Finishing the Thakhek Loop with the saleng!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).
  • Saleng expedition #49
  • Na hin > Lak Sao > Thakhek
  • 204 km / 127 miles
Last part of the Thakhek Loop for us, driving from Na Hin to Thakhek. About 200 KM / 125 miles to go and our one-day-record is 226 KM / 140 miles so, it should be possible with the saleng in one day!
But, things worked out differently! PROBLEMS WITH THE BIKE AGAIN! The saleng still pulled to the right, at a certain point (out of the blue) the front tire was flat... Luckily we just passed a small village, and every village seems to have a bike repair shop along this loop. Yes!

Flat tire number one.

This mechanic pulled a basket with tools out of his living room and put the bike on some wooden blocks. He changed the inner tube, filled it and off we went within 5 minutes paying 20.000 KIP - great!

Flat tire number two.

Before we got to the next little village the same tire was flat again. Time for some exercise! This time we found a mechanic shop with two women, which was also the local supermarket and probably a restaurant too. We asked for a new outer tire as well, and they changed it for 150.000 KIP in about 30 minutes. The funny thing is that the bike didn't pull to the right that much anymore! Problem (sort of) solved!!! Still we decided to drive only to Lak Sao and stay for the night, we had enough of all the repairs and troubles with the bike.

Road impressions of Na Hin to Lak Sao.

Souriya2 Hotel and Only One Restaurant in Lak Sao.

There are a few accommodations and restaurants in Lak Sao, quite a lot of mobile phone shops and a local market. Bring your dictionary/use Google translate to communicate. Only One Restaurant is a place with proper seating, an English menu and one of the waitresses spoke some English (if she was in the mood). Customer service was not on the menu but they do had chilled bottles of red wine and the food was OK.

Map of day 3, Na Hin to Lak Sao.

Road under construction, Lak Sao to Nakai.

Road impressions of Nakai to Thakhek.

Map of day 4, Lak Sao to Thakhek.

Summary of The Thakhek Loop we did with the saleng:
  • Four days of driving;
  • ___ Day 1: Vientiane to Paksan, 148 KM / 92 miles, Phetlivong Hotel;
  • ___ Day 2: Paksan to Na Hin, 130 KM / 81 miles, Phamarnview Guesthouse;
  • ___ Day 3: Na Hin to Lak Sao, 57 KM / 35, Souriya2 Hotel;
  • ___ Day 4: Lak Sao to Thakhek, 147 KM / 91 miles, Inthira Thakhek Hotel;
  • 3 Nights in Na Hin, visiting Konglor cave, 86 KM / 53 miles go and return.
  • Total: 7 nights, 568 KM / 353 miles.
  • Road conditions January 2016: Perfect asphalt, construction from Lak Sao to Nakai about 50 KM / 31 miles.

This is part 3 of the Thakhek Loop with saleng.

Click here part 1 of the Thakhek Loop with saleng!

Click here part 2 of the Thakhek Loop with saleng!

To be continued, stay tuned!

  • 4624 km / 2873 miles done total
  • 1376 km / 855 miles to go
  • 70 days done
  • 22 days to go
  • 34 provinces crossed
  • 11 provinces to go

Phuket - Phang Nga - Ranong - Chumphon - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Phetchaburi - Ratchaburi - Kanchanaburi - Suphanburi - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Singburi - Chainat - Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan - Phichit - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Uttaradit - Phrae - Lampang - Lamphun - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son - Chiang Rai - Bokeo - Luang Namtha - Udomxai - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (khwaeng) - Vientiane (prefecture) - Kamphaeng Nakhon Wieng Chan - Bolikhamsai - Khammuan - Nakhon Phanom - Mukdahan - Kalasin - Roi Et - Maha Sarakham - Buriram - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nakhon Nayok - Pathum Thani - Nonthaburi - Bangkok

