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Ride Tales An easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. See the announcement in the forum for details on posting. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
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  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2012
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The Ho Chi min trail and the lost Temples of Laos

Hello to all, this is my first post on HU....

I'm a 46 year old Motor Vehicle Tutor from London, been riding most of my life around Europe, last year I did a little trail riding in Thailand and really enjoyed it. The roads at home are so congested I'm no longer riding and just use the AX1 to commute, the SMT will be sold when I get home.

I always new of Laos but never really understood that most of the HM trails where there, once I figured it out I started reading about it I was hooked. I love the Asian way of life and started to plan my trip.

The idea was to go see as much war stuff as possible...

What a trip this would turn out to be.....

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Last edited by Steve canyon; 9 Jan 2012 at 04:30. Reason: Poor eye sight
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  #2  
Old 2 Jan 2012
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Hi matey
Good to see you on-board and meeting you in in CMX. Looking forward to your ride-report.

Happy New Year.
Chris
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  #3  
Old 2 Jan 2012
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Hi Steve, I'll have a cooking pot, scrubbing brush and a pair of flip-flops please.
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  #4  
Old 2 Jan 2012
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tagging along
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  #5  
Old 3 Jan 2012
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heading there next so following with interest!!!
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  #6  
Old 6 Jan 2012
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Thank you Chris,Twobob, CY and Rixxy for you reply, Twobob I only have Flip flop's up to size 6, have some more on order should have them next week...

Well I'm back home so the trip is complete. I'm proud of what I have done and humbled buy what I have seen. People always ask me why do you do it, I don't really know, the fact I travel alone seems to mystify them even more, I hope this report will turn up all the answers...

Are you scared of nothing? this was the last thing the Wife said to me before she stamped my months Kitchen pass...I would remember these words at various times of the trip.

Seemed strange that my trip into Laos would start at Udorn as this is where most of the Planes in the Secret war would be based, I did not plan this but hey great place to start. Over the Fence and into Laos, the Visa was obtained buy going to 3 different windows all manned buy the same person, slightly amusing for me, the Visa was sorted,a lao guy came over and offered me Taxi into town..meet Mr H, he was a Diamond.



I had no Hotel booked and asked him to help me find me one..



This would work out to be a good choice, my bike as being delivered the next day at 5pm so I booked him to take me sight seeing around the capital for the day, 9am start so an early night for me. I woke up at midday and he was still waiting so we set of for a trip around the Temples and museums and a spot of shopping.

This is the first King of Laos 15 century I'm told..



Here's a random selection of Vientiane, quiet beautiful



A little Champ De Elysée




This looked like a good place for a few prayers for a safe trip




This was the Laos peoples museums, very interesting but no photo's allowed



We had a full day out and returned to the Hotel to collect the bike.

The bike arrived early, I had hired it from remote Asia, Jim the rep guy spent a considerable length of time going over the bike and filling me in with the what not do in Laos. I had a fully equipped tool kit,3 spare inner tubes,lever,cables,spark plugs, I had bought some tools but know I had a complete set, he even gave me a Laos sim card and asked me to report in every couple of days, thanks Jim, I now had a friend in Laos..

I was ready for the off first thing in the morning, I was also a Millionaire sevral times over, at last..in Kip.



I decided an early night get the gear all prepared and set of bright and early. I had lots of way points saved in the GPS, the level of information on this Laos Sd card was amazing, I would get to meet the guy who mapped all this.

After sorting the kit I had dinner and went to my room and watched the Kings of Thailand birthday celebrations on the TV, I can only liken the scenes on the TV to that of the Pope when he's out and about, I was moved by there devotion to him, Long live the king.

About11 pm I heard a lot of shouting out side and though that fight must be under way, I'm not getting out of bed for that I thought, then the noise escalated and I could here the fear in peoples voices, I jumped out of bed only to see a man running down the stairs into the court yard holding a gun, he ran into the road and then there was a massive yellow flash and bang, he started to fire shots into the Bar, people started fleeing the place like rats leaving a sinking ship, more shots fired and then it moves out of my view to the front of the bar, more shots lots of noise, after about 5 minutes all was quiet, 2 guys came running back round to the back of the bar, washed of a couple of Machetes and took them inside. no police came...it was at this point I thought of my wife's comment "are you scared of nothing"....yeah guns GULP.
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Last edited by Steve canyon; 24 Jan 2012 at 09:30.
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Old 7 Jan 2012
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hey

crazy i hope it gets better, i don't like guns either!!! Looking forward to getting there in a months time though!
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  #8  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Smile

This is the planned route for the day, I just wanted to get down to the trails and get used to riding in Laos, there was one stop on the way, other then that I was just taking in the scenery...



