“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”General Dwight D Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander WWII
This page will be sort of a “living” plan. By that I mean, it won’t be cast in blood until we begin the trek back to Thailand and Laos. Even then it will change as we explore “The Trail.” To stay current with the latest updates, be sure to “Subscribe” with email on the top right of the sidebar (just below the motorcycles in the top pic).
COVID-19 Update 4 May 2020
General Eisenhower’s quote about planning took on a whole new meaning in the early part of March. Just a few days before the adventure was supposed to start, the COVID-19 virus changed everything.
Now there is a new plan. The itinerary is the same. Just the dates have been changed. Now the adventure will begin on 9 Nov 2020. At least that’s the plan, and I have purchased my airplane tickets. That said, keep in mind “Ike’s” words.
There’s a link at the bottom of this page that goes to the full itinerary.
I’m keeping the plans discussed below so you can see how it evolved. The 4 Feb 2020 update below is still current, except the dates have been changed.
Here is the most current “plan.”
- Get to Bangkok – Get there however you choose. For me, it will take nearly 30 hours to get there. I recommend you stay a in Bangkok a day or two to recuperate… you know… have a Singha or two; get a massage to work out the stiffness, etc.
- Fly to Vientiane, Laos (VTE) – For now, I’m thinking there will be two loops to ride. One to the Northern (Barrel Roll) parts of Laos and one to the Southern (HCMT)areas with a stop in Vientiane after the first loop. Once dates are set, it may be possible to do one, the other or both loops.
- Barrel Roll Loop – VTE to Plane of Jars & Airport with old MIGs => Plane of Jars to LS85 => LS 85 to LS 36 (The Alamo) => LS 36 to LS 20A (Alternate, Long Tieng) => LS 20A back to VTE (This loop will take six or seven days)
- HCMT Loop – VTE to Kanglor River Cave=> Kanglor River Cave to Mu Gia Pass => Mu Gia Pass to Guillet-Harley Valley => Guillet-Harley Valey to Tchepon => Tchepon to to Thakhek => Thakhek to NKP This loop could take 10 – 14 days
- NKP – Probably a day in NKP… Cow Pot, more Singha, and a massage.
- NKP to BKK – More Singha and another massage.
- Freedom Bird home
The newest update is 4 Feb 2020. I have left the earlier update so you can see the evolution of this great adventure. Scroll to the bottom if you just want to see the latest update.
Update: 18 Sep
The main points of the above “Plan” are still the same with the following minor changes:
The Barrel Roll loop is now planned to take 8 days. That keeps riding time each day averaging around 4 hours total. That allows time to explore and keeps the Monkey Butt down.
For the HCMT loop we will not be going to the Kanglor River Cave. The cave is too far out of the way.
The HCMT loop may end in Pakse and we would depart from Laos from that airport.
Ending the HCMT loop in Thakhek would result in ≅ 8 days on the HCMT.
Ending the HCMT loop in Pakse would result in ≅ 10 days on the HCMT. This would allow us to explore farther south on the HCMT.
I am planning a 2 day break between the Barrel Roll Loop and the HCMT Loop. That would give us time for Beer Lao… and of course there is that Monkey Butt thing.
Note: The exact stops along either “loop” won’t be “written in stone.” Instead, we will adjust according to how much we want to stop and explore… and the total accrued amount of Monkey Butt. HOWEVER… our final stop at Thakhek, Paske, or maybe even VTE will be on a specific date.
Yes… this is almost 4 weeks at this point, so it will likely get shortened drastically. I’m thinking 3 weeks or less. Click on the map below to see the loops. (It’s a large file so be patient.)
Update 4 Feb 2020
This is planned to be the last update and the start dates and finish dates are now cast in blood. Here are the big changes:
- We will hit the “Trail” in Laos on 30 Mar 2020.
- There will not be two loops as originally envisioned. That would take most of a month. Instead, it has been shortened down to a 14 day ride concentrating mainly on the HCMT.
- We will still go to a little of the Northern area; LS20A (Alternate) and the Plain of Jars (PDJ) before we turn south and head to the HCMT.
- We will travel most of the length of the HCMT from below the Nape pass to the Southern end at Attepeu.
- The ride will end in Paske on 12 Mar 2020.