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Thread: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    It's better late than never...

    I took 3 mates for a ride this year, they have been keen for a trip since I started doing these.
    2 of them not the most confident or experienced of riders, so we may have been in for some... let's say different experiences.

    Photos are from each day, but not neseccarialy in the correct order

    Day 1 & 2
    Chiang Mai - Huay Sai
    Got the bikes & set them up ready for the off early tomorrow morning.
    Two of the guys got horribly pissed & one of them stupidly ate a sandwich in one of the bars. Throwing up at a fuel stop, almost falling asleep on the bike & running off the road, needing to stop for emergency craps & a sleep.
    2 hours to get through Laos customs, take 3 copies of everything, take 3 copies of everything, take 3 copies of everything.
    Met some other riders booking into the guesthouse then later at dinner. Not the most talkaive or friendly person.









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    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 3
    Huay Sai - Muang Long
    Piss about in the morning trying to get some Kip as we got in late in the arvo.
    Light shower but I confiently predict it won't rain. Well not today anyway.
    First creek crossings, slippery roads, crazy locals, bikes pointing the wrong way, laughs in Xaingdao, beer & food in Xiengkok, vomiting on a bailey bridge.














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    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 4
    Muang Long - Luang Nam Tha

    Cool markets & bush meat.
    Mild concussion hitting my head on the footbridge cross beam. Not bike friendly anyway so we had to find the correct one.
    Lots of rain.
    Slates breaks his ankle with rookie error, don't give the bike a squirt on concrete culvert! Rode the rest of the trip with a hairline fracture.
    More rain.
    Lots of river crossings
    Dire warnings of Police roadblock/checkpoint from local coming the other way. Get there & they're all inside out of the rain. Breeze through.
    GPS dies, touch screen comes off. Luckily brought old backup.
    First experience with the pink & orange clay of Laos
    Helping a local with his flat tyre, in the rain
    In bed before 11 on New Years Eve

































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    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 5
    Luang Nam Tha - Nale - Oudamxai

    Lots more river crossings.
    Little rain
    Drunk villagers trying to get beer out of us.
    No real problems today










































  5. #5
    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 6
    OudamXai - Buon Thai - Samphanh... or so we thought.

    Today the fun started.
    Torrential rain.
    Mud, mud & a bit more mud
    Broken motorbike. Braked to hard to miss a child & went down. Bike now stuck in first gear for around 40 klm's
    15 klm's from our destination & the road just ends at the waters edge, we can't go any further & it's getting dark.
    12 klm's back up the slippery, muddy very winding hill to Phouchang-Kao village.
    Bribe family 200,000 kip to spend the night at their place. All four of us sleep in the food store/guest room.
    We are now the local side show.
    Extremley hospitable people, we get food (instant noodles), some local whiskey & try finding out how to get to Samphanh.
    Showing them photos on the mobile phone. Come across old one of bike on canoe, DING!, they all point & shout Samphanh, Sampanh.
    Well now we know what's in store for the morning.
    Around 9pm they point at the room & unceremoniously say, "you go home now" Looks like it's bed time.



























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    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 7
    Phouchang-Kao village - Samphanh - Muang Khua

    Great sleep, noodles for breakfast, still pissing down.
    We wait until around 9am (getting in the way of our very gracious hosts while he husks his rice) for the rain to ease off.
    Wonder how we will find a boat when we reach the waters edge. Luckily a local is there & rings for one for himself. There's a board there with a number on it but none

    of us have a Laos sim in our phone or speak Lao. Even if we could have called, me yelling "Falang boat Samphanh, Falang boat Samphanh" probably wouldn't have worked

    anyway.
    Boat arrives & is too small so Mr Ferryman rings for a bigger one. A 10 minute boat ride to the newly constructed hydro dam wall then into Samphanh. Only 3 bikes fit

    in the canoe so it's done in 2 trips.
    Before leaving Chiang Mai, Lan from C&P gave us a spare sprocket shaft envisioning & explaining this may happen, so lucky us.
    No mechanics will fix the bike here so in very bad & limited Thai, we arrange for BJ & his bike to get to Muang Khua via taxi. I think 600,000 kip was he cost for the

    50klm trip








































    More to come, but hopefully not in 4 months time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lone Rider's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Ah, this looks like a classic Crusty Quinns adventure - rain, mud and a fun. By the way, I talked to the guy who you met in Huay Xai - a fellow Aussie living in Bangkok. According to him your bikes were not dirty enough so he considered you guys to be nice weather/paved roads offriders and therefore not up to his standards.

    Look forward to more of the pictures of your adventures.
    "Life is what happens to you while busy making other plans"

  8. #8
    Senior Member bsacbob's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Great stuff Mr Pounce, look's like the Nale trail is still as good as ever, some fun water crossings.
    You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye.

    http://bsacbob.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Administrator KTMphil's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Awesome adventure, really capturing it well, thanks for taking us along with you.
    In the end we all just end up as a story (make sure yours is a interesting one)





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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 8

    Muang Khua

    Bike repair, clothes washing, beer & food.
    Resting the broken ankle.


















