Lucky Timing & Good Friends

Mark Rossi

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
Lucky Timing and Good Friends
The beginning of October must be one of the most beautiful times of the year to ride into Laos.
A 5 month build up of precipitation peaking in September has subsided, there is still a little rainfall about in October but not enough to dampen a riders spirits.
The farmers of Northern Thailand and Laos are soon to reap the rewards for the crops they have sewn 5 months earlier, but before the rice turns to head the rice excretes a fluorescent green glow, adding this to the background drops of cloud cladded mountains, limestone cliff's, rivers and villagers the scenery is spectacular


Our journey was to begin in Chiang Mai, 5 mates would take a day ride to Chiang Khong the gateway in the North of Thailand to cross the Mekong River into Houei Xai in Laos. Here David Silver Hawk and Rex would head home to Chiang Mai. Myself, Pikey and Marcus would carry on and take the ferry boat across the Mekong into Laos.

The boys riding Along the Mekong River coming into Chiang Khong David leading followed by Pikey then Rex


Exporting and importing the bikes from country to country takes a little time, we started the process at 8:30 am and where on the road heading out of Houei Xai on Hwy 3 to Luang Nam Tha by 1pm.




Hwy 3 is a joyous road of Mountain corner switch backs which last for 2hrs until we reached Luang Nam Tha riding these Laos roads you had better be able to ride with only 1 hand on the bars, as the other hand will be busy waving to the hundreds of children that run out to the side of the roads to greet you.


Pikey on the Triumph Bonni



Roadworks is Hard Yaka in Laos
Pikey coming into Luang Nam Tha making his way through the hundreds of school children on bikes with umbrella's

Our next days ride would be From Luang Nam Tha to Luang Praubang but along the way we would do a short 40km detour
to Boten a tiny city on the skirts of the Chinese border where the Chinese have built a casino and run customers from
China to try there luck every day.
Pikey and Marcus with a proof of location photo

The Chinese have a acquired taste for food, this was the menu at a restaurant we chose not to eat at



Hwy 13 for the first lets say 140km to near Song Cha is rough and run down with short exposed sections of dirt, you can expect to average around 45-50km per hour here, passing through the villagers seeing the peoples simple way of living and waving to the kids smiling faces will keep you entertained through this section, sometimes the smiling faces can turn to fear if you stop to take a photo they may disperse and sprint for their life
Marcus tackling a little mud on his Honda XR 250

roadside market



It seemed on this trip every time we went above a altitude of 800m above sea level we would hit the drizzle and rain, not that i minded it just seemed to add to the atmosphere
The road improved coming up to Song Cha at 1200m above sea level. We sat on a 70km average pace down the other side of the Mountain to Pak Moeng, following the Nam Ou, then the Mekong river into Luang Praubang.

Nam Ou notice the fisherman throwing a net in the lower r.h.s. corner


Marcus takes a beer on the banks of the Mekong 15km north of Luang Praubang

Luang Praubang is definately the Jewel along the Mekong a absolutely enchanting city. We met up with Clement and Helen, bike riders traveling through Luang Praubang and joined for dinner overlooking the river

The road from Luang Praubang to Vang Vieng takes 6hrs riding time, and it is well documented as one of the most spectacular motorcycle riding roads for adventure bikes, the views are breathtaking and just as you drop out of the mountain range thinking wow that was fantastic the scenery just keeps getting better all the way into Vang Vieng












We had beers and slept in the backpacker haunt of Vang Vieng this night. We would only have 150km to reach the Laos capital of Vientiane tomorrow.
Friday would see the last day that i ride with Pikey and Marcus, tomorrow the boys would cross the Friendship bridge back
into Thailand and i would make my way back north through Laos.
The 50km of road from Vang Vieng to Hin Hoeup it very beat up and today is alot hotter as we where out of the cool
of the mountains and forest, it seems like a tuff little stretch after 4 days in the saddle and simply just not having the beauty we have become accustom too. Pikey decides to ring Jimoi for advice on a Vientiane hotel, Jimoi also threw in the added advice of a new route to relieve our sore bums and boredom, so we take a left down onto the Lik River
ferry to the other side and come in Vientiane on the more enjoyable route of Hwy 10


Wow what a amazing country and people, my poor photography skills just don't show the true colours of the landscape
nor the atmosphere of the country, Lao is truly a paradise.
Thanks Phil, this trip was from 2008. I have a back log of trip reports as time allows I will post them.
Nice, excellent report. 6hrs riding time from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng? Is the road bad? We will be passing through the same route mid april 2011.
The road is good, however you average about 60km/hour on this section. With stops, fuel and photos it is easy to blow the time out to 6 hrs.
Thanks. Good to know the 6 hours includes photo stops and breaks.
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