As I make my way round the world on bike, I'm now getting ready for the SE Asian section. I'm in Bangkok at the minute, planning loosely to head east into Cambodia, north in Laos, east to Vietnam, north along the coast to China, then east to Hong Kong.
Not sure when exactly I'll leave Bangkok, but probably relatively soon. If anyone wants to join me for some/all of it, I'd love to hear from you either on here or at [email protected]
Also any advice or tips on routes and maps in the area are much appreciated.
I've been to Laos on my bike in 2007, 1700 km and to Cambodia in 2009-10, 2700 km. I liked both countries but after all I prefer Laos (and Thailand of course where I stay now), the poorest but most friendly people in Asia, plus very quiet traffic whereas it was hell in Cambodia, very dangerous for everyone but especially animals and bikers - I saw some live accidents happening in front of my eyes! Some roads are only stones, sand and holes and that for as far as 100 km plus zero visibility and biting lime dust when a car is passing you. In Phnom Penh I got hit by a motorbike in my rear wheel but I'm very experienced and still have quick reactions so no harm done - also thanks to my German friend with a small bike shop who built my new wheels. I left PP the same day, bad karma waiting there. This is my bike:
The countryside in Laos is great with very mountainous routes, one day I only rode 50 km all day but all the way up - and down with breakneck speed. And I had to hi-five hundreds of schoolkids along the road, unforgettable.
I am staying with my Thailady at the mo in Chumphon province until Feb. 1st and you are invited but I'm afraid that is too far off from your trail. I should head to Laos, you can get a cheap sleeper train to Nong Khai (reservation) close to the Friendship bridge and get into Vientiane in the morning after a good night's sleep.
Happy trails, Jörg.