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  #16  
Old 15 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve canyon View Post
Hey TS how did the bike go?, I'm heading off down south tomorrow Vang Vieng the on to Vientiane for a few days, so all being well we can catch up real soon.

Let me know your plans.....
Hi, the bike did well, started every time on the test ride, so that part is fixed, but it is stalling a bit, but that is not a real big issue, it may be bad fuel and the tank is empty, so it may go away when I fill up

I will be going to Nuang Prabang over the weekend, then south to VV, but a detour to Phonasavan is probably going to happen, then south to VT

It will take me another week to get there by the sounds of it and that is not set in stone

You are ahead by a few days, so we shall see what happens, ride safe

Cheers
TS
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  #17  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
Hi, the bike did well, started every time on the test ride, so that part is fixed, but it is stalling a bit, but that is not a real big issue, it may be bad fuel and the tank is empty, so it may go away when I fill up

I will be going to Nuang Prabang over the weekend, then south to VV, but a detour to Phonasavan is probably going to happen, then south to VT

It will take me another week to get there by the sounds of it and that is not set in stone

You are ahead by a few days, so we shall see what happens, ride safe

Cheers
TS
No worries Ts, I should be in the South for another 2 weeks....enjoy the ride down...
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  #18  
Old 18 Nov 2012
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The Road to Vang Viang

I spent 5 days in Luang Prabang some of it meeting up with people and some of it resting up, last year I was non-stop riding and the fatigue was too much so this time I'm taking it easy, I had a good look around town but my favorites where the Mines Advisory Group MAG and the Tardsae Waterfall.



The UXO center run by MAG has a big display of all the different types of munitions used on Laos in the secret war, the bombing figures are mind bending and hard to get your head around especially because not many people know of the war.





Nou was my guide and showed me around.





An interesting afternoon, didn't know bombs came in so many different shapes and sizes, but the worst has to be the Anti-personnel mines Bombies as the locals call them and their still going of today.



The children think they are toys and when the find them they start chucking them around, I'm sure you can work out the rest.



That's a big bomb.



More on MAG as the trip goes on.

I got the bike's oil changed and decided to go and have a poke around outside town, found this great bamboo bridge.



I saw a sign for a waterfall so I thought I would have a look so I parked up and walked down to the river, on the way down I bought some Bananas when I turned round this dude was there.....made me jump.



They are so quiet on the move, beautiful beast.



Went down to river and got my ticket.



All the locals where pulling a heavy steel cable down to the river, I thought it was a scrap find.



Jumped on my boat and headed down the river, it was a nice cooling trip and very peaceful.


When I arrived it was busy, Elephants and Waterfalls everywhere, the falls look man made but they say they are natural, wish I had bought my trunks.









Back to the bike for me.



When I got back to the bike I realized what the cable was for, but what they where pulling I had no idea, so I waited around to watch.



What a monster, makes the Elephant look small, big Russian V8 6X6



They were pulling logs out of the river, how they found them I will never know the water is not so clear, locals ready with the chain saw.





I've seen enough and headed back to the Hotel, on the way back I saw these guys who looked like they were having problems, meet Chris and David from Australia





The local Mechanic was having problems.



I got involved and we were running in 20 mins, water in the plug cap which is no surprise as they had dropped the bike in the river what a day and night they had had. They invited me up for dinner as a thank you, lots of and a late night thanks guys I really enjoyed your company.

The next day I was getting ready for the of to Vang Viang, I had chosen a route that would take me past a Ls25 Phou Chai and old Lima site, so bright and early I set of down routes 13 and then took a small dirt track towards route 4 Via Muang Name, it's a fantastic route with dirt most of the way. I have this all on video and will try to get it edited when I can, this how my day looked as I headed for the mountains.




Another beautiful day.



190k's of dirt and mind blowing scenery.

Soon I was up in the clouds with very few people about.



The views where stunning, not much more I can say about this route other than if your in Laos you best come ride it.





It just got better and better, at 2000 meters it was amazing, so I stopped for lunch to take it in.







That's Ls 25 in the distance where the buildings are, I rode up there but the gate was locked.



It was great going up but coming down was just as good especially with the smooth Tarmac.They are working on this road so soon it will be Tarmac most of the way.





Just a magic day riding, time to find a hotel and sort a few bits on the bike out!.
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Last edited by Steve canyon; 1 Dec 2012 at 04:30. Reason: I posted the wrong day, apologies..
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  #19  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Steve a very informative blog.

Laos is not really ever been on my radar to look at ,i must say you are influencing me to take a look at it.great photo's.Noel
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  #20  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Laos is a Biking Heaven..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel900r View Post
Laos is not really ever been on my radar to look at ,i must say you are influencing me to take a look at it.great photo's.Noel
Thanks Noel900R

It's a Beautiful place, Friendly people,great food and wonderful trails...

