Ride lao 2015

Ride Lao 2015

The dream to ride to the border of China (and beyond) for most riders are real. For most of us who are tied down by commitments eg. financial, time, work & family...to be able to reach the China border is one of our objectives. As we know anything beyond that border will require a large amount of money, a vast amount of available time and being able to leave family and work commitment behind (hope to continue to be employed when we are back). As most of us know that motorcycle riding through China will require a guide and permits that needed to be applied which would increase the cost of any trip to be way more than one would expect. The fact that bikes are not allowed on their highways would mean that motorcycle trips need to be planned to ride through the back roads which would result in the increase in time to journey from one town to the next. The back roads are also not well maintain for many stretches requiring riders to go slower as they carefully maneuver through the twists and turns. The vast expanse of land that China occupy would also mean that it would take many couple of days just to transverse through the country if we were to look at crossing China into India and South Asia or Mongolia or further east to the "Stans", the start of the corridor to Central Asia.

"As such many people would dream a dream of touching the border of China at least once in their overlanding journey."

The Plan for Laos

The plan to ride through Northern Laos came about over some coffeeshop talk where we hope to be able to realise this dream of ours. Even still there were as usual some restrictions, mainly the numbers of days needed to cover the ride from Singapore to the border of Laos and China. Also to make our cost lower we would need to have at least 10 riders for the trip to share the cost of guide while in Laos as well as transportation of bikes as we hope to shave of at least two days (and fatigue recovery) on the return journey.

We also plan to include a charity aspect to the ride as we hope to be able to give back to the community of the countries that we visited...hoping to make what little different we could. During the same time, we hope to be able to assimilate with the locals and understand their way of life or what they have gone through during the past decades as a country that is developing out of communist influence.

Legacies of War

Unknown to many Laos has many unwanted legacies of war that took place around the region especially during the Vietnam War. From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance over Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years. The bombing was an effort to fend off the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese Army. It led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians within Laos.

Unexploded Ordnance & Cluster Munitions

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) are explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded. About one third of Laos remains contaminated with UXO left behind from the Vietnam War, including about 80 million cluster munitions.

Cluster munitions are the small explosive devices released from cluster bombs. Although they are designed to explode on impact, cluster munitions have a significant failure rate (estimated at 30% in Laos during the Vietnam War). They are usually the size of an orange or soup can and can stay buried in the ground indefinitely. As a result, cluster munitions kill more civilians than enemy soldiers and prevent war torn countries from redeveloping bombed land.

Cluster munitions are also known as cluster bomblets, or, among many Laotians, as “bombies.”

Quick Facts

  • At least 20,000 people have been killed or injured by unexploded ordnance in Laos since the Vietnam War-era bombings ended.

  • About one third of the land in Laos is contaminated with unexploded ordnance.

  • Many cluster bomblets became buried in the earth – waiting for an unsuspecting farmer to place a shovel in the earth or the monsoon rains to uncover them.

  • Many farmers in Laos know their land is contaminated but can’t afford another plot. They simply have no choice but to cultivate their land.

  • The most common injuries victims sustain from a UXO explosion include loss of a limb, blindness, hearing loss, shrapnel wounds, and internal shock wave injuries.

  • Over the past four decades, fewer than 1 million of the estimated 80 million cluster munitions that failed to detonate have been cleared.

The Participants for Ride lao 2015


Reza (Red Baron)

Zamre Thor

Lim Weicheng

Fahmy Mahony


Zac ZaIni



Joey Mac

Unable to join for the trip due to family matters but joined us in Chiang Mai

Our Beneficiary

As such is the backdrop on the country that have gone suffered through the legacies of war. We have decided to base our charity work on efforts to make their life safer from these legacies of war that have constantly plague villagers. MAG has been clearing the deadly legacy of the bombing in Laos since 1994, saving lives and building safer futures for local communities. "MAG has been clearing the deadly legacy of the bombing in Laos since 1994, saving lives and building safer futures for local communities. "

Mines Advisory Group (Laos)

MAG (Phonsavan)

Location: Main street (Thanon Laek 7; often known just as ‘road number 7’), next to Bamboozle Restaurant and Bar, Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang.

