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Thread: Laos road trip

  1. #51
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    While Dad and Des were out having a wow of a time exploring, Paul and I had a full day of work at the farm. It was an interesting day as we were cutting down trees that had been set aside as experiments and some of the results were not what we expected. Apart from the usual cutting, grading and setting up carving teams we also managed a few sales which was encouraging.








    A busy day ended at our usual restaurant (the only half decent one in town) before another early night. The following morning Paul and I checked out of the hotel and left Dad and Des to sleep in. We went back to the farm to finalise a few sales as well as organise the carving team for the next few weeks work.

    After lunch at the farm we began the seven hour drive to the capital of Laos, Vientiane. Before we left town we stopped in at the local market where Dad had found a small gravity water fed power generator for sale that he wanted some information about. Instead of myself battling through the language difficulties we took our manager along to translate.



    Where did it come from? Vietnam, I think, not sure.
    What company made it? Don’t know.
    Who did you buy it from? Don’t know.
    Who delivered it? Some truck, not sure.
    Do you know where I could get any more information at all? No

    Dad walked away shaking his head in disbelief while I chuckled to myself and said to him ‘welcome to doing business in Laos!”

    Back on the road we had an easy run until the outskirts of Vientiane.





    As we left later then expected we ended up driving the last hour in darkness which I was hoping to avoid. It is that time of the evening when all the farmers are heading home on bicycles, tuk tuks, tractors, two feet and a heat beat or buffalo and more often then not have half their livestock with them also. It wasn’t too bad actually but then it started raining and I discovered that my headlights decided they preferred to check out the moon instead of the road in front meaning everyone coming towards me was flashing me with their high beams which made things rather awkward.

    Anyway, we made it safely around 7.00 pm and found the first two hotels we went to were full. The third one had some spare rooms so we grabbed them, unloaded and then went out for dinner.

    I mentioned earlier in this series of blogs about the coffee addiction that Dad and Des have. It became the daily comedy show as they would retell there stories of trying to find a decent coffee in all the far flung places we were visiting. It got so bad that when they discovered a jar of nescafe in a market they celebrated like they had just won the lottery and took that everywhere they went along with some long life milk and made their own cuppa wherever they could get there hands on hot water.

    Imagine the euphoria when they discovered that Vientiane actually had real coffee shops! They were in heaven and (they say due to the rain) they spent most of that night and the next day right here!



    The next day Paul and I spent in the office sorting wood and making plans and by mid afternoon we were all finished. Our work was done! We caught up with the oldies for coffee and then went out for a good dinner which was a nice way to finish things off.
    At 6am the next morning we were all packed up and ready to go. First stop was the airport to drop Paul off so that he could catch his flight home to Australia. For the three of us left we followed our nose (and missed the turn off) to the bridge to take us back over the Mekong and into Thailand. No problems here and we made good time to Udon Thani were with a few phone calls managed to find a pub called the Irish Clock. I had been told that their breakfasts were really good so for research purposes for my shop thought I would check them out. It was pretty good (especially if you are from England) but I still prefer Peppers Big Breakfast with our home made bread and superior coffee.

    It was here that we bid farewell to Des. He had a flight booked to Bangkok as he wanted to go and check out Kanchanupburi and Hua Hin for a few days before joining us back in Ubon.

    That left just Dad and I and we had a nice easy drive all the way back home to Ubon arriving back a little after 4pm to some very excited kids.

    It was a great trip, a lot of fun, a little bit of work and really good company. Thank you Dad, Paul and Des for your companionship and I hope that this isn’t the last time we get to do it!
    News is what someone, somewhere is trying to suppress - everything else is just advertising.

  2. #52
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  3. #53
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    Great report...

  4. #54
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    Great work.
    Green in the post.

  5. #55
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    Very informative and nice pics. Thanks.

  6. #56
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    That sure is beautiful countryside, which is why I was so taken by Laos with my first visit to lower Laos this past winter, when I crossed to Tha Khek from Nakhon Phanom. I find the buildings and streets more attractive to the eye, too, compared to Thailand's. I really need to rent a motorbike and tour the roads and villages. Frankly, I prefer Vientiane over most places I've visited in SEA. I feel so relaxed there, well, compared to Bangkok.

    Thanks MeMock for taking us on your journey. Will be up your way in Ubon this autumn and get a proper visit to the city (and Peppers. )

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    No problems here and we made good time to Udon Thani
    I don't remember meeting up for a beer...

  8. #58
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    Must have a "few" beers Termite.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    No problems here and we made good time to Udon Thani
    I don't remember meeting up for a beer...
    Yeah sorry about that mate. It wasn't planned until the last 24 hours that my friend needed to be dropped of in your neck of the woods. We had breakfast and were gone 30 minutes later.

