Tuesday, 16 December 2014


The next morning we continued west along the river still, passing many villages and small towns, in between the palm trees, jungle, mountains and crops that fringe the trail.  

We finally hit Chiang Khan and stopped for a cold beverage after a few stops for pictures and taking in the magnificent river views.  This town is geared up for tourists, predominately Thai's as it is a holiday hotspot for the locals apparently, lots of touristy type crap for sale up the ‘main street’, though it does retain a certain rustic charm.

Chiang Khan is one of the biggest towns along the route and also our turning off point to head south to the major hub of Loei.  It also appears to specialize in a type of cooked coconut treat - dried though soft, sweetened coconut pieces that are so tasty.  We bought a heap for gifts but only a couple of packs survived the journey home!

We were going to stay in Loei for the night, but receive a call from Gar in Udon Thani.  Some other friends from a small village 2 hours east of Udon were heading to town and the plan was to hit the famous seafood bbq buffet that night.   

After a quick ride around town we make the run for home (Udon), another spectacular ride through the mountains rounds out our little adventure along the Mekong, as we finally roll back into town and go hit the buffet!

It was a great night out, a ridiculous abundance of seafood, meats, vegetables and other assorted things to cook over our table top bbq’s, good friends and a few cold beers, the perfect ending to a long day (well, long few days) on the bike plus a few more coldies back at Gar’s place to finish up the night. 

The next day we all made plans to go out and visit Paul, who lives a couple of hours east of Udon in what is basically farm land, but a really beautiful and serene place to live.  We finally got a break from the bikes, though Capp and I kind of missed being on them, and jumped in the two 4 wheel drives to head out to Paul’s for the night.

Paul and Nid have an amazing home, a large undercover entertaining area, tropical gardens and a huge beautifully designed fishpond.  Like Gar and Bua, they are also fantastic hosts and as soon as we arrive there is an assortment of food and drinks being laid out.  

A few more groups of friends of theirs from around the place slowly turn up and suddenly we have a huge party happening.  The food, drinks and laughs flowed all night and it turned out to be a most enjoyable and memorable night, in what is often referred to as 'boring old Isaan'!

The next day we hit a local fishing park for a few hours and were back in Udon Thani later that afternoon, before making the late call to get on the bikes again and get a start on our journey home.  We headed for Ubol Ratana dam again via a different route near some jungle temple and ended up a little lost… I mean found an alternative way to our destination,!  

We were hoping to spend the night at Ubol Ratana and wake up to lake views in the morning, only to find out on arrival that the place gets absolutely packed with local Thai’s on weekends and all accommodation was full.  

We eventually found a place about 6 minutes ride away, but can't remember the name of that tiny town.  It was 500 bt a night and a really nice place, but after a late arrival we simply got some food and a cold beer or 2 before having a fairly early night, very much exhausted from the last few days.

Mekong River views - I was generally enjoying the ride too much to slow down or stop for pictures

A bit of nostalgia, as I used to work for Caltex...

Coconut treats being made in Chiang Khan

With views like this, who needs facebook....   oh wait.... a Thai girl!!

This would have been our accommodation for the night in Loei, Baiboon Place Hotel

On the ride from Loei back to Udon

The hotel we stayed at near Ubol Ratana