Paksan is the only photo I have of him. I went out to eat chicken lap and drink beer at a restaurant. It was close to a lovely river. Other than that, I don’t recall much about the city.
My journey from Viang Xai to Phonsavan took two days, including an overnight break in Phonsavan. My past motorbike journeys in Laos had been fun, but returning was not. For one thing, I wasn’t going slow and enjoying myself because I was riding for a definite reason. Aside from that, the country was on fire. Also, the folks were not as friendly as they were in Vietnam.
I began my journey by biking through some mountain rainforests. My bike arrived in excellent condition, and I had a lot more space in my seat. It was fantastic.
The country was fascinating, but it appeared that they were trying everything they could to destroy it in Laos.
I drove past a beautiful stilted town with vibrantly colored houses.
After that, there were a slew of fires. The temperature was scorching, and the smoke and heat from the fires only added to the misery. These were set on purpose. I’m not sure if they were placed there to clear ground or to harvest something.
I wasn’t nearly as pleasant to ride with as I had been in Vietnam. The fires were fortunately not too near to the road.
Thailand also has a burning season, and some of the expats I met there stated that they spend a few months in Bangkok while burning the north.
I made it to Phonsavan, but my luggage rack needed to be re-welded. The welds weren’t thick enough, and the weight of my luggage caused some of them to fail. I found a picture of a welder on my phone in town and kept displaying it to everyone. In Laos, getting assistance was far more difficult than in Vietnam. Many people in Laos refused to even glance at the phone. They simply shook their heads and motioned for me to depart. People in Vietnam seemed to enjoy assisting others. They would go out of their way to try to solve the problem and locate the person who had the answer.
After finding a welder, I was able to obtain some really thick welds on my baggage rack. I never had any issues with it after that.
I continued on my journey the next day. I only snapped a few pictures during the ride.
I drove through a lot of beautiful landscapes, but my heart was still in Vietnam.
During my second visit to Laos, I was struck by how many automobiles and trucks were on the road. With fewer huge vehicles, Vietnam is clearly more scooter-friendly.
I must have driven on some difficult roads in Laos, but the road quality was generally excellent.
This is the final photo I took over those two days of cycling. I actually rode for three days since after staying in Paksan, I rode to Vientiane without taking any shots. I spent approximately a week in Vientiane acquiring a new visa, and this is the only photo I have:
Because I dislike seafood, this pizza appears to be a nightmare for me. However, Vientiane was a pleasant stop. I had a nice hotel, and there was a great Philly Cheesesteak restaurant nearby. I also spent some time at some other cool cafés and restaurants. My passport was eventually returned to me, along with my new visa. They gave me a 3-month visa! I couldn’t believe it! That made me extremely pleased!
With a new visa in hand, I returned to the Vietnamese border. I decided I wanted to try a different border crossing, so I turned around and headed in the opposite direction. I’d end up going back to several of the roads I’d seen on the Thakhek Loop. In my next post, I’ll go through that. The distance I cover in these blogs is entirely dependent on the number of images I have. I hope you’ll be able to join me in Vietnam when I return!