The Ho Chi Minh Trail was used by the North Vietnamese Army to transport reinforcements and supplies into South Vietnam. Operation Steel Tiger was the bombardment of the Trail and other areas of Laos by B52 bombers between April 1965 and November, 1968. That bombardment was intended to stop those reinforcements and supplies, but it failed. Along this route you will see evidence of that struggle. This tour will take you to the border areas of Southern Lao, Cambodia, and Vietnam, then up through the Annamite mountain range to ride the Trail network.
Honda CRF 250L
70% off Road
Welcome to Laos and our first day on the Trail together. We will take the old road to Attapue. A road recently affected by the collapse of Saddle Dam D, causing huge destruction and homelessness. It’s good to see things getting rebuilt in the area and they always welcome motorcyclists. A good ride though an area that was also a major part of the Trail network and much used in the past. Overnight, we will stay in Attapue.
An early start as we ride out over more lovely countryside with some magic Trails. This area was alive with Trails during the Vietnamese War, many of which you’ll see. Few travellers get this far off the beaten track. It’s a remote area that was a main part of the trail, hidden in dense forest and Jungle. We will overnight in a local guest house in Dakchung town.
“Morning to you”, as we wake in this beautiful part of Southern Laos. After a local breakfast, we gear up and head for Ta Oy. We have some distance to go on the trail today with a choice of ways to go. Some parts of the trail still show signs of the cobblestones intact after all these years and we can still find entertaining routes on this part of the trail. As evening comes, we’ll get to Ta Oy where we stay overnight in a local guest house.
A shorter day today that takes in two noticeable things; a great section of Trail and a 300 meter Bamboo Bridge as we pass Muang Nong. After that, it’s back to a section of road housing a part of the Trail that has been preserved for history. The rest of this trail has been paved which is a shame. On arrival at Munag Dong we will visit the war museum, following which we’ll stay overnight in Xepon, a hot bed of activity during the War.
As we have a short distance to ride today, we can take the afternoon for some rest or do some exploring. This whole area was one of the most significant areas of the trail. Multiple chokes and route 912 travel over the Phu Laniche pass into Ban Laboy and the Ban Kari pass. Rest or ride, we will over night in Vilabouly.
After breakfast, it’s straight onto the Ho Chi MInh Trail, which we will ride most of the day. We detour to see the Xe Bang Fai River Cave and then it’s back onto the Trail. We’ll ride to Bulapha, then onto the Mu Gai Pass, one of the main entry points to the Ho Chi Minh Trail. On arrival we can take the old trail up to the top of the pass. We will overnight there in a local Guesthouse.
It’s time to head south, back across the fords, and then back to Boualapha. From there, we’ll ride smaller trails through the countryside. Small villages are dotted around large paddy fields surrounded by Limestone mountains. There are some really nice trails in this area, which is a very rural one. Our route will then take us to Muang Phine, where we’ll stay in a Guesthouse overnight.
Another great day of riding today. We use Route 23 which was a major supply line in the Vietnam War. Evidence of its importance are destroyed bridges still lying in ruins along the whole length of the trail. There are some great forest sections to tackle, as well as some river crossings that will keep you cool. Altogether, a very interesting day. Towards its end we reach Salavan and our Guesthouse for the night.
Following breakfast, we will head to the hills. That allows us to detour the mountains towards Xekong, before picking the main road into Pakxong. We stop en route to see some sites and enjoy the weather, Pakxong is famed for its cool weather! Arriving there in the early evening, we can relax in a cool atmosphere and enjoy the local hospitality.
Last day today, and mainly on tarmac with some dirt trails in between. We will visit Tad Fane Falls on the way back to Pakse. Once in Pakse, it’s another sightseeing trip to Wat Phu, which is a stunning piece of Lao history. Finally, we will get back into town for our last evening together. It is certain to be one to remember.
Lao Adv Tours: Reserves the rights to change routes and planning due to road problems. Weather conditions can change very quickly. All rights reserved.
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