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-8pm

Telephone: +856 61 211 010

Email: maguxocentre.phonsavan@maginternational.org

MAG (Vientianne)

Location: Main street (Thanon Laek 7; often known just as ‘road number 7’), next to Bamboozle Restaurant and Bar, Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang.

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-8pm

Telephone: +856 61 211 010

Email: maguxocentre.phonsavan@maginternational.org

Pre Trip Preparations

On top of that we had to sort out the paperwork for the transportation of bikes as well as our flight tickets. Of course not to mention the planning of our routes and places that we are going to visit along the way.

Pre Trip Charity Campaign

Our Pre trip charity campaign involve raising awareness of the conditions that the people of Laos especially those living in the rural areas face as well as fund raising a sum of money that can be contributed to keeping these people safe through the purchase or funding of certain efforts of Mines Advisory Group to carry out their activities to keep the areas safe and hospitable for the people especially children. We aim to raise the funds through the sale of our ride t-shirts that we have designed.

Handing over of the donated amount that has been converted to US dollars.

Handing over of donations

Donations were handed over to the Director of MAG (Laos) in MAG HQ, Vientianne, Laos

Facebook Post 24 November 2015

"Just went to the money changer to exchange the donation collected.

Sgd $1420 = Usd $1000

I am happy to announce that I had raised $1000 US Dollars for Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

We will stop the offline collection of donation today. The money will be handed over to MAG HQ in Vientianne, Laos during our trip.

Thank you to all those who have donated and all who have purchased the charity tshirt."

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Ride Lao 2015 Ep 1

Ride Lao 2015 Ep 2

Ride Lao 2015 Ep 3

Ride Lao 2015 Ep 4

Ride Lao 2015 Ep 5

Ride Lao 2015 Ep 6

Follow Us On Our Journey

Ride Lao - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 1 - 13 Dec 2015

The Long Haul

Tuas, Singapore - Chumphon, Thailand


Firstly I would like to say thank you to all those friends who took time to send us off for the trip. We had about 20 over bikes yesterday at the starting point.

Todays journey took us about 8 hours to xover around 500km on Thai roads. Of this is in addition to the journey we started yesterday at 10pm from Gelang Patah. All in all we have covered ard 1300km plus within 18 hours.

Well done guys....at this speed next time Iron Butt challenge will be easy for you guys.

We had reached the Thai border at the opening hours. Clearing customs and immigration was a breeze taking just 10 minutes to do both the passport and bike documentation. By preparing the documents ahead of time we had managed to beat the queue of the throngs of people travelling by coach.

Upon clearing the customs we headed to KPK hotel where we were supposed to meetup with Joey Mac and Feroze wbo had travelled the day before. We were sad to hear that there was a family emergency for Joey mac at home and he had decided to turn back and head back to singapore. The rest of us set off for Chumphon our stop for the night. Todays journey is to cover the distance to bring us closer to the northern Thailand and Laos.

20 km from the border, Feroze bike broke down and we had it towed back to hatyai where Feroze will get it repaired....He will slowly catch up with us.

Along the way we just had to stop at my favourite stops in thailand..Cafe Amazon

Had a blueberry smoothies and xoincidentally there is a halal shop selling rice and noodles next to it. Had our brunch before we set off.

Arrived in Chumphon just after sunset. Lots of roadworks on route 4 from Ban Pa Han to chumpho (expecting more tommorrow)

Settled into our hotel and went to the roadside stalls looking for food.

The Send Off

We had our friends sending us off on the night of our departure. Thank you to those who had spent your precious tie to send us off with your prayers and well wishes.

Ride Lao - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 2 - 14 December 2015

Chumphon - Ayutthaya


Left our hotel in the early morning around 7am after barely 6 hours of sleep. We hope to travel more in the early hour while its cooler and traffic will be much better. Road condition however was not any better. Many roadworks taking place along Chumphon towards Cha Am.

Our first stop of the day was the Swiss Sheep Farm in Cha Am. Visitors are able to hand feed the sheeps, donkeys and alpaca. You can even bottle feed the lambs....the place was nicely set up. We ended the visit with a rodeo ride on a bull. Yes...everyone had a go at it....yeeeee haaaaaa!!!