    Day 9

    Muang Khua - Nong khiew

    Over the mountain.
    BJ has a head on crash with a scooter, local was on the wrong side of the road. No one hurt so we straightened his gear lever then took off before anyone else showed up.
    Long overdue massage.








































    Last edited by bsacbob; 03 May 2016 at 19:27.

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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 10
    Nongkhiao - Viang Thong - Ban Xon-Nua

    Misty morning, in & out of the clouds
    Bump into the Aussie father & sons we met in CNX & HuaySai
    Local kids & their toys.
    Roadblock so we stopped at a village asking for a donation before they would let us through. Pinned a flower on our sleeves.
    Vietnamese influenced village. Only food is a choice of 3 Pho shops.
    Surprisingly good guesthouse.
    Great food, lots of beer. One of the best stops on the trip
    Sadly, dog in a cage waiting to be ordered for dinner.





































  12. #12
    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 11
    Ban Xon-Nua - Samneua - ViengXai

    Morning market for a look
    Hella lot of roadworks
    Getting around & through all the roadworks by sheer gall.
    Angry backhoe drivers.
    Friendly backhoe drivers making a path for us.
    But sometimes, you just have to wait.
    Clear & distant vistas up high
    Abandoned airport frolics



































  13. #13
    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Day 12, the longest day

    ViengXai - (Muang Xam Tai turnoff) - Namuen - Muang Kham

    This was the longest hardest day. I've not read any reports of others doing this route. It is so worth doing!
    We left around 8am as the Indian place, while great food is very very slow.
    Vieng Xai to the M. Xam Tai turnoff is a main hwy. Good winding road.
    The rest through to Hwy 7 a mixture of dodgy single trail, wide old unused powerline roads, (poles but no wires), slippery snotty mountain hills, creek crossings, dark valleys & bright mountain ridges.
    Fully fenced in, remote & very poor villages where not only the kids but the adults were shy & hid away from us.
    Major river crossing in & out of a canoe then 80 klms on dirt & tar at night.
























    This was my first unintentional swim in a river.
    The ferry dude tried loading 2 bikes upright on the boat. He was used to light scooters & riders, not these bikes & fat falangs. I kept saying no but he insisted it was OK.
    As soon as the bottom of the boat left the shore I knew we were going in the drink as it was that top heavy & unstable, so I'm shouting at him this time, he concedes &

    as we're trying to get out, both bikes, BJ & me go in the drink.
    Never throw your $800 helmet in a shit fit.
    No photos of the spill because if you look at the second photo, imagine this scene.

    You see that truck, well as we're going swimming it's rolling backwards down the hill towards the other 2 guys. They're panicking trying to get their bikes & get out of the way of it. A bunch of the locals are yelling & trying to throw rocks under the tyres. The ferryman & his wife are trying to bail out the boat yelling, me & BJ are trying to pick up submerged bikes, you guessed it, yelling. Luckily they didn't drown the bikes.
    Lots of noise, swearing, laughs & water involved here. We end up laying the bikes on their sides & doing it in 4 crossings.
    We get charged for 5 though as as far as I can tell, the spill into the water was classed as one. Cheeky sod even rocked the boat on the other crossings to put the wind up us.
    There is no bridge, although a major one is being built just up stream.
    I want to go back here, this spot is only 3 klm's upstream from the Vietnam border.

    Now me & BJ are soaked to the skin, helmets full of water & it's now getting close to dark. Only 80 odd klm's to go.
    We get into Muang Kham around 8 that night, cold wet & needing food









  14. #14
    Administrator KTMphil's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Lucky you didnt drown the bikes!
    In the end we all just end up as a story (make sure yours is a interesting one)





  15. #15
    Junior Member EndoJim's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Great Adventure... Your account of falling into the river is funny as hell... Look like the ferry driver just barely got his shorts wet.
    Last edited by bsacbob; 03 May 2016 at 19:15. Reason: Picture duplicates removed

  16. #16
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Great locations, spectacular views especially the one where the clouds were lower in the background. What was the part that Lan asked you to bring along? Do you have photo?

  17. #17
    Senior Member bsacbob's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    I do recall a certain Mr Pounce taking the piss when the same thing happened to me with a canoe crossing great stuff mate i will have to try that route from Vieng Xai next time.
    You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye.

    http://bsacbob.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Administrator KTMphil's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Quote Originally Posted by bsacbob View Post
    I do recall a certain Mr Pounce taking the piss when the same thing happened to me with a canoe crossing great stuff mate i will have to try that route from Vieng Xai next time.

    Sound very irresponsible (never happened to me)


    In the end we all just end up as a story (make sure yours is a interesting one)





  19. #19
    Administrator KTMphil's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Trying to figure out what tracks you took from Vieng Xai, looks like something like this?


    pounce vx by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
    In the end we all just end up as a story (make sure yours is a interesting one)





  20. #20
    Senior Member Pounce's Avatar
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    Re: Laos January 2016 - Comedy of Errors

    Mr Bob & Mr Phil, I'll add a link to the GPS tracks at the end of the report.
    Phil, only half right.

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