I'm doing a bicycle trip for a couple of weeks starting in Vientiane and heading up through LP and on into the north. Any word on the safety of the road, particularly north of Vang Vieng? There are some older warnings about fighting/ambushes in that area, so I wanted to check. Thanks!
#1 mackpappy has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 3
It's fine -- the vast majority of reports of violence on this road are related to incidents years ago. Your biggest concern should be how hilly the road is!
Went that way by bike last year safety is not a concern.
#3 petemac has been a member since 8/1/2008. Posts: 1
Agree with Rep 1,2
#4 Lam_merison has been a member since 29/5/2007. Posts: 14
I have cycled this route, in both directions, a number of times. There is a heavy Laos army presence in the area, there are no current problems with safety. The heavy army presence is due to the sporadic violence which erupts in the 'Special Zone' which is adjacent to the route. The special zone is not open to whitey (or at least I have not heard of anyone getting in) and is home to the Hmong. The violence is a cause of the ongoing Hmong struggle.
The road is safe, well protected and you will have a good time. As above, many of the reports which persist are old reports, specifically the 2 (Swedish/Dutch?) cyclists who got caught in cross fire and died in Kasi a number of years ago (can't remember how many years ago without looking it up). I have talked with some of the Laos army guys at the check point to the special zone(my Thai is good but my Laos is less so) and I kinda gleaned that they feel that the problems are not a major concern and are becoming less prominent.