After a week in Hanoi, it was time to resume my road trip. My plan was to ride back to Saigon and sell my motorbike. But I also wanted to see Laos, which is said to have phenomenal motorbiking opportunities. I figured I’d take a detour and head back via Laos.

Going trough Laos is pretty far out of the way. That, and the crazy weather I encountered pushed me past my breaking point. I wasn’t enjoying beautiful, rural Laos as much as I should have.

Making matters worse, even after riding all the way to the extreme South of Laos, once I re-entered Vietnam I would still have a week of riding (or a long train ride) until I returned to Saigon. So I ended up selling my motorbike in Southern Laos, and finishing up on buses.

Here’s what was on my itinerary.

  • Mai Chau – Beautiful rice fields among limestone mountains.
  • Pu Luong Nature Reserve – Get off the beaten track to stay in traditional villages.
  • Vieng Xay – See the cave cities Lao people took refuge in during America’s secret nine year bombing campaign.
  • Nong Khiaw – A tiny village in a beautiful setting on a river next to limestone mountains.
  • Luang Prabang – Cultural capital of Laos. Temples, monks, and French colonial architecture.
  • Phonsavan – A side trip to see the mysterious Plain of Jars.
  • Vang Vieng – Horrible, overdeveloped backpacker mecca with beautiful scenery outside of town.
  • Vientiane – The sleepy capital of Laos.
  • Thakhek – Starting point of the three-day motorbike circuit known as “The Loop.”
  • Savannakhet – A sleepy river city with some French colonial architecture.
  • Pakse – Laos’ big Southern city, and my best chance to sell my motorbike.
  • Si Phan Don – Without my motorbike, I took a bus down to the scenic and laid-back 4,000 Islands of the Mekong.
  • Champasak – My final stop, to visit UNESCO World Heritage Khmer temple ruins on a mountain.

Stay tuned for my journals on the final leg of my motorbike trip around South East Asia.

I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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