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Old 01-25-09, 08:04 AM   #1
BF123
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Northern Lao onwards?

I'm in luang prabang now and need to get my ass in guangzhou by early march. There are a multitude of routes to choose from, and I'm rather confused.

At first, i wanted to go east from phou khoun, onto HW7, go north to HW6 and to Hanoi. I will then hit the coast, go north to Guilin, which is a must go, and south to guangzhou.

After some information gathering, i thought of going east from oudom xai, to HW 2E to cross the border at Taichang. From there, I will either go to Sapa > Kunming > Guilin, or Hanoi > Guilin. But I heard Sapa isn't really nice this time of the year.

Another choice would be to head east from LP, to Pak Xeng, onto HW 1C, east to HW 6, and to Hanoi. However, my GT rider's map list the route after Pak Xeng as "very steep 12 kms", and, there's quite a lot of unpaved routes.

Finally, there's north all the way to Boten > Dali > Kunming > Guilin.

Oh choices, choices... Anyone have any suggestions or specific information (road conditions, hills, guesthouses, etc) about the routes I listed?
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Old 01-25-09, 08:41 PM   #2
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I rode north from LP to Pakmong on 13. It's a nice route. The road is good and fairly easy, pleasant scenery, and the traffic is light. Not much in the way of villages with services until you get close to Pakmong. There are some guesthouses starting maybe 20 km before reaching Pakmong. We stayed in Pakmong, however. (Don't eat at the restaurant on the left side in Pakmong at the intersection with route 1. The only bad meal I've had in southeast Asia was at that place. I probably should have tried "mole" or "large lizard" instead of chicken. All were on the menu.) Route 13 west to Oudomxai isn't nearly as smooth as route 13 south of Pakmong, but it's certainly rideable. There are a couple of considerable climbs. I continued west to Luang Namtha and to the Thai border at Houay Xai, but the turnoff to Boten isn't far from Luang Namtha. I took a nice little side trip up to Muang Sing from Luang Namtha.

You might try doing a search on Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, or posting a query on their bicycle board.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:10 PM   #3
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Haha..thanks. Large lizard.


Anyone have any specific information regarding the route from Lao Cai(vietnam) to Jianshui(Yunnan), following Yuan Jiang almost all the way, then up to Kunming mainly on minor roads?

Also, the southern route from Dien Bien Phu to Sapa, route 279>32 >40. Most people do the northern one.
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Old 01-28-09, 05:42 AM   #4
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We took notes to Oudomxay but then turned back to Thailand:

http://travellingtwo.com/resources/l...prabangpakbeng

For what it's worth.... food and lodgings are both crummy in Pakmong. Stock up on snacks before you tackle the hills to Oudomxay and definitely go to the best restaurant ever in Oudomxay... Suphailin Restaurant!! The best we ate in all of Laos, which somehow made up for the crummy food in Pakmong.
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