Laos – Undeveloped, Wonderful and Beautiful!!!

For those of you that aren’t connected via Facebook we are still alive and mobile and are currently back in Thailand after touring Cambodia.  As a result, we are three countries behind in blog updates!  Sorry for slacking on the blog updates but since leaving China we’ve been basically on our own as far as planning out the daily route and making lodging arrangements which has limited our free time at the end of the day (as well as WiFi speed to upload photos).  We’ll try to provide a Laos overview in one update.  To summarize, it’s a beautiful wild country (can’t capture it in pictures with our cameras), with wonderful friendly people, inexpensive and great motorcycling opportunities but not great road conditions.

Our route took us “off the beaten track” onto roads rarely frequented by the typical “westerner.”  We arrived as the rainy season was ending so many of the roads had been blocked to landslides which left slippery clay/mud on road surfaces and meant a few sections were challenging for us to navigate two-up with luggage on a big/heavy bike.  As a result, the first few days we were there we arrived after dark at our destination – not something I enjoy doing as a habit!

The whole time we were there I don’t recall seeing any police and we didn’t encounter any traffic lights until arriving in the capital, Vientiane.

If we were doing this again, we would plan to spend more time in Laos and less time in Thailand (more developed).  Anyway, here’s some pictures to capture our time in Laos.

Made it out of China late afternoon.

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Ger in “no man’s land” between China and Laos.

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One of the first tasks after entering Laos was obtaining motorcycle insurance.

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…. and local SIMs for our cell phones so we could keep track of each other!

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Waiting at the border Customs Checkpoint for our bike documents.

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The Laos side or the border station.

On our way into Laos we noticed lots of roadside fires apparently from burning piles of corn cobs – possibly to keep mosquitoes away or just to burn them for disposal?

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Our first lodging in Laos was in our own bungalow in a small village.

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Woke up our first morning to this beautiful daughter of the family we stayed with.

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First breakfast – small but really delicious bananas.

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….. and finally, after more than 30 days – bread and butter!

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Chicken (as good as Germany’s “Chicken Man”” and rice at the Night Food Market the day we arrived. Didn’t get food poisoning!

Our second night was at a wonderful small hotel on the Ou River.  Shame we got in late and didn’t fully enjoy the place and village.

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Ger on the breakfast patio.

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Yours truly and “herself.”

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Brian on our scenic breakfast patio on our third day.

The village scenes and people along the way were the main attraction.

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Even the youngest children contribute to the family chores by carrying whatever is needed at the time in the baskets on their backs. Aren’t they beautiful?

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Typical roadside scene – family bath time.

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Head/foot ball match.

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This lady was spinning here own thread on the side of the road and weaving traditional cloth on her loom.

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Many families live in huts and many only a landslide away from collapsing.

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Hard to capture the beautiful landscape with our camera skills and cameras.

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The road surfaces were poor especially where they had recent landslides.

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Moist sand and gravel on corners – recipe for disaster on 2-wheels!

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Remnants of a recent landslide on a turn – typical scene.

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We went by Luang Prabang – nice town but too touristy (too many yanks and other westerners) for our liking!  Brian decided to get his haircut as he was starting to look like a hippy.

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Kurt relaxing by the Mekong River.

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The hippy getting a haircut in a shed from an ancient barber.

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Birthday Boy Chris with his bag of insects present at dinner in Vientiane.

 

We did do one “touristy” thing and visited Site 1 of the “Plain of Jars” which has an old and more recent (bombings in the 1970s). history associated with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_of_Jars

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We had to change over to riding on the LEFT side of the road before crossing the Friendship Bridge to Thailand.

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