  10. #60
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    Memock
    Could you help me out
    Plan on spending 25 days in laos starting from the border across Chiangrai would appreciate your advise and itenary as interested in seeing nature greenary and waterfalls.
    We enjoy renting scooters but cant go cross city as we have bigger bags with us.
    im at cliche61at h o t maildot com
    Really would appreciate if you could advise me of an itenary with hotel names around 500 baht a night
    Many thanks
    Eddie

  11. #61
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    Hi Eddie,

    I have no idea about the end of Laos you have mentioned. May I suggest another forum that I occasionally read that will have all the information you would require.

    The Golden Triangle Rider • The Golden Triangle Rider

  12. #62
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    Thanks you MeMock, for an interesting travel report.


    >There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war<

    Don't want to be pedantic, but in that part of the world it is called "The American war'.

  13. #63
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    To MysticPaki:

    From Houay Xai, 4 obvious options:
    1. By boat to Luang Prabang
    2. By boat to Luang Namtha Enquire at HS guesthouses). Beautiful trip, two days on the river, stop overnight in Boatmen's village (BanKonKham). Costly, but worth it IMHO.
    3. By bus to Luang Namtha, 3-4 hrs by road.
    4. Speedboat up the Mekong to Chiang Kok. From there by songthow by road to Muang Sing. Stay a few days around MS, lots to do.

    if you take #3 or #2, you can also go up to MS by bus.

    After a couple of days in MS or/and in LN (Trekking, different ethnic villages), take a bus to Luang Prabang. Stay 2 or 3 days, enjoy the atmosphere.

    Now decide if you want to try and cover all of Laos or only the North. If all, go south by bus, Vientiane, Thakek, SavannahKhet (I know MeMock avoided it, but it is a pretty old town, pakse, 4000 Islands.

    Of only the North, go by bus to Houaphan (Sam neua), where the Vietcong government lived in the caves during the war. Certainly worth the trip, and getting there takes you through some great countryside.
    From there, south to the plane of Jars (Phonsavan). Then by bus down to Vientiane.

    I thnk maybe 2 weeks is a it short to see all of Laos.

    Enjoy!

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kees5 View Post
    Thanks you MeMock, for an interesting travel report.


    >There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war<

    Don't want to be pedantic, but in that part of the world it is called "The American war'.
    Well given that the majority of the TD readership is either European, American or a colonial I think Vietnam War would be the appropriate tag. To the best of my knowledge, TD does not have too many Laotian or Vietnamese members....

  15. #65
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    Well, when in Rome, do like the Romans....

  16. #66
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    Exactly right! it is called the "American War"
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees5 View Post
    Well, when in Rome, do like the Romans....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees5 View Post
    Thanks you MeMock, for an interesting travel report.


    >There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war<

    Don't want to be pedantic, but in that part of the world it is called "The American war'.
    Well given that the majority of the TD readership is either European, American or a colonial I think Vietnam War would be the appropriate tag. To the best of my knowledge, TD does not have too many Laotian or Vietnamese members....
    You would be surprised actually how many Laotian and Vietnamese frequent this forum, makes an interesting English lesson

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kees5 View Post
    Thanks you MeMock, for an interesting travel report.


    >There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war<

    Don't want to be pedantic, but in that part of the world it is called "The American war'.
    I thought it was called the 'Kicking Seppo Ass War'?

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees5 View Post
    Thanks you MeMock, for an interesting travel report.


    >There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war<

    Don't want to be pedantic, but in that part of the world it is called "The American war'.
    I thought it was called the 'Kicking Seppo Ass War'?
    Wonder if any bikes will be left over from the "Kick the Infidels' arse war/s one day?


  20. #70
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    Wonderful thread MeMock...you do seem to be keeping yourself gainfully occupied and spreading it about with this post....thanks

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    Thanks for the report and pics. I am planning a trip this july but will be starting way up north ( Chiang Khon) and heading all the way south to the Cambodia border. and then all thru Cambodia.
    The roads look very good and little traffic. I realize this was a while ago but what do u think traffic is like now>

    I will be posting as i go, ( as long as i can access the net)

    Anyplace i MUST see i know about the caves north of LB and the thousand islands near the Cambodian border
    Did u visit the Hena sa waterfall south of Pakxe?
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol or insanity, but they've always worked for me" HST

    View my pics

  22. #72
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    Too late now I'm sure but better late then never.

    I have never been south of Pakse sorry but hope to do so next time. Did you make it over there and if so please post some pics.

  23. #73
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    http://teakdoor.com/Gallery/albums/u...480.JPGAnother I may need another Jimmy beam and east side brew by the time I post a proper pic....this!!!
    Last edited by fishlocker; 04-09-2014 at 02:47 PM.

  24. #74
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    This is over the Don river heading south into Pakse. It may be the bridge you were held up at.Sorry I can hardly post this let alone straighten it.Yes the water flow is south to the South China Sea.
    Last edited by fishlocker; 04-09-2014 at 02:30 PM.

  25. #75
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    All we get are smiles. But we are going in the right direction.

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