Each new country we enter seems to be our favourite and Laos was next on the list. It’s beautiful and was the hardest cycling yet. We arrived in Thakek where we decided to do a popular route called the Thakek Loop. The loop takes you through some amazing mountains and normally people arrive in the village of Konglor and take a boat through Konglor cave and then back to the village, but we were able to go through the cave as part of our route. We took a back road that motorbikes aren’t allowed on and had one of the best days of the trip so far:
We arrived at one end of the cave, got a boat for our bikes and a boat for us and travelled 7km through Konglor Cave to the village on the other side!
After finishing the loop we spent a couple of days in the capital, Vientiane, and a couple of days in Vang Vieng where we went tubing and to more caves.
Afrer a couple of relaxing days in Vang Vieng it was time to start the hardest part of our trip – cycling three days to Luang Prabang, which included two days of biking up mountains and after meeting TWO families who had cycled this part, we had no excuses. One family had 10 year old twins and the other family consisted of the dad on a regular bike with an attachment on the front for one child, and the mother in a recumbant bike with a baby strapped to her chest!!! Cycling up and down crazy mountains! We also met a 70 year old woman who spends 5 months of each year cycling in some part of the world!
Luang Prabang was the end of cycling in Laos and we got a two day boat down the Mekong River to Thailand. We spent a total of 16 hours on this boat and in that time neither of us managed to get a picture of it!
We entered Thailand again in order to make our way to our chosen Myanmar border and our first stop was Chiang Rai. On our way there we stopped to look at our map when someone helped us with directions. His name is Kong and he invited us for coffee at his coffee shop where we found out he grows and roasts his own beans! We even got invited to the coffee plantation to see how coffee is grown, harvested and processed. A lot of the coffee at the plantation is actually sent to Canada – maybe you’ve heard of Doi Chang coffee? This is where it comes from!
While we’re talking about Chiang Rai, I’d also like to tell the world (well, the 10 of you who read this) about the best burger we’ve ever had. It’s from Heaven Burger in Chiang Rai and I’m genuinely upset that I’m never going to have one of their burgers ever again. If you go to Chiang Rai, have one of these burgers! Anyway….
We had a little two week holiday in Chiang Mai and Pai while the bikes were with the mechanic and after all that time off, our legs seem to be resisting cycling again.
We’re all set to enter Myanmar tomorrow and have just over two weeks there and then we fly to India on March 19!