The view









My first stop....Sam Missle...








This was tucked in behind a building, never would have found it without the GPS, there are a few of these sites around Laos. I arrived here quiet early so I had some lunch and then headed for what I considered the start of my Journey...The Ho Chi Minh Trail.

This was it....



With the warning signs





This is where the Tarmac ends for most of the trip....
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Last edited by Steve canyon; 24 Jan 2012 at 09:20.
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  #9  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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I'm in.....!
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  #10  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixxy's View Post
hey

crazy i hope it gets better, i don't like guns either!!! Looking forward to getting there in a months time though!
No more Guns, plenty of Bombs though...
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  #11  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zandesiro View Post
I'm in.....!


Need any flip flops?..
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  #12  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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12 Months of planning and the moment has arrived, I'm about to ride the Ho Chi Minh. There is so much History woven into it's 6000Km's plus of trails. It was under construction long before the Vietnam war and would grow much bigger as the war went on, whilst this was going on there was a secret war going on in Laos. The trails where vital to the war in the South and where bombed beyond belief, and now I get to go ride some of it.

How hard can it be? what did the wife say?

Afternoon Trail




I really had no idea what I was letting myself in for....

One last look behind and where off





This is great..



Taking my time, taking it in..











And then the bike starts to slow down.....



Easy fix and lesson no 1 learnt



Back on the road...



Nice Bridge..




It was good day and i was just about to do my first ever water crossing..

Here she is..







That was a big moment and I had come through it well, it may well of only been a puddle but it was a great warm up for what was to come. There were a few special places along the route, choke points, craters and some weird landscape. With all this fun It had taken me a long time to get to the road leading up to the Mi Gua pass, the wind had really started howling and after 1 gust nearly blew me of the road, I decided to make a break for the nearest Hotel, it had been a good day and I didn't want to spoil it with any heroism.

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Last edited by Steve canyon; 22 Jan 2012 at 17:48.
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  #13  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Hey Steve, keep up the great posts with the awesome pictures, enjoying it!

I was wondering, how long did your trip last in total? Also, about the bike, I saw it has Laos plates (or Thai, or whatever). Did you just rent the bike or purchased it? Wondering if the process is complicated to get a bike like that in Southeast Asia.

Last question, aren't there any dangers with the multiple mines all around Laos and Cambodia to do off-trail biking there?

Cheers,

Sam
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  #14  
Old 8 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakold View Post
Hey Steve, keep up the great posts with the awesome pictures, enjoying it!

I was wondering, how long did your trip last in total? Also, about the bike, I saw it has Laos plates (or Thai, or whatever). Did you just rent the bike or purchased it? Wondering if the process is complicated to get a bike like that in Southeast Asia.

Last question, aren't there any dangers with the multiple mines all around Laos and Cambodia to do off-trail biking there?

Cheers,

Sam
I planned to ride for a month!! rented the bike in Laos, dead easy to sort out....there UXO all over the place in Laos, don't know about Cambodia..
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Old 8 Jan 2012
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I had to double back on myself last night to find a place to stay, about 50k's, so I was up early and would give the Mi Gua pass another crack..

A nice looking morning..and the fast route back to MG Pass



Chatting up the Girls...







A great way to start the day..



As I got close the wind started to pick up again and the weather started to change..



As I hit the bottom of the climb up it was blowing a Gail, raining hard and bloody cold...the wind is blowing me every where, I would not make it to the top and felt lucky to get to the bottom safe, so I head back to the trail and start my quest for Ban Laboy ford.


It was about 10.30 and just over 100k's, no problem..

Here's a close up of the first section..


Looks like a lot of water, this would be no easy day..
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Last edited by Steve canyon; 22 Jan 2012 at 17:50.
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