HCMTrail Ride Update

I have narrowed down the date(s) for this great adventure. There is still a little wiggle room here, and nothing is cast in stone… yet. But it soon will be. If you are interested in going, then contact me NOW. rdennard@memoriesofnakedfanny.com

Here’s the latest. We now have a six week window:

1 Feb through 15 Mar.

Within that window, we will choose a period depending on the feedback I get from interested folks. This will give us the best “dry season” riding without becoming too hot or too much smoke from the crop burn that starts in April.

There will be two different “loops.” You can do both loops if you want… or one loop only.

Northern Loop (Barrel Roll) ≈ 8 days.

  • Plain of Jars (PDJ) Days 1 & 2

  • Lima Site 85  (Phou Phati – Heavy Green) Day 3 & 4

  • Lima Site 36 (The Alamo) Day 5

  • PDJ (Overnight in back in this area) Day 6

  • Lima Site 20A (aka “Alternate,” aka Long Tieng) Day 7

  • Vientiane (Return LS20A to VTE) Day 8

HCMT Loop ≈ 8 days (+2 more maybe)

  • Mu Gia Pass – Days 1-3

  • Ban Phanop (Boxer 22) – Day 4

  • Ban Karai Pass  – Day 5

    • Ban Loboy Ford

    • Guillet – Harley Valley (OK… Harley’s Valley)

  • The Chokes  – Day 6

  • Tchepone – Day 7

  • Thakhek (maybe) – Day 8

  • Ta Oy (maybe)

  • Bolovens Plateau (maybe)

  • Pakse (maybe)

(Route & days after Techpone, if any, still TBD.)

Other than settling on specific dates, the TBDs are:

  1. Possible extra days on the southern end of the HCMT

  2. Where the last stop is in Laos will be.

Part of the TBDs depend on how everyone is getting to/from Laos.I try won’t go into all the options because there are a zillion. Another big thing to consider is jet lag in the beginning (maybe 30+ hours getting there.)… and Monkey Butt in the end after all the days riding. So… here’s an idea of how I think my trip will go:

  • Fly to Bangkok – This will be about 28 hours travel time for me.

  • Spend 1 Day in Bangkok – Eat Cow Pot… get massage.

  • Fly to VTE in A.M. – Meet & Greet (Day 0)

  • Next day begin Barrel Roll Loop (Days 1-8)

  • 2 Days back in VTE (Days 9&10) – Recover & Beer Lao days

  • Next day begin HCMT loop (Days 11-18)**

  • Fly NKP to Bangkok (Day 19)

  • Sabadee (Day 20)

Adding four days; USA → Bangkok → VTE, that’s 24 days total. 

** Ok… here are some options still open.

  1. The exact stops after each day are not set. We won’t be making reservations at the local Hilton resort. So… we may take more or less time in various areas.
  2. Add 2 days to HCMT loop – Go to Ta Oy & Bolovens Plateau. This is the southern end of the HCMT. Trail ride ends in Pakse.

  3. Fly Back to Bangkok from other places:

                Pakse – + 2 days; End HCMT in Pakse

                Ubon – Cross from Pakse to Ubon

                NKP – Cross from Thakhek to NKP

                VTE – It is a 1 day ride back from Thakhek; 2 days from Pakse

                Udorn – Cross from VTE to Udorn (Udon Thani) 

It is also possible to fly directly into/out of Vientiane (VTE) but from what I can tell, it is much more expensive even considering an extra day or two in Bangkok.

Also… at the end of either loop, you could spend any extra days you wanted to in either Laos or Thailand. You may want to go back and visit your old haunts before going back home. You know… drink a bit of Singha… eat more cow pot… visit your old te-lok.

As I said in the beginning. We need to finalize most of this soon. Contact me via email if you want to go, need information, or want to give me input on itinerary changes you would like. Even if you have contacted me before (Facebook or this site), I need you to contact me again by email. This is important because I need a current head count. rdennard@memoriesofnakedfanny.com

Even if you leave a reply here, I need you to email me.

I will be updating again in a couple of weeks.

2 thoughts on “HCMTrail Ride Update

    • I don’t think it’s likely that I would do it again… but I’ve learned to never say never. When I left NKP I vowed to never go back… I’ve been back. And, I’m going back again. That said, if you want to go outside of this trip, then I recommend you contact Don Duval (AKA The Midnight Mapper) Don can tailor a ride for you just like he is doing for this one.

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