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-   -   Laos on a Lifan (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/laos-on-a-lifan-67290)

Steve canyon 12 Nov 2012 09:36

Laos on a Lifan
 
I spent couple of days in Houay Xai there is not a whole lot to do there, I did find one Gem and old French fort (Fort Carnot) which I was able to get into and have a look around, for me the gun room was magic along with the views from the look out posts. It seems like there is a restoration job going on but nobody seemed to know about it.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-G6VxfcB-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-ZbpmgHS-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-9NKmhRz-L.jpg


The Views over the border to Thailand.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-VGCnTN3-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-PvDRnFS-L.jpg

It's a beautiful day.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-RMgvxCR-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-N4S7vLk-L.jpg



The Gun room.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-KGNZc8P-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-ZbVLzbz-L.jpg



Some great toys!


http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-7gjQbWm-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-tjRQ3RZ-L.jpg




I could spend all day in here, some of this stuff was really old, makes you wonder what went on in here?


http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-HzQf8bq-L.jpg

Boys and their toys.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-zJ78GXD-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-8PP86RM-L.jpg



It had been a good day, I love the war stuff. I headed back to my Hotel to prepare for the off tomorrow.


Saturday morning came and I got an early start to head of to Luang Nam Tha, I decided to go the long way which would take me up near the borders of Myanmar and China about 200 k's of Jungle tracks and mountain tops with a couple of river crossings thrown in, nothing to hard. Once I was off the main road this was the scene...

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-Q4zb9Tm-L.jpg



Nobody about, got the place to myself.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-sg8tvSG-L.jpg



On my route I was able to visit another Lima site, LS1 nothing really to see but my imagination fills in the blanks, it's in there somewhere.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-DTdkJTx-L.jpg


I plodded on for a few more hrs and then I hit the jungle, the trails where undulating and great fun to ride.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-NH397w8-L.jpg



This a a blast, nobody around.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-k4M7fJG-L.jpg



Only a few river crossing and no wet feet, I was having a ball.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-hvDGVh3-L.jpg


There was a few boggy bits and one of them caught me out and threw me of fortunately my back pack got caught in the handle bars and I did not end up going down a steep slope, however something in the bushes was a bit upset with me coming crashing through his house and bit me, never had a reaction to a bite like that before, my forearm is swollen and there's a lot of heat and itching, other than that I'm fine. The bike didn't come of so well, bent handle bars and mangled gear lever both need replacing.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-ndVTzw8-L.jpg



Good job I didn't go down there. :helpsmilie:

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-zZkmSmF-L.jpg


I straightened the lever out best I could and decided to have lunch, by now my arm was swelling a bit, later it got a lot worse.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-zCDTGFj-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-SfdFCwP-L.jpg



After my off I had Banana sandwiches for Lunch you can buy bread here, guess we can thank the French for that.. The scenery is stunning and remote is the word lots Banana plantations and nobody around, peaceful just me and the bike.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-6f4f7bK-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-kRnFW4R-L.jpg


On one section I found this guy broken down, he had the whole engine apart with the big bearings had gone, makes you appreciate the AA nothing of the sort here your on your own, I wished him luck and pressed on.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-6RzH3b8-L.jpg


http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-ZvjSjS5-L.jpg


He had made camp, guess he was going to be there a while.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-zTLmr7d-L.jpg


That's some fix in the jungle.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-4LGKwkG-L.jpg



Some more great views.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-DpmpXFf-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-kRnFW4R-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-mqDKtFk-L.jpg



Arriving at Luang Nam Tha about 5 Pm it had been a 10hr 200k ride and I was ready for a rest, found a Hotel got cleaned up and went for dinner, steak with blue cheese cost me more than the hotel but was worth it along with a couple of beers.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-F9F7wdQ-L.jpg


Wifi didn't work...Damn!.:oops2:

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-6ctrwHZ-L.jpg



I went back to my room and sorted all my kit ready for the next day which would be an easy day after today, so a little lay in would be in order and I fell asleep watching TV, a great day....::funmeteryes:

RTWbyBIKE.com 12 Nov 2012 10:07

THX for the report, did the same tour some month ago... we love Laos and have to go back one day...


cheers Sascha

greasemonkey 12 Nov 2012 20:42

Newby here. Been lurking for ages, and this thread has persuaded me to join up.

Hi, Steve Canyon. I've been to Laos a few times, and crossed into Hauy Xai a few times. First time was around 2002. I think its changed a little since then. I've never seen that french fort, never explored the place much. I cant help thinking that those weapons you found were someones arms cache.........

I'm think you mention it somewhere, but have a good read up on the secret war in Laos. The Ravens is an excellent introduction to it. Its still a very sore point with the Umong, and the political situation in places can become a little tense, although I've never heard of a traveler getting caught up in it.

