Me and a buddy are heading to Laos in a couple of months and we were thinking of biking around a bit. I was thinking of going from Luang Prabang and catching a ferry of some sorts to Pak Beng. Then from Pak Beng, ride up to Udomaxai, then east to Nhong Khiaw, and finally down back south to Luang Prabang. Firstly I was hoping to find out, is it possible to take a bike onto a ferry at all? and secondly, would this be a safe route to take on a scooter? I have no motorbike experience and am planning to take a few day bike course but if I can, I'd rather a scooter.
#1 akirafro has been a member since 31/10/2010. Posts: 4
I had a fair share of experience riding my bike in Laos, but believe me its not a place you want ride. The roads are bad, potholes everywhere. The traffic volume is low no doubt, at certain places to Udomaxai,, but nevertheless you must be extra careful riidng these roads. Watch out for bicycles and other motorcycles, the locals love to make u-turns whenever they like to. Also to look for is the animal traffic.Swines dash across the roads are very common, they are like missiles out of no where.
Do take an intensive course prior, you sure gonna need it. I suggest not to take the scooter, as they have smaller wheels and the roads are not up to it. A step through 4-speed cubs Honda of 100 or 125 cc would be good. They have bigggr diameter wheels.A spare 2 litres of petrol would be good too to bring along, as there are not too many petrol stations along the route. Scooters and cubs have capacity of not more then 4-litre in their tank.
Also from Udomaxai, I sugest you uo a bit north to Luang Namtha, just a small little town in the, and you may trek on foot to see the mountain hill tribes too.
Best time to do the tour would be in December till February,. its the dry season. Weather is moderately cool to COLD in the morning. Dont ever try during the wet season on bikes, its too treacherous.
I did North Laos tour in december 2009 riding my bike from Malaysia, a 150cc with 12 litres of tank capacity. Fuel has always been the issue on smaller capcity tank bike.
Thanks for the thorough advice, its very helpful :) Unfortunately though we've decided to not go on the bike trip because I really don't think we have enough experience to do it, or have the time to build up the experience... It sounds like such a great adventure though and I'd love to do it next time I go to South East Asia. I'll keep your advice in mind as well.
By the way, did I see you in a youtube video??
Thanks again, Akira.
#3 akirafro has been a member since 31/10/2010. Posts: 4
Ahh, thats too bad,
It IS a real adventure if you did. Its lush green forest in the north, hill tribes villages in between. Barefooted children will crowd around you if you stopped at these little vilages. Keep a lot of pencils, pens and little notebooks to give away. They simply love them. They havent been to school.
And crossing rivers with your motorcycle on sampan is something to remember too for a long long time.
Try it the next time you have the chance to visit Laos.