South East Asia - back in paradise again
Day 1 Arrival
Tropical heat is awaiting the group in Bangkok and everybody is excited about tomorrow, when we will leave North to the Cambodian border.
Our adventure group Urs, Rudi, Joe and Dani from Swizerland, Cyman and Paul from England, Wilson and Augusto from Brazil, Donald and Vickie from USA, John from Denmark, Ursula from Germany and Viktoria from Austria, at the wellcome briefing and at dinner - yummy Thai Food!
Day 2 Chonburri - Aranyaprathet
Our first riding day was hot! It took a while to get used to the heat and the humidity, but we enjoyed the ride to Aranyaprathet, a little town at the border to Cambodia. Through little villages, seeing smiling people and many temples along the way.
Motorcycles at the temple
Group Picture in front of the `Happy Buddah`
One more Buddah
Lunch at a local restaurant
Ursula with wet Pants - that cools you down
Day 3 Aranyaprathet - Seam Reap
Our second riding day was hot too! The first adventure today was the border crossing, the paperwork was incredibble, but it was not boaring at all. A lot of things to see. The ride to Seam Reap was easy and we spent the afternoon to visit the world famous Ankor What, the biggest religious building in the world. In the jungle temple we felt like Indiana Jones and the 5 star hotel at night was just perfect.
Welcome to Cambodia
Gas Station in Cambodia
Augusto has a new friend
Cyman, Paul and John trying Cambodian cuisine
At Ankor What
Day 4 Seam Reap - Kratie
For 5 restless riders there was an off road loop to the temples at 7 a clock in the morning. The rest started at 8 direction east. The highlights today were a visit in a small Cambodian village and the ride along the Mekong in the afternoon on a scenic dirt road. Some parts of the main road were in terrible condition and we had to swollow some dust. It was a great day!
What a contrast!
John is trying a typical Cambodian Snack, fried cockroaches.
Arrival in the village
A big event for the locals
Wilson leaving the Mekong Ferry
A dirty hero: John
Nice lunch at a lake
Day 5 Kratie - Don Khong
Good bye Cambodia, unfortuately our time in Cambodia is already over. Today we were heading to Laos. A thunderstorm over night made the road relly muddy and it was some tough riding. But we reached the Lao border without any misshaps and enjoyed the stunning Mekong Falls. Border crossing was easy today and the boot beer at our Hotel Terrasse at the Mekong for sunset was just perfect.
The bikes got some colour
Arriving at the coffee stop, ready for some rest
At the Mekong Falls
Boot beer time!
Rudi takes a swim in the Mekong with the locals
Happy Buddah Paul!
Day 6 Don Khong - Savanakhet
Today was our longest riding day, over 400 km. The roads were in good condition, we got the first mountains to see and we had one really adventurous Ferry crossing over the Mekong. Getting on and off the Ferry through deep sand was quite challenging, but the ferry ride itself was fun. On a nice dirt road we reached Wat Phou, a Khmer temple complex, which is listed as a world heritage site.
Rudi enjoying the morning sun
On board the adventure Ferry
Our captain Augusto?
Wilson our off road champion leaving the Ferry
Beautiful ride to Wat Phou temple
Lao fast food beside the road
Day 7 Savanakhet - Kong Lor
The first twisty road of the trip we had on our way to the Kong Lor Caves, wonderful scenery and a spectacular boat ride through the cave.
Paul descending from the lookout, next English enduro Champion?
View from the terrace of our lodge
Day 8 Kong Lor - Vientiane
A part of the group left the lodge earlier this morning for a little off road excursion, which was not as tough as expected, because the built a new gravel highway. The last part of the day we road along the Mekong on a beautiful but dusty gravel road to Vientiane, the capitol of Laos. Some needed a massage afterwards.
The off road group in the morning leaving Kong Lor
Dust in the wind!
Our lady Team posing at the foto stop!
Jörg ready for lunch
The whole family is preparing our lunch and even our Lao tourguide Nut was helping in the kitchen
Paul holding a speech at the Great wall, a natural Monument.
Nut, our Lao tourguide
At the entrance of the caves
Day 9 Vientiane - Vang Vieng
The city traffic in Vientiane was quite, at every red light we had a moped race going on. The destination for today Vang Vieng is a paradise for backpackers and situated beautifuly at a river, surrounded by rugged mountains. The view from the Hotel terrace was breathtaking. Only Team Brazil and Cyman took the Chance in the afternoon for an extra off road loop through the rice fields, including two water crossings and a tiny little bamboo bridge.
Ursula at the gas station
Cyman, Wilson and Rudi
Crossing an old wooden bridge
A scenic gravel shortcut
View from the hotel terrasse
Water crossing on the off road loop
The off road team
Augusto inspecting his new house
Crossing the river on a bamboo bridge
Dinner at our beautiful hotel
Day 10 Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang
A scenic road through the Luang Prabang mountain range with some challenging sections. The mountains and the pass roads get higher and higher, that means it is gettig cooler. Our hotel in Luang Prabang, the religious capitol of Laos with its old French center is wonderful and we can stay two nights here to get some rest.
Thai tourists like Rudi
Fruit market along the road
Foto stop in the mountains
Typical Lao mopuntain scenery
Day 11 Rest day Luang Prabang
One day to relax! Some did an elephant ride in the morning, some explored the old town of Luang Prabang and went shopping on the night market and some went for an extra off road loop with our Lao tourguide. We all had a great day.
Our hotel garden - very relaxing!
Wilson, Cyman and Nut getting ready for the off road trip
Refreshing water crossing
Grilled Mekong fish
Day 12 Luang Prabang - Luang Namtha
The toughest day of the trip, 320 km through the mountains, with a stretch of 100 km really bad road. At the end of the day we all were tired but happy. In the morning an elephant was crossing our way, what a surprise. The primitive huts of the mountain tribe people along the road and the villige life on the street were very impressive.
View over the mountains
The beer tastes good after that challenging day!
Day 13 Luang Namtha - Chiang Khong(Thailand)
Back to Thailand after 8 days in Laos. Today was easy compared to yesterday. We had only 180 km to go and the road was in good condition, a nice ride through the hilly countryside on twisty roads, pure plesure. The highlight of today was a visit in an ethnic mountain tribe village, where we met friendly people and learnd about agriculture.
View over the mountains
Strolling around the village
Day 14 Chiang Khong - Doi Angkhan
The golden triangle was our first stop in the morning, where Thaoiland, Laos and Myanmar meet. This Region got famous for opium production, but today it is banned in Thailand. The riding along the Myanmar boarder on old smugler trails was spectacular and challenging. We ended up in Doi Ankhan way up in the mountains where it was getting much cooler.
Augusto the cook
Day 15 Doi Angkhan - Pai
We continued along the border to Myanmar and in the afternoon we had a fantastic ride on the road of the thousand curves to Pai. With a big smile on our faces we reached our quiet Resort. The Group was too tired to do an aditional off road Loop and we spent the afternoon at the pool.
Adonis at the waterfall
Day 16 - Chiang Mai
Unfortunately our last riding day. It was a short but very intense riding day. First we went back two third of the thousend curves in the early morning and then on tiny little backcountry roads with some gravel parts to Chiang Mai, where we were soaked in by the bussy city traffic. Everybody made it safe to the hotel. Congratulations!!
It was hard to say good by to all our new friends, this is a fantastic group. An adventure of a lifetime has come to an end!
Team England having a nap.