From there we rode all the up route 4 to the outskirts of Bangkok, trying very hard not to enter Bangkok where traffic can be a killer. Navigating through Bangkok traffic will not be easy.

Arrived at our destination of the day around 5pm.

We are putting up at Krungsri River Hotel for the night. Quickly placed our baggae in the hotel room and took tuk-tuk to Ayutthaya Historical Park. Had a good time walking through the World Unesco Site looking at the ruins of the old Ayutthaya empire. This is the main highlights of Ayutthaya.

According to the Luang Prasoet chronicle, Ayutthaya was established by King Ramathibodi I on Friday 4 March 1351 in the vicinity of an

ancient settlement dating since the Dvaravati era (6th to the 11th centuries). The city state expanded its boundaries over the centuries, absorbing the Tai Kingdom of Sukhothai in the 15th century. A magnificent city in the 17th and 18th century with a cosmopolitan character, it became one of the most important trading hubs of Asia. Ayutthaya was for 417 years the capital of the Siamese. The city fell on Tuesday 7 April 1767 at nightfall to the Burmese, never to arise of its ashes.

Sacked and plundered by the Burmese, dismantled in the reigns of King Rama I and Rama III to reconstruct the Siamese capital at Bangkok,

Ended the night with a walk through the night market looking for dinner. After dinner will be a nice shower and rest for tommorrow's ride.

The City of Ayutthaya

The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. It flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries, during which time it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a center of global diplomacy and commerce. Ayutthaya was strategically located on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting the city to the sea. This site was chosen because it was located above the tidal bore of the Gulf of Siam as it existed at that time, thus preventing attack of the city by the sea-going warships of other nations. The location also helped to protect the city from seasonal flooding.

The city was attacked and razed by the Burmese army in 1767 who burned the city to the ground and forced the inhabitants to abandon the city. The city was never rebuilt in the same location and remains known today as an extensive archaeological site.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 3 - 15 Dec

Ayutthaya - Phu Taeb Boek


Let the lads have a longer sleep after two days of endurance riding. Everyone had breakfast and was on the bike at 9.30am. We left Ayutthaya and headed North along route 11 towards Phitsunalok before turning into Route 12 towards Lom Sak.

Route 11 was really boring. It was straight and get you sleepy. Once entered route 12, the beautiful scenery starts appearing as you turn each corner. Beautiful mountains and valleys lined the sides on the mountain pass. The road had been redone and is now in great condition. I remember when I went the exact route last year, it was full of road works throughout the whole stretch.

We stopped by Route 12 Cafe Khao Kho for a photo stop as well a rest time. As i entered the route 3112, i saw many dried up fields. I remember very well fields of sunflowers lining up the roads at the base of Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park.

We had climbed up 1600 feet above sea level to reach our campsite for the night. Road was full of tight twist and cutbacks as we ascend the mountain

Managed to reach the campsite by 4.30pm and we settle down. Got ready to cook our dinner as the sun sets. The night is getting cooler as stars starts appearing across the night sky. At this level the stars appear so close to you. The sky is full of stars tonight. Such a waste....camera on phone is not strong enough to capture the starry sky.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 4 - 16 Dec

Phu Taeb Boek - Khon Kaen


Woke up early to catch the sunrise from 1600 feet above sea level. Was a little disappointed not to be able to catch the sea of fog today as it was very cloudy. The scarlet rays starts appearing across the sky at 6.15am. The dragon is awoken.....Hang around for the next 1 hour to catch the sun as it rose up across the sky. It was a magnificent view to catch the sunrise in the cool 23 degrees morning.

We started washing up and packed our stuff and departed from the campsite by 10.30am. Our first stop was to get a photo at the viewpoint.

Met and talked to a group of thai tourist who had seen us riding through route 12. Made small conversation with them and took pictures.

From Phu Taeb Boek, we headed to the east riding through Lom Sak and to Phu Wiang National Park. Phu Wiang National Park is the archaeological site home to fossils from the Triassic and Jurassic period.

The Korat plateau is one of the places in Asia continent to have the remains of the fossils being discovered. We went to the Dinosaur Museum and took a look around.

From there we completed the Route 12 (Phitsunalok - Khon Kaen) and headed to our hotel for the night.

