Statistics Laos

Distance: 752km
Daily Average: 55 km
Days in Country: 14
Days on the Bike: 9
Altitude covered: 6555m
Daily Average: 728m
Nights in Tent: 5
Nights in Houses: 9
Breakdowns: 1 flat Tyre in the Back, replaced Back Tyre, Derailleur broken
Daily Costs: 20,36€
Step back in Time

As i cycled towards the Border a golden Pagoda welcomed me from the Roof of the Vordergate. My first Thought was „from Gold, already here“, i expected it in Myanmar…
But there is not that much gold in the Country. Honestly i entered the third world through this Gate. Never before the circumstances were so „basic“. The Huts in China started to get more basic but here there were just wooden shacks or out of bamboo or reed. Life happens on the road, People cook, eat, do some needlework or handicrafts. By the Way the Bathroom was a baket of water and the people had a wash in public. A piece of textile covering the upper body is all you need to get some privacy…

They showed up a lot of community in the villages. You sat together, play cards or other board games, they were chatting and through all of that the childrens were running around. All this accompanied by a wonderful smile coming from the heart. Sabadee, the laotian Word for Hello was echoing through the roads we cycled along. The children went totally crazy for the strangers on the Bike…
Everywhere there was music, big Loudspeakers that sound through the whole village were totally normal. In the most times the whole village was celebrating something under the sky. A little bit like i expect the caribic… Good Vibrations!

That was pure motivation. We really needed it cause the mountains didn´t stop at the border the followed us for a time. So Laos showed us it´s wild face full of rolling Hills. For every Descent you had to pay with another ascent… Puh!

We arrived in Luang Prabang just in Time to celebrate Christmas there. The little City is the touristic Center of the North. The old Kings-Capital at the Shores of Mekong worths a visit. Numberless Temples combined with the Charme of a french colonial Architecture… Nice!
Our first contact with tourism was shocking. After months of traveling through untouristic areas we now share the roads mostly with western people. We shard the tables with them on the „Food Market“ where you can eat as much you can put on the plate for a fix price. The were a lot of flamboyant personalities but also adult „cultural travellers“. Wow.

The Advantages of the Touristic Settlement won, so we had a good Hotel for the Ceebrations, Laundry, Place to dry and clean the Equipment, take a break from everyday life… Things that didn´really happen the last time.

After that nice Days we got back on the Bike. The first day we rode a little sidereal and got in a rain shower and after that in sticky mud. At the End my Derailleur blocked of the Mud and got pulled into the Spokes of the Wheel. That killed him. Shit.
Michael had the solution so we rebuild it as a single speed Bike. After another 20km in the Mud the Road got dryer the next day and after another 30km we reached back on the paved main road…
But also on the Mainroad the hilly landscape was a real challenge with just one gear…

After Luang Prabang normal Laos got us back very fast. Little Villages surrounded by Rice-paddies and Bananafields alternating with jungleforrests. Water buffalos crossing our ways and the kids still went crazy on us.
As we reached Pak Lay after 4 Days we had ti change our plans, cause the boat that we expected to take us to Vientiane was´t longer existing. So we crossed Mekong and took a Pickup over the next few peaks. As i booked the Hotel in Advance we had to cover the last 140km along the Mekong (still with rolling Hills) in one day and reached the Capital in the Evening. Laos gave us a last example of it´s Hills before the Landscape went flat the last 30k before the Town. In Vientiane we met the first Traffic Light since China and planned roads… Too much for me! You get used to the Rural Life very quickly ;-)

It was´t possible to get the Myanmar-Visa in Vientiane because of public Holidays in Laos and Myanmar. I don´t wanted to wait one week so i decided to get it in Chiang Mai.
On new years Day we left the City and short after also Laos crossing the Friendship-Bridge to Thailand.
New Year, new Country…

Two weeks in Laos ended faster than expected and were the perfect start for Southeast-Asia. The mild north gave us an easy step into the heat of the south that took us in her Arms in Vientiane.
The relaxed Mood of the Laotian People was infectious and very nice. The easy but fulfilling life of the Locals impressed me. Even here the modern times started but it is not that worse than elsewhere.
In the most villages the people go to bed early, cause there is no Streetlight. As we cycled through some villages after dark on day the people were sitting around the fires. A very special situation… Beautiful.