Offroad from Luang Prabang via Sam Soun to Nong Khiew

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
Bikes
4 Wheels
Got bored riding the paved road from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiew and decided to explore the offroad option via Pak Xeng to Rd 1C at Sam Soun and then looping back to Nong Khiew. It is considerable longer than the asphalt option but the views along the dirt roads made this a very enjoyable ride. From Luang Prabang take Rd 13 in the direction of Pak Mong.

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After the bridge over the Nam Xuang turn right (about 17 km from the Airport junction in Luang Prabang) at the sign to Pak Xeng. The road is quite flat and easy going.

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The road basically runs along the Nam Xuang river. About 59 km from the turnoff from Rd 13 (about 4.5 km before you reach Pak Xeng) there is a small waterfall on the north side of the road and although the waterfall is not more than a trickle of water, it is nice spot for a rest.

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Once Pak Xeng is behind you, the fun starts. The road narrows and rises from about 350 meters to 1050 meter over a distance of about 10 km.

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Although it was steep and the road quite narrow, my truck had no problems at all but in case it would have been raining I would not have made it. Basically the track was dry and dusty all the way but I assume that early morning, some parts could be a bit slippery due to dew dripping on the road. The views are terrific along the track although it was a bit hazy here and there.

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There are very few junctions along the way but near the end there is a T junction which may cause problems as the sign that was previously there had disappeared

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Once past the junction the track the track was livened up by sunflowers growing wild along the road.

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The unpaved part was about 120 km and it took me about 5 hours but I made frequent stops and small detours.
 

Mark Rossi

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Nice report "Lone Ranger" It worth noting this dirt road is all season access, and I believe is at its best in the wet season.
 

bigntall

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Catching up on all the Ride Reports now and nice to see Lone Rider checking this one out. A nice route to break up the asphalt for sure as you can hole up in Nong Khiew which is always a pleasant and scenic stay once you get to road 1C hang a left and 20 minutes later you're in Nong Khiew. Nong Khiew is a much nicer stay than if you were to go right on 1c and stay in the other village on the river farther down (forget the name and no Laos map to reference).

Thanks for the report Lone Rider.
 
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