This will be a time for the riders to have some rest after 3 days of hard riding and a night camping.

Tomorrow will be laundry day and a little sight seeing around the area.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 5 - 17 Dec

Khon Kaen

Rest Day

Everyone had a nice sleep and woke up a great breakfast (which we will have to give a skip tommorrow).

Since it was a rest day everyone had time for themselves free and easy. Some went around town or shopping malls.

I had other plan. Since it was optional, only 3 other riders followed me to go for a day ride. We went Indiana Jones today searching for a ancient Khmer temples in the province of Maha Sarakham.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, northeastern Thailand has been generally known as Isan, while in official contexts the term phak tawan-ok-chiang-nuea(ภาคตะวันออกเฉียงเหนือ; "northeastern region") may be used. The term "Isan" was derived from Isanapura, the capital of the Chenla Kingdom.

Prasat Pueai Noi

There is very little information available about Prasat Puay Noi, an ancient Hindu Temple in Khon Kaen Province, other than the fact that it was built in the 11th Century as a Khmer Sanctuary.

From the middle of the 9th Century, most of North Eastern Thailand was in the hands of the Khmers whose civilization was centered on the Angkor Temples in Cambodia. It was not until the 13th Century that the power of the Khmer empire was finally broken leaving behind many fine examples of Khmer art and architecture. Prasat Puay Noi in Khon Kaen is one of these examples and whilst not being amongst the finest examples of Khmer art, it is the largest Khmer Sanctuary in the North East, and has some wonderfully detailed carvings and sculptures to be seen with especially fine carvings on many of the sandstone lintels.

From there we detour to get the bike into the dirt tracks to prepare us for the sandy/muddy roads of Laos and then we visited a temple of the golden buddha.

From there we arrived back to the hotel at 4pm to shower. After showering we headed out to look for lunch and massage.

Tomorrow we will be entering Laos through Vientianne and start the Laos leg of the journey.

Ride Laos 2015- Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 6 - 18 Dec

Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng

Start of the Laos Leg of Journey

Departs for Laos in the wee hours of the morning 5am. Riding thru temperature of 14 degrees with wind blasting at your hand and chest. The heater grip equipped on the bike did little to help with keeping warm.

Arrived at Nong Khai border at 7.30am and border crossing at Nongkhai was smooth. Everyone had their documents done within 10 minutes. There were minimal crowd. This had to be the fastest Thai immigration and custom clearance i ever had so far.

Rode through the Thai-Laos Friendship bridge into Thana Leng Immigration checkpoint of Laos. Here we met up with our guide, Mr Saytha who helped us with processing the papers for our visit as well as the temporary import of our bike.

Mr Saytha, is 30 years old and has been a guide for 8 years. He speaks English. He is very helpful and is dedicated to make our stay in Laos a good one. We discussed the programme that I had planned and gave his input.

From here we visited a few main attractions of Vientianne namely the Budda Park, the Great Stuppa as well as the Patuxai Victory Monument. It was interesting to know that the economic conditions of Laos. An ministry officer would be surviving on an income of USD 200 a month while a hawker will make do with USD 8 a day. People living in the rural outskirts of the city would generally make do with less than USD 1 a day. But their people are able to get by. Things are generally more expensive in Laos since most products are imported from overseas. Laos being a landlock country has no sea port and is dependent on trade with its neighbours Thailand, China and Vietnam. Tourist attraction is Laos are all entry payable and parking fees can be quite expensive.

Laos is developing its tourist industry and hope to attract more tourism income. It has opened up to visitors since independence in 2 Dec 1975.

From there its has moved from a communist state to one that is based on democracy but still with a tinge of the remains ideology of communism. Country flags as well as communist flags can be seen lining the streets as well as on monuments.

From Vientianne city, we headed to MAG HQ to handover our donations that we have been collected. Met the country programme director to officially hand over the donations as well as a momento tshirt from our trip. Each of us were also given a momento t-shirt from the organisation. We have raised an equivalent of USD1000 from our fundraiser.

After having a late lunch, we proceeded to leave vientianne and head for Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng is currently one of the top party capital of South East Asia and is very famous with backpackers. We headed into Vang Vieng at 8pm after riding the last 80km of the journey in plain darkness.

