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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 2013
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Need Route advice for Laos

I'm doing a 14 day solo trip in Laos starting mid-may from Vientiane and looping back. Will be heading North.
Im used to dirt tracks and the odd low river crossing but not experienced at all in muddy, technical riding.

Am hoping for suggestions for possible routes in that time frame and any sites, activities you would consider must see or do's in the central/north area.

I guess a combination of road/dirt riding. I will be on a Honda Baja 250

Also is it worth renting a GPS for the trip (an extra $100 or so) or are good maps sufficient?

Any advice/tips appreciated.

Cheers,

James
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Old 29 Jan 2013
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Get on over to RideAsia.net and have a look at all the info they have. I found it extremely useful for accommodation, places to eat and of course reading other ride reports gives you some idea of places to visit etc.

I was there for nearly 3 months, a lot of it in V waiting on parts, it is a crap hole so try and stay a way

Phonsavon is a definite must visit place, the town itself is not much but it is central to a lot of activities.

Grab a GPS map from Don Duval in V, he lives at the Villa Lao Traditional House N17.97164 E102.59623

http://www.laosgpsmap.com/


He actually rides ALL the roads, dirt and mud and makes the maps himself, plus heaps of way points, especially to do with the Ho Chi Min trail.

Of course, for a tourist perspective I can recommend my own blog page, look for the dates from 2 Nov 2012 - 7th Jan 2013

Cheers
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  #3  
Old 29 Jan 2013
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who are you renting the bike from? If it is Jim Barbrush at Remote Asia he can tell you everything you need to know about routes.
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Old 29 Jan 2013
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Thanks for that Strom I will check out your blog.

I am renting from Jim Barbush, I had asked him for some route advice but only got some very general advice from him so far. I'll follow up with another email.

Cheers guys
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Old 30 Jan 2013
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I agree about phonsavan, town is nothing but the plain of jars is cool, and the road to it is nice as well. IIRC the road from Vientienne to Luang Prabang is decent, and there aren't many alternative routes--most of the smaller roads run perpendicular to this main road. When I was there, in January a few years ago, the dirt roads were dry and OK, but in a rainy period they could be a mess.

I didn't have much time and didn't get beyond Luang Prabang, but I was able to leave the bike there and fly back to V rather than riding back; you might consider the same if you want to spend more time in the north.

I didn't have a GPS and don't think one is strictly necessary, although of course they are handy. Jim also sells decent paper maps of Laos.

I also have a blog post from Laos that might help. See Jan 2009 at www.motoreiter.com
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Old 30 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I agree about phonsavan, town is nothing but the plain of jars is cool, and the road to it is nice as well. IIRC the road from Vientienne to Luang Prabang is decent, and there aren't many alternative routes--most of the smaller roads run perpendicular to this main road. When I was there, in January a few years ago, the dirt roads were dry and OK, but in a rainy period they could be a mess.

I didn't have much time and didn't get beyond Luang Prabang, but I was able to leave the bike there and fly back to V rather than riding back; you might consider the same if you want to spend more time in the north.

I didn't have a GPS and don't think one is strictly necessary, although of course they are handy. Jim also sells decent paper maps of Laos.

I also have a blog post from Laos that might help. See Jan 2009 at www.motoreiter.com
Thanks for that.
cheers
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  #7  
Old 31 Jan 2013
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I would suggest a trip out to Sam Nuea, there is some nice mountain scenery on the way and you can visit Viengxay caves where the government held out while the Americans bombed the living daylights out of them during the secret war.
The Honda Baja 250 should be an excellent bike for Laos and I would get a paer map and save your $100 on the GPS.
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