Adventure motorcycle tour in Laos - Thakaek loop to the Konglor cave


 
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I got permission to camp for free on the terrace. Koptschai lalei. Thank you very much. We spent a pleasant evening in one of the many restaurants along with Kim and Nina from Holland.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Departure should be at 9:00 the next morning. Just in time as well as Germans just are, we packed and went off.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
When we arrived at the port, the boat was already full. Another time had been told to the other people.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
We hoped for a second boat but then had to squeeze in between all the other people with no free seat.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As soon as someone went to toilet, we took place on one of the old, but quite comfortable car seats on the farry. Its not good to drink coffee in the morning ;)
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Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Gone are the days, were passengers hat to so on wooden benches, even this is still written in most of the travel guide books.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Suddenly, the boat made a hard movement. Apparently it had clashed with one of the many sharp rocks under water, some of tham can be seen on the surface.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The Captain who maneuvered the boat started to shout in Laos language, giving commands to his crew.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Some planks of the boat were opened t look for water. Luckily no leak was discovered, and so the mood calmed down again.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
With a prayer, they threw some donations to the rock into the Mekong river.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Also this day passed by very quickly. It was easy to get in contact with other travelers. People had learned from the cold day before and were wearing their jackets.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At 16: 00 the ferry landet 10 km outside of Luang Prabang, although the Mekong River flows directly through the city.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
This way, tourists were forced to take the expensive TucTuc taxis for 20,000 kip apiece. This behavior towards the rich tourists turned out to be special for Laos. Tourists are seen as money on legs.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
We escaped the mob of TucTuc driver and started walking towards the city.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
20 meters later the first TucTuc caught up with us. We agreed on half the price 10,000 kip and went on.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I have never earned money so quickly in my live.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
while I was watching the baggage, the others compared the prices of the different guest houses in Luang Prabang.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Finally Manuela and Elmar checked into a pretty, mosquito-free hotel for 13 euros per double room.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Here, we left our luggage and went looking for something delicious to eat.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At the night market, which happens every day and every night, delicious food was offered in addition to handbags, snake whisky and many other things.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
There were large, vegetarian buffets. For one euro you can fill your plate with what ever you like.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Meat, fish, or Lao beer cost extra. To my delight, the food in Laos was not as spicy as in Thailand anymore and they even had forks so the tourists did not have to use their sticks ;)
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
We exchanged money at the rate of 1 euro: 10.770 Kip and took off to buy a few gifts.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In Laos and Cambodia, Thai Baht and US dollars are accepted, but in Thailand no Lao Kip etc.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
There were so many beautiful things at the marked, that it was hard to decide.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
It was also important to observe different customs regulations. For example it is not allowed to export Buddhas from Thailand, because they are holy to be used as a paperweight in other parts of the world.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At the same time it is not allowed, to import snake whisky or things made out of an elephant into Europe.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At the end, we choosed cakes, pancakes and smoothies for our selfe as a dessert :D
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At night, I pitched my tent behind a small temple nearby. That didn't bother the monks who saw me at all.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The next morning we rented two scooters for the 90,000 kip, to ride the 40 km to the Kuang Si waterfall.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The bikes are so expensive in Luang Prabang, because there is a penalty tax on them, to make the TucTucs more attractive to the tourists. They're a lot of them but they are not nearly as fun as a scooter ;)
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
It became a super great trip. In Laos we had to ride on the right hand side again.
We reached the beautifull green place of the waterfall, were the water is running through many small pools. A perfect photo paradiese and well worth the 2 Euros entry, of you come in the morning sunlight.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
On the way we stopped here and there. In one village there was a feast, to which we were spontaneously invited. At another place, children were offering, the souvenirs but also Buschmeat like rats along the roadside.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In the afternoon we tryed to reach the Ta Tsi waterfall. Therefore we had to take a small boat.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At the waterfall, people were offering elephant rides.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Unfortunately, the animals here were treated extremely rude and unfriendly and were bound with chains.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The lephant village nearby did not even let us enter the village. They wanted entry... for 10 euro just to see an elephant...for this money in Pai you can already ride them.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The Tham Ting cave we had allready seen from the Slowboat.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
After a delicious dinner at the buffet of the Nightmarket, we all met in the hotel again to exchange our resulting photos.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The next morning our small group split off again and Manuela, Elmar and I took the bus to Vintiane.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Because of the extremely winding mountain road, the trip lasted 10 hours with a small lunch stop.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In Laos capital city, we had the luck to catch a sleeper bus. This sleeping bus brought me to Tha Kaek for 100,000 kip, while the others continued to Pakse.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Unfortunately, the sleeping places in the night bus was only 1.50 meters long and 40 cm wide. In the middle of the night, I had to get of the bus and was standing in the middle of nowhere again.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I left the bus station and walked 1 km strait ahed. There I pitched my tent behind a bush. Good night.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The next morning, I hired a semiautomatic Kolao scooter with centrifugal clutch and manual transmission for 40,000 kip per day.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
With this motorcycle, I started the Very popular Tha Kaek loop towards the Konglor Cave.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
First, I had to ride 100 km back from were I came with the bus yesturday. Then I turned right for 70 kilometers.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
This sounds easier as it was. Unfortunately, the paved road had extremly sharp edged gravel split on it. As a result, I already had two flat tires on the first day.
How can people fly to the moon but the industry can't produce unflatt tires??