The road condition was not good with many portholes and broken roads and some part dirt or sand. We rode carefully in the dark with these off road condition for about 1 and a half hours.

This was not something that we planned but delays throughout the days has pushed the time frame back.

I would advise to avoid riding at night in Laos at all cost if possible.

Had difficulty searching for hotels as most hotels here are fully book as Vang Vieng is host 10000s of party goers as they hosted the Vang Vieng Music festivals this weekend. It is something similar to our Zouk Out back in Singapore.

In any case we had made it safely to our hotel for the night. No wifi so could not update any info to our family nor on facebook. We jus settled down for the night after dinner.

Our Guide for Laos

Saytha is an experience guide who works freelance.

Experience in bring car or motorcycle convoy

Just need to provide his transport with driver plus accommodations

Posted this on my facebook on 19 September:

Dear All,

I am happy to inform all donors that the donations have been handed over to MAG HQ in Vientianne as of 18th December around 3pm. A snapshot of the donation receipt is attached as a matter of transparency.

We had dropped by MAG HQ Vientianne with the staff giving us a warm welcome. Refreshment and a tour of the information centre was provided for us.

Based on the information provided, close to 3000 bombs, cluster ammunition and mines were uncovered and destroyed last year alone. We will also be visiting their Phonsavan district office.

Once again.......YES!!!!!

Thank you for your support. More people will be safe as this money will be put to good use of education, uxo clearance and also logistics supplies

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 7 - 19 Dec

Vang Vieng - Phonsavan


Today denotes the halfway mark of this journey. We are all safely in Laos. Had a little problem with keeping our loved ones informed of our situation. The guesthouse that we stayed last night did not have any wifi services therefore it was hard for us to update our whereabouts. Sorry to my family and families of my riding buddies if we had made you worried. Internet is a little bit of a problem in Laos. Although they might tell you that they have high speed internet sometimes it works just like the old times of the 486kb internet modem.

Todays journey takes us through the mountain passes in between Vang Vieng and Phonsavan. The forever winding roads ranked above the Mae Hong Son of Thailand (1864 curves) or otherwise some people would call it "Thousand corners". Imagine taking sharp corners that are on the incline or decline between 1200 metres and 1600 metres above sea level. Added to that the road conditions were terrible. Many parts were broken roads, bitumen, sand and potholes were at every corners. On top of that the road was not as wide with vehicles especially trucks going at high speed and eating into the oncoming lane. Each time we pass through a village we had to be careful as children were playing by the roadside, cows and buffaloes sleeping or grazing by the road. Villages and houses were built right next to the highway. A 200 plus kilometres journey took us 7 hours to complete. Imagine that its just like playing off road at 1600 metres above sea level where each side is a drop of a few hundreds feet.

But the scenery that accompanied us was nothing less than magnificent. As what Fahmy Mahony mentioned to me, " You give me 7 hours of this kind of stunning views and curvy road...i am happy with it". Well the lads had no problem taking on the roads and challenges as they enjoyed every bit of the route.

Stopped by the viewpoint at Phon Xai for lunch. While the rest had lunch at the restaurant, I preferred to have some time for myself eating rations that I had brought while immersing the view.

As we rolled into Phonsavan, we headed to visit the MAG district office here. We were given a warm reception by a staff of 28 locals who had prepared some light refreshment for us. We talked and also played traditional games with the staff. We did quite well for our first try.

From there we headed to our hotel for the night.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 8 - 20 Dec 2015

Phonsavan - Luang Prabang


Our 250km took us the whole day to complete. We left our hotel in Phonsavan at 8.00am.

Our first stop was the plain of jars site 1. The plain of jars has its own mystical feel to it. Hundreds of jars (330 to be exact for site 1) are sparsely popping up in the plains of Phonsavan. So far there are two theories behind it. One was that the jars were used as burial sites. Bones were placed into the jars after the body has been cremated. The bigger the size of the jar, the more well to do is the person. The other theory was that these jars were used to store whisky and other food stuff during the feudal wars.

From the plain of jars, we headed back the same route that we came from. Again the twisty corners and the bumpy roads full of potholes. At some part it was off road.

