        Spent it in Luang Namtha, it rained till gone 1200hrs and it was really cold, to top it all there was no hot water and we had a power cut till 1330hrs.
                        Went out for a walk and had a pizza across the road and he even had hot coffee on (thx again Bob), bonus! Gave me something to do whilst I watched the guys fix the power cables


                        IMG_1591 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1592 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1593 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1594 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                        IMG_1595 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                        Seafood special, very tasty

                        I met a couple from the UK, Russ and Emma, they were very nice and we ended up spending the evening together in the guesthouse, chatting, eating and drinking. They didn’t know where they were going to next so we discussed where I had been and their options. It was nice to have a good light hearted conversation.IMG_1597 by Wayne 66, on Flickr
                        Russ and Emma

                        Elbow is the size of a golf ball, glad to be resting up, gloves and body armour are still wet through, can't wait to put them on tomorrow!
                        All done, now retired

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          A few videos, just click on the picture, they play through my Flickr

                          Day 22 VV to Phonsavan

                          VV to Phonsavan on the 9303:9308 by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Day 24 Phonsavan to Nong Khiaw

                          1C by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          Day 25 Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay

                          1C:13N from Nong Khiaw to Oudomxay by Wayne 66, on Flickr

                          I am not very good at editing but you get the picture
                          All done, now retired

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Brilliant. Nice roads , the type I recognise from trips to our house there.
                            Only took 2 and half years. Thai Air finally coughed up my 2020 cancelled flight dosh

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              With every installment, there is always a part where I think; "Mmm, wouldn't fancy that on my Kawasaki VN900 Custom"! What with the terrain, dirt track roads, ford river crossings and diesel spills!! True that diesel spills will have you off in any country wherever you are, the difference with a 300 kg cruiser would have been me laying with the bike on top of me, broken leg, just waiting for a group of blokes to happen along and help!! Thinks you made a good choice for your ride, Wayne!!

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                When I lived in west africa we used to spray the dirt road with old generator oil to reduce dust levels in the dry season , often wondered about the number of bikers falling off ooops.
                                Mind you never bothered me on mine but I did tend to be sober. It sort of formed a hard crust.
                                It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.

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