Hanoi to Vientiane Cycling 2010

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Hanoi to Vientiane Cycling 2010

  1. 1. Hanoi to Vientiane 2010InaguralExpedition Tour<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />Newly-opened border crossing, rumors of ridable roads and decent beer, Hmong rebels now at peace, unexplored route with no tourists, cheap, high expectation for a slew of unknown unknowns...<br />…HIGH ADVENTURE!<br />
  3. 3. Route<br />From Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, through the scenic Vietnamese NinhBinh Province, <br />crossing over the new border post at Na Meo and then across northern Laos’ most <br />remote road over high mountain passes (reaching over 5,500 feet) to the bucolic <br />Nam Ou River valley, south to the “jewel of Southeast Asia,” Luang Prabang, and then <br />further south over the remaining mountain passes to the backpacker haven of <br />Van Vieng before arriving on the plains nearing the Laotian capital, Vientiane. <br />
  4. 4. Hanoi<br />
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  9. 9. Hanoi to Mai Chau<br />
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  18. 18. Mai Chai to Vieng Xai<br />
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  21. 21. “She works hard for the money!”<br />Donna Summer, Hollywood, 1983<br />“I worked hard for this money!”<br />Jay Long, Na Meo, Vietnam Border Post, 2010<br />
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  26. 26. Vieng Xai to Vieng Thong<br />100+ miles<br />10,627 elevation gain<br />Expected temperature: 100 degrees<br />“I’m not a biker”<br />~ John Nees<br />
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  30. 30. Vieng Thong to Nong Khiaw<br />
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  35. 35. Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang<br />
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  37. 37. Luang Prabang<br />Luang Prabang, a little city of about 100,000 people, neither teems with excitement <br />nor seethes with intrigue. Life flows slowly here, like the muddy Mekong. <br />The people are gentle and unassuming. <br />Two lazy rivers happen upon each other in their wanderings through Luang Prabang — the Nam Khan and the swirling brown Mekong. <br />Traditional Lao houses, high on teak pilings, creep down to the river's edge, engulfed in tall <br />swaying palms and jungle shrubs. Children laugh and play here, jumping from high trees into the rich brown river. A few small pirogues drift downstream, carrying fruits or <br />hauling nets.<br />A person could stay here forever and not even realize it…<br />
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  47. 47. “Chit, would you help me understand why we’re not staying here?”<br />
  48. 48. “You heard me… see you in Vientiane”<br />
  49. 49. “Well, that makes it unanimous, we’re staying ”<br />
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  53. 53. Luang Prabang to Bor Nam<br />
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  57. 57. “This feels good, really good”<br />
  58. 58. “As I see it – it’s John’s turn to do the wash”<br />
  59. 59.
  60. 60. Bor Nam to Van Vieng<br />
  61. 61. “I don’t understand, it <br />wasn’t this heavy when <br />we started in Vietnam”<br />
  62. 62. “That’s right, pick me up at the bottom of the first hill”<br />
  63. 63. Almost home free… until we entered the Laos version <br />of Deliverance(note the belt buckle).<br />
  64. 64.
  65. 65. “Look, no chicken feet!”<br />
  66. 66. Van Vieng<br />
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  72. 72. “Kop chai Mr. Jay (I think)?”<br />
  73. 73. Vientiane<br />
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  75. 75. A N G K O R<br />
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  83. 83. Laos Adventurers….<br />From Diep, Quyet, Lam, Hien, Chit, Bay, Son,<br />Supakorn, Ruay, Andy, Chamroeun, Daroeurn,<br />Nhung, Kulikar, Theoun, Patrick, Tree, and Mr. T –<br />Kop chai lailai!<br />Special thanks to Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Bangkok<br />staff, Tree, SOS and Dr. Singh for Jim’s safe return. <br />

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