LAOS - Is the road past Nam Ngum 3 Power Station open to the public? - Vientianne or Vang Vieng to Long Tieng

Michael R

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Hi, I will drive from Vientianne to Long Tieng soon and I find what looks like an interesting gravel road going east from Phonsavang (15 km south east of Vang Vieng) in OSMAnd. The road is called Namone - Nasaysavang road or Nam Ngone – Long Cheng road. The road goes on and passes Nam Ngum 3 Power Station at 18.996967418011568, 102.82511650218161 before it connects with road 9308 and then road 9303 in OSMAnd (totally 126 km) but doesn't go all the way in Google Maps.

Anyone knows if the road is open to the public past the powerstation? Shorter than the Tha Huea Rd, no boat ride.

Thanks Michael
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Snakeboy

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Honda Crf 250L 2012, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere 2011
I think thats the road I rode january 2020. I came from Xayabouli, had lunch in Vang Vieng and continued a few kms south and did a left turn. Then rode for 3-4 hours on a partly quite bad gravel road before I suddenly hit asphalt the last 20-30 kms to Long Tieng.

So yes it was open then in 2020 if we are talking about the same road.
As we know most maps are useless when your outside of main roads in Laos.

However the road is quite bad and I rode it on a Crf 250 with 50/50 tyres. And I would not have ridden that road with a road bike with road tyres.
 

Snakeboy

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Dec 30, 2013
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Honda Crf 250L 2012, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere 2011
I think thats the road I rode january 2020. I came from Xayabouli, had lunch in Vang Vieng and continued a few kms south and did a left turn. Then rode for 3-4 hours on a partly quite bad gravel road before I suddenly hit asphalt the last 20-30 kms to Long Tieng.

So yes it was open then in 2020 if we are talking about the same road.
As we know most maps are useless when your outside of main roads in Laos.

However the road is quite bad and I rode it on a Crf 250 with 50/50 tyres. And I would not have ridden that road with a road bike with road tyres.
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Michael R

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Dec 22, 2022
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Thailand
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Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I think that's the same road. It's the old Vang Vieng - Long Tieng road. I have searched the internet and I find some Facebook pages from villages and people. Totally 125 km, it looks like the first 55-60 km or so are quite OK, to be a Laos gravel road of course. Everything is relative. Then comes a bad part until it hits the "main" road from the south. We'll come from Nong Khai in the morning, Long Tieng normally takes 2 days but I'm thinking of cutting a day by using the good road toward Vang Vieng, all up to how smooth the border crossing is of course but I have passed the intersection where the road starts by 1 PM in the past. It should give us 5 hours of daylight.

I'm interested in that you wrote - I would not have ridden that road with a road bike with road tyres.
OK, we are quite experienced, no stranger to bad roads. I drive a Royal Enfield 650 road bike with road tires though. Oho. We go mid February

So, it's Laos so the big question is: How bad is - the road is quite bad? It could be almost unpassable or bad enough to damage the bikes or difficult even if you know what you're doing or.... The road in the picture you showed looks OK, no problems. Parts of the road will be worse for sure.

Sorry for the difficult question: How bad is bad? :unsure::)

Michael
 

Snakeboy

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Honda Crf 250L 2012, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere 2011
The pics are from the best parts of the road. Im waaay to focused to get through the worst parts to stop and thake photos.

This was almost 3 years ago so a lot could have changed of course. As I remember it the road deteriorated quite quickly after taking of those few kms south of Vang Vieng and mostly stayed bad. It was lose sand - up to 10-15 centimeters of that stuff, and at times some rocks the size of fists thrown in at the worst stretches. It was of course some stretches where the gravel was relatively firm but not many and not long. I spent 4-5 hours with almost no breaks on that leg, and the last 35 kms was paved so one could ride quite fast.

It was a lot of riding in 1. and 2. gear, actually most of the time. And the Crf250 is very low geared compared to a 650. And I would not have ridden that road with a 650 street bike with street tyres! By all means - Im not a hard core offroad rider in any sense of the expression but I have ridden around the world on a motorbike - so I have passed through some relatively bad roads.

I dont say you shouldnt ride that road with your bike, you know your skills and bikes best yourself - so that decission must be upon yourselves…..
 

Snakeboy

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Dec 30, 2013
Location
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Honda Crf 250L 2012, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere 2011
Another rider just came through there, riding south from Phonsavan to Long Tieng and then to Vang Vieng.

Here is his description of that stretch:



«Going south out of Long Chieng the tarmac is fantastic quality for the first 20 or so km. Then it falls apart and rough in places. Still easy just don't go too fast. We peeled off to head towards Vang Vieng so don't know the road quality after here.

The track short cut the Vang Vieng is pretty nasty. First part just rocks and rocks and stones and rocks until you catch up with the road works from 13 N heading west. It must have been 80 km of bull dust and crap. An adventure for sure. But don't even think about it if looking for an easy ride. The last 20 km to the 13 N is ok. So if starting from that section, don't get fooled it is like this all the way. Use to be a really nice track through here. I would wait a season or two before having another go and hopefully most things have settled down . The bull dust in places is almost half way up the tyres and then you get a truck and have to pull out of the other truck tracks in to thick bull dust and wait for the white out to finish.

Then arrived in Vang Vieng»

I think Brian rides a Husky 701, a very capable offroadbike - so you can imagine coming through there on a roadbike with roadtyres….
 
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