Border crossing with an unidentified object!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).
  • Saleng expedition #51
  • Thakhek > Mukdahan
  • 144 km / 89 miles

At the Third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge we wanted to take the (Thai) saleng back in Thailand, from Thakhek to Nakhon Phanom. The border patrol didn't want to let us cross the bridge with the saleng because we weren't a car, truck or bus! Can you believe that? Luckily one of the officers thought it was really cool that we (farang) were driving with a saleng, arriving from Laos, coming from Phuket (which is over 1500 KM / 932 miles away if you drive directly)! While we had to 'wait' he was taking pictures of the license plate. :)

Exporting the Saleng from Laos!

The border crossing took us only 10 minutes and cost nothing, compared to two hours waiting and paying everywhere on the way over. OK, this time we removed the Laos flags before crossing and it's a Thai vehicle so going back should be easier, but you never know! Even crossing the bridge was free this time, with a big supporting smile and thumbs up from the officer! A huge difference compared to the unnecessary 500 Bath bridge escort on the way over. The bridge is just about switching lanes in nomansland! So happy to drive on the left-side of the road again with the sidecar on the outside, much safer for everybody!

Third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge crossing!

Since we crossed the border over land we only got a 15-days tourist visa and we needed 22 days before leaving Thailand, bummer! Luckily there's an immigration office in Nahkom Phanon where you can extend visas. For 1900 Bath per person we got an extra 30-days. You need an id-photo and copies of your passport ID-page, entry stamps and immigration card. There was no queue, WIFI, about 5 people helping out with the paperwork before handing it in, everybody smiled and there was a great ambiance and service! Impressive for 'officials'!

Visa extension at Nakhon Phanom immigration office.

Back in Thailand! It felt like coming home! Friendly people waving and giving thumbs up for our 'circus', a warm welcome! The roads are good, streets are clean and lovely decorated, 7-Eleven on every corner, loud music and advertising from cars and (my favorite) Amazon Coffee with good espresso along way! Delicious food everywhere and that everlasting smile and wai gesture, it feels so good!

Back in Thailand!

One day in Mukdahan before really starting the Isaan-tour and leaving the Mekong river behind.

Restaurant recommendation in Mukdahan! Opposite 7-Eleven (bring your own wine)! Try the chicken cashew nut and hot plate!

Khamsrithong Chai hotel, an average business hotel with river view.

Accommodation recommendation: Khamsrithong Chai Hotel, Mukdahan
Book with Agoda

Good Mook* Travellers cafe, a good place for working online. Open 09:00 - 18:00.

Happy in Thailand! Fresh air! :)

To be continued, stay tuned!

  • 4768 km / 2963 miles done total
  • 1232 km / 766 miles to go
  • 75 days done
  • 17 days to go
  • 36 provinces crossed
  • 9 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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