As we head towards Luang Prabang we can see low level clouds that covers the mountains. At some point in time we were in the clouds.

We arrived in Luang Prabang just after sunset.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 9 - 21 Dec

Luang Prabang

Rest day

Good morning from Luang Prabang.

The Ancient Town of Luang Prabang in the center of northern Laos has been described as one of the most charming and best preserved towns in Southeast Asia. There are 34 Buddhist temples among Luang Prabang's colonial and Chinese architecture, all set in a backdrop of lush green mountains. The Mekong River frames the town's western border, and it remains an important commercial and recreational transportation link.

Vibrant cultural traditions, rituals and distinctive artwork such as temple murals, woodcarvings and pottery make Luang Prabang an attractive destination for a wide range of interests. Due to its outstanding cultural and natural features, the town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995

Managed to have a good sleep last night with everyone had time to sleep in a little bit more than usual. Great breakfast by the guesthouse, Pang Kham Lodge.

By 10pm we were out on a city tour. We did not ride our bike today as it was a rest day for all of us. So we ventured on foot around town visiting the main places of interest in Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang still maintain many of its characteristics French colonial past in its design and architecture and also the people. The people here are more modern than those living in the highland villages. It also maintain its symbolic communist ideology although it has gone through independence at 1975. Lao national flag and communist flags lined the streets and building.

During 1985 Luang Prabang was bestowed the title of World Heritage City by UNESCO and this year they are celebrating their 20th anniversary.

Vat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong, once known as “The Temple of the Golden City”, holds great cultural, historic and architectural importance. It is serenely situated near the tip of the peninsula at the confluence of two rivers, with a grand staircase leading up from the Mekong. For centuries it was considered the ceremonial gateway to the town, with visiting dignitaries and soon-to-be-crowned kings arriving via these steps.


We visited the palace ground where the last king of Lao used to reside in and in this palace ground also holds the a buddist temple that is sacred to Lao people. The actual buddha figurine has been kept in Lao national bank so what you see is just a replica of it.

Mt Phousi

You will need to climb 320 steps to reach the top of the Mt Phousi. On top there is a buddha temple when locals would pray an release birds as offering for good fortune. Many people were up at the viewing deck by the time we arrived all awaiting the wonderful sunset between two mountain peaks.

There is also a bamboo bridge that link Luang Prabang to the other side of the river. A toll of 5000 kips need to be paid for crossing. This money will be used to rebuilt the bridge at the start of each dry season as the Mekong river would rise and destroy the bridge during the rainy season.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 10 - 22 Dec

Luang Prabang - Boten, China Border


A long 10 hours of endurance riding today as we hit the peak of our trip that is to visit Lao-China Border in Boten, Luang Namtha. We managed to ride in good time and arrived at the border at around 4pm. We parked our bike on the Laos Immigration checkpoint and walked 500m into "no man's land" to take a look at China immigration checkpoint. A further entry into China with our bikes would require us to pay a caravan permit fee which is very substantial.....so till someone will sponsor me then i will venture into China (how i wish i can bypass China).

Not much photos of the scenery for todays ride as the concentration was more on the road. The road between Pak Mong and Oudomxay was still under construction so expect off road condition as we made our way through the mountains. At one point there was an accident between a bus and a lorry at a sharp bend making the road impassable both directions. We had to maneuver through mud next to the cliff to get through. Lucky all was well.

Its good to see that the roads are getting better and better (dun expect much) and we were lucky there were no landslides.

I really have to congratulates the lads especially those first timers who have made it thus far accompanying me on my ride. They have endured the long riding hours, long distance at times and the variety of terrains. They handled and overcame the challenges very well. I do hope that some of them will catch onto the spirit of adventure riding, enjoy the experience and ride many more trips in future.

Lets not make it what some people deem as " One hit (ride) wonder".

This is the way to utilise your adventure bikes guys...explore , get lost & navigate.

Just these two pictures to sum up our day.

Golden Triangle from Laos Point of View

My third visit to the Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen, Thailand .

Have been to Tachilek, Shan State, Myanmar.