Have a good time, its a fascinating country. Take a look at the Plane of Jars if you can, I've missed it every time I've been there. Will make it back one day.
Will be watching this thread with interest.
Safe travels.

Keith1954 12 Nov 2012 22:01

Yes Chris - or Steve canyon [?!] - please keep the reports coming. We’ll be there, crossing from Thailand into Laos, almost certainly via Chiang Khong <~~> Huay Xai, in January next year .. just two months away now.

Safe travels mate .. :mchappy:

KEITH

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 00:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTWbyBIKE.com (Post 400044)
THX for the report, did the same tour some month ago... we love Laos and have to go back one day...


cheers Sascha

Thanks RTW, I read your blog and enjoyed it, Laos is magic place :thumbup1:

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 00:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by greasemonkey (Post 400126)
Newby here. Been lurking for ages, and this thread has persuaded me to join up.

Hi, Steve Canyon. I've been to Laos a few times, and crossed into Hauy Xai a few times. First time was around 2002. I think its changed a little since then. I've never seen that french fort, never explored the place much. I cant help thinking that those weapons you found were someones arms cache.........

I'm think you mention it somewhere, but have a good read up on the secret war in Laos. The Ravens is an excellent introduction to it. Its still a very sore point with the Umong, and the political situation in places can become a little tense, although I've never heard of a traveler getting caught up in it.

Have a good time, its a fascinating country. Take a look at the Plane of Jars if you can, I've missed it every time I've been there. Will make it back one day.
Will be watching this thread with interest.
Safe travels.

Hey Greasmonkey glad you have jumped in, I guess things have changed a bit since you where last here but the people are still the same. I'll be sure to stay away from the special areas around as they appear to be stopping travelers and fining them along with lengthy interviews (Xaysomboune) area I'm told and of course Long Chen. I have read the Ravens and many more I'm fascinated buy the whole story....:thumbup1:

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 00:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith1954 (Post 400140)
Yes Chris - or Steve canyon [?!] - please keep the reports coming. We’ll be there, crossing from Thailand into Laos, almost certainly via Chiang Khong <~~> Huay Xai, in January next year .. just two months away now.

Safe travels mate .. :mchappy:

KEITH

Hi Keith, you found me out my real name is Chris! but like many others I choose to use a Handle on forums and blogging, Steve Canyon was a comic strip character in the 1940's (By Milton Caniff), and also the name given to the Ravens project in the secret war in Laos nothing more sinister than that.

I'll be in Laos for 6 months so drop me a line and we can hook up.....I have all the GPS tracks if you want, if not contact Laos GPS Map - Driven by Adventure - Highly detailed GPS Maps of Laos this guy has mapped the area for the last 11 years and has a GPS map that has more detail than any other, his name is Don and he's a helpful chap..:thumbup1:

RTWbyBIKE.com 13 Nov 2012 09:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith1954 (Post 400140)
Yes Chris - or Steve canyon [?!] - please keep the reports coming. We’ll be there, crossing from Thailand into Laos, almost certainly via Chiang Khong <~~> Huay Xai, in January next year .. just two months away now.

Safe travels mate .. :mchappy:

KEITH

Hi Keith, just make sure you are not crossing on a sunday or bank holidays, they will tell you they go every day but they dont if there is not enough people... happens to us... always loosing the day of the week, or bank holydays... boarder crossings, ferries... name it...

c u somewhere again...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve canyon (Post 400152)
Thanks RTW, I read your blog and enjoyed it, Laos is magic place :thumbup1:

THX Mate! We didn´t knew anything about problem areas so we went possible through them all... and no problem...

Laos we will be back! soon or later...

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 09:34

The road to Luang Prabang
 
Sunday morning and I'm having a late start as it looks to be a tarmac day so it should be straight forward, I left around 10am and the ride took me on some nice twisty tarmac with great views.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-RvR2tBZ-L.jpg

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-nmVvMGR-L.jpg



No rush on so I can enjoy the scenery.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-5B3qZfz-L.jpg



This is a great plate, made me laugh, I using a drift camera but still getting the hang of it.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-N9Z5w3T-M.jpg



It's a pretty boring ride, be a lot more fun a big bike, stopped of for lunch at a roadside vendor and amused the kids for a bit.

http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-4tKTGNZ-L.jpg


http://steveccanyon.smugmug.com/phot...-KDQD6HL-L.jpg


Time to get back on the road, soon the twisty flat tarmac turned into a bone shaking broken, dusty nightmare, this is by far the worst road I have ever encountered I will upload more pictures from my drift when I can get them uploaded. You know it's funny how some days turn out I thought this would be a easy route, if I had known what I know now I would have gone a different way. I met some guys from London who where on push bikes, I thought I was mad.

