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

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