Northern Laos’ majestic curves rise in step green folds from the earth and layer the terrain with cliffs, mountains and high plateaus. Less than 8o kms into this mysterious country, the team will stop to explore Hua Phan’s stunning landscape and the haunting Vieng Xai caves.
200 kms of winding gravel roads lay ahead of the Team and its search for one of Lao’s most enigmatic sights – The Plain of Jars. No one knows exactly why hundreds of these 2,000 year-old stone jars are strewn across the meadow-like areas, but the Wheel2Wheel Team will get to the bottom of it.
Encircled by mountains and set 700 metres above sea level is the colourful Luang Prabang, Lao’s foremost tourist showpiece. The Team will dwell here to wat-hop and quench our architectural thirst by soaking up an exquiste concentration of UNESCO world heritage-listed palaces.
A long 300 km stretch south takes the Team to the Lao capital, described as the “most relaxed capital city on earth”, Vientiane. A city nestled on the banks of the mighty Mekong river that encapsulates Lao’s colonial and communist past and symbolizes its capitalist future.
Vientaine lies just 20 kms from the Team’s fourth border crossing. For most travellers, using the popular Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge into north-east Thailand is relatively pleasurable compared to your average immigration procedure. However, for the Wheel2Wheel Team the border will be tricky given the random access afforded to large foreign-registered motorbikes into Thailand.