Was hoping to complete all three towns bordering the golden triangle but Golden triangle viewpoint on Bokeo, Huay Xai was closed today due to a killing taking place near the casino area. Its under police lockdown. So just took a picture of Huay Xai one of the province in Laos bordering Golden Triangle

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 11 - 23 Dec

Luang Namtha - Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai


Exit Laos today via Lao-Thai Friendship bridge IV connecting Huay Xai and Chiang Kong. We bade farewell to our guide who have tirelessly done errands and look out for us. Thank you to Mr Saytha for being a great guide. I would really recommend him to any of my friends.

There are many things that he had helped us with throughout our trip that i have nothing bad to say about him..

Our last stop was Huay Xai, a city of the Golden Triangle on Laos side. We could not go all the way to the casino area as there was a murder that took place last night so the place is now currently under lockdown till police finds the culprit.

We exit Laos via Friendship Bridge IV.

Clearance on both side was easy and smooth. We had all our papers prepared for the Thai customs so getting the paper work done was a breeze and on top of that the customs officer was very friendly.

I had ordered a special gift for all riders to commemorate this trip.

I hope they will like it and remember this trip.

Headed straight to the Town of Chiang Saen the city of Golden Triangle on Thailand side. We had lunch by the Mekong River at the Golden Triangle viewpoint.

From there we headed straight into Chiang Rai to our hotel to rest for the night.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 12 - 24 Dec

Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai


Left Mueang Chiang Rai and headed out to Wat Rong Kun or otherwise known as the White Temple of Chiang Rai. As usual the temple was packed with tourist. Recently tourist from China has been banned from visiting the temple hence i did not see any today (wonder if the ban is still on).

The white temple is as magnificent as when i first set eyes on it last year. Its as stunning as before but with the numbers of visitors in its compound, its difficult to really enjoy the beauty of the site.

From there we rode 230km towards Doi Ithanon, the highest peak in Thailand otherwise known as the roof of Thailand. The ride up was very serene with lush vegetation on the sides of the road and many streams and waterfall lined the route. Rode right up to the bank of one of the stream for a photo sessions. Then we rode straight up to the highest point of Doi Ithanon. This visit to the roof of Thailand will be the last place of interest that we will be visiting on our bikes.

As we proceeded to the hotel, we repacked our stuff as our bikes will be loaded up onto a truck to be transported Hatyai. We loaded the bike onto the truck and bade farewell to our bikes who have served us well over 4800km.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 13 - 25 Dec

Chiang Mai

Rest Day

Yes our bikes are currently making their way down to Hatyai so we have some free time to spend in Chiang Mai today. Spent time walking around the city. Since it was free and easy everyone had their own set of itinerary to accomplish. Everyone make their own way doing their activities for the day.

I had a walk to the old Tapae Gate, one of the ruins left behind by the Lanna Kingdom. Lanna Kingdom was one of the mighty kingdom in Thailand during ancient times.

In the late 13th century the Lanna Kingdom covered most of Northern Thailand as we know it today as well as neighbouring parts of Myanmar(Burma), China and Laos. Back then it was bordered by Burma (now Myanmar) to the West, China to the North, the Khmer Empire of Angkor (now Cambodia) to the East and Siam (now Thailand) in the South.

The 700 year old city of Chiang Mai was built in 1296 to be the capital city of the Lanna Kingdom (the kingdom of a million rice fields) by its ruler King Mengrai.

Earlier capitals of the Lanna Kingdom had been at Chiang Saen, Fang, Chiang Rai, Lamphun and Wiang Kum Kam. The last capital before Chiang Mai was Wiang Kum Kam which was established in 1281 and situated some 5klms south-east of present day Chiang Mai. Wiang Kum Kam was destroyed by flooding from the Ping River around 1294. It then lay hidden for nearly 700 years and was only rediscovered in 1984. Today the excavated ruins of the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam are preserved and on show as a national treasure and are well worth a visit.

The Lanna Kingdom was ringed by high mountains, teak tree forests and well stocked rivers and its fertile valleys and plains were a rich source of agriculture. Chiang Mai was the main trading town between southern China and the sea ports of Burma. As such it was frequently attacked by its neighbours who tried to claim this prized gem as their own.

After centuries of defending itself Chiang Mai was successfully invaded and incorporated into Burma as a vassal state in 1557. Over the next 200 years Chiang Mai fell at various times under the rule of the strongest invader, be it Burma or Siam.

