Monday, February 15, 2010

Laos (again)

15 February 2010 / Sri Chiang Mai to Vientiane (Laos) / 70 km / Total  3426km
We had an early start today, just after 07:00 we left the resort. At around 08:00 we stopped for breakfast and some real good coffee. At a town called Tha Bo we took the Mekong River road and after only 29km we made it without problem to the friendship bridge and in no time we passed the immigration from Thailand and Laos. In the early afternoon we arrived in Vientiane.

Along the Mekong


Happy to be in Laos again.....

16 February 2010 / Vientiane (Laos) / rest day / 0 km / Total  3426km
We had our rest day in Vientiane. I went to buy some bicycle parts and long cycling trousers in a bicycle shop we knew from our first trip. Later we had some nice dinner in a Japanese Restaurant near the Guesthouse we stayed.

Japanese Restaurant in Vientiane

Children in Laos

17 February 2010 / Vientiane to Phonhong/ 77 km / Total  3503km
Again very late start from Vientiane, first of all because we slept longer thn planned and then the breakfast took us much longer than we normaly would spend. Around 11:30 we left the capital of Laos in direction of Vang Vieng which is approx 158km away. After some 77km we checked in at a Guesthouse along the road.

Local transport

Near Vang Vieng

18 February 2010 / Phonhong to Vang Vieng/ 84 km / Total  3587km
Today we had a beautiful up and down hill ride in to famous Vang Vieng. On the road we met a british guy with a bicycle going down to Vientiane and a German Guy which is also on the way to Vang Vieng and Luang Prapang.

We met a German and a British Guy on the way to Vang Vieng

On the way to Vang Vieng

19 February 2010 / Vang Vieng / rest day / 0 km / Total  3587km
We had our rest day in Vang Vieng, but took the bicycles without the luggage for a ride around town and to see a cave and to climb a small mountain. Vang Vieng is a tourist place with loads of Guesthouses and Restaurants. The highlight in Vang Vieng for all travelleres seems to be the famous tubing. (you can sit in a tyre, float down the river, watch the landscape, under the influence of either your own imagination, alcohol bought at various bars along the river or that "other stuff" that seemed to be in no short supply in town).

Around Vang Vieng

Bridge over River in Vang Vieng

Around Vang Vieng

20 February 2010 / Vang Vieng to hot springs (Kasi +20km) / 83 km / Total  3670km
After some nice breakfast we left Vang Vieng. Too many crazy people and as we are not interested in tubing and watching " friends" in the many places, we were happy to leave Vang Vieng. We rode along a river through beautiful landscape. We had some up and down hill and finally made it to approx. 20km after Kasi to the hot springs. We checked in at the Guesthouse ( Bungalow ) direct at the hot springs and had a nice warm and relaxing bath with all the local people which of course are using the hot springs not only for washing themselves but also to wash their clothes.

This is the kind of food you can find on the local village market

Does not look like a quick fix.

Children on the way to the hot springs

21 February 2010 / Hot springs to Pho Khoun / 26 km / Total  3696km
Today we had a short but very,very steep ride. The first 15km was all uphill (approx. 7%) until we reached a view point with a nice restaurant. We did some up and downhill until we reached the junction of Road 13 and 7 at a town called Pho Khoun. We put all our staff and bikes into the Guesthouse and at 19:00 we took a bus to Phonsavan (some 130km west) in order to visit the famous plain of jars.

On the top (1400m asl)

Altitude Profile

22 February 2010 / Phonsavan rest day / 0 km / Total  3696km
We arrived late last nigh in Phonsavan but around 08:00 we had our breakfast and a bit later we had organized a motorbike and were on the way to the plain of jars. These archaeological sites consist of clusters of stone jars dotted in the landscape, varying in height from 1 to 3 meters. The jars were carved by Iron Age people some 2500 years ago. We also visited Muang Khoun with its large sitting Buddha. At 16:30 we left Phonsavan by bus and went back to the Guesthouse some 130km away in Pho Khoun.

