Category 2015 Cycling South East Asia

Ahong Temple to Ban Pueng (111 km)

Well we did our first century ride today. It was rolling hills with off and on headwinds. We did mostly highway Km’s as we knew it would be a long day. We arrived around 3 pm and we’re glad to be out of the saddle. 

The last bit we road on the minor roads. The more isolated the road is, the more nasty dogs there are. We were chased a few times today. 

Gramma looking after Junior


Another gramma


Ahong temple


Water buffalo

 Well, women are not allowed to come in contact with monks. Janis captured this monk paying for gas. He leaves the money on the ground and she leaves his change on the ground. 

          Monk paying for gas

You never know what you will see when riding down the road. 

          Nice encounter

Bye for now

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Rattani Wapi to Ahong Temple (65 km)

Again mostly flat. We spent a lot of time cycling through the small villages by getting off the main highway. 

          Rolling down the dirt road

The highlight of the day was cycling on narrow trails through the rubber tree plantations. At one point there was a man tapping the trees and his wife, child, dog and two kittens were in the forest with him for the day. Bring your kid to work day. The setting was magical. 

Below is a video of tapping the rubber trees. 

          Rubber tree tapping

Where we ended up last night was a great little bungalow. It was difficult to find a dinner. Janis bought a bag of salad, and we will let the video answer how it was. As you will also see in this video, we get 100’s of hellos and waves...

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Nong Khai to Rattana Wapi (80 km)

Before we left we got a photo of two new friends. Valorie is on a cycle tour and Ray lives in SE Asia. 

Friends

 

It was a fairly flat day and we did both highway riding on Hwy 212 and we got off the highway and rode through countrysides. Below is a video of the day. 

          Video of the ride today

 

Bye for now. 

 

 

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Vientiane to Nong Khai (22 km)

It was a quick trip to the Thailand border and we already had our visa so things went relatively quickly at the crossing. We met another cyclist, Valerie and spent the next few days hanging out at a lovely guesthouse in Nong Khai. 

We were back in the land of pad Thai, spicy food and 7/11’s.   

Ancient Chinese Medicine

Little birds on a spit

Janis can relate to the elephant – chased by dogs

Sculpture park

Our guesthouse was very relaxing and gentle and a little oasis in the Mekong, a garden setting. We met 6 cyclists and spent time together. Some were hard core and some were like Janis and I, only on a 3 month trip.  I booked a gig playing guitar at the local bar. The pay was amazing, I got 1 free water. The crowd was sparse, the guitar did not stay in tune but I had fun. 

Sunset

B...

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A few days in Vientiane

We spent a few days exploring the sights of Vientiane. A lovely city with lots to see. Also I replaced both my front and back tire.  

Night Market


Sunset at Vientiane


A VW diner

We also spent several hours at the COPE Centre. This is an organization dedicated to helping Laos people missing arms and legs. Most of the clients are recent cluster bomb victims. This subject just does not go away. And it shouldn’t.  This country is affected daily by unexploded bomblets.  Below is only a light sampling of what we have researched. By no means is it complete or can grasp this in a few days of research.

In 2012 when we toured the killing fields we were proud to see Canada leading the way on global legislation about the use of land mines...

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Tha Ngon to Vientiane (32 km)

Highway 10 was torn up between Tha Ngon to Vientiane so we took a new road 12 km across to highway 13. We traded the red dirt for busy highway. 

The next 20 km into town were very busy and quite interesting. Vientiane has had a lot of Feench influence over the y ears and the architect shows this influence. 

Below is a set of rules in one of our guesthouse. Note rule 5 and 6. 

Rules of the guesthouse

Bye for now. 

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Hin Hoeup to Tha Ngon (83 km)

Before leaving Hin Hoeup we captured the Monks doing their 6 am daily begging. The locals provide food and they pray for them. You may hear the prayers at the end of this video. 

          Monks in the morning

The actual ride had a bit of hills and the last 60km were relatively flat.  The last 30 km were on bumpy dirt roads. At the start of the dirt road we shared it with 100’s of kids coming home from school, on tuk Tuk, walking and bikes. They were a very happy bunch (something we didn’t see in the mountains (schools or joyous children)).  

One group of cyclists challenged me to a race. I played cat and mouse and let them stay equal and then let the Canondale engineering kick in. They had old steel one speed bikes with wide tires and loose and missing bolts...

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Vang Vieng to Hin Hoeup ( 65 km)

Another day of ups and downs. The roads were in good shape. Not too much traffic. We were not sure where we would stop but when we pulled into Hin Hoeup, we felt it was time. There were lots of fruit stands and some local restaurants. We took a chance that we could find something to eat. 

Along the way we started to see one of the largest lakes in SE Asia. It is man made due to a dam. We saw lots of dried and fresh fish. Some 3 foot catfish at the markets. 

Dried fish


Big catfish


Weaving at the side of the road

Lovely work

Rolling down the road. 

          A ride through town

Both times we were in Northern Laos, we bought some Laos children’s books from an organization called “Big Brother Mouse”. We gave them to poor rural schools along our journey...

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Vang Vieng – A lot of moving parts

After spending time in the very remote parts of Laos, it was a bit of a shocker being in Vang Vieng.  Some many tourists and some strange tourist rituals.  The Laos government clamped down a few years ago on things in Vang Vieng. 

A menu from 2011

Info about changes at Vang Vieng

 

Below is a brief video about our time in Vang Vieng. 

          A lot of moving parts in Vang Vieng

 

Bye for now. 

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Warm Springs to Vang Vieng (77km)

After a great bath in the warm springs we headed down the road. Kasi was 25 km away and we stopped for a Laos Coffee (quite different) and a breakfast pizza. 

Cows on the road in this town. 

A busy town


Going to work

Rolling down the mountain. 

          Rolling down the mountain 

After coming out of the mountains, the landscape changed. 

Lettuce and cabbage patches

We also started to see children allowed to be children. 

          Play time

Below is a stall at a market. Scott I think they offer fermented tree rats on the Tuesday menu. 

Rodents for sale to BBQ

Below is a link to a video from today. 

          A few other videos

We just passed an area that was famous for action by the Hmong rebels.  These rebels were the ground forces for the CIA secret war...

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