Heading out of Luang Prabang for Muang Nguen the border to Thailand, I decide to take the slightly longer route as I had been told by some locals that it’s been raining and the road is washed away in parts on the other route. Well it turns out that his is a lucky break because the route is stunning. I think even better than the renound Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang route. The first half is a half good half bad dirt road which I just loved, it was SO cool to get Dozers tyres dusty again. The minute I stood up to do some off-road I just felt a leap in my heart, I was back doing what I like doing best on this trip. It was only 100km but I enjoyed every meter of it. The second half of the road is a very good asphalt road that runs through the hills up onto a ridge. You then ride along the ridge with the most fantastic view on either side I had to stop and take many pictures. There was very little traffic on this road and I got to enjoy the twisties (tightly winding roads) I have never really enjoyed them before but think that this is because I have always felt pressured. However on this day with no pressure, no other riders, fantastic scenery it all just came together and I felt on top of the world.
There is no way to really describe how I felt riding that road as the road bends to the right and left in quick succession you sway from left to right completely one with your bike, it’s like surfing on tarmac. Not every corner comes together like this and as a twisitie amateur mine were few and far between but when the perfect swaying movement around the corner happened you felt it from the tip of my fingers to the tip of my ties just total and tranquil exhilaration.
I am not a knee down tar head and never will be I ride the corners like an off-road rider upright and pushing the bike down into the road around corner, but they I love it and no one can take that away from me, technique or no technique.
I was quite sad however that I could not spend longer in Laos.
I spent a very uneventful night in a rather dodgy and very noisy guesthouse in Muang Nguen so was very happy to get up extra early to get to the border, and another extremely easy border crossing. No wonder drugs flow so freely between countries down here no one checks anything at these borders. Well I’m not complaining I think it took about 2 hours in total to get out of Laos and into to Thailand. The scenery in northern Thailand is as beautiful as Laos but with far better roads, this time I remembered to shift over to the left side of the road. I was going to take my time to Chiang Mai and stop somewhere overnight, but the road was so easy and the scenery so beautiful I just didn’t’ want the day to end so carried on and at about 6pm arrived at Riders Corner, restaurant and guesthouse in Chiang Mai. I spent two days there and it was great to chill with likeminded adventure travellers, and my friend Richard was there and we always have a laugh.
Chiang Mai itself is a big busy ugly city and I would rather have stayed in a small village, but there is a lot to see and do so worth the visit and a good stop off in the north of Thailand.