Plain of Jars

Plain of Jars

Plain of Jars

Sitting Buddha

23 February 2010 / Pho Khoun to Kiou Ka Cham / 56 km / Total  3752km
Today we had only a noodle soup for breakfast. We had some 56km to ride all along a ridge but always up and down until we reached the town of Kiou Ka Cham. We checked in at very nice guest house where they were kind enough to boil some hot water so that we could clean up in warm water, which was nice as we were very sweaty. Kiou Ka Cham, as the place is called, is a very small place, but it has three guest-houses. The only people staying there must be cyclists, and we saw 5 others in town on this particular night.

On the street in Pho Khoun

24 February 2010 / Kiou Ka Cham to Luang Prabang/ 80 km / Total  3832km
We left Kiou Ka Cham around 08:30 and had a nice downhill ride for more than 22km. Once we crossed the river in the valley, it was all up-hill again for 15km with very hot temperature. From the top of the hill it was a easy ride mostly downhill into beautiful Luang Prabang. We had some nice dinner and checked in at a beautiful Guesthouse direct on the river banks. We have some problems to solve ( my bicycle has a broken spoke) and therefore will stay some days in Luang Prabang.

On the way to Luang Prabang

Altitude Profile

Thursday, February 4, 2010


0. January 2010 / Bangkok to Ayutthaya / 51 km / Total  2511km
With a Taxi we left Bangkok in order to escape the heavy traffic. Somewhere on the outskirts of Bangkok we started again with the bicycle in direction of Ayutthaya.

31 January 2010 / Ayutthaya to LopBuri / 71 km / Total  2582km
Today we reached the famous city of Lop Buri. Famous because of its Monkeys.

1 February 2010 / LopBuri to Narai Hill / 69 km / Total  2651km
The first time ever some serious hills in order to reach Narai Hill Resort. Now we can feel every addtional kilogram we have put on the bikes and on ourselves over Christmas.

2 February 2010 / Narai Hill to Wang Kan Lueng / 55 km / Total  2706km
From the nice Golf Resort we made it to a beautifull Waterfall. We decided to stay here even there were no Hotel or Guesthouse available. Therefore we used for the first time our brand new tent.

3 February 2010 / Wang Kan Lueng to Wanchai Buri / 85 km / Total  2791km
After a early shower in the water fall and a coffee we left Wang Kan Lueng. During the ride to Wanchai Buri we saw a lot of workers in the sugar cane fields.

4 February 2010 / Wanchai Buri / rest day / 0 km / Total  2791km

Today we had our rest day with Massage, Internet, Pool and loads of sleep. We also found out that the battery charger from Monicas camera was left behind in Spain. We need to try to find a spare one here in Thailand before we leave for Laos.

Somewhere on the road

5 February 2010 / Wanchai Buri to Petchabun / 126 km / Total  2917km
Early start in Wanchai Buri and after 2 breakfast ( at 07:30 and 09:30) and a nice nodle soup, we reached after easy 126km Petchabun. In Petchabun we tried to organize the battery charger for Monicas camera. Lets see on Monday if we were sucessfull.

Lunch somewhere on the road

6 February 2010 / Petchabun to Lom Sak/ 60 km / Total  2977km
Today we had only 60 km until Lom Sak, we slept a bit longer, had some breakfast in the Hotel and left Petchabun around 11:00. In order to take small roads we had to spend some time and kilometers around Petchabun, but finaly we made it. On a small road we rode along tobacco fields to Lom Sak. Somewhere inbeteew Petchabun and Lom Sak again I got a flat tyre. The rear one and I don't know why??

Rear tyre is flat?

7 February 2010 / Lom Sak to Dan Sai / 77 km / Total  3049km

Today we passed the 3000 km total done so far since we started in November 2009 in Bangkok. A very hard ride today in the hills and mountains around Loei. On a very steep hill even Monica had to push her bicycle. Something she would never ever do unless realy necessary. The last 11 km down to Dan Sai was the best ever I have experienced on a bicyle. With 68km/h down to the villlage always checking a bit the never know. In Dan Sai when we asked for a Hotel, we just were invited and started to drink beer and whiskey with them. Back in the room we had a 2 hour massage and then we went out drinking again with the locals.

