Beyond civilisation

After five years I’m back in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. From there I am riding towards Vietnam to do the second part of my crossing of Southeast Asia on the bike. The first impression of five years ago still remains this time. How can such a small town be the capital of a country as big as Laos?


Decently the environment is changing. There are now ATMs (half of which are not working) – there are shopping malls and a bigger restaurant scene. Although the night market on the Mekong still has the great attraction. At least among to the foreigners. The infrastructure has made a jump in Laos capital. But something has remained the same. The calm and deliberateness of the people in the urban environment still is unchanged. Almost as if the infrastructure would develop and everything the Laotians have left for it, is a shrug.

About Thailand

First I start to the south. Via Buddha Park and Nong Khai I am heading to Udon Thani where I find civilization again. And join the circle of evening recreational athletes. The only way to escape the smog of the big city is the lake in the middle of the city which is guarded by several three-meter-high ducks.

The Thakhek Loop

The next morning I am in Nakhon Phanom and on the border to the new entrance to Laos , Thakhek is right across the river and the mountains of the Thakhek Loop is on sight. I intend to ride this loop for the next few days and come across a stretch of land which is probably something special in Asia. A partially deserted and less crowded area.

This is certainly unimaginable – of course along the road there are smaller houses and cabins, but for asia, nature is remarkable here. Here are more landscapes and less the people. And the landscape is really unique here. Cave-strewn mountains and a lot of green characterize a lakeview situated on a plateau.

Lak Sao

This small town of Laos is also a destination for many tourists who rent a motorized vehicle in Thakhek and drive this round in two or three days. On the last night in Laos I spend the night in Lak Sao. A hole in which the fewest travellers stay. Basically it is a crossroad with connected gas station and smaller shops on the way to the east. I’m glad to find something like accommodation and a small night market before heading to Vietnam for the final leg.

So I’m not surprised to be accompanied by barking and whining dogs on my way back to the hotel. Without any people.

Asia, deserted …