The Slow Road to Vientiane

With no sign of the rain abating we decided it was time to push on to Vientiane, no matter what. We get a few kilometers from town, bike stalls out, starts right back up and a few kilometers more stalls again. Time to find another mechanic…. We go into town and are basically turned away from several different shops because we don’t speak Loation. You’d think they’d be happy to take some money from us westerners as they always charge us a bit more than the locals, but not in Vang Vieng. I finally find a guy willing to check it out. Again with the full disassembly and four hours later no more stalling but now the bike has half the power. By this time it’s six o’clock and I decide to call it a day and bring it back in the morning. He spends 20 minutes tweaking a few things and gets just a bit more power and just sends me on my way. He of course spoke no English.

We decide it’s time to make the trip to Vientiane anyways, it’s the capital and a much larger town so I figure we’ll have better luck there. So we limp to Vientiane for four hours in the pouring rain. Thank God that portion of road isn’t as mountainous as the rest of the country or I’m not sure we’d have made it. We were literally doing 10km an hour up some of the hills, lol.

So we finally make it to Vientiane and Victoria had previously found some people interested in the bike. One guy was particularly excited about it and he was there within the hour to look at it. We figure were going to have to discount the bike or just agree to get it fully fixed before we sell it. Luckily this guy knew more about motorbikes than us and was enthusiastic and honest. He declared that it was a minor issue and he should have no trouble getting it fixed cheaply. He then proceeded to pay us what we bought the bike for. He drove off delighted as he’d wanted a motorbike like this one for a while and we were delighted to sell the bike at no loss and within an hour of arriving 🙂 I then bought our tickets to fly into Siem Reap that night, it was cheaper to wait a day so we spent an extra night in Vientiane.

For a capital of an Asian country it’s tiny, 200k vs 10+million for Hanoi and Bangkok. Despite there not being a whole lot to do or see it was a nice atmospheric town and there was good western and street food easily located. There was also a night market each night which was huge and frequented by locals and tourists alike. We also enjoyed the break after all the rain(we later found out the road between Luang Prabang and Vientiane was closed due to landslides caused by the nonstop rain.)

Next up Siem Reap and the amazing temples of angkor, one of the wonders of the world.


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Graduate of the accounting school at the University of Georgia and now a real estate investor and agent. I have loved to travel since I was a kid and have dreamed of traveling full-time since then.

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