Monday, 21 March 2016

To Lao Bao and Back

Despite all my back problems recently, I decided to drive to Laos and to Vientiane to extend my visa. This being around 800km away, I wanted to make sure my back and bike are up to the task.

Since I had a day off, I figured I do a test drive to Lao Bao and back to see how the drive is going and how my back is holding up.

The day started a bit cold and foggy but it soon cleared up and became very hot. The first destination was A Luoi and from there up north to Khe Sanh and Lao Bao.

On the maps, I saw a smaller border crossing in La Lay and since it was on the way I wanted to find out how the roads are and if I can take my bike into Laos without problems there.

Turns out that it's no problem there but the road on the Lao side is not great so it will take longer to get to Pakse or Savannakhet. Another downside was that I would need a Lao visa in advance since they don't offer it at the border.

Still, happy with my finding and knowing I would make use of this crossing at  some point for one of my trips, I set off to Lao Bao.

I arrived in Lao Bao in the afternoon and after enjoying a late lunch and coffee, I went to the border to ask.
Finding the same two grumpy guys as 2 years ago, they told me no motorbikes into Laos. After some back and forth they decided they actually don't really care but didn't think the Laos border guards will let me through with a motorbike but I could just get a Laos visa for the La Lay crossing.

So the end result was to just show up in a few days and see what their current mood was, after that I left and made my way back to Hue via A Luoi again and driving at night across the mountains was certainly fun although not easy.

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