The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/183380330 (119km, total 4680km – a tough ride with nearly 2000m of climbing, but good tarmac all the way)
The chat: Our last day’s riding in Laos was bittersweet – another country ‘ticked’ but we both fear Laos may turn out to be our favourite country of the trip, with the more Westernised countries of Thailand and Malaysia to come. Still, commandment number eleven states, ‘thou shalt not moan about a month of leisure in Thailand’, so we won’t.
Today started in typical fashion; after gently waking up our waitress-to-be, we feasted on hearty guoi tiao and pedalled west towards the Thai border. The ride turned out to be pretty tough – nearly 2000m of climbing all told, but good roads the whole way, and no navigational issues. Lunch was definitely eaten, but was clearly unmemorable as I cannot recall where or what we ate. Probably guoi tiao at a roadside shack.
Having ridden like lions, we arrived at the Laos border town of Huay Xai, a dusty, slightly seedy but friendly little town, in time to jump through the border hoops and hop over the Mekong to the Thai border town of Chiang Kong, a dusty, slightly seedy but friendly little town. There are plenty of sleeping/eating options on both sides – we went for the very friendly and picturesque BaanRimtaling Guesthouse, 400m after the town proper – unfortunately the mozzies know a good thing when they see one too, so use the net (provided).