Monday, July 30, 2012

7 - 14 July 2012

Just two days returning from Umrah, I was back on the plane heading for Vientiane. Hj Khailani, now a regular partner in my cycling tours was with me. He was, a day earlier in Surabaya. Laos had been on my radar for sometimes. Having cycled parts of Vietnam and Cambodia, the only other country within the Indo-China region that I had not set foot on was Laos. With this visit, I can place on my personal record that all the countries in Indo-China had been visited, though perhaps only a tiny portion of each country.

Unlike previous trips, this cycling tour will cover two countries. We fly in into Vientiane and we fly out from Bangkok. On a straight line, Vientiane to Bangkok is in excess of 1,000 km. With just 7 days at our hand, we could not possibly cover this distance on a touring bicycle. So, it was to be part cycling and part "bus-sing".

Having cycled in Thailand on various occasions, we decided to spend more time cycling in Laos,  exiting into Thailand and bus back to Bangkok for our return flight. I got hold of a map from the internet site and had the rough plans laid out.

Day 0 : Arrive Vientiane
Day 1 : Vientiaen to Thapabat (96 km)
Day 2 : Thapabat to Pakkading (94 km)
Day 3 : Pakkading to Ban Lao (54 km)
Day 4 : Ban Lao to Thakhek (109km) and into Nakhon Phanom (in Thailand)
Day 5 onwards would be planned on the ground, noting that we had to be in Bangkok by Day 6 for our return flight on Day 7

I must admit that the route planning was rather rushed. Originally, the plan was to exit Vientiane at Nong Khai and cycled as far as we could in Thailand and bus back to Bangkok.

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