This section about Luang Namtha is the forty-fourth instalment of my bicycle loop through South-East Asia from Yunnan – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Stunning views as the morning sun peeks through the fog.
Well spotted, this is yesterday’s pic. I didn’t take any today.

Spent most of my morning on one of the Belgian guys’ scooter riding back to Vieng Phou Kha to retrieve my sponge-bag. The petrol for the 120 km end up costing around 38000 kip which is well worth the contents of the bag (a shaver, the bag itself, and all kinds of medicine).

Riding a Honda Win from Vietnam successfully for the very first time is great! It took me some embarrassing fiddling around with the gears and the gas tank cap, but in the end it all worked out smoothly and riding one is actually a dream. The things are phenomenally comfortable compared to the little scooters that are so popular these around south-east Asia.

At Vieng Phou Kha I meet the two French guys who I’d met on my way yesterday. They’re not only doing it on the cheap, living in hammocks and cooking noodles, but also on the slow: they bought a pair of extremely basic city bikes in Phnom Penh and have been riding them since, about 50 km a day. When night falls, they stay in a hut or they string up their hammock. We have a fried-rice breakfast together before I go back and they face two massive climbs with a due sense of dread.

On the way back, I roam with the buffalo, the buffalo here being a convoy of Chinese motorists that I keep weaving in and out of. The rest of the day is as yet undecided, but let me give you a pretty educated forecast: I mess around on the internet until 6 pm when the Belgians come back, we all go for dinner and get hammered on our last Beerlaos of this trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *