February 18, 2009 GMT
Laos

From Siam Reap we head back towards Kompong Cham and along the Mekong to Kratie for a night,then up to Stung Treng and on to Veun Khan the Laos border.

border crossing.JPG
Border crossing

Two little wooden huts represent the boarder crossing. The one on the side of the road is immigration where we get stamped out of Cambodia, the other set back in the shade of the trees is Customs, as we approach the customs officer gets himself out of a hammock and points sleepy eyed to a wooden table, he opens a old cake tin , picks out a few stamps, scribbles something on a piece of paper, stamps it and charges us US$ 5.- then drags himself back to the hammock.

On the Lao side same thing just that we have to wake the guy, at least he did not charge us fore it.

First stop in Lao is Khone Phapheng at the Mekong River Waterfalls.
Mekong falls.JPG


Further on we cross the Mekong on tree longboats attached to each other by wooden boards to make a platform so we can get the bike on to it. We land on the island of Khong witch is part of the 4000 Islands in the Mekong.

ferry.JPG
Ferry across the Mekong

river crossing.JPG

fisherman.JPG
Fishermen on the Mekong

We make our way north along the river to Pakxe then turn up to the Bolovens Plateau to Pakkong its considerably cooler up here amongst the coffee plantations.
We end up at Tadlo Waterfalls and get a Bungalow for the night.

tadlo waterfalls.JPG


Christan and Andre from Germany are also staying at the guesthouse, the two are riding around Laos on a couple of 250cc, we had a great night.

Further north we turn east towards Khoun Ngeun the road starts to climb into the mountains taking us to a viewpoint overlooking the Limestone Forest

limeforest.JPG


Down the other side of the mountain we enter the Kong Lor valley, a totally flat area surrounded by sheer cliffs of limestone.

valley.JPG

at the end of the valley is the most amazing cave, 7.5km of the Nam Hinboun River makes its way trough the mountain. We enter the cave in a longboat, at times the dept of the water is not enough for us to drive trough so we all get out and drag the boat for a few meters, and on to the next rapid to repeat the exercise.

cave entrance.JPG
Cave entrance

in cave.JPG

boat in cave.JPG

us in cave.JPG

exit.JPG

rapeds.JPG

We emerge at the other end of the cave, a little village spreads itself along the riverfront, we stop for a break and some Rice Whisky.

maggie on boat.JPG

boy on boat.JPG


We spent the night at a Bungalow by the River surrounded by a small Village.

stay by the river.JPG

leaving the cabins.JPG


Next stop Vientiane capital city of Laos.
Weill talking to Jules from Classic bike rentals about riding around northern Laos he informs us about the annual Elephant Festival in Xayaboury on the weekend, so rather then staying in the city we head up the no 13 Highway to Vang Vieng ( Laos Party town ) The next 200ks are awesome, bend after bend after bend not a straight bid of tarmac to be seen, and to make it more interesting they throw in a few pigs, dogs,chickens, kids,trucks cutting corners , potholes the size of swimming pools, cows and whatever else you can think of.

mountain view.JPG
View over the mountains

At Xieng Ngeun we turn left onto a gravel road for the next 85ks. The traffic starts to pick up as there are a lot of people going our coming from the festival. The dust created by all the traffic is chocking us at time we cant see the road everything is the color of the road.
The Festival is a huge event with over 100 Elephants particapating in street parades, circus, Elephant of the year competition and demonstrations. The streets are lined with stalls and entertainment.

maggie and ele.JPG

maggie and elephant.JPG

elephant2.JPG

ele 3.JPG

Posted by Mark Allenspach at February 18, 2009 06:58 AM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

 

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!