Turns out Ban Nahin is on the northern portion of “The Loop” in Laos. Although I didn’t feel like riding the whole loop, I figured I’d make my trip from Ban Nahin to Pakse a little longer and ride the north, east, and south portions, rather than just taking the west side, which would’ve been much faster. The west side also was on the most major road, which I’ve already spent plenty of time on, and will continue on as I head to the south, so I figured this route would be the most interesting.
As I’d mentioned before, getting off the main roads subjects one to dirt roads (and sometimes pretty shitty dirt roads) pretty quickly.
All in all, the loop wasn’t the greatest thing in the world. Yeah, the scenery was great, but thats not unique to the loop…all of Laos (or at least what I’ve seen) provides this. Sure it’s a better alternative to the main road, but personally, I don’t think its good enough to warrant a trip to the area in itself. Also, when reading about it online, people say to plan on it taking 3-5 days. Even on a smaller bike, I don’t think it’s more than a two day trip, but I guess you could say three if you wanted to take a day off from riding to see the Kong Lo Cave. For me, the Mae Hong Son loop in Northern Thailand was much better.
Upon arriving in Pakse, the town immediately felt a little strange. In many areas, there wasn’t much differentiation between street, should, sidewalk, and storefront.
It seems to me like the town is growing faster than the infrastructure can handle.
The only thing on my agenda for Pakse was to change my oil, and it turns out there isn’t much else to do here anyway, but tomorrow I’ll go check out some of the riding on the Bolaven Plateau on my way to 4000 Islands