The sgBikerBoy 2016 Trip – Day 25

15 July 2015, Friday. I woke up with disappointment this morning. I had hoped for the weather to turn good and the fog to clear. But unfortunately,  the roads were still wet and the fog remained thick – not exactly the best conditions for motorcycle travel, especially on a mountain snake pass filled with loose gravel, sand and soil patches. But instead of getting stuck here, I decided to trod on.

So I packed my stuff, and hurled it onto my bike. Bid the nice staff at the guesthouse goodbye and continued my journey through the thick fog. At first, I was doing speeds of below 30kmh, taking extra precaution not to fall. I think my already injured patella will go if I impacted it the third time in 3 days. Thankfully, the roads started drying up, and the fog started lifting as I descended from the mountains towards Vang Vieng.

Finally! A stretch of straight road!
Finally! A stretch of straight road!

...and some beautiful views too!
…and some beautiful views too!

The roads started getting less winding as I approached Vang Vieng, and I managed to pick up some speed. Nevertheless, perhaps the recent drop was still fresh in my mind, I was still riding super cautiously.

And then I hit a patch of wet, slippery tar. It was like riding through a patch of oil spill, and I could smell the fresh stench of recently applied road tar. Steady, steady… you can do it… and I somehow managed to wobble through it without falling. Yeah!

And so, after getting a room and some lunch, the first thing I did when I reached Vang Vieng was to head to a bike wash – my very first bike wash in this trip. I had to get rid of the tar before it becomes permanent.

The Pulsar getting some pampering.
The Pulsar getting some pampering.
The pressure wash just didn't cut it for the sticky tar. Had to get a can of bug and tar remover. Look at all the dissolved grime! 20,000k for the wash, 50,000k for the can of tar remover, and 10,000k for the tar cleanup labour. Total bill for the Pulsar pamper - 80,000kips.
The pressure wash just didn’t cut it for the sticky tar. Had to get a can of bug and tar remover. Look at all the dissolved grime! 20,000k for the wash, 50,000k for the can of tar remover, and 10,000k for the tar cleanup labour. Total bill for the Pulsar pamper – 80,000kips.
Headed to the (not so) Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng. Tourists were thronging the place.
Headed to the (not so) Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng. Tourists were thronging the place.
There's a steep climb to the nearby Tham Poukham Cave. Headlamps are mandatory. I was halfway up the climb when it started raining. I decided to descend as the slippery path is not going to be easy on my already injured knee.
There’s a steep climb to the nearby Tham Poukham Cave. Headlamps are mandatory. I was halfway up the climb when it started raining. I decided to descend as the slippery path is not going to be easy on my already injured knee.
Ziplining! No I did not try. Too old, too uncle, and too chicken for this.
Ziplining! No I did not try. Too old, too uncle, and too chicken for this.
The Blue Lagoon seem to be a mini water playground built around a natural pool of water. Here's a water slide. 10,000kips for unlimited rides.
The Blue Lagoon seem to be a mini water playground built around a natural pool of water. Here’s a water slide. 10,000kips for unlimited rides.
On my way back to town, I hit slow traffic.
On my way back to town, I hit slow traffic.
These guys just won't let me enjoy one of the rarer nice stretch of road. One of them even threw dung as I approached it. I'm so gonna have beef for dinner as revenge.
These guys just won’t let me enjoy one of the rarer nice stretch of road. One of them even threw dung as I approached it. I’m so gonna have beef for dinner as revenge.
The nice stretch after clearing the slow traffic.
The nice stretch after clearing the slow traffic.
Spotted a local fishing by a roadside river.
Spotted a local fishing by a roadside river.
Apart from the Penang bridge in Malaysia, this is the only other toll bridge I crossed. 10,000kips.
Apart from the Penang bridge in Malaysia, this is the only other toll bridge I crossed. 10,000kips.

Vang Vieng sits somewhere in the middle between Luang Prabang and the capital city, Vientiane. While the northern towns of Luang Prabang and Luang Namtha seem to have a larg’ish population of Chinese (which makes sense as northern Laos borders Yunnan, China), the town of Vang Vieng seem to have a large population of Korean tourists. Even the many touristy signboards everywhere contain Korean characters to cater to this group.

Bad roads. And this is INSIDE town.
Bad roads. And this is INSIDE town.
Due to the bad roads, some prefer to travel on ATV's. Available for rent.
Due to the bad roads, some prefer to travel on ATV’s. Available for rent.
Beef larb with sticky rice, pork spring roll, and a fresh coconut. Revenge never tasted that good.
Beef larb with sticky rice, pork spring roll, and a fresh coconut. Revenge never tasted that good.

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