Mekong Motorcycle Tour with the GT-Riders! Crossing the Friendship Bridge from Chiang Khong, Thailand to Huay Xai, Laos!

After our unplanned stop on the 118 we needed to whack it to Chiang Khong in time to get across the Friendship Bridge before it closes (6PM I think) and also get our bikes loaded onto the boat for our cruise the next morning. I’m not terribly fond of going fast on the KLX. Above 100 it really sucks gas and above 120 it wanders and floats all over the road on account of the off road knobblies which are not even street legal. But anyway, we still managed to reach Chiang Khong in decent time where we met up at lovely Ms. Chantana’s coffee shop to collect all of our paperwork. I didn’t get a picture of her this year so re-post one from last year-

She offers a great service where you send her copies of your passport, visa and bike registration ahead of time and she get’s 90% of the paperwork completed before you get there. Huge time saver, especially with customs as it usually takes a long time to process the temporary export forms on the Thai side and equally time consuming on the Lao side. Thanks to Na’s help all we had to do was stamp out of Thailand and do Visa On Arrival on the Lao side, quick and easy!

The facilities on both sides of the river are big and impressive and very quiet.

Arriving at the new Friendship bridge that connects Chiang Khong, Thailand to Huay Xai, Laos:

I guess technically bikes aren’t really allowed on this bridge, no idea why, but Na was able to arrange permission for us to ride across, but we had to have an escort vehicle; turned out that was perfect as David, now bikeless, needed a lift across and the police were happy to oblige

I didn’t get any pictures riding across, but Brian did. I hope he won’t mind me sharing a couple of his pictures here:

© Brian Ennion. All Rights Reserved.

© Brian Ennion. All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to Laos!!

© Brian Ennion. All Rights Reserved.

Who should I happen to run into on the Lao side? Non other than an old friend from Phuket and a well known character in the Thai and Malaysian biking scene- Goran, who, along with his wife and an American fellow were sweet talking their way over the bridge and into Laos

Once we got our Lao visas we went straight to the ferry landing which is on the northern side of Huay Xai. Stupid farang that I am, first roundabout we came to I started to go around it clockwise, much to the surprise of a local dude on a scooter- ooops!!

Big wai and a smile and he smiled back- I stayed on the RIGHT side of the road from that point on!!

Arriving at the ferry landing, ready to load the bikes!

The dirtbikes went on first and are pretty easy as they only weigh around 140Kg and have plenty of clearance to get over the door sill and on to the boat. The Versys weigh just over 200Kg and were a bit more work, but we got them all on with no dramas

Here’s our boat for tomorrow’s cruise down the mighty Mekong to the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang-

Some of the fellas got a wee bit lost and didn’t turn up until just before sunset- no worries, the rest of us were enjoying some refreshments while awaiting their arrival

Diggin Robert’s nicely modded Versys with R1 rear shock and Ninja 636 forks!

Bikes all loaded and tucked in for the night!!

Just then a Thai fellow turned up with a massively overloaded Versys and we helped him get it into a small boat that would ferry him to Chiang Khong as he was denied permission to ride across the bridge-

Beer Lao sunset happy hour on the Mekong! Life is good!!!

Categories: Motorcycle Trips and Tours, Thailand, travelog | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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