The Loop: a 500km motorbike journey in Central Laos

We learnt in our first bike trip that Chineese made bike are easier and cheaper to repair. In Thakek, we don’t have much choice anyway (apart the $35 a day 250cc Honda): the few bike shops only offer the Chinese bikes. And they rented all their bikes already! We get brand new bikes by 11 am: the Chinese guy just bought them and is removing the plastic protection to let us go for 6€ a day.

Mark from Hawai joins us for the 3 days tour. We met him in the bus terminal. He gets unlucky with his bike: his new bike makes very strange noise after only 50km: we have to go back to a mechanics. He dismounts the bike completely and changes the piston! Chinese quality…

This issue shifts all our tour, but we manage to see what we wanted within 3 days (read 3*24 hours). The scenery is stunning in this loop: the karst mountains hiding impressive caves, old trees flooded in the water, etc. The East part of the loop is quite a difficult dirt road, but anyway easier than the wet trail in Luang Nam Tha!

The Konglor cave is actually a 7km river path under the mountain: very impressive, up to 100m wide and high! On an illuminated part, you can see the beautiful stalagmites.

30km before Thakek, we drove 18km on a dirt road to reach the Khoun Kong Leng aka the Blue Lagoon. We were said that the road is very difficult, but it is now almost completely enhanced and leveled: only 1km is quite though. The lagoon is very impressive: I never saw such clear blue water before!

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