Saturday, February 1, 2020 | Michael Kreuzmeir | Asia
Come with us and enjoy the jewels of Southeast Asia in a way that few other tourists can! Whether you are looking for beautiful temples, unique nature experiences, encounters with local people in remote areas or simply want to ride splendid motorcycle roads in breathtaking scenery - this tour has it all!
Gentlemen, start your engines! Our advenrture begins. We start from out Hotel in Chon Buri and get used to the Asian traffic. We are heading for the Cambodian border on smaller countryside roads through plenty of Thai villages. Crossing into the Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary gives us the chance to look out for wild elephants. Aranyaprathet will be our destination tonight to have a swim in the pool and prepare the documents to cross the border into Cambodia.
Typical Cambodian villages along the road with friendly smiling people mate this trip through theisflat part of Cambodia a pleasent experience. We stop at the Koh Ker Prasat temple and admire another piece of Khmer culture, this time without any other tourists! In the afternoon we reach Stung Treng and the mighty Mekong river, the 2700 mile long lifeline of Southeast Asia.
Going north brings us right into country number 3 on riding day 4 - Laos! Following the countryside along the Mekong all day long gives us a pretty good impression of rural life in Laos. We stop at the impressive Mekong Falls to get a glimpse of the sacred tree and have a delicious lunch. After another ride we cross the Mekong River on little rafts to find our hotel fo tonight on a little island.
Today we will ride in to the first hilly region of Laos where the mountains reach up to 1500 meters / 4500 feet. The scenery changes dramatically and we can enjoy the first really twisty roads. The stunning limestone rock formations in this region provide plenty of picture opportunities. In the afternoon we will arrive to our hotel in Kong Lor from where we will do a boat trip to explore the famous Kong Lor caves.
Riding along the Mekong gives us some spectacular views across the river to the mountains of Thailand. We will visit Wat Phabat Phonsone where we have the chance to see Buddhist monks in their typical orange robes. Vientiane, the capital and biggest city of Laos is awaiting us in the afternoon and offers the first real nightlife after spending many nights in the rural areas.
Today we will leave the Mekong behind and head north once again to find more hills and mountains with twisty roads. Leaving Vientiane in the morning though will give us a riding lesson in chaotic city traffic. On our way the mountains tower up higher and higher and the riding gets better and better. We pass Nam Ngum, a reservoir lake and the biggest body of water in Laos, before we reach Vang Vieng, a backpackers paradise and a lovely spot with great scenery.
Today the national Road N13 is winding over several passes through the Luang Prabang mountain range. Countless curves and incredible views over the nearly untouched mountain jungle, where still some wild tigers and elephants hide, present us an unforgetable riding day. Luang Prabang will be our destination in the afternoon, a world heritage site and really unique in Asia. The center of Lao Buddhism inspires us with its mixture of french colonial architecture, chinese trading houses and laotic teak buildings.
After nine days of riding we deserve our rest day and what could be a better place for that in South East Asia than the world heritage site of Luang Prabang. A short ride in the morning will bring us to a the magnificent waterfalls of Kuang Si and back to the city for lunch. In the afternoon we can stroll around and inhale the historical and spiritual life of Laos - fascinating temples, markets and the unique French style houses.
Today there is only little sightseeing but the ride through the northern parts of Laos and its mountains will be spectacular. Very remote regions with few inhabitants, twisty roads, surrounded by over 2000m / 6000ft. high mountains and almost no traffic. We end up in Luang Namtha, a small town close to the Chinese border.
The mystery of the Golden Triangle is still alive even wehen the Thai officials say that the opium production and smuggeling in the area is nearly banished. Anyway we ride on former smuggler routes along the border to Myanmar. The scenery is just stuning and the mountains reach up to 2250 meters. The roads have more turns than you could ever imagine and most of it crosses the thick jungles of the northern mountain ranges of Thailand. What an amazing ride!
Today great riding continues all day long and it's just a lot of fun to follow these perfect motorcycle roads. One stop will be exceptional: we can watch lots of elephants an an elephant training center when we stop for lunch. Then there'll be the 'road of a thousand curves' leading through the northern mountain ranges towards the lovely little town of Pai.
Unfortunately this is our last riding day already and it's hard to think about it. Now that we are used to this fantastic adventure in Southeast Asia with all the nice people we just want to continue (and go back all the awesome roads we just did)! The last day though gives us all the goodies one more time. On a really nice road we leave Pai and head south to Chiang Mai. No traffic at all, hardly any villages, pure mountain nature with fantastic views - and a ton of curves on good tarmac! Exhausted but happy we reach our lovely hotel in Chiang Mai and celebrate our last evening.
Ladys and gentleman, it was an immense pleasure to ride and spend time with you! Thank you for exploring an extraordinary part of the world with us and we I hope to see all of you again soon!
Have a safe trip home and enjoy a little Best Of of all the things and sights we got to see!
Your fearless leader, Michael