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Laos mega-mini update

Sorry about lots of text and only a few pictures… but the internet hasn’t been so accessible lately!  On to the post…

I’ve never seen a sky as dark as in Laos.  The amazing invisible line that creates borders never ceases to amaze me.  Well, in this case, there is a river, the Mekong.  As soon as you cross the border, you know that you are in a different country.  Laos is a communist country by label, but I didn’t really expect much of a difference.  The red flag sporting the hammer and sikle is everywhere usually accompanying the Laos Flag.  I haven’t seen any recognizable international chains, but I haven’t been to any big cities yet.  So far in my few days of driving around, it seems like there aren’t any.

There are villages after villages.  Cows are grazing on the side of the road next to the kids who are playing in the street.  I really have to watch my speed to make sure that I can always come to a complete stop because there always seems to be something or someone in the way.  Scooters outnumber 4 wheeled vehicles probably 30 to 1.  Surprisingly, most of the vehicles I have seen are newish Toyota pickup trucks.

The people here are easily as friendly and curious as the Thai.  The language spoken here is Laos but it is similar enough to Thai that I just speak DaveThai (waaay worse than DaveSpan) at them and they seem to know what I mean after about the same number of attempts as it takes back in Thailand.  I understand that Loas is an older and more original form of Thai.

For the first couple of days, I was in Central Loas.  Here there are mountains that seem to spring out of nowhere.  They go straight up into the sky to a point.

Other highlights:

Giant Laos Cave

* Super big cave where I met a swiss woman and her brother.  The swiss woman works for a bomb disposal unit for the swiss army who is contracted to rid Laos of the ordinance that the USA dropped here during the Vietnam war.  Fortunately, I resisted the urge to ask her if she had a swiss army knife or had seen The Hurt Locker.

* There are really only a couple of paved roads in the entire country.  I haven’t been here long but it doesn’t take much to find offroad tracks.

* Everyone here is extremely friendly and always smiles or waves at me on the bike.  It makes riding here a true pleasure.

Today: 306mi a new record!


  1. Derrick says:

    Cool! I was wondering how you were doing as you’ve been offline a bit! Glad you’re ok and having fun!

    Be safe and can’t wait to see/read more.


    Do you cook or eat at local places???
    How is food ???

  3. Klaus Wagner says:

    nice stuff day – as always be safe and keep it coming!

  4. Crystal says:

    Did you have to walk through all that water in the cave?

  5. daveg says:

    nah. we had a boat. Man.. I need to update my blog!

  6. daveg says:

    No one seems to cook in SE Asia except for people who own restaurants. Eating out is so cheap in Thailand that it is often more expensive to cook unless you have a huge family.

  7. Ernie says:

    How’s it going Dave?

    A little bird (okay it was peggy) mentioned its your birthday today.

    Happy bday!

  8. Evandro says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m a V-Strom 1000 user and I planning to buy a DRZ 400 for a off-road trip, just like you did it. Nice to see the mods that you made in your bike.

    By the way, what jacket do you use?

    Regards from Brazil! Keep going!

  9. daveg says:

    Cool! You’re skipping the F650! Good call. I think a vstrom + drz is one of the best bike combos.

  10. Dave Jones says:


    Read the posts in reverse order, sounds like a good idea more or less following the flow and the weather.


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