Early start for the run to the border. A couple we met said it took them 12 hours to cover the 90km in a bus – we laughed, superior
in the knowledge that our powerful motorcycles would be more than a match for any road. Sure enough, it only took us 10 hours…
At several places on the route, road construction meant hours and hours of waiting while they collapsed chunks of mountain onto the
road, then pushed it over the edge into the forest below. The final result will link China to Laos, via Vietnam. The scars it has already
left on the landscape will outlast the road surface if the rest of the country is anything to go on.
Arriving at immigration, we slipped out of Laos without incident then rode the few km to the Vietnam side. Passports were stamped, and Carnets too – until one nosey customs offical wanted to know where our ‘fixer’ was… Once the cat was out of the bag, we weren’t going anywhere!
A bed on the ground outside the immigration building was our only option we were told, until they took pity on us and said we could leave the bikes until the morning and stay in Dien Bien Phu, 35km away. So we locked up the bikes and headed into ‘Nam, feeling naked without our steeds…
View from our guesthouse in Muang Khau
The owner… Really nice bloke! His wife and son entertained us for dinner the night before.
That little blur up there is Mat…
Local produce for sale
Not sure what these were – any ideas? They were about the size of a small tomato, had ‘eyes’ like potatoes, a pip about the size of a plum’s, and a really tart, sour taste – not unpleasant though
The 20m ferry. That cost as much as a night’s accomodation… Snake.
Some of our dinner companions. They had 6 hours or so of river cruise ahead of them.
Roadworks, Lao style. The drop-off to the left is the same gradient as you can see in the upper right. All that dirt just gets pushed over the edge, creating a huge scar down the mountainside visible for miles and miles.
At the border… Mat checking the matresses out.
The bikes locked up for the night
Looks deserted, but all the customs officials live inside and were keeping a close eye on us…
All that stands between City2Sunrise and Vietnam!!
Says it all…