Saleng expedition, intro
Phuket Town to Laem Phrao, and we're off! (Saleng 1)
Laem Phrao to Khao Lak, the Dutch bobsled team! (Saleng 2)
Khao Lak to Praphat, thumbs up! (Saleng 3)
Praphat to Ko Phayam, saleng on board! (Saleng 4)
Ko Phayam, time to relax! (Saleng 5)
Ko Phayam to Ranong, hot springs & Loy Krathong! (Saleng 6)
Ranong to Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon), coast to coast! (Saleng 7)
Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon) to Bang Boet Bay, scenic route! (Saleng 8)
Bang Boet Bay to Thap Sakae, we have a problem! (Saleng 9)
Thap Sakae to Prachuap Khiri Khan, aircrafts crossing! (Saleng 10)
Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hua Hin, snakes and dead end roads! (Saleng 11)
Hua Hin, we need business cards! (Saleng 12)
Hua Hin to Petchaburi, visiting a tropical vine yard! (Saleng 13)
Petchaburi, amazing cave temple and aggressive monkeys! (Saleng 14)
Petchaburi to Kanchanaburi, discovering the walking directions of Google Maps! (Saleng 15)
Kanchanaburi, King's Day & Light & Sound Festival 2015 (Bridge over the river Kwae)! (Saleng 16)
Kanchanaburi, Bridge Over The River Kwae! (Saleng 17)
Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya, being the attraction and escort service! (Saleng 18)
Ayutthaya, writing Thai and some cultural differences! (Saleng 19)
Ayutthaya, ruins, strange tuk-tuks and Christmas time! (Saleng 20)
Ayutthaya to Lopburi, going Dutch! (Saleng 21)
Lopburi, bikers in monkey town! (Saleng 22)
Lopburi to Pho Prathap Chang, why didn't we get a car? (Saleng 23)
Pho Prathap Chang to Sukhothai, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday! (Saleng 24)
Sukhothai, saleng at UNESCO World Heritage site! (Saleng 25)
Sukhothai to Phrae, we're not the slowest! (Saleng 26)
Phrae, think big! (Saleng 27)
Phrae to Lampang, 2000 km done! (Saleng 28)
Lampang, ladies not allowed! (Saleng 29)
Lampang to San Kamphaeng, visiting an elephant hospital! (Saleng 30)
San Kamphaeng to Chiang Mai, we made it before Christmas! (Saleng 31)
Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Christmas time in the tropics! (Saleng 32)
Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son loop with saleng! (Saleng 33)
Muay Thai in Chiang Mai! (Saleng 34)
Countdown party 2016 in Chiang Rai! (Saleng 35)
Saleng to Mae Salong, the little engine that could! (Saleng 36)
Mae Salong to Chiang Khong, opium at the Golden Triangle! (Saleng 37)
Border crossing with saleng, we're in Laos! (Saleng 38)
Luang Namtha outdoor adventures! (Saleng 39)
It's too cold in the tropics! (Saleng 40)
Off the beaten track! (Saleng 41)
Relaxing in Luang Prabang! (Saleng 42)
Peak performance: Saleng at 1900 meters /6233 feet! (Saleng 43)
Tubing in Vang Vieng! (44)
Eating dust while reaching 4000 KM / 2485 miles! (Saleng 45)
Fixing the bike, one more time! (Saleng 46)
Reaching base camp, Thakhek loop with extreme cold weather! (Saleng 47)
Konglor Cave, underground river adventure! (Saleng 48)
Finishing the Thakhek Loop with the saleng! (Saleng 49)
Relaxing in Thakhek! (Saleng 50)
Border crossing with an unidentified object! (Saleng 51)
Farang in Isaan! (Saleng 52)
Reaching 5000 KM / 3107 miles around Roi Et! (Saleng 53)
Tree hugging and Khmer temples in Phimai! (Saleng 54)
Tasting new latitude wines in Khao Yai! (Saleng 55)
Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng! (Saleng 56)
We made it to Bangkok! The final chapter! (Saleng 57)
SOLD the saleng! (Saleng 58)

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