Short trip to Luang Prabang via Hongsa (February 2011)

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Jan 29, 2011
4 Wheels
Made a quick trip to Luang Prabang to show my son the sights. Entered Laos at Muang Ngeun - trouble free on the Thai side.

The Thai Immigration and Customs building at Huay Khon


Looking into Laos from the Thai border crossing

On the Lao side it took some more time as the young guys in green stationed at the barrier where you enter Laos were showing of who the boss is - my son had to get out of the car, walk a few meters over the border and then get into the car again before we could proceed to Hongsa.By the way, the booths on the left side is where you can buy insurance while the white building a bit further away houses the Immigration and Customs.



Just before reaching Hongsa a lot of digging is going on for the construction of the Hongsa Power Plant

Stayed the night at the Monica Jumbo GH as almost all other places were fully booked as there are a lot of people, involved with the construction of the power plant are staying in Hongsa


Monica Jumbo GH in Hongsa at night

Early morning a quick dash to the market to see if wildlife was for sale. Other than a few squirels it looked like that all the other meat was OK.


From Hongsa there are several options to go to Luang Prabang - the long way via Xayaboury and the short way straight to the east. The latter road has been upgraded and several of the difficult parts have been replaced by new parts.

The old road going straight on with the new part running along the hill and below the old road joing again from the left.

The road is now quite good and it took us about 4 hours to reach Luang Prabang from Hongsa. Along the way there are numerous river crossings (9 if I counted correctly) but most of them are small so pose no problems during the dry season.


The "most difficult" river crossing.

There are several ways to get to this road from Hongsa - head north from the Hongsa stadium along an unpaved road or take the asphalt road to the east. The asphalt option is by far the easiest as it cuts out 5 river crossings.


The route and the profile of the road can be found here: 3-brits-2-septics-ride-for-laos-part-4-t140.html

There are several villages along the road and the larger ones have fuel available (in drum) while drinks and basic food are also no problem. Near the end there is a small waterfall but, as there was not a lot of water, it was not very impressive.

Crossing the Mekong at Luang Prabang was again a waiting game and we had to wait for the second ferry crossing the river from Luang Prabang that our ferry skipper had to leave his berth.


Evening time having a well earned cold one and good food while enjoying the sunset.
Thanks LR. Do you think the R1200gs is ok for the route. Intend to ride the route mid april. Thanks for the useful post.
Difficult to say as I don't ride bikes but with regard to the condition of the road I would say it should not pose big problems possibly with the exception of the river crossing shown in my post as it is muddy and steepish. Hope Phil (who is on the road in Laos at the moment) will reply also as he has done that road on his KTM 990.

When are you planning to do this trip? The period between 11 and 17 April is a crazy time both in Thailand and Laos with a lot of water throwing going on (traditional new year celebration - Songkran in Thailand and Pii Mai in Laos).
It would be much nicer to do the road on a lighter DP bike the size between a 250 to a 650 single. But we have to start from KL and have 3000km of tarmac to cover before we reach Chiangmai, so the bigger GS is the best compromise. We ( 4 of us ) plan to be in Chiangmai from 11th to 15th April before heading for ChiangRai then onwards to Laos and Cambodia. We would also rather be off our bikes during the water fights.

We hope to meet Phil in Chiangmai and get his input to refine our route.
Robert did this route with me on his africa twin with no difficulty....I think no problem for a 1200gs, it's quite easy in the dry season
Think I would go hungry on such as trip...

BBQ rat?? and what looks like insentiences....Oh dear

It's such a shame I eat with my eyes....anybody tried it??
The same market sells doughnuts and coffee! You don't have to eat what the locals eat. Hongsa is a great market for photos, not many tourists get there apart from the elephant festival in February.
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