It's also quiet cheap........
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  #21  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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Where exactly was that MAG centre? I have been to the one in Phonsavan, but it has nothing like what you saw?
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  #22  
Old 24 Nov 2012
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve canyon View Post
Thanks Noel900R

It's a Beautiful place, Friendly people,great food and wonderful trails...

It's also quiet cheap........
True, Laos is still one of our favorites. It’s really great, people are nice and friendly, still reasonable prices, gasoline and available nearly everywhere, no visa restrictions, no bike restrictions, no areas to avoid (at least that’s what we thought, we have read something different now about some places but we went there and we didn’t had any problems at all...), you do not need any guides, tour companies or similar you just can drive around without any hustle…

We will go back 100%!

C U in Laos somewhere sometime…
Cheers Kerstin and Sascha
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  #23  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
Where exactly was that MAG centre? I have been to the one in Phonsavan, but it has nothing like what you saw?
In Luang Prabang, will get the GPS details for you when I get back to the House...I'm sure you could just ask and somebody will point you in the right direction....
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  #24  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by RTWbyBIKE.com View Post
True, Laos is still one of our favorites. It’s really great, people are nice and friendly, still reasonable prices, gasoline and available nearly everywhere, no visa restrictions, no bike restrictions, no areas to avoid (at least that’s what we thought, we have read something different now about some places but we went there and we didn’t had any problems at all...), you do not need any guides, tour companies or similar you just can drive around without any hustle…

We will go back 100%!

C U in Laos somewhere sometime…
Cheers Kerstin and Sascha
With you all the way on that....
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  #25  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Vang Viang and beyond

Sorry for the delay but the internet has not been to kind to me in Laos, all night to upload 50 pictures and I have 100's.


I arrived here quiet early after a pretty uneventful ride but the plan was to get here as quickly as possible, so not much to see in the one stop I made, this young lady spoke great English and we spent some time chatting.






I rode into town and spotted this Hotel 130,000 kip for a brand new room with all the mod cons very nice to.




After check in it was time to have a look at the bike, I was thinking the Chinese had used elastic to make the chain as I only adjusted it a couple of days ago, I had thought at the time that the bolt seemed a bit suspect so I decided to remove the nut and check it...Oh dear







The guys must have cross threaded it when they changed the wheels, I'm in the crap now. I went for a wander around town and found a little engineering shop and asked the guy to do a repair for me, 20,000 kip later I have a new thread and nut, the nut was a bit small but I'm back on the road.




check out the new addition to the tool box, Laos better than WD40....



My mate in Chaing Mai Hass has ordered me another and will post it to Vientiane in the next few days, disaster averted I decide to go and check out the party town of Vang Viang. To my surprise it was very quiet as they have had a lot of problems with people doing crazy things on drugs and drink so the police have shut a lot of it down, they do have some nice views though.





All this is built next to an old run way, I have no idea when it was decommissioned.





So it's another early night and up early in the morning to get to Vientiane which was another pretty uneventful ride. I checked into the Villa Laos where I had a pal staying, a nice quiet place for 130,000 kip a night, little out of town but no problem on the bike.

It was nice to catch up with Don and his wife and we drunk a few bottle of wine and had some food, very nice evening, the next say was back to fixing the bike as the front suspension kept bottoming out and I want to change the rear shock, so bright an early i get up and head down to Fuark's garage to see what can be done, meet Fuark.





He's a pretty cool guy who suggested a fork oil change, but no shock.Lots of guys riding around the worls also turned up to fix there bike, fuark will let you use his premise and tools to fix your bike, as well as supplying the parts, if you get stuck in Laos he's your man.




Both these guys where on round the world trips, Natco and Julian.






Nice to meet you guys, the Lifan got some new fork oil and I removed the cat in the quest for more power, small improvement but every little helps.



turns out that they put to much oil in the forks so over the next few days I drained a bit at a time until I got what I wanted from the front, I'm a little happier, as for the back I need a new shock. I decided to stick around for a few days as the Aussies Chris & Dave had called me to say they where on the way down and wanted to go riding and would I wait for them, of course fellas. We hooked up the next evening and went on a bit of a bender, turns out Chris can sing real good and Dave can drink to match him we managed to get most of the bar singing American Pie, a great night with a head to match the next day.



The night market is a must.




