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Thakhek Loop Adventure Day 2

sunny 37 °C

I started early at 6 am local time on the Day 2 of the Thakhek Loop adventure. My target for Day 2 was to reach Laksao but unfortunately, I could only reached Ban Thalang at approximately 4.00 pm, cycling for 10 hours non-stop other than to buy bottled drinking waters. The journey on Day 2 was tough having had to negotiate steep hills along the route after Nam Theun Power Station (NTPC) heading to Nakai. NTPC was located after Gnommalath. From Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai in the early morning, the landscapes were one of the most beautiful along the Thakhek Loop surrounded by landscapes of rice fields and limestone hills. The early morning sunrise added the charm to these beautiful sceneries along the route 12. The road structure was paved and flat all along the route 12 to Mahaxai and onwards to Gnommalath and then to the Nam Theun Power Station. The road on the hills from NPTC to Nakai was also paved. From Nakai to Ban Thalang and then onwards to Laksao, the roads were unpaved and the conditions deteriorated further after Ban Thalang to Laksao. From Ban Thalang to Laksao, the on-going road widening constructions which cut through the large tract of hills caused the area to be filled with red mud and difficult to pass through even with the 4 wheel drive vehicles as well as pick-ups due to muddy pathways in which the wheels easily got stuck in the muddy and slippery road condition.

I had the worst encounter after the NPTC heading to the uphill areas before reaching Nakai. The landscapes along the NPTC were beautiful and scenic surrounded by hills and the river. The mid afternoon heat has taken a toll on me when I reached the foothill area after NPTC and I decided to get help from passing pick-up vehicles to provide me with their assistance for a hitch to Nakai. I managed to get help from a kind couple in their pick-up and they did not hesitate at all to gave me a ride to Nakai. They had just finished with their fish trading business and were headed home to Nakai. I was fortunate that there were many vehicles plying the route 1E from Gnommalath to Nakai.

After reaching Nakai, I then continue to cycled about 30 km to reach Ban Thalang. The landscapes along the route 1E from nakai to Ban Thalang was filled with massive yet wonderful and nice lake and trees. The road condition was not flat and I still had to negotiate steep roads which much less steeper than the one before Nakai. However, the difficulty to cycle here were made worst by the fact that the road were unpaved and this was so the case from Nakai to Laksao. The scenic lake from Nakai to Ban Thalang compensated the strenuous biking condition that I encountered. As I had wrote earlier, why it was important to keep a copy of the passport which I handed over to Mrs Wang Wang as a deposit for the bike rental. As I cycled from Nakai to Ban Thalang, a youth who was riding on his motorbike suddenly caught fire just right in front of me. He ran towards a house in front of him to seek assistance but there seemed to be no one there. So, he came to me and asked if I could borrow him my bike for him to cycle home to get help. He said his house was not too far away from the place in which the incident happened but I was worried that he may returned the bike to me. I was reluctant to gave him the bike because being a foreigner in a foreign land, I do not want to get into any trouble. He assured me that he would returned the bike and offered his handphone as a guarantee. I reluctantly gave the bike to him and as he left, the motorbike was almost burnt into ashes. It was then the policemen came and they asked if the bike belonged to me. I explained the whole situation to the policemen and told them I was a foreigner on a bike tour from Thakhek. It was then when they asked for my identification and I had to show them my copy of passport and I explained that the original copy was with Wang Wang as a security for the bicycle rental. I was glad that the youth came back and returned the bike to me later on.

Just before reaching Ban Thalang after a scenic lake ride along route 1E from Nakai, I stopped at one of the sundry store to take a rest after a good 10 hours of ride without a long rest. I was relieved when I finally saw the signboard "Phosy Thalang Guesthouse". I know I had to stop here as I had been utilising all my energy on the Day 2 of my adventure and I need a good rest before I could pressed ahead my Day 3 to Laksao and then onwards to Nahin and finally to Konglor Cave.

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Day 2 Heading out at 6 am from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai on route 12

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Day 2 The rice fields and limestone hills on route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai

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Day 2 Route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai in the early morning

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Day 2 The early morning sunrise on route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai

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Day 2 From Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai on route 12

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Day 2 Student cycled to school on route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai

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Day 2 On my bike heading to Mahaxai from Tham Nang Aen on route 12

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Day 2 Landscapes on route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai

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Day 2 The good road condition on route 12 from Tham Nang Aen to Mahaxai

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Day 2 The nice morning landscape view on route 12 to Mahaxai

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Day 2 Route 12 to Mahaxai

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Day 2 Great sunrise view on route 12 to Mahaxai

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Day 2 Another nice sunrise view on route 12 to Mahaxai from Tham Nang Aen

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Day 2 A motorcycle repair shop in which I had my bicycle's tyre refilled with air

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Day 2 Continuing the journey from Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 Limestones and rice fields landscapes from Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 To morning breeze turned into the mid day heat from Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 The rice fields and hills from Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 The bridge on route 1E heading to Gnommalath

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Day 2 Crossing the river enroute Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 The scenic river landscape from Mahaxai to Gnommalath

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Day 2 The signboard To Gnommalath and the Laos-Vietnam border from Mahaxai

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Day 2 Arrived at Gnommalat from Mahaxai

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Day 2 Route 1E from Gnommalath to Nakai

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Day 2 The landscapes on route 1E from Gnommalath to Nakai

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Day 2 The bridge connects Gnommalath to Nam Theun Power Station

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Day 2 Route 1E from Gnommalath to Nam Theun Power Station

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Day 2 Arrived at Nam Theun Power Station from Gnommlath on route 1E

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Day 2 From Nam Theun Power Station to Nakai. The road of hell begins here

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Day 2 Awaiting for help to get to Nakai after passing through Nam Theun Power Station

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Day 2 A kind help from a fish seller for a steep hill ride on a pick up to Nakai

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Day 2 Arrived at Nakai from Nam Theun Power Station

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Day 2 The route 1E from Nakai to Ban Thalang

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Day 2 The motorbike belonged to a youth that was burnt into ashes along route 1E from Nakai to Ban Thalang

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Day 2 The massive lake along route 1E from Nakai to Ban Thalang

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Day 2 Part of the massive lake along route 1E from Nakai to Ban Thalang

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Day 2 Another lake landscape along route 1E from Nakai to Ban Thalang

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Day 2 Taking a rest and enjoy a bottle of Oishi green tea before arriving Ban Thalang

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Day 2 Arrived at Phosy Thalang Guesthouse

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Day 2 The interior of the room at Phosy Thalang Guesthouse

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Day 2 A view of the lake at Phosy Thalang Guesthouse

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Day 2 Dinner at Phosy Thalang Restaurant. Fried rice with fried egg Lao style

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Day 2 A bottle of Oishi Black Tea before the challenge on Day 3 next morning

Posted by kidd27 00:08 Archived in Laos

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