Xepon/ Sepon to Saravan/ Salavan - The Ho Chi Minh Trail (in Laos)

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Back onto the powdery unmade road and south we go


P1000978_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




Not too smokey - we can see a pretty long way



P1000983_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




A few fun little ford crossings along the way


P1000984_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





South of Xepon there are 1,000's of bomb shell casings littering the area



P1000985_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





They make great stilt legs for buildings


P1000986_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





P1000989_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





P1000990_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





P1000991_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




P1000992_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
A few more shell legs


P1010003_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr






There's so many in this village



P1010005_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





P1010006_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr






Amazing pace to the way the roads in southern Laos are being widened and graded and shingled


P1010007_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Next village some more bomb legs


P1010008_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





This must have been a munition base with the amount of old fuel drums in one place



P1010010_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





The crop spraying wholesaler was in town


P1010011_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Then south onto the trail thats not on many maps


P1010012_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Looks like they're going to bypass the trail with a big graded road. Its pretty steep and rocky/ rutted



P1010014_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




P1010015_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Small village towards the end of the trail



P1010017_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




They were fascinated by us, you can tell by the villagers' reactions whether they see motorbikes coming through or not


P1010020_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Stick bridge, we wernt sure if this would take the weight of the loaded crf's


P1010022_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




Other side looked ok


P1010024_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Was much more stable than expected


P1010026_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




P1010027_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





10,000 Kip toll


P1010025_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





One more river crossing



P1010030_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




Then back out onto the hard top


P1010031_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
North of Saravan, another destroyed bridge


P1010033_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




Vietnam border is only 77km away


P1010039_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





10km down yet another destroyed bridge


P1010040_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr




This plant had a rotating separator pipe, must be produce from a mine



P1010043_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr





Into Saravan, a basic room for 130,000 kip, good food was close by so no big problem


P1010044_edited by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda XR250 Baja BMW F650GS
Some additional pictures of this days riding.

New bridge over the Xepon river alongside the old suspension bridge.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Preserved section of the old French cobble trail, surprised this is not more carefully kept.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Unusual style spirit house, only saw them in this area.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

One of the many bore holes provided by world vision.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

This caught my eye as it looked unnatural, had the look of trenches ?

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Made a slight detour to visit the bamboo bridge in Nong.

2015-04-01 09.39.13 by bsacbob, on Flickr

Aircraft fuel cell boat.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

War scrap school bell.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Back on the trail bomb casing everywhere.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Clearly very heavily bombed and remnants everywhere.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Marking left by UXO disposal teams.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Another donated bore hole.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Inquisitive kid's

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Appeared everywhere we looked more bomb casings being used for construction.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Views spoiled by the smog.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

One of several concrete water crossings.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

The ever present march of the power poles.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Soon we reached Tagnong village which had been heavily bombed.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Almost all the houses had some sort of war scrap supporting it.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Bomb fragments all over.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Bomb craters.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Curious eyes.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Anvil i was told was made from shrapnel.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Family resemblance.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

The trail on the gps ended here but Auke had told their was a way through onto a nice trail that will soon disappear as the road progresses.

Great views down to the Lanong river.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Small mining set up.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Nice trail down to the river.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

We reached the water crossing stick bridge, carefully concealed toll booth in orange.

2015-04-01 12.16.04 by bsacbob, on Flickr

Phil making the crossing.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Soon after another one, easily navigated.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Bombed / washed out bridge near Ta Oy

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Phil making a closer inspection.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

Reaching Saravan, this bicycle seller fully loaded.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr

After a nice day's riding we found the conveniently placed Sokmixay GH complete with karaoke for the night.

Untitled by bsacbob, on Flickr
 

Lone Rider

Blokes Who Can
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
Chiangmai
Bikes
4 Wheels
Out of Xepon and south across the old suspension bridge



The old suspension bridge is still there but the bridge is no longer in use (but still open and accessible) as the new bridge is now ready and open for the traffic. The first 18 km. of the road from Dong to Nong is now paved and they are working hard to get the whole road ready and probably paved before the next rainy season starts.

20160214_115548.jpg

The long bamboo bridge south-west of Nong has got some competition and a second bamboo bridge has been constructed at the ford in the river where trucks can cross a bit further to the west

Second bamboo bridge.jpg
Copyright picture I.B.Gatenby
 
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