Just when I thought it could not get any better they called me to say they had a spare room in their 400$ a night Hotel, hell I was there in a flash and very nice it was to, the Green Park Hotel VTE. We decided on a easy evening as we were going to get up early and head down to Thaket so we could ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail, well a part of it the guys were pumped and looking for wad to getting there but you know how it goes with a group to much messing around and the schedule was shot before we left so I planned a little detour.M Kamkuet and we would find a Hotel down there for the night. It had been a boring ride apart from Chris getting rear ended and hitting me after an old lady just walked out in front of me, damn Chris was real lucky, no real damage, we stopped for a while so Chris could collect his thoughts.



David thinking what could have been, a lucky escape and a good reason to keep alert in Laos.



We pushed on and we found this Gem, a reward for a hard days ride, the Limestone forest, another wonder of Laos.






Another Jaw dropping view.







That sort of view keep me going for a long time and we still had a way to go, I spotted a sign for a resort and asked the boys if they wanted to stop and it was a yes. It turned out a hard place to find but when we got there we were impressed, it's an Oasis in a beautiful setting and only 130,000 kip a night!!!. The main restaurant area.





The accommodation comes in the shape of Bungalows all with TV,Aircon,Hot showers and a view to die for, we were so happy it was better than the 400$ a night place.







I could stay at this place for Months so quiet and the real feeling of village life, we went up to the main building and ordered some food and to our surprise it was magnificent, some of the best food we had had on the trip so far we ordered lots of dishes Laos and European and it was all first class, we dined like kings and washed it down with Laos.






Make sure you visit.



Later on the owner came over and introduced himself. Mr Vongsamay Malibayphit very nice chap who had a wonderful story to tell, he had grown up in Savannakhet during the war and had been unable to go to school because of the bombing, he said if you didn't see the blast's you feel them!. He later got the chance to go to Cuba to get an education and spent 7 years there in school, when he returned he worked hard and saved his money and got the land to build his Hotel and live his dream, he also gives a lot back to his community working with the disabled and supplying school uniforms and other educational equipment to the local schools, great man.







Well we dined on into the evening and retired at a reasonable hour as tomorrow would be another big day down the route one which I'm told is a bit nasty with lots of broken tarmac and dust.


Once again the morning was lost in riding terms, I had got up at 5.30 to catch the sun rise, a beautiful morning.







The clouds falling down the mountain.







By 11Am I knew we would not make our destination by night fall to much messing around choosing underwear etc so we went to explore some caves instead and then go to Thaket and get closer to the Trails.





Big Chris broke the steps on the way up, whoops



Used to shelter from the bombing, lots of effort went into them, almost shrine like.







We went up to the house on the top to pay for the damage but they did not seem to understand but took the money, I guess they went and got some steak instead of these.



I'm sure the locals think we are mad!


Back on the road again the boys have charged of on their high powered KLX's leaving me behind so I'm going to get some photos and take my time .... still lots of UXO in Laos.



Great views.





And the children always have a smile.



I like these views up the river into the jungle, my imagination just runs wild.







The children were very friendly and not scared of the power ranger even letting me take a few shots, why are the children so happy over here?









More great views along the way.




The guys were waiting for me here, a few photos and of to Thaket







We arrived in Thaket about 7 pm the roads here at night are very dangerous and I was happy to follow the boys lights into town, there is also some big things flying around at night that hit you like bullets, I rode last year at night and said never again, I'm not doing it again and people ride with no lights on the wrong side of the rode as well as having cows walking about......danger.

We pulled into a new hotel called Vannida Hotel 130,000 kip a night, clean and tidy. I always find Thaket a hard place to be in so this Hotel was nice, we ate Vietnamese food which was really nice and got to bed early as we were going to have an early start this was the boys last chance to ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail before they had to leave for Thailand. Time to upload some more pictures...more tomorrow.
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Last edited by Steve canyon; 1 Dec 2012 at 07:58.
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  #26  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Nice report !!

Did you rent the Lifan ? If so, where did you rent it ?
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  #27  
Old 26 Nov 2012
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Thanks for persisting with the internet.

Enjoying reading your blog ,but the photo's bring your words to life.Noel
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  #28  
Old 27 Nov 2012
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lifan

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Originally Posted by Rone View Post
Nice report !!

Did you rent the Lifan ? If so, where did you rent it ?
Thanks Rone..

No I bought it in Chaing Mai Thailand, 55,000 Bt with all the extra bits like wheels & tyres, bark busters, sump guard and back rack....

I have a spare one if you want it...

Ps, I got your message, give me little time and I'll sort it out for you..
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Old 27 Nov 2012
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The pictures

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Enjoying reading your blog ,but the photo's bring your words to life.Noel
Thanks Noel, I enjoy the blogging but the pictures take me back ever time..
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  #30  
Old 27 Nov 2012
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In Luang Prabang, will get the GPS details for you when I get back to the House...I'm sure you could just ask and somebody will point you in the right direction....

Ah, I see, well I am heading south, so will miss out

Never mind
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