Steep hills towards Dan Sai

Drinking with the locals from Dan Sai

8 February 2010 / Dan Sai to Baan Phu Pha / 14 km / Total  3063km
Very late start today, at 10:30. We still do not know, if it was from the Singha beer or the 77km mountains we did yesterday. Without breakfast we went in to the mountains again. Very hot and steep until after 14km we passed a super nice Resort. We stopped and went in for breakfast. When we saw the nice pool and spa, we decided to stay here for the rest of the day.

Swimming Pool at our resort

9 February 2010 / Baan Phu Pha to Loei / 78 km / Total  3141km
Today we had ABF ( American Breakfast) in the Hotel and around 8:00 we left our nice resort. After some 20km and around 09:30 we had the second breakfast in a town called Phu Reua, fried rice and water. After some hot coffee we sent of for Loei. We arrived in Loei at around 14:30 after some nice downhill parts. Went straight to a bank in order to make the money transfer for the charger of Monicas Camera. We were told that by Thursday Morning we schould have the charger here in Loei. Let's see if this is working.

Monica is preparing next days ride

10 February 2010 / Loei rest day /0 km / Total  3141km
We had breakfast in the Hotel at around 09:00 ad later rented a motorbike to explore Loei and the area around Loei. We ended up on a very nice lake with small bambu huts floating like rafts on the water. We rented such a raft and spend the afternoon on the lake with Fried rice, Beer Singh relaxing and reading. We also had a hair cut both of us and of course a footmassage.

Bambu Raft

Out on the lake

Geting a Haircut

11 February 2010 / Loei to Chian Khan / 51 km / Total  3192km
We decided for a late start today. We had breakfast in a western style restaurant at 10:00, then we handed back the Motorbike and around 11:00 we left Loei for the easy 50 km ride to Chian Kan which sits on the Mekong river. We checked in at a nice Guesthouse on the banks of the Mekong with a nice view across the Mekong in to Laos.

Water jars

An like this all starts

Guesthouse at the Mekong River

Monica is surfing the Web

Doing the laundry

12 February 2010 / Chian Khan to Pak Chom / 47 km / Total  3238km
Again a late start today and when we loaded the bicycles again a flat tyre on my bike. ( the rear again). Anyway, after fixing the problem, we left the beautiful town of Chiang Khan and some 47 km later, we arrived at Pak Chon. We got a phone call from the Kings Hotel in Loei and were told that Monicas battery charger had arrived and we could pick it up at the Bus station in Chiang Khan. So we looked for Motorbike and went back again the 47km to Chiang Khan to pick up the battery charger.

Fixing the rear tyre

On the way to Pak Chon  / Mekong River and Laos
Sun set in Chian Khan


13 February 2010 / Pak Chom to Sang Khom/ 73 km / Total  3311km
For breakfast we had only a Nudel soup and some instant coffee, but today we had a very nice ride along the Mekong River with loads of Banana, Papaya and Coconut trees. Also again we saw a lot of tobacco fields along the shore. After some 15 km we met a Belgian Cycler which gave us some tips regarding the road and where to sleep. We made it until Sang Khom where we found a nice resort on the Mekong River banks.

On the road in Pak Chom

Mekong river and bike

Banana tree

14 February 2010 / Sang Khom to Sri Chiang Mai / 45 km / Total  3356km
We started very late today because of St. Valentine Day. ( Something like that comes always handy to sleep a bit longer). As we only had to do 45km, we stopped a lot along the road to visite a Wat, a waterfall ( without water) and some view points along the Mekong river. At around 17:00 we reached Sri Chang Mai which lies just opposite of Vientiane, which will be our next destination tomorrow.

Monica with the local MTB team from Sri Chiang Mai

Inside the Wat

Thai football