Old 04-15-18, 11:41 PM
  #23  
saddlesores
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangkok...and....Hainan
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i like to research a route ahead of time. google maps, crazyguy, agoda, etc.
never bothered with a gps on tour, rarely carry a cellphone.
try to find most recent paper maps, and make daily route sheets while on tour.
2-3 days worth of route goes in the hbar bag clear cover, map safely stowed.

as we all know, the plural of anecdote are data.......

for the longest time, the googlemaps showed highway 23 in laos as a major paved
highway. paper maps showed a long section as a dry season only track with notes
indicating two bridges were down.....bombed in the late 60's to cut off the ho chi
minh trail. nothern crossing passable by small local ferry in dry season only, can
wade across the south in the dry season.

last time i was there (2015) the northern bridge was being replaced, nothing south.
i would assume the chinese engineers have completed the bridge by now.
tripadvisor from december 2017 shows no signs of work at the southern bridge.
latest googlemaps satellite views show no bridge construction at either crossing, but
still shown as a highway, now with a broken link at the northern water crossing.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g3337424-d13236717-Reviews-Prince_Souphanouvong_s_Bridge-Salavan_Salavan_Province.html

this is the highway between the two downed bridges (the southern part before it turns
into sandy jungle trail), and the northern construction site.

tripadvisor sez: "This road is truly awful. It’s a combination of red dirt, sand and bone jarring sharp golf ball sized rocks. We managed (just barely) to do this by regular motorbike but it is risky as there is hardly any civilisation or infrastructure along the way, nary a village let alone a shop to repair a tire. We noticed a few sections have been graded so there is a possibility that the road may be sealed at some point."
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Last edited by saddlesores; 04-15-18 at 11:52 PM.
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