"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take..."
KEMBARA QURBAN 2
DAY 7 (17 OKT 2013 – THURSDAY)
HUEY XAI, LAOS – BOTEN, CHINA – LUANG NAMTHA, LAOS
DISTANCE : 224 KM
We had breakfast at a nearby restaurant. We packed our things and gathered our bikes in front of the hotel as it was drizzling slightly. Earlier we were warned not to gather in a big group as it will invite the local authorities to bother us with petty things.
(Breakfast was served at a restaurant next door)
(Packed and ready to ride to China border)
(The rain was pouring when we started the journey)
While waiting for the rest to get ready our team leader was called to the Tourist Information Office and the group was requested to get a tourist guide to accompany us in Laos. According to the Laos Authorities, tourists were not allowed to venture into Laos without a guide. After showing our letters of authority from Laotian and Thailand Embassies and much negotiations and a small token to the officials we were allowed to ride on.
(Mekong River was bloated with rain water)
(Riding on the main trunk road to Boten)
(Beware of cows and goats on the road side)
(Beware of slow moving vehicles too...)
We rode on the National Road 3, the main road connecting Hue Xai to Boten, China. Later we rode through the winding mountainous road made slippery because of the rain. The view was serene and panoramic at some places along the way.
(Beautiful scenic view of the hilly terrain)
(Playful water buffaloes in the middle of the road)
(Bikers racing with the water buffaloes)
(Barefooted children walking to school)
(Two little girls walking in the rain)
(A school girl playing truant behind the mile stone)
(Laotian dwellings along the main road)
(Farmers with their harvest)
(Mother and child carrying firewood)
One need to be careful of children and animals crossing the road without warning. We rode slowly and carefully and reached Boten at 1500. Alhamdulillah, we reached our destination safely. It was an achievement to the gang to reach China border without much hassle or incidents.
(A short rest at a small petrol station)
(Riding on a wet slippery road)
(Reaching the Laos/China border safely)
Boten is a gambling town, which is located at the border of China in Luang Namtha district. Since it is illegal to have casinos in China except for Macau, most of Chinese-border countries have built casinos.
(Riders jumping with joy - A triumph to all)
(Our legendary Vulcan)
(A picture paints a thousand words)
(Another one for the album, proud and happy)
The ride from Boten to Luang Namtha was smooth although it was drizzling all the way. Luang Namtha is the largest city in Luang Nam Tha Province, Northern Laos. It lies on the banks of the Nam Tha river. Best known as a stopover point on the backpacker trail from China to Laos, and as an alternative to the long and cramped boat journey between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang. Luang Namtha has become increasingly popular as a starting point for hill tribe treks.
(The most coveted mile stone, unpainted unfortunately)
(A petrol station under construction in no man's territory)
(Green fields of hill paddy)
(Riding from Boten to Luang Namtha)
We reached Luang Namtha quite early and checked in Dokchampa Hotel. Some of the gang even had ample time to wash muds and dirts from their bikes.
(Meeting fellow bikers from China in front of the hotel)
(Local tour agent offering variety of services)
(Our mud covered Vulcan, born to be wild)
After a short rest, we walked to a nearby restaurant to have our dinner.