In 1774 the then Lanna King with assistance from Siam finally drove the Burmese out of the Lanna Kingdom. The Lanna Kingdom eventually became part of Siam in 1892. The Lanna Kingdom was gradually dissolved and condensed into a 20,000 km² area centered around Chiang Mai. 1932 the whole Chiang Mai area officially became a province of Siam. In 1949 Siam officially became known as Thailand.

Spent the evening going for a 2 hour massage followed by eating street food along the Halal Street of Hilal Town. Walked through the night bazaar hoping to bump into a good bargain and finally back at the hotel.

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

Day 14 - 26 Dec

Chiang Mai - Hatyai

Air Asia Flight (2hr)

Flew down from Chiang Mai down to Hatyai. Our bikes are still on its way estimated would be late night or early tomorrow morning.

What is the best thing to do in Hatyai.. food glorious food. Had a meal fit for a king in repayment of all the late lunches, dinner and all those fix it yourself meals we have been having on the road. For the past two weeks we did not really have proper meals during our journey so now that we are back in Hatyai ...it calls for a celebration.

This is our last day......tomorrow we head back home

Ride Laos 2015 - Heart Beat 4 Laos

The Ride Home.

Gelang patah - Chumphon - Cha Am - Ayutthaya - Phu Taeb Boek - Khon Kaen - Vientianne - Vang vieng - Phonsavan - Luang Prabang - Pak mong - Oudomxay - Boten - Luang Namtha - Chiang Kong - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Hatyai.

Total distance covered 5700km

Total Day 15 days

I would like to thank each and everyone of the participants who are involved in Ride Laos 2015. It was such a memorable trip with friendship bonds made and/or strengthen throughout the journey. As what is always said..."its the journey not the destination". I believe that whereever the destination could have been, these guys have the courage, endurance and attitude to get the ride done. Despite the long endurance ride (1600km at one stretch or a 10 hour ride to cover just 230km distance), you guys went through with it and emerge victorious. As what Faizal Roszita would say "pardon the tired faces", i could not deny that it was tiring and energy draining for each and everyone of us but its the support and smiles from friends that keep up the spirit.

Each and every challenges were dealth with and we try our best to accomodate each and everyone throughout the trip.

Feroze went through bike breakdown and also sickness a d managed to overcome it to complete the trip. In fact all of us were down at one pount of time ranging from fever to diarhoea to altitude sickness but we took care of one another.

Special thanks to Fahmi Mahony who is so ever willing to go the extra distance to help out his teammates from being a pharmacist to riding the extra distance to ensure everyone is safe and on track.

Our master reflectionist Lim Weicheng spent many instances reflecting on his trip throughout the journey. Hope the minor setbacks will not stop you from travelling and venturing out on your two wheelers. Also Weicheng is one cool guy that I have ever met. He is easy going and is fine with the plans made. Definitely someone who is easy to travel with. Also thank you very much for all the hotel bookings done in advance.

Shahreil Aziz, i really hope you did enjoy your first ever trip out of Malaysia. And i do hope that many more to go for you. Amazing on road and offroad skills. Also foever willing to lend a helping hand. The bout of food poisoning definitely did not stop you.

Salfarudin Sarip a steady rider who is amazing on the bikes taking each corners and obstacles. Forever dependent to manage our ofshore accounts and be the last man to ensure that no one gets left behind..

Zamre Thor the provider of our merriment for this trip. He provides the group with the spirit and laughter to keep us going even when we are tired. Although he too is very tired, he is able to manage tobhide the tired face and push and inspire everyone to keep on going.

Zac Zaini....yes finally this abang has a real taste of adventure riding. Despite being tired he persevered and pushed on. At times can see from his looks the tiredness and fatique but he persevered and endured on. Great vocalist to have on a trip.

Well guys its was a great trip for me and i trully enjoyed the ride, the sights and the company.

It was truly memorable and I would like to thank each and everyone of you for being part of it.

Pardon my shortcommings or any part of the trips that did not go well with you or if there were any instances where i might have offended you whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Ride Laos 2015 have officially ended.

The sights is set on Vietnam.