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Fortunately, there are always little workshops in every village along the way, that repair tires for 1 Euro or sell new tubes for 2,50. Until there I had to ride on the rim.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Nevertheless, I reached the village of Konglor in the evening. It was full of hotels, guest houses and restaurants... so nothing for me.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The previous village, in which there was another small cave to see, local people lived from growing tobacco.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As I arrived in the darkness, I was greeted friendly and received permission, to pitch my tent on the porch of the house in the middle of the village.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Nin Chau? If I wanted to eat rice? Yes!!! I sat on a straw mat together with the man of the village and formed little balls of stickyreis with my fingers and dippte them in a delicious sauce.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
They also offered me cooked snails and toothpicks to pull them out of their house. Mmmmh.
The women and children were eating at the other side of the room.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Aside from annoying barking dogs, who are in most of the villages here, I spent a relaxed night and felt very safe.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Although I saw man running around with machine guns on the road, but if they were targeting tourists, they would wait until the night.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In the morning I left all my stuff at my hosts house and went to see the cave. Together with two tourists from Korea I rented a boat and a guide.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In Laos of typical kind, we had to pay many different prices. To park the motorcycle was 3000 Kip. Then there was an entrance fee. To rent the boat with a giude was 100.000 kip or 10 Euros. Also a head light and a life jacked were charged seperatly.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As a tourist, you feel like an ATM, out of wich everyone wants to pull as much money as possible. All prices for foreighners are 10 times as expensive at the beginning and have to be negotiated. Then if you pay you dont get your change. Instead they try to give you a a chewing gum or so. F*ck!!!
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Still, the 1 hour lasting boat trip through the entire Cave and all the way to the other side of the mountain, was a great experience.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Inside of the mountain, the boats droped us so we could walk in between the beautifully illuminated stalactites and stalagmites.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Again, I spent the night in the local village. No one had touched my stuff or stolen anything.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In the evening I gave some english lessons to the local kids. I have never seen such interested and disciplined students.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As always, if was hard to say good bye to my new friends the next morning. At least they were happy about the money, I gave them as a gift.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
For the same money I could have used a hote as well but then I would not have had the entire village com to visit me. This way, travelling is much more interesding.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
From Laksao I continued to ride on unpaved road. The fuel supply was not a problem.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Everywhere along the way, small shops offered petrol in plastic bottles.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
My next destination on the loop was the controversial Nam Teun 2 dam, which I had heard about a lot already in Germany.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Since 2005 a narrow river here was dammed so high, that it had became a huge lake
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
more then 45 square kilometers with a volumen of more then 3,5 billionen cubic meters of water worth more then 1,3 Billionen US$.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Laos wants to create energy here to become the battery of Asia. Therefore huge parts of the rain forrest were fludded and destroyed here.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The trees were literally drowned. Now only bare stems were rising from the water into the sky GPS N17 protrude ° 57' 04.3 "E105 ° 02' 51.8" 545m.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The people living there were forcibly resettled.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Instead of living in beautiful nature, now they must life in a crowded city. Conflicts are inevitable.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The hydroelectric power plant is producing 1075 megawatts while using more then 345 m³ of water per second with a height of more than 200 meters.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Most of the electricity is sold through a 168 km long 500 k Volt cable directly to Thailand.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
More than 24,000 bombs were found during the construction of the dam, wo were actually destined for Vietnam
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
but were however dropped accidentally over Laos by the Americans during the Vietnam war.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Allready the defuse of all this bombs cost more then 20 million US$.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At least this is the information, the guid of the power plant told me.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Just before the loop led me back to Tha Kaek, several signs showed me the way to 5 small caves.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
They cost only a few thousand Kip entrance fee, were full with figures and all sorts of stuff but not really worth watching.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Much more interesting was the way to one of them.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
A small dirt road led 26 km away from the main road in the middle of the country.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
It was Christmas Eve, got slowly dark and I wanted to celebrate Christmas with a nice family again.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Unfortunately I failed. A third flat tire forced me to stay in a very small village.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
When the damage was fixed, it was completely dark allready. From the wife of the mechanic, I received permission to camp in their garden.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
A angry old man who suddenly appeared, however ruined my evening.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
He made a giant noise, was on the phone shouting to somebody and tryed to explain to me, that camping was forbidden here,
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
although I saw road construction workers and other people camping along the road.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I ignored the angry guy, politely said good night to the family and went into my tent.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As the idiot however started to shake my tent hardly always repeating the one sentence in English "Were are you from?", I became angry too.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I came out of my tent, rose in front of him and startet to shout at him in German as loud as I could. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
That made an impression on him. 2 minutes later he was gone.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The next morning, I wanted to do another short trip, before I had to return my motorbike.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Everywere I heared the noise of chainsaws. The air was full with smoke.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In many places th jungle was cut down. The wood was pilled up and with exclusion of oxygen transformed into charcoal, which we then can buy very cheap at German stores.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I felt liky crying when I saw how people were dealing with the beautiful landscape here.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
As if it wasn't bad enough, all the waste in Laos is simply droped into the nature too.
 
Motorcycle trip around South East Asia: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
On the other hand the people are so poor that the women have to walk far to fetch drinking water for their familys.
If then the Falangs (foreigners / tourists) want to buy coal, they produce it. The people of Laos use wood to the Cook. This trip continues on the next page.
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