I biked “The Loop” in Laos from Thakhek to Naiki and then to Ban Na Hin, which is the base town to visit the big highlight: the Konglor cave. The cave is a big side trip (26 miles in each direction) so instead of biking out and back on the same road, I decided to take a minibus. I got on the first one that left at 10AM, but it took 1.5 hours because it stopped a lot to make deliveries of food and gasoline along the way.
The Konglor cave was pretty cool to see—7 km boat ride through and you see some rock formations inside—but the effort to see it has cost me an entire day. This experience has reminded me how great it is to travel independently by bicycle and to always avoid buses and boats.
Here’s where I slept last night. I got the lover’s room.
The main road through Southern Laos is really boring. It’s well paved and flat, but it’s barren and mind-numbing. Apparently 80% of Laos’ population is in the North, so in the South, towns are small and spread out, leaving long stretches of nothing in between.
To get through this wasteland, I’ve been biking long distances everyday of 100-120 miles. I’ve considered taking a bus to skip it so I can spend more time in better places, but the problem is my ego.
So far I’ve biked the entire way. If I was to take a bus now, I’d be embarrassed to explain my trip. “You biked through all those countries?!” “Well, I biked most of it, but then I took the bus.” I’m willing to put myself through a little more agony to avoid a long explanation of how I travelled. Plus I think I’d be disappointed in myself for being a wimp. The sense of accomplishment will be more pure if I bike the whole way.
Do I need to just get over myself?" -Eoin
See more of Eoin's trip here