:helpsmilie:

I ended up in Luang prabang about 7pm and found a the first Hotel I could find with working wifi I was exhausted. My sting at this point was making my arm swell up and was spreading down toward my hand so I went to the chemist and got some different cream, eat some noodles and flaked out.

A long boring tiring day, I plan to stay in Lp for a few days to recover and have a look around.

Keith1954 13 Nov 2012 12:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve canyon (Post 400154)
I'll be in Laos for 6 months so drop me a line and we can hook up.....I have all the GPS tracks if you want, if not contact Laos GPS Map - Driven by Adventure - Highly detailed GPS Maps of Laos this guy has mapped the area for the last 11 years and has a GPS map that has more detail than any other, his name is Don and he's a helpful chap..:thumbup1:

Blimey mate, I’ve just checked-out the website at your signature link. Clearly you’re da man to meet in Laos. And yes, we would love to see you when we get there, which will probably be towards the end of January.

I’ve already downloaded the appropriate Thai/Laos/Cambodian tiles from OpenStreetMap. Thanks for the offer of tracks; I’ll certainly look into Don’s GPS maps too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTWbyBIKE.com (Post 400178)
Hi Keith, just make sure you are not crossing on a sunday or bank holidays, they will tell you they go every day but they dont if there is not enough people... happens to us... always loosing the day of the week, or bank holydays... boarder crossings, ferries... name it...

c u somewhere again...

Sascha and Kerstin, it's good to hear from you. Thanks for the tip. Enjoy Oz.

Cheers

Keith [& Ellen]

TravellingStrom 13 Nov 2012 13:51

Gday, sorruy to have missed you

I have been at the Dokchampa Hotel, Luang Namtha for over a week now waiting for a spare part to arrive for my Vstrom, would have been great to catch up

I am in Chiang Rai tonight, got my part and will be heading to Luang Prbang in a few days.

I am a bit nervous about that section of road, I have heard it is crap, but yours is more up todate, do you reckon a big heavy dual sport will handle it OK

Cheers
TS

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 23:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith1954 (Post 400197)
Blimey mate, I’ve just checked-out the website at your signature link. Clearly you’re da man to meet in Laos. And yes, we would love to see you when we get there, which will probably be towards the end of January.

I’ve already downloaded the appropriate Thai/Laos/Cambodian tiles from OpenStreetMap. Thanks for the offer of tracks; I’ll certainly look into Don’s GPS maps too.



Sascha and Kerstin, it's good to hear from you. Thanks for the tip. Enjoy Oz.

Cheers

Keith [& Ellen]

Hey Keith, drop me a line when you close and we can meet up some where and ride some trials.....:funmeteryes:

Steve canyon 13 Nov 2012 23:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by TravellingStrom (Post 400203)
Gday, sorruy to have missed you

I have been at the Dokchampa Hotel, Luang Namtha for over a week now waiting for a spare part to arrive for my Vstrom, would have been great to catch up

I am in Chiang Rai tonight, got my part and will be heading to Luang Prbang in a few days.

I am a bit nervous about that section of road, I have heard it is crap, but yours is more up todate, do you reckon a big heavy dual sport will handle it OK

Cheers
TS

Shame we missed each other TS, you will be fine on that section of road I would rather have been on a more powerful bike, just take your time and give the trucks and buses right of way, there is some great views and hundred of little villages to pass through. I made head a bit farther south in the next few days, where are you headed?. Would love to meet up...:D

TravellingStrom 15 Nov 2012 02:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve canyon (Post 400292)
Shame we missed each other TS, you will be fine on that section of road I would rather have been on a more powerful bike, just take your time and give the trucks and buses right of way, there is some great views and hundred of little villages to pass through. I made head a bit farther south in the next few days, where are you headed?. Would love to meet up...:D

Hi again

I just installed my part, the bike starts, but I am only 99% confident :)

I will do a day ride for a test up to the border today, then start my way down tomorrow(assuming the bike passes the test). I will probably be in Luang Probang for the weekend, then head south Monday to VV, taking a detour to Phonsevan, then back up and head south to Vientiene

Or something like that :)

Steve canyon 15 Nov 2012 10:28

Catching up
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TravellingStrom (Post 400454)
Hi again

I just installed my part, the bike starts, but I am only 99% confident :)

I will do a day ride for a test up to the border today, then start my way down tomorrow(assuming the bike passes the test). I will probably be in Luang Probang for the weekend, then head south Monday to VV, taking a detour to Phonsevan, then back up and head south to Vientiene

Or something like that :)

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.....bier


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